HolidayBuyer's Guide

Audio & Video Software forum

General discussion

What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 8, 2010 2:36 AM PST

What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs?

This question comes from three CNET members who
coincidentally e-mailed me all within the same week, so let's
find a solution for them. I'm sure many others who have a
collection of VHS tapes are also looking to move them to a
digital format.

I need to know how to convert my VHS tapes and my VHS-C tapes
to a DVD. I have quite a few tapes that I made of the CHRRs
and others that I'm afraid will become unplayable. Can you
help me? Thanks.

--Submitted by John S.

Is there a method to make DVDs out of my invaluable VCR
tapes? Thanks so much.

--Submitted by Gloria E.

What is the best and least expensive way to convert my home
video on VHS tapes to DVD without having to record to a
digital camcorder first?

--Submitted by Alan A.

Here are some member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question within the discussion thread.

Re: What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs? --Submitted by mtrehan

VHS to DVD program(s) --Submitted by Mark R. Jones

Converting VHS tapes to DVD --Submitted by casey721

Converting VHS to DVD --Submitted by kwilsonjr

Re: What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs? --Submitted by DLGA

Video tape to digital format --Submitted by comp_dok

Thanks to all who contributed!

If you have any additional solution or advice for these members please click on the reply link below and submit your answer. Please be detail as possible when posting your solution and if you have references to how-tos, please include the link to them. Thank you!
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: What is a simple way to convert old VHS tapes to DVDs?
by mtrehan / January 8, 2010 8:40 AM PST
Collapse -
by Darkside459 / January 15, 2010 8:46 AM PST

There hardware out there that have VHS and DVD recorder combo for around $100 USD. But the way I do it is, I have a TV Tuner card. I hook up the VCR to my TV Tuner card on my computer and use Microsoft Moviemaker that comes with all version of Window and use it to record your VHS to DVD. Moviemaker let you have the option of customize your video. You can add music to it, cut and delete sence, etc..

Collapse -
Need Help
by LordVaderr / January 15, 2010 9:42 AM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD


I have Vhs tapes
which I have recorded on Extended play

will it record all the 8hrs of Video on my PC ?
cos i do have a Tuner on my Laptop

or can only be done with normal recorded tapes Sad


Collapse -
by o.khater / January 15, 2010 8:02 PM PST
In reply to: Need Help

Yes you can record directly LP to yout TV Tunner by connecting AV Caple FROM VCR to TV tunner.No need to change LP to SP.Ayhow LP quality is bad,no way to improve it.

Collapse -
check out roxio
by sensibility / January 18, 2010 12:12 PM PST
In reply to: Need Help

i have been playing with this myself and wondering just how will those old tapes come out? will they be fuzzy to no end will they cause the dvd to have major over-run?? whats this gonna cost me in NEW hardware. ?? it seems that roxio has a neat little trick kit for less $100 around 59.99 at the big box store and a local office supply chain. how well it works i dont yet havent tried it but it DOES have all the hardware and software required to this via a simple usb plug in..

Collapse -
Movie Maker
by mail1 / January 15, 2010 11:30 AM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD

Yes, that's the way I would do it. Not complicated.

Collapse -
Need your help on TV tuner.
by jaldanesh / January 16, 2010 8:55 AM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD

I want to copy VCR Tape to DVD and can you tell which TV tuner I should buy so I can connect VCR and Cable to my pc. Thanks very much
I saw USB Tv tuner "Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q TV Tuner Stick" is this good one or I need other kind please help.
Thanks very much in advance.

Collapse -
To Darkside459
by jaldanesh / January 16, 2010 9:03 AM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD

Please can you tell me what kind TV tuner I should purchase so I can connect my VCR and cable and PC is this one which I find ok or no. Thanks very much.
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q TV Tuner Stick/Personal Video

Collapse -
transfering tapes
by lstcavvet / November 13, 2011 11:09 PM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD
Good for you. But the most simplest way is to have the vhs/dvd recorder. Think about it, if you transfer to your computer, then you have to burn it to a dvd anyway ! With the way I mentioned, you cut out one of the steps you use
Collapse -
direct to DVD vs uploading video to computer first
by Rivergull / December 2, 2012 10:04 AM PST
In reply to: transfering tapes

Isn't it better to transfer each VHS into your PC or iMac first (saving it to a large external hard drive) prior to making a DVD? That way, each time you save that video to a DVD, it will be a 'direct to DVD' version (non-degraded); whereas if you transfer from VHS direct to DVD and then want additional ones to give as gifts or whatever, you will need to make your copies from the DVD, and that means degradation of quality... correct?

Collapse -
Easy way to record VHS to DVD
by wheelnut53 / January 15, 2010 12:16 PM PST

you got me to searching and this is what I found at Wal-Mart. seems simple to operate $147.00 WOW

Magnavox DVD Recorder & 4-Head Hi-Fi VCR with Line-In Recording, ZV427MG9

Collapse -
by shrty200856 / January 15, 2010 8:14 PM PST

Thanks for the imput! I'm glad someone replied to my question so fast. You are great!

Collapse -
by Ronrr7 / January 28, 2010 2:20 AM PST

i looked at the unit at walmart it will not record VHS to DVD
but there is a unit at Sams Club for 198 that you can just put you VHS into and recordit to a DVD right in the same player.
just put ur VHS in and a DVD and select Record on the DVD no cards no cables once you have it on a DVD you can put it on your computer and edit it. I use Roxio to edit mine.

