View Full Version : Best way to convert VHS tapes to DVD?

Jun 6, 2009, 12:35 PM
I have a box of VHS tapes (and small tapes that go inside of a VHS 'shell') that I would like to convert to DVDs for my mother. What is the best method for this? Is it better to just go out and buy the VHS/DVD Combo players and do a straight burn or by using an accessory (EyeTV) and cleaning up the picture/editing?

Jun 6, 2009, 01:20 PM
In going from analog (VHS) to digital (DVD) the choices you listed weigh convenience versus control.

A duplication deck, will usually only do a straight transfer, converting the analog to an AVI file on DVD. It's convenient since all you do is insert media and press record, walk away, have a meal, walk the dog . . . then it's done.

Using transfer software gives you a bit more control over the final product. Creating chapters, filtering noise or color balance and the like. You end up with a digital file that sits on a hard drive that can then be edited or manipulated before ending up compressed on disc.

Jun 6, 2009, 02:00 PM
I'm in the same perdiciment. The problem is, my family wants to keep all their VHS's even though we don't even have a working VCR in the house ~.~. About 150 in total (including some commercial ones). I have an eyetv hybrid but that would be far too taxing on my system. Since I would have to capture, then edit, then render, then burn all the DVD's. So i'm just going to get a VHS to DVD converter and be done with it.

But since you want greater control, than you'll need an external capture solution. Something like the EyeTV Hybrid like I have would work good. Alternatively you can get the Turbo.264 which will do hardware based encoding and free up your system for other things. Elgato has a special going on now where you can purchase the EyeTV Hybrid and get a free Turbo.264, which i'm kicking myself for because this deal came out right after I bought the EyeTV hybrid from Apple.

If you have a firewire camcorder even the basic ones i've used have pass through capabilities, where you simply plug your vcr into the camera and the camera into your machine via firewire. After all this, something like iMovie will work pretty well for creating the final output.

Jun 6, 2009, 04:35 PM
I'd have my spare Mac Mini doing all the working (and have several other laptops to use) so going 24/7 is fine with me. Maybe its just better to go the DVD/VHS Combo route. Would the Mac way make the quality of picture any better or just let me tweak minor things?

Jun 6, 2009, 04:52 PM
You can get something like this from Roxio. Amazon has it in the neighborhood of $63.

Roxio Easy VHS to DVD (http://www.roxio.com/enu/products/easy-vhs-to-dvd/mac/overview.html?gclid=CNeA2drP9poCFR7yDAodEhGqfA)

You supply the VHS player and your Mac supplies the conversion and DVD burner. You can put it into iTunes and hence your iPod Touch/iPhone/iPod as well.

Jun 6, 2009, 10:30 PM
I used one of these http://www.elgato.com/

Do capture the video, then export to imovie for editing.