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Recording Video in LP Mode and EP Mode versus SP Mode

Camcorders usually come with at least two recording modes that define the speed that video is recorded onto the tape.  SP (Standard Play) and LP (Long Play).  The advantage of LP mode is that a single tape can hold more minutes worth of recording.  It may be tempting to stretch your dollar and maximize the total recording space on a videotape by recording in Long Play format or Extended Play formats.  Resist the temptation! There is not much more you could do to risk the quality of your family home videos.

 

What LP mode does is use less tape when recording video.  For example in 10 seconds of recording in SP mode you may use up 7 1/2 inches of tape whereas the same 10 seconds of recording in LP mode would only use up 5 inches of tape.  LP modes also vary between different camcorder manufacturers and models.  An LP tape recorded on your camcorder may not play back in another camcorder. Some tapes like VHS can also be recorded in EP mode, extended play which allows for even more time to be recorded to a single tape.

 

Sample VHS recording time for SP, LP, and EP
SP = Standard Play, the tape can record up to 2 hours

LP = Long Play, the tape can record up to 4 hours

EP = Extended Play, the tape can record up to 6 hous

Maintain the quality of your video memories by recording in the SP format. 

In newer digital tape formats, SP and LP modes offer a similar video quality, but there is a higher risk of video dropouts and audio dropouts in LP mode. Recording your tapes in SP mode gives you a higher level of security since more of the tape has to be damaged to make your image irretrievable or unaesthetic.  Only use LP mode when the quality is not important and you need to get more time out of your tape.

 

Because of the risk of video digitization during playback, stashSpace does not accept digital videotapes recorded in LP mode.  Please make sure that the tapes you send us are recorded in SP mode.
 

 

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