If you want to take the easiest and most hands-off route to convert your video tapes, then you are probably wondering where to convert your VHS tapes to DVD or another digital format.
You can convert VHS to DVD or digital at a number of local stores like Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Costco, and others. They outsource the transfer processing to one of the major digital conversion services. You can also save money by shipping the tapes yourself directly to the video transfer service.
This article will explain in detail the pros and cons of using each method using the different video conversion services.
Where to Convert VHS to DVD | Digital Conversion Services
Below are the 2 main types of video transfer services you can use:
- Local Dropoff Services
- National Direct Ship Services
Local VHS to DVD / Video Conversion Services
You may be surprised to find that local retail stores that you are in every day offer video transfer services, as well as local independent video transfer services near you. So if you are searching for “video transfer services near me” then this is for you.
PROS: with any local dropoff service you don’t need to deal with the packaging and shipping of the tapes and other media you want converted
CONS: the prices can tend to be higher compared to direct-ship services where you package and ship the tapes to the service
Retail Locations Offering VHS to DVD Video Transfer Services
None of these retail stores handle the video transfer process themselves, they outsource to one of the national video conversion services. The retail location will handle the labeling and packaging of your tapes, then ship them out for conversion to a video transfer service.
|Retail Store||Video Transfer Service|
|Walmart & Sams’ Club||YesVideo.com|
The overall time can average around 3-4 weeks between shipping and processing, some after faster.
Generally, you go to the retail store website, fill out your information (name/address), and then the number and types of items you wanted converted to start the order process.
Then you bring the order number along with your video tapes to the store and the tapes will get packaged from there and complete the processes.
You can also usually start the order in the store, but you won’t know the final price until you fill out your information, so starting at home to see if it fits your budget can be a better solution.
Independent VHS to DVD / Video Conversion Services
There are also independent video transfer services that may be near that you’re not even aware of.
The advantage of using a local service is that your tapes are staying local and not getting shipped to a national transfer service, which there is also the minimal potential of your package getting damaged or lost in
The best way to find out if you have a video transfer service near you is to go to Google Maps and type in “video transfer service”. This is what the map looks like in my area of Massachusetts.
You’ll notice several found, the one I was aware of is Play it Again Video in Newton MA. This is now part of Everpresent which has locations across the Northeast.
There are other local transfer services mixed in there, could be people with the right gear doing it for side money or a full-time business. One thing to check up on is reviews on any service that you may choose.
National Video Conversion Services – Direct Ship
There are several video transfer services that you ship your video tapes directly to, and for this effort, you generally get better prices than dropping them off in a retail store.
PROS: the prices are generally cheaper with many discount codes offered throughout the year
CONS: you have to package and ship your tapes
The way it works for most direct ship video transfer services:
- start your order online
- generally, you will get mailed barcode stickers to put on all of the media you want to be transferred, which can be video tapes, slides, reel-to-reel film, etc
- you can either pay for a shipping box as well or use your own
- ship the tapes to the service with a pre-paid label that is part of your order
- wait for the tapes to get processed.
- most services ship all of your media back along with the DVDs and USB flash drives that they were stored to
- most services also have a way for you to watch your videos online as they are tied to your account, which is a great feature that you can send links to friends or family to watch the videos
- even if you use a local service that outsources to YesVideo or iMemories you will still get an online account for sharing videos
- generally, the online account video storage is free for a limited time, you can pay extra to keep the videos stored and back up online, which if you have the budget is a great idea
Generally, the online services offer more coupons and deals than local in-store locations, so check back frequently for prices as well as reviews of each service.
|Video Transfer Service||Comments|
|YesVideo||As low as $10.15 a tape|
|iMemories||Great reviews, as low as $14.99 a tape|
|LegacyBox||$39.98 for 2 items including shipping box|
|SouthTree||As low as $7.50 a tape|
|EverPresent||Both local and mail-in services|
3rd Party Video Transfer Services (eBay/ Amazon / Etsy )
This is a different place to look for video transfer that you may not have thought of: major websites offering video transfer handled by a 3rd party.
eBay.com – there are a number of sellers on eBay that offer video transfer services. Some are offering great pricing, others a very professional video transfer. Read each description and review to find out if it’s someone you’re interested in working with.
Amazon.com – there are “sellers” on Amazon that offer video transfer services. For example, if you search “video transfer services” on Amazon you will find video transfer services, and see reviews and pricing all on Amazon.com like:
Etsy.com – also has sellers offering video transfer services, some of them very affordable like:
- ALX Video Transfer
- RestoredMemoriesMN – provide your own USB drive to transfer your videos onto in order to save money
PROS – these 3rd party video transfer services seem to have very affordable prices, generally under $10 a tape
CONS – no “bells and whistles” like online video hosting for easily charing videos.
Where to Convert VHS to DVD – Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a video transfer service to handle all of your video conversion needs, and you’re not sure where to convert your VHS or other videotapes to a digital format you have plenty of options:
- Local retail/chain stores that take your order and outsource to one of the major video transfer services. This can be more expensive, but easier to deal with since you don’t have to package and ship the tapes yourself
- Local drop-off services – these are local businesses that perform the video transfer in-house and don’t outsource the work. This may cost you more but saves you the hassle of shipping and possible your tapes getting damaged or lost during shipping
- National video transfer service – these tend to be the cheapest if you don’t mind sending in the tapes yourself
For me, I have all of my original video gear so I do transfer the tapes myself at home which is a great option for the DIY people out there. But I will be trying some of these video transfer services myself so I can report back on the overall process of each – stay tuned.