How To Convert Your
Old Videos To DVD

If you have a collection of home movies on VHS, you know that VHS tapes tend to wear out with time and use, and they take up a lot of space.

Converting those old video tapes to DVD is a better alternative. With the right equipment, and a little know-how, you can do your own video to DVD transfers as well as a professional, at a lower cost.

In this article, we'll learn about what you can do to convert your old videos to DVD format to help them last much longer.

Step 1: The Equipment

You will need a DVD recorder to convert your videos to DVD. These range in both quality and price. Your DVD recorder should also have the ability to play DVD's, and it can also be used to record programs from your television onto DVD. This is the least complicated option.

You can also use your PC to transfer the videos to DVD. Your PC must be equipped with a DVD burner, and you will need to make sure that your PC has video inputs or a video capture card. An external video capture device that plugs into a USB port is recommended. If you are using a camcorder and MiniDV tapes, you only need a Firewire port and cable.

You will need to purchase blank, recordable discs. It is important that you buy the correct discs for your DVD recorder and player. The discs that are appropriate for your DVD recorder should be listed either on the packaging of the DVD recorder, or in the documentation.

2. Getting Set Up

If you have chosen to use a DVD recorder, you will need get it hooked up to the VCR and the television properly. This is probably the hardest part of using a DVD recorder, but the documentation should provide you with a detailed diagram for getting things set up correctly.

If you have chosen to use your PC to transfer video tapes to DVD, you will need to install your DVD burner, install the software that comes with the burner, and read the documentation provided to learn how to use your DVD burner. You will also need to get your video capture software or device installed and set up.

3. Getting Set Up

Begin by determining the quality level that you need your video to be. I  recommend using the highest quality possible, and only putting one hour of video on each disc.

If you are using a DVD recorder, the device usually includes basic editing tools. Using these tools, you can easily edit the video tapes, enabling you to only record what you want during the video tape to DVD transfer. The DVD recorder should automatically create a menu for your DVD. All DVD recorders will automatically create a title every time you stop recording. This allows you to break your video up into 'chapters,' and to give each 'chapter' a title.

If you are using your PC, before you can convert your video to DVD, you must first get the video to the hard drive of your PC. This is done either with the video capture card or software, or by using a Firewire that connects from your camcorder to your PC. You will need to refer to the documentation for the device that you are using to find out how to get the video to your hard drive.

Once the video is on your hard drive, you will need to use DVD authoring software to convert your digital video into an MPEG-2 file. Read the documentation for the DVD authoring software that you have chosen. While the computer does the actual work, you should be aware that converting video to a MPEG-2 file is not a fast process - it takes some time.


The more video to DVD transfers you do, the easier it will become for you. Once you have the hang of the basic process, you may want to play around with all the various options you have to make your DVD menus and jazz it up a little. Good luck!

Here's a list of my favorite video editing tips and tricks.

Edit Digital Videos With Ease

If you've been looking for a good video editing program, you may want to check out Corel VideoStudio Pro. This software allows you to quickly create and share a movie using built-in templates, special effects, titles and transitions. You can apply unique effects such as stop-motion animation, time-lapse and chroma key to create brilliant digital videos.

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