You can hardly find a video recorder even with a magnifying glass and a lot of good will. Not to mention video tapes. Are their contents lost forever?
San Francisco (dpa / tmn) - Analog audio and video recordings on magnetic tape are history. Even the VHS video cassette, which was so popular in the 1980s and 1990s, no longer plays a role in everyday life. In contrast to digital recordings, the technical limitations of the video format and the physical changes to the tape material have a relatively strong impact on the image.
But it is precisely this imperfection that makes up the aesthetics of VHS recordings that some or some will like to remember. It is because of this that the Internet Archive has started to digitize and archive VHS tapes - more than 21,000 in different languages so far, although videos in English dominate. And all videos, films, series or documentaries can be viewed online at "The VHS Vault".
It is a journey back in time to the age of picture tube televisions with an almost square PAL resolution and slight picture interference. They are due to the analog, aging tape material and are decisive for the nostalgic flair that even the digitized VHS tapes still exude. The same applies to the sound, which was actually quite good at VHS: The rotating tape reading heads usually produce a significant VHS crackle.
In terms of content, a YouTube trip could not be more exciting: there are documentaries such as that on the Burning Man Festival 1994, b-movies like "Gozilla vs. Mothra" (1992), series like "Sponge Bob" or "Power Rangers", but also Bootleg tapes from concerts or music videos.
As a non-profit organization, the San Francisco-based Internet Archive collects all kinds of cultural assets in digital form in order to keep them freely accessible for posterity. Countless video games, programs, digitized records, scanned books, websites, films and even "historical" malware are already stored on the archive's servers.
The VHS Vault