So the question becomes, how do I convert my video tapes to DVDs in order to preserve them for my future enjoyment? There are several options. First, you could use a VHS to DVD conversion service that will do the transfer for you. However, if you have a great deal of videos to convert, over time you'll save money by doing the conversions yourself in the convenience of your home.
The computer savvy among us will use their computer to transfer their videos to DVD. It requires copying the video to a digital file on the computer using an analog converter. The file gets compressed into MPEG-2 format before being burned onto a DVD. This method takes some time, but it does allow you to make changes to the video, like special effects or music, before you burn it to the DVD. Depending on the burning software that you use, you might be able to add a menu or other special features. However, the process can be quite slow because you have to transfer the file twice: first from the video to the computer and then again from the computer to the DVD.
So in order to save time and effort, you can copy the tapes to a DVD without the use of a computer. There are two ways to do this:
- The first involves buying a DVD recorder that allows input from another source. You simply connect your VCR by cable to the DVD recorder. Then while the video plays, it is also recording. If you choose this option, consider purchasing a video processor called a proc amp or a time base corrector. These devices stabilize and improve the quality of the analog video as it is fed to the DVD recorder and can greatly improve the resulting images that you get on the DVD.
- The second option is to purchase a combination DVD/VCR recorder. It does the same thing as the previous option without needing to connect any cables. If you are planning to copy a lot of videos, it is worth your time and effort to find out what kind of processing the machine does to the analog signal from the video tape before it converts it to the digital signal that gets recorded in DVD format. You want the best possible result that you can get.