Lubrication Deterioration Damaged Video Tape Repair Services

$34.50 per tape all lubrication deterioration issues
VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, miniDV and miniDV HD - anything and everything that's wrong with your tape is covered, please visit our FAQ page for details regarding the repair process for 8mm, Hi8 and Digital8 tapes. Discount pricing is available.

Lubrication deterioration is usually only detectable when playback is attempted
All videotape material has a thin layer of lubrication on the surface of the tape itself that allows the tape to flow smoothly over the heads of playback equipment; over time and even under ideal storage conditions this lubrication can start to break down, causing playback issues that range from interference to complete playback failure. When you try to play a tape that has had its lubrication layer degrade you will likely hear a high-pitched squealing from your equipment and the tape will foul the heads of your equipment, often preventing video from being seen while audio can still be heard. Very often people describe the issue as seeming as if the tape is wound too tightly on the reels or having tension problems, which is quite accurate since there is friction on the heads and rollers of equipment during playback. Sometimes this type of damage will cause the surface of the tape to smell strongly of crayons.

This issue is sometimes referred to as "sticky shed"
The problem has a wide spectrum of damage that can occur once the tape has started to suffer from lubrication deterioration which ranges from playback interference to separation of the magnetic layer from the plastic liner. The repair process for your tape will depend on the extent of the damage and we're often asked about "baking" the tape, which is available as a last resort but more successful and gentler methods are available and will be attempted first.

Lubrication deterioration can only be temporarily halted
The tape's surface can be cleaned up and the lubrication can be restored, but once the problem has begun it will continue to worsen to the point where the tape will eventually become unplayable, even under ideal storage conditions. In order to salvage your footage, if your tape has been affected by lubrication deterioration you will need to order a DVD or data file copy of it because we cannot guarantee that the tape will be in playable condition for regular use even after it has been restored.

Discount pricing
The repair process for tapes that have been exposed to lubrication deterioration is slow and gentle in order to increase the chances that footage can be recovered; working with tapes in batches is more efficient so if you send more than ten tapes at a time the repair charge is discounted to $29.50 per tape. You will see a prompt when you place an order to make sure the discount applies to the repair work for the tapes you want to send in.