How to Record VHS to DVD

By Chris Moore

Your large collection of VHS tapes has served you well over the years, but those cassettes won't last forever. And dubbing one VHS tape to another gradually depletes the picture quality, because that's how analog recording works. With DVD recorders becoming more accessible, this problem is solved. Once you connect a DVD recorder to your VCR so it receives the VCR's signal, you can record all of your VHS tapes onto DVDs, whose quality will last much longer.

Things You'll Need

  • TV with VCR
  • DVD recorder
  • Coaxial/RCA cables
  • Recordable DVDs
  • Recorded VHS tapes

Step 1

Get a DVD recorder that will receive and record the signal transmitted from your VCR. A tuner-less DVD recorder may work best because it should receive the VCR's signal unconditionally.

Step 2

Connect the DVD recorder to the VCR and TV so that the broadcast signal goes from the VCR to the DVD recorder to the TV. To do this, connect a VCR's output port to the DVD's input and the DVD's output to the TV. You will likely need to use RCA composite cables for this. If you can use RF coaxial cables, they might transmit better. Plug in the power cord.

Step 3

Turn on the VCR, DVD recorder and TV set. Insert any VHS tape into the VCR and play it. Make sure the tape's recorded image appears on the TV screen.

Step 4

Insert the VHS tape you want to record from (if you didn't use it for the previous test) into the VCR. Insert a recordable DVD into the DVD recorder, making sure it is of the format the recorder recognizes (DVD-, DVD+, etc.)

Step 5

Play the VHS tape, making sure it is rewound to the beginning or the point at which you want to begin recording. Press the DVD's "Record" button once the tape starts playing.

Step 6

Use the DVD recorder's "Stop" button when you are finished recording or just want to end one track on the disc. Restart the recording when the tape reaches the part at whichyou want to start the next track. You may need to rewind the tape a bit to go back to that spot.

Step 7

Play back the DVD after you are finished recording to make sure it recorded properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • A single VCR/DVD recorder combo will simplify everything, especially the hook-up. Simply plug this device's input to your cable/satellite box (if you have one) and the output to the TV.Read over the instruction manual that comes with the DVD recorder. It may include more specific information (unique to your particular recorder) on how to record a disc.
  • If you make any mistake while recording, the disc you are using likely cannot be used again.