PROS / You can use the hardware portion of the converter with any software capable of recognizing an analog signal.
CONS / This model does not work with Macintosh computers.
VERDICT / This VHS to DVD converter topped our rankings largely because it includes the award-winning program PowerDirector, which allows you to do nearly everything you could want with your converted footage.
Diamond Video Capture is the best VHS to DVD converter we reviewed. From the moment you plug it in to the time you put the finishing touches on your last video, you’ll enjoy Diamond's emphasis on ease of use and function. Not only does this VHS to DVD converter allow you to save your VHS shows and memories, but you can also use it to capture video from almost any video source, including camcorders and video game consoles. This commitment to ease of use, quality and universal application earns this product our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for VHS to DVD converters.
Capture & Customize
Whether you’re using a standard composite cable to convert VHS to DVD or an S-Video cable, Diamond Video Capture performs expertly. Setting up the converter for use doesn't take long at all. The installation only takes a few minutes and requires you to restart your computer, but overall, it is a simple process. The capture software and the VHS to DVD converter work together flawlessly.
You can either transfer a VHS tape to a digital format to store on your computer or use Diamond’s built-in disc-burning capabilities to burn the imported file directly to a DVD. You can also share your converted home movies directly to YouTube and Facebook through the included video-editing software. In addition to video capture, the included software offers a variety of options for editing the video footage transferred to your PC.
This USB device is a fantastic tool to record from your VCR to DVDs, but that is just the beginning. You can use this VHS converter to easily record material from your DVR to your computer, or even watch analog video on your computer from an Xbox or PlayStation. It does not support HD video, but if your device has RCA composite connections, the Diamond Video Capture allows you to view it on your computer screen.
While this model is not compatible with Mac computers, Diamond has a separate converter model that is compatible with Mac, so be sure to purchase the correct one for your computer.
Diamond Video Capture is almost universally compatible with external video capture devices and video-editing software. While it does come with ArcSoft ShowBiz, you can feel free to switch to nearly any other video capture application and still maintain quality and compatibility. We don't recommend that you use ArcSoft ShowBiz to capture your videos. It gets the job done, but in our tests, it took this program nearly 15 hours to burn a single copy of a 40-minute disc.
Another program comes bundled with Diamond Video Capture: the award-winning video-editing program PowerDirector. This software lets you do far more than just capture the footage on your videotapes. Once your footage is on your computer, you can drop it into the timeline just like you would any other video file. You can use PowerDirector’s powerful tools to separate clips from your conversion, trim away unwanted elements, rearrange footage and more. You even have the ability to manipulate your picture, sound and images. You’re not limited to what you’ve captured; you can use the program to import other videos on your computer and splice them into your project as well. Its inclusion of PowerDirector alone makes this VHS to DVD converter well worth its price.
When you’re done capturing and customizing your video footage, PowerDirector allows you to add chapter breaks to your project. This is immensely helpful when you’re creating your disc menu and navigational structure, because it allows your viewers to skip to the exact portion of your converted videos they want to watch. The menu designer itself takes a little getting used to, but once you learn it, you can craft the exact experience you want out of your new DVD.
During our testing phase, we used every VHS to DVD converter on our lineup to make an identical disc. Our video experts then examined the results and compared them against the source tape. They found that the converted disc was nearly identical to the original VHS. There was some minor edge distortion and digital blocking, but nothing that would distract your audience from the viewing experience.
In stark contrast to ArcSoft ShowBiz, PowerDirector burned our test project to a DVD in just eight minutes. This was the shortest burn time of all the VHS to DVD converters on our side-by-side comparison chart.
If you don’t want to burn your converted tapes to a disc, PowerDirector also gives you the ability to export a tape into a stand-alone video file for your computer. You have six of the most popular video file formats to choose from, including AVI, MPEG-2, H.264, WMV, MP4 and MKV. You also have the option of exporting only the audio portion of your video project.
PowerDirector gives you the option to optimize your VHS conversion to play on a number of other devices. For example, you can watch your converted tapes on an iPhone. In all, PowerDirector allows you to optimize your conversions for 21 different devices, not just smartphones but also tablets and gaming systems.
Help & Support
Diamond’s website is outstanding. You can easily find products or customer support. If you have any questions, you can contact technical support by using the supplied email form or consult the FAQs section. You can also browse the Diamond support forums for answers. Diamond has an active support community, and its customer service representatives respond to inquiries quickly.
With Diamond Video Capture, there are no more excuses. It is time to transfer all of your old home movies to your computer and burn DVD copies for all the relatives. The Diamond VHS to DVD converter makes preserving your favorite VHS shows and memories easy to do, and the quality is superb. Diamond Video Capture is easy enough for anyone to use, and the terrific support options will help you solve any possible problems.