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How to Connect a VCR to My PC

Updated February 21, 2017

Connecting a VCR to a personal computer creates a simple recording studio for turning old videotapes into digital copies that can be stored on the computer's hard drive. An analogue to digital video converter box is needed for the project. From there, the digital video can be edited and burnt to a DVD, if desired, for a longer lasting copy. Videotapes can break and lose picture quality with age, so hooking up a VCR to a PC is the first step in transferring those previous memories into the digital domain.

Attach the composite cables to the AV OUT or Playback jacks on the back of the VCR, matching the colour-coded plugs to the jacks. Yellow connects to the video OUT jack, while white and red connect to left and right audio, respectively.

Plug the other end of the cables into the AV IN jacks on the analogue-to-digital converter using the same colour codes.

Connect the USB cable from the converter box to a free USB port on the computer.

Plug in and turn on the equipment, then open the video recording software on the computer by double-clicking the program name.

Load a recorded VHS tape in the VCR and press "Play" if the tape does not start automatically, then click the "Record" button on the recording software to convert and capture the tape recording.

Tip

You'll need about 10 gigabytes of hard drive memory space for every hour of converted video.

Warning

Unplug the VCR from the electricity and turn off the computer while connecting the converter box.

Things You'll Need

  • Composite AV cables
  • Analogue to digital converter box, available at computer and electronics stores
  • PC with recording software
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.