The beautiful thing about memories is that you can preserve them in videos and pictures. From precious graduation moments to births and memorable times with family, photos and videos make it easy to save what should never be forgotten. However, many storage mediums have a life span and do not last forever. That is why you need to find an efficient way of preserving your media files.
When it comes to old photographs, it is easy to digitize them to keep them safe for the future. You can simply scan them and store them on your computer, hard drive, or thumb drive, or you can upload them to the cloud.
However, when videos are involved, it is a different story altogether. It is much more challenging to convert old footage into a digital format, especially when it’s on an old VHS (Video Home System) tape.
The VHS was not made to last forever, and it degrades over time. This is why you have to salvage what is on your VHS tapes as soon as possible, especially if they are holding your precious moments. However, we understand that you need to learn how to copy content from old VHS tapes before you can do this. There are several methods you can employ:
- Converting to DVD
- Copying to Blu-Ray Disc
- Converting to a digital file
It’s important to remember that although there are several ways to transfer VHS content to DVD and other formats, converting well-worn videos isn’t a perfect process. In the end, you have to accept that little unplanned hiccups can happen, which can interrupt the transfer signal. However, you will be glad to know that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your videos converted to a digital or modernized format. With a modest budget and some basic tools, you can get started.
This guide will show you how to convert VHS family videos to DVD, allowing you to save your favorite moments in multiple digital formats. In case you do not want to go through the stress of carrying out the conversion process yourself, we’ve compiled a list of several VHS conversion services and mentioned their pricing plans. They will help you preserve that 25-year-old video of you graduating as the best student in your class. Even if you do not want to do it for yourself, you should digitize your home videos for posterity’s sake.
How to Convert VHS Tapes to DVD
There are several methods of converting VHS home movies to DVD. However, before copying commercial movies, ensure it is legal in your location.
Let us discuss some of the best ways to digitize your VHS tapes.
1. Use VHS-to-DVD retail conversion services
In case you’re not into the DIY (Do It Yourself) mantra, there are several big-name retail corporations that you can contact to convert your VHS to DVD. Some of them even offer VHS-to-digital conversion services. Stores such as Walmart, Costo, and Sam’s Club are among the top companies you can take your videos to.
However, if you decide that you want to perform the conversion process yourself, you can head over to the YesVideo website. This company offers conversion services at a starting price of $26 per tape for the first two hours. After that, you will be required to pay another $26 for every additional two hours that you wish to convert. Walmart and other well-known conversion services use this tool. This means that you can use it for your VHS digitization. This way, you can save some money by doing it yourself.
Keep in mind that Costo, Sam’s Club, and Walmart may charge you less depending on what you want to convert. Therefore, we recommend that you compare prices before making a decision. In recent years, prices have been on an upward trend. Therefore, if you have been putting off getting your tapes converted, you might want to get it done as soon as possible.
Besides converting to DVD, there are many other transfer formats available, such as VHS to Betamax. In addition, most services allow you to copy up to two tapes to a single DVD before they charge you extra. An alternative route (if you are comfortable with shipping your VHS tapes yourself) is to search for more affordable pricing for the same services.
An example is Legacy Box. You can mail your VHS tapes to them, and they will convert the videos into downloadable digital files. If you prefer, they can send them back to you on a thumb drive alongside the original tapes. The pricing plan starts at $59 and covers the conversion of two videotapes.
2. Use a VCR/DVD combo or separate VCR and DVD burners
If you have a massive collection of videos to convert, then you might want to do it yourself to save some dollars. One of the best ways to do this is by getting a combo machine that has a VCR and a DVD recorder in a single unit. While such devices may be hard to get today, you can try searching for them on eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon. Into the search box, input the term “VHS DVD recorder” or “combo deck.” They cost anywhere from $100 and above and can take a while to ship. Therefore, you should only use this method if you have a large tape collection; otherwise, it might not be worth it.
Alternatively, you can buy the materials you need piece by piece. If you already have a VCR machine, all you need to do is get a separate DVD recorder. You can also decide to buy separate VCR and DVD recorders (if you don’t already have any of them). This is because it might be easier to purchase them individually instead of looking for a combo machine. Searching to find a combo unit might take a longer time.
Note: Apply caution when making purchases from Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon. Check to confirm that the seller you are buying from has a high review score before paying.
