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  1. #1

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    How often do you really watch your skating tapes?

    Probably a dumb question for this board, huh!

    But seriously, how often do you really watch your tapes? I'm at a cross-roads of what to do about the probably well over 200 video tapes I have (a full video cabinet double lined with tapes, plus about 4-5 copy paper boxes full of tapes). The majority of my tapes are USA tv broadcasts of US Nationals, Worlds and Olympics since early-mid 90's, and then a lot of the Pro-Ams from the mid-late 90's. I taped most of these events live as I watched them ... then have never watched them again. I've never once pulled out a tape and watched it again. Yet I continue to tape those 3 big events and keep piling on more video tapes.

    I randomly put in a couple tapes recently (that I had not even marked!), and the quality is so poor, they aren't even watchable. And in a fit of anger, I pitched a bunch of tapes that were not even marked yet after 10+ years (there was Pro skating on that night so I taped it to mark later, and never did; just added the tape to the box), that had late 90' Pro-Ams on them, plus some early 2000's Pro-Ams. Now I kinda regret doing that .. even though I never watched them.

    But then again I think .... I have never watched these tapes! They are just taking up space and collecting dust! Plus the stress of taping while watching (editing commercials live) distract from watching. Some of these tapes are almost 20 years old, I know some are poor quality already (even 2010 Nationals due to my VCR was broken and scratching the tapes, and I didn't know it), and now even my VCR's are breaking and you can't even buy brand new VCR's anymore (buying on E-bay just got me one that is now also broken), so soon I won't even be able to watch them if I wanted to.

    Is it really worth keeping them and continuing to tape, when I have never once pulled out a tape and watched it again? Do you really watch your videos again or do the tapes just end up collecting dust? I don't know if I have the technikal skills (and patience!) to copy all these tapes to DVD, and then have the problem of I go thru all that and then .... never watch the DVD's!

    I don't think I am ready to let them go just yet .... but then again I have never watched any of them again and wonder if I ever will.

  2. #2

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    I have all the skating on DVDs now and when there is nothing on television, I put on a disc. It's great while doing chores.

    As for transferring from VHS to DVD, get a DVD recorder with a hard drive!!!

  3. #3
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    The existence of youtube negates most of my favorite tape highlights. I can find most of what I want online. I don't tape anymore and I rarely watch the ones I have. I have not dumped them though.

  4. #4

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    I will record stuff- on DVD or VHS- and maybe rewatch some things within a week or month of the event but then it is put aside. The most frequently watched was Mao's LP at worlds 2010. I also put some 2010 Olympic programs, SP and LP back to back on DVD's - Mao and Plushenko. Going to DVD's has just made me think even if I don't watch that much it's less space.

  5. #5

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    I have a recorder that can copy from VHS to DVD. I have planned on doing this for a long time, and like you I have over 200 VHS tapes. Some of them are compilations I made myself, from other VHS. The sheer volume of the work to be done is keeping me from getting started on it. I do have the equipment; just need a little leisure time- may be during the Christmas holidays I will do it.

    In the meantime, to answer your question, I go through phases when it comes to watching the tapes. In the last couple of months I watched portions of my B&S tapes, and some Anton-Maria programs, also a few Michelle Kwan programs. I leave the tape in one of my TVs so I can watch it any time I want. I have not watched a tape in the last couple of weeks but that's because i have been really busy with other things. I do like watching some of the old programs, even with poor quality, but I definitely need to copy them to DVDs in the near future.

  6. #6

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    I'm in the same boat and to make it worse have not stayed in the same place for over 2 years since I moved to the States in 2002.

    The thing I've realized is there's almost always some new skating to watch nowadays. Even the off season has seen several summer comps streamed online (though I'll admit being at Liberty in person helped give a fill). Do my boxes of tapes/DVDs really fulfill any withdrawal needs anymore? In all honesty no...but it's still hard to give up.

    Has anyone else disposed of their collection without regret?

  7. #7

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    I transferred all my video tapes to DVD a while back, the process took about one year. Since then I've only made DVD copies - they won't deteriorate as badly as video.

    I am more likely to watch a skate on You Tube than to actually watch my DVDs but what I prefer about DVD is that I can watch whole competitions or portions of, as opposed to single individual skates.

    I'll probably keep recording DVDs and then recopy the whole collection onto the next (probably hard drive) format.

