VHS to DVD 2.0 Deluxe
I've written a fair number of articles on DIY solutions for converting VHS to DVD over the years. The process gets incrementally better with each upgrade to various video editing packages and DVD authoring suites, but there are still quirks that make the process intimidating for most people. Earlier this year, Honestec released an all-in-one bundle for converting VHS to DVD, called VHS to DVD 2.0 Deluxe, which takes most of the guess work out of transferring video from any analog tape format to DVD.
The Honestec hardware interface keeps the connections to a minimum, connecting to the computer via USB and connecting to your VCR via either composite or S-video connections depending on what your VCR can handle. The connections also work for Hi8 and VHS-C camcorders. The bundled software interface is very straightforward, handholding through the process of setting up to capture video, providing a wizard-driven interface for stepping through the video process and helping you build basic menus when outputting to DVD. You can choose video quality based on either one or two tapes per DVD, helps to select a format based on your computer processing power and generally takes most of the guesswork out of transferring tapes to DVD. There's an advanced mode with a few additional options for output formats, but in general, the process remains simple from beginning to end no matter how you slice it.
If you're already experienced with video editing, the VHS to DVD 2.0 application may not be exactly what you're looking for. If you prefer editing your videos extensively to remove shoe gazing shots and shaky camera moments, manually capturing video using something like VHS to DVD 2.0 and then editing in another application will suit your needs better. For people who simply want to transfer recordings of family events from their personal library of home movies, Honestec VHS to DVD 2.0 is my recommended method for stepping through the process with as little human intervention as possible. It comes with all the software and hardware required to do the job without introducing any of the wonky issues sometimes caused in using other hardware solutions for capturing video. At around $100, the VHS to DVD 2.0 Deluxe hardware/software combination is money well spent on preserving your home movies.