How to convert video tapes into dvds
How to Convert VHS Home Movies to DVD
Those VHS tapes sitting in your closet won't last forever. And if you don't have a VCR anymore, those home movies are pretty useless. If you really want those tapes to stand the test of time, you should digitize them soon. Here are three different ways to put those VHS tapes on your computer, or burn them onto discs if you have a DVD player.
The Easy Way: Find a Service That Does It for You
If you'd rather not go through the hassle yourself—and are willing to throw a bit more money at the project just to get it done—there are plenty of professional services that will transfer your tapes for you.
YesVideo(Opens in a new window) is a popular option, and provides its service through local retailers like Costco, CVS, Walmart, and Target. Not only will they transfer VHS tapes for $25 apiece (sometimes less, depending on the retailer), but you can also digitize old film reels, photographs, and slides, not to mention Betamax, 8MM, and other kinds of tapes.
There also may be local shops in your area that perform similar services, so check Yelp or ask around to see what might be available. This method can get pricey quickly, depending on how many tapes you have, but it requires almost no work for you. If that means the job actually gets done (rather than sitting on your to-do list forever), it's well worth it.
The Direct, At-Home Way: Use a DVD Recorder
If you want to save some cash and are willing to put in a minimal amount of work, a DVD Recorder is an easy do-it-yourself option. It allows you to pop in a VHS (you will need a VCR for this), insert a DVD-R disc(Opens in a new window), and press record to dub the video over. There's a lot of waiting involved, but it isn't a ton of active work, and it's much cheaper than using a professional service if you have a lot of tapes.
You can grab a separate DVD recorder that plugs into your VCR with analog cables, but I recommend using a VCR/DVD combo unit if you don't have one already. These are becoming rarer in stores, but you can grab used ones on eBay(Opens in a new window) for between $50 and $150 depending on the model (I actually found one at my local e-waste center for a measly five bucks).
Setting Up Your Recording Device
Plug your device into your TV, insert your tape and blank DVD, and press record—making sure that your player is set to record from VHS to DVD (and not the other way around, lest you erase your precious home movies).
Once it's recording, press play on the VCR side and it should dub over your video with little hassle. (It may help to check the DVD recorder's manual before attempting to record—you can often find them online by searching the model number.)
Once the video is on a DVD, you can rip that DVD to your computer if you want a backup digital copy.
The Custom Way: Connect a VCR to Your PC
Most people will probably want to go with one of the above two options—they're the easiest. But if you want to edit those old home videos on a PC, or store them as separate clips rather than two-hour-long chunks, you can hook your VCR up to your PC for more precise recording.
It takes a bit more time, but will get you the cleanest result—you just need a VCR-to-USB adapter like this $14 one from Amazon(Opens in a new window) and an RCA cable(Opens in a new window). Plug the VCR into your PC using the adapter and it should automatically install the necessary drivers. (If it doesn't, insert the disc that came with the adapter to install them.)
Download Your Recording Program
Many of these devices come with their own recording and editing software too, which may or may not be any good—I couldn't even get mine to launch properly. But that's okay, because a free program called Open Broadcaster Software(Opens in a new window) (OBS) is very good, and should work with most of these types of adapters. Download OBS, install it, and start it up, using its default settings for recording when prompted.
Prepare Software for Recording
The main window may look a little scary, but don't worry—you only have to do a few things to record basic video.
Under the "Sources" panel on the bottom, click the plus sign and choose "Video Capture Device" from the list. Choose "Create New," naming it whatever you want, and click OK. Then, from the "Device" drop-down in the next window, find the option for your VCR's adapter—mine was called "AV TO USB2.0". Leave the other settings at their default and click OK.
You should see a new square, outlined in red, appear in OBS' main window—this is the video it's reading from your VCR. (Mine was just a blue screen.) If you press Play on the VCR, you should see your video start playing in this red box. Use your mouse to resize the red box so it fills the middle of the black window, and drag it to the middle, as shown above. Then, mute any audio tracks that aren't from your video capture device.
