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Videotapes are repositories of priceless memories, holding family chronicles, treasured movies, and nostalgic shows. Unfortunately, time is relentless, and old VHS tapes can deteriorate over time. After 10–20 years, the tape might jam and become damaged, which leads to a loss of visual and audio quality.

What can you do with videotaped footage from a long time ago? The best way to preserve your videotape is by digitizing it. Converting the video to a digital format will ensure its preservation for many years.

You can use several methods to solve this issue. In this article, we’ll outline the proven way: using a PC and special tools to convert VHS video to a digital format.

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Before Converting VHS to Digital

Converting old VHS tapes to a digital format isn’t just a “copy and paste” process. Choosing the right converter is crucial for achieving high-quality results. We’ll highlight the main points to help you choose the perfect software, and the task won’t be difficult.

Capture Method

  • External Capture: This is the most common and user-friendly method. You connect your VHS player to your computer using a video capture device (often a USB-connected box) and a cable like RCA or S-video. The capture device’s software then records the video signal.
  • Built-in Capture: Some laptops and computers offer integrated video capture features. However, the quality might not be as good as in external capture devices.

Video quality

  • Recording resolution: VHS tapes record in 240p or 480p. Modern converters can record video with a higher resolution, like 720p or 1080p, but the original VHS signal limits the output quality.
  • Supported formats: Choose software that supports popular digital video formats such as MP4, AVI, and MOV to ensure compatibility with various devices.

Editing features

  • Basic editing: Some converters allow you to edit videos after recording, like cropping, overlaying effects, and adding music.
  • Image Stabilization: You can get a stable image to make it clearer and more enjoyable to watch.
  • Noise Removal: Relevant programs can remove unnecessary noises and interferences in VHS.

An interface

  • Easy to use: Choose the software with a simple, intuitive interface without difficult control.
  • Useful settings: The software should offer adjustable brightness, contrast, and recording speed settings.
  • Compatibility
  • Operating system: The software should support your operating system (Windows/Linux/macOS).
  • Additional hardware: Find out if the program requires additional hardware, such as a special graphics card or video capture device.

Availability

  • Free software: These converters may have limited functionality and low recording quality. Some free converters may include advertisements
  • Paid programs: Paid tools usually provide broader functionality, higher recording quality, and don’t contain ads.

5 Best VHS to Digital Converters

Roxio VHS to DVD Converter
Roxio VHS to DVD Converter

Roxio Easy VHS to DVD

This kit transfers VHS recordings to digital media, including DVDs and your computer. The capture device connects to your computer and has RCA and mini-DIN inputs for connecting a VHS video recorder or camera. And the program helps you edit videos.

Pros:

Cons:

Straightforward interface: The program is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced users.

 

High cost: The price is at the higher end of the market.

High-quality capture: This device ensures high-quality video transfer from VHS tapes.

Loss of quality: The video quality after conversion may not be ideal, especially if the original videotape is old or damaged.

Additional features: The software provides you with the ability to edit videos, add titles, overlay music, change the playback speed, etc.

 

 

Digital archive: Videos can be saved on your computer in various formats, including MP4, AVI, and MPEG-2.

 

Pricing: $60-$80

Vidbox Video Conversion Suite

Vidbox Video Converter Software
Vidbox Video Converter Software

Vidbox Video Conversion Suite is software to transfer VHS tapes to digital video. You connect the VCR to your computer using a capture card (a separate device) and record video. After that, you can edit, convert, and share your memories online, on social media, DVDs, or even in cloud storage.

Pros:

Cons:

A complete set of tools: The program provides all the required tools to convert your VHS tapes.

Paid software: You will need to pay to use it.

High-quality conversion: The tool converts your VHS tapes into high-quality digital video. You can choose from several output formats, including MP4, AVI, and MOV.

Hardware requirements: Your computer should meet the minimum requirements before buying the software.

Built-in editor: You can crop video clips, add transitions, and even create a slideshow, using this tool. In addition, the tool offers noise reduction and color correction.

Some technical experience: Although the program is relatively easy to use, you need technical skills to connect a VCR and troubleshoot connection problems.

Image stabilization: Old VHS recordings are often unstable. This feature can smooth out the video irregularities, making it more enjoyable to watch.

