How to transfer VHS VCR video tapes to digital video and DVD format
Here’s a question from a friend today about converting video piled up on VHS tapes into a digital-friendly format so that they can be used for the long-run:
What do you think is the easiest way to set up a way to transfer my old VCR tapes to digital media? (Ideally to mpg or wmv files on the pc) I haven’t looked at doing it yet, and it is time before the tapes die.
There are various ways to get the video off VHS videotape into your PC. But dealing with complicated issues around video capture cards, installation, etc just isn’t worth it, especially when there are much easier ways of getting that video off the tape and into your PC…
Instead of opening your PC to install video capture cards and other hardward options, there are producuts like the Dazzle DVD Recorder that were made for you and me. What is it and how does it work?
CONNECTING YOUR VHS TO THE PC
The Dazzle device is a box that sits between your PC and your VHS, TV, or any other audio/video source. You hook up the Dazzle device to your PC via a standard USB cable (VERY EASY – just plug it in!), then on the other end, you hook up the Video & Audio cables to the VIDEO OUT and AUDIO OUT ports on the back of your VCR or TV — they are even color coded usually which makes this pretty much dummy-proof.
TRANSFERING YOUR VIDEO/AUDIO TO THE PC & BURNING A DVD
The included software package will allow you to “capture” the video/audio and save it onto your hard drive. Now you can edit and create movies with programs like the free Windows Movie Maker if you wish. The Dazzle program will also allow you to burn the video files onto a DVD-R or even “compress” the files so that it can fit on a CD-R.
Now all that video won’t be subject to aging and the wear & tear of the physical video tape. And you’ll be able to hold onto your memories and pass them on to others with digital ease.
GETTING YOUR MONEY’S WORTH
If you check out local video transfer services, you’ll find that they are all over the place in terms of price. Some sell the video transfer service by the foot of video tape!?!? (how LONG is an hour of video? who knows? who cares?). Other places will do it by the video tape ($14.50/tape) and still others will do it by the hour of video ($8.50/hour). But if you buy a converter like the Dazzle DVD Recorder for about $34 street price, you’ll make your money back by converting just a couple of those tapes you have lying around the house. Time to get moving and dust off those tapes so that others can actually VIEW all that video you taped long ago!