Got a treasure trove of old home videos and other VHS tapes lying around? Want to get some use out of them? Since no TV supports VHS tapes anymore, the easiest way to get your collection of VHS tapes into a form that’s actually usable is by converting them to DVDs.
While DVDs aren’t exactly modern either, most computers and video game consoles can still play them, so they’re still a viable option. Plus, turning those DVDs into a more modern format, like mp4, is pretty simple. Whatever the reason, if you’re trying to turn your VHS tapes into DVDs, you’ll need a VHS to DVD converter. We’ve made this list of the best VHS to DVD converters to make sure you find the best one for your needs. Just remember that for (almost) every converter, you’ll still need to have your old VCR or some other way to play your VHS tapes.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best VHS to DVD converters, followed by a quick recap of what every product has to offer. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
What Should You Look For in a VHS to DVD Converter?
VHS to DVD converters are a pretty niche product. You’ve probably never bought one before and probably don’t plan on buying another one after this initial purchase. That also means that you probably don’t really know what to look for, and it can be hard to find information online, since it’s not a popular product that a lot of people are talking about. But not to worry – we’ve taken care of all of that for you. We’ve broken down the essential traits of a VHS to DVD converters into easy-to-understand criteria, so that you can learn everything you need to know and buy the VHS to DVD converter that’s right for you.
Criteria #1: Ease of Use – We know not everyone is a hardcore techie, and we’re not going to expect you to become an expert just to convert a few home videos. The best VHS to DVD converters will be easy and intuitive to use and have clear instructions so that you can relive your old memories as quickly as possible, without getting a headache or needing to call your cousin or nephew who works in IT.
Criteria #2: Hardware – Everyone will be looking for something different for this criterion as everyone has different equipment, but we’re looking for VHS to digital format converters that won’t force you to go out and buy a lot of extra equipment. Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, almost all converters will require you to have access to a VCR or some other VHS playback device like a camcorder, but others will require different devices. Some will work through your computer, and some will work independently. Which one you’re most comfortable with will be mostly up to you.
Criteria #3: Price – Everyone has a different amount of money they’re willing to spend, but nobody likes to spend more money for no reason. Especially when it comes to video to digital converters, you’re free to spend as much as you want, and there will always be a product within your budget. But we want you to buy a product that actually justifies its price. This criterion is more about being a good deal than just being cheap. A $20 converter that should cost $5 won’t meet your price criterion. Conversely, a machine that costs you $60 but delivers a $100 value is more than worth that money and will earn a top spot on our list.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best VHS to DVD Converter
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best VHS to DVD converter” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised.
How Do I Convert My VHS Tapes to DVD?
Every converter will work a little differently, but most will work by connecting your VCR (or camcorder) to some type of device that will create your new DVD. This will either be your computer or a standalone device that specifically acts as a video to digital converter. If a converter uses your computer, it will probably also come with software to run the conversion process.
You may find it easier to buy a converter that uses your computer so you don’t have an extra device lying around. On the other hand, you may prefer to have a specific device to convert your old VHS tapes, and you may not want to download more software onto your computer. The choice is yours.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best VHS to DVD converters.
#1: VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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If you need a simple, easy-to-use way to convert your VHS tapes to digital format without spending too much money, there’s no better option than the Vidbox Video Conversion Suite. This product comes in the shape of a sleek white box that acts as the hub and includes software that will allow you to do the actual converting on your computer.
It comes with cleary labeled wires and ports so you won’t stare at it for too long trying to figure out what’s what, and there are easy-to-follow instructions included. Plus, once you have your analog videos in digital format, the software gives you a whole slew of options for what to do with them. You could burn your videos on a DVD and call it a day, but you can also transfer your old home movies onto your phone or tablet, or share them straight to social media. The Vidbox Video Conversion Suite is compatible with both Windows and Apple, but it is known to run a little better on Windows. So, if you have a Mac, you may want to look at one of our other products.
