I want to get rid of boxes of boxes of video tapes but many are my children's recitals that are dear to me. Can those vhs to cd machines be rented anywhere? I know there are companies that would do it for you, but they are quite expensive.
You can buy a DVD recorder/player with a VHS slot and record the VHS tapes to the DVD.
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMR-ES40VS-VHS-Recorder-Silver/dp/B000ASGFRE is an example of one.
You can also use a separate VHS player and DVR to record the tapes onto a DVD. Check with friends--there might be someone who will loan you one.
DVRs are getting harder to find--everything seems to be Tivo now and I don't think you can record from a VCR onto Tivo. I have an older, maybe 10 years old DVR, that will record to its own hard drive and to disk. I've converted a few VHS tapes for friends. It's not hard, just somewhat time consuming.
If you have a VCR player, you can buy a converter that attaches to your computer, and record the contents of the tapes directly to your hard drive. I've put the link for one such device below. Warning: I have never used such a device and am not recommending this particular one. If you decide to go this route, please do some research and find the one that would work best for you.
Here is a link that might be useful: VHS to disk converter
Wow that VHS to computer device looks awesome! My tapes are all Super 8mm though. I wonder if I could find one to convert those tapes?
Mommabird, there are companies that will convert Super 8 to DVD. I know, because my dad was a Super 8 filming fiend. We've had some of those old films converted to DVD, but not all of them. We've edited what we want to keep and what can be lost to time.
Another factor you have to consider is that film eventually degrades. At some point, the film will crack and break in the projector.
So I did a bit of searching on the internet and found that you can convert Super 8 to digital on your own. I've posted a link below that has a list of things you might need to do the job. And here's a link to a video that describes the process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bKRCD-06-M
Again, I haven't used these products or this procedure, so I urge you to research them before trying anything.
If you don't have a projector or video camera, it might cost as much to get them as to transfer the film to digital.
Here is a link that might be useful: list of supplies for conversion
VHs to computer devices is a great idea!! thanks for sharing
I have a Toshiba VHS to DVR recorder, which got better reviews than the Panasonic. I used it to record my favorite VHS tapes to DVD, and I also use it to transfer movies from my cable box DVR to DVD. I usually get two movies per disc and can then watch them whenever and do not have to worry about using up all the space on my cable DVR.
I just purchased an ElGato Video to Computer transfer device and tried it for the first time yesterday. Couldn't have been easier. I installed the software, plugged in the cords and immediately started recording some home movies that are now digital mpeg files and can be watched with QuickTime. Looking forward to working through my collection, preserving our memories and having backups!
I'm storing my movies on an external drive. I found that an hour of tape equals about 1 gigabyte of memory. There may be a way to reduce the file size, but I didn't want to lose quality so I went with the ElGato device default settings.
Here is a link that might be useful: ElGato Device
Just found a nonprofit organization that takes your old VHS tapes and provides jobs for people with disabilities.
Alternative Community Training will accept your old tapes and erase them, reselling the ones in good condition and recycling the plastic parts of the rest.
Here is a link that might be useful: ACT