VHS tapes contain your most precious family memories, but they are hard to share and can degrade over time.
As a leading home video preservation service for over 20 years, Capture knows everything there is to know about converting VHS tapes to digital format. We created this comprehensive guide to help you out.
We selected the top 3 VHS to digital converters on the market today and documented their pros and cons, so you can make the best decision for your VHS tapes.
That way, you can save time and money searching for the best equipment and start converting your home movies using trustworthy products as soon as possible. Plus, we added additional recommendations for those on a budget or seeking to specifically create DVD copies of home movies.
Continue reading to see our top recommendations for the best VHS to digital converter in 2023 for your precious memories.
- Top 3 Recommended VHS to Digital Converters in 2023
- Other Converters We Reviewed
- How We Chose the Best VHS to Digital Converters
- Benefits of VHS to Digital Conversion
- Benefits of Using a VHS to Digital Converter
- What is the Best Way to Convert VHS to Digital?
- Choose the Best VHS to Digital Converter for Your Memories
Top 3 Recommended VHS to Digital Converters in 2023
These are our top 3 recommendations for VHS to digital converters available right now including in-depth summaries, pros and cons, and concise information based on reviews, features, testing, and our expertise in the digitization industry.
Our goal is to help you choose among these popular choices by providing the most relevant information based on our experiences helping over 12 million customers.
DIGITNOW Video Converter
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/DIGITNOW-Digital-Converter-Capture-Camcorder/dp/B07JVQVR3Q
The DIGTINOW Video Converter offers a built-in screen and speakers and can connect to almost any device that plays your VHS tapes like camcorders, VCR systems, and more. It offers HDMI connections, but you don’t need a computer to digitize your home movies with this converter. It allows you to put your memories directly onto an SD card.
It’s also mid-range as far as price is concerned. Starting at $89.99 on Amazon, we think it’s a good deal for the features it offers. Not only that, but the company also offers HD alternatives for $189.99 that offer a bigger screen and the same type of conversion process.
There are downsides, though. Since it only converts at normal play-back time, it’s very time-consuming. It will also take some time getting used to, especially if you aren’t technologically inclined.
Still, it works very well and offers high-quality results, making it one of our top choices and the best option if you don’t want to connect to a computer.
- No computer needed to convert VHS tapes (or any other type of tape like Betamax, MiniDV, or even DVD and Blu-Ray discs as long as you have a player with the right adapters).
- View and hear videotapes during conversion with built-in screen and speakers.
- Fair pricing compared to similar devices that don’t offer as many beneficial features.
- Can work with virtually any VHS playback device.
- Best for tech-savvy users - the several menu buttons, date and time settings, and multiple types of connections can be confusing.
- Takes a lot of time because it only converts in real-time through the built-in screen.
- May need adapters to connect to some videotape machines. While it has RCA cable, HDMI, auxiliary, and DC/MiniUSB ports, it does not have a full size USB port or s-video cable connections.
VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/VIDBOX-VCS2M-Video-Conversion-Suite/dp/B00ND0E7FS/
This option connects to your VCR or camcorder and produces high-quality results as long as you know what you are doing. It doesn’t have a built-in screen and requires a computer to operate correctly. If you are a Mac user, then this option might be perfect for you, but it is also available for Windows (there are Mac, PC, and combined options available). It connects to USB ports and its design is deceptively simple.
It isn’t a simple device despite the no-button design. It offers a lot of features, which makes it difficult to use if you don’t want to put in the time and effort to learn how everything works. For example, the box contains the USB video capture device and cable, 2 quick start guides, 2 software download cards, and RCA AV cable.
However, it doesn’t contain a full-length troubleshooting guide despite coming with all the other stuff. This can be overwhelming to those who do not like learning new technology. According to reviews, the step-by-step instructions are also geared toward techy people. That being said, their tech support and customer service are great, and they are available if you need help.
Because of its clear picture quality, this option lands on our top 3 as the best option for technologically inclined users.
- Clear picture quality for both black and white and color home movies.
- Affordable at $69.99.
- Great tech-support and customer services.
- Works for Mac and PC computers (separate software and combined software available).
- Time-consuming process that takes a while to install and then requires you to convert in real-time. If you fast forward during conversion, the outcome will appear fast forwarded when viewed.
- Complicated, even for tech-savvy users. It comes in a box that contains so many items including quick start guides that don’t answer all the questions a beginner might have.
- Cheaply made and not durable. May work best for a year or two, but not long-term.
Elgato Video Capture Device
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Elgato-Video-Capture-Digitize-iPad/dp/B0029U2YSA
This video capture card device works with your Mac, PC, or even certain Apple iPad models. The software guides you through the process, which makes it easier to use than some competitors. Plus, it’s not overly pricey, costing $86.98 on Amazon.
