Transfer VHS to DVD or to Hard Drive?

We get this question more and more often: Do I transfer my VHS tapes to DVD or to a portable Hard Drive?

Here’s the short answer:
If you just want the convenience of watching your movies: choose DVD. If you have any plan to edit the videos, go Hard Drive.

The slightly longer answer:
If you plan to edit your VHS home videos, transferring to a hard drive (instead of a DVD) has 2 main benefits:

Benefit 1: Video Files are ready for your Video Editing Software
We will transfer your old home videos to AVI files or MOV files depending on whether you use the PC or MAC respectively.
Once you bring the hard drive home, you can directly import the files into your video editing software and start editing.
We do recommend that unless you have a blazingly fast portable hard drive, to copy the files to your computer hard drive first for speed.

Benefit 2: You get a higher resolution video file
A video file that’s on a playable DVD is compressed.
That’s why you can fit 2 hours of video on a DVD that’s only 4.7 Gig.
When you transfer to a portable hard drive, the video file is not compressed.
If you plan to edit your video files, it behoofs you to start with the highest resolution source file you can get.

The above applies to transferring any old home movies: 8mm film, Super 8, 16mm film, VHS tape, Hi8/Digital 8 tapes, miniDV.

If you decide to transfer your old home movies to an external hard drive, watch the video below for 7 frequently-asked-questions on hard drive transfer

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re located in Newton, MA, part of Greater Boston.

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  1. I was informed you could buy a hard drive called seagate 1tb 2tb or 3 tb depending on what you need and it will work with both PC and Apple Is this true? Any reason not to do this? You had mentioned to just choose one format apple or PC Thanks

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