For most people, it was the Video CD (VCD) that spelled the slow death of VCR players and their erstwhile companions--the VHS tapes. And then came the DVD players, and now the Blu-ray players, which practically released the guillotine down the VHS tape's neck. Thus, the VCR-VHS is as good as gone. Yet, some of your favorite movies may still be on VHS tapes and are still in that format. If they were rare films produced by companies that have long folded up, chances are that you may no longer find VCD, DVD, or Blu-ray formats of those films. Or, if you have many personal recordings--family gatherings, special occasions, special events--that you recorded long ago on a VHS tape, you may no longer be able to view them. There is a way to transfer those recordings to the more recent formats such as VCD or DVD. The way is to convert the recordings from analog to digital format. This article will describe the process of converting VHS recordings to DVD format.
- Use a professional service. The headache-free way of converting your VHS recordings to other digital formats such as VCD or DVD is to have them converted by a professional service company offering digital conversions. There are several of them around. Most video coverage companies often also offer that kind of service. You might want to check in your neighbourhood for such services. This option, however, may be all right if you only have one or two VHS tapes that need to be converted. But, if you have tons of them, read on for other options.
- Another option is to use a VHS/DVD combo recorder. This is an appliance that, among other things, is specifically designed for converting VHS recordings to DVD format and then burning the recording to a blank DVD. If you intend to convert your tapes in bulk, this may be a less expensive option than the professional service.
- A third way to convert your VHS to DVD is to do it yourself. For this you will need two essential pieces of hardware. The first one is a VHS player. The second one is a converter card that converts analog signals to digital signals. In many cases, most TV tuner cards or video capture cards have this capability. They don't cost a fortune either. All you need to do is to attach the VHS player to the TV tuner card or video capture via RCA cables. Then, use the video capture card's accompanying software to capture the video and save it as an MPEG file.
- Look for conversion software. Some video card interface software programs will also have a built-in capability to convert the captured video to DVD forbmat or any other format that it recognizes, such as AVI and WMV. If your video card software doesn't have such capability, you will need to look for conversion software online. There are many of such programs that you can use for free.
Once you have captured the video and converted it to digital format, you can now burn your file onto a blank DVD and in DVD format. Again, there are lots of free software titles that you can use for this. There are also very good commercial softwares that can perform this task. A good example is Nero, which can also burn other format files to disks.