Buying one of the best VHS to DVD converters is a great way to save your precious memories from the days of video tape, while they still exist. And you shouldn't wait, as magnetic tapes progressively decay, even if stored carefully.
The best VHS to DVD converters will turn your analogue recordings into digital files. That means you can burn them to DVD, share them via email or social media, store them in the cloud, or stick them on a portable hard drive.
Best of all, they're easy to use. Just connect them to your old video recorder or camcorder, and they'll transfer your recordings to your computer.
Which VHS to DVD converter you need will largely depend on which ‘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 video, and SCART, which was the standard multipin connector on many VCRs. Most VHS to DVD converters only have connectors for RCA ports, but some offer two, or all three.
VHS to DVD converters are normally bundled with software that allows you to use them. This software is often supplied on CD-ROM, so if your computer doesn't have a disc drive (as most modern laptops don't), you'll need a digital download. Not all manufacturers make this easy to find, though: often you'll have to search the user manual for a URL or in the last resort, email the company.
Also, be aware that not all VHS to DVD converters support both Windows and Macs. And we'll be honest: in general, 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.
Best VHS to DVD converter: our top picks
Best VHS to DVD converer overall
This video capture kit has been around for years, and is still our top pick for bringing your old tapes into the digital age. It costs more than some, but we think the price is justified if you want the best quality results.
Best budget VHS to DVD converter
The Elgato Video Capture may be the best, but if you want a significantly cheaper option then the Digitalnow gives you a simple digitizing solution at an affordable price.
Simplest VHS to DVD recorder
Probably the easiest of the VHS to DVD digitizers you can get - as you don't even need a computer, as the Digitnow has a built-in screen, and records direct to an SD card.
The best VHS to DVD converter 2023
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We think this device from Elgato is the best VHS to DVD converter overall. We recommend the Elgato because the quality of the transfer is excellent – and even though it is some over a decade since we first tested this device, it is still does a great job.
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 4K movies. 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. The software lets you trim the clip (but not split one recording into multiple clips, you'll need a separate video editor for that). 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.
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 into 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.
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 organize 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.
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 - however you can record to an SD card, and then copy to a Mac computer.
This is a luxury version of the Digitnow all-in-one video recorder that gives you a five-inch screen, that is around four times larger than the standard model (above). The OLED screen is not the only difference, as this version allows you to record longer continuous clips, and actually comes supplied with an SD card.
As well as converting your old videotapes, you may wish to 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.
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.
August VGB100 isn't any use if you have a Mac, as it's compatible with Windows only. On the plus side, if you have a modern laptop, you'll be pleased to hear it supports Windows 11.
As well as VHS, VHS-C, Mini DV, Video 89, and Hi8 devices, the August VGB100 can connect to Xbox 360, PS3, and Game Cubes, and record any gameplay footage from consoles with SD video out. It comes with a SCART adapter, a software installation CD (also available online), and a user manual.
Don't let the cheesy name and dated branding put you off the Video-2-PC VHS to DVD converter as it's actually pretty good. It only works on Windows computers so Macbook users you'll have to opt for one of the other options on the list.
Capture video from any VHS, S-VHS, or Betamax VCR with a SCART output and use the software's built-in features to capture, timeline edit, create MP4 files, or burn to disk. If you don't have a disk drive you can also download a link for your file.
Are you generally nervous about 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.
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.
Where to I find a VHS VCR?
To use these converters, you will need a working VHS VCR to play back the tape at normal speed - to create the signal that the digitizer with record onto your computers hard drive or SSD. VCRs are almost impossible to find new nowadays - so you'll have to find one secondhand, or borrow one off a friend that still has a working machine.
What is the best quality VHS to digital converter?
We think the Elgato Video Capture is the best VHS to digital converter - hence why it is our top recommendation. A key component is the video capture card, that turns the video signal into a digital file - and Elgato are the market leaders in this field.
But don't get your quality expectations up too high. The inherent quality of VHS is vastly inferior to the 4K video we are accustomed to seeing nowadays. You can expect a resolution of 480P at best (or 640x480 pixels).
Can I use these converters for camcorder tapes?
Yes - the process is just the same. But you will need a working camcorder of the right format for the tapes you want to digitize. Camcorders were made in a wide variety of tape formats - 8mm, VHS-C, Hi8, and S-VHS-C being the most common. If you don't have a camcorder, you may be able to find on cheaply on eBay - but check it has a working battery and mains lead.
Where do I get a DVD burner?
Most modern laptops don't have a CD or DVD drive in them, so you will need to find a standalone DVD burner. We recommend the Asus ZenDrive as a great budget option - see table below for current prices and stockists:
How we chose our contenders
As the days of the VCR and tape camcorder become a distant memory, the options for VHS to DVD converters has become more limited. We have therefore tried to cover a range of options from those still on sale - including options from the likes of Roxio and Elgato that have been favorites of ours for years and years. The best choice for you will depend on the computer you are using, and one the sockets available on the VCR or camcorder you are connecting to - hence why we have tried to provide you with plenty of choice.