How to Copy Betamax to a CD

Written by rick paulas
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How to Copy Betamax to a CD
With the correct equipment, you can convert a Betamax tape to a CD. (Tsuneo Yamashita/Photodisc/Getty Images)

While the Betamax videotape is an old and outdated format, there may be vital footage on Betamax that will need to be saved for posterity on a newer format, such as a CD. However, unlike DVDs, which have a large amount of storage space, copying Betamax tapes to CD requires an additional step to shrink the size of the file. The process is very similar to converting old VHS tapes to a newer format, like DVD, but with a few minor adjustments.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Betamax tape
  • Computer
  • Blank CD
  • Betamax player
  • Audio/video cables
  • Video encoder
  • Video shrink software

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  1. 1

    Attach the Betamax player to your computer. To do so, use an audio cable to connect the audio output of the Betamax player to the input on your computer. If you are using RCA cables, make sure to connect the red to the red and the white to the white. Use a video cable to connect the output of the Betamax player to the input on your computer.

  2. 2

    Open your video encoder software. (If you do not have one installed, see Resources below for a free encoder.) Press "Record" in order to start the encoder.

  3. 3

    Press "Play" on your Betamax tape while the encoder runs. The tape will be digitised onto your computer in real time.

  4. 4

    Press "Stop" on the encoder when the Betamax is done. You will be left with a large file. Press "File" and scroll down to "Save" in order to save the file that was just digitised.

  5. 5

    Shrink the file. Open your DVD Shrink software. (If you do not have one, there is a free option located in Resources below.) Press "File" and drop down to "Import." Select the file that was just encoded and press "Open." Choose how much you want to shrink the file. (It will need to be significant, since you are burning the contents of a Betamax to a CD.) Press "OK" to shrink the file. Save the new file on your computer.

  6. 6

    Burn the CD. Open your CD-burning software and insert the blank CD into your disk drive. Press "File" and drop down to "Open." Choose the newly created file that was just shrunk and press "OK." Press "Burn" to write the file onto the CD. When the burn process is complete, the CD will eject from your computer's disk drive.

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