    My reason is that there may come a point in life where I have nothing to do but re-watch skating. This will most likely be when I'm old (am 53 so old age is coming closer). If I'm stuck at home due to a medical condition or at the end of my life - or stuck in a hospital- watching endless hours of skating will probably be really enjoyable or a great escape.

  8. #8

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    I have boxes of tapes and DVDs but really don't watch them. I just don't have time. However having a large collection of compulsory dances is what I find most useful. And for judging purposes it is good to have copies of programs that you use to highlight components.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  9. #9
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    Just recently I was faced with this exact question/problem!

    Like most of those who have answered, it is rare that I go back and watch a tape but I had piles and piles of them taking up space in my family room. I decided to "hedge my bets" and box them up and move them to the basement. Most of them are marked but there is no overall index of what I have. I suspect it's only a matter of time until they make the next step out of my life...

    For the past couple of years I have recorded onto the hard drive of my PVR. I have rewatched some of the items recorded but have then deleted them. I have not copied anything from the PVR onto any other medium. Having a finite amount of space on the hard drive helps to make one a bit more discriminatory
    Can't skate but love to watch

  10. #10

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    I DVR events, and delete the recordings right after watching them. I've never felt bad for not having kept the recordings.

    I very, very rarely rewatch skating. The few times I have, it's been individual programs, not entire events, and I've gotten the clips via YouTube. And I can count on one hand how many full programs I've rewatched.

    My thought is that, seriously - if you haven't ever rewatched the events, toss the tapes... or offer them up to a good home here, with no promises as to quality. But if it's less stress, just toss them.

    Video tape degrades over time, anyway.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  11. #11
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    I recently got rid of all mine. I didn't count, but there were two huge plastic bins full plus several bags that I had taped since around 2001. I had watched some of them repeatedly but not for a long time. My house is small and I tend to let clutter accumulate, so I decided they had to go. It was actually easier than I thought it would be to part with them. Besides, as one poster said, just about anything I want to see again is on YouTube now.

  12. #12

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    I had a large writing project with a Sept. 1 deadline, and I needed the time I spend exercycling in the morning to concentrate on what I'd be writing later in the day.

    I found the thing that worked best for me was to watch old figure skating tapes with the sound off while I exercycled. It gave my eyes something to look at, but there was no noise to compete with my thought process (I can't say I missed hearing Dick and Peggy one bit).

    I've begun to toss out some of the tapes that I watched that way (goodbye Goodwill Games of 2001).

    Years ago, I made a compilation tape of all my favorite programs up until that point. It took a lot of effort, and I've never watched it. I do need to buy a DVD player that I can transfer tapes to, but the very little experience I've had with DVDs of that nature is their visual quality isn't good.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lara View Post
    Has anyone else disposed of their collection without regret?
    I did, and I don't regret it. They were VCR tapes and were getting discolored anyway. I just kept a few tapes -- one that has Gordeeva/Grinkov Vocalise at 1994 Canadian Pros; one that has Klimova & Pomonorenko's A Man & A Woman from 1992 Olys and Worlds and some of the 1992 Olys ladies competition; and one with 1998 Nationals ladies (Kwan SP/LP). But you can get nearly everything I'd want to see again on youtube so that is why I don't regret it.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  14. #14

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    Good topic. I have some tapes that I have watched many many times. I used to play a lot of them for my mother and it was something we really enjoyed together until she passed away during the Vancouver Olympics. One of our last real conversations at the hospital involved Tessa & Scott winning the Original Dance portion of the competition.

    Up to that time I had started to slowly convert from tape to mpg files on an external hard drive first then transferred to DVDs - just as files not as a movie. The quality is much better that way and takes so much less time to produce. The stuff I am most interested in seeing again is left on the external hard drive, which I can attach to a media player that is in turn connected to my big screen TV so I can watch over again in their full glory. The other programs that I keep only on the back up DVD can easily be reloaded to the hard drive and viewed through the media player at any time if I wish as well. If I had a wi-fi equipped TV, or the wi-fi equipped version of the media player I wouldn't even need to do that - I could just pop the DVD into my computer and stream to the TV - but that is for the future. Actually even now I have access to a cheap DVD player that will play the mpg files as they are, though my more expensive Sony will not. Go figure.

