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  1. Member
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    Oct 2005
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    Florida, United States.
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    For some reason, I picked up this habit years ago. It seems I read/heard somewhere that fast forwarding and rewinding a tape before playing it (like for copying or capturing) offers some benefit. I don't remember what exactly, just that it's a good practice. Is this true or an urban legend/old wives tale type thing?
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  2. The reel must be well tighten in order to play/record well . With the time some screws inside the vcr mechanism are loose (especially if you're one of these guys who use the brute force to insert a tape) and the reel may not be well tighten and/or mis aligned , the video/audio heads are not picking up the good part of the tape as a result you get lots of troubles.
    On my 10 years old high end vcr it's the case sometimes i insert a tape gently but the tape is mis aligned regardless so i have to push a bit on the left side of the tape.After that not problem.

    Fast forwarding/rewinding a tape will essentially remove the dust and other particles on the A/V heads but if your tape is mis aligned that will not really help.
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  3. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Northern California, USA
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    Winding and rewinding does two things. First tapes that have been on the shelf a long time often stick layer to layer. You can see the unwind resistance when the top is off the VCR. The result is wow and flutter similar to audio tape. With video this results in tracking issues and increased time base jitter. A wind/rewind unsticks the layers of the wind. The second benefit is a full rewind packs the tape evenly. This also helps smooth the playback.
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  4. Member
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    Nov 2002
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    United States
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    I found just the opposite to be true with audio cassette tapes. Rewinding over and over packs the tapes too tightly, causing resistance on the motor and forcing the tape to drag. Tapping against my leg loosened the tape up enough to play smoothly.

    I can see where it might be useful on an old VHS tape that hasn't been played in a long time. Rewinding at a slower speed using a tape rewinder would be best since it would be less wear and tear on the tape and the VCR.
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  5. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
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    Thanks for this post. I didn't realize that was really beneficial. I too have heard it but wasn't sure it had any benefit. I will try to practice that now.
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