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How to Convert Video Tapes to DVD

Everyone knows that they need to get their video tape collection converted to DVD or digital video file. What they may not know is that while their video tapes sit in a box in the back of their closet, they are degrading. That is why it is critical to get your video tape converted to a stable digital format that doesn't degrade. How would you feel if you waited too long & your children & grandchildren never got to see those videos?

Thankfully, getting video tapes converted to DVD isn't such a daunting task!

Equipment Needed:

You will need a computer with 4-8 GB RAM , a video card and 1-2TB hard drive space. Video files can be very large, meaning 4GB for every hour of video.

Video Tape Player - You will need to track down a video player for your tape. Make sure the video player is in good working condition. The last thing you want is the video player to eat your video tape! If you have different types of video tapes, you will need a video player for each type.

Video Converter Box -
This box will connect your video player to your computer so that they two can communicate.

Video Editing Software -
You will need software that is capable of capturing and editing video. There are many different software options, we recommend Pinnacle for DIY. DVD's -
You can purchase either DVD+R or DVD-R discs at any grocery store. It is probably advisable to avoid "RW" discs because they are rewritable. Which means you could accidently record over you're the video you just burned on the DVD (think video tapes). It sounds great, but it has the potential for more harm than good.


Real Time Transfers - If you have a 6 hours video tape, it will take 6 hours to convert it to digital on your computer. Creating Video Files- You don't want to go directly to a DVD, you should first create your video file. DVD's will compress your video, an ideal situation is to first create your MP4 of AVI file and then create your DVD.

Editing - Once your video has been captured you will need to edit your video files. This will allow you to cut out any unwanted footage. You will want to save any changes you make and render your video. This means that you are not just saving your "project" but you are creating a new video file. This will be a real time render, meaning, if you have a 6 hour tape, it will take 6 hours to render & save your changes.

Making DVD's - Using your video editing software you can create your own DVD. To make this, you will need to render your video again, so remember, real time rendering means your 6 hour tape will take 6 hours to render & burn your DVD.

Converting your own video tapes to DVD isn't necessarily a DIY project for everyone. All of the equipment required gets expensive very quickly, not to mention the time required. So if you think your time is better spent elsewhere, you can have your tapes professionally converted. Here at Larsen Digital, we will take any type of video tape and save each one on its own DVD. Also make sure that you select to receive a copy of the digital video file. This will allow you to edit your files, upload the files online and easily share with family & friends.

For more information on Video Tape Transfers to DVD