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Converting VHS tapes to DVDs

by JBGoode / January 21, 2013 6:54 PM PST

I have several old family and bought VHS tapes that I would like to convert to DVDs. What hardware &/or software is required? I own a working VHS player recorder, a newer Windows 7 laptop & an older Windows XP desktop computer. I recently purchase a "Sabrent USB 2.o Video/Audio capture DVD Maker" device & software, but software not recognizing the usb port & input from the VHS player. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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All Answers

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Re: VHS to DVD
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 21, 2013 7:02 PM PST
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Not withstanding Kees's suggestion
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 21, 2013 8:54 PM PST

have you contacted the manufacturer of the Sabrent USB 2.0 Video/Audio Capture DVD Maker device?

I would think that this would be your first step in trying to find out why the software will not recognize the input from the VHS player.
Assuming that the VHS player is plugged in correctly and that the device manager sees all of this without errors, you should be good to go.

I found this on YouTube,, which appears to indicate that with Windows 7, there is a little more to the installation than one would be led to believe from the term Plug and Play.
More, or different, drivers are required.

Good luck


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Converting VHS to DVDs
by swindell1 / January 22, 2013 12:18 PM PST

I bought a similar devise for converting VHS tapes to DVDs but found the software they supplied didn't work properly.
I use another programme to convert to digital format which I record to my PC hdd. Golden Videos by NCH Software works perfectly for me and have burnt many discs from these conversions.

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Converting VHS tapes to DVDs
by Robin-Lee-Hamaty / January 22, 2013 5:23 PM PST

There are two ways.

one as the previous nice ppl told you.

a second is a bit tricky and goes through a computer.

first of alll you can get an old VCR. and set up your computer with a TV Tuner that has a recording software.

connect the VCR to your TV Tuner and let it play while the recorder is recording.

and then you willl have the movie on your PC.

but you willl have it as AVI or MPEG4

you can keep that on your computer or record it on a DVD.

but to make it really fuction as a DVD you need a software to convert the entire thing to DVD.

now here comes the tricky part. i have tried millions of software. and the best i found was a VSO software called ConvertXToDVD.
that is a software the converts the movie in one click and also burns it to a DVD. alll in due time of course. but it does it alll by itself.

and if you are a pro and would like to change in the default settings you can play and snoop around and see what options you have.

enjoy and have a nice day and pick the best choice alwayz....

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Converting VHS tapes to DVD the easy way
by al.capela / January 23, 2013 3:59 AM PST

There is a $200 product "Toshiba DVR620 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo with 1080p Upconversion" that is great and very simple to use. It does it all with just one HDMI cable connected to your TV and pressing one button. Don't have to bother with software, cables, etc.. You can see this product on

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converting VHS tapes to DVD the easy way
by al.capela / January 23, 2013 4:12 AM PST

The Toshiba DVR620 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo can be found at Walmart for $150.

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Would definitely use
by crwrjw / January 25, 2013 9:27 PM PST

Used this product to convert all my VHS's to DVD. Worked like a charm, but did take forever Happy Easy to use for non-tech savvy people.

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by magio1 / January 23, 2013 8:07 PM PST


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by BruceGil / January 23, 2013 10:02 PM PST

At the recommendation of a C/Net blogger, I bought the Elgato Video Capture device (about $80 at a well-known web sales site). After installing the software that came with the device, I plugged the device's video connections into the outputs from my VCR (and later from my 8mm camcorder) and the USB connection into my PC (I have a new laptop with a 750 GB HD, so it was just right for this project).

I started the program, started the video tape playing in the VCR and clicked the Record button in the program. The video was captured to the hard drive in real time. When the tape ended, I stopped the recorder, gave the file a name, and started over with another tape. Most of my tapes are 2 hours long, so I would start recording and do something else for a couple of hours.

I have not yet burned the video files to DVDs, but I do have all the videos (about 40 hours) backed up on an external hard drive. Producing video DVDs should not be a problem. Programs such as Roxio are reported to be good for burning DVDs.

One of the VHS tapes was about 27 years old and dated back to my daughter's first weeks of life. Others were more than 20 years old and contained events of her early years. I knew I didn't have much time to capture the video from the VHS tapes.

If you have a reasonably current PC and the necessary hard drive space, I believe this is the best way to go, especially if you make a back up to another hard drive along with the DVDs. The files on the hard drive can be edited if you want to select sections of the video to compile into another video.

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PS: Which PC Did You Use?
by BruceGil / January 23, 2013 10:19 PM PST

Did you try run the video capture software on your newer laptop or your older XP PC? Have you tried both? Have you checked to see if the vendor has a software update? I had a similar problem with an audio capture program several years ago. The software would not run on anything later than XP. Ironically, the hardware converter part works fine with newer audio capture programs such as Audicity.

Check to see if other software, such as Roxio, might see and capture the video feed from your VCR. The hardware is simply an analog-to-digial converter.

If none of this works, consider the Elgato device I mentioned in my first response. I had it configured and running in a matter of minutes. For me, the lack of setup hassle and saving many hours of 20+ year-old videos was more than worth the cost.

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Standalone unit, definitely
by 3rdalbum / January 29, 2013 8:49 PM PST

I used to have an Avertech USB video capture device. It wasn't cheap - about $200. The video quality left something to be desired, and eventually the audio inputs stopped working very well. Also, there was a lot of hassle to take the footage captured, edit it and transcode it to DVD format and then burn it.

I eventually gave it up and bought a standalone DVD recorder, the sort you plug into your TV. This one actually contained its own VCR. The video quality was indistinguishable from the source material even when recording from cable TV. There was also almost no delay between "record the footage" and "hold the finished DVD in your hand". No hard disk space worries. If I wanted the footage on the computer I could rip the DVD.

I definitely recommend buying a standalone DVD recorder with a VCR built-in. They last years, are easy to use, quick and simple and give good quality. You might pay another $100 for a brand-name machine but it's worth it. My first was an LG and, surprisingly, it was good - although LG has gone downhill since then. Samsung's are okay but the Panasonic ones are meant to be excellent.

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