Audio Video Recovery Systems

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Video Recovery FAQ

At AVRS, we know how frustrating it can be to discover your archival footage or home videos have suffered damage. We've answered some common questions to help you determine if the contents of your video footage is salvageable.


The video recording I made has lines in the picture, and the videotape will not play on other machines.

This issue is probably a result of a change in the tape path geometry. In a camcorder, sometimes the guides that pull the tape out of the shell and wrap it around the head drum come loose and begin to drift. This shift causes lines in the recorded tape. Our solution is to realign special decks with test equipment to match the improperly aligned recording. For electronic problems, we have developed proprietary circuits to recover lost video information.

The video recording I made is snowy. The technician said I had a head clog. Can it be recovered?

Possibly. The video recording process uses two heads. If one becomes clogged, the other field may be all right. We have a method for removing the flawed field and doubling the good field for a clear picture. Unfortunately, if both heads appear clogged, there may not be enough information to recover.

My videotape frequently makes noises and often does not play smoothly. Why is this?

More than likely, some degree of decomposition has occurred. When tapes are exposed to heat and moisture they can degrade quickly. With the proper treatment, we can rectify this condition.


 

I left my videotapes and recordings out on a hot day. Now, the shells have become warped, and the tapes won't play.

Heat is the enemy of recorded magnetic media. The Curie Point, or the temperature at which magnetic particles lose their magnetism, is about 140F. At this point, tapes will begin to erase themselves, and the plastic shells will start to warp. This damage can quickly happen in a closed car at the beach in summer. Recovery success will depend on how long the tape was exposed to these conditions, so keep your camcorder and tapes in as cool a place as possible.

 

My videotapes were recorded over accidentally. Can my recordings be recovered?

Generally, in the recording process, any previously recorded material is erased by circuits that scramble the magnetic fields on the tape to allow the recording of new information. Unfortunately, in most cases, the old content is gone forever.

 

My videotapes have been directly exposed to water. Are they ruined?

Not necessarily, but you should get your videotapes to a professional as soon as possible. If left untreated, they will dry improperly, and subsequently, malfunction, break, and deteriorate.