Considering how advanced the technology has now become, most people today forgot about the old VHS tapes and how they were once a powerful force in the home entertainment sector. Many people still own VHS collections that contain personal and family moments. They are probably lost somewhere in the basement but if you’re worried that they will break down soon, maybe it’s time to convert them to a more modern format like DVD and get rid of VHS tapes for good. It’s a known fact that the magnetic tape which stores all your recorded footage is degrading in time and it will make your old videos unwatchable eventually. You might also be interested in our articles about the best USB to Ethernet adapters or the best encrypted drives.
The way to save these videotapes is by using special VHS to DVD converters which will essentially digitize your important collection. These devices enable you to transfer VHS to DVD, but they can also get the video files stored digitally on a hard drive. If you feel like you’re finally ready to throw out your old VCR and the obsolete tapes, a VHS to DVD converter is the right investment. The only problem now is which converter should you choose. Perhaps this little buying guide can help you navigate the market and get precisely the best product for your needs. Some of the things to evaluate are:
Most converters come with their own specialized software that offers a good suite of functions like editing tools to trim away unwanted footage or for adding transitions and effects. There are also some converters that are more basic and don’t come with dedicated software, but you can get a free program on the Internet like Audacity which should work just as well. If you’re interested in getting a more intuitive and advanced software, it’s worth paying attention to this aspect when you’re shopping for a VHS to DVD converter.
Many VHS tapes that are commercially produced come with protections in place against copying. Transferring the contents to a DVD is not possible unless you get a converter that can circumvent this limitation. It’s important to choose a model which doesn’t have this feature if you’re trying to get shows or movies that aren’t available on DVD.
A good converter should successfully digitize an old VHS tape and retain the same qualities of the audio and video of the source tape. This is a bit more difficult to assess unless you actually check out the video details like pixelation for example. Regarding the output, VHS converters burn DVD discs at different speeds so be sure to get one that’s capable of saving some time with this process.
So there you have it, these represent the main factors that come into play when searching for a VHS to DVD converter. Armed with this knowledge, it is time to look over the best products found on the market. In this article, you can also check out the individual reviews for the best-rated converters which represent the most cost-effective options.
Digitizing your VHS tapes is not an easy task but with the help of a handy converter like this one from Elgato, you will be able to transform your old videos in high-quality H.264 files quickly and efficiently. There are lots of interesting features in this model so let’s take a closer look at what it can do.
This device can detect the video format automatically to ensure the best compatibility. It handles NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and PAL/60 video formats with ease. The maximum resolution is 640×480 for 4:3 ratios and 640×360 for 16:9.
One of the best advantages of this unit is the intuitive software which can be downloaded for free. The process for capturing video is very straightforward and at each step, a software assistant will guide so you won’t have to face situations where you’re not sure how to proceed. From connecting an analog video device to giving you the easiest ways to share the generated videos, this software will be a huge help.
There are some special tools included in the software such as the trimming tool for taking care of beginnings and ends of the captured videos that are too long. Adding your videos to iTunes or Windows Media Player library is a breeze. You can play back the videos anytime you want on a computer or if you prefer, you can sync it with an iPad or iPhone.
Besides the basic conversion of VHS tapes to DVDs, this model can also connect and capture video to a computer from any device that comes with composite ‘RCA’ or S-Video outputs. A SCART adapter is also provided.
A relatively inexpensive way to convert your old tapes to the modern digital format, the Elgato Video Capture works great on many computers and is very simple to use. It’s a very convenient and practical device and considering how it works at this price, the final conclusion is that it’s fully worth the money.
- Easy-to-use software
- NTSC, SECAM, PAL, and PAL/60 video
- H.264 digital format for the captured videos
- Composite-to-SCART adapter included
- Composite video/RCA stereo cable supplied
Best VCR to DVD Converter
For those looking for something a little different, the Funai ZV427FX4 VCR and DVD recorder combo can be an ideal solution. It’s not exactly like the usual converter you would see on this list but it’s a device with many abilities including the transfer of all your favorite personal VHS movies to a DVD.
