Our top pick is OBS Studio, a program that lets you capture the signal from your VHS device and convert it into a digital file. It’s free to download, easy to use and works on both Windows and Mac devices.
The Software You ‘ll Need to Digitize Your VHS Tapes Every solution requires one very specific device to convert VHS to digital: a video cassette recorder ( VCR ). The technology is decades old, but it’s the only readily accessible way for you to read the content of your cassettes. You can still buy a VCR on Amazon.
You can start your order online, then take your tapes to a local store. The process takes about three weeks, and you get your original tapes back as well as the files on DVD. Digital files are included at Costco, but Walgreens charges an extra fee for them.
Just power the recorder on, insert your VHS tape into the VCR slot and insert a blank DVD-R into the DVD tray. Press “record” and your footage will begin transferring. When the transfer is complete, press “ play ” on the DVD player to confirm everything was transferred properly.
The Direct, At-Home Way: Use a DVD Recorder If you want to save some cash and are willing to put in a minimal amount of work, a DVD Recorder is an easy do-it-yourself option. It allows you to pop in a VHS (you will need a VCR for this), insert a DVD -R disc, and press record to dub the video over.
The cost for a typical video tape to DVD transfer service ranges from $9.95 to $39.95 per tape. Additional services may cost extra and , VHS conversion service should be willing to work with you to create a realistic estimate for your job.
You can still buy a VCR player , just not from your usual electronics store. New VCRs haven’t been produced by any manufacturers since 2016, but there are plenty of places to still purchase a new (unopened), used or refurbished VCRs.
With a DVD, an acceptable bitrate for recording something as low res as VHS would be 4 megabits per second. (DVD supports as high as 10 megabits per second but that’s overkill for VHS) On a single layer recordable disc, that bitrate gives you about 2 hours. So, the answer is: one tape . Two if it’s a dual layer disc.
Walgreens has stores nationwide that offer a range of VHS conversion services. The estimated time for the service is three to five weeks and extra copies of DVDs are available. This estimate does not include the time it takes to pack up your tapes and send them to Walgreens for processing.
3 – 4 weeks
Cons to Legacybox While some of the older VHS, film, and audio might be hard to professionally preserve yourself, other things — like photos — would be fairly simple to scan and preserve onto a DVD or thumb drive. It’s expensive . $75 to $500 for preserving your memories is a lot of money.