It’s Christmas morning, and you eagerly watch as your mom unwraps her present. As the pickiest person you know, you’ve been stuck in gift-purgatory with her for years.
But, this year, you know you’ve solidified your position as the favorite child. You’ve converted all of your home movies from VHS tapes to DVD and USB, ensuring a lifetime of memories.
Now, let me introduce you to an alternate reality.
Your home movies have been collecting dust in the attic for years now. You’ve practically forgotten that they existed until your mom suggests that you watch them as a family.
When you trudge through the attic to get them, you find them soaking wet and covered in mold– victims of water damage and poor upkeep.
Now, it’s your job to go downstairs and tell your mom that the only copies of your family’s most cherished memories are gone forever.
Trust me, putting off converting VHS tapes to DVD or digital is tempting the universe to send dust-mites your way. Read on to learn about your options to convert VHS to digital and what the best VHS to digital service options are for your needs.
1. DVD Or Digital?
The first thing to note when embarking on a VHS conversion journey is that you have multiple export options available to you. Do you want to convert your VHS tapes to a DVD format? Or would you like them digitized and uploaded to your computer or the cloud?
Some pros and cons come with each option. To begin, the entire reason for converting VHS tapes in the first place is because VHS technology has become more or less obsolete.
There’s reason to suspect that within a few years, DVDs will go the same route. Then, you’d have to go through this entire process again! Therefore, DVDs may be more secure than VHS right now, but you still run the risk of having the DVDs damaged, lost, or become obsolete.
If longevity is your concern, converting to a digital format and uploading your videos to your computer or a cloud service would be the better option.
However, if you plan to convert VHS tapes as a gift to someone, DVDs or flash sticks are a more traditional gift because you can wrap them and give them away. It doesn’t quite pack as much of a punch to give someone a non-tangible gift…
No matter your preference, many VHS conversion services will provide both options for you. You’ll get the best of both worlds!
2. Digitize At Home
The first option that you may want to pursue is to digitize VHS tapes at home. If you’re technologically savvy or simply are up for a challenge, this may be the option for you.
While you may need to purchase some equipment, this could potentially be cheaper than paying a service to transfer your tapes for you. Plus, once you own the equipment, you can convert as many tapes as you’d like!
One way to digitize your tapes at home is to buy a DVD recorder for a few hundred dollars. You’d just connect your camcorder to the DVD recorder and run the tapes. Then, your tapes would be available on DVD.
Another option is to use an analog-to-digital converter, which may be a more expensive option. This would place your tapes onto your computer, which you could use to edit the videos or burn them onto DVD.
3. Video Transfer Service
If you want to avoid the hassle of doing it yourself and leave it to the experts, using a video transfer service would be the way to go!
Several businesses specialize in converting VHS tapes to digital or DVD formats. To use these services, you would simply place an order on their website, label, mail in your tapes, and then wait for your order.
Services may charge by the number of tapes, hours of footage, or simply a flat rate. Some services may also charge extra to mail back your VHS tapes.
If this is the route you want to take, make sure to compare prices. Some companies advertize a low price but have hidden fees that quickly add up.
Most importantly, make sure to go with a reputable company with lots of positive reviews. When dealing with family memories, the professional company you choose should make you feel at ease and taken care of.
Your final product could be DVDs, your videos on a flash drive, or digital files that can be downloaded straight to your computer or stored in the cloud.
4. Precautions to Take
When pursuing a VHS to DVD transfer, you may have some apprehension. What if your tapes get lost in the mail? What if the video transfer service damages your tapes?
While these concerns are valid, it’s worth remembering that professional digitization services are well-versed in this process and will take all of the precautions needed.
Some steps you may take are to label each tape with your name and address and get a tracking number for your package.
This will help alleviate your worries!
Don’t Wait to Convert VHS to Digital
If you want to digitize home movies, don’t put it off. You don’t want to regret not digitizing your VHS tapes when you had the chance.
Once those videos are gone, they’re gone, and it’ll be near impossible to get them back.
By converting your VHS tapes to a more secure and permanent format, you’re preserving your memories for years to come. Imagine showing your grandchildren videos of when you were their age.
Whether your old tapes are VHS, HI8, Betamax, or anything in between, check out our options to convert VHS to digital and reclaim your memories. Trust me; you’ll want proof of that 80s mullet.