Should Your Old VHS Tapes Be Converted To DVD Or USB?

Posted by Ian Stewart on

VHS tapes were the norm years ago, especially for recording family memories and watching your favourite movies and shows. But nowadays, it’s rare to find a device that plays your old VHS tapes. However, have no fear, there are a few options for you to secure all your old footage from the past in order to be played on modern devices.

DVDs are great for watching every day but may not be the easiest format to navigate through 1, 2 or even 200 of your favourite memories. DVDs can also be lost or damaged over time, a USB is much more robust and can easily travel with you wherever you go.

If you have already converted your videos to a DVD format they can be easily transferred to a USB stick, or you can use our service to transfer your VHS to USB as well.

This article will explore your options of either converting your VHS tapes to DVD or USB and assess the pros and cons of each.


Getting your VHS transferred onto a DVD means you can put it in a case and file it away neatly and you aren’t at a high risk of losing it as DVD’s are a good size but still lightweight and thin, unlike their predecessors, VHS.

DVD’s aren’t leaving us anytime soon, so you are guaranteed to be able to play them back on external disc drives into your laptop or a DVD player connected to your TV whenever you like. Many game consoles also allow the option to play DVDs on them too. DVD’s can also store a lot of memory for a little price and you can buy them in bulk when shopping.

One of the downsides to a DVD is that if it becomes scratched or damaged it could prevent the DVD from working and being able to play your stored files. But because they are so cheap to buy, you can create as many backups as you would like to prevent this. You should also consider that the storage space is slightly more limited when compared with USB's and hard drives. This can make it difficult to store very large files such as video files.

There is also the nostalgia side of things with having a DVD with your footage on. It is the experience of having it on disc to put into your DVD player and fast-forward, so your DVD feels more permanent and here to stay. In contrast, with USB, they are known for only storing things temporarily and data on them can easily be wiped off and deleted.


USB’s are more modern and are compatible with virtually all laptops and devices. USB-C sticks are the more modern alternative but carry out the same function. USBs are way more portable than DVDs so great for travelling around as they are so small and compact. However, due to their small footprint, this makes it a lot more likely for you to lose your USB and subsequently, footage, especially if it isn’t backed up on another copy. If you have a backup, though, USBs can be the most convenient option of all.

Additionally, USB sticks with lots of storage can be more expensive than DVDs too, so that is something to bear in mind.

It is important to choose what is best for you to convert your VHS tapes onto. There isn’t really a right answer. You must decide which media option is best for you and your life; whether you’re always on the go and like a USB to plug into your laptop or want to relax on the sofa watching footage through your DVD player on your TV. You could even convert onto both if you have some extra cash!


Updated: September 2022

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