DVD Duplication of Old VHS Tapes
By Kristin Gabriel
Most of us still have old copies of VHS video tapes stacked on our home and office bookshelves just collecting dust. When was the last time you actually used your video cassette player? If you are like me, it has been sitting disconnected underneath my DVD player for more than a year.
If you are in the same boat, then you will be happy to know that the copying process of switching valuable content from VHS tapes over via DVD duplication is really quite easy. It's a great way to preserve and also share your old tapes, whether personal or business related.
The process of converting to a DVD basically requires a VHS tape player, or a camcorder. Simply plug either the camcorder or the VHS tape player into your PC, as long as your computer has the ports for plugging in these devices in. You also need a minimum of 512 MB of RAM and a 2 GHz processor, plus about 20 GB of hard drive free space. And your computer also needs a CD-RW drive for the duplication process. Plus you will need video editing software.
There are several conversion options if you want to transfer VHS tapes to DVDs, and if produced properly, the DVDs can look even better than the original VHS tapes including formats such as VHS-C, SVHS, Hi8, regular, as well as Betas. Here are some tips for what to do.
First you will need to capture a VHS video to a computer video editing program using an analog-to-DVD converter. Otherwise you would need to encode it to MPEG-2 and publish a DVD. This provides some flexibility to edit the video as you wish by adding transitions, music or special effects. One drawback is that it is time consuming.
You could also capture the video to your computer as an MPEG-2 using hardware capture devices that will convert VHS to MPEG-2, then author the DVD. Some inexpensive hardware analog-to-MPEG boxes offer good quality because the analog source video does not have to be converted to DV before it's encoded to MPEG.
Last, the fastest and easiest way to convert VHS to DVD is to connect your VHS VCR or camcorder to a standalone DVD recorder. This works like a VCR, and the VHS to DVD recorder basically gives you a DVD copy of your tape in real time. However it is important to make sure your analog video is of the best quality possible because any flaws in the original video tape might be magnified when encoded to MPEG-2 and then converted to the DVD.
It takes very little time to copy VHS tape to DVD. However if you are not inclined to take on this kind of project yourself, a DVD authoring and production house will be happy to do it for you via their own conversion and DVD duplication process.
Social media writer Kristin Gabriel is the marketing communications director for Acutrack, Inc. (http://www.acutrack.com). The company enables customers to create, publish and deliver custom content for DVD and CD distribution worldwide. Ideal for customers who are selling downloadable content and are not sure how many units to produce, On Demand takes care of inventory, packaging and fulfillment. Acutrack's proprietary On Demand production produces and ship custom packaged CDs or DVDs one at a time.