The problem was user error: I was using the wrong set of video/audio output connections. This VCR has 3 very similar-looking sets and I chose what I think was an input set. At any rate, I was successful when I used another set. Thanks for replying.
It seemed to install OK. Is attached to both the MacBook and the VCR. I start playing the tape on the VCR and click on Record and the counter starts. Am I supposed to see the video in the Preview window? I don't. It doesn't seem to have saved anything anywhere.