Last updated on February 11th, 2024 at 09:30 am
This post will explain how you get can a hold of VHS to DVD software for free. It also covers the topic of free VHS to PC software and VHS to digital software.
Let’s first look at how VHS capture software works, let’s take a look at how a typical program works.
How Does VHS to Digital Software Work?
Basic Hardware Connection for VHS to Digital
To convert VHS to digital, you would need a video capture device. You would generally connect your VHS player to this device through an RCA connection.
The device is then connected to your computer through the USB port.
Analog video signal sent from the VHS player is converted to digital through the device.
Video Capture Software Role
It is then captured into the computer through the VHS to digital converter software you install on your computer.
In other words, the software acts as a bridge between your capture device and your computer. It recognizes the device and communicates with it to receive the digitized video stream.
The software also controls what’s being recorded on the computer. This is usually done with the Start/Stop button on the software.
You can see a live preview of the video while capturing it, ensuring you’re capturing the desired section at the correct quality.
The software also acts as a video encoder. It takes the raw digital video stream from your capture device and compresses it into a digital format like MP4, AVI, or WMV. File size is reduced which allows for manageable storage and also for easy playback on various digital devices.
Captured video quality can be adjusted through the software. If you want high-quality video be prepared for larger file sizes.
Noise Reduction and Video Filters
Some VHS video capture software will allow you to clean up noise in the digitized video. You may also color-correct and sharpen the video with the provided filters.
Video Editing and Sharing
Your captured video will be stored in a default location on your computer. However, you may use the settings section of the software to choose your preferred location.
Video capture programs also double as video editors. Once the capture process is done, you can then do basic editing like trimming, cutting, or merging clips. You can also export the digitized videos to platforms like YouTube or burn them to DVDs for physical copies.
VHS Capture Software Comes Bundled with Video Capture Device
When you buy a VHS-to-digital converter, you don’t have to worry about what software you’ll be using to capture VHS footage on your computer.
VHS to DVD or digital converters come with VHS capture software bundled. It is usually included as a CD-ROM.
For example, for the Easycap analog video converter, Honestech VHS to DVD software is bundled with the device.
The software bundled will usually have no problem, working with the device. The manufacturers usually test them before being offered to consumers.
If your video capture software isn’t in the form of a CD, you’ll be asked to download it from the manufacturer’s website.
Issues with Bundled VHS to Digital Converter Software
For some reason, you may not be able to use the software program that comes with your video capture device.
For example, some programs may capture video with large file sizes. Recently, a user complained in a forum that a bundled software program. An hour and a half of captured video took up about 122GB of disk space.
Also, you may not be able to use your VHS to digital converter software because it is an older version. It may not work with the current version of your operating system. Maybe your video capture program was designed to work with Windows XP or Vista. It may not work with Windows 10 or 11.
Free VHS to Digital Video Capture Software Programs
There are some paid versions of VHS to digital converter software out there.
However, if you’re not prepared for a paid version then you can get hold of a free VHS to the digital converter software program.
Do These Software Programs Work with the Latest Computers?
You may wonder if these software programs are compatible with newer computers.
Worry not, as VHS-to-digital converter software programs work with Windows 10.
These programs will work just fine when capturing and digitizing video from an analog source like tape players or camcorders.
Use as Free VHS to MP4 Software for Windows
If you wish to capture VHS footage as MP4, these software programs will work, too. You can then edit the footage within the program or do it with another video editing program.
Use as VHS to DVD Software
These video capture software programs also double as free VHS to DVD software for Windows 7 and Windows 10.
Some like VirtualDub will even work with Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP and Vista.
No problem if you can’t burn directly burn your captured VHS footage to DVD through the free software.
Just use a free DVD burner program to burn the captured VHS file to DVD.
VirtualDub is an open-source video processing program for Windows that has been available since 2000.
It is available for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
Apart from its video processing capabilities, it allows for video capture. Video captured is stored in the AVI format.
VirtualDub has the capability of detecting your video capture device. Once that’s done, all you have to do is tweak some capture settings and you’ll be good to go.
Watch the video below for guidance on how to use this free VHS to digital software.
OBS Studio is well-known in the video production fraternity when it comes to live streaming.
However, only a few know that it doubles as VHS to digital converter software. Yes, it can capture analog video digitized through a video capture device.
This is a leading free VHS to digital converter software program for Windows 10.
In case you can’t get your VHS to digital converter software to work with your version of Windows, OBS Studio is a safe bet.
If you’re new to this software, you’ll need a little time to familiarise yourself with it.
