PROS / This VHS to DVD converter allows you to upload captured videotape footage to YouTube.
CONS / It takes more than 14 hours to burn a single DVD.
VERDICT / While the hardware portion of this converter works well, the performance of the software component is simply unacceptable.
The V.TOP VHS to DVD Capture Device is a VHS to DVD converter, allowing you to capture and convert your old VHS tapes into a digital format and then burn them onto a DVD. You can also create stand-alone digital video files or even upload them to YouTube. However, the software it comes bundled with puts a huge drag on its usefulness.
The VHS capture software that comes with this converter is ArcSoft ShowBiz. While it has most of the tools we look for in the best VHS to DVD converters, in practice it’s a terrible program. Its interface is badly in need of an update; it has the look and feel of a program created in the 1990s. It's frustrating trying to get this program to function properly and interacting with its counterintuitive workflow.
The first notable drawback of ArcSoft ShowBiz is its inability to capture and convert copy-protected tapes. This means that if you have commercially produced tapes, it’s highly likely that they won’t work with this program. The converters that ranked higher in our review allow you to digitize and burn all the videotapes you’ve paid for.
The biggest problem with this VHS converter is how long it takes to burn a DVD. In our testing phase, it took ArcSoft ShowBiz 14.5 hours to create a single 40-minute disc. This is simply unacceptable – even for software as outdated as ArcSoft. The best programs can burn a converted tape in less than 10 minutes.
What keeps this product in the bottom tier of our side-by-side comparison chart is the fact that it produced the worst-quality conversion of all the VHS to DVD converters we reviewed. Our video experts examined the converted footage and found nearly every aspect of the picture was distorted. They also found major problems with the audio. One of the discs we burned with this software didn’t have any sound at all. If you buy this product, you can expect to burn several discs before you get a watchable DVD.
ArcSoft can do more than simply burn converted tapes onto DVD. The program also gives you the ability to convert your tapes into stand-alone video files. You can watch these files on your computer, sync them to a mobile device or import them into a third-party program such as video editing software. It also has the option to upload your converted tapes directly to YouTube. These features are good as far as they go, but they don't make up for the abysmal performance of the program's burning tools.
Another thing to understand about the V.TOP VHS to DVD Capture Device is that it has no official website and no customer or technical support. You can only buy it through FlyKan’s Amazon storefront. So if you need help, you’ll have to search other online resources, like tutorials on ArcSoft ShowBiz.
The V.TOP VHS to DVD Capture Device's hardware is just fine and works as well as any other converter in our review. However, the software component simply fails to produce a DVD in a reasonable amount of time. If you don’t mind waiting more than half a day for your burn to complete, this program might be adequate, but the best VHS to DVD converters not only do it faster, they also allow you to transfer copy-protected VHS tapes to a digital format.