Pros: easy to use, versatile, excellent quality in terms of sound & video
I got a new toy.
Two large moving boxes sitting in my basement contain all sorts of video tapes from 20+ years of collecting that we just stopped viewing. Sure, I still had a VHS machine, but it didn't make sense to hook it up. Every now and then I'd lament missing a video I'd known I'd taken of the kids or a vacation, but in general they just sat.
Then I got to talking to someone about some of my old tapes, specifically those I made of the Live Aid broadcast in 1985. The desire to do something with those tapes proved too much, and I sought out a way to convert them to a useable state. The answer for me was Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe.
Out of the box, the main feature is a device that allows me to connect my VCR to my computer. There's software to load on the computer which is simple to use and installed with no sweat. It was completely compatible with Windows 7 on my computer. All the wiring necessary to make the connection between the VCR and the computer was also included in the box. The cable from the VCR is an RCA composite cable, but it does have the ability to make the connection using an S-Video cable, I'd just have to buy one. From the device, it plugs into one of my USB ports on the computer.
In Easy Wizard Mode, this is nearly foolproof. Simply put a tape in the VCR and queue it up to where you want to begin recording. The software prompts me for whether I am burning a regular DVD or a blu-ray disc as well as the length of time I want to record for. When it's ready, I just start the recording and let the film play. At the end of the recording time, or if I stop recording, it will burn the recording to a DVD. Note that in this mode, no permanent file is created on the computer.
In Advanced Mode, there's the ability to pick and choose and edit. This is where I recorded my Live Aid tapes as I have been taking them song by song rather than in one large batch.
I really wasn't expecting much. Some of the tapes I have in my collection are thirty years old. However, Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe does a fantastic job recording from a VHS tape. The quality of the print I got from my tapes turned out to be pretty good when compared to other videos I found for the same concert on YouTube. Converting all my kids movies that I have on VHS tapes to DVD has proved to be easy as well as a good quality, which also surprised me.
In this advance mode, it also works as a video editor, allowing me to edit out scenes or commercials if I want to. It's pretty easy to use, although there's no manual that comes with the software. I figured all of it out on my own. There's a one-touch button on the software for uploading to YouTube, but I prefer to check out the finished product myself and upload it.
In addition to videos, the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe can be plugged into a cassette tape deck or turntable, allowing me to convert all those albums sitting down in my basement to digital audio files as well.
While running the software recording a movie, I have been able to use my computer. I've noticed no slowing down of my computer while this is running. When I review the movie on DVD, I don't catch any issues with skips or the like, indicating that whatever I was doing on the computer somehow interfered with the quality of the recording.
I have nothing negative to say about the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe so far. All that I've used it for so far has been great, and I can't wait until I'm at the bottom of the pile of tapes. I guess then I get to start on the albums.
© 2011 Patti Aliventi