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How to convert old movies to digital format

VHS-DVD combo players play both cassette videos and DVD, and you can copy a VHS video to DVD with one of those. Combo players are also in obsolescence, so they’re getting cheaper.

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Converting a VHS video to digital versatile disc is straightforward with a VHS-DVD combo player. Just insert the VHS cassette and a blank, rewritable DVD in the VHS-DVD player.

Then press the record button on the DVD side and the play button for the VHS video – or the combo player might have a direct dubbing option.

That’s all there is to it usually, but some VHS-DVD combo players might have more unique settings. So check the manual first before converting VHS to DVD.

4. Convert the old movie with a VHS to DVD software

VHS to DVD software that comes with a digital-to-analog converter is an alternative to VHS-DVD combo players.

That software enables you to convert VHS to digital format by connecting a desktop or laptop to your old VHS player with a digital-to-analog converter like the one shown directly below.

The best VHS to DVD programs will include a video editor, and options to burn the captured video to disc.

As such, you can enhance the footage with the software by removing some content from it and adding transitions and other effects.

Diamond One-Touch Video Capture VC500 for Windows and Mac is one of the best VHS and DVD programs for Windows, and it comes with software to burn videos to DVD.

This is how you can convert an old movie to digital format with this software:

  1. First, connect your desktop or laptop to the VHS player with the digital-to-analog converter cables that came with the software.
    • Insert the USB end into the laptop’s or desktop’s USB slot, and the red, white and yellow RCA cables to the matching colored outputs on the VCR (videocassette recorder) player.
  2. If your VHS video is dusty, dust it down, and insert the cassette in the VCR player.
  3. Open your recording software in Windows and press its recording option.
  4. Next, play the VHS tape on the VCR player.
  5. When the video finishes, stop the recording software.
  6. Then stop the video on the VCR. Now your old movie is a digital video!
  7. Insert a blank, rewritable DVD in your laptop’s or desktop’s disc drive, and you’ll need an external DVD drive if it doesn’t have one.
  8. You can add the captured video to the disc with the software’s DVD burner tool for imported files.
  9. However, you could also use software such as Windows DVD Maker for adding the video to the disc.

So that’s how you can convert old movies to digital format for playback on DVD. When you’ve converted the videos, you can toss away those dusty VHS tapes that had piled up and watch the movies in digital format.

Then you can also add the video clips to YouTube and share them on social media sites, which is another big advantage of copying them to Windows.

FAQ: Learn more about digitizing old videos

  • How do I digitize old videos?

Use appropriate software tools like Adobe Premiere Pro, or hardware like a VHS-DVD Combo Player.

  • What is the best tool to digitize old videos?

Adobe Premiere Pro is an excellent tool for digitizing old videos, but it all boils down to the quality of the VHS tapes as well.

  • Should I digitize my old movies?

Movies stored on tape deteriorate much easier, and therefore digitizing them is a way of extending their life, and there is also software that does the same by restoring photos.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2017 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

This post was written by Matthew Adams and was first posted to WindowsReport

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