Change Recording Format
I also recommend going to Settings > Output and changing the "Recording Format" to MP4, which is a more common file format than the default FLV. OBS is actually a very powerful tool, and if you know what you're doing, you can tweak a lot of color, sharpness, and other settings to make sure your video looks as good as possible—so feel free to browse the settings or visit the OBS forums(Opens in a new window) for ideas.
When you're ready to record, press the "Start Recording" button on the left side of OBS' window, then press Play on your VCR. OBS will begin recording your VCR's output to a video file. Let the tape play as long as you want, then press "Stop Recording." You should see the resulting video clip show up in your "Videos" folder in Windows Explorer. Play it to make sure everything was captured properly, and repeat this process for the rest of your tapes.
It'll take some time, but when you're finished, you'll be able to edit the resulting clips in your favorite video editor, burn them to a DVD, or upload them to a service like Google Photos for safe keeping.
The Best Free DVD Rippers
Too many DVDs lying around? Need a way to turn them digital? You can turn them into digital files with the right software. These three programs will get you started.
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Table of ContentsTable of Contents
How to convert VHS to DVD, Blu-ray, and digital
If you spent any part of the ’80s or ’90s lugging around a VHS camcorder (or being filmed by someone with one of these enormous contraptions), you probably have a closet full of old VHS tapes containing weddings, graduations, and sacred Disney trips. And while you might think these tapes are simply waiting for you to pop them back in a VHS machine, the truth is, that video footage is slowly decaying and is already in way worse shape than when it was shot.
- Retail VHS-to-DVD conversion services
- Using a VHS-DVD combo or separate VCR and DVD burner
- Transferring to DVD, Blu-ray, or digital file on Windows and Mac
- What about digital videotapes?
If your precious home videos managed to survive, you may want to salvage that footage before it becomes lost forever. Converting well-worn home movies will never be flawless, but it can be done on a modest budget with a few basic tools.
Below, we’ll show you how to save your moments digitally on multiple formats, including by DVD transfer, Blu-ray, or digital file. If you’re just too busy, we’ve also got a list of the various VHS conversion services, including pricing, to help you preserve that 20-year-old home video of you bailing on your first bike. If not for you, do it for posterity’s sake.
Disclaimer: It’s illegal to produce copies of commercial films and copyrighted content, but there are no restrictions on copying home videos. Plus, you usually can pick up a used copy of Top Gun or The Breakfast Club online for next to nothing.
Retail VHS-to-DVD conversion services
For those who’d rather forgo the technical hands-on process, many big-name retail corporations offer VHS-to-DVD (and in some cases VHS-to-digital) conversion services through their photo departments. Stores like Costco, CVS, Walmart, and Sam’s Club offer video conversion, and many of them use the same company for their conversion: YesVideo.
If you head to the YesVideo website, you’ll find conversion services starting from $26 per tape for the first two hours, and then an additional $26 for every two additional hours of converting. But the price you pay at Walmart or Target could be lower. These prices have been trending upward in recent years, so if you’ve been waiting to get your tapes converted, you might want to get on it.
Available transfer formats include everything from VHS to Betamax, and most services will allow you to transfer up to two tapes to a single DVD disc before charging you extra. Alternatively, there are a couple of great websites that offer the same service for a more affordable price if you feel comfortable shipping the VHS tapes yourself.
Companies like Legacy Box offer similar services. Simply mail your VHS tapes in, and they’ll provide you with DVDs, downloadable digital files, or a thumb drive filled with all of your memories, plus the original tapes in return. Prices start at $59, which includes the conversion of two tapes. Have other analog media, like audio cassettes or 35mm slides? Legacy Box can digitize these, too.
Using a VHS-DVD combo or separate VCR and DVD burner
If you’ve got a ton of videos to transfer, you may want to take on the job yourself to save some cash. The best way to convert on your own is with a VHS-DVD combination player/recorder. Today, these are outdated and can be hard to find. You can find dinosaur models online if you look hard enough — try searching “combo deck” or “VHS DVD recorder” on sites like Amazon or eBay or even Craigslist — but these will typically run you $100 or more (and take forever to ship), so it’ll only be worth it if you’ve got a sizeable tape collection.
