Picking one of the best VHS to DVD converters is relatively simple. The difficulty comes with making sure you have the rest of the kit required. Essentially, a VHS to DVD converter is a cable with an S-Video or RCA (the Red, Yellow, and White leads) connection at one end, and a USB at the other. It connects a VHS player or a camcorder to your home computer, basically allowing you to use the PC as an output device. Easy. We have a full selection of the most reliable cables below.
So, the problem isn’t in finding the best VHS to DVD converter, but working out how you’re going to access the signal from your VHS or camcorder, and what you actually do with it. You’ll need two additional components to get your old VHS tapes transferred onto DVD - specialist software, and a DVD burner. The software part is pretty easy too: we recommend OBS Studio, which is free and will capture the signal sent from your VHS device to your computer or laptop. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows too, so you don’t need to worry about that. If you’re just looking to digitize VHS footage to mp4 or a similar video format, then that’s all you need.
If you’re actually looking to convert VHS to DVD and have physical copies, you’ll also need a DVD drive capable of burning discs. While most computers used to have DVD drives a few years ago, it’s increasingly unusual to find new PCs with built-in DVD burning capabilities (a DVD-RW). So, if you don’t have a drive capable of burning DVDs you’ll need to look at an external one, which will also connect to your computer via USB or HDMI. Something like this Rioddas DVD-drive is perfect, as it’s cheap, reliable, fully compatible with most operating systems, and it burns DVDs at 8x speed.
In all, you should be able to get a VHS to DVD converter system for less than $50, and setting it up should be easy enough for most people as it’s just a question of plugging devices into USB ports, and downloading some free software. If you’re looking to upgrade your hardware too, check out our guide to the best laptops in 2020.
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.