Digitisation project 4: VHS cassettes
In 2016, during our fourth digitisation project, the focus was on VHS from content partners in the cultural heritage sector. Between April 2016 and April 2019, we digitised 27,000 VHS tapes from 94 content partners.
VHS was introduced to the market in 1976 and over the 1980s and 1990s grew to become the most successful video format ever. The video recorder at home made it possible to record television broadcasts and play films on VHS. It was used for private and semi-professional recordings of events, educational material and company films. However, the quality of the recordings was not great and lower than the Betamax cassettes, which lost out. Loss of signal occurs quite quickly and the tapes easily become sticky, causing them to get stuck in the video player. The production of video players was stopped in 2016, although they are still easy to find.
Through a European tendering process, the digitisation was awarded to the Dutch company Picturae. They handled the digitisation of the Betamax, audio-CD-R and VCR carriers in our second digitisation project. Afterwards they tackled digitisation project 6 with 22 rare carrier types.