Converting VHS to digital

Someone asked how to convert a VHS tape into a computerized movie.

You’ll need a couple of things. Perhaps the most challenging will be a VHS player. You have to have something that will read the tape in the first place.

The second thing you need is an adapter to convert from the outputs on the VCR to the inputs on the computer you will be using.

The VCR will probably send the video signal via something called “composite” video cables. However a list of different video cables is here:

To connect into the computer this adapter will usually use either USB 2 or USB 3. USB 3 is faster and more expensive, most newer computers support it.

Fortunately the adapter can be found easily and cheaply. Here is one from Amazon. I have NOT tested it!

Amazon has others for more and less money, newgg and Best Buy will also sell you these devices.

The last thing you need is software to capture the video. Usually these adapters will come with the software you need. Just make sure you check that the adapter and the software it comes with will work on your computer.

That’s it. Follow the directions that come with the adapter. Remember that they were probably written in Chinese and then translated into English by someone who spoke fluently in both German and French. YouTube is your friend here, and you might want to search for tutorial videos on YouTube BEFORE you buy, to make sure you are going to know how to use the device after you buy it.

Quick recap:
1. Get a VCR.
2. Make sure the VCR has the cables you need, as the adapter may or may not have them.
3. Get an adapter with software.
4. Plug the VCR into the adapter.
5. Plug the adapter into the computer.
6. Put a tape in the VCR.
7. Hit “record” on the computer.
8. Hit “play” on the VCR.
9. Brag to your friends about what a techie geek you are.


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