Storing VHS Tapes? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you store your VHS tapes? I have a bunch that the kids like to watch, but they are SO BIG AND BULKY. I need a good storage solution. Ideas?

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#2 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Unfortunately with VHS tapes, there's not much "magic" you can do to make them smaller - the only exception is to toss any Disney covers (since they are bigger).

With DVDs, you can toss the cases and store them in books, but VHS tape boxes (again, with the exception of Disney) are the size of the tapes.

Not knowing the layout of your house and such, here are ideas I can think of:

- Clear a shelf on your bookshelf for tapes
- Use an under-the-bed box. If inconvenient, perhaps rotate them - keep 5 tapes "out" and the rest under the bed, and rotate however often works for your family.
- WalMart has lately been selling these little cube "footstool" thingies. They are cute cubes covered in a bright colored fabric, and they open to reveal storage. They are nicely sized for kids to sit on (and cushioned on top). Those could be the video-watching "chairs" and the storage compartments could hold the tapes.

OK, I'm out of ideas

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#3 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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Convert them to digital? We're working on converting my parents' home videos to digital as their Christmas present (getting them without giving it away is difficult!) and it's super easy to do. The thing we bought to do it cost something like 45 dollars, plus the cost of DVDs if you want to burn them. Of course, you need a computer that can burn DVDs if you want to do that. I don't think we have any VHS anymore, but if we did I'd definitely consider burning them.

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#4 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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What's funny is, I often wish I could convert digital to VHS

Yes, the tapes are realllllllly bulky. And yes, the video quality is not quite as good.

But our DVDs have a very short life before they are too scratched to play. On top of that, the DVD players themselves die about every year. The death of the DVD players is practically a crime in my opinion. But we are using the same VHS player that DH was given by his mom when he was 14... 20 years ago. Granted, we've managed to avoid the typical PB&J-in-the-tape-area death that many players have died.

We get VHS tapes for DD in the library, and they all play reliably. Borrowing a DVD from the kid's section almost guarantees unplayability. The non-juvenile DVDs are more likely to play, of course, but it's too common that we're 3/4 of a way through a movie and then it just crashes and we can't do anything about it.

Grrr. OK, probably that rant was totally uncalled for and out of place on this thread. Sorry.

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#5 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did convert a bunch of them to DVDs... we have a DVD-R that's hooked up to our VHS player... The remaining VHS tapes have copyright restrictions (Disney, mostly), so our machine won't do it. What I'd *like* to do... is just ditch the disney but my kids LUUUUUUUURVE them, so I can't bring myself to do it. Most of them were mine when I was a kid.

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#6 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
What's funny is, I often wish I could convert digital to VHS

Yes, the tapes are realllllllly bulky. And yes, the video quality is not quite as good.

But our DVDs have a very short life before they are too scratched to play. On top of that, the DVD players themselves die about every year. The death of the DVD players is practically a crime in my opinion. But we are using the same VHS player that DH was given by his mom when he was 14... 20 years ago. Granted, we've managed to avoid the typical PB&J-in-the-tape-area death that many players have died.

We get VHS tapes for DD in the library, and they all play reliably. Borrowing a DVD from the kid's section almost guarantees unplayability. The non-juvenile DVDs are more likely to play, of course, but it's too common that we're 3/4 of a way through a movie and then it just crashes and we can't do anything about it.

Grrr. OK, probably that rant was totally uncalled for and out of place on this thread. Sorry.
Hahah, well, my kid is not even 6 months old, so I don't have the experience you have, yet!

Another alternative, if you have a newish laptop and a tv with HDMI (so, flatscreens) is to convert vhs to digital and then connect the laptop to the tv. But that would mean no using the computer while watching movies, which would be annoying.

Also, if you have them digital on your computer then you can just burn another dvd, since blanks are relatively cheap.

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#7 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I did convert a bunch of them to DVDs... we have a DVD-R that's hooked up to our VHS player... The remaining VHS tapes have copyright restrictions (Disney, mostly), so our machine won't do it. What I'd *like* to do... is just ditch the disney but my kids LUUUUUUUURVE them, so I can't bring myself to do it. Most of them were mine when I was a kid.
Ahh, that's the beauty of this thing. As far as I know copyright doesn't matter at all. It's just capturing the image that is playing on the VHS. I don't know what kind of quality loss there may be, though, since all I've done is home videos.

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#8 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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Wow, if the players and dvds are dying that frequently sounds like it's time to move them out of the reach of the kids, invest in higher quality units ( it's that is part of the problem) and not let the kids get hold of the discs.
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#9 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Wow, if the players and dvds are dying that frequently sounds like it's time to move them out of the reach of the kids, invest in higher quality units ( it's that is part of the problem) and not let the kids get hold of the discs.
My kid doesn't touch the equipment, and my husband and I are not rough on them.

Granted, the majority of our DVD experience is through the library, so there's the issue of how other people treat the DVDs.

The players are well known to be poorly made, on purpose. There's a lot of content on the 'net about it. DH and I stopped buying regular DVD players altogether and now just use a spare computer to play videos on. Computer DVD drives seem a lot better made. (And our last DVD player died when DD was a baby not even crawling, so she wasn't involved at all).

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#10 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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You can fix scratched disks, you just need a bit of regular white toothpaste & a soft cloth. Wipe the toothpaste from the inside to the outside of the disk (so straight across, not around)

I'd really like to convert our VHS to digital, we have 2 or 3 BIG boxes in the basement of tapes. Dh says he thinks he knows how, but somehow it never got done before he got sick & now it's even lower on his priority list. Wish I could figure out how to do it. He's not using his desktop at all right now, so it would be easy to use that to do it.

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#11 of 11 Old 09-23-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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My daughter has quite a few vhs' handed down to her. With the exception of a few I don't really want to spend the money to convert them because she'll probably outgrow them in a few years, ya know. A lot of sing along type tapes, etc.

We had a small infant chifrobe that has drawers we use for the vhs'. If you have or can find a unused small dresser, the drawers are really the perfect size. You can make it an end table, etc.

For fixing dvds-my sil gave us a cd doctor thing, and I always thought the were probably useless, but they really work. My husband is really rough on the cds in our car and this puppy makes them play again good as new.
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