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Betamax Tapes

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This is sort of a non-Star Wars question, but people may find it relates to the preservation projects anyway....

I have an old betamax tape of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Now understand that this is the ORIGINAL, FIRST VIDEO RELEASE of the movie, meaning that it is now 23 to 24 years old.

This was the copy I used to watch as a kid and I saved it when our old betamax VCR and tapes went by the wayside. I would like to convert it to DVD as it's sort of sentimental in a way. I can get a Betamax VCR on eBay with no problems for the conversion.

My question is......is the tape still playable? I've heard of old tapes getting put into machines and melting and ruinning VCR heads, thus destroying the tape and the machine completely. Since the Betamax machines are pretty expensive on eBay, I don't want to buy one and then ruin it since I would re-sell it once I finished converting the tape in order to get my money back.

Also, I have not stored this tape in the best conditions either over the years. It has been kept in a trunk with other momentos in the garage year round for more than 5 years at least.

Given all this information and any experience of those of you who know about this sort of stuff....what are my chances of converting this thing successfully? Should I just forget the whole thing?
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That's difficult to say without watching the video. I know Silverwook has a Betamax player. You should send it to him and let him watch it. If it's playable, then you get the player.

Or...since he lives close to me (1-2 hours away, IIRC), I could get the tape and player from him, and make the transfer myself.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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I transferred Video2000 tapes (from 1983) to dvd. The tapes were in very good condition and played very well. I found a broken Video2000 tape in our old garage, the casing was broken and the tape itself must have laid in the mud for more then 10 years, freezing in winter (-15) hot in summer (+40). I removed the tape from another casing to put the muddy tape from the garage in. It still played pretty well. When using old tapes you should wind them back and forth before playing because the tape may be a bit sticky.
Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
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The tape could also be loose, and fast-forwarding/rewinding will tighten it up.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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I'm knee-deep in old beta tapes right now. I had to buy a large batch to get the one tape I wanted on Ebay. The oldest ones are from 1983. Some play back really well, some are dropout ridden and/or have severe tracking issues. (If only the the extended tv cut of Superman was on one of the good tapes!) I don't think your copy would kill a recorder, unless it's got mold inside the shell or something. But it's a large expense for just one tape since your options for getting a working deck are either Ebay or someone like Mister Betamax. (Who refurbishes and sells betas at a premium.) Which version of TMP do you have? The original theatrical cut, or the "Special Longer Version"?
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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"(If only the the extended tv cut of Superman was on one of the good tapes!)"

Do you really have a copy of this? Even a bad copy would be cool!

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
"(If only the the extended tv cut of Superman was on one of the good tapes!)"

Do you really have a copy of this? Even a bad copy would be cool!


Extended tv cut of Superman? There's an ETV cut? What's different? I might have it I taped Superman off of tv a long time ago.

*goes to google it*


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You mean you don't have the DVD fan compilation of supermans 1 and 2? That's too bad
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Not quite yet.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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not trying to off topic the thread (or add to the derailing going on) but, I also have a copy of Superman 1 & 2 on vhs that was recorded back in the day. Unfortunatly they are both on the same tape so LP or EP was probably used, but I figured I'd take a look at them when i was going through a box of recorded vhs' my parents have.

-Darth Simon
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

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*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post
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Originally posted by: SilverWook
I'm knee-deep in old beta tapes right now. I had to buy a large batch to get the one tape I wanted on Ebay. The oldest ones are from 1983. Some play back really well, some are dropout ridden and/or have severe tracking issues. (If only the the extended tv cut of Superman was on one of the good tapes!) I don't think your copy would kill a recorder, unless it's got mold inside the shell or something. But it's a large expense for just one tape since your options for getting a working deck are either Ebay or someone like Mister Betamax. (Who refurbishes and sells betas at a premium.) Which version of TMP do you have? The original theatrical cut, or the "Special Longer Version"?



It's the original theatrical cut. It's sort of sentimental for some crazy reason. Probably cuz it's the exact tape I used to watch as a kid. I'm sure the picture is probably horrible, but if I can do it with minimal expense....I'd like to try and see how it turns out.

I have done tape surgery a few times.....so I will have to dig out the tape and dissect to let you know about the mold. I doubt it does though. It was always in a dry place, but it was just hot or cold cuz it was outside in the garage.

I'm just wondering if it will destroy the machine and all. I really don't want that to happen. It sounds like I have a 50/50 chance here....

Oh....and that Superman TV version doesn't have anything really different in it....it's just got tons and tons of extra scenes. I can't watch the DVD version of the movie cuz it feels wrong. There's too much good stuff missing.

"Otis.....feed the babies."
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Well, you can't even get that version on DVD. I'm glad I held onto my laserdiscs of both cuts. Paramount seems to used Scotch brand tapes for their releases which seem to age pretty well. I had two original series episodes sitting in my closet that had not been viewed in over ten years, and they played back fine on my beta.
Does the Superman DVD have any of the extended scenes as extras?
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Originally posted by: SilverWook
Well, you can't even get that version on DVD. I'm glad I held onto my laserdiscs of both cuts. Paramount seems to used Scotch brand tapes for their releases which seem to age pretty well. I had two original series episodes sitting in my closet that had not been viewed in over ten years, and they played back fine on my beta.
Does the Superman DVD have any of the extended scenes as extras?


Nope....not that I noticed anyway......can someone esle verify this.....I don't own the DVD...just borrowed it from my Dad....
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I can better verify when i get home.

also im not sure what scenes your refering to. I know there are some deleted scenes but that may or may not be different than extended scenes

Ill take a peek at the disc when I get home if no one else does so before then

-Darth Simon
Why Anakin really turned to the dark side:
"Anakin, You're father I am" - Yoda
"No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!" - Anakin

0100111001101001011011100110101001100001

*touchy people disclaimer*
some or all of the above comments are partially exaggerated to convey a point, none of the comments are meant as personal attacks on anyone mentioned or reference in the above post