When I first started fooling around with TV Tuners, I didn't want to turn my PC into a media studio but just wanted to be able to record a program every now and then, otherwise it was fooling around with a VCR and VHS tapes. You still might have a bunch of old VHS movies about and just want your home movies transfered to DVD. I use a Toshiba DVD Video Cassette Recorder D-VR7, my Uncle's actually. Note: this device cannot transfer copyrighted movies.
It's a VCR and a DVD rolled into one. I can record from one to the other.
The first thing I had to do, is go into the settings menu by just pressing the Setup button on the remote. On the Setup screen I go to General Setting.
Then I have to use the arrows on the remote to go down to Recording and then Dubbing Mode.
Then I make sure that VCR -> DVD is the one checked or if for some reason I needed to transfer a DVD to VHS, it only came up once, I choose accordingly. As long as the recorder doesn't lose power, like being unplugged, then it will save these settings. Pressing the Setup button on the remote then will take you out of the settings menu.
So I place the VHS tape in and then a blank DVD disk in and then press the VCR button. The tape may start playing automatically so I may have to press the pause button to stop it. OR fast forward / rewind to where I want to start the recording.
Then I have to press the REC/MODE to set length of recording. This sets the length of the recording on the DVD. This one can record up to 8 hours on a standard DVD disk. That 8 is not a misprint. Again usually it will retain that setting until the next time you change it.
Then I have to pres the Dubbing button. When the recording is finished I have to go back to the Settings menu by pressing the Setup button and scroll down to the DVD Menu option and the click on Finalize. Then Yes.
In my screen-shot I cannot choose Finalize because I'm not recording at the time of this writing.
The other option to transfer is using a TV tuner card or USB adapter. I bought two or three over the years but haven't had much luck with them. So I'm not sure if I'm qualified to write about them. :-)
You could record directly to your computer using a TV Tuner device either a card you put inside your computer for a desktop or a USB version for all others.
Here's a few I've bought over the years :
My first tuner was a USB one called MSI VOX II. I found the drivers online got them installed no problem but then, it seems like No software on this earth would work with it. A common theme, I assure you.
Then came my Dell Andel USB TV Tuner.
I found only two programs that would work with it. One program was the Catalyst Control Center from AMD but it was dependent on having just the right video card. Then there was, of all programs, Windows Media Center. It worked until one day it started crashing without giving any indication on what the error was. On-line research came up with no solution to fix except to uninstall and reinstall....I uninstalled it and never been able to get it reinstalled.
My next one was a EasyCap which I had a little better experience with. I can't remember now if they sent me a CD or a link to download an ISO with that included a program called Honestech VHS to DVD 2.0 SE.
Then I decided to try out a card that I put in my desktop called Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 (Model 79XXX, Hybrid ATSC/QAM).
So as I'm writing this I have my cable box hooked up to my desktop Hauppauge card with a ordinary cable wire. I don't have a VHS tape available to try out but the procedure is the same as a VCR.
I open up the Honestech VHS to DVD software.
The little TV preview screen is showing static. Sorry, because of overlay issues the preview screen in my shots appear all black. But it's working except everything is in Black and White.
So in the line that shows my TV card listed as Hauppauge WinTV 885 Video Capture, top left hand corner, I click on the little two gears on the right and chose my input source. In my case I'm using just a cable wire for video so I click the little circle in front of TV.
Then I have to click on TV Tuner and in the Channel section just switch to channel 3. I didn't bother to adjust the other settings. Then click OK. You can also close the Video Setting box by clicking on OK.
I've never really used this software or my tuner card since I had it installed, I have my VHS to DVD recorder to transfer movies and a DVR on my cable now, to record, so I didn't need this thing after all.
Since you probably want to burn of to DVD directly click on the Recording and Burning option just above the folder output option. If using a VCR you want want to start playing the tape at this point.
Then I put in a DVD and click on the round red recording button in the bottom right hand corner.
I got a error message asking me to put in the Recording duration time, just for this example I'm putting in 10 minutes. The software producers should have marked out these boxes indicating if it's Hours, Minutes or Seconds. I put a 1 in the middle box thinking I set it for 10 minutes but no it was just 1. So I put 10 in the middle box.
So the box over to the left is for hours, the middle for minutes and the last for seconds. So just as a test I set it for 10 minutes. So then I clicked on the record button again
In the burner options that pop up, pick your burner, if not alraedy selected, burning speed, make sure Record to media is checked and check Make UDI if you want the image saved on your hard drive.
Put in a disk name if you want then press OK.
It should now be recording and when finished it should automatically start burning of your video.
Then you get a Burning was successful message. So I haven't really fooled around with the software beyond this point but basically that's how you can copy movies to your computer from a VHS movie. Sorry I don't know if this software has any issues with copyrighted movies.