How to Convert VHS to DVD Without a VCR

By Greyson Ferguson

Updated February 10, 2017

Video camera
i A silver digital video camera - close up image by Werg from

If you want to convert your old VHS tape to DVD but don't have a VCR on hand, the only way you can convert the format is by using a video camera that uses VHS tapes. You need some sort of device that can play the video, and a VHS camera is the only other option you have if no VCR is present. Once you have the video camera, you can import the content onto a computer and burn it to a DVD.

Connect a video capture card to the USB port of your computer, then install any drivers and software that come with the capture card. You can find a capture card at computer and electronics stores.

Plug the RCA cables into the "Video Out" port on the side of the VHS camera. Connect the other end of the cables into the "In" port on the video capture card.

Power on the video camera and set it to playback mode.

Launch the video editor and select "Capture." This takes you to the capture mode in the software. Although your computer more than likely comes with a preinstalled video editor, you can purchase more advanced software at a computer store. Brands include Pinnacle, Avid and Final Cut (only for Macs).

Select the video camera that is connected to the video capture card and press the "Record" button in the video editor. The VHS tape begins to play and record onto the computer. Click "Stop" to stop the recording.

Click the "File" tab at the top of the screen, then select "Export." Choose where you want to export the video file, title the video and click "OK." The video file exports to your computer.

Insert the blank DVD into the DVD burner of your computer and launch the DVD burning software.

Select "Video DVD," then click and drag the VHS video into the main viewing area of the DVD burning window. Title the DVD at the top of the screen, then click "Burn." The VHS video is now placed onto the DVD.

Items you will need

  • Computer

  • Video capture card

  • VHS video camera

  • DVD burner

  • DVD burning software

  • Video editing

  • RCA cables