VHS tapes and VCR’s have become old fashioned and are not common in use anymore. There is also a possibility that your VHS tape will gradually degrade, irrespective of whether you play it frequently or not. In less than three years, the VHS tapes can begin to fall apart. DVD’s on the other hand, can last from 20 to over 200 years. Therefore, any footage or video in the VHS format can be preserved by converting it into a DVD. There are many ways in which you can convert your VHS tapes to DVD; you just have to find the one that suits you the most. If, by now, you have decided to convert your VHS to DVD, read the article and know how to do the same.
Converting VHS To DVD
- Using an analog-to-DV converter, capture the VHS video in a computer video editing program. The next step is to encode it to MPEG-2 and author a DVD. Though this process is quite time-consuming, if gives you the option to edit the video according to your preference. You can also add transitions, special effects, music etc. However, the considerable time that is spent on software encoding to MPEG-2 ensures several hours of work on your computer. Editing the video also takes away a significant amount of time.
- Using hardware capture devices, capture the video in the computer as MPEG-2. After the video has been captured, author and burn the DVD. It takes a complete one hour to capture a one-hour video and compress it to MPEG-2. However, editing of the MPEG-2 files is limited to the “cuts-only” option. In case your original tape doesn’t require any editing, this is a fast way to convert VHS to DVD. It also gives you the flexibility to create custom DVD menus.
- Connect your VHS VCR or camcorder to a standalone DVD recorder, which functions similar to a VCR. This VHS to DVD recorder will basically give you a DVD copy of your tape. You may not be able to use features, such as menus, buttons and chapter settings, while you do the conversion.
- In case you can arrange for a "DVD VCR" with Firewire connection, all you need to do is to plug a DV/Digital8/DVCAM camcorder or VCR into it and transfer the tapes to DVD.
Irrespective of the method you use to covert VHS to DVD, try to ensure that the analog video is of the highest possible quality. If there are flaws in the original video, they will get all the more magnified when you encode it to MPEG-2, to make a converted DVD.
- Clean the tape heads on your VCR or camcorder. Sometimes, a lot of residue is to be found on the heads, which can result in drop outs and other picture flaws.
- In case you have a sharpness control in your VHS VCR, turn down the sharpness. Some tape players also have an “edit” button, which can be used to bring down playback sharpness.