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Showing 1-10 of 213 reviews(4 star, Verified Purchases). See all 1,119 reviews
on July 28, 2012
I have now used this to transfer several hundred programs and movies from VHS to DVD using this unit. I haven't had any serious problems with it, but the instructions are not very clear on some things, and there are annoyances like in editing mode it resets to default settings (e.g., turning separate title and credits sections after I had turned them off) when I make any change to other parts of the video I am working on. I have noticed sound synchronization being off sometimes during capture mode and in edit mode during file creation, but not with any finished product. It also sometimes says that a DVD burn has failed with a sensekey error but when I check the DVD it usually plays fine; this may be more due to the DVD burner in my laptop rather than the VHS-to-DVD gear. It also seems to like TDK blanks, but Memorex not so much. I would recommend getting a bunch of inexpensive blank DVDs and experiment with the resolution and quality settings to see how they look on your TV, and to experiment with inserting title and chapters. Also, if like me, you are going to transfer a lot of tapes, especially old ones (some of them over 30 years old), you will probably find that some of them (including commercially recorded ones) have deteriorated and it is difficult or impossible to get a good transfer. I also have noted that some older tapes tend to shed, and when I went through a bunch of them, I had to frequently scrub the VCR head gently with alcohol and a lint free cloth to keep tapes playing cleanly (this is not a problem with the VHS-to-DVD gear, just a friendly hint based on my experience). Now the challenge is to find an environmentally acceptable way to get rid of the old tapes.
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on May 12, 2013
I bought this with a bit of trepidation after reading the poor reviews, but have to say I really like it! I've burned almost 20 DVDs so far (from VHS tapes) and all of them work fine in my Blu Ray DVD player. It's super easy, just insert the installation DVD, click a few buttons to install the software, then hook the converter box up between your VCR and your computer and voila you're transferring VHS to DVD. I'm seriously not any type of technical wizard, I just followed the easy start guide and it's simple. Time consuming, yes, but simple. The only problem I had was when I attempted to do the "Advanced mode"-=- the 2 DVDs I made in advanced mode did NOT play on my DVD player, however I must admit that I did not read any directions regarding the advanced mode and probably did something wrong. The Easy Wizard mode is exactly what it says-- easy. You can't edit or add any titles or do anything fancy, but it DOES transfer VHS to DVD. My computer is running on a Windows XP platform. I've had no negative issues and would highly recommend this for people (like me) who are wanting to preserve old home videos and such. I'm hoping to eventually read through the Advanced User guide and learn how to possibly make composite videos with it, but for now, it's doing what I need.
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on November 14, 2011
This device did a great job of recording old VHS tapes to mp4 and wmv files. Once I had done this is was simple to edit them convert to other formats using the software provided.

In addition to the device and cables provided you will need...
1. A VHS player with video and stereo audio jack outputs (this is very standard)
2. A computer with a fair amount of available hard drive space. Recording takes about 1Mb/Second
3. A read/write DVD drive on the computer (only if you want to burn to DVD).

Follow the instructions ie install the software first, then reboot, then plug the cables in.
Recording is easy but time consuming because you have to play the VHS at normal speed so obviously it takes an hour to record a 60 minute VHS. Once you have the video on your computer you can convert and burn to all common formats and resolutions. You can even convert to iPod or YouTube formats.

I'm not sure how good the video quality is because I was converting old Super-8 home movies which had been converted to VHS. As the original was up to 50 years old it wasn't that great to start with. However no further degradation of quality was evident as I recorded it onto my computer.

One reviewer has indicated loss of visual/audial synchronization but as the home movies were accompanied by music I can't comment on this.

