Best way to digitize? I have a VHS/DVD combo w/ HDMI output VCR

Robert Lieu

I have a Panasonic DMR-EZ485V VCR. It has an HDMI output.
I'm looking at 3 options to digitize my VHS tapes:
  1. Record VHS to DVD
  2. Connect VCR's HDMI to USB capture card and record with OBS
  3. Connect VCR's HDMI to PCI capture card and record with OBS
I heard VHS to DVD will get me the best quality; the problem is my VCR will stop record every time it detects no video on the VHS. I heard that using Flexible Recording can bypass this, but i'll have to buy another VCR for this method.

Would doing options 2-3 work equally as well in terms of quality? And does it matter if I use USB or PCI?


Distinguished Member
Any drop out is likely to cause the recording to stop. If you use the HDMI method, you may need to take into account any HDCP complications, but this should give you the best quality.


Staff member
Whereas I think that recording to DVD (at least as a first step) will produce the better result. HDMI capture is, in my experience, "iffy"; there are too many variables, like trying to exactly match frame rates and so on; I suspect (without knowing) that timing clocks don't sync precisely and I see occasional duplicated frames with associated jerks in movement - and the like. I also suspect that the dedicated encoder in a box like this will have zero risk of being interrupted (eg by some background PC process). That's what I'd do anyway; if I then wanted to manipulate or edit the output, I'd then import the DVD-Video onto my PC and deal with it.

Paul O

I copied all of my old VHS tapes onto DVD. I used a VCR and connected this to a standalone DVD recorder via SCART. I then plugged the DVD recorder into the TV via HDMI so I could see what was happening.

I then copied the DVDs onto my computer as a backup, should the DVDs ever break.

Was pretty painless and everything worked, but you might need to buy extra kit to do the same.

This is the DVD recorder that I use (not this exact one and I can't vouch for the ebay listing - its just to show what I used)...


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