In the 80s and 90s, digital cameras and high definition cameras did not yet exist. To film or record TV shows, our parents used either a camcorder or a VCR. The videos were saved on a VHS tape that was twice the size of a hard drive. Images weren’t always crisp and pleasing to the eye, but these devices did what they were told. To recall childhood memories and store them in your computer, all you have to do is order a video converter. Being in tune with the times, Corsair Elgato analog video capture for Mac or PC is recognized by Windows 7, 8, 10 and Mac OSX. Versatile, August VGB100 External USB Video Capture Cardis also compatible with game consoles.
Shopping Guide – How to Choose a Good Video Converter?
One of the many questions people have about capture boxes is which video converter to choose. The answers will depend on the needs of each and the budget allocated to the purchase. In a few clicks, you can find accessible and good quality models.
Each video converter is designed differently, especially in terms of connectors. In most cases, the capture box includes a USB connector, RCA cables in yellow, red and white colors, an S-video input and an indicator light. To make the connection, these cables will need to plug into your VCR and TV. The USB connector will connect your computer and the medium on which the video will be broadcast. Once done, the card will be recognized by your PC. The software splash screen will appear on your monitor.
The size as well as the shape of the case vary from one model to another. Some manufacturers play the card of sobriety while others bet everything on the elegance of their device. On some cards, there is even an LCD screen and control buttons. To know if the purchase of an X model is worth it or not, the best thing is to establish a comparison before looking for where to buy the best video converter.
As you can certainly imagine, each converter is intended for a well-defined operating system. Check that the version of Windows or Mac OS under which your computer is running is mentioned in the product description. If not, choose another model. Regarding the update of the drivers, it can be done online or via a mini CD delivered with the box.
In terms of formats, your VHS tape can be converted either to DVD or to MPEG-4. A capture box is said to be versatile when it supports NTSC, SECAM, PAL and PAL/60/ video. The time it takes to scan will be equal to the length of the video. The resolution and the number of fps on the other hand will depend solely on the capacity of the capture box.
Note that a converter equipped with a USB 3.0 connector will be two or even three times faster than a box with a USB 2.0 interface. This to tell you that it is important to know which is the best video converter on the market. Regarding the weight of the video, this parameter will differ from the format you have chosen. If you plan to share it on social media, find out about the platform requirements.
Apart from the fact that video converters are used for digitizing VHS tapes, the accompanying software will allow you to adjust the level of brightness, contrast and color distortion. This feature is only available on a few boxes.
Presented as an image capture device, the use of this device will not be limited to VHS tapes. Many models are compatible with video game consoles such as the game cube, Xbox 360 and PS3. In addition to recording game play, this device will help you broadcast them directly to streaming platforms. We even find on a price comparison boxes supporting webcams and camcorders.
The 5 Best Video Converters (Reviews & Tests) of 2022
Even if the address of the best site where to buy a new video converter is no longer a secret for videographers and audiovisual professionals, it remains so for individuals. That said, its access is not restricted, so anyone can find it.
1. Corsair Elgato analog video capture for Mac or PC
Known for the quality of its enclosures and microphones, Elgato also produces video converters. Ensuring the conversion of files in VHS format to digital, this device is compatible with PCs and MACs.
The source can be a VCR, a decoder or a camcorder. Versatile, it supports NTSC, SECAM, PAL and PAL/60 video. The fact that Elgato is touted as the best brand of video converters is therefore justified.
Apart from the capture box, this device includes a scart adapter, an RCA stereo cable and video. Easy to use, the software created by Elgato will take care of establishing the connection with the video source.
The format of the images is set either in 16: 9 or 4: 3. The videos can therefore be played on a tablet or a Smartphone. Also note that this box has a feature that allows you to upload outgoing files directly to YouTube.
Converted to MPEG-4 format, the quality of the videos will be much better than the images broadcast by your VCR.
All drivers are downloadable from the Elgato site. In addition, the manufacturer has set up a virtual assistance service.
The use of this box is much more advantageous than an online conversion service. The prices offered by these sites are relatively high.
This box is recognized by computers running under the 64-bit version of Windows 10.
Sometimes the sound of the video is not synchronized with the image.
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2. August VGB100 External USB Video Capture Card
Knowing a dazzling success, video converters have been sold across Canada. To sum up, this tool not only allows you to transfer the VHS tapes to your computer, but also to improve the quality of the images. With just one click, you can store your memories on your PC’s hard drive.
If necessary, August specified that his software is capable of performing DVD burning. This format is very practical when you want to view the contents of the tape on a television. Besides being a converter, the VGB100 is also a capture card.
Compatible with game consoles such as Xbox 360, PS3 and Game Cubes, this device will record your games. August also pointed out that his card will help you stream your sessions live. Of all the converters that are offered on the market, we can say that this model is the most efficient.
The visual rendering is interesting and the transfer speed is above the average for its category.
86 mm long and 29 mm wide, the case fits easily in the hands.
The software designed by August is very easy to use.
Depending on your operating system, this card will automatically download updates.
Drivers are only available from the August website.
The size of outgoing files is measured in GB.
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3. ClearClick Video to Digital Converter
The best video converter is not necessarily the most expensive model. Only image quality and conversion speed matter. This should answer people asking how to choose the best video converters of 2022. A single press of the record button will trigger the conversion of the VHS tape to digital format.
