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How to Digitize VHS Tapes

Don't jeopardize your memories. Learn how to preserve your old home movies by digitizing your VHS tapes.


  • Step 1: Purchase an external or internal capture card Purchase a capture card. Internal capture cards are installed into the hardware of the computer; external cards plug into the computer via the FireWire or USB ports.
  • Step 2: Install the capture card Install or attach the capture card to your computer.
  • Step 3: Attach the VCR Connect the VCR to the capture card with the RCA cables.
  • Step 4: Insert tape Insert the VHS tape into the VCR.
  • Step 5: Open movie-making program Open the movie-making program on your computer.
  • Step 6: Capture video Open the capture feature of the video-making program, and capture the footage by pressing play on the VCR and record in the capture window.
  • TIP: Capture the best footage by capturing only what you will use later.
  • Step 7: Store footage Store your footage to your computer, or to an external drive, since video files take up a lot of computer space.
  • FACT: The last major motion picture released on VHS tape was A History of Violence in 2006.

You Will Need

  • A capture card
  • A computer with movie-making software
  • A VCR
  • RCA cables
  • An external hard drive

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