Are you really sure that you are ready to digitize your old home videos from magnetic tape to DVD? If so, there are a number of really great options on how to do it. You can either do a DIY transfer or you can pay a pro to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD for you. You will probably get a higher quality transfer from a professional company but some people will disagree with that. My opinion is that you will unless you have a really poor quality company or if you yourself are really serious and willing to invest the time, energy, and money that you will need to do it right. Otherwise, I think you will find your transfer lacking a little from a pro transfer service.
Note: If you want to do a 8mm to DVD transfer, then you need to look elsewhere since these methods are for magnetic tape transfers only.
The biggest quality difference between DIY and Pro is the level of quality in color and digital restoration. These tasks require a certain level of equipment and know-how. Now, if you are just looking for something simple and basic with no frills, you could just go DIY. This does not need to be a problem. If your only real concern is getting rid of the stacks and stacks of old videos and you just want to get them digitized so you can save some space yet still be able to conveniently watch them when you want, then here are two DIY methods you can use if you would like.
The first basic DIY method is the easiest in that it is convenient to use – the closest thing to a push button technology. This DIY method is the VHS DVD player and recorder combo. It plays a VHS tape and then records the contents to DVD as it plays. This is probably the simplest way to transfer VHS to DVD.
The second method has a lot more flexibility and gives you a little more quality and you probably have all of the equipment that you need. Here is a checklist of some items that you will need to help get you prepared.
- Requires your VCR or Camcorder.
- Requires your Mac or PC.
- Buy a composite video cable that goes to USB computer ports.
- Your computer needs a video capture card or you need to buy an external video converter.
- Your computer will need a DVD burner or you will need to buy an external one.
- You can use a free video editing software such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
- You’ll need to stock up on a lot of blank DVDs & labels.
Now that you have this very easy to understand list, you shall be able to take that next step to transfer VHS to DVD for all of your old home video transfers. Good luck.