Remember the old VHS tapes filled with home-recorded movies, which you made in the 80’s and 90’s? Are they collecting dust in the cardboard box you stashed away in the basement? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s about time you started converting the VHS tapes into DVD or digital computer files, lest they also turn into dust themselves.
With old videotapes beginning to disintegrate and functional VCR machines becoming more difficult time to find, you are running out of time to preserve those century-old memories. When it comes to converting VHS tapes into DVD, there are several options to choose from. You can go to stores like Walgreens and Target, which will charge upwards of $20 per DVD. You can also ship your tapes to online services like Southtree for the conversion. However, this poses the risk of your tapes getting damaged during transit. Or you can simply do it yourself by buying the best VHS to DVD converter. These devices provide a safe, effective and affordable of preserving and sharing your old films.
What is the Best VHS to DVD Converter?
When shopping for the best VHS to DVD converter, there are a couple of features you should focus on. Ideally, a good converter is one that not only allows you to move your video content to a DVD but it helps you do this swiftly and easily.
Below find the best VHS to DVD Converters:
1. UCEC Video Capture VHS VCR TV to DVD Converter
If you have older analog media devices, you can use the UCEC video capture card to connect them to your modern PC. It’s incredibly easy to use as it comes with a software to guide you each step of the way.
Another perk of the UCEC is that it’s compatible with an array of universal video formats. It’ works with iPad, iMovie, YouTube and Windows Live Movie Maker. You can then transfer these videos into any digital format; be it AVI, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, and MP3.
2. DIGITNOW Capture Box with VHS to Digital DVD Converter
DIGITNOW Video Capture Box is another device you can use to convert your camcorder tapes. With just one touch of a button, you can now transfer those tapes that you made during your vacation in the 90’s to digital formats.
And the good thing is, using DIGITNOW is very easy. Simply connect your digital converter and to your VCR or other video source. Next, hit the “record” button and watch how the video gets converted on the 2.3-inch preview screen.
In addition to the converter, you also get a USB cable which you can then use to transfer your digitalized videos to a computer. Other handy accessories included in this package include an AV cable, a power adapter, RCA cable, HDMI cable and MIC adapter.
3. ClearClick Video to Digital Converter
ClearClick gives you an easy way of converting your old video and camcorder tapes to digital format with the click of a button. After converting, you can then enjoy watching your new videos on different devices including a computer, tablet, smartphone and TV.
A key highlight of this VHS to DVD converter is that it comes with Prism Plus Video Converter Software. This program enables you to convert your tapes into a format that is mobile-friendly or rather the MP4 format.
4. VIDBOX VCP1M Video Conversion for PC
If you’re looking for a device that gives the most conversion options, look no further than VIDBOX video converterfor PC. With this gadget, you can convert your old videos into different formats that include MP4, MPEG-2 and DVD. Plus, it supports multiple languages, making it a feasible solution for different users. The languages supported are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
We also like that the manufacturer provides the full package you need to copy analog videos to digital files. For instance, this kit comes with an RCA cable, which comes in handy when you want to connect your VCR to the capture device. Some manufacturers try to take shortcuts by excluding this cable. However, there are a few other things you’ll need to use this converter effectively. These include a vhs to dvd converter usb 3.0, a VCR or camcorder, free hard disk space and Windows operating system.
Also, the software comes with a very comprehensive guide, which helps directs you on how to make and edit videos from the start. If you get stuck in one of the steps, the company offers excellent customer service.
5. Dazzle DVD Recorder HD VHS to DVD Converter
Most VHS to DVD converters allow users to convert vhs to digital format. But what of the games that we grew up playing? Games are other events that individuals look back on with fondness, and recording a gaming session with your sibling can be a fun experience. Pinnacle VHS to DVD Converter is one of the few video capture devices that makes it possible to record video from Xbox and PlayStation.
What’s more, this converter comes with every hardware you need to connect your VHS, Hi8 and V8 cameras to your computer. The manufacturer has even provided RCA cables so that you don’t spend more purchasing them separately.
6. Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus
This VHS to DVD converter is the best for sharing media content. Converting your VHS tapes to DVD is a good idea. But the world of digital video goes beyond optical discs. Apart from burning your tapes to digital format, the Roxio Easy vhs to dvd 3 Plus enables you to share the new content directly on YouTube.
True to its name, this converter has a very user-friendly interface. Recording video is made easy with the included Roxio conversion software. Using this software, you can burn the content directly from a VCR to a DVD or copy the tapes to your computer. Once you’ve copied the content to your computer, you can then upload it on YouTube.
Another plus of the Roxio conversion software is that it has video editing features. This software allows you to omit any unwanted footage and to incorporate effects, transitions and titles. This comes in handy in case you want to add some background music to your converted content.
7. RuiboSike Video Capture Card Transfer VHS to PC
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the RuiboSike Video Capture Card is an excellent option to consider. It offers an easy way of converting analog videos to digital format. In fact, this converter is compatible with a wide range of operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 2000/XP and Vista.
After conversion, you can then save the digitalized footage in your Mac, PC, iPad or iPhone. You can also import these videos to your Mac or Windows computer for further editing.
VHS to DVD Converter Buying Guide
What Is a VHS to DVD Converter?
Before the invention of DVDs, the traditional way of capturing memories was to take pictures and record home videos using basic, cheap cameras. However, thanks to technological progress, people have invented devices that have proved to be more effective than VHS tapes. In fact, these tapes are quickly becoming obsolete.
Your best shot at preserving those old movies that you made when you were young is to transfer them to a DVD or Blu-ray. To do this, you need the right hardware and software. Sure, you can consult a professional but if you’re looking to learn a new skill or save money, you’re better off converting the tapes by yourself. One of the pieces of hardware you’ll need is a VHS to DVD recorder, which is going to make converting the tapes an incredibly easy task. Factor in a top-of-the-line software and you end with the ultimate transfer package.
After digitizing your videos, the next step is to invest in a good DVD player to watch your new videos. You can even buy a portable DVD player so that you’re able to watch those memorable events from anywhere.
Why Converting Tape to Digital Is Essential
Although the VHS technology is one that is praised by many, it’s also vulnerable. One of the greatest enemies for Video Home System videos is time. Over time, these cassette tapes start to degrade and lose their quality in the process. In fact, watching these tapes too many times speeds up the degradation. Before you know it, the video cassette tapes will have degraded to a point they cannot be played, mainly because of demagnetization. Demagnetization is a process that occurs gradually and it causes tapes to lose their capability to transfer images and audio when they’re placed inside a vhs player. And although this process happens over time, it can occur rapidly if the tape is placed near a powerful magnet or a source of heat.
Other factors that are likely to contribute to the deterioration of your cassette tapes include humidity and direct contact with a liquid. If you keep your VHS tapes in a high-humid area or accidentally spill a liquid onto the cassette, the tape will become distorted, sticky and compromised.
To back the deterioration claim of cassette tapes, multiple research studies have been conducted throughout the world. These include surveys done by Sony and Fuji corporations in Japan and another by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. All three studies show that even if you store your VHS tapes in good condition, they will still deteriorate by 15% every 15 years. This means that ultimately your cassettes will become damaged beyond repair.
Another drawback of VHS cassette tape format is that the longest playtime it can allow is less than five hours. In contrast, a contemporary Blu-ray disc and many other DVDs have the capacity to hold a lot more content. In fact, the Blu-ray disc can store up to nine hours of HD content and a whopping 23 hours of standard definition content. The VHS format became doomed as soon as binge watching television and viewing of movie series came into existence.
Choosing the Right VHS to DVD Converter
There are two main ways of converting VHS to DVD content. The first and easiest method requires you to use a deck with a VHS slot and DVD drive that has burner abilities. Utilizing these machines is fairly simple, and ideal for individuals who want to preserve media before it degrades.
