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What to Look For When Choosing the Best S-VHS to Digital Converter: Quick Tips

Last updated on May 2nd, 2024 at 01:45 pm

An S-VHS to digital converter will help you convert an S-VHS tape to DVD or a digital video format, namely MP4.

You can then play the DVD of converted S-VHS video through a DVD player or a software media player through a computer.

You can play the captured digital file through a modern video playback device like an HDTV, smartphone, or tablet.

What’s Needed to Convert S-VHS to Digital?

Generally, to convert S-VHS to digital you would need :

  • an S-VHS video playback device (S-VHS VCR or video camera),
  • an S-VHS analog to digital converter (video capture device),
  • a computer.

If you would like to burn video to DVD, you would also need a DVD writer and a DVD burner program on your computer.

Your computer must also have a spare USB port to connect the S-VHS to digital converter.


You would connect your S-VHS player to your S-VHS to digital converter. You would then connect the converter to the computer through USB. Video will be captured through the software provided by the video capture device.

Once the video is captured and stored on the hard disk, you can proceed to edit the video – cut out unwanted parts, add titles, and even effects.

If you already have an S-VHS player, then you may skip to the S-VHS to digital converter below. Otherwise, check out the S-VHS player buying ideas.

S-VHS Player VCR

You would need an S-VHS player to play back your VHS tape. A VHS VCR can’t playback an S-VHS tape unless your VCR has a Quasi S-VHS playback feature.

Both S-VHS and VHS tapes are of the same size and shape. However, there are differences between the VHS and S-VHS format.

If you have a bunch of S-VHS tapes to convert, you may have to look for an S-VHS player. S-VHS players are no longer in production. So, you may have to look for a unit online.

Let it be said that a VHS player can be more easily found than an S-VHS player.

S-VHS Video Camera

The other option is an S-VHS video camera if you can’t lay your hands on an S-VHS VCR.

The camera also has a video player function that you can use to play back video to the video capture device.

S-VHS-C Camcorder

If your tape is of the S-VHS-C (compact), then you may want to look for an S-VHS-C camcorder.

How to Choose an S-VHS to Digital Convertor (Video Capture Device)

The S-VHS digitizer is the most important part of the setup S-VHS to digital conversion setup.

Without this converter device, you can’t convert the analog video signal from your S-VHS tape to digital.

Unlike S-VHS VCRs and video cameras, S-VHS to digital converters are still in production. So, you can always get a new unit.

Here are the things you should consider when choosing an S-VHS to digital converter.

S-Video Input

Generally, any analog-to-digital video converter will work. However, since you have an S-VHS tape, you would want to choose an S-VHS digital converter with S-Video input. Every S-VHS player or VCR comes with at least an S-Video out port.

This is so you can get the best video quality from your S-VHS tape. You can still use a video converter with only RCA inputs. However, you’ll only get VHS-quality video.

The quality of VHS video (240 lines) is much lower than S-VHS (400 lines).

Computer Operating System

Make sure the video converter you choose works with your computer’s operating system. Most of these converters are designed to work with Windows (Windows 7 and higher).

Some video converters (see below) will work with Windows and Mac.

DVD Burning Software

If you’re looking forward to converting your S-VHS tapes to DVD, then you would want to consider a converter that comes bundled with DVD-burning software.

This isn’t a necessity, though. There is a good number of free, fully functional DVD-burning software programs out there.

Software Bundle

Some units come with physical discs containing the video capture/editing program. You must have a disc drive to install the drivers.

If you don’t have one on your computer, check to see whether the manufacturer can download software online. Most do.

If you prefer, you may use the free OBS Studio to capture video. Just spend a few minutes watching a YouTube video to learn how to capture video with it.


You’ll need cables to connect your VCR to the capture device. Some video converters come bundled with RCA cables and almost none provide S-Video cables.

So, you would have to prepare an S-Video cable and RCA audio cables if they aren’t supplied with the converter package.

S-VHS to Digital Converter Buying Ideas

Here are some S-VHS to Digital converter buying ideas you may wish to consider. All the converters suggested below come with S-Video input ports.

VIDBOX S-VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe

This converter package comes bundled with RCA cables and a USB cable but not an S-VHS cable.

It works with Windows 7,8, 10, and even Vista. There’s also the VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite that works with both Windows and Mac version

Software is provided in the form of a CD. However, you may also download it from the manufacturer’s website, if you don’t have a disc drive.

The bundled software not only allows you to capture video but also record audio from analog sources such as cassette players and record players. You can easily create audio CDs or save your recordings as WMA files.

You may also create slideshows combining photos and videos and burn them to DVD or simply upload them to YouTube. There’s a facility to capture still images from your videos. Useful for slideshow creation.

You can export your edited video in the following formats – MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VCD, SVCD, DVD, or WMV.

Watch the video below to get an idea of how this S-VHS to digital converter box works.

Check out VIDBOX S-VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe.

Pinnacle Dazzle S-VHS to Digital Converter

If you need video editing software with your S-VHS to digital converter, the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder would suit you fine.

Dazzle is a well-known name in the video capture device market.

The package comes bundled with Pinnacle Studio for Dazzle. This video editing program is equipped with all the tools to create eye-catching videos.

Pinnacle Dazzle is compatible with only 64-bit Windows 10, 8, and 7 versions. If you intend to purchase this S-VHS digital converter, ensure you have a 64-bit Windows version.

A drawback of using the software is that it requires installing a patch to activate the software.

If you don’t fancy this, you can always go with OBS or other video capture software programs.

Check out the Pinnacle S-VHS to digital converter.

UCEC USB 2.0 S-VHS to Digital Converter (Win/Mac)

This video capture device works with Windows (7, 8, 10) and Mac (MAC OS X 10.4 or later).

It comes with bundled software – OBS Studio and Honestech VHS to DVD. However, if you’re using a Mac, you may use the QuickTime Player to capture your S-VHS video footage instead.

Video is captured in the H.264 format. This works with Mac and Windows and can be directly uploaded to YouTube.

RCA (composite) cables are supplied. However, you’re advised to use your own S-Video cable for better video quality.

Watch the video to see the difference between RCA and S-VHS video capture quality.

Check out the UCEC USB 2.0 S-VHS to Digital Converter.

Further Reading

The Best S-VHS Players to Convert Your Tapes to Digital

Free Video Workshop