Clipart image of VCR and VHS tapes
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In the first part of this series, we covered the quest to find the proper hardware to convert VHS to digital formats.

My preference is using a converter wire from a VCR to a Computer.

https://www.amazon.com/UCEC-Capture-Adapter-Converter-support/dp/B00WSAWZ1M

Once you get the hardware setup, it is time to find software to view and save the content on the VHS tapes.

Note: Before we move on, be sure you are doing this for home movies only.  In addition to it probably being illegal to copy that old VHS recording of some movie, it is certainly much easier to just buy in digital format or stream from somewhere legally.

Finding the Right Software

When buying your converter, you may receive some software with it.  You are welcome to try it and see how you like it.  I did, but eventually my choice was to use Open Broadcast Software (OBS).  OBS is available to download at  https://obsproject.com/ with versions for Mac, Linux, and Windows everyone should be able to use this software.  According to the website, OBS is “Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.”

It is used widely my youtube and twitch streamers, so I knew it could be trusted.  Because of its high level of usage, I hoped most bugs would be already fixed and that the UI would be easy to work with.  I was mostly right here.  The UI is fine, but a little bit intimidating at first look.

Add the video converter as a source

Click the Plus button at the bottom of the sources panel. Select the video capture device option.  Name the source.  Edit all the settings to properly configure the input.

Test
Press play on your VCR and see if the display and audio are coming through properly.

 

In the controls panel, press the Start Recording button.  I suggest testing a small clip of a minute or two at most.  Check the output video file and see if it is properly working.

If working, continue on and keep ripping your VHS tapes to digital.

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