The Vidbox converter comes in at a great price and is a fan favorite. It appears on multiple “top ten” lists and customers love it. The reviews on Amazon are a long list of glowing feedback that praise this product for being easy to use and effective.
Plus, this product comes with all the wires you’ll need and has multiple options for how to connect your analog video source. All you need to have beforehand are your collection of VHS tapes and your VCR or camcorder. This is the best product to transfer your old VHS tapes to digital format.
#2: Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder (Best Machine)
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The Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder costs a pretty penny, but it’s just about the only VHS to DVD converter also acts as a DVD player and even as a VHS, so if you don’t have any analog video player, this is the best way to transfer all your videos to a digital format without scouring the Internet for a VCR that still works. There are two main reasons you might be willing to spend the extra money on the Funai recorder instead of buying our number one product.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Video Playback
There’s just something about getting the old-school VHS experience. While you’re already taking that trip down Memory Lane, you might want to give your old tapes one last watch before you convert them to DVDs. You also may want to watch your new DVDs as soon as you’re done making them. Either way, the Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder is the perfect device for you. It connects to your TV and actually functions both as a VCR and DVD player on top of being a video converter, so you can easily double-check which tapes have which videos before you convert them, and you can watch your new DVDs right away. This is the true all-in-one device when it comes to converting analog videos to DVDs.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Simplicity
We placed simplicity and ease-of-use pretty high up our list of criteria, and there’s no product that’s easier to use than the Funai Combination Recorder. As I mentioned before, almost all video converters require you to use either an external console or your computer to do the converting. But with this Funai converter, you need absolutely zero extra equipment. All you need is the Funai recorder, your VHS collection, and blank DVDs. Place your VHS and a DVD into the machine, and with just the touch of a button, Funai will do the rest. Even the biggest technophobe will have zero problems with this amazing device.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: The Funai is really expensive. The upside is that you’re walking away with a functional VCR (those are definitely hard to come by) and a new DVD player.
With over 1000 reviews on Amazon, customers were a huge fan of this high-quality video converter. They praised the playback features, the straightforward remote that comes with the product, and the simplicity.
The Funai is pretty remarkable, but even if you can afford it, I’d only recommend this product if you have a really massive stack of old tapes that you want to convert to digital video discs. If you do have a ton of old videos lying around, this is the best machine to make sure you don’t have to buy anything extra and to help you go through all of that video converting as quickly as possible.
#3: ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0 (Best If You Still Use Your Camcorder)
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Sometimes old is best, and there’s just nothing like the comfort of the product you grew up using. If you have blank analog tapes lying around, or if you still use your computer, the best product to transfer those videos to a digital format is the ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0.
The ClearClick, which comes with an AC adapter and two-way AV cables, can connect straight to your camcorder and convert your recordings to DVD in realtime, so you can join the modern age without giving up your trusty camcorder that filmed all of your family memories. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
A nice plus of this device is that it can fit in your pocket, so you won’t find it taking up room when you’re not using it. You can just throw it into your junk drawer and take it out when the need arises. Plus, you don’t need any computer or software with this device, but you do need an SD memory card or flash drive. That does place a bit of an asterisk on this product as a VHS to DVD converter because while it converts your videos to a digital format, it doesn’t actually place them on discs. But we’ve decided to include it on this list because that final step can be accomplished on any computer with little to no software. If you still want to record video on your camcorder, this is the only way to do it straight to a digital format. Plus, while the device has its own screen, you can also connect it to a TV or computer with an HDMI cable and have a big-screen viewing experience of your home videos as quickly as possible.
#4: UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card Device (Best Low Cost)
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If you only have a few VHS tapes that you want to get onto DVDs, or if you’re just trying to save some money, the best option for you might be the UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card Device, both for its price and for its size. If this is a quick one-time project, you won’t want to spend a lot of money or be stuck with a giant device that you don’t want anymore once you’re done with all your of your home video converting. And if that’s what you’re looking for, the UCEC is perfect for you.