Cleaning up all of your old videotapes and starting a fresh DVD library is definitely an attractive possibility for many people who still own VHS videos. With this unit, you can simply press a button and dub from VHS to DVD or in reverse from DVD to VHS. The only thing to keep in mind is that this won’t work for copy-protected content. It’s a cool device for playing and recording VHS tapes and is compatible with both DVD-R and DVD-RW disc formats.
This combo is tuner-less, it needs an external tuner like a satellite box or a cable. It comes with an HDMI connection for transferring Full HD 1080p content with high-quality audio and it’s capable of converting standard quality DVDs to 1080p quality. Having an HDMI connection as just one cable connection is very convenient as you don’t need to mess around with connecting other cables.
The install process for this VCR/DVD combo is quite straightforward. Guidance is provided by Funai in the form of an instructions manual which offers clearly printed directions and handy illustrations. The quality of the DVD playback is solid and overall, this machine seems to do a great job at both recording and playback.
Considering the features and the overall quality, the Funai ZV427FX4 VCR/DVD recorder combo is an excellent device to have if you have lots of VHS tapes to convert. It takes care of all your playback and recording needs easily but it has quite a considerable cost. Compared to other similar devices though, this looks like it offers more for the money, especially in terms of features and user-friendliness.
- 1080P upconversion from HDMI output
- Dolby Digital Stream out
- Line in recording through cable-satellite box
- 8-hours Recording
- One-Touch recording
- 4 Head Hi-Fi Stereo
Best VHS to DVD Converter For Mac
Mac users will probably love the VIDBOX video conversion package that’s specially designed to suit their needs. With the help of a USB video capture device and a quality software, you will be able to capture VHS, 8mm, Beta or tapes easily and then conveniently convert them to a more reliable format like DVD or other modern digital alternatives.
Vidbox provides converting solutions compatible with both PC and Mac computers but the model designed specifically for Mac is particularly interesting. The software delivers when it comes to seamlessly integrating your new converted videos into your iTunes library and conveniently playing them with QuickTime.
Old analog recordings deserve their place in the current digital modern lifestyle and this package provides more than just a basic converter. There’s smooth integration with iMovie to enable you the ability to edit the captured video without too much hassle. The converter will deliver your new digital files in a MOV file format which works well with the video editing applications on Mac.
Thanks to the intuitive software, the process for successfully converting VHS to DVD is a breeze with this model but if you have any issues it’s nice to know that Vidbox is committed to providing a solid customer service experience. There’s live support for U.S. registered users as a full team of technicians can assist you with your questions and problems.
Advanced users will probably have a few small issues with this converter as it doesn’t offer too much flexibility. There are no options to change the default storage directory or settings to adjust the brightness or contrast of the video signal before recording. This is intended for users who prefer to not mess around with complicated set-ups and just enjoy a quick converting.
Setting aside this little issue, the Vidbox converter for Mac is a very affordable and simple way to convert your old VHS tapes to a standard digital format. For most Mac users it should suffice. It has pretty much all the features you would need, including a fast and easy set-up process and considering the capturing results, this one is highly recommended.
- Captures old VHS, Beta, 8mm, or camcorder tapes
- Smooth integration with iMovie
- 640×480 video resolution
- NTSC, PAL, SECAM supported video standards
- Easy to use
If you want a very reasonably-priced converter for VHS videos, the one offered by EAS should be strongly considered. Although it’s so affordable, it works with many old video formats and produces videos at high-resolution in an instant.
This device can handle PAL and NTSC video formats and delivers some quality digital files that you can play back any time on a computer or any other capable device. It comes with an RCA cable and Bilateral SCART-RCA converter so this represents a valuable tool for anyone who still clings to old footage.
Once you get your digital files, burning them onto DVDs would be the next step. You’ll need an additional software as this model doesn’t come with any but at this price, this doesn’t really matter especially considering that you have free options like Audacity.
There’s a broad range of compatible operating systems as this unit offers analog video capture for Windows XP or later (including Windows 10) and Mac OSX from 10.6 to 10.12. With just a touch of a button, you will be able to capture videos up to 30 fps and with a maximum resolution of 720p. This model doesn’t allow the capturing of copyright-protected content so it’s only recommended for family or personal VHS tapes.
