Quick! The best VHS to DVD converter can help save your precious VHS memories before it's too late. Magnetic tapes eventually decay, even if stored carefully. Which means that in 2022, there's very little time to spare.
The good news is that the best VHS to DVD converters can preserve your footage in digital form. And they're pretty easy to use, too. You just have to connect them to your video recorder or camcorder, and they'll transfer your recordings to your computer as digital files.
You can then burn these digital files to DVD, share them via email, YouTube or Facebook, store them in the cloud, or stick them on a portable hard drive. And then rest easy, knowing your footage is safe forever.
So how do you choose the best VHS to DVD converter for your specific needs? First, check what ‘Out’ ports you have on your video recorder or camcorder. The most common is RCA: three round slots that are white, yellow and red respectively (aka phono connectors).
There’s also S-Video, which offers better image quality, and SCART, which is the best of the three. Most VHS to DVD converters only have connectors for RCA ports, but some offer two, or all three.
• Need a DVD burner? Check out this budget option
VHS to DVD converters are normally bundled with software that allow you to use them. This software is often supplied on CD-ROM. However, nowadays most laptops don't come with disc drives. So most VHS to DVD converters also provide a digital download. Not all make it easy to find, though: often you'll have to search the user manual for a URL or in the last resort, email the manufacturer.
Also be aware that not all VHS to DVD converters support both Windows and Macs. And here's one final word of warning. Sad to say, but whether VHS to DVD converters actually work in practice can be hit and miss.
Ultimately, you're dealing here with a variety of outdated machines and outdated technologies, versus a bewildering variety of modern PC and Mac operating systems, so that’s not a huge surprise. But it does mean you should avoid getting your hopes up too much, and keep an eye on those returns policies.
The best VHS to DVD converter 2022(opens in new tab)
This device from Elgato is the best VHS to DVD converter we can recommend. Firstly, because the quality of the transfer is excellent.
Don't get too excited: the quality of any old video footage you have is still going to look pretty ropey to anyone used to crystal-clear HD. But this device will at least translate it to digital as accurately as possible, and avoid losing any further definition in either the audio or video.
Furthermore, it supports RCA, S-Video and SCART inputs, so you should be able to connect any VHS recorder or camcorder to your computer. Plus it's compatible with all recent versions of Windows and macOS. So while it’s one of the most expensive devices on our list, it's still our top recommendation.(opens in new tab)
Seeking the best VHS to DVD converter, but low on funds? Then we’d suggest this budget-friendly device from Digitnow. While it may not reproduce your video and audio as accurately as the Elgato (number one on our list), it does a pretty decent job nonetheless.
You can plug it in to either RCA or S-Video connectors, and it also comes with a SCART adapter. This VHS to DVD converter is also compatible with most versions of Windows and some versions of MacOS.(opens in new tab)
Here's something a bit different. The USP of Diginow's VHS to digital converter is that it offers a wider variety of ways to play back your captured video. Most importantly, it has its own internal screen, so you can watch it directly on the device itself.
Second, you can play it on your TV using your own HDMI or AV cable. Thirdly, you can record it onto your own memory card. And fourthly, you can transfer it to your Windows computer via the supplied USB cable. Note that there’s no S-Video or SCART connector though, and that this device isn’t compatible with macOS.
Don't just want to transfer your VHS content to DVD, but want some pro-level DVD editing software thrown in? Then you'll be pleased to know that the AVerMedia EZMaker 7 comes bundled with CyberLink PowerDirector 14.
First released in 2015, this is not the most up-to-date version of the video editing software by any means. But it does allow you to edit, stabilize and organise your clips, export them to a variety of file formats, and optimize your videos for different mobile devices.
And that's not all! You also get Cyberlink's PowerProducer 5, a DVD authoring tool that includes a range of customizable menu templates. Note, though, that this VHS to DVD converter only supports Windows, and not Mac.(opens in new tab)
As well as converting your old videotapes, you may wish convert your analog LPs and cassettes to audio CDs or MP3s too. In which case, you'll be pleased to know this VHS to DVD converter can do both.
Available for Windows, this device is very easy to use. Just plug it into your computer's USB port (USB 2.0 or higher), install the software from the website, and start converting. The package even includes two blank DVDs to get you started.
If your original picture is particularly dodgy, it has some good tools to clean it up. This makes it easy to correct things like color balance and lighting, as well as the visual noise caused by aging VHS tapes. Plus you can add transitions, DVD menus, and rolling credits before sharing your movie digitally or transferring it to DVD.
The main drawback to this VHS to DVD converter, though, is that you're restricted to RCA input. So if you want to use S-Video or SCART instead, you'll have to look elsewhere.(opens in new tab)
Looking for an easy life, and using a Mac? Then Roxio's VHS to DVD converter just for you is a great choice. It allows you to quickly transfer your videos from VCRs and other analogue sources including Hi8 and Video8 camcorders. You can edit them in iMovie to add titles, transitions and other edits, add professionally designed menus, and turn your videos into VCD, SVCD and DVD movies.
These can then be transferred to DVD, portable devices or shared online. Note, though, that there's no S-Video or SCART input: only RCA.(opens in new tab)
The cheesy name and dodgy clip-art advertising may instantly put you off Video-2-PC. But if you can get past that, this is one of the easiest VHS to DVD converters available for Windows.
Allowing you to capture video from any VHS, S-VHS or Betamax VCR with a SCART output, it includes software to capture, timeline edit, produce MP4 video files or burn to DVD. And if you don’t have a disc drive then don’t worry, as download links are also available. The company provides both written instructions and a video tutorial to get you started, plus there’s a 28-day money back guarantee.(opens in new tab)
Are you generally nervous of anything technical? Then you'll love that this device comes with 24-hour online technical support and a one-year money back guarantee.
Other than that, it’s pretty standard stuff, including an RCA connector for your video recorder or camcorder (but no S-Video or SCART), and a USB cable to plug into your Windows PC or Mac. Note: the included software comes on a disc, but if you don’t have a disc drive, there’s a download link in the user guide.(opens in new tab)
Most editing software that comes with VHS to DVD converters is quite limited. AVerMedia EZMaker 7 (number 4 on our list) is one exception, and here’s another. The Diamond VC500 comes with a free copy of Cyberlink’s Power Director. This consumer-level video editing software is a standalone, paid-for product in its own right, and although this is an older version (released in 2013), it’s still decent.
The device itself isn’t anything particularly special, but it does the job, sells for an affordable price, and offers S-Video input as well as RCA. Note though, there are separate Windows and Apple versions, so you need to check you are buying the right version for your computer.
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