Its use is not limited to cassettes and VCRs since it also supports camcorders and game consoles. Operating independently, its use will not require a computer or any program. The files will be directly stored in the 4GB memory card which is provided by ClearClick.
Also note that the case has a 2.3″ LCD screen. At the encoding level, the audio will be recorded in stereo. Remember that this converter includes a USB 2.0 interface. If necessary, Prism which is a converter software will be included in the purchase. The fact that it is in CD format will prevent you from downloading it.
The LCD display and control panel layout greatly simplify the use of this converter. Recognized by the televisions of the moment, its installation does not present any difficulty.
The quality of the videos it records or converts is excellent.
All conversion information will be displayed on the LCD screen. This is to tell you that you can do without your computer.
The execution of tasks such as recording or conversion is almost instantaneous.
To start a recording, it will be necessary to force the related button.
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4. NewBull USB video capture card
Before saying that such a model is cheaper than its competitor, you should already compare their prices. Sometimes the difference can be explained by the design of the case or the features it has.
Via the USB 2.0 interface, an RCA cable and S-video, this device is able to record a video or an audio file without using a sound card.
The rushes that you will obtain can be edited on editing software. Thus, this converter will transform your computer into a real editing workstation, and that, for not much.
With this capture box, you can adjust the brightness, the contrast of the video as well as the color saturation. Measuring 88*28*18mm, this card won’t take up much space. Apart from devices like VCRs and camcorders, NewBull pointed out that this card is also compatible with computers running Windows 7, 8 and 10.
Drivers are installed using a mini cd supplied by NewBull.
If you use Windows, know that your computer will recognize this box.
NewBull has designed software whose settings and operation are easy to understand. You don’t have to be a computer expert to start recording.
The only way to install the drivers is to read the mini CD. However, computers that are equipped with a CD drive are rare.
If you use Windows XP or Mac OS, be aware that this box is not for you.
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5. Redgo Audio Video VHS VCR USB capture card
How to buy a better value video converter. Buying a cheap video converter can be risky if the model has had a lot of negative reviews. Benefiting from a USB 2.0 interface, this card will capture videos from a webcam, a surveillance camera and even a game console.
Backwards compatible with VHS and VCR tapes, its use will allow you to convert your family videos into digital format. To share them, you will have the choice between burning them on a DVD, uploading them to the web and social networks or transferring them to your Smartphone.
In terms of accessories, this case will be accompanied by a USB cable and a mini CD including the drivers. Compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10, this card will delight PC users.
In terms of packaging, this device will be delivered to you in a resistant plastic box. In addition, unpacking will not require a specific tool.
On Windows 10, you will not be required to install drivers. The box will be immediately supported by your computer. Remember that it is also compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
USB adapter and mini CD are included in the purchase. RCA and S-video cables are attached to the housing.
Offering images in 720×480 and 30fps, this card improves the quality of your videos.
The transfer rate is limited to 2.5 MB/s.
Without meticulous adjustment, the sound reproduction will be mediocre or even very bad.
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frequently asked Questions
Q1: What does VHS mean?
VHS stands for Video Home System. Basically, it is an analog recording standard used on video tapes produced by JVC. This technology dates back to the 1950s. At that time, the audiovisual industry used magnetic tapes for video recordings. This is where the first video recorders appeared.
In the 1970s, this device was mass-produced, so anyone could buy it. Between 1980 and 1990, VHS became very trendy, however, the arrival of optical discs made it obsolete. The appearance of the DVD format only accentuated its decline.
Q2: How to digitize VHS tapes? How do I transfer my memories from VHS tapes to PC?
Before digitizing your VHS tapes, check the condition of the tape. Over the years, it is possible that the latter is clogged. Using a pencil, rewind it then clean the dust and dirt. There are brushes designed for this purpose. Then start your VCR and play. This will allow you to control the fluidity of the images. Not tolerating humidity and magnetic fields, keep your cassettes away from hi-fi speakers.
As for digitizing the VHS tape, connect the RCA plugs of your scart adapter to the converter. Using the USB cable, connect the capture box and the computer. Install and then run the recording program. Once done, start playing the tape and press the record button.
The video will automatically be stored on your hard drive. Nothing will prevent you from backing up the files to a USB flash drive or micro SD card. These media will prevent you from overloading your hard drive or losing your data.
Q3: How to copy VHS tape to DVD?
Usually the software provided by the capture box can burn the file to a DVD. Prefer supports with gold substrate. If you don’t feel able to do this, you can always hire a professional. Companies in this field will be mentioned in a buying guide for the best video converters.
Q4: How do I destroy VHS tapes?
Non-biodegradable, the cassettes more precisely the VHS tape are made of plastic. By burning the latter, you would only aggravate the situation since highly toxic particles will pollute the air, but also the water. It is best to contact a recycling company that specializes in the destruction of electronic waste.
To erase videos recorded on the tape, just use a magnet. The magnetic field will erase all data and render the tape unreadable. The other method will be to pulverize the tape into fine particles. This operation will require the use of a special machine.
Parts that are not recyclable will be immediately sent to a landfill. By doing so, no one will be able to access the contents of the tape. For information, be aware that passing the VHS tape in the microwave is not without risk. By following our advice, you will reduce the environmental pollution caused by electronic devices.