The editing software that comes with the device is well featured, simple, and stable. It has a story-board editing format with some special-effects, transitions, and the ability to add menus, text, and sound tracks. It's a bit slow but you can't throw 4Gb of data around very fast. Converting formats was fairly slow with a one hour video taking about 30 minutes to convert.
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on June 14, 2013
I purchased this product after realizing that my old converter no longer worked with Windows 7. My old unit was hardware only and actually cost more! I used my regular video editing software to capture, edit and burn. For those of you who may not already have other software, this product includes that as well. Nice. I just use the advanced mode though to capture the raw footage and then import into my video editing software which I am already familiar with to do the rest so I haven't played with the editing and/or burning features here. I did capture 1 hour of VHS footage though with no dropped frames so I am very pleased. I also like the feature/option of capturing longer length footage to fit on a DVD by lowering the quality. Since VHS quality is already lacking though, I think I would opt for full quality captures in chunks if necessary. I recommend this product for VHS to digital conversion.
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on December 31, 2015
I was looking to convert our old VHS home videos to DVD before the tapes degraded and those memories were lost forever. This converter worked semi-well in doing just that. I say semi-well because at some parts of the recording session, the video that showed on my laptop would turn blue and I had to stop and start the VCR to get the picture to show up again. I could never figure out why it did this either because it occurred randomly on the recordings of my 20 or so tapes. I had to constantly watch and monitor the recording, which got really annoying really fast. But at least the tapes are somewhat backed up on DVD now, albeit in fragments in some sections.

Not complaints about audio or setup though. Audio was in-sync and great. Setup was super easy. You first download and register the software on your laptop. I was using Windows 7 OS and encountered no problems. You then use the cables that came in the box to connect your VCR to the converter box to the laptop and follow the instructions in the software for recording. I've only used basic mode as advanced mode seemed to freeze a lot on my computer.

Note: Honestech customer service is amazing. I was missing a license code when I got my box and I emailed customer service about it and they were nice enough to send one to me!
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on December 9, 2012
Strange software, and definitely has a learning curve. I take breaks from using the software and have to re-learn it each time I use it. It gets the job done and done well. When you are recording, it APPEARS that the sound does not match up with the video. DO NOT be alarmed, the final mixdown will be perfectly aligned. This really scared me the first time I made a DVD, but rest assured, everything comes out great. The module needs a firmware update out of the box, don't forget to do this, as you may have trouble with the unit if you don't; get online and take care of that immediately on the Honestech site. Overall: The software is clunky, but the module and clunky software make an excellent archive or production that will save your memories from disintegrating VHS tapes. I have gone digital with every single one of my family's home movies with this kit. I am using a high quality 4-head VHS VCR as my source unit.
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on April 16, 2012
I purchased this item to be used by a church wanting to 1) capture a live camcorder feed by 2) outputting it from the S-Video output jack on the camcorder, 3) running that into the Honestech VHS to DVD product (as an "external capture card"), and then 4) recording this on-the-fly using a laptop. I used "Windows Media Encoder" in "Live Streaming" mode, simultaneously archiving the stream as a .wmv file. The quality was surprisingly good. There's no doubt that a high-dollar, internal capture card like the Osprey 210 works much better, but this was more than adequate for a church on a tight budget. (If you want to see actual captured footage, on the fly, from the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 deluxe "external capture card," just go to [...] so you can see unedited images. You'll see that the video and the audio stay in perfect sync, something other capture cards (like the Dazzle DVDRecorder) I tried did not do with consistency. In addition, the native software on the laptop was able to "see" the Honestech device as a video input. By contrast, while the Dazzle unit had its own software application, it was incompatible with Windows Media Encoder. Windows Media Encoder did not see any "input" using Dazzle DVDRecorder.

The laptop had insufficient memory to simultaneously record an audio archive of sermons using Audacity. In fact, the "choppiness" that was recorded in a video file--few and far between, may I add--seemed totally related to the lack of the laptop memory and had nothing to do with the processing of the video image through the Honestech device.

Now, for those of you who want to record your old VHS tapes onto your computer--running the signal from your VHS machine through the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe--and then record it...have at it! Be aware that the image won't be nearly as sharp as on the VHS tape and, in my three efforts, there was a substantial problem with sync between the video image and the audio track. But, the software Honestech offered was VERY easy for even a novice to use, even using the "advanced" option. So, if your sole purpose is to get SOME sort of digital version of your analog VHS signal, the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe will do that for you. But, there are better options.

