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How do I Convert VHS to Digital Video?

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  • Written By: Liana Thomas
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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When compared to other video playback devices, video home system (VHS) tapes can be considered fragile and outdated, which is why many people want to convert VHS to digital video. This can be done in various ways, but it generally involves transferring the VHS video onto the hard disk of a computer using the right equipment and software that will perform video capture.

You must capture a signal of the video by sampling the signal a number of times per second, and then the resulting images must be converted to digital information and looped together to play in a sequence, creating a video file. When attempting VHS to digital conversion, keep in mind that different codecs will not possess identical compression ratios, which means that the final results and quality of the converted video depends on the codecs beings used. Each of the captured video’s frames will have to be analyzed and packed together before the video can be added to the computer’s hard disk.

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The video cassette recorder (VCR) must be connected to the computer in order to convert VHS to digital video. The computer should have a movie maker program, which will be the main program used for converting the video. When the movie maker has been launched and a VHS tape is playing on the connected VCR, the video should show up on the computer screen in the video area of the movie maker. This is where the video will be captured onto the computer.

When capturing the file, the proper video device and the correct sound card must be selected. The volume level might have to adjusted to about 50 percent for the captured audio. The correct video input source also must be selected. After all of that has been done, a file name must be entered for the file to which the video will be captured.

It might be necessary to adjust the video settings. Typically, it will be left at its default option, which will be called “best quality for playback on my computer” or something similar. The video settings can be altered, however, if that is what is required. The quality of the video can be tested by watching the playback feature.

After converting VHS to digital, you can leave the finished converted video on your computer. Be aware that a digital video will take up a lot of space on the computer's hard disk. If you don't want to keep the large video file stored on your computer, you can burn the video onto a digital versatile disc (DVD).

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