Memories can last a lifetime. That is until your precious video recordings of birthdays, graduations and weddings gone by start to disintegrate. We never realised at the time but the recordings we captured on our Video Home Systems were never built to last.
Despite even the most valiant of efforts to keep VHS tapes clean and protected, the format will begin to degrade over time. Plus, there’s not many of us who still have a VHS player lying around the house to enjoy watching our home videos on. That’s where VHS to DVD and digital conversion can help.
The process can be a little tricky so we thought we would share our top 3 VHS transfer methods:
- Our professional VHS to DVD service
- Using a VHS DVD recorder
- Connecting a VHS player to a computer
The Easy Way: Professional VHS to DVD Service
Using a professional conversion service is by far the easiest way to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD or digital. It’s a great option for those who don’t have much technical experience and don’t want to risk corrupting their valuable memories with at home transfer methods.
As an added bonus, a professional transfer service often works out cheaper than some of the conversion equipment you’ll have to purchase in order to do it at home yourself. Plus, if your video tapes are broken or mouldy, a professional can splice and clean them so that your tapes are suitable for DVD conversion.
This is a service we personally offer at Transfermagic. With 20 years of experience in video conversion, we’re well versed in handling vintage media with care. You can visit us in store in Edinburgh or send us your home videos by mail from elsewhere in the UK for stress free VHS to DVD and digital conversion from as little as £10 per hour.
The At-Home Method: VHS DVD Recorder
If you’re determined to transfer your VHS tapes at home, a VHS DVD recorder combo is the easiest way to go. Much like your tapes, these recorders are a vintage media system in their own right so they can be a little tricky to find. However, if you search for “VHS DVD recorder” on eBay you should be able to find a second hand one.
Once you’ve got your hands on a recorder, the transfer process is reasonably simple. Each model is slightly different so make sure to read the instructions first. However, the general process for all models is to pop your tape into the VHS/ VCR space, put a blank DVD disc in the other slot and press record. Wait a few hours and your VHS to DVD conversion will be complete!
The Fancy Way: Connecting your VHS Player to your Computer
This is by far the most complicated way to convert your video tapes and we wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have any previous experience. However, if you can’t access our transfer services and you don’t want to shell out extra money for a VHS DVD recorder, connecting your VHS player to your computer is an option.
Firstly, you’ll need to buy a VHS to Digital adapter, otherwise known as a Video Audio Grabber. You should be able to find one pretty cheaply on Amazon. Once it arrives, make sure to read through the manual to learn how to download the transfer software.
Use the adapter to connect your VHS player to your computer and download the software via the manual’s instructions. Once the software instillation is complete, insert your tape into your VHS player (making sure both are properly clean). The next steps will vary depending on the adapter you’ve purchased. However, most should come with instructions so follow them.
Once you begin the conversion, your VHS tapes will be converted to digital format in real time. Once the process is complete, you can either store it on your computer’s hard drive, transfer it to USB or burn your file onto DVD.
Let us know if you try out any of these VHS to DVD and digital conversion methods or download our order form to get your video tapes professionally transferred today!
Photo Credit: Chris Lawton