How to Turn a VHS Tape Into a DVD

By James Clark

VHS tapes can be converted into DVDs simply and inexpensively with a DVD recorder/VCR combo unit. Many of these machines offer a one-touch copy feature that requires virtually no setup beyond inserting a VHS cassette and a recordable DVD into their respective compartments. Homemade VHS recordings can be copied onto DVD, although some previously recorded VHS tapes, such as commercially sold movies on videotape, may be encrypted with anti-copy protection to prevent dubbing. The time require to burn a disc depends on the length of the videotape.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD recorder/VCR combo unit
  • Blank, recordable DVDs
  • VHS cassettes

Step 1

Open the media tray on the DVD recorder by pressing the "Eject" button, place a recordable disc in the tray and close.

Step 2

Insert a VHS cassette into the VCR door on the front of the component and press the "Stop" button, as the tape will typically start playing automatically. Cue the videotape to the desired position to start recording by pressing the "Rewind" or "Fast Forward" buttons.

Step 3

Press the arrow key pointing toward the DVD recorder under the controls labeled "Copy" or "Dub" to program the machine for recording from VHS to DVD. Some components can record in either direction from one medium to another.

Step 4

Press and hold the "Copy" or "Dub" button until the indicator light illuminates on the control panel to show the recording is underway.

Step 5

Press the "Stop" button when the tape ends, then press the "Setup" button on the front panel of the component or use the remote control. Use the up and down arrow keys to scroll to "Finalize." Highlight this option and press the "Enter" key.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wait for the DVD to finalize before removing from the disc burner. Finalization prepares the disc so it can be played on other DVD players.