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VHS TO DVD

VHS transfer to DVD
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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.

VHS Copy to DVD

VHS to DVD quality largely depends upon the recording mode that was used on the VHS tape. A VHS tape can hold up to 8 hours of video at varying levels of quality. The 2-hour SP mode offers the best quality. The commonly-used 6-hour/EP mode and lesser-known 4-hour/LP mode exist as well. EP and LP tapes, however, often become increasingly unstable and prone to errors as they age, which can make VHS conversion more difficult.

The VHS format displays 250 lines of resolution on the television screen. This resolution remains intact when converting VHS to DVD.

To obtain the best VHS transfer to DVD for every tape, Timeless DVD has invested in a wide array of VHS decks. Working with a variety of decks by different electronics manufacturers is the key to ensuring that good tapes as well as problematic tapes all transfer cleanly to DVD.

S-VHS to DVD: Finally, a higher-quality version, S-VHS (or "Super-VHS"), was introduced in 1987. Its resolution jumps from 250 lines to 420 lines, providing a far superior picture. Most regular VHS VCRs will not play S-VHS tapes. S-VHS did not gain wide consumer adoption, although it was used extensively by local cable stations and other small video venues.

VHS Transfer to DVD - more information

Since VHS is by far the most prevalent tape format, we have compiled additional helpful information. Please see:
Convert VHS to DVD – History of the VHS format
Transfer VHS to DVD – Understanding the VCR
Copy VHS to DVD – Selecting a VCR

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