How to Copy VHS to a DVD Recorder

by David Wayne

If you have a large video library on VHS cassettes, create digital files by copying your tapes with a DVD recorder. Backing up your VHS collection preserves the video quality of your tapes before they deteriorate with age. You can transport your DVDs more easily than VHS tapes, and you can play them in DVD players as well as computers. Once you have your video tapes on DVD, you can transfer them to your computer hard drive or simply store them in jewel cases.

Connect the VCR's video output to the DVD recorder's video input with an S-Video cable. Connect the VCR's audio output to the DVD recorder with composite audio cable. Ensure that the color coding of the left and right audio channels matches the inputs and outputs of both devices.

Press "Play" on your VCR and watch the video on your television. Lower the sharpness on your VCR with the remote control, and adjust the color, contrast, balance, hue and saturation to the levels you like. Stop the tape when you like how the picture looks. Rewind the tape.

Insert a blank disc in the DVD recorder. Press "Record" on the DVD recorder's remote control, and press "Play" on the VCR. Record as much of the VHS tape as you would like, and press "Stop" on both the VCR and the DVD recorder. Eject the VHS tape and insert a new tape if you want to record multiple tapes on a single DVD.

Press the "Menu" button on your DVD recorder's remote control. Use the up and down arrow keys to select "Setup," and press "Enter." Highlight the disc "Finalize" option and press "Enter." Eject your finished disc.


  • check Clean your VCR tape heads and use high-quality components and cables for the best results.


  • close Some DVD recorders don't automatically finalize the disc after recording. DVDs that haven't been finalized won't work in DVD players or computers.

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About the Author

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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