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Transferring U-Matic To DVD – The Best Way to Preserve Your Recordings


By Jamey Nordby - September 29, 2019

The U-Matic videotape hasn’t been in use for decades. Popular during the 1970s, the U-Matic self-contained playback video system was a common choice. Requiring little technical knowledge or skill to operate, families everywhere used it. With its simple, user-friendly design, people didn’t even need to rewind the tape or lace it through its transport. Transferring tapes was a breeze and you could stop and start the tape immediately. It’s no wonder that the U-Matic was so popular. Over time, however, there were new formats developed and the U-Matic fell out of favor. Now, many of us have old U-Matic tapes in the attic. What should we do with them? The answer could be to transfer your U-Matic to DVD.

Why Preserve Your U-Matic Tapes?

The U-Matic tape is at a high preservation risk because of hardware and media obsolescence. There was a considerable amount of material over the years recorded in U-Matic format. However, these days, there are more U-Matic tapes out there than there is working hardware to play them. Even when U-Matic machines are available, very few of them still work. Top-loading models are almost entirely unusable.

When compared with some other video formats, the U-Matic format is relatively resilient. The ¾-inch tape and guard bands help to protect it. Since U-Matic tape is thicker than some newer formats, it takes longer to degrade. This doesn’t mean that it’s completely safe from being lost, however. Some U-Matic tapes are problematic and shed when played back. If you find that a U-Matic tape has an unusual odor of wax crayons, it probably has this problem.

Because of the diminishing number of U-Matic machines and the potential damage that can befall tapes, it is important to preserve them.

Converting U-Matic Tapes To Newer Formats

If you have U-Matic videotapes at home, it can be tempting to simply leave them in the attic. After all, if you’ve stored them carefully away in cool and dry conditions, they’re sure to be safe, right?

Wrong.

The longer your tapes stay in storage, the more likely they are to deteriorate over time. If you have placed your precious family memories on U-Matic tapes, you should consider transferring them to another format. Although your tapes may still be in good condition today, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay that way. Also, when there are no more working U-Matic machines left, how will you watch those tapes back?

Here at Reborn, we specialize in helping you to protect those precious old video recordings. Whether your tapes contain footage of family vacations, weddings or birthdays, we can make sure they’re protected. We can convert U-Matic tapes to DVD to ensure that you can preserve those memories for future generations to enjoy. When those films are on DVD, you can also watch them at any time. It’s easy to share those old home movies with your friends and family members. You’ll also be confident that they’ll be safe and sound, even after U-Matic is no more.
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