Why Does Degaussing Digital Video Tape Cost So Much?

Customers frequently call us wanting to purchase a small, inexpensive hand-held analog tape degausser such as the PF211 or PF215 to erase digital video tape. Imagine their shock when we refer them to table-top degaussers that cost thousands of dollars.

In the past, we have sold the PF215 and PF250 units to customers looking to erase their digital video in the hopes that these units might work. In every case the units were returned because they did not erase the tape and the customer was unsatisfied.

The fact is that digital video is difficult to erase, and requires a powerful degausser. Powerful degaussers cost more.

Digital video is digital tape, and has a more concentrated magnetivity rating than analog tape. For example, VHS tape has an Oersted rating of 650, while DVCAM tape has an Oersted rating of 1320 – more than twice as much as VHS. DVPRO is even higher, with an Oersted rating of 2200 – almost four times that of VHS.

As a rule of thumb, the gauss rating on the machine should be at least twice that of the Oersted rating of the tape in order to erase the media. So, while a hand-held unit with a Gauss rating of 2300 will handle VHS tape, it will not erase media with a 1320 Oersted rating.

Thus, DVCAM requires a degausser with a gauss rating of no less than 2700, and DVPRO would require a unit with a gauss rating of no less than 4400.

We understand that oftentimes the light-volume user of digital video simply doesn’t have the money to spend to purchase a machine strong enough to erase their digital video tape.

To address this problem, Data Devices International has instituted several solutions.

We offer a very low cost but high power table-top degausser, the DV5 Digital Video Pro, which erases mini DV and DVCAM. This machine is available both for rental for $100 per week and as a remanufactured unit for $1199.00.

Additionally, we welcome customers with small volumes or DVPRO to post us their tape cartridges and we will erase them here at our facility for $5.00 per tape, with a minimum order of $50.00. You pay to ship them to us and we will pay for the return shipping via UPS.

Please contact Data Devices International if you have any questions about choosing the right solution for your digital video tape erasure needs. We’ll be happy to help find a solution that works for you.

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