You also can buy the items you’ll need piecemeal. If you don’t already have a VCR, you might be able to find one online for around $70 to $100, but again, it’s not the easiest task. With the last new VCRs rolling off the assembly line in 2016, used machines are likely your only option. You can try looking on Amazon (most options there will be secondhand), but you may need to resort to eBay or even your local Craigslist, though we recommend caution if you go those routes — always make sure your eBay seller has high review scores before proceeding. Then you’ll need a stand-alone DVD recorder, which can also be a challenge to find these days. Securing one will likely require the same methods outlined above.
Once you’ve got the goods, you can hook up the DVD recorder to the VCR by plugging a set of RCA audio/video cables from the VCR’s RCA outputs to the DVD recorder’s RCA inputs. On some models, you might need an RCA-to-HDMI converter to connect the two. This is essentially the same process you’ll need to use if you’re using a VHS camcorder as your playback device — simply connect the camera’s outputs to the DVD recorder via the RCA cables or, if necessary, the RCA-to-HDMI converter we just mentioned. With a combo player, of course, the process is simpler.
Next is the transfer process. Pop a tape into the VCR and a blank DVD+R or DVD+RW (some units only accept one of these formats, so double-check that) into the DVD player, then begin the transfer process. The method differs between models, but it should be relatively straightforward, and generally involves starting the recording mode on the DVD recorder, followed by pressing play on your VCR or camcorder.
You may need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but most manuals can be found through a Google search if your components didn’t come with them. Keep in mind, most DVD recorders have two stages: Recording and finalizing. While in recording mode, you can keep adding footage to a single disc as long as you haven’t run out of storage capacity. Finalizing “locks in” the recordings and then makes the disc playable on any DVD player. Once finalized, a disc cannot be used for any further recordings.
Pro tip: It’s always smart to clean your equipment and the tapes you’ll be transferring. The efficacy of different cleaning methods is a point of contention, but the simplest way is to open the cassette’s protective door and carefully remove any visible dust or dirt using a soft cloth or cotton swab. You might also consider cleaning your VCR’s heads by using a VHS head cleaner.
Transferring to DVD, Blu-ray, or digital file on Windows and Mac
This process is more involved and requires a few additional materials, but it has its benefits. Specifically, you’ll be able to transfer your tapes directly from a VCR into digital files as opposed to another physical format, allowing you to preserve them on a hard drive or even in the cloud. You can then copy and save the files wherever you’d like and transfer them to DVDs or Blu-rays.
Assuming you’ve already got a VCR, the first step is to buy an analog-to-digital converter if you don’t have access to one. There are many models out there, but models such as the UCEC USB 2.0 Video Audio Capture Card are made specifically with VHS transferring in mind. These small devices are called “cards” because the original version was indeed a card that needed to be inserted into a computer, but these days they’re all plug-and-play USB dongles.
Once you’ve got one, connect the analog-to-digital converter to your computer and your VCR or camera. Most adapters come with software that walks you through the entire transfer process, including importing the resulting footage into a more comprehensive video editor or burning it straight to DVD. Refer to the installation disc, instruction manual, or manufacturer’s website for more information on installing the software and downloading the necessary drivers.
As with the previous method, we suggest giving your tape and VCR a look-over to make sure each is clean. Particles on the tape can cause blemishes in the video during the transfer, while dirty heads can ruin the entire project.
Now for the main event. Insert the tape into your VCR, and a blank DVD or Blu-ray into your computer (or external player/burner). The exact steps for conversion vary depending on which device and what software you’re using for video capture. Digitizing will happen in real-time, meaning you’ll have to painstakingly sit through the entire length of footage (or go do something else for a while) before you can finish up the project. Once it’s done, however, the contents will be forever preserved in digital format.
You have the alternative option of employing a direct digital converter, which digitizes the VHS content onto an SD card, without the need for a computer. You can then insert the SD card into any device for viewing. Be aware, though — you might need extra cables and a bigger SD card (try 64GB).
