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How to Transfer and Convert VHS to DVD

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0


There are many people who want to convert their older video recordings to DVD in order to have a better quality picture and sound. VHS videos are no longer being used by many with the fast changing technology so if you have VHS tapes that had captured priceless memories like your wedding, graduation, and birthday party celebrations then you can simply convert all of them to DVD in order to have a digital copy to share with family, close friends and relatives. 

There are various kinds of services online or offline that can make this VHS to DVD conversion for you although you can also do it on your own special way. By converting home videos to DVD then you can also preserve those precious and wonderful memories through a more better quality. You may not worry so much about the cost since DVD conversion is no longer expensive these days compared a few years ago.

Moderately Challenging


    • 1

      Use an analog converter so that you'll be able to capture the VHS video to a computer video editing program. These are the analog converters that can convert to DV, DV or Digital8 camcorders. Encode it to MPEG-2 and author a DVD so that it could provide you the adaptability to edit the video as often as you like. You could also add special effects, transitions, including your favorite music, and among other things although this process may take a lot of time and effort on your part.

      You need to have a computer that can work for a considerable amount of time for the video to successfully work. The bigger the memory of your computer has then the faster your CPU could run and the easier the job will become because of its fast speed. You may have at least a 2.8GHZ CPU and 512MB RAM. Always consider the duration and pace when you start to capture, edit and encode. Connect your camcorder or VHS VCR to a standalone DVD recorder which operates mostly like a VCR. VHS to DVD recorders generally provide its users the convenience to have DVD copies of their tapes.

      These VHS to DVD recorders may not provide too many adaptability as far as menus, chapter settings, buttons but it's very simple, fast and easy way to convert VHS to DVD. If you decide to buy a "DVD VCR" connected to Firewire for example, then you'll just plug a VCR or DV/DVCAM/Digital8 camcorder in it and transfer the tapes to DVD. This could give you a much better video quality compared to the analog connection.

    • 2

      Capture the video to your computer as MPEG-2. When you start to do this process, you need to use hardware capture devices that will convert the VHS to MPEG-2. These devices will capture and burn the DVD. DVD burners and DVD discs come in a DVD-R or DVD+R format. A video editing software can burn both formats although not every DVD burner is compatible with all DVD discs so try to read the specifications on your DVD burner and DVD discs to see if they are compatible.

      There is a limited time in making the "cuts" while editing the MPEG-2 files and you'll be given one hour of video to capture and compress it to MPEG-2. Editing could take much of your time but if the tape no longer needs editing then it will be easy and rapid to convert your VHS to DVD. With the help of e-commerce, people can buy these inexpensive hardware analog-to-MPEG boxes that can provide excellent quality. You'll no longer need to convert the analog source video to DV prior encoding it to MPEG. Always refer to the official web site of the model and brand of the product you bought for more information.

    • 3

      Connect your video capture device to your computer and VCR. It can capture and preview the video that could result a wonderful footage. After you can connect the hub device to both the computer and VCR, connect the audio and video cables from the VCR to the audio and video ports. Don't forget to clean the tape heads on your analog VCR or camcorder since older tapes usually contain dust residue on their heads that could provide blurry picture or dropouts.

      Take note that the USB cable on the other end goes to the computer. Install and run the software. After the installation, place your blank DVD in the burner and put the video that you want to convert in the VCR. Once you run the software, you'll be prompted on format type and length. Provide additional space if you don't know exactly the length of your analogue tapes. For example, if you anticipate that your video will last up to 40 minutes, allow up to an hour of recording time.

      Press the play button first on the VCR then followed by the record button. You could convert your VHS collection to DVD starting at 35 dollars depending on the quality of the video capture device that you can buy. There are electronic shops online or offline that offer these devices on sale, just do your own research in order to save more money.

      Most of these devices could be played on any computer or DVD player. With the use of a modern video capture device, you can capture and convert your favorite TV recordings and home videos directly to DVDs. Precious and wonderful memories will be preserved on DVDs so that you can share them with family, relatives and close friends. You can also research online for more affordable video capture devices and compare their prices in order to convert and transfer your VHS to DVD.

    • 4

      Use a good and affordable VHS to DVD conversion service. There are many services that you can choose whether online of offline if you want your VHS tapes to be converted to DVD. With the stiff competition these days, sales offer and the growing number of this type of service, the starting cost could probably start at $6 (six dollars) per tape by the time the DVD is sent back to you. For example, if you decide it to do online, all you have to do is check the site's order and price web page.

      They will give you a quote for your possible order and provide some options if you decide to include a background music, add more copies or have a complex or simple editing for it. You only need to complete the order form and post your videos, along with the completed form and a prepaid courier box to their address. The VHS to DVD conversion service will just confirm receipt of your video or videos through email and start converting them to DVD.

      Once converted and your payment has been processed, the DVD or DVDs will be sent to you through the courier box that you provided. Some services will also offer further customization to your order, for example, if you would like to use a particular picture on your labeled DVD or DVD case. Sending your VHS to a DVD conversion service could be the fastest and easiest option especially for people who have a very busy lifestyle. Take note that the quality of the finished DVD is also reflective of the quality of the original VHS tape that you provided.

    • 5

      Transfer VHS video to DVD using a capture card. If you have a hard drive with a big amount of space plus a DVD burner, using it could be a very inexpensive way to record a VHS tape. This technique is nice because it could provide various ways for the editing process with many utilities for video enhancement.

      Your desktop may have TV capabilities so if you'll purchase a capture card then it would be good because it usually comes with TV tuners. The capture card technique would let you record copy protected VHS videos but avoid doing it for commercial purposes. Pirating videos is illegal and you could end up in jail.

      You need to consider that by using the card, the original analog video will be converted to a digital format so the signal will be compressed therefore the quality of your video could also be affected during the transfer. If you don't want to have a blurry video, you need to use the best setting for your capture card but this could also use a huge amount of your hard drive space for video recording or editing.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are three options if you want to capture and digitize your video. Some people use the external capture device which is a cable or tiny box that takes place in between the VHS tape player and computer. You can connect data cords to your VHS tape player via the tiny box, then to a USB port on your computer. 

    The box will let you capture the VHS video but it can't offer you more editing options compared to the video capture card. If you'll use external capture device, you no longer need a video capture card inside your computer. An external capture device is easy to use and affordable too. 

    The second option for capturing and digitizing your video is the video capture card. It can offer a very good video editing option and amazing results although it could be more expensive compared to the an external capture device. 

    The cost of electronic gadgets and among other things concerning modern technology is becoming more affordable these days especially when you choose those re-certified and refurbished things but it's advisable to be updated to those official tech review sites by reading their latest articles prior to purchasing expensive gadgets. The third option to capture and digitize video is through the graphics card with a capacity to capture your video. You don't need another video card if you purchase the graphics card.

  • Try to avoid those recorder-VCR combo unit models since you may have a negative experience about them especially after using the unit for over a year or two. These combo unit models could stop reading DVDs even how many times you clean them through the recommended procedure or try various DVDs for them to record. Some of these combo player units will simply refuse to record VHS tapes even the ones you made yourself to DVD that are not copyright protected. Well, it might depend on the brand that you could be using but just to avoid disappointment, read about product reviews especially if your planning to buy an expensive one.




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