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Did your parents ever use old VHS recorders for your birthday or Christmas back when you were a kid? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to watch those videos on your phone?
Back in the day, Video Home System or VHS was the best way to keep these memories. These magnetic tapes were the best for both long term storage and quality in the ‘90s. Here’s the problem: that’s a long way back.
Everything is digital now and you would want something easier and crisper. Converting tape to digital will help you playback videos. This will help you keep them in your cloud storage too.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to copy VHS to computer and try VHS to digital conversion. The DIY version is doable, you can also try with experts.
Are you ready? Let’s see how.
1. Go for Legacy Media Conversion Services
Those who don’t want to waste time with VHS to digital conversion, the best way to do it is through a service. These services can take your old tapes and do it on their premises. They will likely use expert equipment using their videography departments at a cost.
You can do this with big-name locations like Target and Walmart. There are also dedicated services who can do it as well.
In some cases, device repair and data recovery services can do it too. These services have the facility to do VHS conversion to digital. They can do so with far less cost and time frame than big-name stores.
The cost of these services varies. Their turn-around times can go at around 3 weeks for big-name companies.
This is due to the sheer number of people who request for the process. The processing can also take time.
Smaller data recovery services tend to have a faster turn around. Since their job revolves around such work, you can expect a faster service at a lower cost. There are also websites that go for more inexpensive services if you can ship your tapes.
There are different formats when you copy VHS to computer. You can transfer up to two VHS tapes in one DVD. Putting more can incur extra costs, depending on the service.
If you have other formats like Betamax, many services will have conversion services for those as well.
2. Use VHS Conversion to Digital Capture Dongles
If you have time, have too many videos or don’t want to spend too much on video transfer, you can go the DIY route. The best, easiest way to convert VHS to digital mac is to find a VHS player, together with a video capture dongle.
The idea is to connect the video capture dongle to your Mac’s USB ports. You can then connect the other end to the VHS player’s connectors. The normal setup should be a SCART to RCA cable, with a composite video connection as well.
Many VHS to digital conversion dongles will have software bundled with them. These should work with your Windows or Mac. It’s best to use the bundled software for the best compatibility.
Some Key Takeaways When You Copy VHS to Computer
When you start running the VHS tapes through the player, the capture software will start recording the videos as well. Every conversion will run as long as the tape does. This means if you have 60 minutes of videos, VHS conversion to digital will also run for 60 minutes.
For those unsure how long the tape will go, set a time limit enough to cover one full-length movie, or around 70 – 90 minutes. Also, start recording a few seconds before you push through. Make sure there are video and audio processing in the background.
Once you convert VHS to digital mac, your next job is to compress the files. Many of the converted files are often uncompressed. They will eat between 2GB for a 30-minute video to more than 30GB for 2.5 hours.
Many video converters like Handbrake can do the job without any problems.
3. Using a VHS – DVD Combo Player
Another way to do VHS conversion to digital is to use a VHS – DVD combo player. While they can be a bit archaic and old, you can still find them on Amazon or eBay for a price, which should be around $100 or more. That’s hefty, so it’s best to get them only if you have a good number of VHS to convert.
Once you find one, you would need a blank DVD-R or DVD-RW in the player itself. This will then allow the same process as recording it to a capture device. The only difference is you’re converting straight to DVD rather than copy VHS to a computer.
It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s guide on how to use the combo player itself. If you don’t get a manual, search Google for the manuals or guides. Most enthusiasts will have a post for the process.
As with the previous process, you would need to play the entire length of the tape to copy it to DVD. You can leave the entire process running while you do some chores. You can then use the DVD and store it somewhere, otherwise, you can also rip the DVD straight to your Windows or Mac computer.
The DIY process can be expensive and time-consuming. Much of the work comes from sourcing the VHS to digital conversion components piecemeal. If you’re not very savvy with online sales or computers, it’s best to leave this job for the experts.
Converting Tape to Digital the Easy Way
If you want to convert tape to digital, you have different choices. If you have a big collection of VHS tapes and copious amounts of time, it might be best to do DIY. If you only want to get that one childhood tape converted, go for an expert service.
For those looking for media conversions or tech repairs, you need a name you can trust. What you need is Techville.
Techville is your partner for everything digital you want. From doing repairs for your computers and tablets to converting your old videos to digital, we have it here for you.
Talk to your friends at Techville now and let’s help you go digital today. Connect with us now.