VHS tapes can be transferred to DVDs with several different methods. It is a good idea to make DVD backups of VHS tapes, as they can deteriorate over time, and the quality will degrade each time the tape is played in a VCR. By making a DVD copy of a VHS tape, you can enjoy the video without degrading the quality during future viewings.
A computer with a TV tuner device and DVD burner can be used to put VHS onto DVD. TV tuners convert an analogue video stream, such as the video on a VHS tape, into a digital format. After transferring the VHS tape to your computer as a digital video file, you can then use a DVD burning program such as Toast, DVD Architect or DVD Studio Pro, to burn the file onto a DVD player.
Standalone DVD recorders can quickly convert VHS tapes to DVD-R or DVD+R discs. You will have to connect the VCR's video output to the DVD recorder's video input. Once you press the "Play" button on the VCR, you can press the "Record" button on the DVD recorder and the video will be copied. There are also DVD recorders available that already have a VHS deck built-in, for added convenience when putting a VHS tape onto a recordable DVD disc.
VHS tapes can be put on DVD using a computer with a USB VCR and a DVD burner. There is only one USB VCR on the market: ION VCR 2 PC. This device works like a TV tuner, but includes a VHS deck in the device. While you will still need to convert the files and burn them to a disc using a DVD video burning program, this device is convenient for anyone who does not have a working VCR for making DVD backups.
You may notice that your DVD backup of a VHS tape does not look as good as typical DVD video. This is because VHS tapes only offer half of the resolution of standard DVDs. When VHS tapes are transferred to DVD, they are being digitally stretched, which can cause distortion. However, the DVD copy should look comparable to the original VHS tape, as long as you make sure not to put more than two hours of video onto a single DVD disc.
Commercially released VHS tapes may include Macrovision copy protection, a technology used to prevent the duplication of copyright video tapes. This means that the VHS tape will appear distorted when connected to another recording device, such as a TV tuner or DVD recorder. Macrovision will only become a problem if you are trying to make a DVD from a commercially released VHS tape.