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How to convert VHS & camcorder tapes to dvd

Updated April 17, 2017

Old-style VHS videotape is fast becoming obsolete in the digital age. VHS tapes degrade over time, leading to video dropout, grainy pictures and muffled sound. Many people want to save their favourite recordings and home videos for posterity. Preserve your old domestic VHS tapes and transfer camcorder video to DVD in several different ways.

Transfer your old VHS and camcorder tapes to DVD with a computer. Buy a digital converter that links a videocassette recorder or camcorder to the PC or laptop via a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection. The converter ships with software that captures the video as you play it from the VCR or camcorder and saves it to the hard drive of the computer. Burn the saved video from the computer hard disk onto a recordable DVD. All modern laptops and desktop PCs include DVD-burning software and writers. Small netbook and some notepad computers do not include this technology.

Buy a VHS-DVD combination digital video recorder. Place your VHS or camcorder tape in the combination DVR and record it straight onto hard disk or direct to a rewritable DVD disk. You can also keep the transferred video on the hard disk and burn it to a rewritable DVD disk later. One of the benefits of a VHS-DVD combination digital video recorder is that it can be used in the same way as a regular DVR to record favourite TV shows onto hard disk, recordable DVD disks or VHS videotape.

Connect the VCR or camcorder to a stand-alone external DVD burner. You can buy external DVD burners designed specifically for transferring VHS and camcorder tapes straight to a recordable DVD disk without needing a computer. Once you burn a DVD, you can copy it as many times as you want.

Hire a VHS to DVD conversion service to transfer the old video and camcorder tapes for you. This option may suit those who don't want to buy hardware or software for the purpose. You can find a range of video transfer services online. Send the conversion company your old VHS and camcorder and they will transfer the video to DVD for a small fee.

Tip

Choose the correct type of recordable DVD disk for your computer, burner or DVR by checking the user manual. DVD disk types include DVD+R and DVD-R for single recordings and reusable DVD+RW and DVD-RW disks for multiple recordings.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • DVD burner and software
  • VHS/DVD combination recorder
  • VHS external DVD burner
  • Blank recordable DVD disks
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.