How to Transfer From VHS to a Hard Drive

By Quinten Plummer

VHS tapes corrode and degrade in quality over time, causing your video memory to fade with them. But with the help of a video capture card and your VHS player, you can ensure that your VHS memories will last a lifetime--and with a DVD burner, you can duplicate your video as many times as you want. Find out how you can digitize your VHS tapes and transfer them to your computer's hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • VHS device (VCR or VHS camcorder)
  • Computer (with video capture card)
  • Composite video cable
  • VLC player

Step 1

Insert the VHS tape you wish to transfer into your VCR or VHS camcorder. Cue the tape to the point where you'd like the recording to begin.

Step 2

Connect the VHS device to your computer. Plug one end of the composite video cable into the yellow "Video Out" port on the back of the VHS device, and plug the other end of the composite cable into the yellow composite port on your computer's video capture card.

Step 3

Plug the 1/8 end of your 1/8 to RCA cable into the "Line-in" port on your computer's sound card and plug the red and white RCA ends of the cable into the "Audio Out" port on the VHS device--match the red head of the 1/8 to RCA cable to the red port and the white head to the white port.

Step 4

Download and install a copy of VLC player (see Resources). Open the program after the installation process has completed.

Step 5

Click on the heading labeled "File," located in the top-left corner of the VLC player, and then choose the option labeled "Open Capture Device." Under the heading "Advanced Options," check the box labeled "Stream/Save"; then click the "Settings" button.

Step 6

Check the box labeled "File." Click "Browse" under the "Outputs" heading, and browse for a location to store the digital version of your VHS tape. Press "Play" on your VHS device, and then click the "OK" button at the bottom of the menu to start recording.