VHS to DVD is Not For You If….

Transferring your VHS to DVD is not for you if you plan to edit your raw video footage.

Families are becoming more aware that magnetic media (that's your VHS tapes, Super-8, Hi-8, Betamax) doesn't last forever. They have a shelf life of 10 years or fewer. Some would even say they start degrading after 5 years. If you can't make out the little baby's face (that was you) in the your parents' VHS tapes, don't blame their video shooting skills. Blame it on Time and the tape degradation that comes with time. As a result, families are rushing to transfer their VHS tapes to DVD.

However, when you convert a VHS tape to DVD, the video format is stored as MPEG2 format which is a compressed format. 5 minutes of uncompressed video format is 1 Gig. A DVD can only store up to 4 Gig of data but somehow it has managed to compressed up to 2 hours of video. Which is fine if you are happy popping it into a player, but not if you plan to cut out scenes, add special effects and transitions.

For that, you want to convert your video into uncompressed video format, which is the AVI format. Since the AVI format is uncompressed, it is large (5 minutes = 1 Gig), so you will need to transfer it to a hard drive.

I feel compelled to inform our readers about this because too many families get a false sense of security that once they transfer their video tapes or film reels to DVDs, their memories are preserved. Then when they try to splice out sections and edit it to show at a daughter's wedding reception, the video quality is not what they expected.

Not all VHS to DVD transfer services offer hard drive transfer. If yours does not, you have couple of options, to purchase a video capture/transfer device and do it yourself, or to outsource your VHS-Hard drive transfer to the professionals.

Related Posts:
How to Transfer Video to a Hard Drive


  1. Hey thanks for the tip. I have a bunch of VHSC tapes that I'm getting ready to edit and store on DVD. This article will save some frustration.

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