Maker Monday: Transfer Videocassettes to DVDs

There are still some spots left for 12/12’s Maker Monday: Transfer Videocassettes to DVDs!

If you just want to transfer your home movies on VHS straight to a DVD, the process is simple with our new Maker Station. Just request a slot (up to 4 hours) at the Reference Desk. (Test your VHS at home first. The library is not responsible for damaged tapes). Turn on the TV and the recorder, then put in a videocassette and a blank DVD-R (the library has some available for purchase).

As a precaution from accidentally recording over your videocassette, you can pry off the plastic copy protection tab from the left front of the cassette. To record over it again, you can always cover the square back up with Scotch tape.

1.        On the remote, press [DVD] then [REC MODE] repeatedly to select the desired recording mode. SP should be fine for 2 hours or less of recording time. (XP has the highest quality, but can only record for 60 minutes). SLP is the lowest-quality, yet longest recording time at 480 minutes (8 hours).

2.       Press [VCR], then Play. Press Pause [II] at the desired start point.

3.       Press [D. DUBBING]. The dubbing will begin.

4.       Press Stop to stop dubbing. The recorder will write the footage to the DVD.


To play the disc back in other DVD players, you’ll need to finalize it first.

1.       Press [SETUP]

2.       Use the up and down arrows to select “DVD Menu,” then press [OK]

3.       Use the up and down arrows to select “Finalize,” then press [OK].

4.       Use the up and down arrows to select “Yes,” then press [OK]. Finalizing will start.


For the complete user's manual to the DVD Recorder/VCR we have here at the library, click here.


If all you wanted to do was a straight transfer of your VHS to DVD as-is, you’re done! However, if you wanted to edit your footage on a computer, there are a few things you’ll want to download.

·         VLC, an all-around useful video playback app

·         Handbrake to rip DVDs into usable .mp4 video files

·         If you have a Mac, you’ll probably already have iMovie to edit your footage with. If you have Windows, you might already have Windows Live Movie Maker, but if not, you can download it from here until January 10, 2017.

·         If you have a Mac, you can use iDVD to turn it into another DVD, but if you have Windows, you have a few options depending on which version of it you have.

·         Let's say you've created one DVD from your VHS tape, and want to make more copies of that DVD for family and friends. You would copy that DVD on your computer into a virtual disc image called an ISO file (on a Mac, the file extension is .cdr). Learn how here.


Tutorials on how to use iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are, as always, free for Westlake Porter Public Library users on!