VCRs have gone the way of the dodo. Yet, many people have a stash of VHS tapes. Transferring these VHS tapes to DVD used to mean purchasing a DVD recorder (or DVD-R). These machines can be effective, but it will take a good amount of time to transfer an entire VHS tape. Another, faster, way of successfully switching your VHS tapes to DVD is with conversion software.
VHS to DVD conversion software will cost you anywhere from $30 to $80+ (at the time of this writing). User-friendly and efficient, most of this software is well worth the expense. You will, however, need a computer that can be used to record DVDs.
Preparing VHS to DVD Software
In order to record VHS content onto DVD, you’ll need a VHS video camera or VCR, and a reliable computer. Once you have gathered these things, simply connect your VCR or VHS video camera to your computer using your computer’s USB port. Once this has been connected, you’ll be ready to roll.
Depending on the software that you choose, setting up your VHS to DVD conversion software will only take a few moments. Most software of this sort comes with a software wizard, which will make your life a lot easier. Simply follow wizard instructions in order to set up your software according to your specific needs.
DVD Burner Types
Simply put, in order to burn a DVD, you will need a DVD burner. Now comes the tricky part. There are two types of DVD burners available. Most conversion software isn’t picky when it comes to what kind of DVD burner you’ll need (check the back of the software package).
However, you will need to use a DVD-R (not a DVD+R) player and disc if you want to watch your new DVD on most DVD players. Some lower end DVD players will allow you to play DVD-R discs, but any brand name player (Sony, Panasonic…) will only work with a DVD-R disc.
Since VHS tapes are analog tapes, you’ll need some sort of conversion tool or card. For the sake of this article, let’s say that you don’t want to install an internal card. Thus, the best option is an external capture device.
These devices can be purchased from most electronic stores, and they look like small boxes.
When placed between your computer and VHS recorder, a capture device will capture and convert the analog signal. The result is a signal that your modern computer can understand. You can purchase an external capture device for around $30 (at the time of this writing).
Since your computer will do all the transferring, it’s important to note whether or not your system is up to the task. A computer that has a minimum of 512MB of RAM and a 2.8GHZ CPU is ideal. You will also need at least 40GB of disc space.
Since transferring a VHS tape to DVD takes a lot of system power, you won’t be able to use your system for anything else while transferring data. Therefore, it’s best to run a transfer when you are not using your computer for any other task. Price-wise, you can purchase inexpensive VHS to DVD software for around $30. If you don’t plan on adding any extra frames, music, or anything else to a DVD, lower end software will get the job done.