Do you have a box full of old family tapes collecting dust in the attic? Do you still have a VCR? Does it work? Is it compatible with your SmartTV?
Technology moves fast, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose all those precious memories. Thankfully, it’s possible to convert VHS to DVD so you can relive those special moments for years to come.
If you’re ready to dust those tapes off and give them a new digital life, read on for a detailed VHS to DVD conversion guide.
Why Do a VHS to DVD Conversion?
That pile of VHS tapes from past family vacations, school plays, and your kids’ soccer games won’t last forever. The longer they sit around, the more they deteriorate.
Even if you keep them in a safe, climate-controlled place, they have an expiration date. Research suggests that VHS tapes only have a shelf-life of about 15 to 20 years. That means even tapes from the early 2000s are at risk.
Meanwhile, a DVD can last several decades if stored properly. It’s also easy to take the videos from a DVD and save them on a computer or in the cloud. This way you can quickly and easily share old videos with family and friends.
That’s not to mention the fact that they don’t even make VCRs anymore. (Funai Electric was the last company manufacturing them and they ceased production in 2016.)
Even if you still have a VCR, it likely won’t last much longer. With no one making them anymore, it’s getting harder and harder to find someone to do repairs. They are the 8-track of video at this point.
There are plenty of reasons to convert a VHS to DVD. Not only will you preserve those important memories, but you’ll also be able to enjoy them at a higher resolution.
When you transfer your VHS tapes to a digital format, the quality is far superior. It’s also easier to store DVDs than those clunky old tapes. Imagine what you’ll do with all that extra space in the closet or attic!
Everything is digital these days and the best way of holding on to your cherished memories is by digitizing them. Let’s take a closer look at how this is done and what your options are.
VHS to DVD Conversion Explained
The process of converting your old tapes to a digital format may seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s quite easy to do a conversion of old tapes to DVD. You just need the proper equipment and a bit of patience.
First of all, you’ll want to confirm what type of tapes you have. They might be VHS tapes, but they also might be something like Hi-8 or Mini-DV.
Next, you need a device that can still play those tapes. It might be a VCR (if you still have one that works), but it could also be a camcorder.
Finally, there’s the essential video converter. This is what you hook up to a computer’s USB port to digitize those old tapes.
One thing about doing a VHS to DVD conversion is that it takes time. You need to play the tapes in real-time to digitize them. That means the hour-long piano recital will take an hour to convert.
VHS to DVD Conversion Tips
There are a few ways to go about things if you want to convert a VHS to DVD. It all depends on how much money, time, and effort you want to spend on it.
The DIY Approach
Let’s start by taking a look at the DIY approach. You have a few different options for going at it alone. Of course, you’ll need to be at least a bit tech-savvy to do this.
One way to do the conversion is by using a VHS to DVD recorder. These are pretty self-explanatory and easy to use. You just pop your VHS tape in one side, a blank DVD in the other, and hit record.
You can still buy a VHS to DVD recorder, but these are costly and are in low supply these days. Unless you want to spend a ton of time and money, this isn’t exactly a great option.
It’s possible to find some decent second-hand VHS to DVD recorders out there if you poke around, but these might not last long and the playbalc quality might be poor. This isn’t your only option, though.
If you’ve already got a functioning VCR or camcorder and a computer or USB drive, you can pick up a video converter and tackle this conversion project on your own.
All you need to do is plug the video converter into your VCR or camcorder first, and then hook it up to your computer or USB drive. This is a good option for digitizing your video, but it takes a bit more work to get it on a DVD.
If your end goal is a DVD, then you’ll still need a computer with a CD/DVD drive. These are increasingly rare as many new models don’t have one.
Should your device have the right drive, you’ll have to find the proper software for burning DVDs. Once again, it can be a time-consuming process.
Hire a Professional
Last but not least, you can have someone else do all the heavy lifting. Hiring professionals to handle your video transfer for you is the easiest method.
All you need to do is send them your tapes and you’ll get a serious upgrade to those old home movies. You can get DVDs as well as digital files of your videos that you can edit and share.
But what about the cost? The good news is that unless you have an entire storage facility full of tapes, this is an affordable option.
It’s worth it to have the peace of mind that your tapes will be safely digitized. Another benefit is that professionals use professional equipment which produces transfer quality that is much superior to the consumer equipment most people have. Not only that, but you’ll save a ton of time by not having to do it yourself in real-time.
Ready to Convert Your VHS Tapes?
If you’re ready to dust off that box of VHS tapes and bring them into the modern age, Envision Video Services is here to help. We’ve been helping people just like you since 2005.
We can handle the VHS to DVD conversion for you along with professional video productions services. Contact us to get started on preserving your memories for years to come.