PROS / This software walks you through a VHS to DVD transfer step by step, eliminating the guesswork.
CONS / You can’t set chapter breaks into your converted DVDs.
VERDICT / If you’re new to converting analog content to digital, this converter is a great place to learn the basics and achieve good results at the same time.
Honestech VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe is a good option for converting VHS to DVD. It combines user-friendly software and powerful converter hardware, giving you the means to preserve your video memories and favorite shows. It not only converts VHS tapes but also has the ability to capture from analog and digital camcorders and from VHS and Betamax tapes, as well as to bypass most copyright protection.
Unlike other VHS to DVD converters, the Honestech VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe hardware is larger than a USB dongle. This box houses two audio RCA connections, one RCA video connection and an S-Video connection. The USB connection gives you a solid, reliable input and output. Once you install the proper drivers, you can use this device with any software capable of capturing from analog devices like a VCR.
The software included with this VHS converter is easy to use, with three capturing modes to choose from. The Easy Wizard Mode is fully guided, taking you through the conversion process step by step. This mode is perfect for beginners as well as people who just want to convert VHS to DVD quickly. In our tests, it only took the software nine minutes to burn a copy of our 40-minute test tape.
The Advanced Mode opens up more options, giving you complete control over how the program captures your video. In this mode, you can choose the PAL or NTSC DVD format settings, the capture file location, and the device from which you want to capture. From Advanced Mode, you can perform some basic video editing and burn your finished videos to DVD or Blu-ray Disc, if you have the hardware.
When our video experts viewed the newly converted DVD, they found that this product yielded relatively good results. They noted only minor problems with distortion around the edges of the picture and a drop in the frame rate that caused a slight shimmer. Some viewers may notice these imperfections, but it shouldn’t take away from the experience of watching the show or movie.
You can even upload your videos directly to YouTube or Facebook with one click. The Audio Recorder mode allows you to record audio from cassettes, vinyl records and videotapes. This is a great additional feature, as many people have cassette tapes full of recorded conversations and memorable times.
One shortfall of this software is that, while it does allow you to create DVD menus, it doesn’t give you the option to set chapter breaks in your captured videos. This would allow viewers to skip to specific points in the video rather than having to fast-forward to what they want to see.
The Honestech VHS to DVD 8.0 Deluxe does an excellent job of transferring your VHS tapes to DVD once you get it running. The ability to connect to both analog and digital camcorders to capture footage is a nice feature. The lack of ability to add chapter markers to your disc is our only complaint about this VHS to DVD converter.