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Thread: Best set up for capturing from & recording onto VHS tape?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Best set up for capturing from & recording onto VHS tape?

    Hi, I'm new here, I have had a look around for some answers without much luck, so I thought I would just ask.

    I have found plenty of information and various bits of equipment for capturing VHS onto a computer, but I would like to be able to record from my computer onto VHS as well as capture off it and there doesn't seem to be that much information around for this (after all, most people want to go digital not the other way round).

    I know of 3 ways that I could set things up, but currently I lack the details (or money) I need to go for it:

    1. Use a Camcorder as a go between for a VCR to PC?
    I have an old Sony DCR-HC19E mini DV camcorder, which I originally thought I might be able to use as a go between for a VCR. But having looked at the manual and settings, I don't think it will as it appears to only have an A/V out and no input (unless I am wrong?). I could buy another Camcorder, but I wouldn't want to risk getting one that won't do this, has anyone got one that they used to use for this type of thing? Maybe I could look up the model on ebay and get one if they are cheap. I know old mini DV camcorders go for less than 40GBP on there. But I would happily spend more if I was getting a nice digital camera that could do the same thing.

    2. Buy a capture card?
    I have a Firewire port and a few USB 3 ports on my PC, but I don't have a capture card. I was wondering if it worth spending the money on one, and if so which one do people suggest, it must have inputs and outputs for a VCR to be connected to. Most of the ones I see advertised (there are a lot of them) are just for capturing and won't let you output, as I will need. If anyone knows of a good card, even an older second hand one, I am open to suggestions. But I can't afford to spend the earth on this, but I can save.

    3. A VHS player that will connect to firewire.
    I have looked around and found this is probably the most expensive option, unless anyone has any cheap suggestions for this? I would also prefer to avoid being stuck with one very expensive VHS player, as I know how easily they can break. The other two options seem more appealing to me because of this.

    Please, if there is anyone with any suggestions on cards, camcorders, VCRs or anything else that will allow me to capture from and record onto VHS tape, I would be extremely grateful. If you have some components that you are currently using or used to use that I could duplicate, I would probably shower you with cookies for the details.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

  2. #2


    Welcome to the Forum.

    Just trying to think why you should wish to do this. Convert digital back to PAL 625 or NTSC. I have never heard of anyone wanting to do it this way round or even if there is a way of doing it. From experience. VHS Tape does deteriorate plus you do have the high possibility of tape damage due to mechanical tape alignment defects.

  3. #3



    Explain what you want to achieve? What is the end product of this going to look like?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    OP wants to create a VHS tape after the original footage has been through his editor, maybe adding titles, adjusting levels , maybe include a voicecover.
    Sure it's a odd request, but well stated, although the "Research" is not that easy, since very few folks want to down-grade their digital gear to VHS.
    However, I think OP needs one of those converters that have a SCART output. Mostly advertisers sell the reverse of this, so he needs to Search for "Digital to Analogue SCART"
    There aren't many VHS recorders being made now, so s/h is as good as it gets, hence my suggestion he goes for SCART, whilst this isn't the best (possibly S-Video and L&R audio), it's not going to be expensive and should suit the purpose.

    I had a similar project for a friend that couldn't use DVD, but did have a TV with VCR playback.... then they were given a DVD player and the issue was resolved.
    + s/h DVD playback m/c are cheaper than s/h VHS rcorders.... there's a thought.
    The only difference, being that VHS can playback 8hrs on inexpensive tape, whereas DVD is considerably shorter.

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