The 9 Best VHS To DVD Converters

Updated February 14, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

9 Best VHS To DVD Converters
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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you have a box full of old home videos taking up space and getting dusty in your attic, you should consider bringing those memories up to date with one of these VHS to DVD converters. Most of the items on our list will not only let you burn the footage to disc, but also convert it to digital files that are ideal for uploading to Facebook or YouTube. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best vhs to dvd converter on Amazon.

9. Roxio 3 Plus

The Roxio 3 Plus comes with software that will not only capture your footage, but allow you to correct for things like shaky images, unwanted noise, and faded color. You can also upgrade any music that you have on LPs or audio cassettes to CDs or MP3 files.
  • includes templates for disc labels
  • built-in transitions effects
  • occasional video quality issues
Brand Roxio
Model 251000
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Pinnacle Systems Dazzle

The Pinnacle Systems Dazzle offers several different output options. You can burn your footage to a disc, upload it right onto the internet, or output it onto a mobile device. So whether you want to keep your home movies on a shelf or put them on YouTube, you're covered.
  • editing software included
  • multiple file formats available
  • prone to annoying glitches
Brand Pinnacle Systems
Model DVCPTENAM
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. UCEC Capture Card

The UCEC Capture Card can connect older, analog media devices, like a VHS or Betamax player, to almost any modern computer. It allows you to adjust the brightness, saturation, and contrast of the footage, so you can get the best possible picture.
  • maintains video quality
  • removable end cap
  • software limited to short clips
Brand UCEC
Model 4330186177
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Top-Longer Grabber

The Top-Longer Grabber comes with everything you need to start preserving your memories right away. The included software is simple enough that even people who aren't computer savvy should be able to figure it out in no time.
  • doesn't require a power adapter
  • works with mac os and windows
  • captures up to 30 frames per second
Brand Top-Longer
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. ClearClick Video To Digital

With the handheld ClearClick Video To Digital system, you can record old VHS or camcorder footage right onto the device's internal 4GB hard drive. Just check playback on the unit's little screen, then save the media in whatever format you choose.
  • no computer or software required
  • converts into web-ready files
  • comes with tv output cable
Brand ClearClick
Model Video2Digital
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Fly Kan Video Grabber

The Fly Kan Video Grabber makes it easy to convert tapes to either discs or digital files. All you do is plug the cables into a VCR, press play, and hit record on your computer. Then you can either burn the footage onto DVDs or save it to a hard drive.
  • includes s-video cable
  • supports ntsc and pal formats
  • allows you to capture still images
Brand Fly Kan
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Funai Combination Recorder

With the Funai Combination Recorder, you have the option to simply watch and enjoy your old VHS tapes, or you can burn their footage right onto a DVD and help to preserve the files for better longevity. This is a very basic, yet reliable, system.
  • line-in recording through cable box
  • 1080p upscaling from hdmi output
  • can record up to 6 hours at a time
Brand Funai
Model MAIN-05563
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

2. Enko Products RCA to HDMI

The Enko Products RCA to HDMI is easy to set up. It doesn't require any installation, so all you have to do it plug it in. And since it comes with a six-foot-long HDMI cable, you don't need to put your computer right up next to the VCR.
  • color-coded inputs
  • works with older game consoles
  • usb and hdmi outputs
Brand enKo Products
Model P-UDAHSQXTCYSEDL
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Vidbox Video Conversion Suite

The Vidbox Video Conversion Suite comes with all the software and hardware you need to start bringing those old tapes of your fondest family memories into a format fit for the 21st century. It works with VHS, Betamax, and many camcorder formats.
  • usb and rca cables included
  • free us-based tech support
  • can convert audio cassettes to cds
Brand VIDBOX
Model VCP1M
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

A History Of The Vaunted VHS Format

The VHS cassette tape was first developed by JVC, a Japanese technology and electronics company, in the 1970s. VHS is an acronym for the Video Home System, and indeed that descriptive name is an apt one for these units. Understanding why merits a look slightly farther back into history.