This converter also works as an audio grabber capture card as it can digitize a live audio session and transfer all kinds of analog files to modern digital formats like MP3 or WAV. It’s a great solution if you want to record and convert stuff like a cassette tape or a classic vinyl LP to a digital format.
Taking into account the simple but powerful functionality of this little converter by EAS, it’s safe to say that this represents a viable option for those looking to turn old VHS tapes into digital videos that they can play and share at any time. It’s a very economical way to copy important recordings from the past and to have them safely stored on a DVD.
- Connects an analog video source to a computer
- Power adapter not required
- Easy-to-use software
- Supports NTSC, PAL video capture
- Windows or Mac OS 10.6 – 10.12 OS compatibility
Best Buy VHS to DVD Converter
Another great product worth checking out if you’re shopping for a VHS to DVD converter is this adapter from Digitnow. It provides a quick way to save your old videos on a DVD and back up your important memories as VHS tapes usually start to degrade after 15 years. This one represents an inexpensive method for converting them.
This little device comes with a USB 2.0 PnP interface allowing you to create a high-definition home video library. With a simple touch of a button, you can finally get rid of your old VHS tapes. This unit can capture video source of VHS, V8, VCR, Hi8 and you can burn the edited files to DVD, VCD or SVCD.
If you’re worried about compatibility, it’s important to mention that this unit works only with Windows computers from XP to Windows 10. This is quite disappointing for Mac users but there are other options for them on this list.
The digital picture quality offered by this converter is decent for the price and there’s support for the most popular old video formats like PAL and NTSC. When it comes to connectivity, this model comes with connectors for S-video, SCART, and AV-Cinch besides USB 2.0. There’s a CD with special software and a manual included in the package. Having this up and running quickly is definitely possible as the device is easy to set up and use.
All the supplied cables and connections work well and the general impression that you can get from the DIGITNOW USB Video Grabber Adapter is a highly positive one. It’s small and convenient to carry and it works very well once you get through the simple setup process. If you don’t want to spend too much but still obtain high-quality converted videos, this unit is definitely a solid buy at this price.
- USB 2.0 PnP interface
- Real-time MPEG 4/2/1 encoding
- Edited files can be easily burned to DVD, VCD, SVCD
- Windows compatible
- PAL/NTSC digital picture quality
With support for many formats and analog video sources, as well as being very small and lightweight, the EasyLink VHS to DVD Converter is a reliable tool for anyone with a large VHS collection that needs to be transferred to DVDs. There’s a free software included that can be very handy for getting the job done.
This capture device requires a driver installation first and a software installation. It shouldn’t be too long before you can easily start converting any old VHS tapes you have laying around to dependable DVDs. It’s important to type the correct License Key when you install the software.
The Video Studio software will be a huge help for novice users as it comes with a Movie Wizard which guides you through the functions of the tool allowing you to finish stylish movies in no times. The converter can capture both video and audio via USB 2.0 interface and there’s no external power necessary.
As this unit supports virtually any analog video source, you can easily connect a VCR or camcorder to a Windows computer. It doesn’t work with Mac computers but this device compensates through wide support for recording in DVD, and DVD-Video formats. Analogue files are captured from VHS or V8 and they’ll get converted using the H.264 high-quality standard.
All things considered, this is a capable device for converting VHS to DVD. It’s small and lightweight and it can be a very portable video capture solution. The software is decent and the price is in the affordable range. There’s not much else to say about the EasyLink video capture device except that it is highly recommended for finally taking the step towards the digital age and removing the old, unreliable VHS tapes from your collection.
- Supports NTSC- and PAL-Video Formats
- Small, lightweight
- Windows and Mac OS compatibility
- Easy to use
- Connects to a VCR, camcorder and other analog video sources to any computer
There are lots of converting solutions on the market right now, but few are better than the one provided by Top-Longer. This one is an updated version of a powerful VHS to DVD converter which allows you to connect your VCR and transform old videos into high-quality digital files.
