On the whole, we're on the same page. While it would only cost me about $300 to replace the tapes with DVDs (I've looked into it), I really don't know how many of those I will watch again. So I'm not willing to invest a lot of money in this. Similarly, I'm not willing to invest a lot of effort. There are various and sundry ways to hack around the anti-copy stuff, but they all involve more babysitting and more work than I'm interested in. If I can do this for under $100 without a big investment of fiddling on my part, it's worth doing. Otherwise, I'm just spending too much time on it versus the money.
For what it's worth, simply transferring tapes to DVD is not a lot of work. Not unless one is going to do a re-edit or play other fun and games. But a simple transfer? Just a matter of popping a tape and disk into the respective machines, making sure everything is running properly, and come back two hours later. Spot check the DVD to make sure it's OK. I'm done. Compared to transferring my vinyl LPs, this was a piece of cake.
You'd be surprised at the quality that a D-VHS deck produces. It's a shame that technology came along too late. As in every other arena, digital signal processing of analog videotape signals is an amazing thing; official resolution figures aside, the image quality of a commercial VHS tape, played back on a D-VHS deck, only looks a little worse than a DVD on my standard-resolution TV.
Anyway, I'll be interested in finding out what your tests turned up.
It has belatedly occurred to me that the real question is simply whether I can get the signal into the computer. Whether I can burn it to DVD is secondary. If the Roxio toy will produce a clean transfer to the computer, that I can watch on the computer, that's actually good enough for me. It would be nice to have the DVD as a hardcopy backup, but my ultimate goal is to migrate everything to the computer... eventually.
~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
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