Transferring VHS to DVD

I have been slowly saving my exercise VCR tapes to DVD. By the time I really need to do this, the VCR/DVD recorders will be out of fashion, I am sure. So, if you have a favorite VCR tape that might not have been popular enough to be brought back to life as a DVD, keep this in mind!


By Holly from Richardson, TX
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 31, 2007

This is a question about VCR/DVD recorders. I had a Panasonic VCR/DVD recorder and recorded some math VCR tapes to DVD that go with my text book. I did not use the proprietary Panasonic recording, I used the "can be played in any DVD recorder method". Well, the Panasonic broke. I ended up with a different model of Panasonic (because this was a year and a half later) and this one will not play my math DVD's.

I'm so aggravated it's not funny. These DVD's are no longer available. I was depending on them to help me with the quadratic formula info. What could I have done differently? What can I do now?


October 31, 20070 found this helpful

from what I understand when my husband and bil stand around and talk DVD's, it does matter for the player. No matter what you put in when you record you have to have a DVD player that plays that type of DVD. Like a DVD R+/-, you have to match the type of DVD to what the player will play. The lower end players will not play all, but you can find a good quality and cheap one at WalMart, that should play them. If that doesn't help, then try taking it to a place that transfers information from one media to another, tell them you problem and see if they can find the DVD contents on there, they should be able to help you.

I hope that helps!

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October 31, 20070 found this helpful

Holly, as michawnpita stated, there are different formats for DVD's and there is NO player that can play 100% of discs. (I worked for a company who created DVD's from home movies, I have seen every weird DVD thing out there!). However, the disk you have might possibly still be playable. Try the disc on a friend's DVD player or in a computer with a DVD drive. It is possible that your new Panasonic is the culprit.

I know that you would think that the same brand would use the same format, but that is not the case. They really do vary from model to model, especially on the higher end models like a DVD burner would be. I have found that the cheaper the DVD player, the more compatible it is. I would always test discs on a cheap-o CyberHome or Coby player (these are usually around $30) as well as our expensive Panasonic player.

If you can get it to play on another device, you know it is your unit, not the disc. You could try making a direct copy of the DVD on a computer and sometimes that will fix it. Nero and Roxio have good software for direct copies. You could try to get a company to transfer the info but they have pretty strict copyright guidelines so might not do it because it is from a textbook (tell them that you are a student and have fair use permission, that should work if they are reasonable) Or you could just use the cheaper one to watch it.

Believe me, I know how irritating this is. Let me know if anything is unclear.

Good luck,


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By Kris (Guest Post)
October 31, 20070 found this helpful

One cheap solution is to get a Wal-Mart $40 DVD player that is advertised as able to play DivX. Now, this is (unspokenly) marketed to people who pirate movies of the Internet (as the DivX is often a format that will play them on a normal TV, rather than a computer). Now, assuming that you are not a pirate, the upside to this is that these DivX systems will also almost always play any file format you can throw at them, and, at $40 and a liberal return policy, you really can't lose trying it.

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By Dean (Guest Post)
November 1, 20070 found this helpful

I also have math cds and I play them through my puter. I don't know if dvds would play in a puter. The only other solution I can think of is to visit electronic repair shops and see if they have for sale, visit flea markets or look in newspapers and magazines that have used items for sale.

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By U*u*U (Guest Post)
November 1, 20070 found this helpful

We've been dealing with tecnoprobs for a while now ::rolls eyes:: It can be frustrating.

Were these discs "finalized"? Different Discs behave in different ways. You might call Panasonic directly and ask if those disks were finalized in that mode automatically. If so, why won't they play in another Panasonic recorder. Keep escalating until you get a clear answer.

If you get no satisfaction, call the sales department and inform them that if they want to keep your brand loyalty, the problem needs to be solved.

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November 1, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to respond to my question and excellent suggestions. I appreciate it.

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November 1, 20070 found this helpful

You are not ging to believe this, but I found a way to make the vcr/dvd play the previously recorded math dvd.
Instead of putting the tv channel on "3" (which is the station we use for playing vcr tapes and dvd's), I keep the channel on something like CBS or ABC, and then after inserting the dvd, I switch to channel 3.
And it works.
Go figure...
The Panasonic tech clerk had no explanation.

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June 22, 2014

About a year ago, I saw an article and review of a self-contained device that transferred VHS tapes DVD-Rs without the use of a computer or TV. I saved the article, but now can not find it.

Does anyone know of such a device? If so, can you send me the brand name and appox. cost, and possibly where it can be purchased? If you have used such a device, can you give me a review?

I have many dozens of VHS tapes that I would like to transfer so going through the television or my computer is time consuming and not feasible. I want to put in a VHS tape, a DVD-R, press a start button and come back later to have a recorded DVD. Am I dreaming or can you help me find what I need to get this done?

Thanks for any and all help.

By Melody Bressler-Hay from Oak Ridge, TN


June 24, 20140 found this helpful

I don't where you can buy this but I do know places like Best Buy can do it for you but it gets expensive if you have a lot. I had a lot of my Grandsons and my deceased Mother transferred to disk. This was several years ago and I think it was best buy. You may ask a salesperson in Best Buy and maybe they can tell you of the device and tell you how to do it.

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June 25, 20140 found this helpful

You can Google your question (add no pc or?) and most likely find several answers.

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May 25, 20180 found this helpful

I have a unit like you are talking about Melody. It was given to me as a gift. It is a Magnavox brand. You might check Amazon for what you are looking for. I just found a VCR on there and purchased it. I, too, have a large collection of VHS tapes, but most are a mixture of self-recorded items, so I run it through the TV and use my digital video to record, then transfer and edited video on computer. From there it is burned to DVD. It is a long process, but worth the time for me.

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