How to copy from a VHS player to a DVD recorder

Updated April 17, 2017

With VCR's becoming more obsolete, consumers are turning to DVD conversion to preserve their VHS tapes. DVD recorders are available at almost any department store and the process of converting videos to DVD is relatively easy.

Connect your VCR to the DVD recorder. Connect the audio/video cables to the output jacks on the back of the VCR and run them to the input jacks on the back of the DVD recorder.

Set your DVD recorder to the input channel with either the remote control or a button on the DVD recorder. Simply look for a button that says "source" and press it. On most DVD models, the front display will read "Input", "Video 1" or something similar.

Select the recording media. Blank DVD media comes in four types: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW. Most newer DVD recorders can record in any format. If your DVD recorder is an older model, it may only record in DVD-R and DVD-RW. Consult your owner's manual.

Place the VHS tape into the VCR and the blank DVD into the DVD recorder. Make sure the tape is either rewound to the beginning or where you would like to begin the recording.

Start the DVD recorder and then press "play" on the VCR. Starting the DVD recorder before the tape prevents the beginning from being cut off on the new recording.

Keep track of the time. To avoid nothing but static at the end of the DVD, keep track of the video's length so it can be stopped when it's over. The video also can be watched while it's recording.

Finalise the DVD. This is the most important step. Some DVD recorders have settings that will automatically finalise the disc once "stop" is pressed; others have to be finalised manually. A recorded DVD cannot be viewed on a standard DVD player until the disc has been finalised.


For the best results, record no more than two hours on a standard DVD disc. If you are recording short home movies, more than one can be added to a DVD. Simply do not finalise the DVD until you've recorded all your material.

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About the Author

Derek Smith has been a freelance writer since 2008. He specializes in health and fitness and travel articles for eHow and Professionally, Smith is a certified personal trainer. He holds both the American Fitness Professionals and Associates certification and National Council on Strength and Fitness certification, as well as CPR certification through The American Heart Association's Healthcare Provider CPR Program.