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Convert VHS tapes


New member
I have a few family movies on VHS cassettes that I want to keep as some of them are almost 30-40 years old and I have my doubts about whether the tapes will last much longer.

I have a VHS player in the basement that I can use, but how do I get it to talk to a computer? My laptop doesn't even have a DVD drive. Is there anything I can buy?


Staff member
Hi @Langsamer, welcome to the forum.

As @strollin has pointed out, your best bet is a video capture device. Doesn't need to be anything particularly fancy, as VHS isn't exactly high resolution. Just make sure it's got the right connectors for your VCR.

I would say though it would be worth considering how much use you'll get out of the device if you purchase it, vs finding a professional conversion service. A lot of places will do it these days - if you can find a traditional photo store they tend to have the equipment. I'm not sure where you are but there are still quite a few of those types of shops here in the UK.

VHS tapes degrade, especially if they have been sat in storage for years. Potentially when you play the tape it might be rendered permamently damaged. If you get a conversion service instead they will likely have the expertise to be able to get the footage off the cassette without losing it.