Easy Conversion of VHS tapes to Digital Format

Any easy devices to convert tapes to digital format that people can recommend?

TV tuner cards will often have S-video or composite A/V inputs (or at least my Hauppauge PVR-250 does), and then you just need a program to capture it to disk, which will probably come with the card or I think even Windows Movie Maker will work.

That may not work due to macrovision protection. Which tends to be built in to tuner cards, unfortunately. If it’s tapes from videocameras or something, it might work. But if it’s any type of movie, your best conversion process is amazon.com.

Edit: Alternately there’s this helpful link from an ad at the top of this page!


Alternatively, you can add an inexpensive DVD-recorder to your home entertainment setup and just copy everything over in real time. I picked up a Toshiba DR-6 on sale at Best Buy a few months ago for $150 and I’ve since digitized every valuable tape in my collection (including my wedding video and some other irreplaceable tapes that were slowly deteriorating in picture quality even as they sat unused in storage).

The DR-6 has multiple record quality settings (from 8-hour SLP to 1-hour XP) and also comes with an auto-chaptering feature. As an added bonus, it works quite nicely as an upscaling DVD player.

Once I’d created the DVD back-ups, I could then use Windows Movie Maker to convert the disk’s VOB files into WMV files that I could play on my Xbox 360 (using a Windows Media Edition PC).

When my parents confronted this problem recently they solved it by looking up a local video shop and paying them to do it. Probably at rather silly rates for a trivial task but it saved them having to buy any special equipment.

Yeah, getting someone to do it seems really expensive, although I guess it might be more convenient. Like Andy, it’s my wedding stuff that I’d like to preserve before it degenerates, and I have some fun old movies like the original Star Wars releases and a whole mess of anime that I’d just as soon not buy again.

Thanks for the suggestions - some good options there.

I’m using Andys method and my PVR… but editing titles and whatnot using the remote sucks.

If I had a lot of stuff I’d use this:

Does the video store convert to DVD or a file format? Cuz I think I’d prefer the latter; writable DVDs crap out.

I have an LG DVD recorder here - piece of shit, but it was great while it worked (for 6 months). Would get another more reliable model. The ease of use is what sells it to me.

Purchased stuff typically requires a Macrovision buster or a Time Base Corrector to get around it. They’re also helpful if you want to burn a DVD of something you caught on HBO. Quality isn’t great but it’s VHS quality or better.

Not trying to thread hijack, but can you guys also recommend any good devices for converting audio tape to digital? I have a couple hundred tapes I need to convert. I assume I also need some kind of software to clean up tape noise/hiss/etc. Is it simpler and/or cheaper to outsource this project? Thanks.