What are the best VHS to DVD converters?
That can be a hard question to answer due to so many various types of VHS to DVD converters out there.
Do you have a budget in mind? Do you already have a DVD burning software? An editor? Do you want it to create MP4 files as well?
So many questions, that start to feel daunting when it doesn’t need to be.
Regardless if you’re still not sure what to do, there is definitely one thing you must keep in mind, and that is VHS tapes, Mini DV tapes and VHS-C tapes will erode.
Fear not because in this post I’ll cover 17 various capture devices that can all transfer your VHS to DVD.
I have kept the same style of capture cards together so you can get an idea of what you may be looking for with a list of each device’s pros and cons.
VHS Capture Devices Cheap Range
The most common type of capture devices you may see online on eBay or other online retailers are the USB ezcaps. They usually are in the price range of $10 to $15.
There are other brands out there under different names like EasyCAP, Easier CAP, etc.
The problem with these are the common driver issues that can happen, compatible with windows 10 or needing to find other drivers to make them work. I guess this is why they get a bad rap.
If you can get past those problems (if they happen to you) then these type of cards can be a simple solution.
Easier CAP UVC
The Easier CAP UVC initially did have problems with installing its drivers on a Windows 7 computer that I tested in this review.
Another eBay copycat product that has the improvements of working with any PC I tested it with. Also comes with software that allows you to capture your videos.
My review of the device had me pleasantly surprised by its results.
The best out of the cheaper models goes to this model. I did a review of the EasyCAP DC60 and found the software this capture card came with allowed you to capture and burn a DVD.
The packaging stated it was only compatible with Windows Vista and 7, but it was actually tested on my Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Both of which worked fine.
Ezcap Mid Range
The next range of USB capture devices are above the $25 range but give better value and build quality.
Both of these types come with an extended built in USB cable that extends to a meter. No more worrying about whether you will knock the capture card out of the USB slot!
I reviewed the Ezcap 170 here and while I initially thought its build reminded me of a toy, it surpassed any expectations with its easy driver install and great software supplied.
Another variant is the Ezcap 1568 which has an identical black version called the Ezcap 172. I did a review of the two devices to see the difference.
Software wise the Ezcap 1568 comes with the exact software as the Ezcap 170.
Capture box devices seem to appear simplistic and do have limitations.
While most only record to a TF Card, this means you cannot change what the recording size will be.
Instant Video Converter
The Instant Video Converter comes under a various lot of names as I reviewed here. It was the second capture device I reviewed and I haven’t touched it since, except for photos.
The Ezcap 272 has the advantage of playing the video to a TV as you record at the same time.
It records onto a TF CARD as I explain here and has a strange SVGA output size of 800×592 pixels.
The BR150 from Digitnow is the best of these type of devices because it comes with software and allows you to record to your computer.
This is ideal for three hour cassettes that most of us are use to filling up back in the day. I liked the BR150 and thought it was great value for money.
The hand held type of recorders offer the advantage of seeing the footage be played while you record at the same time.
The quote “no PC required ” stands true with these devices while recording, but you will still need a PC to eventually to burn the video to DVD at a later time.
ClearClick released an upgrade in 2019 to a previous model that was simply referred to as the Video2Digital. The newer version records as MP4 format onto SD cards or USB.
I wrote a review here and still think this is a great little device.
The ezcap 271 reminds me of an MP4 player that can record from an external device (VCR player). It’s recording quality is fine but where it shines is its ability to playback video files up to 720p in resolution or MP3 music.
I have a review of the Ezcap 271 here.
With 8GB of built in memory and the option to expand with a TF card to 32GB. Also has a rechargeable battery that lasts for a day on constant playback.
VHS Capture Devices Higher Brands
On Amazon there are a few VHS converters that are higher priced and for good reason. You are now paying for high quality software that works specifically for that device.
While there are other brands (that I’m yet to get to), these three popular devices have been around for quite some time and have been reliable.
AverMedia DVD EZMaker 7
The DVD EZMaker 7 was AVerMedia’s foray into the do it yourself VHS transfer. While the product itself looks no different to the early ezcap capture sticks, it’s the software that is supplied that makes it a standout.
A review I wrote mentions it comes with Power Director 10, which at the time would have cost more than buying this device now.
The Diamond VC500 has been around for quite a while and is a big seller on Amazon. It has a built in lengthy USB cable, which makes access between a VCR and computer much more easier.
In my review I’ve mentioned it comes with PowerDirector 12 for capturing and burning to DVD.
One thing to note that while the VC500 covers drivers from Windows XP to Windows 10, some people have had issues with trying to get the drivers to work on their PCs.
Pinnacle Dazzle is another popular bought (but not popular liked) capture device. It’s been around for years where there appears to be three different variations to find.
I have a review of the Pinnacle Dazzle and while it has a great capture software in Pinnacle Studio, it was a let down in trying to get it to work with Windows 10.
Up to Windows 8.1, not a problem at all.
Top Tier Capture Boxes
The higher end capture devices are obviously aimed at gamers, but these have inputs to cater for every type of output that retro consoles had at the time.
So why not use that for recording your old tapes?
The fact that most people are wanting to transfer to a digital and easily transferable format like MP4, makes it easier to use these for home video transfers.
The downside would be price.
Some are expensive brand new, but you may also look on eBay for second hand units which could be cheaper.
Digitnow! HD Video Recorder
The Digitnow HD Video Recorder will let you record to USB from composite, component and HDMI.
It allows you to connect to a TV as you record so you can see what is being played at the time. While the quality is fine, I found issues trying to get it to record from a Mini DV camera.
It’s main selling point (for me) was it’s price and that it could record from the VCR at the correct frames per second.
When I reviewed the ezcap 283s I had mixed feelings about it.
The device will connect to a PC and let you record from a VCR using OBS Studio, without an issue.
But you can’t record to a USB drive from a VCR plugged in with composite cables.
Beyond that the ezcap 283s is built out of metal, kinda reminds me of the old guitar foot pedals and how robust they were.
I own three AVerMedia capture devices probably making more look like a fanboy. But it’s really to see if each device can perform better than the last.
The C285 was the last capture card I reviewed and I had the idea of someone saving all their old videos onto a hard drive and using said box as a DVR type device.
In the end I do think that would be overkill.
The C285 is a great product and I love the fact that you could plug in a hard drive.
The C875 has been my go to device time and time again due to the ease of use that I experience.
It doesn’t require a separate power supply, as the same USB connection will transfer the video and power the device. There is an option to record to an SD card if desired.
Then there is the REC software that you have to download from AVerMedia’s website. The recording options that are on offer are insane.
Connection from Mini DV camera’s (using the CM401 adapter) means any camera will work using this device.
If you have made it this far, I hope the list hasn’t confused you. Just remember, the videos you have that will need transferring, can be done by any device from the list.
Questions to ask are whether budget is more important or quality?
If you’re willing to learn how to use OBS Studio then the cheaper options will work fine.
If editing the home videos will be more what you’re after then I’d recommend the higher capture cards that at least come with a quality editor.