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Convert VCR Tape to Digital File

Posted on 2016-08-09
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Last Modified: 2016-08-09
Several years ago I got a device that plugs into the back of my VCR player and converts the video to a digital format on my Windows computer (I'm now running Windows 10).    I no longer have the device, and assume that technology has improved quite a bit.  What is the best device for doing this?  Since we're starting with a low resolution VCR video, and it's just for personal use, I would like to spend less than $100 (unless there's a compelling reason to spend more).

Thanks,

Phil
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Question by:philsimmons
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Russ Suter
ID: 41749111
I used to have a combination VHS/DVD Recorder set-top device that did this very easily. I figured they'd be really cheap now but was surprised to discover they still run around the $200 mark.

I did, however, find this little gem for under $10.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA93839A0954&cm_re=analog_usb_video_capture-_-9SIA93839A0954-_-Product
It looks like a little chinese knock-off type of product but for $10 it might be worth the risk. If you want to go with something a little more well known then maybe this one for around $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G28N5810&cm_re=analog_usb_video_capture-_-9SIA24G28N5810-_-Product
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Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 41749116
I can confirm that the little chinese gem that Russ suggests works.   I have a VCR in the closet that i breakout once in a great while for that conversion.  

I use this one,
https://www.amazon.com/TOTMC-Capture-Adapter-Windows-Window/dp/B00M7T8T1E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1470761252&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+to+composite
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Assisted Solution

by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 500 total points
ID: 41749150
You might also look into this one: https://www.elgato.com/en/video-capture

I've purchased it, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.
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viki2000 earned 1000 total points
ID: 41749259
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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 41749319
Note, be cautious and check reviews of any product recommended.  Some of these devices may not work under Windows 10.

For example the Newegg devices don't necessarily run under 64 bit Windows 10 but may work under 32 bit Windows 10.  Your mileage may vary.  Read the reviews thoroughly.

That $10 Newegg device though looks very tempting to me for running on an old Windows 7 machine though.
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Author Comment

by:philsimmons
ID: 41749447
Thank you!
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41749448
I never got satisfactory results from any of the USB video capture devices, when compared to the results from a video capture card running on a dedicated video system.  

imo:  If it's worth saving then it's worth doing it for best possible results.  If you're doing just a few tapes, spend the money instead on having them professionally transferred by a local video house.  I believe some of the one hour photo shops also do this.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 41749817
So far I have found windows 10 a bit finicky with capture since it nolonger uses the Aero.
Agree with using a capture card I used to use a Leadtek plug the rca composite s_Video cables to the back of the VCR using the PVR built into the capture card brings up a screen you can see the VCR
I find for today's era maybe a DVR would be better suited  connect the VCR to DVR then DVR to avs on TV. Record off the DVR or a  set top box with a DVD burner, no PC,
I have a Panasonic twin HD TV set top box  with a DVD burner and 300 gig HDD which acts like the old VCR did, connect the TV and DVD player even VCR to the rca composites inputs with AVS1- AVS2- TV -cable TV etc. to the Panazonic.
Then I can record from which ever source using the Pansonic remote control.
There is an inbuilt capture with windows 10 look in your start for Xbox app
see my comments on how to use it
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28960465/How-to-activate-Windows-10-screen-recorder.html#a41736170

Sony RDR-VXD655 VHS DVD Recorder Combo with Built In HD Tuner
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-RDR-VXD655-Recorder-Combo-Built/dp/B000PGDT8O

Funai ZV427FX4 Combination VCR and DVD Recorder Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCILYDA/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687682&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000NTMGVO&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=9XBDG4VRC2816TJSGNFY
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