Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:18 am
Video Capture Device Advantage
The easiest way to digitize VHS tapes is to use a PC.
Not only do you get your VHS footage converted to MP4 or some other digital video format, but you also get to easily edit them.
You can trim off parts that you don’t like, add transitions, color correct and even add titles.
When you’re done, you can convert the edited video to a DVD or an MP4.
Or these days you can upload the video to YouTube and other video-sharing platforms.
To get VHS footage into your computer, you would need a video capture device.
Video capture devices are available in abundance these days. However, it’s not for everyone.
If you don’t fancy capturing video with a PC, here are some VHS to PC without a capture device options.
Why Avoid a Video Capture Device
Setting up a video capture device to work with a computer is anything but easy. You would need the right operating system, satisfy system requirements and install software or drivers.
If something isn’t compatible along the way, you can’t get started at all.
You may also have an older, slower computer that may not be suitable for video capture.
Limited hard disk space can also be another problem.
Or it could simply be that you don’t want to use your computer for video capture and editing because you use it for work.
Analog to Digital Video Converter
An analog-to-digital video converter is a solution to send VHS to a PC without a capture device attached to your computer.
This converter is called a VHS digital converter box by some manufacturers.
It is a self-contained compact device that comes with an LCD screen to allow you to preview video footage as it is captured.
How Does a VHS Digital Converter Work?
A VHS digital converter is easy to operate. You connect the AV output (either RCA or S-Video) of your VHS player to the converter AV input.
You play your VHS tape and hit the Record button on the converter.
This is the perfect solution for transferring VHS to a PC without a capture device, especially for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
VHS Digital Converter Advantage
You can easily get this digital converter device working compared to setting up a computer with a video capture device.
With a digital converter, you’ll not have video capture driver or software compatibility issues.
Also, there’s no file to export after the video is recorded. You simply plug and play.
VHS Digital Converter Disadvantage
The converter doesn’t come with built-in hard disk space to store captured video footage.
You would have to attach a flash drive, an SD card, or an external hard disk to the converter.
Once the video is captured, you can easily transfer the footage to your computer by plugging the flash drive or external drive into a spare computer USB port.
This eliminates the need for a video capture device.
Once you transfer it to your computer, you can upload it to YouTube easily. If you have a video editor, you can trim the footage and add titles and transitions, among others.
Ease of Playback
Alternatively, you can play back the captured video through the HDMI port of your HDTV or TV box.
The analog-to-digital video converter can capture up to a resolution of 720 x480.
Video is captured in the MP4 format which works with HDTVs, computers, TV boxes, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
MP4 is also a format accepted upload format for YouTube.
You can set the device up to automatically stop recording after a certain number of minutes – usually from 60 to 150 minutes.
You can also pause and resume your recording.
VHS Digital Converter Buying Ideas
That said, here are some choices to help you send VHS to a PC without a capture device.
ClearClick VHS to Digital Converter 2.0
This is a bundle edition that comes with a free 32GB USB flash drive. Also included is the VideoPad video editor software valued at $99.
SD card storage is supported as well.
With the ClearClick VHS to digital converter, you can not only record from VHS players but also camcorders and DVD players, including gaming consoles.
The recording resolution is 720 by 480 pixels (SD).
It is stated that the supported capacity for flash drives is 32GB.
However, users have reported that a 64GB flash drive is compatible as well.
An hour-long recording takes up 2GB of storage space.
Each time you stop and start a recording session you will create a separate file on your flash drive.
A 1-year warranty, including tech support, is provided with your purchase,
A major drawback is it doesn’t support HDMI input.
Watch the video below to get an idea of how this VHS digital converter works.
Check out the ClearClick VHS to Digital Converter 2.0 to transfer VHS to a PC without a capture device.
DigitNow VHS to Digital Converter
Digitnow supports analog and digital (HDMI) connections. The latter is from HDMI video sources. in the form of HDMI.
However, HDMI is supported only for video output and not for recording.
It comes with a 5-in OLED screen.
DigitNow claims to support video output of up to 1080p at 60fps video.
Video input and output ports are in the form of 3.5mm jacks. The unit also comes with a set of built-in stereo speakers.
USB flash drives and SD cards are supported up to a maximum capacity of 128GB. However, they must be formatted in the FAT32 or exFAT formats.
The built-in lithium battery allows you to record up to an hour. The maximum playback time on a fully-charged battery is 2 hours.
You may also use the video converter as a passthrough device, This means when you play an analog video source you can connect the AV out to your HDTV.
A major drawback is that DigitNow doesn’t support external hard disk recording.
Still, it makes an excellent device to send VHS to a PC without a capture device.
Take a look at the video below to see how it works.
Check out the DigitNow VHS Digital Converter.
SoundBeast VHS Video Capture Box Converter
The Sound Beast video capture box is no different from the other two VHS digital converters and does a good job when it comes to transferring VHS to a PC without a capture device.
Recordings are saved into a USB flash drive or an SD memory card in the MP4 format.
Real-time preview is available when recording from your analog video source, allowing you to view over a large TV screen.
The auto-stop feature is available for 60, 90, and 120 minutes of recording.
This is convenient when you are recording from a VHS player. You can program the converter to stop automatically after a set period of time even when you are away from your device.
The device’s LCD screen is however limited to 3 inches but it comes with built-in speakers.
USB flash drives and micro SD cards are supported up to a capacity of 128 GB or less.
An HDMI port is included. However, it’s for video output only.
Memory cards must be of Class 10 or higher.
Check out the SoundBeast VHS Video Capture Box Converter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to transfer VHS to DVD or USB?
It is much better to transfer VHS to USB. Transferring VHS to USB will give you a digital file. You can play the digital file on a computer, HDTV, TV box, and more. What’s more, you can use the digital file to upload to YouTube, or easily edit it.
With a DVD, you would need a DVD player or a computer with a DVD-ROM drive. So, your playback options are rather limited.
What format should I convert my VHS videos to?
The best format to convert VHS video to is MP4. MP4 is a universal video format that you can play back on most multimedia devices.
MP4 can be edited, and uploaded to YouTube and even played back over an HDTV.