How To Convert VHS Tapes to DVDs

Video formats are always being upgraded to more portable, smaller formats. It happened to laser discs, VHS and to VCD. These days, the standard video format is DVD, which can store a lot of information from audio to video. This means that information stored in DVD format is sounds much better and has a clearer resolution.

Everyone has a collection of home videos at home. Most of it stored in VHS tapes and stacked in shelves taller than a man in the family room. Converting these precious memories to smaller, easier to store DVDs is quite easy as long as you have the appropriate programs on your computer.

You’ll need the following:

A video recording unit.  (Either your old video camera or a VHS machine)
AV cables

  • Make sure the VHS tapes are clean! Improper storage of VHS tapes can cause mold to appear in the tape inside. You need to clean these out as any dirt in the tape can damage the camera or the VHS player. It will also produce dirty, grainy images that the computer will pick up on. Be sure that you clean out the VHS player’s head as well. The head reads the information stored in the tape and transmits the images it contains to the TV or, in this case, the computer.
  • Double-check the settings on your camera. Make sure that the camera’s analog video is of the highest quality possible. The flaws in the original video could be magnified so much in the process of encoding it and converting it to DVD.
  • Connect the video unit to the computer. Take the AV cables and connect the camera or the VHS machine to the computer. Basically what you’re doing is making a link between the two.
  • Capture the information in the VHS to the computer. Computers these days already have video-capturing software bundled with them. Mac computers have iMovie while PC has Windows Movie Maker. Simply turn on these programs and go to the “Import” menu to convert the VHS movie into a file readable by computer programs.
  • Save into a DVD readable file format. After importing the information from the VHS, simply save it into a file format like .avi, .mp4, or .wmv. Basically what you’re doing is converting a video file into a computer file that can be played in digital video players.
  • Burn to DVD. Now that you’ve gotten the information into a readable file format, the next thing to do is to burn it to DVD. Most computers have DVD burning software like Toast Titanium. Just use whatever burn software you have handy in your computer.

Most DVDs contain at least 4 gigs of storage space. If you’re modest with the file formats you save your VHS files at, you should be able to store quite a number of memories in a few DVDs and store them more efficiently.

Memories are always best if you can relive them with your loved ones. Your recollection of these precious memories should not be hindered by rapidly progressing technology and file formats.


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