At this point, if all you wanted was the digital file, you’re done; you can edit, move, and name the file as you want. If you’re planning on burning the file to a DVD or Blu-ray disc, you’ve got another step to go. Most conversion software will have an option for burning a DVD or Blu-ray upon completion of digitizing the footage.
If not, locate the resulting file on your computer and open it in iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, VLC, or a similar program that can burn your footage to DVD. You can also use these programs to edit the length of your videos. The burning process will vary depending on what software you choose, so consult instructions for further clarification.
VHS to Blu-ray
To convert old VHS to Blu-ray using a PC, you’ll need a computer with a Blu-ray writable drive and the appropriate third-party software. You’ll need an external drive if your PC doesn’t have one built-in. As far as software goes, we recommend the budget-friendly (free), albeit outdated, program ImgBurn for windows users. If you want to pay for a better, more modern alternative, we recommend either Opencloner or BurnAware. Leawo Blu-ray Creator is the best and most user-friendly option for Macs.
Other than these differences, the process is the same as we described above for creating DVDs on your computer.
Quality in, quality out
Keep in mind, just because you’re transferring your antiquated VHS tapes to a more modern, digital format, you likely won’t see any appreciable improvement in image quality. The digitizing and burning processes rarely involve any tech wizardry that can create detail that has been lost to deterioration of time or that was never there in the first place. After all, VHS tapes are from the days of 3:4 ratio NTSC video, and you’ll probably end up watching the converted footage on a flatscreen TV with at least 1080p resolution, if not a 4K TV, which will likely make all of the grainy imperfections more noticeable, not less.
Still, as long as you set your expectations accordingly, you’ll have given your most precious memories a new lease on life — one that will hopefully keep them going for at least another 20 years.
What about digital videotapes?
If you’re sitting on a collection of Digital 8, miniDV, or the short-lived D-VHS, you’re probably wondering what can be done to make these recordings more easily viewable. Like their analog cousins, these formats will also degrade over time, so don’t let the word “digital” lull you into a false sense of security.
Unfortunately, if you want to preserve that digital information (without converting it to analog first), you’ll need some very specific products.
- A Digital 8, miniDV, or D-VHS camcorder or cassette deck for playback (if you still own the one you used to film, that’s probably your best option)
- An IEEE 1394 cable (also known as FireWire or i.Link)
- A computer that has an IEEE 1394 input (most older Macs and some PCs have this built-in)
- If your Windows computer can take additional cards, you can buy an IEEE 1394 PCIe card for very little money
Pro Tip #1: Don’t buy one of the so-called IEEE 1394-to-USB adapters you’ll find by the truckload on Amazon, as they won’t work for transferring digital video from a camcorder to a computer.
Pro Tip #2: There are several versions of IEEE 1394, including FireWire 400 and 800. Make sure the cable you buy matches the version on your computer, otherwise you’ll end up having to buy an adapter too.
Once you have your gear collected, connect the camcorder to the computer using the IEEE 1394 cable and follow the instructions that came with your camcorder. Once the tapes have been transferred, they will be in uncompressed digital video files, which can be huge. Using a program like Handbrake, you’ll be able to compress them with virtually no loss of quality but with significantly smaller file sizes.
However, if you choose to burn them to DVD or Blu-ray, it’s best to use uncompressed video files.
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Top 4 VHS to DVD converters for converting VHS files to DVD
Author: Yuliya Yurievna • 2022-09-14 14:07:25 • Proven solutions
Memories remain with us forever, but, unfortunately, VHS cassettes and video cassettes are not. Do you have a collection of VHS or video cassettes? It's time for to convert VHS to DVD to save all the information. After conversion, you can play, save videos, and share discs with your loved ones. There are a number of available VHS to DVD Converter , in the following parts of the article, we will take a detailed look at ways to convert VHS to DVD on Windows/Mac using applications, etc.
