How to Play VHS on a Computer

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Maybe your TV currently isn't working or its connection to your old VCR has gone bad--especially the RCA connection for better quality. Whatever the case, it is possible to connect your VCR to your computer so you can play the VHS images on your computer screen.

Things You'll Need

  • Video capture card
  • Video RCA cable
  • Video-to-digital conversion software (free download)

Step 1

Obtain a video capture card for your computer. This device converts the videocassette's analog image into a digital image that the computer can read, and it connects to the computer through either the USB or FireWire port.

Step 2

Connect the capture card to your computer. Then connect the capture card to the VCR using an RCA cable. Keep in mind that you will need a video RCA cable, which has three plugs at each end--red, white and yellow.

Step 3

Download and install a software program that will allow you to play VCR images on the computer. Windows Media Encoder and TV Tuner are two examples of such software, both of which are free to download.

Step 4

Open the program application and insert a VHS tape into the VCR. You may need to click a button in the application, like the coaxial cable button in TV Tuner, to complete the link. Press the play button on the VCR, and the image should appear on the computer screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most video conversion software programs like Media Encoder or TV Tuner also allow you record the VHS images into a digital file on the computer, reducing the need for the VHS tapes.

References & Resources