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Converting VHS to DVD, DVD Storage And Cabinets

Updated on June 1, 2011

Bad news: VHS tapes are going the way of the dodo. But you've got a box of them hidden somewhere. Maybe they're treasured home videos or maybe you spent years building your VHS cassette collection to an astronomical number and have every movie ever made and now they have switched over to DVD and they have all become obsolete. Did you know that VHS cassette tapes degrade over time and become completely unwatchable? Plus, it's only going to get harder to find working VCRs and to hook up them up to modern HD TVs, so this article. So, now's the best time to convert VHS tapes to a digital format so they will last a long time and store them on DVDs.

In this hub we'll explore different ways of doing this - from the cheap and easy to the expensive and easier.

The Ways to Convert VHS to DVD

  1. Using a VCR, a computer and a capture device.
  2. Using a VCR and dedicated DVD writer or a combination VCR/DVD device that can do the conversion for you.
  3. Using a professional conversion service. Just drop off your tapes and don't worry about it.

The most common way!

This is a really easy way to convert VHS into DVD by getting them into a computer first. Heck, with falling hard drive prices today, you can just keep them on your computer (but remember to make backups on DVD!) or even post them on YouTube and send it to your family and friend! You take your VCR, use the RCA cables in back to hook up to a capture device. You can buy a dedicated capture device like the one on the right. Follow the directions that come with it, but in general you just have to hit Play on the VCR and hit Capture on the interface for the capture device software. For simple editing you can use the free Windows Movie Maker and iMovie and then drop the final video file into any DVD authoring program. There are dedicated VHS to DVD conversion kits out there but I don't recommend them because a lot of them don't work as advertised. You can sometimes also use a camcorder to record and then capture using firewire or USB though this is not a recommended option.

The Middle Way!

You can use certain DVD/VHS combination units to convert tapes to DVDs. Downside is they are more expensive than getting a capture device. Upside is, they're a lot user friendlier. A good one is on the right, just follow the instructions that come with the device and you'll be off and running. Remember to use DVD - Rs (pronounced "D-V-D minus R"), not DVD + Rs.

The Easiest Way!

Just google the name of your city with "vhs to dvd conversion" or look in your yellow pages and you'll find a service that does this for you for a little bit of money. Just take your stack of tapes and drop them off and go on with the rest of your life. This can be the most expensive way if you have a lot of tapes, but can be cheaper than the other options if you have just a few tapes to convert. 

Storing DVDs!

Whether you decide to have your tapes transferred professionally or do it yourself, once they are transferred, DVD discs will last a much longer period of time than the VHS tapes did. Having the proper storage units for your DVD's will ensure that they last even longer. Good news! DVDs are a lot slimmer and smaller than VHS tapes! For a really clever DVD storage cabinet, check out the item to the right. It brings the right DVD up for you!

How do I know what size DVD storage cabinet to purchase?

Depending on what your current needs are, you may only need to purchase a small tabletop model DVD holder.  This is a convenient way to keep your discs close at hand.  However, if you are intending to build a library of DVD movies and television shows, then, you should keep your future needs in mind when purchasing.  You may want to purchase a wall mounted style or free standing shelving unit for your DVD's.  You should also keep in mind your budget when purchasing since the different sizes and models can run from inexpensive to very high priced. But some cheap ones look great, too!

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