There are those of us who want to hold on to our vast VHS collections. However, no matter how well you store them, the degradation that VHS tapes experience is all but assured. If you really want to keep that media, you have to convert them to DVD, a nearly-infinite form of media if it's stored adequately. With the help of VHS to DVD conversion software and the right computer, you can find a lot of benefits to this method, like the ability to edit down your videos and previewing them before you burn them to DVD.
Your computer will really open up the options you have at your disposal when transferring VHS to DVD, given that you have the right programs. If you want to capture analog video and burn it onto a DVD, your computer needs the following things:
A. Software For Video Editing - Your Video Capture Device will work with this program, as you can easily edit and burn the media afterwards. Depending on the software package you get, you will get far different prices, learning curves, and features.
B. Video Capture Device - Your computer needs to be able to capture your VHS tape's analog signals and store them digitally for later conversion. A capture device or card is the best way to do this, as you just plug it in and have it convert.
C. DVD Burner - In order to make that DVD, you need a DVD burner so you can export the file from your computer to the DVD player.
For the most part, you might need to take the time to buy each individual thing, but you can find capture device/software bundles on the market.
VHS2DVD Wizard (VHS2DVDWizard.com)
You can run VHS2DVD Wizard on just about any recent Windows OS, and you will get all of the tools you require to start converting. In this bundle, you will get a USB video capture device, an RCA video cable, and the software CD, giving you a one-stop method of getting your videos converted to DVD. If you are nervous around computers, you can find easy to use tutorials that enable you to find all the information necessary to get the job done. Your conversion process will be extremely easy with the help of the software included with this package, and you will be able to edit out all the stuff you don't want before you finish the DVD burning process. Even if your VHS tape has copy protection, it will copy it for you.
NCH Golden Video
With the help of NCH Golden Video, you will be able to easily convert your VHS video cassettes to a digital format. You can use the simple wizard that enables you to install the program, and you could use the image restoration tools to make your conversion easier. If you have slight degradation in the image quality of your VHS tape, these features can really come in handy. You will also be able to have it automatically stop when the video is over, making the capture process a lot easier. With the help of this software, you do not need a lot of technical skills in order to put titles and menus on your DVD, as well as tweaking effects and changing the audio levels. The software itself has CD/DVD burning applications, making it your one stop shop for VHS conversion and DVD burning.
While you can run this application on any form of Windows OS, you do not get the capture device, so you will have to buy that on your own.
Roxio Easy VHS to DVD
In terms of DVD playback and video/audio software for the home PC, there is no more popular name than Roxio, and a lot of people know the chief products in their line of software. With this Easy VHS to DVD software bundle, you get an easy to use USB video capture device. You can use the Easy VHS to DVD application with any form of Windows, but it takes a while to install the program, and will take a lot of effort. If you are not very knowledgeable about computers, you might have some trouble. With the help of this application, you can also have trouble converting your home videos, as it will often think that they are copy protected and cease to convert.
In the event that this is the bundle that you get, it is recommended that you just keep the USB capture device and throw the disk away, opting instead for a different program that is easier to use.
Honestech VHS to DVD
You will get a USB video capture device with this software bundle, however, so you can hook your camera or VHS to your computer. With this software, you can keep it at beginner mode, or change to advanced level if you want to change things around a bit. From Windows XP to Windows 7, you will find that it is a simple matter to install this capture device.
While there is a video capture device included, be aware that the program will take up a lot of resources, requiring you to have a fairly advanced machine to run it. If you do, though, you can convert Macrovision or copy protected VHS tapes in addition to your home movies.
You can find quite a few different ways to convert VHS to DVD with the help of your computer, allowing you the freedom to keep your VHS collection for decades to come, playing them instead in a DVD format.