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how to erase a video tape?

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What is the most effective method for erasing a video tape (either miniDV or VHS) while maintaining the usability of the tape?
asked 4 years ago in media by theEraser (470 points)

2 Answers

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If you are going to reuse the tape, I recommend erasing it by blacking it. Blacking a tape refers to re-recording a blank, black screen on to the video track and silence on to the audio track. Blacking a tape mutes out the deleted recording so that no discernable trace or noise will bleed through subsequent recordings or appear on cuts. To black a tape follow these simple instructions:

For a VHS tape:

  • Load the video tape into your VHS player and rewind the tape to the beginning
  • Make sure your VHS player is tuned to a channel with no sound and a blank, black screen
  • Hit record

For miniDV or other video camera magnetic tapes (Video8, Digital8, Hi8, etc):

  • Load the video tape into your camcorder and rewind the tape to the beginning
  • Place the camera in a quiet room and leave the lens cap on
  • Hit record
answered 4 years ago by regular404 (320 points)
0 votes

bulk-eraser by sonicksjs, on Flickr

You could use a magnetic media degausser. Particularly helpful if you have a whole bunch of videos to erase. The good ones are heavy and very expensive. Cheap tape degaussers (like the one pictured) may not be good enough. They're designed for older formats with lower magnetic densities which took less power to record. Using these on newer, digital recordings could leave a magnetic remanence which may allow for some reconstruction of the erased recording.

answered 4 years ago by OMG spacebar (360 points)

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