461 of 466 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2009
I've stopped using my old hitachi video camera(from 2001)awhile ago since I never liked dragging it out, setting it up, charging it, finding a tape or lugging it around etc. But, none the less, I still have at least 10-12 mini cassette(8mm) tapes that needed to be put on DVD, as well as some old VHS tapes too. I haven't seen any of these home movies in years because watching a VHS is aggravating(waiting for it rewind?! geez. hello old school). I was so excited to hear about this and figured it would be a great idea to finally transfer my stuff.
Out of the box, it will literally take you moments to set up and start recording. If you're taping from a VCR, make sure you plug into the line OUT on the back of the VCR.
It formats the DVD disc for you, and when you press play on your video camera(or VCR) you also hit the big main button on the DVDirect to begin recording. If there's snow in your video for more then a few seconds, it pauses recording and resumes when the video kicks back in. You can choose 5 min, 10 min or 15 minute automatic chapter inserts, so it's easy to navigate a long video. Sound is good, but only as good as it was originally. If you have crappy sound on your old video camera, it'll be crappy on DVD. I wasn't expecting it to turn my stuff HD or work miracles, so this is exactly what I wanted and expected.
The screen on the DVDirect is easy to see and tells you how long you've been recording, when it's stopped, it tells you how long is left on the DVD to record. Only a few buttons, so it's simple to stay on track and not get lost in countless options, which means it won't be hard to figure out even for someone who's not good with technology. It does record live time, so you have to have a little patience. Press play, record, and walk away. Also, amazingly simple to finalize the DVD and pop it in a player and begin watching. I also notice on the box it says you can make photo slide shows with music. Pretty cool! Definitely a great buy for anyone with tons of old VHS and mini cassettes.
291 of 294 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2010
I'm a teacher and not very technically savvy, and I am thrilled with this product. I needed to convert my vast VHS library of teaching materials to DVD format. This product is working perfectly. There are just a few points I might add that I did not see in the reviews I read. I think some are so obvious that anyone with technical experience might not have thought they needed mentioning. First, if you are trying to convert plain old VHS tapes, you'll need a VCR. I didn't have one, and I actually thought (not understanding the scale of the photo of the product) that the tapes would go IN this machine. The good news is, you only need a VCR and one cord with red, yellow and white plugs. This will not tie up your TV. You play the tape into the converter. The converter has a small screen that lets you see where in the tape the converter is "reading". The other really cool part is that you can "edit" out parts of your VHS tapes you don't want (in my case, commercials embedded in videos). You just hit the pause button to skip those parts. The one thing mentioned in earlier reviews that I would just like to reiterate is that you need to change the recording quality setting from HQ to SP. This will give you 2 hours of video on each disc, as opposed to just over 1 hour and 20 or so minutes. Finally, you should buy DVD-R type DVDs. I lost some time trying to figure out the difference between DVD+r and DVD-R.
This is a great product and there really isn't anything quite like it on the market!
299 of 304 people found the following review helpful
Okay, I'm a bit of a gadget junky. Not only did I buy this DVD burner, but I also own a similar device made by Canon, the DW-100, which you can find here: Canon DW-100 DVD Burner for Canon Hard Drive & Flash Memory Camcorders + Accessory Kit as well as one made by Panasonic, the VW-BN1, which is no longer sold on Amazon. Why do I have these two? Because I have Canon and Panasonic HD camcorders and these devices offer a very easy way to transfer HD footage straight to a single or dual layer DVD. So, you ask, why did I buy a third...especially when I don't have a Sony camcorder? Because neither the Panasonic nor the Canon device will allow me to take footage that I shot in HD and transfer it to disc in SD format. This Sony unit does.
I have several relatives that do not own HD equipment and the only way to send them our family video is to put it in SD format. This Sony VRD-MC6 makes that transfer simple and painless. So far I have transferred about 12 discs. The other two devices mentioned above ONLY have connections for their respective camcorders and will only produce DVDs in the same format as recorded. With the composite connections on this Sony unit, you can pretty much take ANY HD player that has a composite out connection, connect it to this unit, and burn it to disc in SD format. So simple.
Things to note:
1. Nice little screen so that you can see what you are recording...none of the others have that.
2. HD footage recorded to dual layer will just about fit (in SD) on a single layer disc on this unit...with about five minutes on average that you'll have left that won't go on.
3. Interestingly, the Canon and Panasonic devices will only record dual layer discs in the DVD-R DL format, which are very hard to find. This device will record in the DVD+R DL format, which are fairly abundant. It will NOT accept DVD-R DL, but it will accept single layer DVD-R blank discs.
4. The size is compact enough to travel with, and it works on 110 as well as 240 volts. It does not have a "brick" at the plug, but it does have one mid-way through the cord (which converts the voltage, just like most camcorders). The Panasonic burner is wafer thin, and oddly, the Canon burner is ridiculously huge.
