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My father has a large collection of video tapes that he wants to transfer to digital format. He's brilliant, but getting up in age and I'm finding that he is having an increasingly harder time with technology as years pass.

He's tried using a stand alone VCR/DVDR unit, but I cannot get the unit to record to DVD in spite of meticulously following the instructions and using approved media. The entire process is complex to begin with, so even if this device worked (it is several years old) it is not a good choice due to the complexity.

I thought the ION VCR-USB player is an ingenious idea, but reviews say the software is atrocious.

Are there proven capture devices (analogue to digital) for PC that also have reliable, simple to use software?

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2 Answers 2

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The worst part of transferring old VHS to DVD is that it has to be done in real time as VHS is linear access and analog. Here are two ways I know of that work. One will eat your time the other will eat your wallet.

1) for about $35 or less you can get a transfer device which connects the output of your VHS machine into a USB interface to your computer. There are a bunch of these out there, they are all about that same as this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815306013

It comes with software to capture the VHS program and "software included to burn full screen video capture, edit and create DVD" but you can take the captured mpeg files and put them in any video DVD authoring suite too. The software is easy to learn, you can start transferring quickly.

I did this process 3 years ago, I must have saved over 50 VHS tapes. So the cost was less than $40 but I surely put more than 40 hours into that project. :>

2) Costco and many other large chains have video transfer services, e.g.:

http://www.costcodvd.com/videotape_to_dvd.aspx

Prices range from vendor to vendor, $9 to $20 per transfer.

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I think your question makes me confused, but i wish i still can provide something useful here for you. If you father needs some converter to convert video taps to digital formats, you can check the top 5 free video converter here(list made by the company I work for), most of them can convert your vcr to common video formats and preserve your father's best memory. If you need a proven capture devices for pc (if i didn't wrong you, you mean a screen recorder, yes?), you can check the top 5 free screen recorder. The above lists are for windows version, good luck!

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Question is more than a year old.. dad has regressed in that time. VCR conversions are pretty much out of the question now. –  a coder Dec 17 '13 at 12:59

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