 

Pricing:

  • For PC or Mac: $69.99
  • For both Mac & PC: $79.99

Movavi Video Editor

Motavi Video Editor
Motavi Video Editor

Movavi Video Editor is a powerful program for editing and transferring video files from one format to another. You can quickly figure out how to convert VHS to digital for watching on any device, sharing online, or editing in a different program. It also supports many other features, like editing, compressing, and enhancing videos.

Pros

Cons

Fast conversion speeds: The software uses advanced technology to convert your videos quickly. You can convert a 2-hour movie in just a few minutes.

Limited free trial: The free trial puts a watermark on your converted videos.

Direct Capture: Simply connect your VCR to your computer, and Movavi can capture the video directly. No complicated setups or external capture cards needed.

The video capture card isn’t included: You need a separate video capture card to connect your VHS player to your computer.

Multi-format supported: Movavi Video Editor supports many video and audio formats, including MP4, AVI, MKV, MOV, MP3, etc.

 

Additional features: The software can edit your video, compress the size, enhance the quality, and even extract audio from videos. This program includes built-in tools for cropping, rotating, adding watermarks, and AI features.

 

Video enhancement features: The “SuperSpeed” and “Deinterlace” tools help eliminate video artifacts like flickering, giving your old VHS tapes a more modern, smooth look.

 

Pricing:

  • Free Trial: Limited conversion time and a watermark on the output videos.
  • Monthly subscription: $19.95/month
  • Annual subscription: $79.95/year
  • Lifetime license: $99.95/one-time

Elgato Video Capture

Elgato Video Capture
Elgato Video Capture

Elgato Video Capture is a device for transferring your old VHS tapes to a computer. It’s a modern-day VCR that connects directly to your computer via USB. This lets you convert VHS tapes directly into digital files. The process is straightforward: plug the device in, connect your VHS player, and start recording.

Pros:

Cons:

Easy setup: It’s simple to set up. You just plug it into your computer and connect your VHS player. The software doesn’t need difficult installations or extra hardware.

Slow conversion: Depending on the length of your tapes, the conversion process can take a significant time. For example, a 2-hour VHS tape can take around 2 hours to convert to digital video.

High-quality recording: You can record your VHS tapes in 1080p resolution, capturing them with more detail and clarity than your old VHS player could ever manage.

Primarily designed for VHS: It can’t handle older formats like Betamax or 8 mm.

Multiple compatibility: It works with various VHS players and is compatible with Windows and Mac computers.

 

Direct recording: You can record your VHS tapes directly onto your computer. You don’t need to worry about external storage devices or transferring files later.

 

Pricing: $87.99

Prism Video Converter

Prism Video Converter Software
Prism Video Converter Software

Prism Video Converter is a versatile tool that lets you convert videos to digital format. Unlike analog converters, this program supports modern formats and codecs, ensuring high-quality output.

Pros:

Cons:

Direct capture: Prism lets you capture video directly from your VCR through your computer’s USB port, eliminating the need for an external capture card.

Limited support for older VCRs: While Prism works with most common VCRs, it may have compatibility issues with some older models.

Audio and video editing: Fine-tune your video with features, like noise reduction, de-interlacing, and color correction to improve picture quality.

Potential quality loss: Converting VHS to digital format inevitably leads to some quality loss, especially with older tapes that may have degraded over time.

Timecode tracking: Maintain accurate timecodes throughout your conversions, ensuring consistency and ease of editing.

 

Supports multiple formats: Output your videos in many formats, like MP4, AVI, WMV, and more, ensuring compatibility with your devices.

 

Video splitting: Cut long VHS tapes into short clips for easy sharing and organization.

 

Pricing:

  • Free Trial: Test the software for a limited time.
  • Personal: $49.95.
  • Family: $79.95.
  • Business: $199.95.

Digitize Your VHS Tapes Today

Converting your VHS tapes to digital is a great way to preserve your memories and make them easily accessible for many years.

There are many ways to do this, but the best choosing for you will depend on your budget and needs.

Now, don’t let those old tapes gather dust any longer. Pick a converter from our list, download it, and get ready to relive some of your favorite moments.

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