The first thing you will probably notice about this model is how small and lightweight it is. It’s a USB powered device so it doesn’t require any external power source. You can easily take it with you if needed and quickly put it to a new converting task.
This unit is capable of connecting to lots of analog video sources to a Windows PC or Mac. There’s the possibility to grab video from a composite or S-Video source. It can capture videos at a maximum resolution of 720p and a smooth 30 fps motion. Left and right RCA audio inputs are also provided, and the video is fully synced with the sound.
Installing the necessary drivers and software is not particularly hard though it can be a bit harder for novice users. There’s a good variety of recording settings so you can be sure that your footage turns out well after converting. It’s nice that the H.264 file format is supported because it makes the final file size much more manageable.
Having real-time recording right in the palm of your hand is quite the convenience. The quality of the cable is not top-notch but at this price, the Top-Longer VHS to DVD converter represents a decent alternative to going to a specialized center where they could charge you way more money for such a relatively basic operation.
- Small, easy to carry, USB
- Connects a VCR or camcorder to a computer
- USB 2.0 transfer rates
- NTSC, PAL video
- Windows compatible as well as Mac OSX 10.9 – 10.6
The V.TOP video audio capture card is a very solid device to have around if you plan on converting old VHS tapes to a more reliable format like DVD. This model has lots of interesting features including great OS compatibility and the snapshot function. It’s small and portable and very fairly priced.
To connect this unit to a computer you can do it via USB 2.0 and then just look for the right ports on your VCR or camcorder and plug it there. The device should start working right away. It doesn’t need any additional installation as this is a plug-and-play unit. There is no special software in the package but the manufacturer provides a link to download the audio editing software so there’s an extra step required.
Using this can be a bit difficult as the instructions can be confusing for less tech-savvy users but if you’re in trouble, V.TOP seems to have good customer support. This device can capture Betamax or VHS video and it records MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 in real-time. Using the snapshot function it can also capture pictures with ease.
There is support for both PC and Macs and for various analog video sources. By just pressing a single button you can start converting your old memories very quickly. It’s important that you only attempt to convert personal recordings as this device can’t handle copyright protected media.
Working as expected and without any issues, the V.TOP is a good solution for all your VHS to DVD converting needs. There are still some small issues with user-friendliness because you’ll need to figure the basics on your own but other than that, this is totally worth the money.
- Snapshot function
- Supports NTSC, PAL video capture
- Small and lightweight design
- Captures videos from lots of video sources
- Edits and saves videos in digital format
- Compatible with Windows and Mac OS 10.6+
Is there a better way out there to recover your old videos from an outdated technology like VHS than by choosing a reliable converter? This one provided by UCEC functions well and is compatible with multiple interfaces to enable you the ability to digitize your favorite VHS tapes.
This video grabber can efficiently collect data from the original VHS source, like a VCR, and display it on a computer where you can do whatever you want with the video files including playing, sharing, and burning them to a DVD.
With a powerful chip model, this unit comes with support for NTSC/PAL video formats and is compatible with lots of input formats for recording. The highest resolutions possible for both NTSC and PAL are supported – 720×480 at 30fps and 720×576 at 25fps respectively.
What’s great about this little device is how simple it is to use. Nothing complicated like installing drivers is required. Just plug and play. You will have to get the Honestech software included but this is easy to do even for novice users. Just make sure that you correctly insert the printed product key from the mini CD.
As this model can connect to lots of analog devices, it should be able to connect to any VHS player and old camcorder and get important files converted to a digital format. If you are too busy to enjoy sports games or shows, it can also capture them from a TV.
If you check the price of this converter you will definitely be surprised considering how low it is. What’s the catch then? Well, this device is not working well on later editions of Windows and Mac as the software has some driver incompatibilities. Although a software is provided, you’re probably better off without using it as it has limited functionality. There may be better alternatives out there but this converter deserves a spot on this list considering that it offers decent performance for the price.
- USB 2.0 interface
- No external power needed
- Captures audio without the sound card
- Supports contrast, hue, brightness, and saturation control
- Wide range of DVD formats supported