- Solution 1: How to convert VHS/VCR/VCR to DVD on Windows/Mac
- Solution 2: Convert VHS to DVD using DVD burner
- Solution 3: Convert VHS to DVD using the VHS DVD/VCR combo
- Solution 4: Use an application to convert VHS to DVD
Solution 1: How to Convert VHS Tapes/VCR/VCR to DVD on Windows/Mac
One of the most practical methods to convert VHS tapes, VCRs and VCRs to DVD is to use professional Windows/Mac software such as Wondershare UniConverter (originally Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate) . The versatile video tool supports over 1000 video and audio formats, including MP4, MOV, WMV and more. You can burn your videos to DVD with free menu templates and no quality loss.
Once the videos on your videotapes have been transferred to your PC via USB cable or any other means, Wondershare UniConverter will take care of the rest of the process. You can quickly follow these steps on your PC/Mac and convert VHS/VHS/VCR videos to DVD.
How to Convert VHS to DVD on Windows/Mac with Wondershare UniConverter
After moving videos, videotapes or files from VCRs to PC/Mac, you can run Wondershare UniConverter on your PC/Mac and follow the steps below:
Step 1 Add video to Wondershare VHS to DVD Converter.
Install and open Wondershare UniConverter on your PC/Mac. On the DVD Burner tab, click the +Add Files button to load the ripped VHS videos into the converter.
Step 2 Set the DVD menu template and DVD options.
Added videos are displayed as thumbnails in the interface. On the right sidebar, select the desired DVD menu template. Move arrows left and right to test designs. Specify the desired name on the "DVD Title" tab. Select other disc options such as menu type, aspect ratio, TV standard and quality.
In the upper right corner, open the drop-down menu on the Record video to tab to select the location where you want to record the files. Insert a blank DVD into your computer and click the Burn button to start the process.
Wondershare UniConverter works like a VCR, the application allows you to view and play VHS videos immediately before conversion. Just click icon Play on the video thumbnail to view a clear clip.
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Solution 2: Convert VHS to DVD with a DVD burner
Another way to convert your VHS tapes to DVD is to use a DVD burner. This is a quick and easy solution, but it is not so convenient to use the organization of menus, sections and buttons. With this method, your VCR is connected to a DVD recorder, which directly records videos played on your device.
Steps to convert VHS tapes to DVD using a DVD burner:
Step 1: First of all, connect the VCR to the DVD burner with an RCA or S-Video cable.
Step 2: Insert the required VHS tape into the VCR and a blank DVD into the DVD recorder.
Step 3: Press the Record button on your DVD recorder and then press the Play button on your VCR. Videos played on your VCR will be copied to the DVD recorder disc. You can either stop the DVD recorder yourself, or it will stop automatically as soon as the VCR finishes recording.
Solution 3: Convert VHS to DVD using the VHS DVD/VCR combo
Another method to convert your VHS tapes to DVD using the unit. In this case, the DVD recorder and VCR act as one unit. The video transfer process is similar to that described in the previous part, but it is fast. You do not need to use an additional connection or cable. Moreover, on most devices you can find the function of cross dubbing.
With the DVD/VHS combo recorder method, you just need to insert a VHS cassette into the VCR and a blank DVD into the DVD device. Press button Record on DVD and button Playback on VCR. Video played on the VCR is automatically recorded to DVD. We advise you to check different stores that offer VHS DVD combo recorder.
Solution 4: Use an application to convert VHS to DVD
If you feel out of place around technology, don't worry. VHS to DVD conversion service is available from a number of retailers. Offers are available both online and offline. The seller will convert your VHS tapes to DVD/other format if needed. The service fee depends on the number of cassettes, the type of disc required, and other factors. Some of the common providers that offer VHS to DVD conversion services are Costco, Walmart, Southtree, iMemories. com, Target, CVS, and more. When using the online service, you just need to send the cassette to the seller, after a while the finished DVD will be delivered to your doorstep.
You can choose the most suitable one from all listed solutions for converting VHS cassettes/VHS/VCR format to DVD etc.
How to Convert VHS to DVD ▷ ➡️ Stop Creative ▷ ➡️
5 Read Min
How to convert VHS to DVD. Old videocassettes have been personified as DVDs. However, there are still many movies that we all keep on VHS. Wouldn't it be embarrassing to lose them? Eventually, over time, they demagnetize and can no longer be used.
