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Old 04-21-2019, 01:06 PM
TSBG is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,687
It's been pretty well covered, but yes, go to the pros. Don't assume the tapes are irrecoverable. Although the tape format wasn't intended to last, they can be surprisingly resilient--I once had good results WITHOUT a lot of conservation from video and audio tapes that had been sitting for years in a metal container exposed to extremes of heat and cold. That said you should still have them examined and transferred by someone who knows what they're doing, as it is possible that the next time they're played will be the last.

As for storage, I recommend a good RAID hard drive plus cloud backup. Hard drives don't last either so you'll want to transfer to a new one every few years. Or you could use what networks do and put them on LTO tape storage--now fairly affordable. LTO isn't an easy way to play things back though, so you'll want a separate copy for making family videos and so on.