Transfer video to DVD

alby

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Hi , my brother in law has a learning disability and his vcr has just died so we have moved him onto a DVD player , he’s really happy with the DVD player but he has a pile of videos (60) that he would like to have transferred , but the cost seems very high; is there a cheap provider out there or is there a way that I could do something myself.
Thanks
Alby
 

Klassik

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If the videocassettes are commercial recordings (movie tapes sold by the studios etc.), they likely have some sort of copy-protection scheme on them which will make it difficult to do anything with them using common equipment. If the recordings were made at home on a VCR, then there might be some simple solutions:

  • At least here in the US, there were DVD recorders that were combined with VHS VCRs that allow one to record their tapes to recordable DVDs. These have not been made in a few years, but you might be able to find one of these for a low price from used sources. Just be careful with these as they were generally not the most reliable things and often used ones are sold without a remote even though the remote is generally necessary to use these things for recording. Even if one cannot find a DVD recorder-VHS combo like this, one should be able to find a regular DVD recorder and a regular VCR and the combo of those two can make the recording.
  • If you can find a working VCR, you can buy some sort of video capture device for your PC and then digitize the VCR video onto the computer. From there, there are PC programs which can be used to convert the digitized files to DVD-Video that can be burned onto recordable DVDs using a DVD burner. DVD burners for PCs are still made and are quite affordable if your computer does not already have one.
If the videocassettes you're wanting to convert are commercial recordings, such as movies, it might be easier to just find those same recordings on DVD. People are downsizing their video libraries and so a lot of these recordings can be purchased used for not a lot of money. By getting these movies in the actual DVD format, the quality will be better than a VHS recording converted to DVD.
 

alby

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The videos are mainly home recorded or unavailable to buy - he is a football and cricket fan - and its a lot of matches - I have shown him how to access Youtube , but he struggles with that . I think I will try to find a VCR/DVD unit .
Thanks for your help

Alby
 
Last edited:

chrisph

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I have converted a number of VHS tapes to DVD using one of the hauppage products. It may be this type https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/275261500316?hash=item4016dd2b9c:g:AYsAAOSwm6ZiSKq9 but i would have to check to be sure.

As Bolosun has said it can be a faff and time consuming but once you get used to the sequence it does the job. I have done a few tapes for mates, such as their weddings and they have really enjoyed seeing the day once again.
 

norliss

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I still have a VCR and a DVD recorder: were it a few tapes I'd have offered to help out but 60 is a bit much, I'm afraid!

See if you can find a combi unit, that should be ideal. Failing that it'd be two separate units.
 

Klassik

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Here's something which might be worthwhile to investigate for anyone interested in converting VHS tapes to a digital format. Klassik knows not how much this would apply to anyone in the UK, but Klassik has just learned at the two public library systems where Klassik lives in Houston, the Houston Public Library and the Harris County Public Library, both have branches that have technology/media centers where one can convert VHS tapes to DVDs or to files for free (though I suspect one would have to provide their own blank DVDs if they are burning DVDs).

https://houstonlibrary.org/techlink
https://www.hcpl.net/services/makercentral

In the case of the Harris County Public Library, their VHS-to-DVD conversion system is a Toshiba DVR620 combo deck. They have an Elgato Video Capture system for VHS-to-digital files. They also have equipment for converting 8mm/Super 8 film to digital and LPs/cassettes to CDs or digital files. The Houston Public Library even has a mixing console and both have green screens. These libraries have some pretty neat and useful technology available for free.

Certainly one would not want to convert 60 VHS tapes at the library, but it might work well for smaller conversions. Klassik knows not if public libraries in the UK have these services. The public libraries here in the US, and Houston specifically, are quite well funded, thankfully.
 

hiacedrifter

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Do video cassettes have a plastic tab you can snap off to make them read only? Might be worth doing to avoid inadvertently writing over them whilst getting used to the equipment/method.
 

Klassik

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Do video cassettes have a plastic tab you can snap off to make them read only? Might be worth doing to avoid inadvertently writing over them whilst getting used to the equipment/method.
Yes, VHS tapes do have a record protect tab.

iu
 

Le Baron

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I used to wedge paper in the hole after snapping off the tab, then forget to take it out and still record over things!
 
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Klassik

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I used to wedge paper in the hole after snapping off the tab, then forget to take it out and still record over things!
Klassik does not believe Klassik has ever snapped off a record protect tab on audio or video cassettes. Klassik just tried to be careful with the cassettes. 3.5" floppy disks had the right idea by having the sliding tab. ;)
 

Klassik

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Ah yes, the sliding tab. Makes you wonder why no-one did it earlier. Then floppy disks went out of fashion too. I feel old.:cry:
Loran brand cassette did have screw-style write protect tabs that could be loosened or tightened to enable/disable write protect. Loran cassettes were not common, but Klassik does have one that was actually a Ford Audio Systems demonstrator cassette that would have come with a new Ford car in the 1980s. The other main advantage of Loran was that their shells and tape supposedly held up better in the car due to better heat resistance.

iu


LORAN1_large.jpeg
 

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