5. Remember that it will NOT record in HD for any camcorder except the Sony Handycam camcorders, but will record anything that can output via composite cables in the SD format.
6. Keep in mind that it does not "copy discs." Whatever is on the screen is what is being recorded. If, for example, you have a menu at the start of a disc that allows you to select a file to play, all this unit will do is record that screen until you start to play the video...thus the menu screen on the disc you create is pretty much useless.
It really is too bad that Panasonic or Canon did not allow this same input of composite cables (SD) as a recording option. Now, I burn from either of my camcorders via their respective device as HD and then I play the HD disc on my BD player and output it into this Sony burner to record an SD copy for the relatives. A little cumbersome, but for me it's less hassle than doing it all via the PC.
One last note: I bought a refurbished unit with an extended warranty, and even with the warranty included it was far cheaper than what the new ones cost. Most prices I saw for the brand new versions at the time of my purchase were way over what I was willing to spend. However, if I actually owned a Sony camcorder that would transfer HD video for burning I'd probably think otherwise.
I hope this review helped!
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2011
I use the Sony VRD-MC6 to copy from VHS tapes and miniDV tapes to DVD-R. For VHS tapes, I use composite video and analog stereo audio (the yellow, red, and white RCA pin plugs). For miniDV tapes, I use iLink (the 4-pin IEEE-1394 connector). I have not used the USB port, the Memory Stick port, the Memory Stick Duo, SD cards, or xD cards because I would use my computer to copy them to DVD if I needed to.
As I write this review, my VRD-MC6 is sitting on top of my VHS player, copying an ancient TV program to DVD. I glance at the display from time to time and hit "pause" to stop recording during commercials.
This device's principle advantage is its "oh how simple can it be" operation. Connect the cables (or insert memory cards), insert the DVD you are recording to, follow the instructions on the screen, and voila. The manual is clear, and printed partly in color to guide you through the steps YOU need to take to achieve YOUR objective.
Dedicated DVD recorders certainly have their place. They free your computer ("I can run CPU-intensive software") and are free from your computer ("yikes the software crashed and I need to reboot").
There are a few limitations you might like to be aware of.
Caveat 1: No audio output. Cannot monitor audio during recording. What a shame, considering that monitoring video is vivid and seems to refresh at a frame rate identical to the VHS tape image (i.e., no pauses or jitter in the monitoring video). I would like to verify that audio is being recorded clearly along with the video, especially via an analog connection. I did inadvertently burn one DVD with substantial audio noise. Found out only after I finalized the DVD-R and attempted to play it.
Caveat 2: The monitoring video image is partially obscured by status displays (e.g., "VIDEO --> DVD", "SP", "Recording 01:23:45", "STOP", "PAUSE"). The top and bottom of the VHS tape video image is hidden on the device's display window. Enough is visible to ascertain the video content, but adjusting VHS tracking is somewhat cumbersome because tracking noise starts appearing at the top or bottom edges of the screen.
Caveat 3: No cables supplied. Probably not an issue because most people own plenty of cables.
Caveat 4: The device itself is about the size of a stack of 10 DVD cases. The external power supply and power cords add some bulk, if that is a concern.
Compared to the Sony VRD-MC10: The MC6 is smaller, lighter, and cheaper. The MC10 has (a) S-video input and a Compact Flash slot, and (b) HDMI, component, and composite output.
Compared to the Sony VRD-MC5: The MC5 is cheaper, and has S-video input and a Compact Flash slot. Its manual is slightly less clear than the MC6.
Following an industry-wide trend, user manuals for the MC5, MC6, and MC10 are available online from the manufacturer.
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
I purchased this DVDirect from HSN not Amazon, mine is piano black and shows every fingerprint ugh. This is a quality made video recorder BUT it is really intended for a Sony Camcorder being attached to it by the fire wire connection or by using Sony memory sticks. If you use Sony equipment with this, the DVDirect will record almost anything automatically. If you use another brand of Camcorder or camera, you are restricted to the composite (yellow, red, white) connections and the SD card slot for JPEG photo's and then it's pretty much a manual operation to get the video and JPEG photo's onto DVD disks. That may sound discouraging, but to use all the features properly with a Sony Camcorder reads as very complicated procedures. The manual recording from non-Sony cameras is very simple and even though your using the worst way to copy video (composite cables) the video you get is outstanding. It should be noted that you cannot copy video onto a DVD and then copy JPEG photos onto that same DVD disk as the disk formats itself for one or the other (video or pictures). I cheat on this by using the composite cables that came with my camera (Panasonic FZ28, Canon SX110IS) then put my camera into slide show mode and copy the JPEG's and video from those cameras onto the DVD disk that way. I eliminate the need for the SD card slot. I also can add music to my photo slide shows by hooking up an audio source (IPOD, etc) to the audio inputs on the DVDirect and record audio as it records my JPEG's, works slick. The dirty little secret is that you could use most any camcorder and hook it up to a DVD recorder with composite inputs and do the same thing as this DVDirect will do, so why buy this? Convenience and quality is why, this makes everything simple and the results are great.
