How to Convert VHS to DVD & Digital Files

child singing

Ahh, the fond memories of childhood plays, musicals, and performances. These are all important memories that families can share for a lifetime. Who knows, this can be the first footage of the next great Australian Idol or Logie winner!

Old recorded tapes are often very enjoyable to re-watch decades later to show off how great (or not so great?) of a performer you or your child was. The problem is, finding the equipment to watch these older tapes can often seem like an impossible task, then trying to figure out how to hook everything up to your TV… A nightmare situation for many of us!

But it’s important to convert your VHS tapes because those are memories that would be lost forever. We explain why this happens over here.


If you are still hesitant to transition to digital files, these are the 3 top benefits you will surely enjoy.

  1. You retain the image quality of the VHS tapes when you turn them into DVDs. You might also notice an improvement in video quality. 
  2. They are easier to use and more durable. You just turn the video on with a click of a button.
  3. They can be easily shared as DVD copies or on sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo with family and friends no matter where they are in the world.

What does it take to Convert VHS to Digital Files?

You can either convert the videotapes yourself, although you would need access to a working VCR. The steps to do this are simple and are detailed below. If you have no interest in doing-it-yourself, skip to the last section for recommendations on where/how to get your videotapes to DVDs transferred by a trusted media transfer company.

  1. How to convert VHS tapes using your computer

 You will need to:

 1. Find video converting hardware & software. Whether you’re trying to convert VHS, VHS-C, Hi8, or Mini DV, you’ll need to purchase an advanced digital video converter or ADVC.

If you are looking online for converters for VHS to DVD Officeworks may have what you need.

advc capture

 2. Find a player for your movies. If you have VHS tapes, you’ll need a VCR. 

If you have VHS-C, you’ll need a VCR and a VHS-C cassette adapter. 

If you have Mini DV or Hi8 tapes, you’ll need a camcorder that records and plays that format. 

These can also be purchased online.


 3. VHS Video Tapes that you want to convert.

vhs tapes

 4. Any model of a working computerbe it a PC or Mac. 

To Convert, you will need to:

1.Install the video converter software onto your computer.


2. Connect the output of your VCR to the converter cable. Connect the other end of your converter cable to the computer.  

back of vcr

3. Capture & Import the videos.

In the ADVC software you installed, navigate to the capture/import menu option. Select a location to save your videos. 

Press the “capture/record” button on your software first. Then press the play button on the VCR so you don’t miss any footage.


4. Once captured and imported to your computer, you’ll want to back up your memories. This way, if your computer crashes, you won’t lose them.

We recommend using both an external hard drive and cloud-based storage.

External hard drives often crash and diversify your storage with a safe, private, online option increases the likelihood that your memories will be around for your family’s future generations.

hard drive

2. How to Convert a VHS to DVD using a DVD Recorder

You will need to:

  • Find a VHS Video player, also called a VCR
  • Get a DVD recorder
  • Get an A/V cable with three plugs; red and white for audio, yellow for video.


To convert a VHS:

  • Start by connecting the cables as follows; the video output (yellow) and the audio (red/white) outputs of your VCR to the same inputs on your DVD recorder.
composite cables transfer video
  • Put in a VHS videotape that you want to copy into your VCR.
  • Insert a recordable DVD into your DVD recorder
DVD recorder
  • Hit Record on the DVD recorder. You must do this before you play the VHS to avoid missed images from the VHS
  • Hit Play on the VHS player.

If you have a VHS to DVD Recorder with both VHS and DVD together.,

Just put both your VHS and DVD media in, and you will record over the DVD with the VHS footage, much like you could with two VHSs. Those who are not tech-savvy or comfortable with electronics will find that this is the most effective and easiest way to use.


dvd recorder combo

Additional Tips and Safety During Conversions

1. When your VHS is recording, be patient and resist that urge to fast forward, rewind or pause while you import. Anything you do will be captured in your final digital product. Suppose you encounter a glitch, it’s best to start the import over. If your tape becomes tangled or skips at any point, find an expert to finish the job for you. Do not try to untangle the stuck, tangled tape out of a player. The tangled film is extremely vulnerable and can become permanently damaged if mishandled. VHS-C videos are more likely to be damaged during conversion due to flaws in their adapters.


 2. The best option is search online for “convert VHS to DVD near me” & give your precious tapes to a verified, trusted, experienced local video to DVD transfer company specializing in transferring videotapes to DVD or digital files. These companies take great care in the transfer of your tapes. They will ensure your transfers’ quality by maximizing and “dialing-in” the signal that is coming off of your video to capture the best signal (remember, the tapes degrade over time). It will “clean-up” the material on the tapes, meaning they will eliminate the fuzzy snow, blank blue screens at the beginning, or between clips in the middle, or at the end. A good company will also offer creative, easy to navigate menus and chapter design with moving footage, resulting in a very easy-to-use and enjoyable DVD of your precious home movies.

Convert Camcorder tapes to digital files

A camcorder not only recorded memories onto tape, but it was also able to play back tapes, much like a VCR. Therefore when attempting to convert your old camcorder tapes to digital files, you can follow the guides above & substitute out, the VCR.  Simply connect one end of the ADVC cables to your computer & the other end to your camera instead. Make sure you do not mix the colours of the cables. The Yellow cable on the ADVC, should connect to the video port (yellow) on your camcorder.

On you computer, open up your ADVC software, set the destination of the file, press play on your camera & record on your software.

For further details, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help.

Convert Mini DV tapes to digital

Mini DV Cameras burst onto the scene in the late nineties & produced great video quality, perfect for home users. However they also used a new type of connector called Firewire & it could connect directly into a computer.

Unfortunately, this type of connector was quickly superseded & manufacturers stopped producing computers with firewire capability. 

If you are looking to convert mini DV tapes to digital files from the comfort of your own home, your best bet is to find an old computer on ebaby that has a firewire port.  Then you can connect your Mini DV Camera directly to your computer.

In conclusion, do not let your old childhood videotapes sit in the attic and slowly fade away. Why not transfer these valuable tapes to DVD? If anything, they are great for embarrassment ammo once your child turns into their teens!

www.homevideorescue.com.au is a site dedicated to converting any old videos into digital. We offer a free download option & give a choice to transfer your entire tape library onto 1 USB. Yes, this 1 USB can hold every tape on it. We also convert to DVD. If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page or give us a call today.

Digital Download

Free with every order

  • Instant download to your pc or mac
  • Accessed from any smart device
  • Easy to share with family & friends
  • Safe & secure cloud storage
  • Available free for 30 days