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How to Convert VHS to Digital

Edited by Pat Bitton

July 23, 2019

Bring your old movie collection and family videos stored on VHS cassettes back to life with Movavi Video Editor! This handy software lets you digitize your VHS tapes, even if you’ve never done it before. To learn, how to transfer VHS to a PC or Mac, just download the program and follow our simple instructions below. Note, that converting VHS to a digital format requires hardware as well as software: you’ll need a video capture device (a USB device, TV tuner, or frame grabber card), a VHS player, and an analog cable.

Download and Install Movavi Video Editor

Get Movavi Video Editor, run the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions. After the installation is complete, open the Video Editor and click Record Video. You will see a special application for transferring VHS to your computer and for recording video from cameras, webcams, and other devices.

Connect Your VHS Capture Device

First, connect your capture device to your computer. If you’re using a USB capture device, simply plug it in a USB port on your computer. If you’re using a TV tuner or a frame grabber card, you’ll need to open up your computer case and plug the device into a PCI slot on the motherboard. For the capture device to work properly, you’ll also need to install the appropriate drivers.

Next, connect your VHS player to the video capture device. To do this, you’ll need an RCA cable. For better video quality, you can use an S-Video cable instead, but in this case you’ll still need an RCA cable to transmit the audio signal.

As many TV tuners are unable to capture audio, you may also need an additional cable with a 3.5 mm audio plug on one side and RCA plugs on the other. This cable should be plugged into the LINE IN port on your sound card and the LINE OUT port on the VHS player.

Locate the socket panel on your VCR – the yellow socket is usually the video channel (the red and white ones are for the right and left stereo channels). If you’re using an S-Video cable, plug it into the S-Video sockets on the VCR and your video capture device.

Plug the RCA inputs into the appropriate LINE OUT sockets and connect the plugs on the other end of the cable to the video capture device. Wait until the system recognizes the connected capture device, then turn the VHS player on and insert the first tape you want to convert.

Set VHS Capturing Preferences

Go back to the video capture application on your computer. If you’re using a USB device and all the devices are connected correctly, the software will automatically set the capturing parameters. You can also adjust the settings manually:

Video Capture Device: your TV tuner or other device.
Audio Capture Device: your sound card or other device for audio capture.
Save files to: the folder on your hard drive where you want to save the captured files.

If you’re capturing sound via your sound card, you will need to locate the card model in the Audio Capture Device list.

Start VHS Conversion

To transfer VHS to computer, launch the capture process by clicking the Start Capture button. Now start playing the video cassette in your VHS player. You can stop the capture at any time by clicking the Stop Capture button.

After the digitizing process is complete, you'll find a copy of your VHS video in the folder you specified. Now you can edit and enhance your old analog videos using Movavi Video Editor's 21st century technology! Improve video quality, cut segments from your video, add special effects, music and titles, speed up and slow down video, and much more!


Movavi Video Editor

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* The free version of Movavi Video Editor has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length. Learn more