How to Transfer VHS Tapes to DVD or Other Digital Formats

Posted by Tom Reynolds on June 05, 2013


Despite the fact that VHS tapes are a thing of the past, many of us still have piles of precious homemade videos in our homes. Rather than leaving your captured memories and footage of times gone by in a pile of junk, why not transfer them to DVD or another digital format so that you can watch them again and again? Transferring VHS tapes to DVD or other digital formats requires time and patience, but it is definitely worth it to get to see your old tapes again. In this article we will explain how to digitalise your tapes for easy and convenient playback.

Transferring VHS tapes to DVD

There's no need to throw your VHS tapes away, simply convert them to DVDs!

Capturing your video footage

In order to transfer your VHS to DVD you will need to use a computer, VCR player, editing software and an analogue-to-digital converter. First of all you will need to connect up the VCR player and computer with the analogue-to-digital converter in between. Once you have created the link between the three appliances you will need to open up your video editing software on your computer and capture the VHS tape. This will transfer the footage that is on your VHS tape to a digital format on your computer. Once you have finished capturing your footage, you can edit it to make it easier to playback in the future.

Editing and adding meta data

If you want to transform your homemade footage into a professional looking DVD then you will need to add in chapter titles and menus. These will both make it easier to navigate through your footage when your disk is played on a DVD player. If you are making a printed out sleeve to go with your disk, make sure that the information on it corresponds to your video footage titles and menus.

If you are planning on storing your newly formatted digital footage on your computer then you will need to tag it with Meta data. This will make it much easier to find your video amongst the hundreds of other videos and files stored on your computer. The Meta data you add to your video footage should describe the content and give you a general idea of what the file contains. Adding in this information will enable you to browse your video collection by title, genre, rating and other sub categories. If your video editing software does not let you add Meta data then you will need to download a meta data editor.

Exporting to DVD

Once you are happy with the way you have edited your newly digitalised video footage then you will need to render and export it. You will need to make sure that you export your footage to the correct file type. In order to do this you need to decide how you will be playing back your footage, for example if you are playing it on a DVD player then it will need to be in DVD format. However if you are playing it on the computer and planning on sending it to your friends and family over the internet it will need to be compressed to another digital format.

compressed to another digital format

Although your VCR does not have much of a purpose anymore, you will need it to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD!


Transferring your VHS tapes to DVD sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Although it may take you a while to do the first one, you will soon get the hang of it. Keep in mind that it will take a while for the footage from your VHS tapes to capture. If you have a lot of VHS tapes to transfer then you may need to set aside a whole afternoon to get through them! If you really do not have the time to convert your own VHS tapes you can always pay to have a video conversion specialist do them for you.

BIO: Tom Reynolds, marketing writer at Bushey DVD, vhs to dvd service provider.

Image credits: DRs Kulturavsprojekt & HawkinsThiel

not published on website

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