How to convert VHS to DVD with a machine

Updated February 21, 2017

VHS tapes gradually break down over time, usually about 15 years, and after that the tape either won't play or the video will be grainy and poor. On top of that, VHS machines may be hard to find or service. Switching these tapes over to DVD can be done with a simple DVD recorder and will ensure all of your old movies will last throughout the years. This process can also be done, with much more control over editing and chapters, with a video converter.

Attach one end of the RCA cable to the "Line Out" terminals on your VCR or camcorder.

Attach the other end of the RCA cable to the "Line In" on your DVD recorder.

Insert a blank DVD into the DVD recorder. Insert a fully rewound VHS tape into the VCR or camcorder.

Press play on the VHS and record on your DVD recorder. This will give you a real-time recording of the VHS and is the easiest and fastest way to get your VHS movies to DVD.

Attach the video converter to your computer using the provided USB cable.

Attach one end of the RCA cable to the "Line Out" on your VCR or camcorder. Attach the other end of the RCA cable to your video converter.

Open the required video conversion software program on your computer (a program with the analogue to digital video converter). You can also download these programs from the Internet, though many of those don't have the ability to edit videos only change their file format.

Play the video on the VCR. Make sure the video converter is turned on and video is being imported onto the computer via the provided video conversion software program. Once it is on your computer, you can use a video editing software program to cut out parts of the movie, add chapters and customise the video.

Insert a blank DVD into your DVD burner. Select the video file you imported after you are finished customising it and select "Burn Disk."


Many digital camcorders have an analogue to digital feature built-in so you don't have to purchase a stand alone video converter.


Reproducing movies for money without permission is copyright infringement.

Things You'll Need

  • VCR
  • RCA cables
  • DVD recorder
  • Blank DVD-RW
  • Analogue to digital video converter
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About the Author

Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.