In a perfect tech world, all devices would plug into one another, and we could play our VHS tapes through a VCR connected to a computer monitor. But alas, we cannot.

There are ways to play a VHS tape on a computer, but not by direct connection. The reason is, your VCR uses analog AV signals, while computers are not capable of accepting signals from AV equipment.

A VHS player requires an S-Video and RCA port to provide picture resolution from audio and video signals. So, how to play a VHS tape on computer screens becomes more of a question of how to translate AV signals into digital data.

If you want to connect your VHS player or VHS recorder to your computer, you could do that in order to watch a VHS tape. If you have a Windows desktop, you will need to purchase a USB capture device. This is a plug-in device that should have software like Windows Media Player to help you play videos from the VHS player on the computer.

At this point, you will physically connect the VHS player or camera to the computer. Using an S-video connector or a component output, you will connect the cable from the VHS player to the computer.

What if you are using an Apple computer like the iMac? You will also need to purchase and use the USB capture device, as with the Windows desktop, to connect the two devices.

Additionally, the preferred movie player on Macintosh computers is QuickTime for any video, including VHS.

The Best Way to Play VHS is to Convert to Digital

Digitizing VHS tape involves having the tape converted from analog to digital format. The goal here is to create a video that is playable via computer technology.

Digital format transfers content from a VHS tape to a DVD or digital file like MP4, AVI or MOV. This is playable on a computer with a DVD-ROM drive or a USB Flash Drive.

So, the bottom line, should you try to connect a VHS player to a computer and watch your VHS tapes that way, or have them digitized?

We feel that digitizing a VHS tape is necessary for watching tapes. It is also the easiest and safest for preserving your memories or video content.

A professional service will be able to do this for you. In fact, that’s the main job for film and audio conversion service providers like ARS Video.

Even if you are able to connect your computer to your VHS camera or player, the VHS tape is more likely to break if you play it at this point.

Most VHS tapes are already 20 years old or more, which means they are coated with dust and chemicals that are degrading their condition.

Saving the VHS tape should be your top priority at this point–and we are here to help.

The ideal method would be to convert a VHS tape to a digital file that is upscaled to High Definition and plays back on your computer and TV with a USB Flash Drive.

In order to best protect what you have on a VHS tape since this format of video is more antiquated, you want to take it to a professional.

Contact for VHS Conversion Services in Tallmadge, OH

Finding a way to preserve your VHS tapes while allowing you to watch them with family and friends is easy.

Simply contact ARS Video in Tallmadge, OH to request more information about our VHS conversion services.

We have the technology readily available to preserve and protect your VHS tapes and their contents for many generations to come.

We will also archive the digital video files in case you need another copy in the future.

Ask us about how to play a VHS tape on a computer for more details!