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Q: Video tape cassette repair ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Video tape cassette repair
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: spock9s-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2002 12:18 PST
Expires: 04 Jan 2003 12:18 PST
Question ID: 119882
How do I repair an 8mm video tape cassette?
Subject: Re: Video tape cassette repair
Answered By: byrd-ga on 05 Dec 2002 14:47 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Spock9s,

The simplest answer to your question is that you don't.  I worked
nearly fourteen years for a video production company, in part making
use of various home videos as raw material for productions, including
VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, Beta, Hi-8 and 8mm.  I've seen lots of damaged
tapes, repaired one or two myself, and had a few expertly repaired. 
However, be aware that repairing videotape is not like repairing film.
 It IS possible, but very difficult and not always successful.

If the tape is damaged, you need special splicing equipment and repair
tape or "editing tabs" with special adhesive.  And be aware that if
you need to remove a section of tape because of damage, you will not
be able to save the footage on it.  If the case is damaged, you need
special equipment and an empty case on which to rewind it.  If the
tracking is damaged, you need special equipment to adjust for that. 
If the surface of the tape is damaged, as by heat for example, or a
major spill or other chemical damage, you're probably out of luck
altogether.  Whew, huh?  But ok, all that said, here are a few
resources for you because I do sympathize with your dilemma.

First of all, please consider paying a professional to attempt this
for you.  Look in your yellow pages under "videotape."  Professional
tape suppliers often have someone who works on repair. In my job, I
used our tape supplier for that purpose.  If that doesn't work, try
calling duplication businesses and/or video production companies.  The
least likely to be able to help you are those "have camcorder, will
travel" businesses, like wedding videographers.  Sometimes a
television station can point you in the right direction, or even have
someone on staff who may moonlight by repairing VCRs and/or tapes, and
if there's a technical school near you that has a VCR repair course,
you might try calling them.  In addition, here are some online
businesses that offer to attempt a repair:

This one charges only $20.00 if they are successful (you'll need to
scroll down the page to see their repair section):

Here's another place that offers reasonably priced repairs.  They ask
you to call with details of your exact problem, and offer a free
analysis before you send in your tape:

Another one here:

This one is a bit pricier, but they do sound very professional and
like they know what they're doing.  Email or call if you're unsure of
their policies:

Here's a company in the UK that repairs videotape of all formats, in
case you're located there or in Europe.  It would likely be more


If you're determined to try it yourself, here are some resources for

This site sells a manual on videotape repair for $18.95, the only one
of its kind I've seen. It appears to concentrate on VHS videotapes,
but many of the principles are likely to be the same.  You can email
the company first if you have any question as to whether it will apply
to 8mm tapes:

Here's a link to a discussion thread that has some useful advice and

This list of FAQs includes some information on repairing smoke damaged

You can order repair supplies, such as editing tabs and splicing tape
for various tape formats at this site.  They also have a tape repair
kit complete with a video of instructions.  Again, it's heavily
targeted toward VHS, but will have advice applicable to 8mm as well:

If there's anything you don't understand, or if you need further
information on this topic, please ask for clafification before rating
the answer.  Best of luck to you - I hope you're able to salvage your


Search terms used: 
8mm videotape repair -transfer
do-it-yourself videotape repair
8mm videotape OR videocassette repair instruction manual
spock9s-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

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