The VHS To Dvd Converter Review
Plenty of people who remember the ‘golden days’ of VHS will likely still have a few tapes around the place, even if the VHS player itself was boxed up or thrown out many years ago. Easy and inexpensive as it is to simply replace movies and media with a DVD edition, it isn’t so straightforward when it comes to VHS cassettes that store home movies. Back when camcorders recorded directly to the tape, it was convenient to film special events and occasions then simply remove the tape and watch on TV. However with most families no longer having a tape player, we’re left with the tricky problem of how to watch our old VHS videos without the means to do so.
This is where VHS to DVD converters come into their own, as they offer a means of directly transferring the video saved on tape straight onto a digital format. Not only does this save these memories for posterity (tape degrades over time!) but also allows for them to be digitally duplicated and shared with others over the web, making them great for families who live far apart.
The Top Pick
VHStoDVD 8.0 Deluxe
This product from VidBox is all-round the best VHS to DVD conversion product available when compared by performance, ease of use and affordability. The results are consistently great quality every time and not only does it perform the conversion process with speed and excellence, it also contains a useful number of video-editing accessories and utilities that complement this primary function well. Key features:
- Compatible with VHS, Beta, 8mm and camcorder tape. A total ‘all-in-one’ tape conversion product.
- Powerful and easy to use editing function allows for addition of special features, audio capture and upload options for social media platforms.
- Compatible with all versions of Windows (including 10) and supports all commonly used video input and output formats.
- Multiple digital formats are supported including Apple and Android functionality.
- Audio recording compatibility from cassettes, LPs and video.
- Easy to use with comprehensive instructions and free U.S based customer support.
Top 5 VHS to DVD Converter
|1||Honestech||Vidbox 8.0 Deluxe
|2||Roxio||Easy 3 Plus
Considerations for Choosing the Best VHS to DVD Converter
There’s no shortage of options when looking to make digital copies of old video footage from tapes, but a quality VHS to DVD converter is without question the best option in terms of both results and affordability. The advantage of using a specialist converter is that it creates a direct digital copy that can be shared across platforms rather than just making a new burn upon one specific DVD. It saves time, adds functionality and also allows for extra editing such the need arise.
VHS to DVD converters work by making a rolling recording within the memory unit that is supplied within the device (usually around 1GB is plenty) that processes the image and transitions it into digital format. In layman’s terms it serves essentially as a translation device between film and digital formats, without which the two would be completely alien to each other.
However as with all products there are a wide variety of options available, many of which are around about a similar price range. To help people make the choice what is best for their needs, this guide is going to run through the most important features that any quality VHS to DVD converter ought to offer as standard.
1) Supplied Cables & Device Compatibility
There’s not much point in buying a VHS to DVD converter is it isn’t compatible with your device! This isn’t an issue when it comes to connecting to a PC, more-so when attaching it to an old VHS player, camcorder or home movie player – each of which will usually have a different output mode. The best products will be able to offer multiple device translation – namely that it will be able to handle any form of film based media, be it a VHS tape or even an old 8mm film wheel.
Look for products that offer a universal analogue to digital service. They must have composite RCA and S-Video compatibility. The S-Video is especially important for those sourcing their data from more obscure products as it is essentially a universal function that is standard with almost all devices.
2) Multiple Format Options
This is an easy one to overlook because many people tend to assume that the video format they use as standard is shared by everyone else. Not so, and it’s one of the most important factors when selecting a VHS to DVD converter especially when intending on editing the footage.
MPEG 1, MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 are the most common formats used by both DVD players and PC/mobile devices, so it’s important that the converter offers full functionality with these forms of encoding. Likewise NTSC – the standard U.S DVD media format – is an essential component, although the only issue likely to be found is when importing a specific converter from overseas – unlikely to be a problem for most people.
3) System Compatibility & Resource Demands
Video processing and editing is a resource intensive procedure that places high demands upon a computer. The extent of this vary quite significantly; most will work with relatively recent systems yet some high-end converters may require a similarly matching PC. Take a look at the VHS converter’s system requirements especially in regards to memory and processing speed, as some much older machines may struggle to keep up with the demands of certain models, especially if performed as a background task.
The same can also be said for which version of Windows is being used. Quite a number of VHS to DVD converters have been around a number of years and may not have kept up with the latest developments in operating systems – especially Windows 8 and 10. It’s likely that the built-in backwards compatibility within these latest versions will be able to find a solution, but it can involve more effort than necessary. If in doubt check with the manufacturer’s website before making a purchase.
Mac users will find their options far more limited than PC owners, so as ever check to be sure that the converter is specifically designed for Apple products.
4) Editing Software
All good VHS to DVD converters will come complete with their own suite of editing software which the user may or may not choose to use as they desire. However it is a useful perk – especially when looking to compress, edit or change the file format of a recording – and some are much better than others.
Companies include this software (usually developed in-house) as they assume, quite fairly, that many people will not have their own premium video editing software as it can be extremely expensive! What may at first glance seem to be an unnecessary inclusion can in fact be very useful to many users, so look especially for ease of use, system demands and possibly even customer service. User reviews online are a good way of judging the caliber of the software included as part of the package, especially for those less familiar with computers in general or new to video editing at all.
5) Additional Functions
A quality VHS to DVD converter will have more uses than just transferring media into a different format. Ideally it will also accommodate for media to be recorded from source – say for example a games console or even just from TV itself – and allow for this to be converted into a digital file for saving, sharing or broadcasting by the user.
VHS to DVD converters needn’t be a ‘one task’ purchase, and do have plenty to offer for further use not related to just transferring data from film into a digital format. While generally not the most expensive piece of technology, it’s always good to gain the option of added value for other tasks so try to aim towards these converters providing they meet the minimum standards expected.