The 6 Best VHS To DVD Converters In 2020

Best VHS To DVD Converters

Over the past couple of decades, technology has truly changed a lot. I remember like it was yesterday when my parents bought a VCR player and we would go to Blockbuster to rent movies. Back then VHS tapes were used by everyone. And I’m sure that there’s still plenty of people who have them laying around in the attic. Some might even have their old family videos on them. And if you are one of those, then it might be a good idea to finally convert your VHS tapes onto a DVD. They are much more reliable as you don’t need to worry about the tape degrading useless.

All you need to have is a VHS to DVD converter, which will easily turn your entire video tape collection into a digital format. And the best part is that these devices have actually been available for a while now. So the technology behind it has already shown that it works. And there are a lot of different models available as well. Which is both good and bad. On one hand competition is always good as it drives down the prices, on the other hand you have a lot of devices to choose from. Which is why I have created this list so that you can choose the best converter that fits your requirements.

1. Emerson ZV427EM5 DVD/VCR Combo

The easiest way to convert a VHS tape to a DVD is by using a device that has everything built in! The Emerson ZV427EM5 is basically a DVD and VCR player/recorder all in one. It’s an incredibly high quality solution that was actually pretty popular during the transition. Unfortunately there aren’t many of these recorders left on the market. Especially new ones. Which is also why this solution also costs the most.

Emerson ZV427EM5 Recorder

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Type: VCR and DVD recorders combined
  • 1080p with HDMI
  • Connections: HDMI, RCA, S-Video
  • DVD and VHS players/recorders

Another great thing about this combo is that you can also use it to play both VHS tapes and DVD’s. Which means that you don’t need to buy an external drive for DVD's or a VCR for the tapes. You will also be able to watch all the VHS tapes before you convert them. All of the other devices below will still require for you to have a VCR.

The Emerson ZV427EM5 is also extremely capable in terms of performance. It has an HDMI connection that can transfer Full HD quality at 1080p. And yes, it can transfer high quality audio as well. Oh and another nice feature is that you can convert from DVD’s to VHS tapes as well. I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who like being nostalgic. So as you can see, Emerson has done a great job at making high quality product that does everything it’s meant for.

2. Elgato Video Capture

A cheaper solution is to get a video capture module. These type of modules require you to already have a VCR player. They are attached between the VCR and your computer and basically allow you to watch the VHS tape from your computer. Which means that you can also record it. One of such is the Elgato Video Capture, which is also the highest rated and most sold module on Amazon.

Elgato Video Capture

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Type: Video capture module
  • Resolution: 640 x 480 (4:3) and 640 x 360 (16:9)
  • Connections: RCA, S-Video, USB 2.0
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows

The Elgato Video Capture is a simple module that will digitize all your videos. All you have to do is plug it between your computer and your VCR. You will also need to download and install the video capture software that is available for free on the Elgato website. And it runs on both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Another great thing about this solution is that it’s flexible and really easy to use. It just takes one click in the program to start the recording process. And you can also later trim the video on your computer in case you recorded more than you wanted. This also enables you the opportunity to edit the video if you want to.

Unfortunately the only downside is the video resolution. 640 x 480 pixels sounds incredibly small for todays standards. But then when you think about it, the modern day equivalent for VHS would be 480 x 333 pixels. So any bigger would lose in quality anyways. So don’t expect to get beautiful full HD quality when you make the video the size of your screen.

Overall the Elgato Video Capture is the highest rated and bought module for a good reason. And the performance quality with the simple program backs it up.

3. VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite

Another fantastic analog to digital video converter is the VIDBOX conversion suite. It’s a complete package that includes all of the required cables, a module and 2 software download cards. The download cards include links and the product key licenses as it has programs for both Windows and Mac operating systems. PS! There are also separate suites that only work with one OS.

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Type: Video capture module
  • Resolution: 720 x 480 and 640 x 480
  • Connections: RCA, S-Video, Mini USB
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows

In order to convert your VHS tapes onto a DVD, you first need to transfer them to your computer. Which means that this module does require for you to own a VCR. You connect the the module in between a VCR and your computer and then use the included software to save the video. This allows you to edit and actually do whatever you want with the video. You can also upload it to a cloud server as well or burn it onto a DVD disc if that’s something you require.

The overall performance is also high quality like the rest of this suite. It can record the videos at a 720p resolution. Which is actually pretty good as most TV channels still display shows at that resolution as well. Which means that you will most probably be able to still watch the videos, in a good enough quality, from your TV as well.

