Throughout history, human ingenuity and innovation have paved the way for the technological advancements we tend to take for granted today. However, like many other things, growth and progress mean shedding off the old and making way for the new. Hence, people may face difficulty in terms of preserving data throughout changes in technology. Thankfully, with the advent of the digital age, we can securely preserve information better than ever. If you’re facing the same problem, specifically with videos on your old VHS tapes, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a guide to help you find the best VHS to digital converters modern technology can offer.
What Are VHS to Digital Converters?
If you want to find the best VHS to digital converters, you’d have to first understand what it is. So, what is a VHS to digital converter? In simple terms, it’s a means to convert data from your VHS tape to digital mediums. Let’s say your family recorded most of your family videos and stored them on VHS tapes. You’ve stored your child’s first steps, their first birthday party, and many more on VHS. However, they no longer work with modern devices and have phased out. Is there any way to preserve those precious memories into your external drive or the family computer?
Yes, if you find the best VHS to digital converter. With the best VHS to digital converters, you can safely convert your old VHS videos to modern-day file formats. This means converting VHS to DVD so that you can store your videos onto modern storage solutions. You can store the files onto hard drives, computers, servers, the cloud — you name it.
How to Choose the Best VHS to Digital Converters
Choosing the best VHS to digital converter might seem complicated but trust us, it isn’t. However, there are some considerations you need to take into account before buying a VHS converter. Here are a couple of things you should think about before looking for the best VHS to digital converter:
Firstly, you should think about what you want to do with your videos. Let’s say you recorded your favorite programming on VHS. However, there were a lot of pesky commercials shown in between the shows. The good news is, some of the best VHS to digital converter software have a solution to this. Some VHS converters have features that let you cut and edit videos so you can get rid of non-essentials. Of course, not all converters have this, but it’s something to consider if you want that functionality.
Secondly, if your VHS tape has copyright protection features, it might be impossible to convert them to digital. However, some of the best VHS to digital converters do have workarounds for these kinds of tapes. If your VHS tapes have these copyright features, we suggest you look for a converter that can handle this problem.
Lastly, you have to check your converter’s file quality. That means making sure it doesn’t lower your video resolution or render out terrible audio quality. It’s also more convenient to find the best VHS to digital converter with fast conversion speeds. That’s especially if you recorded multiple episodes — or even seasons — of your favorite TV show.
12 Best VHS to Digital Converters
Now that you know what a VHS converter is and how to choose one, let’s check out the best VHS to digital converter hardware and software on the market. Here are our top picks:
The best VHS to digital converter can not only convert VHS tapes but also has many other useful features. If you’re looking for one such converter, you should check out the AVerMedia C039 EZMaker VHS to DVD Converter. AVerMedia can convert one VHS tape in under 30 minutes — a pretty impressive speed compared to many on the market.
Not only that, but AVerMedia also has features that can help you edit your videos. That means you can cut out all of uncle Josh’s embarrassing moments on your second son’s graduation video. You can include transitions, create cuts, and even fix lighting to enhance video quality. Most importantly, it’s a budget-friendly option starting only at $30 on Amazon.
Even the best VHS to digital converters still have to go through DVD burning before you can convert to digital. However, with ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0, you easily get to skip multiple steps. That’s because ClearClick allows you to convert directly onto a USB stick or SD card.
Moreover, ClearClick gives you the advantage of not only converting VHS tapes but many other retro file formats as well. You can convert VHS tapes, gaming systems, cassette tapes, DVRs, DVDs, and more so you can have a digital copy. If you’re looking to convert many of your old stuff to digital, this will save you both time and money.
In addition, it has a handy auto shut-off feature so you can schedule when the recording stops. You can plan out your storage space, convert while you’re sleeping, or leave it to convert while you’re working. If you want a more hands-on converting experience, you can also monitor the recording with the built-in screen. The only downside is that some customers have reported the USB 3.0 connection to be fickle. It’s also a little expensive but for the features, it’s well worth the price.
Finding a good VHS to digital converter isn’t always about the most features you can jam into a converter. Sometimes, it’s about the user-friendliness— especially when it comes to technology like this. That’s why the Corsair Elgato Video Capture is one of the best VHS to digital converters you can find.
The Elgato Video Capture is notoriously easy to use with many positive customer reviews. It converts to high-quality video files that can flexibly capture videos in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Moreover, it records videos in H.264, which is ideal if you want to upload those videos on different platforms (for example, YouTube).
This converter also connects via USB 2.0 making it compatible with your Mac and PC. You can also convert to DVD or even export to your iPad, depending on what you need. Last but not the least, the Elgato has video editing features that also prep your video for compatibility with other video editing software. Talk about convenience!
The only difficulty with Corsair Elgato Video Capture is probably its compatibility with Windows 10. Some users report that making it work with the OS isn’t as seamless. However, the rest of the Corsair is great.
Check the Corsair Elgato Video Capture out on Amazon for $95.
Simple and affordable, the Diamond VC500 VHS to Digital Converter is one of the best if you want something easy. Not only can you convert VHS to DVD, but you can also edit your videos and add effects. You can start, stop, adjust brightness, add color corrections, and more to any converted video. Transfer and copy speeds don’t take too long either, making it a decent, simple solution.
