You people at Corel Corp. are missing out on a golden opportunity to vastly increase the sales of this product. By now, there cannot be too many people who want to convert VHS to DVD. But there are a great many people who are running out of space on the DVRs provided by their cable or satellite providers. One TV commercial for a satellite system begins with the line “Honey, we have run our of space on the DVR.” The cable and satellite systems compete on the size of the hard drives on their DVRs. Corel should re-position this product as the solution to this problem. In Corel’s commercial, the response to that line could be “Don’t worry Dear. We don’t have to pay for a larger DVR or erase programs; I will just archive our favorite programs to DVDs.” The commercial could go on to explain that one can move their favorite sporting event or movie or documentary program from the DVR to DVDs, and thereby make space for new programs to record on the DVR; and your favorites could never be accidentally erased because the DVR has to create more space.
To use the Roxio software for this purpose, simply connect the USB capture device to the composite (yellow) video and stereo (red & white) audio outputs universally found on DVRs. Fortunately for this purpose, the digital copyright protection which prevents the making of digital copies of programs is not designed to be effective on video output from the composite video jack. (The studios are more concerned about the re-production of nearly perfect digital copies of their productions.) Again fortunately, although the copies of high definition programs made on DVD’s are only standard definition, they still can be enjoyed in their original glorious wide screen aspect ratio. Simply set the aspect ratio of the TV on which the DVD will be viewed to “wide” or “zoom”, as appropriate. However, they will only be in 480i resolution; but for screen sizes of 40” or less and viewing distances of 10’ or more, this will hardly be noticeable (for a 42” screen and 10’ viewing distance, the eye can only resolve a maximum of 590 lines of vertical resolution).
Roxio will have to rework the program’s user interface and instruction manual. They will have to redesign the program tab now labeled “Record DVD” to become “Record Live TV”. The tab now labeled “Record, import, edit” should become “Import, archive, edit”. The instructions will have to explain to use the first tab to record programs now being viewed live from the DVR, and the second tab to re-record programs already recorded on the DVR. Roxio will have to do some calculations of how many minutes of live program can fit on one DVD. According to my limited experience, only 90 minutes.
One could buy a DVD recorder for this same purpose, but all the major electronic manufacturers have gotten out of the business of making DVD recorders, just as they no longer make VHS recorders. As far as I can determine, only one Funai Electric factory in China still makes all the DVD recorders sold in this country, which are sold under various popular brand names with different cosmetic touches. But I find their product not very intuitive or user friendly, bulky, and it costs at least $100 more than this software.
And with a purpose built DVD recorder, one can only record to DVDs. In the current market, optical discs are going the way of floppy discs. Most sleek new portable computers no longer include optical drives. With this software, one can alternatively record your DVR content as a .mpg file on your computer’s hard drive. Then when one wants to view the archived program, import it back into “Roxio Easy DVR Archiver,” connect a HDMI cable between your computer and TV, expand the Roxio screen to full size, and watch your archived programs that way. Alternatively, one can take an extra step and export the file to a computer or other device in some other format. And if one is concerned about hard drive space on the computer, archive the programs to a portable hard drive connected by USB to your computer. And one gets to keep this hard drive when one changes cable or satellite provider, or your provider’s DVR breaks down or becomes obsolete. Be sure to make that point in your commercial. One can connect an external hard drive to most DVRs, but this only expands the available space, which, like mine, will eventually become full again. It cannot be used to archive programs; disconnect the external drive from the DVR to which it was originally attached, and the programs become inaccessible.
This is a great opportunity for Roxio, and my idea is free to you. The cable and satellite providers might not like it, but they don’t like Netflix either. It is creative destruction at work, but Roxio does not yet realize its potential.