This product consists only of a small wire to connect your devices, and a disc containing the necessary software to start converting VHS tapes. The easy-to-use software also allows you to share your new digital videos straight to any social media site, so you can share your old memories with all of your friends and family right away.
Despite its cheap price, this product allows you to convert your old videotapes to whatever format you want. You can put the videos on your iPad, add them to Windows Live Movie Maker, or upload them to YouTube. You can also transfer them to a DVD and other digital formats, such as AVI, MPEG2, and MPEG4. You can even put your videos into an MP3 file, if the audio is more important than the actual video.
The UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card Device is the best DVD converter for Mac or PC if you’re trying to stay within a tight budget and don’t want something that will take up a lot of space.
#5: Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus Video Converter for PC (Best for the Savvy Video Editor)
If you have some experience in video editing, you may want to get creative with how you transfer your old tapes to DVD or digital files. If that’s the case, you’ll have to buy the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus Video Converter for PC. While it’s only compatible with a Windows PC and not with Apple computers, no converter gives you more control over your old videos than the Roxio does.
The hardware is an RCA cable, similar in design to the UCEC device, but the software is what really sets this converter apart. With the Roxio video editing software, you can edit your videos before you convert them to DVDs, and you can even split one VHS onto multiple DVDs. While editing, you can reduce video noise, stabilize shaky video, edit in color correction, add transition effects, and more.
The Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus Video Converter for PC is the perfect product for a real connoisseur who wants to upgrade their old tapes from home movies to cinematic masterpieces. Just as with the ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0, you can also record straight from your camcorder to DVDs with the Roxio converter.
Verdict: Your Best VHS to DVD Converter
Don’t worry if you weren’t taking notes and had a little trouble keeping track of all those different VHS to DVD converters. We’re going to wrap things up with a quick recap of all of our products and a reminder of what makes each converter on our list stand out, so you can find the one that’s best for you and remember which converter caught your eye.
If you want the best value for money, pick VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite.
Coming in a nice sleek box that won’t take up a lot of space or overwhelm you, our number one video converter is perfect if you want the best deal. The Vidbox is compatible with both Apple and Windows, and in addition to just putting your old videos onto DVDs, you can share them directly to social media or transfer the videos onto your phone or tablet. Plus, the Vidbox is known for being easy to use, and everything is clearly labeled. Usually, you get what you pay for, but the Vidbox Video Conversion Suite gives you a little extra.
If you need everything on one device, pick Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder.
This is the only video converter that doesn’t require you to have a camcorder, VCR, or any other way of playing back your VHS tapes. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t even know where to look for VCR, so this product is amazing if you don’t still have your old one. Plus, you can playback your tapes straight from the Funai, so you can make sure you’re converting the right tapes, and you see your finished products right away. It’s expensive, but the Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder is hands-down the most convenient way to convert all of your tapes to DVDs and welcome your home videos to the modern age.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card Device.
The UCEC USB 2.0 is the best way to convert your old tapes without spending a lot of money. It comes in the shape of a small RCA wire and some easy-to-use software that will help you get the job done quickly. You can even share your videos straight to social media, just like you can with the Vidbox Video Suite. Best of all, you won’t have any bulky equipment lying around when you’re done. So, if you don’t really plan on using it more than once, it’s a great quick purchase that you can throw into the junk drawer after.
The most important thing to think about when buying your VHS to DVD converter is how many tapes you want to convert. If you just have one old tape of Johnny’s Little League game or your niece’s or nephew’s piano recital, it probably doesn’t make sense to go out and buy something as expensive as the Funai Combination VCR and DVD Recorder. You might want to stick with something cheaper like the UCEC converter.
If you still use your camcorder and like that old school feel, you’re best going with the ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0, and if you really want to touch up your old videos and impress your friends and family, the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus Video Converter for PC is the best option for you. It can also help to decide if you’d prefer to use your computer or a secondary device.
I hope that our list helped you find the perfect converter for your needs, and I hope you enjoy reliving all those memories in a modern way!