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VHS, Video Conversion

Best VHS to DVD Converters: Choose the Top Software, Capture Devices and DVD Recorders

Types of DVD recorders

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:34 am

Updated 6.11.2020

Why Convert VHS to DVD?

If you have a bunch of home video VHS tapes, lying around , now is the time to record them to DVD or digital.

If you procrastinate on converting your VHS tapes to DVD or digital, you run the risk of losing their contents or being left with a lower quality of them.

Tape Deterioration

Videotapes deteriorate over time.

VHS tape mold

Color bleed, white specks and image distortion are among the hazards awaiting your precious content, not to mention fungus attacks causing tape mold.

You can use the neighbourhood VHS to DVD conversion service if you have a tape or two to convert. What if you’ve accumulated dozens of tapes over the hours running into hundreds of hours of playtime?

It wouldn’t be economical to use a conversion service. Plus you don’t want to take the risk of losing your tapes or having them damaged by taking them out of your house.

So, to cut costs and ensure peace of mind, you can always convert your VHS to DVD or digital yourself.

Equipment Needed to Convert VHS to DVD

Equipment You May Already Have

Chances are you’ve 75% of the equipment to do so:

  • A functional VHS VCR/Player
  • A newer computer/laptop with USB ports
  • DVD writer, whether internal or external

Equipment You Need to Purchase

What you’ll need to complete the VHS to DVD setup is a VHS to DVD converter to help you preserve precious memories to be stored in the family treasure chest for the coming generations.

That said, let’s look at the best VHS to DVD converters that would suit any need that you may have.

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite (PC&Mac)

The standout advantage of VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite is it works with a PC and Mac. So, if you want to use both these systems, then Vidbox would be the VHS to DVD converter you would want to opt for.

You can also get dedicated VIDBOX for PC or VIDBOX for Mac, if you’ll be using either one. You’ll pay a lower price.

Be reminded though that the Mac version doesn’t output to DVD but only to MP4.

So, if DVD is what you have in mind, choose the PC version which offers, DVD, MPEG-2 and MP4 as output formats.

The VHS to DVD converter box comes with RCA and S-Video output ports. So, if your VHS VCR or player has a S-Video out, you can use it to get a higher quality video.

Check out VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite, VIDBOX for PC and VIDBOX for Mac best VHS to DVD converters.

DVD Recorders

If you don’t fancy recording your video to DVD via a PC-based VHS to DVD converter,  set-top DVD recorders would be the way to go.

They’re one of the best VHS to DVD converters if you don’t want to edit your VHS videos or if they’re already edited.

DVD recorders work very much like a VCR (Video Cassette Recorder).  VCR s could record TV shows,  copy  VHS tapes from another VCR, and so on.

DVD recorders do the same thing but the only difference is they do it on a recordable DVD disc either  DVD-R/RW or DVD+R/RW.

Before moving on to explore the different types of DVD recorders, let’s examine some differences between VCR and DVD recorders.

A VHS  tape could be recorded over, erasing the existing video content in it. A recorded DVD however can’t enjoy the same facility. 

Once video is recorded on a  DVD-R or DVD+R, it can’t be erased. Video stored in a DVD-RW or DVD+RW can be erased and written over though.

Before DVD recorders became popular and affordable, the only way to record video on a DVD was through a computer and video capture device. 

It was a complicated and time-consuming process for non-techies and involved a steep learning curve.

DVD recorders simplified the process.

The most important function of a DVD recorder is to record television shows on DVD, but they also have another function – to record analog video on DVD.

It’s for the second function that DVD recorders are sought after these days.

Recording Media

Into a VCR you could pop in any VHS tape, no matter what brand.  With a DVD recorder, you can’t just insert any blank DVD.  You have to choose. There are basically two common types of recordable DVDs – DVD-R and DVD+R.

Also, a recorded VHS on a VCR can play in almost any VCR around the world provided it supports the TV standard PAL or NTSC.

A recorded DVD, however,  can only be played in a DVD player that supports the disc format it’s recorded in.

If you’re looking to record VHS or any analog tape to  DVD, here are the different types of DVD recorders you could consider.

The Standalone DVD Recorder

This DVD recorder works very much like a DVD player. There are input AV ports to receive video and audio signals. Common AV inputs include RCA or composite inputs or S-Video. Some models have component video inputs.

Component inputs aren’t of much use if you’re converting analog video to digital. There are no component video outputs in an analog video device or equipment

However, component video will be useful if you want to make a copy of a DVD. You’ll connect the component out cables of the DVD player to the component  in of the DVD recorder..

VHS -DVD Recorder Combo

Choose this type of DVD recorder if you have a stack of VHS tapes that you need to quickly convert to DVD.

The advantage of using this DVD recorder is you don’t have to have a separate VCR unit. You pop your VHS tape in the DVD recorder, insert a blank disc and can start recording.

Read more on VCR DVD Recorder combo VHS to DVD conversion.

Hard Disk DVD Recorder

Hard disk DVD recorders first appeared in 2003 and were pricey.

These days you could land a unit for USD300+.  Most entry-level hard disk DVD recorders come with a storage space of about 500GB, which would allow you a recording time of up to 500 hours.

If you run out of space, you could connect an external hard disk through the USB port.

Some units come with wireless LAN that allows you to stream video to your wireless devices.

Also, look out for the HDMI 1080P up conversion feature.  This is actually an HDMI out port that converts video stored in the hard disk to HD quality to be played back on your HDTV.

Which DVD Recorder to Choose?

DVD-R/RW recorders are compatible with most DVD players if you’ll be using the recorded discs away from home.

DVD+RW discs are compatible with certain DVD players, but the latest version of a DVD player should be able to play this format.

DVD-RAM – only specific DVD players can play these discs.

So, if you plan to share your discs with others, opt for the DVD-R/RW option


DVD recorders are helpful in making a quick backup of your videos.  Although recording to DVD via DVD recorders doesn’t offer much flexibility in terms of editing or menu creation, all is not lost.

If you have a computer with a DVD drive, you could rip the recorded  DVD and extract the video file and use it for editing, after which you could customize the DVD before burning it.

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