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Elgato Video Capture review

Elgato Video Capture lets you digitize your old VHS and DVDs, but its lack of DVD burning software is a shame.

Elgato Video Capture review
(Image: © Elgato)

Our Verdict

Elgato Video Capture has just enough utility to make it into our round-up of VHS to DVD converters, but its lack of disc-burning tools keep it at the back of the pack.

For

  • SImple, step-by-step instructions
  • Can digitize video from VHS and DVD

Against

  • Can't burn DVDs

Elgato Video Capture can help you transfer your VHS tapes to DVD. However, unlike the rest of the best VHS to DVD converters that we reviewed, the Elgato Video Capture doesn’t contain any tools to burn discs. All it can do is capture footage from your tapes and convert it into a digital format. You’ll need to buy separate burning software to complete the VHS to DVD transformation.

Considering what other products on the market offer, that's a pretty major missing feature on a VHS to DVD converter, as it's really more of a VHS to digital file converter. When people are looking to digitize their old video content, they want simplicity and ease of use, so needing to buy another program on top could be a deal breaker for some.

On the flip side, the Elgato Video Capture can also read and digitize old DVDs too, since even that storage format is becoming obsolete in the age of Blu-rays, flash drives and cloud storage, so it may be more future-proofed than most of the competition.

Elgato Video Capture review: Ease of use

The program that comes with the Elgato Video Capture is simple and straightforward to use. The interface walks you through the VHS capture process step by step, so there’s no need to worry that'll you do something wrong when transferring your tapes to your hard drive. Once the capture process is complete, the program gives you the opportunity to trim away unwanted footage. However, if you want more control over your finished product, we recommend investing in video editing software, which has the tools you need to get exactly what you want out of your conversion.

Aside from its inability to burn discs, Elgato is missing several of the key features we look for in a quality VHS to DVD converter. For example, it has no options to customize the look and feel of your video with filters or other editing tools. Other programs allow you to add transitions, titles, outside audio and more to your project. These omissions are what kept the Elgato Video Capture down near the bottom of our recommendations - it's not bad, but there are better options out there.

Elgato Video Capture

(Image credit: Elgato)

On the plus side, the Elgato Video Capture isn't just limited to transferring data from a VHS, it can be used to transfer video files for DVDs, camcorders and other physical storage formats, turning them into a digital file on your computer.

Elgato Video Capture review: Video quality

We tested the Elgato Video Capture, by transferring an old VHS tape into a digital format. But due to the lack of DVD burning capacities, we had to use a third-party program to create a new DVD with the captured video on it. When our video experts examined the converted disc and compared it to the original, they found that the quality was comparable to the source footage. There were some slight problems with pixelation and minor distortion. The only time this becomes a problem is if you’re watching on a large high-definition screen, but we would always expect to see this kind of distortion when watching old VHS quality footage on a HD screen.

Should I buy Elgato Video Capture?

Elgato Video Capture is a good tool for digitizing your old VHS tapes. The quality of the conversion is good enough and certainly comparable with other VHS to DVD converters on the market. Damingly though, it’s missing aone of the key features of a VHS to DVD converter, in that it can't make DVDs. The inability to customize or burn your conversions to a disc put this program dead last in our rankings.