Most importantly, it’s great for budget-friendly consumers coming in at $39.99 on Amazon.
Another versatile analog-to-digital converter is the DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter. Like the Corsair, DIGITNOW can convert more than just VHS tapes. It can convert VCRs, Hi8s, DVDs, and more to the digital format. That means recording on all those analog devices wasn’t in vain because you can easily convert them with DIGITNOW. You can even convert music from cassettes and LPs to Mp3.
Moreover, DIGITNOW also captures in H.264, which makes your video files more versatile than most file formats. You can upload them almost everywhere — even on YouTube if you like. Plus, like most great converters, DIGITNOW allows you to edit videos with advanced features like stabilization, background noise reduction, etc.
The best part? It only costs $40.99 and can even go on sale sometimes for as low as $23.99. Check out the DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter on Amazon now.
If you want to both enjoy your old VHS tape and convert it, check out the Funai Combination Recorder. It’s not the most ground-breaking out of the other best VHS to digital converters, but it is reliable.
With the Funai Combination Record, you can watch your tapes or burn them to DVD. It converts videos through basic line-in recording and can upscale up to 1080p. Moreover, it can record content six hours at a time if you want to bulk record. However, given that it’s also a full-on VCR and VHS player, it costs significantly more than the alternatives.
Nonetheless, if you still want to watch videos via retro VHS tapes, check it out on Amazon starting at $999.99.
If you don’t need to convert multiple VHS tapes, it’s a waste of money to buy a full-on converter. That’s why services such as the Lotus Media Digitization Service exist — so they can do the work you don’t want to. With this service, you can hand in any VHS tape format and quickly turn them into Mp4s.
Of course, each order is limited to two hours worth of footage, but that’s more than enough if you only want to convert one tape.
For ages, Roxio was one of the best VHS to digital converter devices on the market. Unfortunately, they haven’t updated the device for a long time, making it sometimes frustrating to use. Nonetheless, it’s still a decent converter with key features like video editing and cassette conversion.
With the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus Video Converter, you can easily convert your VHS tapes. Moreover, you can also edit videos with advanced features like color correction, noise reduction, and video stabilization. You can also convert cassettes to more modern music file formats and retain the sound quality. However, it’s only compatible with Windows and is a bit buggy when it comes to software.
However, it does hinge on the more affordable end of the spectrum, costing $49.99 on Amazon.
Some people aren’t techy at all and have only the bare minimum computing knowledge. If that sounds like you, the TOTMC 2.0 USB VHS to Digital Converter should pique your interest.
It’s simple and easy to use with little-to-no stress. You can record and save your old videos on DVD with this device in only 30 minutes. If you like having a bit more control over your content, you can also fix up your videos with the built-in video editing features.
Most importantly, it comes at a very affordable price. Get it on Amazon for $19.99.
Reliable, simple, and convenient, the UCEC USB 2.0 VHS VCR TV to DVD Converter is one of the best. Not only is it easy to use for non-tech-savvy users, but it’s also compact and portable — perfect for small spaces. It also has convenient video editing features to ensure the quality of your video upon conversion. Moreover, it outputs high-quality videos at 720 x 480 (30fps) and 720 x 576 (25fps) for NTSC and PAL formats, respectively.
With the USB 2.0 connection, you can easily connect this device to a computer without hassle. In addition, it has multiple input formats like DVD+/=VR, DVD-Video, and DVD+/-R/RW. You certainly won’t have problems when it comes to compatibility. Perhaps the only downside is that the software is slightly complicated to use on Windows 10. Apart from that, it’s a great option, especially for the low price of only $18.99 on Amazon.
The VIDBOX VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe is a great deal if you want to convert tapes to digital. That not only includes VHS tapes but also retro audio tapes like cassettes and LP records. You can convert your old home movies, favorite shows, and even your beloved songs to formats that won’t wear out.
Moreover, the VIDBOX 8.0 Deluxe also offers high-quality video editing features and video output formats. Add background music, take stills, and more until you’re satisfied. When you’re done, you can easily upload your files to YouTube or Facebook to share with your friends. The only difficulty is that it’s only compatible with Windows and it’s more expensive than others on this list since it costs a little under $200.
One of the big downsides to many converters on this list is that they’re mostly only compatible with Windows. With the VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite as one of the best VHS to digital converters, however, you don’t have that problem. You can easily connect it to a Mac or Windows PC to convert your favorite VHS tapes. But you’ll still need a VCR to get it to work.
Apart from these, this VIDBOX unit is a great converter, outputting high-resolution videos in DVD, MPEG-2, MP4, and MOV. In terms of supported input file formats, VIDBOX covers NTSC, PAL, and SECAM, making many VHS tapes convertible.
The only weakness customers reported is that it has slow conversion speeds. Otherwise, it’s a great option coming in at $79.99 on Amazon.
Our Verdict on the Best VHS to Digital Converters
There are many options when it comes to the best VHS to digital converters out on the market. It can be difficult to choose one because it’ll all depend on your needs. How many VHS tapes do you need to convert? Do you want to burn them to DVD or would you like them to go straight to your USB? How about converting non-VHS analog tapes? With all things considered, however, the Corsair converter is tough to beat. Some of the others like the VIDBOX Conversion Suite, UCEC, ClearClick, and DigitNow are also great options.