How to Put VCR Tapes Onto CD

Updated April 17, 2017

One of the easiest ways to transfer video from a VCR tape onto a CD is to use a DVD recorder / VCR combination device to dub the VCR tape onto CD. DVD recorder / VCR devices are relatively inexpensive now. So are standalone DVD recorders for that matter. However, with a standalone DVD recorder you would have to connect the DVD recorder to a VCR, whereas with a combination device this added step is unnecessary.

Cut power to the TV before you hook up the DVD recorder / VCR to it.

Use a coaxial cable, or a set of A/V cables, to connect the output from the DVD recorder to the corresponding input on the TV. If you decide to use a coaxial cable, connect one end of the cable to the DVD recorder / VCR's "RF Out" port. Connect the other end of the cable to the "RF In" port on the back of the TV. If you decide to use A/V cables, plug one end of the red, white, and yellow A/V cables into the DVD recorder's red, white and yellow (respectively) A/V Out jacks. Follow the same colour pattern as you insert the other end of each cable into the TV set's A/V In jacks.

Plug the DVD recorder / VCR's power cable into a power strip or wall outlet.

Turn on the TV and DVD recorder / VCR. If a coaxial cable was used to connect the DVD recorder / VCR to the TV, set the TV to channel 3

Locate the "Input" button on the TV's remote control. Use it to change the TV's video input channel to the appropriate A/V source (if A/V cables were used to connect the DVD recorder / VCR to the TV) or the RF source (if a coaxial cable was used to connect the DVD recorder / VCR to the TV).

Load a recordable CD or DVD disc into the DVD side of the DVD recorder / VCR device. Insert the VCR tape you would like to put onto CD into the device's VCR compartment.

Activate the VCR side of the device (typically done by pressing "VCR" on the device's remote control). Cue the VHS tape to the spot where you would like to begin dubbing to CD.

Open the DVD recorder / VCR's menu setting options (there should be a button on the device's remote control labelled "Setup" or "Menu").

Locate the device's Dubbing Mode options. Set the dubbing mode setting to "VCR to DVD."

Begin dubbing. This is typically accomplished by pushing the "Dub" or "Dubbing" button on the DVD recorder / VCR's remote control. When the recording is finished, press "Stop."


Another way of performing this operation is to use a video capture card to connect a VCR to a computer; then use video capturing software to dub the video into the computer. If the computer is equipped with a CD writer, once the video file is saved in the computer you can burn it to CD or DVD. When video files are burnt to CD discs (as opposed to DVD), the disc is called VCD. VCDs traditionally have a maximum storage capacity of 70 minutes, while DVD can store over 8 hours.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD Recorder / VCR
  • TV
  • Set of A/V cables,
  • or
  • 75 Ohm coaxial cable
  • Blank DVD-R disc
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About the Author

Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.