Once you have secured the necessary equipment, connect the VCR unit to the DVD recorder using an RCA audio/video cable. Plug one end into the VCR recorder’s RCA output port and the other end into the DVD player’s RCA input port. Depending on your model, you might need to get an RCA-to-HDMI converter to connect the recorders.
Don’t worry. It is not as complicated as it sounds; you can get these cables and converters on Amazon and eBay. The connection method described above is similar to what you would do when linking an old video camera that uses tapes to your DVD player. All you need to do is connect the DVD recorder’s RCA cable to the camera’s output. Where necessary, you can also use the RCA-to-HDMI converter we mentioned earlier. However, if you have a combo player, this process will be much faster, with no need for cables or converters.
Now it is time to begin the transfer process. Slot the tape you want to convert into the VCR recorder and a blank DVD+RW or DVD+R disc into the DVD recorder. Some units only accept one of these DVD formats, while other models accept both. So be sure to check to confirm which one is compatible with your player. You can now begin the transfer process by pressing Play on the VCR unit and Record on the DVD player.
Depending on the manufacturer, the procedure for executing the transfer might vary. Be sure to go through the instructions. If your component doesn’t come with any manuals, you could perform a Google search. It is possible to get them online. Popular DVD recorders include Toshiba DR430 DVD Recorder and Magnavox MDR865H HD DVR/DVD Recorder (with Digital Tuner).
If you are using a combo model, the same technique applies. Slot in the tape and disc, and start transferring. It is as simple as that. The popular combo units you can purchase include Magnavox MWD2205 DVD / VCR / CD / VHS Player, Sony SLVD360P DVD/VCR Combo, and Emerson EWD2203 DVD Player/VCR Video Cassette Tape Recorder Combo.
Note: It is always recommended that you clean your equipment and tapes before commencing the transfer process. This ensures that the new copy comes out in good quality. There are several cleaning methods. However, the simplest and most effective way is to open the cassette casing and clean/blow out any visible dust or dirt. You can use a cotton swab or soft cloth. Be sure to do this carefully.
You should also clean the VCR recorder’s heads. You can use a VHS head cleaner for this. It is possible to purchase one from an online store like Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist.
How to Transfer Content from a VHS Tape to DVD, Blu-ray Disc, or a Digital File on Windows and macOS
This process needs more of your involvement and requires some additional accessories. However, it has its many benefits as well. For example, it allows you to copy videos from your VHS tape to a digital file on your computer. This makes it possible to save your precious home videos to a hard drive or even to the cloud instead of converting them into a physical format. Using the latter option, you can later save them to any medium you like, such as Blu-ray or DVD.
If you already have a VCR recorder, all you need to do is buy a digital-to-analog converter (if you don’t already have one). While there are lots of converters out there, one of the most popular models is the UCEC USB 2.0 Video Audio Capture Card. It was made specifically for transferring from VHS tapes.
There are several ways that you can digitize your videos. Let us look at some of them.
When you have gotten the equipment described above, you should connect the digital-to-analog adapter from your VCR recorder or camera to your computer. Before you do that, we recommend that you go through the adapter’s manual. Most adapters come with a guide explaining how to set up things and download the necessary drivers. It will guide you on how to commence the transfer process. It will also describe how you can import converted footage into a video editor or even burn it straight to DVD. If your adapter does not come with a manual, you can check the manufacturer’s website for more information.
As we have already pointed out, ensure that your tape and VCR head are clean. Dirt and dust particles on a tape can cause blemishes on the transferred video, and a dirty VCR head can render the converted file unwatchable.
To begin the conversion process, insert the VHS tape into your VCR unit and put a blank Blu-ray or DVD into your computer’s external player or burner. The exact steps for the transfer process will vary depending on the software and device model you are using.
Keep in mind that the recording and digitization processes happen in real time. This means that the entire video will play from beginning to end. Well, you don’t really have to sit around waiting; you can go do something else while the transfer and conversion are ongoing. Even though this sounds lengthy, it is worth the wait since your valued content will now be in a digital format forever once the process is complete.
At this point, you already have your content in a digital format. You can now do whatever you like with it. You can edit, move, and rename the file as you please. However, if you are looking to burn the video to Blu-ray or DVD, then you still have an extra step to take.
