I recently got rid of all my VHS tapes, simply because I decided there were only 4 or 5 worth keeping, and I might as well just buy them on DVD if I ever wanted to watch them again, but what if you have hundreds of VHS tapes that you don't want to throw away? How do you convert those VHS tapes to DVD? Well, over the years we have featured a few solutions that will allow you to copy your VHS tapes to DVDs for a fraction of the cost of buying new ones. Here's our Top 4 countdown:
4. Plextor ConvertX Digital Video Converter – The ConvertX allows you to transfer your VHS tapes, and other video outputs, into DivX or MPEG-4 before burning it to DVD. The ConvertX plugs into your computer after a simple installation of the included software, and is a very tidy box. Its built-in compression software allows you to store 2 hours of video on a CD, or 10 hours on a DVD.
3. CopyThis! Digital Video Enhancer – Again, in a smart little box, is the CopyThis! Digital Video Enhancer which not only copies your VHS (or various other formats including 8mm or Hi-8) tapes to DVD, but also gives you the opportunity to enhance them as you go along. The enhancement features include noise reduction to improve picture quality as well as turning the movies into black and white for a vintage effect! Unfortunately, this is no longer sold, but you can search eBay for a used one.
2. Honestech's VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe – We got our hands on this neat little box, and were very impressed with it when we reviewed version 3.0. The software (screenshot below) can run in 2 modes, beginner and advanced, depending on how au fait you are with computers or how many options you want to control. In easy mode, a video can be converted to DVD in just a few mouse clicks, through the user-friendly interface (see below) and the advanced mode allows you to pick from a range of options included adding effects, and only saving part of the video. If you're looking for something that's good value for money and very easy to use, this is the one for you.
1. Panasonic DMR-EZxxx DVD & VHS Recorders – Panasonic has a line up of VHS to DVD recorders that plays both formats. As it has slots for both (it has a built-in VCR as well as a DVD burner), it also allows to record from one format to the other (but we're not quite sure why you'd want to downgrade your DVDs!). This is different from the other gizmos featured here, as it actually acts as a player, rather than just a converter, and has the option to play a variety of formats including all the DVD formats, and even JPG files from a SD card. This unit also has a HDMI connector and can can upscale to 1080p. This has taken the number one spot today for its slew of features, even if it does have a price tag to match.
Update: despite its ongoing popularity, the EZ47V is getting harder to come by and some vendors are taking advantage of that to make it more expensive, way too pricey if you ask us. If you're still in the market for an all-in-one VHS to DVD converter, we just covered 2 alternative models from Toshiba and Magnavox that won't cost an arm and a leg!
Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting
Even more possible converters (courtesy of Amazon.com):