VHS to DVD Software Review
Why Buy VHS to DVD Software?
In our review, the best VHS to DVD software products are Diamond Video Capture, the Gold Award winner; Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 Plus, the Silver Award winner; and AVerMedia DVD EZMaker, the Bronze Award winner. Learn more here about how to select a product that will work best for you and see how we came up with our rankings of the best VHS to DVD software.
So many of us have boxes of VHS tapes tucked away, waiting for the day when we have time to switch them to the more durable DVD format from the fragile VHS state, because we love those home movies, those old shows we recorded or the films we bought. The task is much easier if you’ve got great software to do the job.
Our entertainment viewing experiences are so different today from how they were just a decade or two ago. Previously, those now-outdated VHS tapes were all the rage for in-home movies, project how-tos and exercise workouts. In addition, there was a long stretch of time when no one thought of buying a videotape – you rented them from Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. When a hot new Hollywood movie was released on VHS, you had to hustle over to the video store quickly to rent it or you were out of luck.
If you still have those cherished VHS tapes stashed away, they will not last forever, because magnetic tape degrades. However, you can avoid losing those great memories by recording them with VHS to DVD software and then transferring the content to discs or digital video files that you can store on your computer’s hard drive or even upload to the internet for your relatives and friends to enjoy. DVDs take up little space, last a long time, and ensure that you can remember those family events or revisit the hard-to-find movie that changed your life.
What to Look for in VHS to DVD Software
We took an in-depth look at the best VHS to DVD software available and conducted our own tests to rank them. Here are the criteria we used to determine the rankings.
Capture & Customize
All the products in our side-by-side comparison include hardware and software that you can use to capture VHS content and then transfer it to DVD format. We tested each product to see how easy or difficult it is to use and whether you can start and stop the capture process, edit your digitized footage to improve it, burn discs, and add extras such as DVD menus.
Quite often, commercial VHS tapes are copy-protected so you cannot switch them to a DVD format. However, the best VHS to DVD products give you the capability of bypassing the protections. You will really appreciate this function if you want to preserve movies or shows that you cannot get on DVD or some other format.
We also took a good look at the editing tools these VHS to DVD software applications include. It’s always great to improve the footage of some of those ragged old VHS recordings. Some software lets you get rid of footage you don’t want, put in transition titles and effects, and do other things to create a more polished result that makes better viewing. You can enhance your DVDs even more with software that lets you add chapter breaks and disc menus to your digitized and improved content.
We put each of the software products in our review to the test by recording material from the original VHS tape and then burning it onto a blank DVD. Our video experts viewed the new discs to see how well the quality looked and sounded compared to the original content. They looked for flaws such as motion blur, artifact and pixelation, assigning each conversion program a grade in this area.
Every product needed to record VHS footage in real time as it typically would play on a VCR. The products in our review, however, all burn discs at different speeds. In our testing, we timed how long that process was for each product. The best applications took less than 10 minutes, while others took more than 14 hours.
The best applications are capable of doing much more than just transferring VHS content to a disc. Many also give you the chance to make stand-alone video files for use on your computer, upload material to the internet and view items on mobile devices. Some software in our review also optimizes the material you had originally so you can play it back on a smartphone or tablet.
Help & Support
When you buy VHS to DVD software, you want to preserve visual and audio materials that mean something to you, so it’s important that the process go smoothly. In case you run into problems, it is always best to have a product from a company that offers accessible customer support.
Often, you can find answers to questions simply by looking at the knowledgebase or FAQs section on the software’s website. However, the best companies also give customer support through email, which takes time but offers the bonus of a written record of your interaction, or phone and live chat for quicker service.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
After thorough testing and review, we determined that these applications are the best VHS to DVD software products on the market.
Diamond Video Capture includes the first-rate video-editing program PowerDirector. This not only records videotapes and burns them to DVDs, but also gives you the capability to improve and enhance your viewing experience. For example, this software lets you do such things as add transitions, effects and titles. In the end, you also get the best-quality burned discs of all the products we reviewed.
Roxio VHS to DVD 3 Plus is an exceptionally easy-to-use VHS to DVD product. You get helpful guidance through the transfer process, which works so smoothly and well that it will not cause problems for beginners who want to preserve those cherished VHS memories.
AVerMedia DVD EZMaker includes a copy of PowerDirector as well as PowerProducer, so you can create more sophisticated-looking DVDs. There is a bit of a learning curve with this product, and the results aren’t as attractive as the other award winners, but the inclusion of PowerDirector and PowerProducer make it worth its price tag.
Technology is always changing – including in home entertainment. There is always something new to take the place of the old and render it obsolete. However, that does not mean you have to simply lose everything that you have preserved on VHS tapes, because top-quality VHS to DVD software provides the tools to capture what you now have and quickly transfer it to another format so you can enjoy it for years to come.
For more information about VHS to DVD software, consult our learning center to help you make an informed decision.