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Even though VHS tapes belong in the past, they hold some of our most cherished memories even today. So, it is natural to want to preserve them. New video players only work in DVD format; most of them do not support VCR format anymore.
If you have a VCR to DVD converter, you can easily store these tapes on a DVD or even in an ISO format on your laptop.
Secondly, if you have an old VCR or gaming console and you try to watch the tapes on it, the tapes may get damaged. So, it is best to take the tapes and convert VCR to DVD. But are there good converters out there? And how can you choose the right one for yourself? Let's find out in this guide.
If you want to convert VCR to DVD, you need a converter that does the job well, not just make old and blurry tapes look even worse at a higher resolution. This small guide will help you understand the features you need to consider before you finally land on a good VCR to DVD converter.
Do you need just a converter or also a VHS player?
If you have an existing VCR to play your old VHS at least once so that they can be recorded into DVD format, you might want to purchase a VCR to DVD converter card.
If you don't have an old VCR, you will need a VCR tape to DVD recorder device. In our list below, we have mentioned both types of devices.
Do you want to convert multiple tapes, or is it just a couple of tapes?
VCR to DVD conversion requires a fair bit of time. You need to look for a VCR to DVD converter with a very high conversion rate.
Some converters may take up to even a few hours to complete the conversion. However, others might be able to do the same job much faster and give you a digital copy of your VCR tapes in just a few minutes.
How good are you with tech and gadgets?
The process to convert a VCR tape to DVD is usually not too complicated, but even then, you should look for a converter that can make life easy for you by selecting all the right options on its own and by default.
If you are an amateur with gadgets like I am, you might get yourself a converter that is very easy to use but end up compromising on things like the ability to convert multiple formats and speed of conversion.
Basic models of VCR to DVD converters also may not have the best technical support. So you should choose a gadget that has good reviews from satisfied customers and invest a bit of time understanding what the capabilities of the product are.
Do you have a Windows laptop or a Mac one?
Several VCR to DVD converters include software only for Windows 10 and Windows 11. If you want to convert VCR tapes and play the digital files on your Mac, you may need a VCR to DVD converter that supports Mac devices specifically.
Check the compatibility carefully and see if the converters that you have shortlisted have the software that supports the device on which you are going to do the conversion.
Do you want to watch your DVD in 1080p HD? Or are you ok with SD quality?
The quality of the digital file, after conversion, needs to be suitable for the screen you will be watching it on. Choose a VCR to DVD converter to create digital files that retain their original quality.
If you need to play the file on a mobile device, you might further need the capability to compress your file without losing quality. So, make sure you buy a converter that has this feature.
VCR to DVD converter cards can cost you anywhere between $10 to $50. There are many options available. You can opt for converters in the higher range (~$40 - $50) that have a lot of features or buy an affordable one that can just do the basic job.
Several mid-range VCR to DVD converters (~$25 - $35 range) has most of the features that you need without you having to shell out the extra $10 - $15 bucks. It is essential to compare the features and price points of as many converters as you can so that you can find the best one within your budget.
Second-hand VCR to DVD recorders can cost you anywhere between $200 to $500. You will find it difficult to get a first-hand one from the manufacturers, and most likely, it will not be worth your while, even if one is available.
You can find numerous VCR to DVD converters in the market. But if you are a first-time buyer, it may not be easy to choose from all the options available. Following are a few that offer the best VCR to DVD conversion services, and you can select one that is most suitable for you.
Cleantt Video Capture Card is an affordable and easy-to-use VCR to DVD converter card. Sometimes, you need a simple converter, and this is precisely that.
You can easily connect it to your old VCR and plug the USB cable into your computer. The conversion will not take too long, and you can store or watch the videos whenever you want.
The DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter is a great VCR to DVD converter. It is user-friendly, and you can connect to any VCR or VHS player. The other end of the cable is a USB, so you can easily plug it into your personal computer to watch the tapes once they have been converted.
If you want a VCR to DVD converter that is easy to use, then the August VGB100 External USB Video Capture Card is a great choice. This converter is ideal for converting tapes to view on your computer and storing them. You can use it to convert tapes and connect your VCR to the computer. You can also use it to connect a personal device to a video game console if you want to play some old games on a larger screen.
For the longest time, the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD was one of the best converters. You can easily connect to your computer via USB to convert the VHS tapes.
If you have old devices like a VCR or even a camcorder, you can use this converter to play the tapes as digital files on your device.
This device also includes software that has video editing capabilities, which is why it is a bit more expensive than others.
The UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card is a good option if you are using a VCR to DVD converter for the first time. If you buy this converter, you will get round-the-clock technical support. So, if there is any problem with the converter or the software, you can immediately contact the support staff.
If you want a VCR to DVD converter for multiple VHS tapes, this is the best choice. The best feature of this converter is that it's a single-touch device- pop in your tape, press the button, and you're done!
But just a word of caution: check the DVD that you are using (R- or R+), and then confirm the DVD recording. The conversion process is quite simple, and if you have multiple tapes, it will take a couple of hours to complete.
You can get a good second-hand model on the internet for about $200 - $300.
Sony RDRVX515 DVD Recorder is a handy converter device, as it works both ways - VCR to DVD and vice versa. Therefore, it is ideal for those who love the nostalgia of watching VHS tapes but also want the flexibility of keeping those tapes in DVD format.
It is easy to use, and a good second-hand model will cost you around $200. As an enthusiast who loves the feel of tape but doesn't understand much about technicalities, you can buy it to store your VHS tapes as digital files.
This converter also works quite fast, and unlike converter cards, its conversion does not slow down after a while.
If you are looking for an all-around user-friendly VCR to DVD service, you should get the Sony RDRVX515 DVD Recorder (if you don't have a VCR) or the August VGB100 External USB Video Capture Card (for PC).
If you are looking for a cheap option, I would suggest the DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter. It does the job fairly well and does not cost you a pretty penny.
You can choose any of the converters mentioned above. Let me know which you found to be the most suitable, and don't forget to share this guide with others who'd like a new VCR to DVD converter!