Most of us have VHS tapes lying around, getting dirt in some old box. The thought of wanting to get covert all the data in it to a more accessible platform must have crossed your mind. After all, why wouldn’t it? Maybe you have your childhood clips in there, your marriages, graduation, or maybe just an old movie. Who knows. Even if you weren’t planning on converting them anytime soon, you really should consider doing so. VHS tapes degrade over time, and eventually, as degrading things do, they will tend to stop working and all your videos inside gone with it.

Most people believe converting your VHS tapes to digital files is a very complicated process that takes knowledge, a lot of money, and time. Well, not really. It only seems overwhelming but is pretty straightforward. Let me tell you how to convert your VHS tapes to digital files using vhs to dvd video capture devices. So lets start digging.

2 Quick and Easy ways to convert your VHS Tapes to Digital Files

Method 1:

If you do not have many tapes that you want to convert, you can go to a local service where they convert VHS tapes to digital files. There are companies like Kodak that do that for about 30$ a tape. If you live near a Costco, Walmart, or Walgreens (or some other local store), they too can perform that service for about 25$ to 30$. Online services like YesVideo and Legacy Box can also convert your VHS tapes to digital files and send them to you via the cloud.

This method is only viable if you are extremely rich or have only a single or, at max, two tapes that you need to be converted.

Method 2:

Okay. So I am assuming that you are one of those people that would rather do things yourself and have more control over the process and, of course, save some money. This DIY method is still going to require you to spend some money, but not so much. So, before I explain to you how it is done, make sure you have the following things:

  1. VHS Player: If you have tapes, you probably have a player. If it does not work, you can probably get one online or buy it used on eBay
  2. Computer or Mac with a USB port (Minimum system requirement: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or Windows 7)
  3. USB-to-composite video converter: These will be available on online or at any local store. They range from 20$ dollars to 80$ dollars. At the end of the day, people perform the same task. The price difference is because of the software included, build quality, and reliability.
  4. A ton of time on your hands. More if you are planning on converting multiple tapes.

Okay, once everything is in place, it is time to get started. Follow the step given below:

Step 1: Download and install all the necessary drives and the software you got with the converter. It isn’t necessary to use the software you got with the convert; you can use another one as well, entirely up to you.

Step 2: Once that is complete, connect the VCR to your computer using the USB converter. The USB port goes into the PC while the rest of the composites, red, white, yellow cables, and S-Video, goes into the VCR. If your VCR supports the S-video port, definitely choose that over yellow composite jack for a better quality video.

Step 3: Once everything is hooked, it is time to get down to business. Using the software, rewind the tape to the point from where you would like to start recording. Once there, press play on the VCR player and record on the computer. The conversion process happens in real-time, so naturally, it is going to take some time. You either do something else to pass the time in the mean-time or sit there and watch the entire tape so that the tracking and audio do not mess up during the conversion process.

Step 4: Once you are done, simply export the video in an .MP4 video file, and you are good to go!. You can play those using any video player like VLC or Windows media player, for example. If you want to, make edits and organize them. That is just a bit of free advice, not a requirement, but hey, 5 minutes of extra effort will make things easy someday.

Conclusion: I provided you guys with not one but two methods as to “how to convert your VHS tapes to digital files.” One of the methods is a bit more convenient but is expensive, while the other one is much cheaper but involves time, some money, and patience; A DIY project. Whichever method you choose, it will pay off as nothing is better than preserving good memories or movies. Thank you for reading!

Terry Ts

By Terry Ts

Focusing China's mobile phone and electric vehicle market, senior automotive media reporter.