efedora asks: "I have about 650 hours of VHS tape going back about 20 years (no, not my porn collection) and the tape is starting to deteriorate. What are the best options for preserving the contents? Quality is important but not critical, so long as it's close to the original. Very low labor cost/time and simple operation. are important. Is there an easy way to do this?"
"Some of the ideas I've had so far are:
- VHS to VHS tape with an analog 'clean up' box between the VHS machines. This would give me the same number of tapes but should last another 20 years. Quality will degrade.
- Burn DVD's direct from VHS tape. I have software that will do this. Expensive and the DVD's won't even hold a VHS tape if it's 2 hours long. Good quality with no degradation.
- Burn VCD's. I don't know of any simple direct-to-VCD software that will do this so there would be a large labor overhead. Good quality with some degradation. Cheap.
- VHS direct to cheap IDE drives. Good quality with no degradation. Relatively cheap. Probably could use the same technique as burn-to-dvd."