4 Ways You Can Convert Your Old Home Movies into Digital Format
Home movies contain some of the most precious memories of loved ones and friends. And if you’re like most people, you probably have a pretty significant collection of home videos that can span many decades.
But while VHS tapes have, at one point, completely changed the possibilities when it came to recording home videos, the advent of digital technology has made them mostly obsolete.
What’s even worse, with every passing year, those tapes are slowly deteriorating and increasing the chance that they will eventually become unreadable. Not to mention the possibility of a flood or a fire wiping out everything in a single day.
Therefore, if you want to ensure that the precious memories stay with you forever, you need to think about using a video tape transfer service or trying to digitize the tapes on your own.
But what exactly are your options? And how should you approach the process?
Let’s look at some of the ways you can convert your old home movies into a digital format below.
Use a VHS to DVD Recorder
Since transferring home videos into a digital format is a common problem faced by millions of people, it’s not surprising that there have been multiple specialized products designed specifically for that purpose.
Some time ago, when the rise of digital technology was still relatively new, standalone VHS to DVD recorders were relatively popular and could automate the entire digitization process.
Instead of needing two separate pieces of equipment, you could just insert the tape of your home video, rewind it to the beginning, and add a DVD to transfer the data to.
The main advantage of this process is the convenience. Even people with no experience can easily handle such a straightforward machine, which is why, for a while, this was one of the most popular ways to complete the process.
However, as time passed, VHS to DVD recorders went out of production. So now, you might have a hard time locating one, unless you manage to find it at a local thrift store.
What’s more, the ability to control the quality of the videos using this type of transfer is limited as well. Many times, you might find that the original video isn’t as good as it once was, and the transfer process might augment those issues even more.
Still, if you could find a working recorder and just want a straightforward way to do it, this might be just what you need.
Connect Your VHS to a DVD Recorder
If you can’t find a standalone VHS to DVD recorder but have an old working VHS player, you might be able to do that just as well with the help of a separate DVD recorder.
By connecting the two devices, you can simulate the process that the standalone alternative can offer by inserting and rewinding the tape and inputting the feed into the DVD recorder, which will then rip a DVD in real-time.
However, just as with the previous method, you’d face the same challenges of finding both a VHS player and a DVD recorder, unless you already have them. These devices aren’t really useful anymore, so sourcing them could be a challenge, although they are much more common than standalone options discussed in the previous section.
Connect a VHS to a Computer
Not too long ago, it became possible for casual users to connect their VHS directly to a computer using a simple USB adapter. This completely revolutionized the process of converting video, as you no longer had to worry about DVDs, which are already obsolete themselves.
Today, you can choose from a wide range of adapters in various price points, and most of them are as simple to use as plugging it in the right ports.
However, you should consider that these adapters come at varying price points, and you usually get what you pay for. While you may be able to find an option for as little as a few dozen dollars, the quality and consistency that it would produce might not be what you’d hoped for.
Usually, these connectors will come with their own software, which means you’ll have to learn to navigate it. And if you buy a cheap option, be prepared to work through various compatibility issues as you try to digitize your collection.
Go with Professional Digitization Services
Since the precious memories contained in your home movie collection are priceless, making sure you preserve them in the best way possible is probably pretty high on your priority list.
And while you could use one of the methods mentioned above and go the DIY way, the results you get might leave you disappointed. Even more expensive solutions might require expertise to navigate, and you may find yourself spending much more time trying to go through the project than you might want.
Therefore, for most people, going with a convert VHS to digital service is probably the best choice.
Today, there are experienced and reliable video tape transfer service providers working across the nation, who can guide you through the entire process and offer you competitive prices.
When working with a professional company, you can rest assured that your tapes will be taken care of and that the quality of the footage will not suffer during the digitization process.
In fact, in many cases, the quality might actually improve, since VHS to digital service providers have high-end equipment that’s inaccessible to casual users.
The equipment and software these companies use allow them to deal with various issues that might arise from deterioration or damage to the tapes. That can provide you with a polished end result, which is a pleasure to watch on your computer on your TV screen.
Instead of spending days trying to do the process on your own, you can leave it in the trustworthy hands of professionals and wait for them to deliver digitized videos you can be happy with.