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VHS to DVD Transfer, Quick and Easy | B&H Photo Video Pro Audio
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VHS to DVD Transfer, Quick and Easy

By J.P. Regalado

I have my own plot of land at B&H's cube farm. Sitting, thinking, and writing is fun, but it's always awesome to change things up a bit and take a field trip to the B&H SuperStore. The SuperStore has grown a lot. Like a child in a toy store, I'm mezmerized by the overhead conveyor belts and displays of shiny new whack-a-doodles. I stop where the VCRs and DVDs grow.

Graham our friendly salesman greets me with a smile, "Can I help you?" "I'm looking for an easy solution under $200.00 to transfer VHS to DVD. What do you suggest?" After plowing through a few new options, we both decide that the Sony RDR-VX560 DVD/VCR combo is our best option.

VX560 DVD/VCR Combo
VX560 DVD/VCR Combo

The RDR-VX560 cuts down a significant amount of cables and nonsense, so you can focus on transferring your VHS tapes to DVD in 3 easy steps.

1. Buy a bundle of DVD-R's.

2. Pop in your old VHS tapes.

3. Hit record and you're done.

You can record up to 14 hours of footage on one disc on a double-layer DVD+R in SLP mode; and with the HDTV craze reaching an all-time high, the RDR-VX560 features HDMI output with up to 1080p upscaling for DVD.

Now you're done with the simple DVD to VHS recording. With the Sony DRD-VX560, however, you'll have one continuous file on DVD without markers. Take your VHS tapes to the next level with editing. We'll explore hardware and software options.

HARDWARE OPTIONS – THE NEXT LEVEL

1. Herald in the digital era with the Ion VCR 2 PC. It unsuspectingly looks like a regular VCR, but upon closer inspection, you'll find a plug-and-play USB connection to hurtle your VHS tapes directly into your computer. EZ VHS Converter software comes included, and is specifically designed so you can enjoy your videos on DVD, iPod, PSP, or your computer.

Ion VCR 2 PC
Ion VCR 2 PC

2. The Grass Valley ADVC 110 is a bi-directional converter that acts as a conduit between your VCR and computer. Simply link up your VCR to the ADVC 110 via composite RCA inputs. The ADVC 110 will convert the analog VHS signal to a digital signal that your computer can read and understand. Hook the ADVC 110 to your computer via FireWire and you're ready to rock.

Grass Valley ADVC110
Grass Valley ADVC110

3. For VHS to DVD transfer without a computer, the Sony DVDirect VRD-MC5 DVD Recorder is your best option. Archive old VHS tapes, hook up your still camera to burn a slide show, or connect a video camera directly to the MC5 for DVD recording. A built-in LCD monitor enables footage preview in real-time. DVDirect supports Sony's AVCHD, which enables up to 95 minutes of HD video on a Standard DVD, and 1080i resolution playback on Blu-ray Disc players.

Sony DVDirect VRD-MC5 DVD Recorder
Sony DVDirect VRD-MC5 DVD Recorder

PC SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS

1. Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 – Easy capture, easy edit, and easy sharing. The cool thing about this program is that it has built-in wizards. The wizards help you set up projects and eliminates the guess work. Create and burn DVD's with DVD Architect Studio software. 44 easy-to-use DVD these are included to get you started. The professional Platinum Edition steps up the basic package, offering support for HDV and AVCHD. Extra goodies include surround-sound mixing, extra effects, and Blu-ray Disc burning capabilities.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Screenshot
Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Screenshot

2. Pinnacle Studio 12 – Simple drag-and-drop interface makes your ideas come to life on the timeline. Pinnacle touts high-end features in an economical package such as Boris Graffiti for title and graphic animation, and Magic Bullet Looks for pro film styles. Burn your final project in AVCHD format on standard DVD's to play on Blu-ray players.

Pinnacle Studio 12 Screen Shot
Pinnacle Studio 12 Screen Shot

3. For the ultimate PC step up, choose Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 which includes Encore CS4. Engage in a dynamic workflow with other Adobe tools; ingest multiple formats including tapeless camera formats; and 50 editing enhancements, help you achieve creative excellence. Author Blu-ray Disks and DVD's with Encore CS4, which is conveniently included with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. This software package has all the ingredients you need to feed your hungry imagination.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 (includes Encore CS4)
Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 (includes Encore CS4)

MAC SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS

1. iMovie and iDVD – Simplicity reigns king with this intuitive editing suite from Apple's iLife '08 Family. All of the essential and basic tools for a fun and hassle-free edit is included. A revamped interface; clean, pre-formatted templates; and ten new themes make iDVD more fun than ever.

Apple iDVD ‘08
Apple iDVD '08

2. Roxio Toast 9 – Burn to Blu-ray Disc, fit 9GB of dual-layer DVD video onto a single DVD, and time saving batch DVD-Video compression/conversion are but a few features in this all-inclusive burn solution for Mac.

Roxio Toast 9 Screenshot
Roxio Toast 9 Screenshot

3. Apple Final Cut Studio 2 – For professional video editing choose the grand daddy of all video editing suites. Final Cut Pro 6 anchors five tightly-knit program ensuring seamless integration and file sharing. Edit your video with Final Cut and export to DVD Studio 4 for professional. Just a note, DVD Studio Pro 4 does not support Blu-ray export yet.

DVD Studio Pro 4 Screen Shot
DVD Studio Pro 4 Screen Shot

VHS to DVD – SOLUTIONS, CONCLUSIONS

We've provided a digest of possible solutions to transfer your cobweb infested VHS tapes to pristine, shiny DVD's. If you'd like a step-by-step overview of the process, please refer to our previous article. We've hopefully addressed the technical solutions available here at B&H—from simple to ambitious—to stay ahead of the technological video curve.

Please email feedback on this article, or suggestions for future topics, to emailfeedback@bhphotovideo.com