Curt Brandao reviews three converters that can help bring your VHS memories into the digital age.
Technophile: Convert memory lane for the information superhighway
Elgato Video Capture
What it can do This somewhat odd collection of wires and inputs, which could be mistaken for some squid-like creature, is actually a powerful conduit that all your old analogue videos can use to reach the rest of us in the digital age.
What it works with Once you install the software, the Elgato Video Capture can transfer videos from DVRs, VCRs (no matter how old and dusty as long as they still work), camcorders or any other analogue source with either a composite or S-Video output. It then converts them into a high-quality digital format that plays well with everything from DVDs to iTunes.
Who it's for Anyone with a closet filled with videotaped memories who wants a simple way to digitise them - who also happens to have access to an up-to-date computer running Mac OS X or Windows 7.
Diamond Video Capture VC500
What it can do The VC500 can not only transfer analogue video to your computer, but also allows you to capture still pictures from your videos as it plods along the conversion process - all at a very reasonable price.
What it works with Not Macs. But if you have Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, you'll no doubt enjoy the relatively easy user interface, which lets you (metaphorically) burn VHS tapes directly to DVD. It even integrates well with Windows Media Maker.
Who it's for Best suited for Windows enthusiasts who want to repackage all their old VHS tapes into a nice DVD package, complete with a printed cover for the DVD case using a still shot or two from their same collection.
Roxio Easy VHS to DVD
What it can do Roxio Easy VHS to DVD offers many of the same features as its competitors, but it can also convert LPs and cassette tapes.
What it works with Roxio's software solution works with either Macs or Windows, but not both (each version is sold separately). It also requires you to download drivers from the Web that are specific to your hardware, which can quickly turn into a head-scratching experience.
Who it's for Those who want a total analogue-to-digital solution for all their recorded sights and sounds and don't mind if that requires searching internet forums to clear some often frustrating driver-installation roadblocks.