How to Buy a VHS-to-DVD Converter
Now is the time to convert your old videotapes to a longer-lasting digital format. As VCRs become obsolete, it will be harder to find the equipment necessary to convert the old analog signal to a digital format for recording on media such as DVDs. The key to this transformation is converter hardware, which you can purchase online and at electronics stores.
Shop around for your best price on a VHS-to-DVD converter. All of the products accomplish essentially the same task--converting an analog signal to digital. Some models process analog signals faster and thus cost more.
Decide what you really need and how many tapes you wish to convert. Inexpensive converter models have RCA-type audio/video plugs on one end of a cable, with the converter box in the middle and a USB jack on the other end. This type is for a VCR-to-computer connection. The downside is that you'll need additional cables and time to transfer the audio-video data from the hard drive of your computer to a DVD recorder, on which you can then burn a DVD. The only alternative is to convert VHS tapes to a computer with a built-in DVD burner.
Buy a converter with RCA-type composite plugs on both ends if you want a direct connection between the VCR and a DVD recorder.
Look for converters that come with enhancement features such as software to reduce noise on old VHS tapes and to stabilize and color-correct the video image.
Tips & Warnings
- If money is tight, you can get a VHS-to-DVD converter for less than $100 online and at most electronics stores.
- If you can spend more, consider buying a VCR/DVD recorder combo unit, which will allow you to copy videotapes onto DVDs with one component and no external connections to other equipment. The hassle-free recording environment may be worth the extra money.