You have all those VHS tapes of home videos sitting in the back of your closet that you certainly want to keep, but you don’t own a VCR anymore and you prefer DVDs anyway. Those old tapes will just have to keep sitting there gathering dust, and there’s nothing you can do about it, right? Wrong! Digitizing your VHS tapes is actually a process easier than you may think.
Let’s break it down.
A VHS to DVD recorder offers quite a lot of value in one machine. They will, of course, allow you to transfer VHS tapes to DVD with minimum fuss, but they also function as DVD and VHS players. Plus, you can use it as a video cassette recorder, so you can record the news or a show from your TV right to a VHS tape.
To set up your VHS to DVD recorder, just connect it to your TV, insert your tape and a blank recordable disc, then press “Record.” Once it’s recording, press “Play” on the VCR side to dub the content over to your DVD. It’s that simple!
PRO TIP: Be sure that the system is set to record from VHS to DVD and not the other way around. Otherwise, it’ll erase what’s on your VHS tape.
Two-way dubbing means you can record in two directions, from VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS. You probably won’t be recording DVD to VHS, but it’s a pretty neat feature that’s available if you want it. Most DVD recorders/VHS players have 2-way dubbing; just be sure that when choosing a device, it has a DVD RECORDER built in - otherwise, you’ll just get a DVD/VHS player.
A VHS to DVD recorder with HDMI is certainly not necessary, and most of the older models won’t have an HDMI port, but it can be useful. The HDMI port supplies up-to-date technology that will work perfectly with your smart TV while providing the highest quality playback for DVDs and VHS tapes.
What if you already have a VCR and simply want to purchase a DVD recorder? Or prefer to have two separate units - this way, if one breaks, it’s cheaper to replace and you’re not stuck with a single half-working unit. Can you still convert your VHS tapes to DVD?
Absolutely! It’s just a matter of connecting your VCR to your DVD recorder, inserting a tape in your VCR and a disc in your DVD recorder, pressing “Record” on your DVD recorder, then pressing “Play” on your VCR. Your DVD recorder will stop recording automatically when your VHS tape stops, or you can press “Stop” on your DVD recorder when you reach the end of the portion you want to record.
To connect your VCR to your DVD recorder, be sure to check which connections both systems have. You’ll find DVD recorders with a mix of RCA, HDMI, USB, Firewire, and LINK connections. Typically, your VCR and DVD recorder can connect with a simple RCA cable, making this the easiest option in most cases.
So - other than a VHS to DVD recorder or a VCR and a DVD recorder, what accessories do you need?
First, you need your VHS tape and a blank DVD-R/RW or DVD+R/RW disc. If you’re using two separate units, you’ll also need an RCA or S-Video cable, depending on the connector type the units have. And, of course, you’ll need a TV and cables to hook up your system to one.
A remote control is not always necessary depending on the unit, but it is definitely handy to have.
Converting VHS tapes to DVD is a lot easier than most people think. While there are services you can pay to do it for you, it can be cheaper and more convenient to get a VHS to DVD converter and do it yourself.
Yes, many of these systems have been discontinued by their manufacturer, and it can be difficult to find a refurbished one that is guaranteed to work. But never fear! That’s what SpenCertified is here for: our shop has a wide selection of VHS to DVD recorder converters, and they all come with a 6-month repair or replace warranty. Plus, all products are SpenCertified, meaning that every product is Certified by Spencer.
You can check out our wide selection of VHS to DVD recorders here: https://spencertified.com/collections/vhs-to-dvd-converters?grid_list=grid-view