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How To Convert VHS To Digital

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Technology and time do not stop. You may have saved family memories to videotape in the past, but that is no longer possible. You may have a collection of VHS tapes in your home, but no VCR to play them. It is possible to convert VHS tapes to digital. However, it is not recommended to wait too long. Your tapes will eventually be lost forever because VHS video degrades up to 20% every 10-25 year.
Even if the robot butler of your grandkids can 3D print a VCR using archival blueprints from 20th-century consumer electronics, their old tapes might be too fuzzy to be useful.

It is easy to save your VHS tapes from your family as video files on your computer’s hard drive. All you have to do is assemble a few pieces. You can then convert the videos in a matter of minutes over a few weekends.

Remember that the clock is ticking. Your videotape collection gets worse with each passing year. You might be surprised at how poor the quality of a videotape is when compared with video from a smartphone, digital camera or other devices. Your tape collection may have lost between 10-20% and 20% since the day it was taken. Don’t waste any more time, here’s the information you need.

How to convert vhsc to digital

You will need four components to convert VHS tapes into digital. This is the first of four components that we’ll cover. Once you have figured it out, you can continue down the article.

The Playback Medium: VCRs and Camcorders


It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a working VCR if you don’t have your VCR from before times. VCRs are no more manufactured. If you do manage to find one, it is very rare and quite expensive to get one.

Therefore, the best way to find a VCR is to purchase one through an eBay auction. You can search through a wide range of VCRs for sale and find one that looks the most likely to work based on the description and photos. All of them will be used and come from individuals. They are not factory reconditioned or refurbished. So don’t be surprised if you have to return your first VCR. You’ll find a VCR that can play, rewind, and eject tapes if you persevere.


A camcorder is better than a VCR if you have small tapes (VHS-C tapes). You can also use adapters to insert VHS-C tapes in an ordinary VCR.

VHS-C adapter

No matter what type of VCR, camcorder or VHS-C adapter you buy, make sure to test it immediately after it arrives. This will give you plenty of time to file a claim on eBay or the site where you bought it for a refund. Always test any new acquisitions with tapes you don’t really care about. This way you won’t lose any important information if your VCR or camcorder accidentally destroys the tape you just inserted.

The Video Converter

Video converters are what connect the VCR to your computer. It converts the analog signal into digital input for your computer’s USB port.

A Computer to Process the Conversion

How to Convert VHS To Digital

The process of converting your first video is easy once you have the necessary elements, a video converter and enough storage space. You should always test the process first with a test tape to make sure you don’t lose any data in case your equipment fails.

Step 1: Follow the instruction manual to install the software.

Step 2: Connect the VCR, camcorder, and computer to one another using the video converter. The RCA-style audio or video cables should be connected from the output of your VCR/camcorder to the input jacks of the video converter. You can color code these wires to ensure they are connected correctly. Yellow is for video and red is for stereo audio.

Step 3: An S-video output VCR/camcorder will produce slightly better image quality than the yellow analog cable. The S-video cable can be used in place of the yellow video cable, but it is not a must.

Step 4: Connect the USB cable to the converter and plug it into your computer.

Step 5: Insert the VHS tape into the reel and rewind it.

Step 6: Open the video converter software and follow the instructions to begin the video capture process. You will likely need to name the project and indicate where you want to save it.

Step 7: Once you are satisfied, click Play on the VCR or the Record button in your video software.

Step 8: The tape will record and play in real-time. In other words, it will take approximately two hours to convert a 2-hour-old videotape into a digital file.

Step 9: Once it’s finished, quit recording and let the software save the file to a folder.

Tips and tricks to Convert Your VHS Tapes into Digital Video

Converting your VHS tapes is easy if you have all the necessary equipment. The video converter takes care of the rest. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you preserve your videos.

A TV is not necessary. You probably noticed that there is no TV listed in the list of things you need earlier in this article. You’ll be able to see the videotape on your computer screen when the VCR is connected to it via the video converter. Don’t waste time searching for a way that you can connect your old VCR to an all-digital television.

There are many services that can convert your old videotapes into digital format for you if you don’t feel like doing it yourself. I

Even if your video files don’t require any editing, it is worth trimming them with the built-in trimmer in video converter software. This will allow you to eliminate video glitches and static from the beginning and end of each tape.

To tweak your videos, you don’t need to spend a lot on professional-level video editing software.

Backup your converted videos. Once you have converted your videos to digital files, ensure they are part of your regular backup. You can also store a copy in a cloud service such as Dropbox or OneDrive. You don’t want them to be lost to a broken hard drive or failed computer after all that you have done to convert your videotapes.

Do not bother converting your videotapes into DVD. For long-term storage, DVD is no better than VHS. The optical layer of DVDs deteriorates over time and eventually fails. The lifespan of DVD discs is between 25-100 years. Bottom line: Computer storage is the best way to keep your videos safe. You can either store them in computer storage or use the cloud for a reliable backup.