best way of copying old tapes to dvd?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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does anybody know the best and most cost effective way of getting all my old vhs tapes about 40 on to dvd? my vcr just conked out and ive finally decided to get them onto dvd but most companys ive found charge about 15 quid a tape. so is there a cheaper way i could do it my self with maybe my pc or something else?


Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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If you've got quite a lot to copy, it could be worth investing in a second-hand DVD/VHS combo recorder on eBay (i've just looked, there's quite a few going cheap).

Then it's easy - simply archive from the VHS to DVD (just check the recorder supports the same format of recordable discs as your player can handle - most modern recorders support all formats, but some of the older ones being sold off cheap may be less flexible.


I've just started to look into this same issue myself, on behalf of my father, who has a lot of home videos on vhs. He doesn't have freeview yet either so I thought going for an all in one package might be the way forward e.g Panasonic DMR-EX95 or DMR-EZ47. I haven't looked at any in depth reviews yet though so it's early days in the decision making process.

John Duncan

Well-known member
[quote user="ubcool2"]
mostly home videos , weddings ect.

OK, in which case you need:

A new video recorder, since your old one is kaput - good four head philips model, 30 quid, eBay

An interface between that and your PC - search for "video capture" - cheapest one you can find. I found 'Pinnacle DVC 100 Dazzle DVD Recorder', which has a capture device and software to go with it.
An awful lot of time.

You may find it more effective, if your time is precious, to buy a cheap DVD recorder (on top of the video player), rather than go through the interim step of recording to PC, then burning to DVD - all of this has to be done in real time anyway, and if you have forty three- or four- hour tapes.........

Note also that a three or four hour tape won't fit on a single layer 4GB recordable DVD, so you need to split the tapes or use double-layer discs (expensive).

Note that this won't work for prerecorded tapes - then you'd need a macrovision decoder and a clear conscience.