    So anyway, the plan is to convert the rest of the VHS tapes before they disintegrate. I started taping just before the Calgary Olympics in 1988 and when I transferred all my 1988 files I got to see them again and really enjoyed them. This gives me incentive to continue holding on to all the tapes for now. My problem is that even after I convert them I think that I might still go back to them to re-capture digitally as that technology improves. Right now I have the choice of capturing as mpg files, which I can edit very easily with existing programs at no loss of mpg quality, or as mpg4 files, which are about twice the size and for which I don't yet have editing capability without loss of quality.

    So while writing this I guess I have made my decision for now anyway. Though you all make sense about the amount of space, time, etc. that these tapes represent I will probably continue to hang onto them unless I am forced to move to a smaller place or they deteriorate beyond usefulness, or I run out of useable VCR's to beg borrow or steal.

  15. #15

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    My MIL has a TON of tapes from the past 20+ years. I don't think she ever watches them either; I've told her to just pay the money to get them digitized (no way would she ever retain the technical knowledge to do this herself) and then she can make DVD compilations of her favorite programs/competitions. LOTS of dust gathering there. . . but it doesn't bug her as much as it bugs me:

  16. #16

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    I confess that I haven't gone back to watch many tapes in the past few years. Occasionally, but not nearly as much as I used to.

    If I just want to check something for my own edification while I'm online or to discuss on FSU etc., youtube is often handier because I can share a link.

    I have gone back to watch some old competitions from the 6.0 era and try to figure out how they might have been judged under IJS, just for curiosity. If it's just for my own pleasure, I'd rather use a large screen and be able to proceed from one program directly to the next without having to search for individual programs.

    I have a bunch of more obscure tapes I traded for in the 1990s that were meaningful to me when I was learning about skating history and what to look for to understand the judging, or just for performances I enjoyed watching. Some of the programs or competitions that are touchstones in my mind are not known to the online fan community in general. Maybe someday I'll figure out how to share some of them online.

    Or I'll meet some more local fans who want to get together in person to catch up on skating history.

  17. #17
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    I've been rewatching my old US National tapes from '04 on VHS this summer. The recordings are clear & am enjoying them immensely. My video tapes date back to early '90's & next summer I'll go back & watch those. You tube is ok but not like watching on a TV screen. Just as watching on TV isn't as great as being at an event in person.

  18. #18
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    I got rid of 30 years of VHS tapes last year, basically everything skating that was on tv. And there were typed up listings on index cards on all of them so I knew what was what and where. A perfect chronologic collection. It was over 200 tapes. I didn't want them cluttering my house, and putting them in the garage would only destroy them anyway. It was an odd feeling, a definite loss of a part of my life. I used to watch tapes all the time, but over the last five to ten years I found that Youtube usually covers my needs. Plus the whole COP has kind of soured me to the enjoyment of watching programs more than once or twice anyway. Even now on Youtube I tend to fastforward through the insufferable footwork sequences.

    I thought about putting them up for grabs here, but the shipping would have been a big deal, and frankly I just wanted to put that all behind me. Thanks to 3xal on YT I've been able to look something up and he usually has it.

  19. #19
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    I've been taping skating since the late 90s, but I stopped around 2004/5 when everything started turning up online, which coincided with when I started to lose the rabid interest in every single elite competition. Now I will watch Nationals, Worlds and the Olympics, but anything else meh. When I was in college, I used to rewatch tapes all the time. My mom also used to send me tapes from CTV/CBC of Canadian broadcasts, because they tended to include more skaters. I had a ton of duplicates.

    Since I never seemed to have time to do anything with the tapes, I just threw out most of them. I kept ones that are particular favorites, like the 97 Worlds ladies FS and 2002 GPF (pre-SLC). I also kept all of the Olympics tapes, which I have going back to 94. There was also a decent collection of gymnastics, but all I kept were Olympics. Those 96 tapes were watched over and over!

    Quote Originally Posted by missing View Post
    I've begun to toss out some of the tapes that I watched that way (goodbye Goodwill Games of 2001).
    When I was deciding which tapes to throw away, I remember picking up that one in particular and thinking, "God, what a terrible competition! Why do I still have this?!"

  20. #20

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    If anyone has material, pre 1990; that you want to "dispose of", please let me know.
    I'd like to know what people have; and might want to negotiate for it.

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