Magnetic tape was first used for audio recording, with viable application seen in the late 1920s. Magnetic video recording tape was first developed some two and a half decades later. In the 1950s, magnetic video tape was commonly used in the professional television industry, recording shows for later rebroadcast. The complexity and expense both of early video magnetic tape and the machinery that processed it limited the use of the medium to professional media production and broadcast companies and to certain medical and scientific applications, such as with fluoroscopy imaging.

Flash forward another two decades to the 1970s, and we see the beginnings of what would be the first commercially viable home video platform. And indeed beginnings is the right word, as two competing formats of magnetic video tape came to the fore during that decade. One, produced by the Sony Corporation, would come to be known as Betamax, a video tape format that actually went on to see extreme success in various professional fields, and limited success as a format for home movie watching.

It was the Video Home System -- the iconic VHS video cassette -- that would soon be lining the shelves at video rental stores and tucked into cabinets and drawers in homes all around the world. The first functional VHS tape prototype was produced in the year 1973, after several years of development. The first VHS players and tapes readily available to the consumer marketplace came out in Japan in 1976, and in the United States in 1977. Despite entering the market more than two years after the release of the comparable (and arguably superior) Betamax format, VHS tapes soon became the ascendant platform thanks to a furious marketing effort and thanks to agreements between JVC and various other companies that saw the format used by multiple multinational companies.

VHS recorders/players, also known as VCRs, were a mainstay of living rooms, classrooms, offices, and beyond for more than twenty years, but the latter half of the 1990s saw DVDs begin to chip away at the platform's marketshare (in a way that laser discs and other video options certainly never had). Improved digital technology would sound the death knell of this fine analog format, though in fact VCRs were still being made right up until the year 2016, a testament to the lasting quality of the format and hardware, as well as to the power of nostalgia (and/or inertia) among many media consumers.

Why Converting Tape To Digital Is Essential

Venerable and celebrated though the VHS format may be, it is also vulnerable, too. Time is the greatest enemy of the Video Home System video cassette tape, with quality degradation slowly but steadily reducing the functionality of the tape, and with repeated viewings only speeding up the process. Video cassette tapes often deteriorate past the point of viable playability due to demagnetization, a process which can happen over time or that can occur rapidly in the event that a powerful magnet or a potent heat source comes into close proximity with the tape. A demagnetized tape has lost the ability to transfer the images and audio it once held to a video tape player.

Other factors that can speed the deterioration of a video cassette tape are humidity and/or direct contact with moisture or liquid. When a VHS tape is stored in humid conditions, or else when a fluid is spilled or splashed onto the cassette, it can cause the tape to become distorted, sticky, or otherwise compromised, leaving the very real potential that the stresses put on the tape by its next viewing will cause it to break completely or become distorted beyond viable use.

According to a survey of research conducted by various groups, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and the Sony and Fuji corporations of Japan, even video cassette tapes stored under ideal conditions will deteriorate by an average of 15% of quality every 15 years, so eventually all tapes will be broken down beyond use or repair.

And then there is another factor to consider: the VHS cassette tape format, using its thinnest (and weakest) tape could allow for, at the very longest, less than five hours of playing time. A modern Blu-ray disc (and even many DVDs) can hold significantly more material, with a Blu-ray disc capable of storing nine hours of high definition content, and as many as 23 hours of standard definition media. The VHS format was all but doomed in the era of binge watching television and marathon viewing of movie series, its inherent degradation notwithstanding.

Choosing The Right VHS To DVD Converter

There are two basic approaches to converting VHS content to DVD content. The first, and the easiest, involves using a deck that has both a VHS slot and a DVD drive with burner capabilities. The use of these machines is plug-and-play simple, and perfect for those who want to preserve their media before it deteriorates but lack much technological prowess.

Second, there is the option to use a device that features older RCA inputs paired with an advanced USB or HDMI output. You will need to own a VCR to play your old tapes to make use of this approach, and you will need a bit of software and hardware knowhow to select the right program to record the media you are playing via that charming but outdated VHS tape.

The benefit with the latter approach is their potential for use with other mediums, such as for recording gameplay you wish to upload to social media or share with friends later.


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Last updated on February 14, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer, cosplayer, and juggler who lives in Southern California. She loves sitting down with a hot cup of tea and coming up with new ideas. In her spare time, Sheila enjoys drawing, listening to podcasts, and describing herself in the third person.


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