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  1. I have read about how it is "good practice" to fast-forward and rewind tapes that haven't been played in a while, to loosen the tapes before you play them. Ever since an early-60's reel-to-reel audiotape I had broke in 2 different places when I played it a few years ago (who knows - maybe because I should've done this first), I've made it a point to do that. I even do that with old VHS videotapes that I get from flea markets and the like.
    Now, I am starting to get into beta tape collecting, and am coming across old beta tapes that probably haven't been played in decades. I read about how beta VCR's wear out tapes and/or heads sooner by rewinding tapes in them than VHS. I got a beta rewinder, but it only rewinds, not fast-forwards. The only thing I can think of to do is to fast-forward a tape in the VCR, then put it in the rewinder to rewind it, before I play it. Would this be allright?
    Last edited by Sammy Reed; 23rd Mar 2010 at 19:36.
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  2. Member wulf109's Avatar
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    Beta decks are almost impossible to get repaired. I would look for a rewinder that runs in both directions. they exist,I used to use one in the days I used beta decks. I wouldn't use the beta deck for rewinding and fast forwarding because a breakdown would likely not be repairable. Beta decks themselves are safe for RW and FF because they ride the tape on an air cushion if transport is properly aligned and adjusted for tension.
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  3. Since it gets harder every day to find a good decent Beta player I would suggest learning to capture the videos and making them into DVDs. That is what I was doing with mine! Some movies are just not easy to find on DVD or cost too much considering it's a 30 year old movie LOL

    I also think a fast forward then rewind is good for many reasons, but it's not so easy to find any type of beta stuff sometimes like winders and players! I don't want to wear out what I have!

    I do a tape, then capture. The Beta tapes are getting OLD! I have some that seem to play great and are fine. I have some I play once just fine but they dirty the heads so I have to clean before the next play!

    Using a cuetip or such and denatured alcohol, or sometimes 190proof everclear I clean my VHS and Beta heads when using them for awhile. My Beta needs cleaned again before next use but since my PC with AGP capture card is down I am not doing any capturing at this time
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    Originally Posted by overloaded_ide View Post
    Using a cuetip or such and denatured alcohol, or sometimes 190proof everclear I clean my VHS and Beta heads when using them for awhile.
    Don't use a Q-Tip. The cotton fibers are loose and will get caught in the heads. Use a lint free cloth similar to what we use at the station. I get mine there. The name is 'Texwipe', I believe. I have a pack in a white plastic 'bag' which does not have the name on it. It is part of a box.

    Old tapes shed badly. They also tend to stick when wound on a reel for a period of time. That is why you should run it from one end to the other to free it up before playing it. We notice this a lot with U-mat 3/4 tapes. They will destroy tape decks, not to mention falling apart.
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  5. I wonder if U-Matic players wear out heads and/or tape by fast-winding them as much as beta players do? I've had a U-Matic player for a couple of years, and do the fast-forward and rewind routine before I play the tape, and haven't had any problems - yet.
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Use the non-cotton swabs.
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  7. Now, a new wrinkle - Sanyos.
    I have read about how Sanyo betas - or at least some of them, anyway - put the tape back into the cartridge unless it's playing a tape. In this way, it's safer to fast-forward and rewind tapes in a Sanyo than other brands. Looking at demos on YouTube of the 4400, I would guess this is one of those models. How safe would it be to use this player for fast-winding? If I may ask this without this thread getting too off-topic - How durable are 4400's overall? (There's another question about 4400's that I will ask in another thread.)
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    You only have to open the deck and watch the tape flow to see the "clinging" on the supply reel as the tape plays.

    A fast winder may be too brutal and cause oxide to flake off the backing. You can manually slow it (gloved fingers required). At least you aren't contaminating your good play deck.
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