Vhs to Dvd



Just started converting some old Vhs tapes to Dvd. I have gotten as far as getting it onto the hard drive as an Mpeg2, can also download as Mpeg4,which is the better of the two, lost at this point, instructions vague, how/what do I need at this point to burn to DVD. T.I.A.


You need some type of DVD authoring software to make DVDs capable of playing in your average DVD machine. The MPEG-2 is what you want for that.


You need to convert to DVD compliant format.
For best standalone DVD or BD player compatibility .
Of course some players might work with a direct burn of the Mpeg2 or Mpeg4.
That’s not usually as smooth . You probably would need to let the DVD load then select the file. If the player has the ability to do this.
If you use DVD compliant it will basically work like a commercial DVD.
I suggest using AVStoDVD . It should work with either Mpeg2 or Mpeg4 .
There is a guide on this forum for using AVStoDVD .
If you need help beyond that there are members that will try to help.


Thanks Dan


If you want to make a DVD that plays anywhere, then MPEG2 is what you want. MPEG4 doesn’t make a compliant DVD. Also keep in mind that only some resolutions will work. A good reference is the DVD FAQ at

Some DVD-authoring programs will no doubt accept other video formats, such as MPEG4, other resolutions etc. but will then convert it to compliant formats. That’s unwanted since it takes time, and lowers video quality. It’s always best to save to a compliant format from start, and only let the authoring program assemble the files to a DVD without any additional conversion.


Thanks Cholla, downloaded it, now the old Vhs player I have is not working properly, probably needs head cleaning, sent foe a head cleaner, will keep you posted as to how the program worked.


@ durkinjt , Just to make it clear.
You will need to use the software you already used to go from a VHS tape to your hard drive as an Mpeg2 . (If you get better results by doing it as Mpeg4 that will work too.)
If the Mpeg2 plays OK on your computer just use it.

AvstoDVD is just used to convert the Mpeg2 to a DVD compliant folder & file set.
You can use it’s “Menu” function or not as you like.
This is the [B]Guide[/B] Kerry56 posted:

I usually read the file like your Mpeg2 with Media info & match the audio as close as possible . Meaning if the audio of the Mpeg2 is at a low bitrate your not going to improve it by using a much larger one in AVStoDVD. Same the other way around. If the audio is a high bitrate you don’t want to use a lower one.

On your VHS player not working “properly” . It won’t hurt it to use a head cleaner .
I find that is rarely the problem.
Adjust the “tracking” as best as you can. Disable “autotracking” if possible (unless it works better ) .
The problem on an older VHS player is usually the “driving drum or cylinder”.
This is just from wear . Not much to do about it . Unless you can find a new replacement & good luck with that.
What usually helps is :

  1. Play the VHS tape several times before trying to copy it.
    Most VHS tapes are “Old & sticky” from not being played in a long time.
  2. When you rewind or fast forward . Stop the tape before it gets to the end.
    In other words don’t let it “Hard stop” either direction.
  3. The extra playing also helps loosen up the VHS player .Since most are not used regularly either.
    I hope some of that helps.


Cholla, Again thanks for the great info. By not working properly, I meant the pic was somewhat distorted used to happen often and head cleaning sometimes worked, found another old VHS player on Ebay for $10.00, see if it makes a difference, will try all you your suggestions and get back to you. To adjust the tracking and disable auto tracking is it done in the program or is there an adjustment somewhere on the VHS itself, not clear on that.Also you are right, the more I play the tapes the better they are coming out.


On remote controlled VCRs there is usually a menu button on the remote .
Sometimes called a setup instead.
If your VCR has a setting where you can turn off autotracking that is where it will be.
Not all VCR’s have this ability.
On most the tracking is adjusted with the channel up /down button . On the remote or unit itself . This is used once the VHS tape is playing.

I have an old Panasonic VCR (now in mothballs). A top loader with actual tracking switch adjustment on the unit itself . You won’t find that on newer units .
Some will have tracking buttons on the unit &/or the remote control but most use the channel buttons.

BTW I still have two types of VCR head cleaners one wet & one dry.
If you use a wet one make sure you allow ten minutes drying time before playing a VHS tape.