Which video converter is the best?
Ever since the first silent films, people have been entertained by videos. Videos took many different formats, but all were analog, which limited the quality of the images and sounds they reproduced.
If you have boxes of old videos, now you can turn them all into digital. If you want a way to convert your old VCR, VHS and camcorder videos without a computer or software, take a look at Clear Click Video to Digital Converter 2.0 Bundle Edition.
What you need to know before buying a video converter
Video Converter Types
Video converters are devices you use to transfer your old analog videos to current digital formats. They transform analog video to digital in one of three ways:
- Standalone video converters: These all-in-one devices connect to an analog video source and digitize the video internally, without the need for a computer. The digitized videos are then downloaded to internal memory cards or USB sticks. Standalone converters have display screens so you can watch the video while it is being converted.
- High Definition Multimedia Interface Converters: More commonly known as HDMI, these are small electronic gadgets that convert analog signals to digital. HDMI converters use RCA jacks and S-video connectors to connect older analog video sources to modern digital televisions or projectors.
- USB capture devices: These tools digitize analog video by connecting to any computer with a USB port. Capture devices require video conversion and editing software that you purchase separately.
Video converter or digital video converter?
The term video converter can mean hardware, software or both. The term video-to-digital converter tells you that it is only a hardware device. Some convert your videos directly and others must be controlled and operated through your computer.
Only some video converters come with all the cables you need. If you are converting old VCR tapes, you need the red-yellow-white color-coded RCA cables. Check first, as some older devices require an S-video cable to connect.
Do you have a VHS player?
You need to find a player to be able to convert your VHS tapes to video. VHS recorders and players are no longer made, so you’ll have to search the classifieds, visit garage sales or scour thrift stores.
What to Look for in a Quality Video Converter
If you buy a simple converter, your analog video is transferred to digital as is. Since many old analog videos have poor video quality, look for a converter that lets you improve the quality of your old videos by adjusting brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation across the entire video spectrum.
Better HDMI converters with editing software can convert old 480p resolution videos to 1080p and even 4K. Lower quality converters only copy what exists and cannot improve the quality of your video.
Not all video converters are easy to use. Look for converters with clearly written connection and operating instructions in plain language. Amazon’s online customer reviews are a good source for how easy or difficult instructions are to follow.
If you plan to convert all your old videos at once, look for plug-and-play converters that don’t have the steep learning curve of professional systems. Easy-to-use converters cost more, but unless you consider yourself more tech-savvy than most, they’re worth it in terms of reduced frustration and increased productivity.
How much you can expect to spend on a video converter
The cheapest HDMI converters and USB capture devices cost between $10 and $30, but not all come with the connection cables you need. Fully-featured USB capture devices cost between $40 and $100. Standalone video converters cost between $100 and $400.
Video Converter FAQ
Are my video tapes too old to convert?
A. Video tapes deteriorate over time, but when properly stored can last up to 30 years. Most don’t last as long because the tape becomes brittle. As long as yours are free from cracks and breaks, you can convert them to digital.
Can I convert 8mm film to digital video?
A. Yes. The best way is to use a converter specially designed to transfer this old film format to digital. They use high-resolution scanners to digitally record while the film is playing.
Can video converters save my old videos to DVD?
A. Most can. Check before you buy to make sure the converter does the job you need and saves it the way you want.
What is the best video converter to buy?
Best Video Converter
Clear Click Video to Digital Converter 2.0 Bundle Edition
What do you want to know: This converter lets you record video from VCR, VHS, camcorder and more without a computer or software.
What you will love: With the push of a button, you get 720 x 480 pixel resolution from old school videos made before today’s digital sophistication. Watch on your big preview screen as you record your favorite videos straight to any USB flash drive. The bundle includes built-in video editing capability and a 32 gigabyte flash drive.
What you should consider: It does not work with modern video sources.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Best video converter for the money
Digit Now USB 2.0 Audio/Video Converter
What do you want to know: This quick and easy connector works with both PCs and Macs.
What you will love: This hardware comes with software that allows you to adjust colors, brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and more. USB 2.0 interface and color-coded connectors connect to all older analog video formats.
What you should consider: With any software that performs technical functions, there is a learning curve that usually turns out to be steeper than customers had hoped.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Vidbox Video Conversion Suite
What do you want to know: This box contains everything you need for professional quality video conversions.
What you will love: With this set, you can connect the cables, play your old videos on your PC or Mac, and get crisp resolution from your old VHS, Beta, camcorder, DVD, 8mm tapes and more. You get a capture device, USB and RCA cables, software installation CD and a quick start guide.
What you should consider: Reviewers say the instructions use technical terms and are sometimes confusing.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Do you want to buy the best products at the best prices? Check out the daily deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.