How to Convert a VHS Tape to DVD

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

By now, you probably can see the lower quality of your VHS tapes compared to your DVDs. And you know the tapes won't last much longer. And a lot of your recordings aren't available on DVD for you to replace. If this is so, it may be time to convert all those VHS tapes to DVDs yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Video cassette player
  • DVD recorder
  • Recordable DVDs
  • RCA cable


Step 1

Get a DVD recorder from an electronics or other retail store. The good news is the prices for these devices has dropped. Check the disc format it uses (DVDR+, DVDR-, etc.) and include a pack of those recordable discs, too.

Step 2

Connect the DVD recorder to your VCR at home. Remember that you are connecting the tape player's output to the DVD recorder's input. This should require RCA video cables (with the red, white and yellow prongs).

Step 3

Read over the instructions on how to set your DVD machine to record. This is likely a very specific process and won't work if you don't follow it. If the process fails, the disc you use might not be usable again.

Other Options

Step 1

Replace your old VCR with a VCR/DVD recorder combo. This may be easier than hooking two separate devices together, as they should be more compatible. Make sure the machine records DVDs and doesn't just play them.

Step 2

Hook up the VCR to your computer if it has a DVD burner installed. Get a video capture card that converts the analog image to digital. Connect the card to the computer and link to the VCR through RCA cables.

Step 3

Contact someone in the video editing business and let them do the job for you. You may have to pay fees for it if they provide the service for a living, but it can save you headaches if you aren't great with technology.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you've converted all your tapes to DVD, it should be easy to use the DVD recorder for all your recordings from now on.