Most conversion software gives you the option to burn to DVD or Blu-ray once the footage transfer is complete. If you don’t get this option, then you have to locate the newly copied file on your computer. Open it in Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, depending on your device.
Note: You can also use these programs to edit your videos and make changes to their length. Keep in mind that the burning process will depend on the software that you use. Therefore, be sure to go through the instructions before you begin.
Another method is to use a direct digital conversion tool. This makes it easy to copy from a VHS tape directly onto a micro SD card. However, to use this solution, you might need extra cables and a large-capacity SD card (try getting a 64GB card).
3. Transferring from VHS to Blu-ray
To transfer your videos from VHS to Blu-ray using your PC, you need a computer that has a Blu-ray writable drive and compatible third-party software. If your device does not have one built-in, then you need to get an external drive. When it comes to software, you can use third-party tools such as ImgBurn (for Windows users) and Leawo Blu-ray Creator (for Mac users). You can also pay for other programs like BurnAware and Opencloner. They’re all easy-to-use tools.
It’s usually best to convert from VHS to Blu-ray when you want to transfer something that holds personal value to you, such as family videos. Keep in mind that copying a video to Blu-ray media will not magically improve the quality of the video, and neither will it make it clearer. This means that the viewing experience will still be poor, just as when you were playing it on a VCR.
Note: You can use Blu-ray players and writers to transfer to DVD as well. In essence, you do not need to get separate hardware when you want to convert a video.
How to Send Large Files and Folders Online
It is awesome to know that you can convert your old videos to more modern formats. However, when it comes to sending these files to a loved one, it can be challenging. If you decide to ship them, you will have to spend a lot of money. You will also have to endure days or even weeks of waiting before the recipient gets them. It will help if you have a tool that allows you to send large files at high speeds. Knowing that the person you are sending your videos to will receive them safe and undamaged in the shortest possible time is a great feeling. Such a tool is also the ideal backup solution, as you can have a loved one preserve your cherished memories on their device.
While there are many platforms for sending and receiving large files, most of them have a lot of limitations. Speed is a huge factor. When using some of these tools, you might find yourself waiting a whole day to send a few gigabytes. Besides, they require that you pay a subscription fee before you can use them. This is a problem if you are someone who does not send large files regularly. Another limitation of these file transfer solutions is that they place a restriction on the data size that you can transfer at one go. What if you have huge videos to send? You will then be forced to compress them or alter your video format, which will reduce the quality of your footage even further.
Then there is the issue of security. Most video transfer tools do not offer much security. This means that an unauthorized third party can access your precious memories without your permission.
FileWhopper is the tool you need.It is cloud-based software that allows you to send files and folders of any size to anyone, anywhere in the world at amazingly high speeds as long as you and your recipient have a working internet connection. It supports simultaneous uploads and downloads, which allows the recipient to start downloading your data while you are still uploading it. This saves time, energy, and money.
Another reason why FileWhopper is so popular among users is because of its lack of limitations. That’s right! This platform allows you to send files and folders of literally ANY size, with absolutely no restrictions or data capping. You also don’t need to subscribe before using the tool. You are only required to make a one-time payment for the video size that you want to transfer. This means that you don’t need to worry about your money going to waste when you don’t have anything to send. Simply choose the footage you want to transfer, and the tool will show you the price: there are no extra charges or complicated subscriptions.
FileWhopper is built around security. Its military-grade encryption capabilities ensure that hackers cannot intercept or access your precious videos without your permission. It also gives you a password that you should share with the recipient to ensure a third party does not gain unauthorized access to your content.
This file transfer tool ensures that the quality of your videos stays intact: you can send any file format without compressing it, thereby ensuring that the original quality of your footage is preserved.
When it comes to backing up and sharing your old videos after digitizing them, FileWhopper remains one of the most popular and convenient choices.
The methods described in this guide are the most common solutions for converting your VHS tapes to DVD. However, you don’t have to stop there. You can digitize your videos and save them to the cloud for better safekeeping. You can also burn them to Blu-ray Disc or keep them on your computer.
Whichever method you choose, nothing is as satisfying as sharing precious moments with loved ones. FileWhopper will help you with this. Use this cloud-based tool to send your footage – at an affordable price – to those people who are important to you. Much like every other tool described in this article, it is easy to understand and use.
If you have any questions or something to share, feel free to use the comment section below.