The second approach entails using a gadget that has older RCA inputs paired with a sophisticated USB or HDMI output. But to use this method, you also need to have a VCR that can play your old cassette tapes. Also, you should be familiar with how software and hardware work so that you can choose the correct program to record the content you are playing through your old VHS tape format. This second method is superior to the first as it’s compatible with other forms of media. For instance, you can use it to record gameplay that you want to upload to a social media platform or share with your buddies later.
Do I need to worry when buying a vhs media converter online?
No, there’s no need to worry about buying your VHS media converter online. People buy products online every other day. Most sites offer numerous layers of customer protection so you don’t have to worry about anything. Besides, you can always return the product and get a refund if you don’t like the converter you get.
What do I need to check before choosing a vhs media converter?
Choosing a vhs media converter is relatively simple. Just consider the guidelines we provided earlier and you’re set to go. You can also check the photographs and comprehensive descriptions we’ve provided for top-rated VHS to DVD converters.
What should be the warranty period for a good vhs media converter?
If you don’t want to keep buying a new vhs media converter every time your old one malfunctions, go for a model that has a long warranty. Otherwise, you might end up spending too much repairing and replacing it.
Three Ways to Copy VHS Tapes to DVD
Usinga DVD Recorder
If you want to transfer VHS tapes to DVD, you should start by connecting the composite video output as well as the RCA analog stereo of your VCR to the matching inputs on your DVD recorder. Some DVD recorders have just one input while others have more than one input. These inputs are usually labeled as Video 1 In, Video 2 In. Pick one of these inputs and you can get started on the transfer process.
To make a copy of the VHS tape, you’ll need to select the correct input or setting on your DVD recorder. Next, put the tape whose content you want to transfer into the VCR machine. Also, place a functional DVD in the recorder. Launch the DVD recording function and then select ‘play’ on your VHS VCR. By selecting the DVD recorder first, you ensure that you don’t miss out on the initial footage that is played.
Using a DVD Recorder/VHS VCR Combo Unit
The second option you have is to use a DVD recorder/ VHS VCR combo unit. This approach follows similar steps as with option 1. The main difference is that the VCR and DVD recorder are now housed in one unit, providing an easier and more convenient way of transferring your tape content. It’s a lot easier as you don’t have to connect any cables.
Also, most of these combo units feature a cross-dubbing feature. This means that you can copy your media from VHS to DVD format and viceversa. All you need to do is select the Dub button.
And if the combo unit lacks this function, copying content is still easy. Just select the recording function on your DVD and then choose play on your VCR so as to start the process.
Connecting a VCR to a PC via a Video Capture Device
This third approach is gaining popularity, primarily because of its practicability. However, it has a few drawbacks.
The process requires you to connect your VCR to your PC using an analog-to-digital video capture gadget. Once you’ve done this, record the content of the tapes on your PC’s hard drive and then transfer or write itto a DVD by using the PC’s DVD writer.
These gadgets often come with all the required attachments including analog video/audio inputs and USB output. The analog video/audio input helps you to link the VCR while the USB helps to connect to your PC. Apart from copying media from your VHS tapes, some of these devices come with programs, which make the whole process of transferring video easier. The software applications have additional features such as video editing. With such a feature, you can improve your video by incorporating titles, chapters, adding more brightness and more.
But this process is not without a few setbacks. For one, you have to determine the amount of RAM available on your computer. You should also determine how fast the processor and hard disk are.
Often, when converting VHS tapes to digital format, the files sizes are big. Thus, the tapes can take up a considerable amount of space on your hard drive. On another note, if the processing unit is slow, the transfer might stop mid-way or you may end up losing some parts of the video.
The good thing is that there are solutions to each of these problems. Just ensure that your hard drive has ample space and that your processor is fast enough. Some of devices that can make transferring your VHS tape content to DVD using your PC include: Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus and Honestech VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe. The best vhs to dvd converter for mac users is the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for Mac.
Thanks to technological advancements, capturing family videos has never been easier. But this hasn’t always been the case. There was an era where school performances and home videos were recorded using cameras and then saved on VHS tapes. Unfortunately, the quality of VHS tapes deteriorates over time. If you wish to preserve these videos, you are better off converting them to digital format using VHS to DVD converters.