How and Where to Convert VHS to Digital - Step By Step Guide | 2021
Take a moment to think about all the incredibly important memories you have saved on VHS cassette tapes. You probably have videos of your children or grandchildren blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. You probably have videos of you and your friends having fun during your teenage years. You may even have videos of some notable event like your wedding or a religious service. These are all precious and cherished memories that no one would ever want to forget.
However, your VHS tapes are deteriorating every day. VHS tapes used magnetic charges to stop their video, and those charges grow slightly weaker every day. They wear down even more when you play them. For these reasons, it is incredibly important to digitize your VHS tapes as soon as you get the chance.
Here are a number of various options for digitzing your VHS tapes.
How to Convert a VHS to DVD?
To convert VHS tapes to digital DVD media will help protect those memories from fading - not just from your mind, but from the VHS tapes themselves. We will cover two approaches.
The first approach uses a DVD recorder. This approach requires purchasing a standalone DVD recorder, so it involves an up front cost. It also is not flexible, as you will not be able to edit or change the footage in any way.
The second approach uses an analog-to-digital converter and a computer to import you VHS tapes as video files (eg. MPEG files) where they can be edited before burning to DVD. This approach is not as automated and will take more effort, but it has the benefit of allowing for the creation of a DVD menu with titles, or cutting out unwanted breaks in the tape.
Here are the steps for using the DVD Recorder approach:
Using a DVD Recorder
Here are the steps for using the digital converter approach:
Using an Analog-to-Digital Converter and a Computer
How to Transfer VHS to Computer
There are two options you can consider:
- Save time by paying a professional for the service.
- Doing it yourself.
If you choose option 1 and have a professional do the service, you should consider price and flexibility. Having someone else digitize your VHS tapes means that you will pay more and have less flexibility with formats.
If you choose option 2 and do it yourself, you will likely save money and have more flexibility, but it can also be complicated and time consuming. If you only have one tape to convert, it’s also possible that the up front costs of purchasing the equipment will outweigh the costs of the service.
Easiest Way To Convert VHS to Digital
The easiest way to convert VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, and HI–8 tapes to digital files is, by far, using an online service like LegacyBox or iMemories. You can also convert other formats like Digital8, MiniDV, and even Betamax or PAL. These services will do the work for you and allow you to save that bundle of frustration and headache for some other project you’ve wanted to tackle.
To use these online services, you will need to visit their website, set up an order and pay for it, and wait for a specialized box to arrive. Once their shipping material has arrived, you will catalog your individual tapes and package them for delivery. Be prepared for the turnaround time to be 6 to 8 weeks, as these services are popular and each conversion takes considerable time. You may or may not be able to pay to expedite your processing.
However, the online services will also offer many different delivery methods, allowing for you to receive your videos in your preferred way. You may, for instance, be able to access your converted video directly on your iPhone or Android device in order to download it.
Best Video Transfer Service Company Near Me
You may be able to find a local electronics store or video guru willing to do the same service as iMemories or LegacyBox locally. However, since this is a niche service category, you may not be able to find a local option. In this case you will want to choose from online services like iMemories or LegacyBox.
Here are some unique features of each service to help decide:
- iMemories can process VHS, VHS-C, Betamax, 8mm, Hi8, Video8, Digital8, MiniDV, MicroMini, Super 8, 16mm, photo slides, and photo negatives.
- LegacyBox can process VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Video 8, MiniDV, Betamax, MicroMV, PAL, Digital 8, 16mm, 35mm photo slides, as well as audio cassette, and reel-to-reel video.
- Both services offer the return of your originals, free “enhancement” and a shipping time of approximately 5 business days.
- LegacyBox may take as long as 8 weeks for the entire process to finish and be turned around, while iMemories offers shorter times of 2 to 3 weeks.
- iMemories has a price of $11.99 per tape, where LegacyBox offers bundles starting at $53.99 for 2 tapes, 2 pieces of film or 25 photos.
Need more information on which VHS to Digital Service to choose between iMemories and LegacyBox? Check out this article that talks about the differences between these two. imemories vs legacybox
Whichever service you device to try, or perhaps you decide to DIY (Do It Yourself) you should make all reasonable efforts to digitize your old analog VHS tapes because the memories found on them are often precious and not something that should be lost to old, outdated technology and forgotten.