The simple platform makes it easy to use your digital versions, upload them to the cloud or YouTube, or even export them onto a USB drive. Plus, this model can convert NTSC, SECAM, PAL, and PAL/60 video, which makes it a good choice if you have those videotape formats.
It produces a video resolution of 640x480 or 640x360, but some people say that when you convert video and audio cassettes, the sound and visuals are disconnected. Even with the included connector and step-by-step installation, it will not work on all modern operating systems, so double check the compatibility before trying it out.
All-in-all, this is definitely a top three choice and perfect for beginners because of the user-friendly platform and process.
- Good digital video quality with crisp pixels, excellent coloration, and high-end conversion from almost all videotape types.
- Easier to use than many competitors.
- Claims to work with Mac and Windows.
- Doesn’t work on all operating systems. It claims to work on Windows 7 or later and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, but many people have issues with it working on Windows 10.
- May not sync audio with visuals as well as some with reviews claiming that the audio is always out of sync with latency no matter what they change.
- Does not have HDMI connections. May require some adapters to use with some camcorders, but should still work without adapters for most VCR systems.
Other Converters We Reviewed
While we researched and tested many more options to ensure we came up with the absolute top 3 options for your memories, we wanted to give you a couple more options specifically for those on a budget or users wanting to create DVD copies.
UCEC USB 2.0 Video Capture Card Device
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/UCEC-Capture-Device-Converter-Windows/dp/B07PS2TD9L
This is a very affordable option available for only $23.99 and it offers a great balance of convenience, simplicity, and affordability. It simply connects RCA cables to almost any analog videotape player. The results won’t be as high-quality as some of the more expensive competitors, but it’s an easy-to-use option for people who want to try a VHS converter to digital for the first time.
Many users find their digital videos end up being blurry or fuzzy and, in some cases, the colors may not be transferred properly. It is also not designed for long-term use and works best when you combine it with a video editor. However, it will certainly preserve your VHS tapes before they deteriorate or become damaged.
While this option may not offer the highest-quality results like our top 3 above, it’s possibly the best budget-friendly option for beginners – perfect for those wanting to convert to digital without spending much money.
- Affordable and one of the cheapest options that provides decent results.
- Simple with one-touch use and easy USB to RCA design that makes plug and play a real possibility after quick installation.
- Poor image quality compared to higher-end models like our top 3 rated devices.
- Cheaply made, so make sure you keep it protected and don’t let it fall too many times. The cables are also poorly made, but you can replace them as needed.
- May distort color or sharpness unless you adjust the aspect ratio and video brightness as well as other settings on your computer.
Roxio Easy VHS to DVD Converter
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Converter-Amazon-Exclusive-Windows/dp/B07TWN55VV
If your goal is to create DVD copies of your videotapes, then the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD converter is a good choice. It’s available on the official Walmart website for around $70 and is a good choice not only for transferring onto blank DVDs, but also onto CDs, SD cards, USB flash drives, and more. One great aspect of this product is that it comes with editing software that allows you to cut scenes out of videos and do a few other simple changes to resolution.
It doesn’t make it easy to save digital files on your hard drive, though, because it’s designed for conversion onto a physical video format. Plus, the quality is sub-par, especially when compared to some of the more expensive options available.
All-in-all, this option isn’t spectacular, but is exceptional for creating DVD copies of your VHS tapes or other physical copies, if that’s your primary goal.
- Great for DVD transfers as well as transferring onto other physical devices like flash drives, SD cards, and data CDs.
- Trusted company that’s been around since 2001 and offers solid customer support.
- Comes with editing software that allows for color and image enhancement, video cropping, and more.
- Not great for digital downloads or cloud storage because it’s specifically designed for DVD conversion.
- Doesn’t work on all operating systems with some users complaining that it won’t work at all on Windows 11. However, it should work for Windows 10 and also has Mac options available.
- May require additional adapters because it doesn’t come with additional RCA cables or S-video cables other than the ones connected to the device itself.
How We Chose the Best VHS to Digital Converters
These are some of the factors we considered when selecting the top three VHS to digital converters: the type of converter, the quality, user-friendliness, budget, and time-consumption.
Type of Converter
Some options work alone by connecting only to a VCR player while others require a computer for conversion. In addition, if you want to view the memories while you convert to high-quality digital format, make sure you find one that either works through a computer or includes a built-in screen. We made sure to include both types in our top-rated recommendations.
VHS Tape Compatibility
If you have options other than standard VHS tapes, then you want to make sure that the digital converter you choose works. For example, make sure you find a VHS-C converter to digital if you have compact VHS tapes. All of the suggestions we provided should work with standard VHS, S-VHS-, VHS-C, and S-VHS-C, as well as many other videotapes.
Not all digital converters create high-quality digital files, which is why it was one of the main factors we considered when reviewing converters. If you come away with poor quality, then you may have to use a professional service after spending all your time and money on a digital converter that didn’t do what you expected. We know you don’t want that, which is why we selected only high-quality choices for our top 3, so you never have to worry about wasting money.
