How to Transfer VCR Tapes to My Computer & Make DVDs

by Rick Paulas

With the quick disappearance of VCRs from the marketplace, more people are spending time converting their old videotapes into DVDs. Since VCR tapes are an analog medium and DVDs are digital, the content in the VCR tapes must first be converted into a digital format before they can be burned onto DVDs. All that is needed to complete this task is a few simple audio/video cables that can be found at nearly any electronic store.

Connect your VCR to your computer. To do this, you will need to connect the RCA audio and video cables from your VCR (plugging into the "Video and Audio Out" ports there) to your computer (plugging it into the "Video and Audio In" ports). When plugging in the audio cables, plug the right speaker output into the right speaker input and the left speaker output into the left speaker input.

Download the free VLC player (see Resources) and install the program. Open the player and press "File" and choose "Open Capture Device." This will take you to the digitizer.

Press "Record" on the digitizing capture device and press "Play" on your VCR. The program's digitizer will now record what you are inputting into your computer, in this case, the input coming from the VCR. When you are done inputting the VCR, press "Stop" on both the digitizer and your VCR.

Open your DVD burning software. Press "File" and then "Open" to find the file you just created by using the VLC player. Add the file to your playlist, place a blank DVD into your computer's DVD burning disc drive, and press "Burn" on the burning software. After a few moments, your DVD will eject with the contents of your VCR taped burned onto it.

Items you will need

About the Author

Rick Paulas is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. He has been writing professionally since 2005. He has previously written for "McSweeney's," ESPN.com, "Vice Magazine" and "Radar Magazine," and has worked as an editor for "The Coming," "Duct Tape & Rouge," and "TSB Magazine." Paulas holds a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications and advertising from Michigan State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera hi-8 tapes image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com