Make room for DVD’s

The dawn of the digital era has seen most households acquire more luxury items, thus making cheap household insurance an essential to a great many families. It was not always like that, many years ago the state of the art piece of technology in most homes was the video player. And for those of a certain age, somewhere in the house there will be some big bags or even boxes containing dozens of video tapes.  Some of these tapes will be important and have footage of a wedding or birthday party, while others will perhaps have episodes of Quincy or Magnum PI. Whatever the reason the tape was kept for posterity, it is very unlikely it will be on its own. People have hoarded millions.

When the video came out, it was as if the future had arrived. We could record a television programme and watch it at a later date. Everyone thought it could not get any better. Well everyone was wrong, VHS cassettes have gone the same way of the dodo, and they degrade over time due to repeated playing, they are just too big and unwieldy for the digital age. A video is now very tedious to have to use, endless rewinding and fast forwarding, trying to find the exact point on the tape can be exasperating. However, don’t throw away those old cassettes just yet, because we are now in the digital age and it is possible to transfer the entire contents of the tape onto a recordable DVD, which will allow the viewing of VHS movies and old television programmes. A video player is now very hard to get hold of, and the time will come when they will be gone. It is not a difficult job to transfer VHS to DVD, the easiest way is to use a recordable DVD player.

Before starting the journey on this transfer delight, remember these two points. Firstly, shop bought video cassettes of films that have a built-in copyright protection and cannot normally be copied be to a DVD disc. This should not really be a problem as any film that is likely to be on a VHS tape will be available on DVD for a very small sum of money. Secondly, when copying from tape to DVD, the resulting disc will not look as crisp as a newly bought DVDs as the image quality will be slightly compressed

By far the simplest  and most efficient way to record a VHS tape over to DVD is to use a combo player with a recordable DVD built in, which will carry equipment for both formats in a single (if rather large) unit. Place the VHS tape in the unit (and set the television to show the VHS option), then press record on the DVD side of the combo just before playing the tape. Then simply let the VHS tape run from the start to the finish and do not  stop the tape; if the tape is paused or fast forward put in motion, it will show up on the DVD. When the tape has run through to the end, press stop and check the DVD to see if the transfer was completed successfully.

It is also possible to buy a VHS-DVD burner, which is designed solely to transfer tapes to DVD. These are very easy to connect to a VCR and will convert the tapes much quicker than the combo unit does. If there are a large number of tapes to transfer it is worth thinking about.

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