Analog Sunset (VHS Phase Out)

May 28, 2019

by Kaetryn Williams-Barnard

UNH Audiovisual Services has eliminated support for VHS players and VCR media.  How does it impact classroom technology here at UNH?

The elimination of analog equipment from UNH classrooms is part of a broader "analog sunset" which is a term being used to describe the transition to digital display technologies that began within the electronics industry in 2013. As the analog sunset progresses, new electronic devices will no longer be able to interface with older analog devices and vice-versa.

Will this affect me?


This change will affect you if you currently use VHS/VCR player content in your class.

I use VHS/VCR content in my class. What do I need to know?

Beginning on May 21st 2019, VHS/VCR players will no longer be included in new audiovisual system installations. The only registrar controlled classrooms on the Durham campus that currently have installed VHS/VCR players are Parsons N104, Parsons N108, and James G54. These VHS/VCR players will be removed Summer 2019.

After May 20th 2019, UNH Audiovisual Services will no longer support VHS/VCR players or media.

What do I need to do to if I currently use VHS/VCR players in my class?

  • The UNH Library can help facilitate the streaming of films for UNH courses. The UNH Library will purchase rights to stream films whenever possible as requested to support teaching. However, it is not always possible to acquire permission or licenses for every film.  For more information regarding the UNH Library streaming video, go to:  Contact Jennifer Carroll, Division Head, Resource Acuisition and Discovery at or by calling 2-4049.

  • If the content you need is not available in a DVD format or available digitally online, you should make a good faith effort to contact the copyright holder and secure permission to convert the VHS tape to digital.  Please note, there is no service at UNH that will transfer VHS/VCR content for you. The UNH Parker Media Lab (Dimond Library 237) has equipment that you can use free of charge to transfer VHS/VCR content to a digital format. Parker Media Lab staff can assist you or your TA or other staff in getting started, and can help with any technical issues. Parker Media Lab staff will not transfer content for you. Contact the Parker Media Lab at (603)-862-1747 or   There are a few local businesses that can make these transfers for you for a fee.  For a list of those businesses please go to


Why is this necessary?

Equipment -  VCRs are no longer being widely manufactured and VHS tapes are not being produced.  It has been a decade since commercial retailers began to phase-out VHS tapes.

Durability - Unlike digital files, the magnetic tape of a VHS cassette continues to deteriorate in quality with each playback, and while sitting on the shelf.

Industry Standards - Analog sunset and Digital sunrise: The digital infrastructure needed to allow new devices to connect to displays (TVs and projectors) is not backward compatible with analog VCR signals. Some systems still allow the displaying of analog content, but many are restricting the size of the image (not full screen), or blocking the image completely, as a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is intended to protect content owners from having unauthorized copies of their materials created.


If you have any questions and would like to discuss these changes, please call our AV HOTLINE at 862-2467.

For department administrators or anyone interested in an AV system design consultation, please fill out our form here:

For anyone interested in the technical details of the Analog Sunset initiative, further reading can be found here: /it/sites/

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