When it comes to video capture, you would have to capture video and audio separately.
OBS allows you to capture your VHS footage in MP4. It makes it playable across many devices, including smartphones, tablets, and HDTVs.
Watch the video below for detailed instructions on how to convert VHS to digital with this free software.
VLC Media Player
If you don’t want to install software on your computer, you may use the VLC player as a free VHS-to-digital converter software program. Especially if you already have VLC Media Player installed on your software.
The VLC Media Player is not only used to play almost any type of media file thrown at it but also can be used as a free VHS-to-digital converter software program.
VLC Media Player will be useful as a VHS to digital capture software program if you want to digitize a single VHS tape or a portion of it. It saves you the trouble of installing software that takes up disk space and computing resources.
It’s not going to be as straightforward as using a dedicated VHS to digital software program. However, it can get the job done if you set it up. You may need to try out different settings until you get a satisfying result.
In case VLC isn’t able to detect your video capture device, you can try the fix as shown in the video below,
You’ve taken a look at some free VHS-to-digital converter software programs. Choose the one that best suits your requirements.
You may also want to take a look at transferring VHS to a PC without a capture device.
NCH VideoPad Video Editor (Free Version)
Basic Yet Functional
VideoPad Video Editor comes with the facility to capture VHS footage through a video capture device.
Be reminded though, that you get only basic features to control and navigate your recordings. This would include the ability to play, pause, stop, and rewind your captured videos.
The live preview window helps you monitor what you’re capturing. It helps you ensure that you’re recording the desired segment.
Trim and cut: Chop away unwanted portions at the beginning or end of your footage, removing distracting blank space or focusing on specific moments.
Video transitions: Add basic transitions like fades or dissolves between clips to give your video a more polished feel.
Text and images: Overlay simple text titles or add static images to personalize your video or provide context.
Exporting and Sharing
- Various export formats: Convert your captured VHS recordings to popular digital formats like MP4, AVI, and WMV for compatibility with most devices and platforms.
- Direct upload: Share your videos directly to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo without leaving the program (requires account linking).
- Burn to DVD: Create physical copies of your digitized VHS treasures for preservation or sharing with loved ones who lack digital access.
Limitations to Consider
- Free for non-commercial use: VideoPad’s free version is strictly for personal enjoyment and non-commercial projects. Using it for commercial purposes requires upgrading to a paid license.
- Output quality limitations: Free licenses might limit video resolution and bitrate options, potentially resulting in lower-quality output compared to paid versions.
- Feature restrictions: Advanced editing tools like audio mixing, color correction, or multi-track editing might be absent in the free version.
Overall, NCH VideoPad Video Editor (Free Version) offers a decent entry point for basic VHS to digital conversion and editing needs.
It’s perfect for casual users who simply want to preserve their VHS memories without extensive editing or professional-grade features.
However, if you seek higher output quality, advanced editing tools, or commercial use, consider exploring the paid versions or alternative capture and editing software.
Remember, the choice depends on your individual needs and priorities. With a little research and a good understanding of your requirements, you can find the ideal solution to bring your VHS memories back to life in the digital age!
Check out NCH VideoPad Video Editor.
Table: Free VHS to Digital Converter Software Options
The table below highlights the top free VHS to digital converter software programs for quick reference.
|Open-source, supports various output formats, simple interface
|Basic editing features, no capture card functionality
|VLC Media Player
|Windows, macOS, Linux
|Open-source, built-in screen recording, basic editing tools
|Not specifically designed for VHS conversion, limited output formats
|Windows, macOS, Linux
|Open-source, powerful live streaming and recording software, advanced customization
|Steeper learning curve, requires separate capture card
|Open-source, lightweight capture and processing tool, good for simple conversions
|Basic interface, limited editing features
|Windows, macOS, Linux
|Open-source, supports frame-accurate editing and filtering, batch processing
|Can be challenging for beginners, limited output formats
|Freemake Video Converter
|Easy-to-use interface, supports various output formats and devices, built-in capture card functionality
|Free version has limited features and watermarks
|Supports capturing from various sources, including VHS, multiple encoding options
|Interface can be overwhelming for beginners, free version has limited features
|Free DVD authoring software, can be used to burn converted VHS tapes to DVD
|Requires separate VHS capture software, basic editing features
|WinX DVD Ripper Platinum
|Free trial, rips DVDs and converts videos to various formats, basic editing tools
|Limited features in free trial, not specifically designed for VHS
Check out this video for a quick recap of what you’ve learned.