184 of 206 people found the following review helpful
This is a nifty DVD recorder, but only if you use a recent Sony camcorder or certain Sony memory sticks. Anything else and you can only copy video from your camcorder via firewire (if your camcorder has it) or by analog baseband audio and video. The VRDMC6 was made for Sony users. If you do not have a Sony camcorder you will probably do what I did--return it for a refund. Even though it probably works great with Sony equipment, I marked it down because by not identifying this as a shortcoming in the packaging and in the manual, Sony implies that there is an equivalence between a digital copy (Sony sources or firewire only, please) and an analog dub (any other source), promising recording quality and versatility that it cannot deliver to non-Sony camcorder users.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2010
I bought this unit to transfer VHS tapes. Some of the tapes have copy protection, and the Sony's display then reads "waiting for input signal" when I press the record button. I found this on about a third of my commercial tapes. Not a huge deal - if a tape had been a real favorite, I would have already replaced it with a commercial DVD.
The main reason I'm posting so early: the default formatting assumes one wants HQ quality, and formatting a standard DVD will mean a recording time of a little over an hour. Going into Setup and selecting SP will format the disc for 2 hours of recording. I hadn't picked that up from my initial review of the manual.
It would have been nice if they had included the cord with the red/white/yellow plugs.
Update: I converted about 66 VHS tapes in all - I was pretty happy with the results.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2009
My brother owns an earlier model and loved it. we used it once however never pursed buying one until this year. Now we are running around the house grabbing all our home movies on 8mm, and VHS, we have started moving them all to DVD. This is awesome.
We had a sony handycam that we just do not use much but. had about 10 8mm tapes that had family stuff on it that we had not looked at in years. We purchased this yesterday and have been copying 8mm tapes all evening. it absolutly is bringing new life to a video camera that we felt was worthless. We plan on useing the camera more and more now that we have an easy way to move the video to DVD.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
I have many old VHS tapes of my children and parents. These tapes are known to deteriorate and it appeared transfer to DVD is the best preservation method.When my unit arrived I bought DVDs and set up my VHS tape player and DVD direct on the table and plugged them in. One included cable from the VHS to DVD direct was all it took to connect. The transfer was simple and the video and audio result was outstanding. I can now make DVD copies on my computer to give to others in the family. Don't wait until your VHS falls apart!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2012
I have about 40 cassettes of home VHS movies that I wanted to store on DVD. This device did it for me. It was reasonably easy and the DVD image quality was the same, or at least nearly the same, as the original VHS. The Sony DVDirect also converts digital photos from several input sources to DVD, but I have just used it to archive old VHS movies.
Here's how it works: You buy a stack of DVDs (I used DVD-R). You put your DVD into the DVDirect and then tell the device to format your DVD to prepare it for recording. This takes about two minutes. You then connect your VHS source to the DVDirect using a standard Red/White/Yellow AV cable (not supplied). The DVDirect will accept input via the AV cable from any brand of VHS player. When you hit "Play" on your source video, you see the video on the 2" LCD screen of the DVDirect. You hit "Record" on the DVDirect whenever you want, and the device records in real time what is displayed on the LCD screen. You can see what's being recorded, but you don't hear the sound track of what you're recording. If you want to record only some parts of your source VHS video, you hit "Pause" on the DVDirect until you get to the part you want to record, then hit "Record" again. I just recorded all of each of my VHS tapes, which were in VHS-C format, without doing any editing/dubbing, but you can do that if you choose. My source tapes typically held 40 minutes to maybe 1 hour 15 minutes of video. Each of my DVD-R discs could hold about 65 minutes of recording, so, for me, one VHS-C tape was stored on one DVD disc.
When recording is complete, you have to "Finalize" the disc so that you can view it on a DVD or Blu-Ray player. I didn't understand that at first. I thought the process somehow didn't work, but then I saw in Trouble-Shooting that the disc has to be Finalized. To Finalize a disc, you scroll down to Finalize in the Set-Up menu. This takes another two minutes or so.
Over all, I was very pleased with the way the device and process worked. My old videos are successfully archived onto DVD with little or no loss of image quality. The recording process is a bit cumbersome, with formatting the discs before recording and Finalizing them after recording, and the recording process happens in real time (it takes an hour to record an hour of video). Trying to do the same process via a computer sounds infinitely more complicated to me, but I'm not the swiftest guy with a computer. The DVDirect was easy to use and it did its job well. My siblings (we're in our 50s) all have old home movies, so the device will likely make its way around my family. Even if I only used it for my own 40 hours of video, I consider it an excellent value, since the videos I have preserved are priceless.