I am about to begin a process of digitizing betacam and 3/4" tapes. Most of my questions have been answered from reading up on other posts, but I wonder: what is the best way to play back old tapes that have not been used in a long time? Can one fast forward or rewind the old tapes without concern - or could it harm the tapes since they have not been used in ages? Is it best to place the tape into the player and immediately rewind to the beginning first and then playback and capture all the video, or should other precautions be made? Can one capture just certain elements of the tape by fast forwarding to selections, or should one record it all and then edit the footage later?
Any advice on this archival process is welcome and appreciated.