How to Record VHS to Computer

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Not too long ago, VCRs and VHS tapes could be found in almost every household in the United States. Such households have a huge collection of movies in the VHS format. Some of them might have also taped their favorite TV series that are no longer airing. Others mostly have video collections of family. It is because of the digital age that VHS players have become close to obsolete. They have become the thing of the past since the preferred video format now is DVD.

Materials Needed:
- VHS tapes
- VHS player
- TV tuner card
- Cables
Step 1
Firstly, you will require a video card that has a video-in port specifically for a camcorder or a VCR. They are also referred to as TV tuner cards that may be bought online at reasonable prices.
Step 2
Upon installing the said hardware onto your computer, you may now be able to connect the computer system to the VCR via the proper cables. Copying the VHS into the computer could be very time-consuming because the time needed for decoding varies depending on your computer’s speed and the detail level of the tape that is being copied. The computer will be processing large amounts of data in gigabytes and considering the amount of data that is involved, the required time is quite minimal. Fast computers are typically capable of decoding two-hour movies in four hours or even less. It takes slower computers a much longer time to finish. The process of decoding does not require the constant attention of the user that is why it could be done before going to bed or while one is at work.
Step 3
Another method employed in copying VHS to a computer is by using a DVD burner. It is among the easiest ways of converting VHS tapes to the digital format. One needs only to connect the outputs of the VHS player or VCR to the inputs of the DVD recorder. Just press the Play button found on the VCR and the Record button found on the DVD recorder and a copy is produced in a short span of time.
Step 4
Once the VHS has been converted into a file in DVD format, it could be played in the computer and downloaded into the hard drive.
Step 5
The usage of the converter box analog-to-MPEG could also be employed in copying VHS to the computer. Although it entails a very simple process, it requires the user to purchase a device that might seldom be used. Relatively, these devices are not that costly and are capable of converting VHS tapes to digital format as MPEG2 files. These files are automatically stored in the computer.
Step 6
Go through your computer’s editing application which should convert the VHS tapes to DVD format. This encodes them into MPEG2 files. There is an upside and a downside to this methodology. Because the video would be in the format DV, it could be edited on the computer easily. However, the downloading process is more time-consuming than the other methods. Additionally, proper cables are also required to connect the VCR to the computer.
Step 7
In the process of converting your VHS tapes to digital format, reducing the files’ resolution should also be taken into consideration. There are a number of software and devices that allow users to convert at half the original resolution while still retaining the quality of the video. This enables it to fit more information into a DVD or else, it could take more than a single DVD to hold the data of a two-hour VHS tape.
Step 8
Lastly, you could hire someone to do the job for you. There are several companies that engage in the conversion of VHS tapes to DVD or copy them to your computer’s hard drive for a reasonable price.