An overview of the main software packages available
Most of us have a box full of those old VHS tapes lying around the house. Whether they are filled with home movies or those really old movies you won’t find today, they represent a time gone by and you want so badly to preserve them. But the sad thing is even with the best care and protection you can provide, these VHS tapes will slowly degrade over time. The best thing you can do to preserve your movies or cherished memories is to have these tapes converted or copied to DVD, which, with good maintenance, will last indefinitely.
Using a computer and converter not just converts your VHS to DVD but also offers you the option to edit and preview your movies before these are burned to DVD. These options are not available with other non-computer options like VHS to DVD combo units.
All a computer really needs to be able to capture video and burn it to DVD are:
1) Video Capture Device – The devices can be used with the computer come in the form of a capture card or other external capture device that is plugged into a USB port. These devices take the analog video data from your VHS and convert it to digital data.
2) DVD Burner – Who among the tech-savvy these days is not familiar with a DVD burner? These devices, which can be internal in the form of an installable disk drive or external like a portable disk drive, can digitally store data, in the form of ones and zeroes, in a DVD.
3) Video Capturing and Editing Software – These programs work together with your video capture device and allow you to save and edit the files converted from VHS and then burn them to DVD. Take note that not all programs are the same, and each software will vary with purpose and function.
The trouble is that if you want to convert a VHS to DVD yourself, you have to buy the items mentioned above separately. But there are already some software products out there that come with their own capture device.
The VHS2DVD Wizard is designed for use with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. It comes with all the things you need to start your conversion process as soon as possible, including a software CD, a video transfer cable and a USB video capture device. If you are not so adept with using the computer, there is a easy user’s manual walkthrough to guide you on how to capture, edit and even trim or remove parts of your VHS before this can be burned to DVD. This package was designed to make it as easy as possible for you to carry out the conversion process. It also allows you to convert your precious copy-protected VHS tapes to DVD. Recommended.
NCH Golden Video
The NCH Golden Video application can be used with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and 8. It installs in minutes and is easy to use. This application also boasts of comprehensive video restoration tools that can bring your old VHS footage back to life with adjustments to brightness and sharpness controls. If you feel this is too tedious for you to do yourself, this software can be set to correct defects in analog videos automatically. Converted files can be saved as digital .avi files or mpeg files before burning to the DVD. However, this application does not include a capture device and you will need to buy your own.
Honestech VHS to DVD
Made for use with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and Windows 8, this package already comes with a USB 2.0 capture device. Aside from the main VHS to DVD conversion feature, Honestech lets you edit for high-definition to allow your produced DVD to have a resolution of as high as 1920×1080. You can also make animated menus. You can also now burn movies into Blu-ray format, although you need a Blu-ray writer to do this. If you do not want to burn to DVD or Blu-ray this software also offers the option for you to upload converted videos directly to YouTube. This software also lets you convert copy-protected or Macrovision VHS tapes.
Roxio Easy VHS to DVD
The Roxio Easy VHS to DVD is compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7 and Windows 8 and comes already with a USB capture device. Aside from the main conversion feature, Roxio Easy VHS to DVD automatically splits movies too big to fit on a single disc over several DVDs. Its software allows you to stabilize shaky home videos and reduce video noise that is common in old VHS tapes. You can also add transition and rolling credits to your movies. It cannot copy commercial VHS movies.
There are some issues with Roxio Easy VHS to DVD as some users claim the software installation takes as long as 30 minutes. Others also said sometimes the program misreads homemade movies as copy-protected VHS movies and will not proceed with the conversion process.
As you can see, there are a lot of choices to choose from you if you want to use your computer to convert your VHS tapes to DVD. These products also come with software that, with a little imagination on your part, can enhance and improve your resulting DVD into something your VHS tape never was, and more.