greatbear analogue and digital media > video tape transfer > domestic & educational > VHS / VHS-C / S-VHS / D-VHS


S-VHS Machine

Transfer VHS / VHS-C / S-VHS

VHS video tape was one of the most common video formats throughout the world until recently and is primarily a domestic analogue recording format.

  • We can digitise and transfer VHS to DVD or any digital video format from 10 bit uncompressed Quicktime or AVI files to highly compressed H264 MP4 files for online, Youtube or Vimeo use.
  • We hold spares and all relevant test equipment to keep our machines working to their original specification for as long as possible.
  • We can restore damaged and degraded tape and own the specialised RTI Tapechek tape cleaning machine.
  • We are able to transfer all standards VHS / VHS-C / S-VHS tape from the US (NTSC), UK (PAL) and (SECAM).
  • We can do motion compensated standards conversion, so if the video tape you have is in NTSC format we can deliver your digital file in PAL (and vice versa).
  • We are equipped for video noise reduction and overscan removal.
  • We can deliver your digital files in any of the following formats:  Apple Quicktime /MOV in any codec, 10 bit uncompressed (recommended), AVI in any codec; any MacOS, Windows or GNU/Linux filesystem (HFS+, NTFS or EXT3); DVCAM / miniDV and DVD.
  • We are happy to work with individual tapes which may be damaged and require special attention, to large orders of high functioning tapes which can be processed quickly (and everything else in-between!)

VHS Problems

Video Home System (VHS) is arguably the most common domestic video tape format of all time. It dominated the market globally from when it was launched in 1976 to its decline around 1996. Because of this there are huge amounts of VHS tapes and machines around compared to other formats. As with much of work in this area, not all machines are high quality and only certain machines, like the Panasonic AG TL 350 and Panasonic AG4700 are good to use for digitisation.

These are machines which were made for the domestic market but have hard wearing transports and in-built time-based correctors, a technique to reduce or eliminate errors caused by mechanical instability present in analogue recordings on mechanical media. These are two things which make a real difference when migrating video tape to digital files.

The problems that can arise with VHS tape and transfer are comparable with many other tape formats: damage from poor storage, mold or deterioration which we can repair in-house. Due to the common and domestic nature of VHS tapes, you can also get problems from excessive everyday use. If video tape has been played back in cheap machines that have worn out over time and tapes get chewed up. This has obvious consequences for the quality of the tape.

VHS History

This size and format of analogue video recording was used across a wide range of areas, from home recordings, commercial film distribution, domestic camcorders, time lapse CCTV, semi professional news / footage gathering and editing and even audio recording.

Primarily though VHS was a domestic format and has been around for a long time since the late 1970’s. As a result there are still a large body of VHS video recorders around, although none being made new any more.



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greatbear analogue and digital media ltd, 0117 985 0500
Unit 26, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, Bristol, BS2 8QN, UK

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