The best VHS to DVD converters offer you an easy way to digitize all your old VHS tapes and home movies, letting you preserve all your old memories in a modern format. They’re super simple to use too, as they’re basically just a cable that connects your VHS player to your home computer or laptop, along with some software to help you copy the information off the tapes and onto your hard drive or DVD.
The best VHS to DVD converters are mostly a cable with an S-video or RCA connection on one end and a USB connection on the other end. You plug the USB into your home computer or laptop and the S-video/RCA into your VHS player or camcorder. As such, there is very little difference between the various cables that you can buy. Instead, it’s the software that you use that matters. With that said, we’ve pulled together a list of reliable cables that are easy to find.
A lot of VHS to DVD converters that you buy come with their own proprietary software, but they’re usually slow, clunky and outdated. You’re actually much better off just using a third party software. Luckily, there are tons of free programs out there that you can use, and some paid programs that offer extra services on top too, should you need them. Our top pick is OBS Studio, a program that lets you capture the signal from your VHS device and convert it into a digital file. It’s free to download, easy to use and works on both Windows and Mac devices.
If you actually want to burn your digital files onto a DVD (lets face it, DVDs are on their way to being outdated too), then we’re not quite finished. You’ll need a PC or laptop with a DVD rewriter drive in it to burn the new disc. Most modern DVD drives can burn new discs, but older models might not be able to. If you don’t have a DVD rewriting capable device, you can buy an external DVD drive. Our suggestion is the Amicool DVD drive, which is cheap, reliable, and easy to find on Amazon.
All in this shouldn’t cost you more than $50, so money shouldn’t stand in your way if you want to preserve your old VHS tapes. Then you'll be able to watch them on one of the best DVD players.
1. DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter
The DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter is another solid option if you’re looking for a VHS to DVD converter cable. It features both an s-video and RCA connection which should let you connect to just about any VHS player, while the output connection is a USB that will let you plug directly into your laptops or home computer.
The built-in software that comes with the DIGITNOW Video Capture Converter is on a CD-ROM (how retro), so you’ll need to make sure your computer has a disk drive or you won’t be able to install it (or you could use the OBS Studio software we recommended above).
The majority of users on Amazon have reported that the adapter and software work as claimed, but some users warn that it can be a little slow and clunky.
2. August VGB100 External USB Video Capture Card
If you’re looking to transfer your old media onto your computer then the August VGB100 is a great choice. This VHS to DVD converter offers an S-video or RCA to USB connection to let you connect your old devices, such as a VHS player or older video game console, directly to your home computer.
Unlike some of the products that we’re recommending, the August VGB100 comes with its own integrated software. Many VHS to DVD converters are older technology and struggle to run on modern operating systems like Windows 10, but the August VGB100 is fully Windows 10 compatible.
The August VGB100 has other uses too, as you can use it to record footage from a video game console if you’re looking to upload it to social media or YouTube.
3. Cleantt Video Capture Card
The Cleantt Video Capture card is another decent option for a VHS to DVD converter at a reasonable price. Like the others on this list, the Cleantt Video Capture Card has a USB connection to plug into your computer and either an S-Video or RCA connection for your old VHS player. Simply plug in the device, install any drivers and software that come with it and you’re good to go.
User reviews have been mostly positive on Amazon, with most reviewers stating that it works as intended, transferring old VHS tapes into a digital format. Some users had issues getting the software to work on their devices though, so again we’d recommend trying more up to date third party software like OBS studio if you have issues.
4. UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card
Another option at the higher end of the price range, the UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card offers the same basic products - it’s a cable that connects to your computer via as USB and to your old VHS player via either an S-Video or RCA connection. The bundled software comes on a disc, so if you want to use it you’ll need a home computer or laptop that has a disc drive.
One thing that might help the UCEC stand out is that it offers 24-online technical support and a one year money-back guarantee. This means you should be able to get help from an expert if you’re having trouble getting the software to work.
Some users have noted poor video conversion quality and issues with colors not transferring properly, but the majority of reviews have been positive. Other users have noted that the customer service was responsive and helpful though.
5. Roxio Easy VHS to DVD
The Roxio Easy VHS to DVD has been on our list of the best VHS to DVD converters for what seems like eons. Sadly this piece of kits hasn’t had an update in quite some time, which has resulted in it slipping down the rankings. As with the other choices on this list, the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD connects to your computer via as USB while plugging into your older devices, like a VHS or camcorder, via an S-Video or RGB connection.
Sadly, users seem to be having mixed results with the Roxio these days. Many users have complained that the software doesn’t work, or only works intermittently which is concerning. As one of the one star reviews on Amazon points out though, the hardware itself works fine - it’s just the bundled in software that sucks. If you’re going to pick up the Roxio, we’d recommend using the free software we mentioned at the beginning of this article instead.
It’s also a little expensive for what is essentially a cable with a signal converter built into it. On the flip side, it comes with two free DVDs, which is something we guess. If it’s all you can find, it’ll do the job but there are cheaper choices out there that work just as well.