DVD/VHS for DVD old movie backup

I had to buy an old out of print movie on EBAY and need a way to make a quality DVD back up. Any suggestions on which way to go on this project?

Thanks everyone! :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

The best method, and usually most cost effective, is with a good quality SVHS VCR for the source and a DVD recorder. For doing just one movie, there’s no inexpensive way to go about it. It would help if you state what hardware you already have.

I have nothing and will need to start from scratch and buy a VCR and DVD recorder or transfer it to my computer through my Sony camera. I was thinking about an all in one unit but did not think any of the new models would do it.

If the tape is copy protected, an all-in-one VCR/DVD recorder may well have trouble with it. Aside from that, the all-in-one units are not well know for quality video copying from VHS. An SVHS VCR has the advantage of having improved video quality and an SVHS video connector that also improves the quality of the dub. I’d think twice before buying a VCR just to copy one tape, but I wouldn’t think twice about buying a DVD recorder, as you can use that for other things.

If your Sony camera has the ability to transfer, I’d use it to transfer to a DVD recorder. Setting up a PC for video capture is tricky, and capturing is very time-consuming and can be troublesome.

That’s true only if the original tape is also an SVHS tape to begin with. Unfortunately, nearly all pre-recorded VHS tapes are standard VHS tapes from their inception - and those tapes show no improvement at all whatsoever when played back on an SVHS VCR. And any DVD copies will be limited by the maximum resolution of standard VHS - 270 lines maximum (although during recording the DVD recorder will try to “upsample” 270i resolution to 480i).

I have a pro- Panasonic SVHS deck at work that I could use it to feed a DVD recorder direct. I have copied old home movies to my computer via my Sony camcoder as a digital pass through before. But the quality was not what I expected. Super 8 film to VHS to DVD a little gets lost in the translation. LOL

This VHS film is out of print and is rare. So I would like to preserve it on DVD.

If I am going to shell out for a DVD stand-alone burner, I want a 1080P playback ability for sure. My current unit is only 1080i.

This is simply not true. A good SVHS machine will give a better picture on standard VHS tapes every single time. It’s got nothing to do with resolution, but with a number of factors like high frequency response, noise reduction and color controls. Add to that the SVHS connect vs composite, and the resulting image is further improved. People tend to get fixated on horizontal resolution numbers, which in fact have a lot less to do with picture quality than you think.

If I am going to shell out for a DVD stand-alone burner, I want a 1080P playback ability for sure. My current unit is only 1080i.

No such thing as 1080 DVDs, either i or p. All DVDs are 480i/p. Upsampling DVD players do nothing that your monitor isn’t already doing. Although the added benefits of an HDMI connect on a player can be an improvement for sure. No harm in getting an upsampling DVD player, but unless you have a 100" monitor, the difference between 1080i and 1080p is moot. It’s certainly moot on 480 DVDs.

It also depends on the SVHS VCR’s internal playback electronics. Some models have standard VHS playback quality that’s no better than that of some standard VHS VCRs.

And the SVHS feature should not be confused with quasi-SVHS playback on some standard VHS VCRs: The quasi-SVHS feature actually degrades SVHS playback quality to the level of standard VHS. However, the quasi-SVHS playback can be of use to those people who don’t have an SVHS VCR but are stuck with already-recorded SVHS tapes that they could not play otherwise.

This is true.

And the upsampling and progressive-scan features are of no use to a lot of people simply because most analog TV sets are standard-definition interlaced-only sets.

I need 1080P for my needs. My monitor will not upconvert so I need an upconverting DVD player or even a BR player. The Sharp will only display the resolution that is sent to it and I prefer 1080P for all my DVDs. Most of the new Player units coming out this Spring and Summer all do 1080P upconverting for all DVDs. I have not seen a recorder that will do this yet. And yes the quality varies widely but many 1080Ps do an outstanding job of upconversion to take full advantage of the monitors full resolution capabilities. Not as good as HD or BD but better than an old DVD player at 480P.
There was a recent test done on upconversion using a computer with a high end video card and several very high end DVD players that did not upconvert. The computer won on all areas with the same DVD and monitor/TV. Just a thought and I have done this test myself with a mid range DVD player and a new box with a high end video card. I could see the difference plus the picture could be set to 1080P on the video card.

I hate to buy a cheap DVD recorder that will not meet my future needs, but that may be my only option except my computer. What a pain in the ###.


Yo, $21 dollars.

I plug my VCR/ VHS player into this device.
Software with this device is Power producer gold.
Software is good enough to to convert captured video to DVD.
If you have a Fry’s locally, you can purchase this device for less than $25.

If you have Nero, you can also use nero vision to capture and convert to DVD.

I have an older VHS / VCR player, but for some reason I do not have a MacroVision issue when I convert my old VHS tapes with macro vision protection to DVD.

I believe it’s the VHS player. Some player overcome the macrovision protection, while other do not. If you have a macro vision problem with the video tape check out this link.


There is some hardware to work around the macro vision for you legally purchased tape.

But if all works out, you can purchase video capture card at Newegg for $21.
Go to Walmart and buy a cheap VCR for < $50 and then hopefully you can copy your legally purchased VHS tape to DVD.