If you're like me and lived in a time when the term "VHS" was commonplace, then you may have this problem - dusty old tapes that you don't know what to do with! My son has never heard of VHS tapes and I had to explain to him it was a time when video was stored on magnetic tapes instead of disk drives and flash memory.
My advice to you is to convert those VHS tapes to DVD. This is important for 2 reasons. Firstly, you can get rid of the source VHS tapes which are so bulky! Second, you can practically immortalize your videos in DVD since DVD maintains the quality of video for a very, very long time (provided you don't intentionally scratch it or something).
Ok, first step - get your conversion equipment. I'd advice you purchase a simple VHS to DVD converter device. These are available in many electronic shops and allow you to connect your computer to one end of the device, and your VCR to the other.
A good converter device is the Diamond Video Capture kit. I find it uUniversally compatible and easy to use, with some great online support. It is compatible with PCs only, however, so you may need to look elsewhere if you're on a Mac.
The Diamond Video Capture kit
Once you've got your converter device, make sure you install any required drivers it has before hooking it to your computer. The Diamond Video Capture kit comes with Corel VideoStudio which you can install as well to do some video editing. Once installed, set audio and share options (e.g. Blu-ray or DVD burn).
With the converter device in hand, connect one end to the computer, usually via a USB port. Connect the other end to your VCR. The specific cables to use depend on the VCR, computer and converter device you have. However, usually RCA cables are used. Hook up those devices and once done, move to the next step.
The next step is to play your VHS. Then quickly hit the record button on your converter's software and the VHS movie will playbak and get converted and captured into your computer. This is the most time consuming part of the conversion process.
Play your VHS on that good old player :)
You really need to wait for the entire VHS to play through in order to capture the video. I wish there were a way to cut down the time required here - but there isn't. So be patient, go grab a cup of coffee and read a book while waiting.
Once your video is safely converted and stored on your computer, you can perform the last step - to burn your production to DVD or Blu-ray. Specify this on your video converter device's software program.
Convert your VHS into DVD or Blu-ray
You can usually choose to also upload your videos online. You can also specify quality options (output as a compressed video or in full quality, etc).
I hope the above has helped you understand the process of converting VHS to DVD. If you have one or two tapes to convert, just perform the steps above.
If you have many tapes, the best way is to outsource it to someone else. Until next time, good luck and have fun with your videos!