How to transfer VHS videotapes to DVD

If you have a mountain of memories of your teenage years or Iron Maiden concerts in VHS format and threaten to fall apart in the basement, it may be time to move all these media to the 21st century. The job of a professional to transfer VHS to a DVD can be very expensive if you have a lot of VHS at home. Fortunately, you can do it yourself if you have the right hardware and software, then let's see how to transfer VHS videotapes to DVD.


  • VHS tapes that you want to copy to DVD
  • A VHS reader
  • DVD recorder
  • A fairly fast computer
  • A capture card or a video card
  • An S-video cable and a pair of RCA audio cables

Use an analog-digital video converter

Choose an analog-digital video converter. Generally, these devices cost between 100 and 150 euros. The best-known models are:

  • HDML-Cloner Box Pro
  • Elgato Video Capture
  • Roxio Easy VHS to DVD
  • Diamond VC500

Connect the converter to the video recorder using the MMI cable. Connect the converter to the computer via the mini USB port. Install the converter software. You can download it from the manufacturer's official website.

Open the application on your computer. Insert the VHS tape and fast forward (or rewind) in the part of the video you want to record. Start playing the tape. You must be able to see its contents in a window of the software you have installed. Go back to the part of the video you want to record.

Click Record before playing the tape. Make sure the software is in capture mode before playing the video. Otherwise, the first few seconds of the passage you want to record will not be recorded. The process varies slightly from one software to another, but in all cases, you will have to wait until the end of reading to convert the file to DVD.

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Watch the video at the end of the recording, open the video in one of the units installed on your computer and check its quality. If you want to edit your video, open it on iMovie or with free software like VirtualDub and delete the parts you don't want to keep.

Make sure the sound and image are synchronized. Otherwise, you can adjust the audio by selecting Interlacing... in the audio menu by entering a positive or negative value for the audio delay.

Transfer VHS videotapes to DVD using a VCR-DVD combo

Buy a VCR-DVD combo. Although these devices generally do not have high definition outputs and firmware, this is the easiest way to transfer a VHS tape to a DVD. A VCR-DVD combo probably costs 100 to 200 euros, but you can find cheap ones on eBay and others.

Alternatively, you can connect a video recorder to a DVD player that can record. For this, you will need a series of two-way AV cables. Connect the outputs of the video recorder to the inputs of the DVD player and follow the rest of the instructions as if you were using a combined player.

Clean the tape, depending on the quality of the cassettes, this step may be unnecessary or unnecessary. If you are working with old cassettes or extremely dirty cassettes, you will have to be careful not to damage them by inserting them in the reader.

Lift the protective cover to reveal the magnetic strip. Spin the reels and dry the tape with a soft cloth or a piece of cotton. If the nsatro is crumpled or twisted, smooth it gently with the fabric. Rotate the rollers in the other direction to unroll the ribbon if it is very coiled. Be very careful.

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Insert your cassette in the video recorder. Also, insert a blank DVD into the DVD drive. Check the specifications of the player to see if it can burn DVD-R or DVD-RW discs and make sure you use the correct type of disc.

Press the Play and Record buttons. This configuration depends on the hardware, but in general, it is necessary to press the playback button on the video recorder and the recording button on the DVD player. In some cases, however, there is only one Save button that automatically initiates the transfer process.

Transfer VHS videotapes to DVD by going to a store

If you don't want to buy materials to transfer a single project, know that many electronics stores offer this service at a great price. You will not be able to edit the video or take care of the tapes as you would like, but this requires nothing more than delivery. It is also a good way to convert unknown formats like 8mm or Betamax.

The electronics stores offer this service for 10 and 30 euros per disc. Typically, a DVD can hold 2 hours of videotape.


If the video starts to skip or hang during the acquisition, it could be the processor that slows down to avoid overheating. Video capture is extremely demanding on the processor, I had a problem with my laptop which automatically slowed down its speed to avoid overheating. The problem was solved by placing the computer on a fan.

Avoid touching the tape inside the cassette. You can fold or tear the tape, which could make it unusable. Do not try to copy commercial tapes of any kind (eg movies or TV shows). It is illegal and a waste of time.

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