So the main difference between this and the Elgato is that VIDBOX is more closed in the sense that you need a product key to use their program. Elgatos software on the other hand is free to download. Also VIDBOX is capable of capturing at a higher resolution.

4. Little World VHS to Digital Converter

The next extremely popular VHS to DVD converter module is by a brand called Little World. It’s one of the smallest modules that already has the required cables attached to it. Plus it’s much cheaper than its competitors. And it includes a professional video capture program, the Honestech TVR 2.5! Which is only available for Windows. The device can still be used with Mac as well, you’ll just be using Quicktime to record the videos!

Little World VHS to Digital Converter

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Type: Video capture module
  • Resolution: 720 x 480 and 720 x 576
  • Connections: RCA, S-Video, USB 2.0
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows

Despite the incredibly affordable price, Little World has still somehow managed to keep the performance quality. This module can capture the videos at a 720p resolution in both NTSC and PAL. Which is really useful if you are converting VHS to DVD as the quality will look similar when you watch them on TV.

Or since it saves you the video file, you can also run some post production to improve the old colors for example. Which is why the video capture modules are considered more versatile than the DVD/VCR combos for example. And cheaper as well, even if you add the cost the VCR that you still need to have to play the VHS tapes.

5. UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card Device

Another highly rated and reviewed module is the UCEC video capture device. This one not only has the RCA and S-Video cables attached, but it also has the USB 2.0 cable. Which means makes this incredibly portable as you don’t need to worry about losing or forgetting to bring any of the cables. Plus you don’t need any extras. Just a VCR, this module and a computer. That’s it.

UCEC Video Capture Card Device

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Type: Video capture module
  • Resolution: 720 x 480 and 720 x 576
  • Connections: RCA, S-Video, USB 2.0
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows

What you do still need is software to capture the video. They have actually included one in the package and it comes on a CD. So make sure that your computer has a CD/DVD drive as well. The program is also compatible with only Windows. You can still use this device with a Mac as well. You’ll just be using Quicktime to record the video.

The overall performance is just as good as the other similar modules. It can capture videos at 720 x 480 and 720 x 576 pixels. Which is basically 720p. And that’s more than enough to convert the videos on your VHS tapes. And if you connect the S-Video port, then you’ll even be able to capture all of the audio as well. The entire video will be saved onto your computer and you can later on edit it to improve either the video or audio quality. It’s a really good device for converting VHS to DVD.

6. ClearClick Video to Digital Converter 2.0

Sometimes it’s better to have a device that doesn’t require you to have a computer nearby. And the VCR/DVD stations are exactly that. But the problem with them is the price as they really do cost a lot. ClearClick has found a cheaper solution. They have made this video converter that looks like an old school MP3 player with a 3.5” screen.

ClearClick Video to Digital Converter

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Type: Video capture module with screen
  • Resolution: 720 x 480
  • Connections: RCA, S-Video, USB 2.0, HDMI, Micro USB
  • Saves onto SD card

The idea behind it is that you plug the module to the VCR player. Just as you would do with the other devices I have mentioned here. But the difference is that you don’t need a computer. The device saves the VHS videos onto an SD card (which is not included). You can also use the small screen to watch the video as well.

After that, you can insert the SD card to your computer and transfer the video onto a DVD. Or you can also edit it. The video recorded will be at a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels. Which is pretty much the standard.

Overall this is a unique and an extremely portable device. You don’t need to take a laptop with you every time that you want to record a VHS tape. Plus you also get to see what exactly you are recording from the screen. And the device has all of the buttons as well to control the entire process.

Key points

There’s a lot of different VHS to DVD converters available as you can see. Most of them are modules that pretty much look the same but are by different brands. The ones I have listed here are the most popular and highest rated ones. Here are some key points to help you pick the best one.

Price: Eventually it all comes down to how much you are willing to spend. Make sure that you set a budget. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars then the video capture modules are the best for you.

Software: A lot of the modules come with different programs and they are usually mentioned. If there’s a free program for example then you can always download it first and see how easy it is to use it. There are also brands that have their own programs and those are generally more powerful and come with support. So it comes down to how tech savvy you are.

Copyright: Some converters, such as the DVD/VCR combined device, can’t convert copyrighted content. So if you are planning to only convert your home VHS tapes, then you don’t need to worry about this. But if you also have some copyrighted movies, then you’ll need to make sure that the device can save that type of content as well. Most of the video capture modules should be able to do that.