degaussing (demagnetising) DigiBeta and HDCAM tapes for reuse a good idea? at

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Old January 8th, 2009, 09:42 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Toronto ON Canada
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degaussing (demagnetising) DigiBeta and HDCAM tapes for reuse a good idea?

I have a bunch (read: an obscene amount) of old (1-6 yrs old) DigiBeta and HDCAM tapes with which I am trying to decide what to do. Since the tapes are not cheap to buy, someone figured it may be a good idea to try reusing them, if possible.

Now, with DV tapes I would never consider reusing them. But I was wondering if DigiBeta and HDCAM tapes can stand up better to reuse? And if so, is simply degaussing them enough to blank the tapes, or do we need to do more?
Mike Barber
"I'm laughing to stop myself from screaming."
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #2
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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The TV Station where I used to work reuses their BetaSP tapes until they literally dissolve into dust. From what I remember, someone would come in early in the morning, put some tapes into some decks, make sure the inputs were turned off, and just record black video on to each tape. Evidently, it works well enough for them, but after several rounds of recording, blacking, more recording, etc., image quality takes a noticeable hit and dropouts appear to happen more often.

If all these tapes of yours have only been used once, I would think it wouldn't be that big of a deal to re-use them a few times- just be aware that the more you use them, the more likely you are to run into problems. Hope this helps.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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Hi Mike.............

I don't think these tapes can be blanked using any degausser you'll be able to source.

You might scare 'em a bit but that's about it.

The thought of running "an obscene amount" through a deck just to wipe them doesn't make a lot of sense either.

Running them FF then REW, on the other hand, would probably be advisable if they haven't been used for a long time.

I'd suggest putting a handfull straight back into use and see what happens.

At the end of the day, using them to record usefull video is exactly the same as running them through a deck to record black, except it cuts out the middle man and saves a huge amount of time.

Can't see you've much to lose.


Last edited by Chris Soucy; January 8th, 2009 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Whoops.
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