VHS to DVD video transfer is based around the VHS tape, or "Video Home System." It was introduced in 1976 by JVC and was the standard for home video until about 2003, when DVD officially became more popular. It's getting more and more difficult to even find VHS tapes or VCRs in stores. For that reason, now is a great time to transfer VHS tapes to DVD, both for easier viewing of your tapes as well as preservation.
A VHS cassette is 7 1/4" wide, 4" deep, and 1" thick. It contains a half-inch-wide magnetic tape that is wound between two rolls. The tape passes slowly over the playback and recording heads of the VCR, and the thickness of the tape helps the format remain durable.
Before we convert VHS, we always open the cover to check the condition of the actual plastic tape. A VHS tape case features a latch with a toggle, which operates the flip cover protecting the tape mechanism. We always flip this cover open to check that the tape is intact before playing it.
VHS triumphed over Betamax in the infamous "VHS-Betamax" battle due to the tape's longer playing time and less complex tape transport mechanism. It also had the benefit of JVC's better marketing campaign. Nevertheless, many home video enthusiasts still believe that Betamax is and was the superior format.
The development of the VHS-C tape also helped VHS become the dominant consumer tape type. These small tapes used the same tape as a VHS, but in a shell that was half the size. The camcorder tapes then fit easily into an adapter shell. See our VHS-C to DVD page for transferring these tapes to DVD.