Thanks come camcorders, catching unforgettable moment on videotape turned right into a global phenomenon. Huge and heavy, those lugging roughly the titanic tools of the 1980s and also 1990s may not have actually loved the hardware, but preserving weddings, graduations, and sacred Disney trips was much more than precious the shoulder pain. The just trouble is, unfortunately, those storage-closet VHS relics generally have an expiration date. The format was never ever intended to critical forever, and also it degrades over time. If your precious home videos managed to survive, you might want to salvage the footage prior to time takes its toll. Converting well-worn house movies will never be flawless — the slightest hiccup deserve to interrupt the deliver signal — yet it have the right to be done on a modest spending plan with a few basic tools.

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Below, we’ll present you how to conserve your moments digitally on lot of formats, consisting of by DVD transfer, Blu-ray, or digital file. If you’re just too busy, we’ve also gained a list that the assorted VHS counter services, consisting of pricing, to aid you preserve that 20-year-old home video clip of friend bailing ~ above your first bike. If no for you, do it for posterity’s sake.

Retail VHS-to-DVD switch services


For those who’d quite forgo the technical hands-on process, countless big-name retail corporations sell VHS-to-DVD (and in some instances VHS-to-digital) conversion services through their photo departments. Stores prefer Costco, CVS, Walmart, and also Sam’s society offer video clip conversion, and many the them use the same firm for your conversion: YesVideo. If girlfriend head come the YesVideo website, you’ll discover conversion services beginning from $26 per tape because that the first two hours, and then secondary $26 for every two additional hours the converting. But the price you pay at Walmart or Target could be lower. These prices have actually been trending increase in recent years, therefore if did you do it been wait to get your tapes converted, you could want to acquire on it.

Available carry formats include everything indigenous VHS come Betamax, and most solutions will allow you to transfer up to two tapes to a single DVD disc prior to charging friend extra. Alternatively, there room a pair of an excellent websites that offer the same company for a more affordable price if you feel comfortable shipping the VHS tapes yourself.

Companies like tradition Box offer comparable services. Simply mail her VHS tapes in, and also they’ll administer you through DVDs, downloadable digital files, or a thumb drive to fill with all of your memories, to add the initial tapes in return. Prices start at $59, which contains the conversion of 2 tapes.

Using a VHS-DVD combo or different VCR and also DVD burner


If you’ve acquired a ton the videos to transfer, you might want to take on the task yourself to conserve some green. The best way to transform on your own is with a VHS-DVD combination player/recorder. Today, these room outdated and can be tough to find. Friend can uncover dinosaur models online if friend look hard sufficient — try searching “combo deck” or “VHS DVD recorder” top top sites prefer Amazon or eBay, or even Craigslist — but these will typically run girlfriend $100 or much more (and take forever come ship), for this reason it’ll only be worth it if you’ve obtained a sizable ice cream collection.

You also can to buy the items you’ll require piecemeal. If friend don’t currently have a VCR, girlfriend might have the ability to find one digital for roughly $70 come 100, but again, it’s not the simplest task. Friend can shot looking ~ above Amazon (most alternatives there will be secondhand), yet you might need to will to eBay or also your local Craigslist, though us recommend fist if you walk those routes — constantly make certain your eBay seller has high evaluation scores before proceeding. Climate you’ll require a stand-alone DVD recorder, i beg your pardon can likewise be a an obstacle to discover these days. Securing one will likely require the same methods outlined above.

Once you’ve acquired the goods, you can hook up the DVD player to the VCR by plugging an RCA audio/video cable native the VCR’s RCA calculation to the DVD player’s RCA input. On part models, you might need an RCA-to-HDMI converter to affix the two. This is basically the same procedure you’ll must use v an older video camera that supplies tapes — simply attach the camera’s calculation to the DVD recorder via the RCA cable or, if necessary, the RCA-to-HDMI converter we just mentioned. V a combo player, the course, the process is simpler.

