9/22/16
1:36 pm

Forum Question: How Do I Transfer My Old VHS To a Digital Video File?

Hi there, i would like to know if any of you have any tip on transfering VHS data to a digital file. ( mp4, avi, etc…) For a Mac of course. It seems to be pretty rare. what would be the best way to go.
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Martial

Comments: 5 Responses to “How Do I Transfer My Old VHS To a Digital Video File?”

    9/22/16 @ 1:36 pm

    So to accomplish that, you’ll need a piece of hardware to go between a VHS machine and a Mac. Things have changed quite a bit since I had to do this, but looking on Amazon I see several products that come up when I search for “convert VHS to digital mac.” You’ll want one that goes to USB, of course. And you’ll need a working VHS player to connect to the other end. And the cables (probably RCA cables) to go between them.
    Looks like these each come with some piece of software to help you “import” the video. Most likely you have to hit record in the software and then press the play button on the VCR to start it. It just treats the VCR as camera input.
    That’s the do-it-yourself route. You used to also be able to hire people to do this for you. Not sure how easy it is to find them now. It would probably be more expensive anyway.
    Another thing: Mind your expectations. It is easy to forget that VHS tapes are standard definition analog, roughly the equivalent to 720×480 pixels. Compare that to what you get from any smartphone now: 1920×1080. That means home video today is SIX times the resolution of VHS tapes, and digital. And those tapes have probably decayed as well. So once you convert the video and then play it back on your Mac, be prepared that the quality will look pretty poor compared to today’s standards.

    martial
    9/23/16 @ 7:10 am

    thanks, aware of quality. but it’s old stuff not available anymore. I checked with a pro but price is ridiculous as i have hours to transfer. on the web, most of them include a program only suitable for a pc. Is there a brand name of program that you would know that works well on a mac

    9/23/16 @ 7:46 am

    Martial: Do that Amazon search that I suggested in my original response. The results give you several products that even have “Mac” in their title. I haven’t used any of them, so I can’t say which is better. But they are all relatively cheap.

    Catherine
    9/29/16 @ 10:41 am

    After much research, we tackled this (big) task earlier this year, using an Elgato Video Capture (includes hw & sw) purchased on eBay. It worked flawlessly. Lots of ‘how to’ YouTubes available.

    Dianne
    9/30/16 @ 6:51 am

    Gary, Costo Photo Centers do Video Transfers, Plus Slides, etc.
    He is their link…http://www.costcodvd.com/services_and_pricing-Videotapes.aspx

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