Now that Christmas is over, I can share about one of the gifts that I got my parents.
Last time I was at their house, I snuck all of their VHS tapes out of the basement. I then began the process of transferring them to DVDs. Weeks later I had a stack of DVDs wrapped up and under the tree for them to open on Christmas. They were more than excited to have all of our home movies accessible again.
Why Transfer VHS tapes to DVD?
- VHS players are becoming harder and harder to find. I’m sure replacement parts are even harder.
- The video and sound quality of a VHS tape begins to deteriorate after 5 years. Once they are really old, the tape in them can easily snap (happened to two tapes with me).
- DVDs can preserve memories for 100+ years without threatening the quality.
- VHS tapes take up a lot of room!
There are lots of ways to do it. I personally used a program called Roxio EASY VHS to DVD for Mac. The program had me install an application and use a special cord to connect the VHS player to my computer. Once everything was set up I had to go through the long process of playing each VHS tape in real time and recording it on my computer. Here is a picture of my setup.
After footage was recorded and stored on my computer, I used iDVD (a program I already had on my computer) to create a DVD of the home movies. Once my DVD was burned, I would erase the footage (to create more room for the next tape) and start all over again.
I learned quickly that I wasn’t a huge fan of iDVD. In fact I had burnt over 8 DVDs when I realized I had been doing the menus wrong which made the DVDs not playable. I also had problems with the Roxio program and found very little help or support to fix my issue. However, I have a friend borrowing the program and using it for the same purpose and she isn’t having any problems at all. So it very well could have been my computer and/or operating error.
I’m glad I was able to do this for my family but I don’t know if it was worth all the time (and frustration) of doing it on my own. It was MUCH cheaper to do it on my own but if you don’t have a lot of time and patience, this project probably isn’t for you. However, I did enjoy watching all the home movies I haven’t seen in years. They gave me quite a laugh. Particularly this one of three-year-old me throwing a tantrum in my denim bikini.