Convert your old VHS tapes to digital format


The way we view and capture images has changed over time. While many people still prefer shooting movies, digital is easier to share and the storage potential is huge.

Your smartphone has made video recording an almost careless practice. You can shoot as much as you want and quickly delete what you don’t need. But how do you share videos with others? Tap or click here for tips on putting together a movie from different clips for friends and family.

Analog is largely gone but not forgotten. Do you remember VHS tapes? You may have a collection of home movies and feature films on this historic medium, and hopefully you haven’t lost them. Read on for ways to preserve those precious memories.

Save your old home videos

You may have had an extensive movie collection on VHS back in the day, but at least they can be replaced by DVD, Blu-ray or better yet, digital copies and streaming services. But what about all the home movies recorded on VHS, especially as VCRs are getting harder and harder to find? Not to mention that tapes deteriorate over time.

The good news is that you can convert home videos to digital and easily enjoy them again while sharing them with others. You have a few options, and we’ll detail some of them below.

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Best VHS to Digital Converter

If you want to go the do-it-yourself route of converting your VHS to digital, you’ll need some old equipment, namely a VCR or VHS camcorder. If you don’t have one, check out places like eBay where you can buy VCRs that seemingly work for as little as $35-$40.

Make sure the seller has good ratings and ask questions before bidding. It can be as simple as asking, “Does it work?” and “When was the last time you tested it?”

You also need a converter like a budget-friendly option from UCEC that digitizes video on a computer. The UCEC video capture card can transfer VHS to digital. Connect the device to your computer’s USB 2.0 port and connect your analog video source (VHS or camcorder) to the device using the supplied RCA composite or S-video cables.

Use the supplied software or any other of your choice. You will need to transfer your VHS recordings in real time, so allow yourself some time. You can even connect the capture card to your TV and record from it to your computer.

Another option is the more extensive Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus. Capture analog video directly from your camcorder or VCR and convert it to digital on your computer. You get a number of editing tools to crop video, enhance colors, add titles, credits and transitions, reduce noise and stabilize old footage.

To get started, connect the Roxio Capture Device to a USB 2.0 port on your PC and download and install the software. Connect your VHS player or analog camcorder to your PC using the recording device and an RCA or S-Video cable (cable not included). Follow the on-screen instructions and you’re all set.

Let a company convert your old tires for you

You can send VHS tapes to companies like Costco to digitize them for you. You can save your files to a USB stick and back them up to a MemoryCloud account, which you have access to for 90 days. It allows you to download your video to your phone or computer.

Prices start at $24.99 for the first tape (any length) and then $16.99 for additional tapes. Tap or click here for more details from Costco.

Keep a few copies

As with scanning old photos, where you keep your videos is important. Those files can get corrupted or accidentally deleted, so some redundancy is a good idea.

You can store your files locally on an external hard drive or securely back them up to the cloud with our sponsor I drive. With IDrive, you can back up all your PCs, Macs and mobile devices in ONE account for one low price.

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