View Full Version : Transfer VHS to External Hard Drive

08-15-2009, 12:17 AM
I have about 700 VHS tapes that are collecting dust. I would like to transfer them to an external hard drive and watch them from my PC to LCD TV. What is the best hardware and software to do this? What is the best file format to use? Is there anyway to improve the video's quality when performing this transfer?

Please don't say Pinnacle or Dazzle for the hardware or software. I already tried them and the tracking was always off after testing several different VCR's, VHS tapes, and cables.

08-15-2009, 02:58 AM
Did you contact Pinnacle of Dazzle with your concerns?? I suspect that they may have a solution. I would think that if your problem was universal that they'd surely be out of business...

08-15-2009, 06:51 AM
Hmm...okay. No PoD. Want to do it yourself and...guessing you don't know much (no offense intended).

$100 at wally world. All you need is a USB connector on your PC.

If you don't want to basically buy another VCR then this (http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=205879240&listingid=12835132) will do ya too. Looks cheap though.

Plug your external into one usb/firewire and plug in one of these. should be good to go.

08-20-2009, 03:12 PM
Would a PCI component be a better way to do this? Please visit this link to see what I am referring to:


Does anyone know:

What is the best file format to use?

Is there anyway to improve the video's quality when performing this transfer?

08-20-2009, 03:15 PM
I spent a few hours on the phone and chat with Pinnacle and Dazzle. They did not seem to know much. That is the sign of a bad company, a poorly trained support department.

08-22-2009, 05:22 PM
i have one of these, which is similar to the haupage you linked to


my understanding (from a little research i did a year or two ago) is that haupage are a good product

though i've never used it for vcr conversion (yet) i don't think there is anything you can do about the video quality if you are having tracking problems as i think they would be from the vhs side of things... have you tried cleaning the heads on the vcr ?

here's some good info for the vcr

08-26-2009, 05:41 AM
I am deciding how best to transfer approx. 1500 VHS tapes (business-related) to digital, but I'm finding it difficult to research my best option.

I would guess either a) VHS-PC directly record to a hard drive or
b)VHS-DVD Machine that allows a plug-in external hard drive.

I don't want to do editing, just straight transfer. Some of these tapes will be fairly old so preserving maximum quality is a must. I'm guessing you can't do much to improve quality from a source that has degraded from age.. unless you send it to experts.

Any suggestions on VHS-DVD Machines allowing plug-in Hard Drives? I suppose that would be the easiest solution.. Hell, to get thru 1500 tapes I may have to buy 2 units!

08-26-2009, 05:47 AM
may be of use to some:

09-04-2009, 01:08 AM
This is a good link: