How to Edit VHS Tape

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

Back when video recording was new, VHS was the way to go. Video recorders used various sizes of cameras and relayed film onto bulky tapes. Only recently, the technology has changed to digital, and the VHS tape is mainly a thing of the past. However, some still use VHS for recording and to edit film footage when new digital technology is not available.

Hook up your "line out" device. If you're recording direct from a camera, your camera is your "line in." You can connect the camera to a TV set with AV cables. If you are using two VCRs, one of them is your line out and you should put your raw tape into it. You'll be recording from this raw tape onto a blank one in another VCR.

Set up your "line in" device. This will be a second VCR with a blank tape in it.

Mark off footage on your line out device by viewing start and stop times through the TV screen. Most cameras have some display functions that can help you mark off times for the clips you want to use.

Add clips one by one to your blank tape on your line in VHS recorder. Go one clip at a time, hitting record and stop at the appropriate times. Do this well, and your finished product will be a neatly edited VHS film.

Perform periodic playbacks to catch errors. You can always double back and fix bad footage, but if you wait until the end, it will be more difficult. Always monitor your progress as attempt quicker fixes.


When possible, get your raw footage digital. Digital footage is much easier to edit with freeware and available programs on PCs.