Next is the transfer process. Pop a tape right into the VCR and a empty DVD+R or DVD+RW (some units only accept one of these formats, so double-check that) right into the DVD player, then start the transfer process. The technique differs in between models, however it have to be fairly straightforward. You might need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but most manuals have the right to be uncovered through a Google find if your components didn’t come v them.

Pro tip: It’s always smart come clean her equipment and also the tapes you’ll it is in transferring. The efficacy of different cleaning techniques is a point of contention, but the simplest way is to open up the cassette encasing and carefully remove any type of visible dust or dirt using a soft towel or cotton swab. Girlfriend might also consider cleaning her VCR’s top by using a VHS head cleaner.

Transferring come DVD, Blu-ray, or digital file on Windows and Mac


This process is an ext involved and also requires a few additional materials, however it has actually its benefits. Specifics you’ll be may be to deliver your tapes directly from a VCR right into digital papers as protest to another physical format, permitting you to preserve them on a hard drive or also in the cloud. You can then copy and also save the records wherever you’d like, and also transfer castle to DVDs or Blu-rays.

Assuming you’ve already got a VCR, the very first step is come buy a digital-to-analog converter if you don’t have accessibility to one. There are plenty of models the end there, however models such as the UCEC USB 2.0 video clip Audio record Card are made particularly with VHS delivering in mind.


Once you’ve got one, affix the digital-to-analog adapter to your computer and also your VCR or camera. Many adapters come with software that walks you through the whole transfer process, including importing the resulting footage right into a an ext comprehensive video editor or burning it right to DVD. Describe the environment disc, indict manual, or manufacturer’s website for more information on installing the software and also downloading the important drivers.

As with the ahead method, we suggest providing your tape and also VCR a look over to make sure each is clean. Particles on the ice can reason blemishes in the video during the transfer, if dirty heads can ruin the whole project.

Now because that the main event. Insert the tape into your VCR, and a blank DVD or Blu-ray right into your computer system (or external player/burner). The precise steps for conversion vary depending on which machine and what software program you’re making use of for video capture. Recording and also digitizing will happen in real-time, meaning you’ll need to painstakingly sit with the whole length of footage (or go do something else because that a while) before you can complete up the project. Once it’s done, however, the materials will be forever preserved in digital format.


At this point, if every you want was the digital file, you done; you have the right to edit, move, and also name the document as friend want. If you’re planning on burning the paper to a DVD or Blu-ray disc, that course, you’ve got one more step come go. Most conversion software program will have an option for burn a DVD or Blu-ray upon completion of transporting the footage.

If not, find the resulting file on your computer and also open the in iMovie, windows Movie Maker, VLC, or a comparable program that deserve to burn your footage to DVD. (You can likewise use these programs to modify the length of her videos.) The burning process will vary depending on what software you choose, therefore consult indict for additional clarification.

You have the different option of use a straight digital switch tool, which copies the VHS contents onto a microSD card that you can then insert right into any maker for viewing. Be aware, though — you could need extra cables and a bigger SD card (try 64GB).

VHS to Blu-ray

To convert old VHS come Blu-ray using a PC, you’ll require a computer with a Blu-ray writable drive and also the appropriate third-party software. You’ll require an exterior drive if your computer doesn’t have actually one built-in. As much as software application goes, we recommend the budget-friendly (free), albeit outdated, routine ImgBurn for home windows users. If you want to pay for a better, more modern alternative, we recommend one of two people Opencloner or BurnAware. Leawo Blu-ray Creator is the best and also most user-friendly option for Macs.

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We would recommend limiting VHS or various other tape conversions come movies v sentimental value since it’s complex and won’t enhance graphic quality. Converting VHS to Blu-ray will certainly not affect picture quality, so the viewing experience is tho going to be relatively poor. Note that Blu-ray players and writers generally work for DVDs, too, therefore you usually don’t need separate hardware because that that.