Changing a VHS to DVD
There are different ways of changing a VHS to DVD. Probably the most common way is to buy a capture device (usually plugs into an available USB port) and hook up a VCR to it using RCA cables. Hit play on the VCR and Capture (or Record) on the capture device. Once the video file is captured, you can easily drop it into an DVD authoring program to create a movie to share with your friends and family. You can even upload the video file to YouTube or Facebook to share with even more people than physical DVDs can reach!
The nice part about using the computer is that one can make chapters, transitions, add any words, titles, etc. that are wanted. They offer many different fonts, styles, and colors; you get a lot more choice and can make a first class movie. There is a lot of information on line so it would be worth your time to browse and compare software.
A quick note about kits that advertise as VHS to DVD conversion kits: be careful when buying them. A number of them are over-priced and don’t work as well as advertised. Do your research on Amazon or by Googling “review”. Stick to well-known brands with good reviews if you go this route, though it’s often cheaper and almost as easy to buy a simple 30-40 dollar capture device and use free software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to create your movies.
Another option is to purchase a transfer machine that is a combination of DVD writer and VCR. These are much more costly than buying the equipment for the computer. They can be hooked up to a TV, be sure you have the correct imputs, so you can view what you are copying. A tape is inserted in one side and a DVD in the other side. However long the movie is that is how long it takes to copy. These devices work well if you have a lot of VHS tapes and don’t want to deal with the hassle including a computer in the process can introduce. These are easy to use and generally well documented to just read the instruction manual and you should be good to go.
You can also use a professional service where you can just drop your big box of tapes off and they’ll return to you a big box of DVDs. These cost the most but are the easiest way to go about it.
Time is running out! VHS tapes degrade over time and become completely unwatchable. The first signs of this is often a very dark image, so you want to make the change quickly!