How To Transfer VHS to Digital Video

Transferring a VHS video to digital video is a great way to save and preserve your videos. There are many machines that help to transfer this form of media. With so much video format being released in digital form, soon VHS will be obsolete and it will be very difficult to transfer old VHS. VHS is also much easier to damage than digital and tapes also degrade over time which is not a concern of digital video. There are several different methods that can be used for this conversion.

Step 1 - Camcorder

A camcorder can be used as an intermediate to convert VHS to DVD. The video camera will be connected to the VCR through a composite video cable. Press the few buttons that are needed to take the VHS tape that is in the VCR and record it into the camcorder. Once the VHS is in the camcorder then it can be transferred directly to the computer and then saved on the hard drive or burned to DVD.

Step 2 - Combination Unit

There are combination VHS and DVD units that can be used to transfer the VHS to digital format. This is a very easy way to do this transfer. Before you purchase one ensure that there is a recording option between the two. Insert a blank DVD-R into the DVD player unit and then the VHS into the VHS portion. To transfer the video, it is normally necessary to play the VHS and as it is playing it is recorded onto DVD. When doing this, it is not possible to make any alterations to the video. It is copied as it is found on the VHS.

Step 3 - Computer

Many times with the help of an analog to digital converter, it is possible to connect the VCR to the computer and then import the VHS data. The computer will need to have a DVD burner as well as the proper burning software. There are many different analog converters and the better the quality the better quality video output. Doing some research about the best type of converter for your needs is the best way to endure good video transfer.

Step 4 - Conversion Service

There are many companies that offer conversion services if you do not want to deal with transferring over to digital video yourself. There are many different services and some will even convert over copy protected videos. However this can be an expensive option depending on the number of VHS tapes that need to be converter. Generally it will cost between $10 to $30 to covert one VHS tape to a DVD.

Step 5 - External Burner

There are external DVD burners that can be used just for this transfer purpose. This is a great option if there are many tapes to transfer as an external burner costs about $150. The burner hooks directly into the VCR and will quickly and easily burn the VHS to DVD. It is possible to burn as many DVDs as possible.


When converting the VHS to digital video make sure all the tape heads are clean. Putting the digital format of the VHS through some editing software can be a good idea as any flaws on the VHS will be magnified on DVD. Editing can take care of any errors.