Do you have a box full of old VHS tapes lying in the corner of a closet that contain stuff you want to keep? What to do? You could spend a couple of hundred bucks on a combo VHS/DVD recorder..or you could send them out to be transferred. Both are pretty expensive ways to go.
I have a better way. Head off to Future Shop and get this Dazzle DVD Recorder Plus currently selling for $39.99. It is a little gizmo that plugs into the USB port of your Windows computer.
Once the video is on your PC you can use the Dazzle software to burn it directly to a DVD or convert it to a format suitable for your iPod or other video player.
If you want to get fancy you can use the included Pinnacle Studio software to edit your video and add effects. Pinnacle Studio is a pretty powerful video editing platform and has a bit of a learning curve. If all you want to do is simple editing and titling, you may want to give Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 a try. You can download it for free here.
Mac users aren’t out of luck but it gets more expensive. The Pinnacle Video Capture for Mac (the Mac version of the Dazzle) is $99.99 but, I haven’t been able to find a local supplier and it seems to be out of stock at the Pinnacle store.
Apple stores sell Elgato Video Capture for $129.95 which I haven’t been able to test but I am told it works very well. So if you have a lot of videos to transfer it may be worth the investment.