How to Transfer Copyrighted VHS Tapes to DVD

By Tara Dooley

VHS tapes don't last forever, even if you don't watch them, and if you do watch them, they wear out even quicker. With videos and movies moving on to DVDs, and in some cases Blue Ray, it is best to copy your videos to DVD while you can still find a VHS player. This will also help them last a lot longer and not wear out from use. Copying copyrighted VHS tapes to a DVD at home is possible with the right set up, and as long as it is just for your own use, it is OK to do.

Things You'll Need

  • VHS player
  • DVD recordable player
  • Blank DVD writable disk
  • Input / Output cables
  • or
  • Video capture device that connects to computer

VHS Direct to DVD

Step 1

Purchase a recordable DVD player. Make sure you also still have a functioning VHS player. This allows you to play the VHS and record it to a DVD while it is running. Insert the VHS tape in the VHS player and a blank recordable DVD in the DVD player.

Step 2

Connect video cable to the output of your VHS player and the input of a DVD recorder.

Step 3

Set the VHS to play and the DVD player to record. Try to do this at basically the same time with the video starting just slightly before recording. This way you will not miss any video.

VHS to Computer to DVD

Step 1

Purchase a video capture device that will copy VHS tape to your computer. You can find these for sale online or at an electronics store. Install the software that comes with the player onto your computer.

Step 2

Plug the device into a USB port with the USB cable, and the video and audio cables to the VHS player.

Step 3

Insert tape into the VHS player and turn on the device. Open the program that controls the converter device. Insert a blank recordable DVD into the computer.

Step 4

Open the editor on the software. Push play on the video and the capture button on the software. Stop the capture when you are finished with the video or you need to change tapes. Once done, the device typically has options to edit the video if you want and set up chapters.

Step 5

Send the file to your writable DVD drive to burn. A window will pop up asking you if you want to burn the files to the DVD. Click OK. The DVD will pop out of the drive when it is through being copied.

References & Resources