Columbia ISA
Audio – Video


VCR to PC Hookup

There are many ways to get VHS tapes copied to DVD or on your computer or laptop. Depending on what devices you have or are willing to purchase, you can copy any of your self authored or non-copyrighted tapes. Most commercial tapes like movies are copyrighted, although you may get lucky on a few of them.

Many devices from can copy VHS tapes to computer. The cost is $35 or so on up. Connect the capture device between the VCR and the computer and run the software on the computer.

Capture device - connect VCR yellow, white, red RCA cables to device and the device USB connector to computer's USB input. Run capture software, play tape.

VCR capture to computer using USB connection and software

Be sure your computer operating system is compatible with capture software

Elgato Video Capture

Digitize video from a VCR, camcorder and other analog video sources for playback on your Mac, PC and iPad. Transfer video to your Mac or PC from a VCR, DVR, camcorder, or any other analogue video device as a high quality H.264 file. Elgato Video Capture’s easy-to-use software assists you through every step, from connecting an analog video device to capturing video. (Need Windows 7 and up for Elgato) Connects to computer with USB plug. Connects to VCR with yellow, white, red RCA cables. Hardware and software included.

Also try:
TOTMC® USB 2.0 Video Capture Adapter for Windows Xp/2000/ Vista/ Win7/Win 8 for older operating systems.


VCR to PC Hook up

Want to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD? Want to watch TV on your PC or record TV to hard disk? For about $70 you can get a video capture card, software and cables or a video capture device which will allow you to hookup a VCR and/or TV antenna to your computer.

Video Capture Card for PC

How To Install a PCI Card in your computer

Cable Types and connections

There are all kinds of capture cards with all kinds of connection options. Some video capture cards have Firewire ports or USB ports or S-Video ports. Get the one which matches your hardware/software setup and will do the job you want to accomplish. Some cards come with a TV tuner and/or FM tuner for watching TV on your PC. Some have RCA phono input jacks which will be easy to hookup to your VCR. Many are PCI cards, so if your computer has an available PCI slot, and the software that comes with the card is compatible with your computer's operating system, all you have to do is install the card into the computer, load the bundled software, connect the VCR to the card with audio/video cables, play your tape in the VCR and record/capture on the computer. Video takes up large amounts of disk space so be sure you have enough free space.

Video capture card with TV Tuner

See Hauppauge TV tuner and video cards

Look on for video capture cards and also, look for Pinnacle, Plextor and Canopus products.

FEATURES you will want to look for in a video capture card:

- Full motion display @ 30fps
- Resizable video window from free size to full screen
- Full screen display: resolution up to 720x576
- Full motion video capture up to 30 fps
- Video capture format: AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2
- Video capture size: up to 720x576 (AVI)
- Interface : PCI 2.2
- Composite video input
- Audio input
- Outdoor antenna or cable TV connection

System requirements

- Pentium III 500MHz or higher processor
- 64MB of system memory recommended
- Windows 98 SE / Me / 2000 / XP with DirectX 8.1 or higher
- DirectX 8.1 compatible VGA card


Enables you to watch live TV / Video, recording full-motion videos , and snapshot the still images. You can record the video as VCD format , MPEG or AVI files on your PC.

Editor for digital video editing capability to your PC.

Encoder allows you to convert AVI files into MPEG 1 or 2 files.

VCR to PC Connections

Depending on which inputs your capture card uses, connect the appropriate cables from the VCR to the PC. Most standard VCRs have RCA phono style video jacks (yellow) and audio jacks (white and red). Connect a RCA video cable from the VCR video output to the PC capture card's video input. Connect a RCA audio cable from the VCR audio output to the PC capture card's audio input jack. Some capture cards may not have audio inputs, so try to use your sound card's audio input.

Once you have installed the capture card and software, connected the VCR to the capture card with audio/video cables and started the capture software on the computer, insert your video tape in the VCR, hit PLAY on the VCR and hit record/capture on the PC software application. The video will be converted to digital format and stored as a file on disk. Once you have the video on disk you can run software to "burn" a DVD if your PC has a DVD writer. If not you can add one.


If you have a digital camcorder with the capability to act as a bridge between VCR and computer, you can use it to copy VHS tapes to your laptop or PC. Sony digital camcorders typically have this capability. The model we will use here for one example is the Sony DCR-TRV22 Mini-DV camcorder. Digital camcorders typically come with software to capture video from the camcorder to the PC. There are also DVD burners which you can connect directly to a digital camcorder to create a full-sized DVD without the need for a computer. Sony is one maker.

Using the Sony DCR-TRV22 digital camcorder as an example, connect the supplied Audio/Video cable (yellow video, white and red audio) to the VCR outputs and the 3.5mm plug end into the camcorder's yellow port. This connects the VCR to the camcorder. Next connect the Sony supplied USB/mini-USB cable from the camcorder to the laptop or PC. The mini-USB port on the camcorder accepts the smaller plug and the laptop or PC accepts the full-sized USB plug. This connects the camcorder to the computer.

Next power on the VCR and insert your VHS tape. Position the tape for playback. Power on the camcorder. If you want to record the VHS tape to a Mini-DV tape, insert a blank Mini-DV tape in the camcorder. Switch the camcorder to VCR mode.

Using the camcorder's touch-screen, press FN (bottom right) and then press PAGE3. The next screen has  REC-CTRL, STOP and PAUSE. These are pressed to control the recording.

Next, start the program on the computer to capture the video from the VHS tape. This can be any number of software programs such as the original supplied software from Sony or a free video capture program you download from the internet or a paid program from any number of vendors. One example is AVS.

Play the VHS tape on the VCR. Start the capture process on the computer program. You should see the video and hear the audio from the VHS tape on the computer and the camcorder. Save the captured data to a file on the computer. You can burn a DVD if desired using software on the computer.

For a hookup diagram see: HDTV basic setup

Hookup Diagrams

See also:
PC stereo hookup
Windows Sound Recorder
VCR Recording
VCR to PC connection external

Got a question? Audio Video Forum

HDTV Hookup Diagrams

TV input select

Timer Record Radio Shows on a VCR

TV too loud?

FM transmitter for TV sound

Camcorder hookup to TV, DVD

Camcorder Buying Guide

Compare video editing software

Audio Video Connections
Video Cables Connections
Hookup Diagrams

Contact Columbia ISA