Some digital converter options are very affordable. However, many of the best options for quality, editing, and other features can cost several hundred dollars. This is always something to consider when shopping around. While we certainly considered the price for our top 3, we also included a budget-friendly option just in case you aren’t willing to spend much for your first device.
Digital converters are often targeted toward users who are technologically inclined. Some are easier to use than others - which is something to consider. There are even one-touch options available that offer simplicity (but may not offer more advanced features). Our top 3 options include both complex and simple options to meet your needs.
It can take a long time to convert old VHS tapes. Many digital converters digitize in real time, but some may offer faster conversion times. If you don’t want to spend several weekends converting videotapes, then you probably want to find a faster, easier-to-use machine.
Benefits of VHS to Digital Conversion
If you’re reading this article, you probably already want a digital converter, but you may not know all the benefits of converting to digital format. While old VHS tapes are great, millions of people have decided to make the transition to digital files because of the many benefits of doing so. Digital copies give you the ability to share, store, and preserve your memories for years to come.
Preserve Home Videos
When you make the change to digital format, you ensure your memories are never lost. VHS tapes begin to deteriorate after 10 to 25 years as the magnetic tape begins to decay. This can cause problems including poor quality, discoloration, or even the complete loss of your memories. Plus, digital copies aren’t prone to damage from fires, floods, mold, and other disasters.
Ensure Future Generations Can Enjoy
You may still have a VHS VCR system, but it’s unlikely that future generations like your children, grandchildren, and beyond will have access to these types of players. With digital copies, they will be able to view, enjoy, and adore your home movies forever.
Share VHS Memories
Analog VHS tapes are difficult to share, and you only have a single copy that your whole family has to fight over. By converting to digital format, you can easily share your memories with every family member over social media or e-mail. This makes it a great gift for loved ones as well!
Save Storage Space
Cassettes are bulky and take up a lot of space. If you are planning on downsizing, digital copies can be stored on any hard drive, MacOS or Windows computer, or even in the cloud with Google Photos, DropBox, or iCloud. You will even be able to store them on a smartphone or Apple iPhone and access home movies from anywhere in the world.
Enhance and Edit
With video editing software you can enhance, combine, and edit your digital video files. You can even combine old analog footage with new digital video to create new memories. Plus, with digital files you have the ability to add information like dates, titles, and more to organize your home movies.
Benefits of Using a VHS to Digital Converter
While there are several ways to convert VHS tapes, using a VHS tape converter to digital format offers several benefits.
Convenience: You can use a VHS to digital converter from your own home, which makes it convenient. While they can be time-consuming, you can digitize your old VHS tapes on your own time and you can enjoy doing it yourself – because you get to watch all your home videos while transitioning to digital format.
Cost Efficiency: It’s a cost-effective way to create digital files in many cases, especially if you have lots of VHS tapes to convert. While there are some downsides, the affordability of many cheaper digital converters is certainly one of the primary benefits of choosing this DIY method over a professional service.
Videotape compatibility: Many options will also work for your DV, MiniDV, Betamax, and other videotape formats. This is because they use an adapter to connect to your videotape player or camcorder, so they can convert any analog videotape memory as long as you have something to play them on.
Options for every budget: There are both expensive and budget-friendly VHS converter to digital format options available. It’s important to make sure you weigh the pros and cons to get the best choice for your memories.
What is the Best Way to Convert VHS to Digital?
While these digital converters are great for turning your VHS video into high-quality digital format, they can still be expensive, time-consuming, and often difficult to operate depending on the model you purchase. Some options are best for tech-savvy users and many of the cheaper options do not offer high-quality results. While our top 3 are great choices for many users, there are several reasons why we believe the best way to convert VHS to Digital is by using a professional transfer service.
Capture’s VHS to Digital converter service can turn your VHS memories into the highest quality digital copies. Plus, we offer the fastest turnaround time in the industry and will complete the process in less than 30 days, including shipping for your original media as well as additional DVD or USB flash drive options.
We spent millions to protect your precious memories with a state-of-the-art security and tracking system that knows exactly where your home movies are every step of the way. In addition, if you aren’t completely satisfied, we’ll reprocess your entire order for free!
Finally, we can accept all VHS types including VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-C, PAL format and more as well as other videotape types like Betamax, MiniDV, Hi8, Digital8, and more. We can also convert film reels, photos, photo albums, and more.
Choose the Best VHS to Digital Converter for Your Memories
With so many VHS to digital converters available in 2023, you have plenty of options for your home movies. That way you can protect, preserve, and update your memories so that future generations can easily share and enjoy your videotapes. In addition, there are alternative transfer services like Capture that can affordably convert your memories to digital format in the highest possible quality.
Just make sure you consider the best options for your memories. You want to make sure you get high-quality digital results while also protecting your original analog media. If you have any questions about VHS to digital converters or Capture’s services, click here!