If you have tried copying your VHS tapes to DVD and ended up recording some weird blinking signals instead of your video, you have officially run into Macrovision copy protection. Macrovision works by temporarily interrupting the little gun inside of your television from drawing the vertical lines across your screen that allow you to view your video picture. Fortunately, there are a couple ways around this.
Decide whether to use an analogue video capture card or a digital video camera to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD. An analogue video capture card allows you to run analogue video signals directly into your computer via the analogue video capture card and record the analogue video into a digital format. Check with bhphotovideo.com or anywhere quality computer hardware is sold. There are many different kinds of analogue video capture cards, but they generally cost under £65. If you do not want to use a capture card, you can also convert VHS to DVD by simply recording your VHS tape onto a digital camera and then transferring that onto your computer.
Connect your VCR to your analogue video capture card or video camera using a standard RCA connector cord.
Start your video capture software program on your computer. If you do not have any video capture software, check below for a link to download a free video capture program called WinAVI Video Capture. If you are using your digital camera, set your video camera to "VCR" or "Playback" mode and press the "Record" button on your digital video camera.
Press "Play" on your VCR and play the VHS tape into either your capture card or digital video camera. Allow the VHS tape to play through in its entirety. If you are recording onto your digital camera, make sure your digital camera has enough room to record all of your VHS tape.
Press "Stop" on your VCR and on your capture software or digital video camera when finished recording the VHS tape. If using capture software, make sure to save the video file somewhere you will be able to remember. If using a digital video camera, you must now record the new footage from your digital video camera onto your computer using the same capture software referenced earlier.
Rewind the footage on your digital video camera back to the beginning and connect your digital video camera to your computer using standard FireWire or USB, whichever you prefer. Start your video capture software and begin capturing, then press "Play" on your digital video camera to begin capturing. If you do not have any capturing software, see below for a link to download WinAVI Video Capture for free. Skip this step if you are using a video capture card.
Download and install DVD Flick, a completely free and easy program that lets you encode and convert video files from your computer and burn them on a DVD. See the References section below for a direct link. You will be able to watch the DVD in any normal DVD player.
Run DVD Flick. Locate the video files that you captured to your hard drive and drag them into the DVD Flick program. Click "Create DVD" to begin encoding.
Insert a blank DVD into your DVD burner. Sit back and wait while DVD Flick encodes your files. This can take a really long time, and is recommended that you let your computer sit overnight while encoding. Once encoding is finished, DVD Flick will burn your video files to DVD.