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Home /Entertainment / Do You Know Your Tapes? What Tape Is This?

Do You Know Your Tapes? What Tape Is This?

By Dillon Wallace

Do you have a ratty box down in your basement or up in your attic full of old film and tapes? Okay, maybe you don’t, but what about your parents? Grandparents?


Rather than letting dust, vermin and natural old age get the best of that vintage video stash, it’s time you took action. It’s time you digitized your memories.


But where do you begin? How do you know the difference between what tapes and film there are, especially if this is a gift for your parents? After all, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is just around the corner …


At Southtree, we digitize every consumer format of film created. So if you’ve got it, we can probably digitize it – everything from film shot in the 1930s through present day.



Released in 1975 by Sony, Betamax lost its market footing before it ever really took hold. It’s name did have a clever double meaning, however. Beta in Japanese meant “the ways in which signals are recorded on tape” and the shape of the lowercase Greek letter, betta resembles the tracking of the tape through the reel.



Introduced in 1976 by JVC, VHS tapes began their reign as the most popular home video format for the better part of two decades after winning the film war against Betamax. VHS would later go on to then lose a new war against DVDs.



JVC released the VHS-C in 1982 as a smaller more compact version of the VHS. In fact, it’s the same format and can be played back in a standard VCR as long as you have the proper tape adapter.



Hi8 tapes were introduced in 1982 by JVC. These mini-VHS formats may not sound familiar, but any kid that grew up in the 80s or 90s probably remembers his or her dad filming home movies using the giant camcorder that used these.



Released in 1998, the MiniDV was part of a joint effort from leading producers of video camera recorders to bring convenient and compact filming to the public. The tapes were recorded in digital (DV) and could typically hold 90 minutes worth of footage.



Like its name suggests, Digital8 was a digital camcorder based on the 8mm video format. Digital8 was birthed in 1999 as the offspring of Hi8 and digital DV codec.



Released in 2001 by Sony, MicroMV is the smallest video tape to be released. It only took them 25 years to make it this small, but by this time the DVD was already on its way to ushering in the digital wave.



Just before the millennium, the DVD was released, and it would later become the file format that would forever shift the film-making balance from analog to digital.


So, now that you just got schooled with a little history lesson, what are you waiting for?! That film and tape collection is already as prehistoric as the DeLorean and Tom Selleck’s mustache. So Whether you’ve got a Golden age film masterpiece or an 80’s throwback tape, we can help you save those memories for now and generations to come.

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