Are you wondering how to watch VHS tapes without a VCR? Well, sorry, but you need a working VHS player. In the current environment, just about everything has gone digital. Today, most new movies are put on streaming services when they leave the theater. All you have to do is download them if you would like to watch them. Even a lot of older movies are on Blu-ray and DVD players. At the same time, you may have a bunch of old movies that you have on VHS tapes. These are not exactly compatible with your current devices, so what do you need to do to watch them? Regardless of whether you have old family movies you are trying to watch on a VCR, or you have old Disney movies that you would like to watch, there are several options available if you would like to watch VHS tapes in the current environment.

Find a Working VCR

Of course, if you would like to take that VHS footage and watch it, one of the first options is to find a working VCR. You may find a VCR in your attic, on E-Bay or at an estate sale, but there is no guarantee it is still working. It may have been decades since it was last used. You might be able to find a working VCR for sale online, but you need to make sure you understand exactly what you are buying. Even if you find a working VCR, you still need to connect it to a TV screen to view the footage. I recommend a dual VCR with both VHS and DVD because it has HDMI output that easily connects to your TV. This might be a bit of a challenge as well, but you may have some good luck.

disney vhs tapes

Find a TV with a Built-In VCR Player

Another option is to find a TV that has a built-in VCR player. In the old days, some TVs were made with a VCR player at the bottom. Therefore, you know you already have a working screen that will talk to the VCR. All you have to do is pop in the VHS tape, hit the play button, and the TV should start going. Of course, these TVs might be a bit hard to find as well. If you go to a store that sells used equipment, you may be able to find a TV that has this option.

Convert Your VCR with a Video Converter

Another option could be to take your VCR and find a Video Converter that can convert your analog VHS tape to a digital format. What this means is that you can take your VCR and get it to talk to a modern TV. These converters are not exactly hard to find, but the quality is not very good.  First you will need a good VCR with component or S-video output (composite is the lowest quality).  Connect the VCR to the converter box and then the converter box to your TV typically with an HDMI cable.  Some converters use a USB connection to connect to your computer. There should be software that you install on your computer so that you can create files in the format that you prefer (MPEG2, MOV, AVI, MP4). This might help you watch your VHS tape. I recommend MP4 files on a USB flash drive that will play directly on your TV, all TVs are now made with USB ports.

Convert VHS Footage to Digital Format

Finally, perhaps the best option you have available is to take that VHS footage and convert it into a High-Definition (1920×1080) digital format compatible with your computer and TV. Your VHS tapes are not going to last forever, and you need to do everything you can to preserve that valuable footage. You might have a lot of old family memories on a VHS tape that you need to preserve and share. In this case, you need to work with a professional team that can help you take that footage and convert it to a digital format that will last forever.

Videos with a copyright cannot be digitized without written permission by the copyright holder.  Some VHS movie producers like Disney made their tapes with Macrovision that blocks copies and transfers being made.

At ARS Video, we have a tremendous amount of experience working with VHS tapes. We will review the tapes to give you an estimate based on the hours you have recorded and removing TV shows.  We will apply a quantity discount at 10 hours and 25 hours and get your approval before we proceed.  Finally, we keep a backup copy of all your files in case you need another copy in the future. It would be our pleasure to take your family footage and convert it to a digital format that is easier for you to watch. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team! It would be our honor to assist you.