Collapse -
by lstcavvet / November 13, 2011 11:11 PM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD

Sorry, but you are wrong. Wal Mart DOES sell the item mentioned

Collapse -
May be they didn't
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 15, 2011 3:42 AM PST
In reply to: VHS

in January 2010 when that information was posted?


Collapse -
RE: VHS tapes to DVDS
by aldavidus / January 15, 2010 10:15 PM PST

My question for you is: Is there some kind of decoder or way to copy protected VHS to DVD? On some VHS dubbing, I get an error message saying cannot dub. With the possiblity of VCR's going off the market, I then will have VHS tapes that I will no longer be able to watch. Sometimes I can find old movies that were on VHS now on DVD, but some are really expensive. Can you answer or help me?

Collapse -
i have a combo also
by texcowboyAAA / January 22, 2010 10:16 PM PST
In reply to: RE: VHS tapes to DVDS

it will not let me record the copy rited can anyone help

Collapse -
combo unit
by carrier95 / January 23, 2010 12:29 PM PST
In reply to: i have a combo also

Combo units have a built in copy guard protection against duplicating vhs to dvd. Best bet is to purchase a program such a Honestech VHS to DVD and download to computer.

Collapse -
by alanscott1957 / February 11, 2010 1:03 PM PST
In reply to: i have a combo also


Collapse -
Really simple and still flexible? Here you go:
by Gerdd / January 15, 2010 11:59 PM PST

I don't use a combo. I use a VCR that can play all my tapes, including the S-VHS ones. I use a simple connector cable and at the other end of it I use one of these hard drive recorders with built-in DVD writer.

Now, load a tape, start recording to the hard drive, start playback on the tape. Wait until the tape is over and stop the recording.

Now you have a choice:

REALLY simple: copy the recorded file to a DVD choosing the compression that will fit it all on one DVD. Don't worry too much about quality, you will be able to clearly see all the flaws of the original VHS recording.

A bit slicker: Use the HDD recorder's editing features to trim off leading and trailing bits you don't need. Trim out commercial breaks. If there were multiple programs on the tape, slice things up and maybe collect all your episodes from "Married With Children" or "Three's Company" or whatever on your recorder's hard drive. You can then sort things onto collection DVDs.

Really slick (and I haven't worked that one out yet myself): Find a way to overcome Macrovision or similar copy protect schemes so that you can continue to watch what you already paid for - this may be under some restrictions in your jurisdiction.

The best part of this method: Your computer remains free for other things, such as researching the proper sequencing of the episodes.

Collapse -
VHS to DVD: Media type & speed
by rapidrickc / January 16, 2010 1:51 AM PST

Most of my VCR's were recorded on the lowest quality (longest record time) possible: 6 - 8 hours per tape.

What record speed should I uses for the DVD recorder?

Is there a media preference? DVD +R, DVD-R or DVD-RW?

I will be recording on a Samsung DVD-VR 357 standalone DVD/VCR record & play unit.

Collapse -
Use the lowest compression available.
by TreknologyNet / January 18, 2010 7:42 AM PST

The "dirtier" the signal, the harder the work the CODEC has to do, and you could end up with a complete mess. Again, use DVD RWs for trial and error. Do not expect to fit six hours on a single layer disc. What makes up the total six hours? Aim to fit one program per disc. If a single program runs for two hours, then you may have to fit it across two discs.

Collapse -
Be careful
by bighorn60 / January 18, 2010 7:16 AM PST

I purchased a Magnavox unit for $158 plus tax. It worked great, but the DVD was not compatible with moast DVD players. I tried it in five different machines at friends houses. I called Magnavox and was told that can happen now and then???? I bought a Dazzle unit, but found out it is not campatible with Windows 7. I am hoping for an answer with this forum question. Good Luck.

Collapse -
This is why you use RW discs
by TreknologyNet / January 18, 2010 7:50 AM PST
In reply to: Be careful

You use an RW disc in the deck, and then copy it through your PC to -R or +R disc. Use the LOWEST burning speed that you can select.

Some players cannot read "ALL" formats. Most DVRs are either +R or -R, but NOT both.

Most PC burners are now triple format -R/-RW/+R/+RW/RAM and Dual Layer capable, but burning at too high a speed often results in a disc that cannot be read in other machines.

Collapse -
Try finalizing!
by JackPK / January 18, 2010 11:46 AM PST
In reply to: Be careful

Make sure that you finalize the DVD. Without finalizing you can watch it on your recorder but it will not work on regular DVD players.

Collapse -
by alanscott1957 / February 9, 2010 6:56 AM PST


Collapse -
by zooky11 / February 27, 2010 12:52 AM PST

And, the name of these items are......?

Collapse -
Not helpful
by Rlawrence2 / July 18, 2013 2:11 AM PDT

don't do it; these devices are set up to NOT copy protected VCR tapes. Waste of money! and it wastes a DVD every time you try to find out if it is copy protected.

Collapse -
VHS to DVD conversion
by Nate Abraham / January 8, 2010 8:44 AM PST

A lot of manufacturers make dual VHS/DVD player-recorders. You should be able to buy one for around $100 bucks.

We use the Panasonic DMR-E75V. It works well, and copies VHS tapes unto DVDs. It also plays VHS tapes and DVDs.

Collapse -
by amfeder / January 15, 2010 12:39 PM PST
In reply to: VHS to DVD conversion

If you're recording to DVD using a VHS/DVD Combo, what is the best DVD format to use? DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, or something else?

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.