The Video Home System (VHS) is a consumer analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in the 1970’s. Many other video formats were developed over the years but VHS was the one most commonly used by the general public.
A videotape records images and sound onto magnetic tape. Unfortunately, magnetic tape deteriorates over time for many reasons, the primary one is the breakdown of the binder, or glue, that holds the magnetic particles to the polyester base of the tape. This causes deterioration of both the image and the audio; eventually resulting in a blank tape. The current life span of VHS tapes is thought to be about 10 years.
In order to preserve precious family memories, VHS tapes should be converted to digital format. The most popular current format in the United States is the Digital Video Disc (DVD). Depending on the type and quality of the disc, a DVD can conceivably last up to 300 years. More realistically, it won’t deteriorate before the next generation of media technology!