Answer - a bloody long time but they brerak at really bad moments.
Opinions on this range from only once to almost forever. I am in the latter camp so for the last few years i have been testing this supposition...
I started using a tape over and voer, yes, for near on 4 years I have been using just the one tape.
I am happy to report that my sony DV180 ME lasted for 4 years nearly. Must have been played through about 50 times at least and ejected countless times.
It died (as my camera told me) of ' uptake reel malfunction ' and annoyingly broke just as I was going to capture some very cool footage.
SO there you go - tapes last nearly forever - no increase in drop outs - the tape was working fine, it was the casette wot broke, but when they do break it is really annoying...
Has anyone ever succeeded in fixing a snapped dv tape with sellotape or something? Seriously, the uncaptured video is of the bristol flash mob zombie walk! HELP.
( I still dont want a H drive camera, or sd - lols)