So why not get it all on DVD? You totally agree with me, but you don't know how to transfer VHS to DVD. Well, don't worry... I'll give you all the explanations you need!
With some special tools, you can connect your computer to your VCR and convert old video cassettes to digital video to save them on DVDs or other storage devices (such as USB sticks and memory cards). Also, you can transfer VHS to DVD by connecting your VCR to a DVD player capable of recording.
Before I can get alarmed and think, who knows what I want to clarify immediately, beyond the line of sight, this is very easy to use tools , So don't be scared, because converting VHS to DVD is not a difficult operation, no matter it makes no difference whether you are more or less experienced in new technologies. Trust me.
How to convert VHS to DVD
- 1 How to convert VHS to DVD using VCR and PC
- 1.1 Step by Step
- 1.2 Helpful Hints
- 2 How to Convert VHS to DVD with VCR and DVD Recorder
How to Convert VHS to DVD with VCR and PC9013 what you need to do to transfer VHS to DVD, the first thing you need to do is get video grabber ( video grabbers ) . This is a portable data collection card that, when connected to a PC's USB port, allows you to digitize old video cassettes and analog camcorder tapes.
There are several video grabbers on the market today with prices between 20 y 40 euro . If you don't have a video capture yet, I suggest you buy one from Amazon. However, try to avoid solutions that are too cheap, which may have compatibility issues with the latest versions of Windows, and create mediocre quality videos compared to others.
In addition to the need to capture video to transfer VHS to DVD, you need a powerful PC with USB 2.0 ports and some tools, such as SCART to SVHS/RCA adapter (SCART connector with RCA/S-VIDEO inputs and switch for configuring inputs and outputs), audio/video cables (classic painted red, yellow and white) and Blank DVD . Even so, if you don't already have everything you need, you can buy it from Amazon.
Step by Step
- Once you find everything you need, the first thing to do to transfer VHS to DVD is to insert the CD that came with the video capture package on your PC and install the device drivers. Don't worry, it's easy. All you have to do is follow the appropriate procedure displayed on the screen, which will guide you step by step to install the necessary drivers to be able to use the grabber. Usually, when the program installation window is displayed, just always press Siguiente and finally in final or finish .
- At this point, connect your old VCR to your computer by first inserting the SCART to SVHS / RCA adapter into the VCR's TV jack. Set the switch to the INPUT position, then connect the audio/video cables to the SCART adapter and the grabber's inputs, and finally plug the grabber into your PC's USB port.
- After completing all these steps, to transfer VHS to DVD, you need to launch the video recorder on PC, select DVD as the destination, and get the video by launching the VCR.
In most cases VHS du DVD ripping programs are provided with video grabbers. To use them, simply install them by following the on-screen instructions and you're done. If you don't like the program that comes with the video capture, you can still resort to using alternative software. Among the most famous and popular programs, thanks to which you can transfer VHS to DVD, I offer you Pinnacle Instant DVD Burner and AVS Video Recorder
In case you are not clear, you can deepen the video capture for VHS to DVD transfer by doing a quick search on YouTube, where you can find many tutorials.
How to convert VHS to DVD using a VCR and DVD burner
As an alternative to the procedure I have indicated in the previous lines, it is possible to transfer VHS to DVD by also connecting a VCR to the DVD player. In other words, a completely normal DVD player that can record on the hard disk and optical media what is displayed on the TV screen. If you don't already have a DVD player, you can easily find one on Amazon. The price of such a device is not exactly a "friend", but if you think that it can be useful not only in this but also in other cases, if it were you, I would not hesitate to continue the purchase.
Therefore, to transfer VHS to DVD, you need to place the VCR next to the DVD player, connect the VCR and DVD player to the Scart socket or the three color sockets, and turn on both devices.
Then go to the DVR source setting. If you can't figure out which string is among the available strings, I suggest you insert a video cassette into your VCR, press the button to play on your device, and try changing the available strings on your DVD player. Once you have decided on the source, stop playing the videotape, restart it, and set the correct line on the DVD player.
After these operations are completed, the actual process of transferring VHS to DVD can finally begin.