For one, if you want to avoid the headaches of inputting the VHS material into a computer, editing it, and burning it to a DVD, I HIGHLY recommend the Sony DVDirect units (such as the Sony VRD-MC6). I've used them for many years and probably only had four or five coasters in thousands of live, on-the-fly recordings of church services and hundreds of family home movies (shot with a camcorder...not commercially-made products with Macrovision protection) of my children. The devices are as easy to use, if not easier, than the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe. The key is that you simply hook up the composite (or S-Video) output from your VHS unit to the DVDirect unit WITHOUT NEEDING TO USE A COMPUTER. You start the VHS feed and record it on-the-fly (in "real time") onto the formatted DVD in the Sony DVDirect unit. Not only will you not have the sync problems that you can encounter with the Honestech product, you'll have a MUCH higher quality recording. But, this all comes at a huge tradeoff...price. The Sony units can cost hundreds of dollars. The trick is to get one (even on eBay), do all your recordings, then sell it used on Craigslist or eBay, recovering most of your original investment.

For those of you who want to add special effects, wipes, titles, and so forth, you'll want a software application on your computer such as Vegas Movie Studio. That's a great product though its learning curve is pretty steep. If you have the time to record the video/audio feed into your computer (I use firewire hooked between my camcorder and computer) AND edit it, this is a great option. You can get it for just a bit more than the Honestech product. I've imported dozens of mini-DVD feeds and still haven't had a single "dropped frame" using Vegas Movie Studio. I can even burn, on a standard (not "Blu-Ray") DVD blank, video off my HD Canon camcorder that looks like a full 1080i played back on my LED tv. (Of course, you can't get that quality with VHS tape because it didn't have as much recorded data to begin with when compared with an HD camcorder.)

In summary:
1) If you just want to get your home-filmed VHS tapes onto a DVD and don't care if the quality is "okay," go with the Honestech product. It's inexpensive, easy-to-use, and does a decent job. I loved it for what I needed...a video image 320X240 pixels that had video and audio in sync using Windows Media Explorer.

2) If you want a higher quality DVD for playback, buy a Sony DVDirect. Use the S-Video output on your VHS machine (if it has one), hook that into the DVDirect, set things up, then leave for an hour and let it record. Come back when it's done, then "finalize" the DVD so it plays back in DVD players. Remember, this is the only option of the three that requires NO computer. Pay your grandchild a buck per transferred DVD, keep him/her busy for a few weeks, and enjoy your retirement.

30 If you want the versatility of editing the VHS material (with wipes, changing the saturation, adjusting brightness, etc.), get a software application like VideoStudio, Pinaccle, or Vegas. You can get a truly fantastic program, like Final Cut Pro, but you'd better be prepared to spend a LOT of time learning how to use those higher-end programs. (For me, my time is valuable. I'll pay someone ELSE to edit my work and go golfing, instead!)
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on February 19, 2011
Bought this item to get rid of boxes of old vhs tapes. Comes complete with hardware and software. All you need is a VHS player with red-white-yellow output.Had it hooked up in two minutes.Product software has two modes:
1. Easy Wizard mode
2. Advanced mode
Easy wizard allows burning DVD right to disk no frills. Advanced Mode has great features. Only negative is help section is sketchy and you have to dig down for ways to do advanced editing - titles,credits etc. Another thing I had not counted on was reliving all the memories on the vhs tapes. Loved it.
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on January 21, 2012
I have used this package for converting cassette music tapes as well as VHS video. I love this package to bits.

First off, the instructions are very thorough and complete, not that you'll need them. This software is very easy to follow and figure out without reading them. A little bit of experimenting with settings here and there and you'll be on your way.

Word of caution which I don't think the manual mentions (and is still worth mentioning anyway): With video, there is a recording time limit for the output file. (This is done to ensure your output file can fit on the output disc, should you choose to burn it to DVD). This limit varies depending on your Format & Quality settings. If your video tape recording happens to be longer than this time limit, a second file will be created. NOT CONVENIENT (I'll explain why later). It is best to configure these two settings (format & quality) such that the specified time limit will not be exceeded and this will ensure that conversion results in a single file only (so it's a good idea to check the duration of your input programme before commencing conversion).

This software has reasonable picture control functionality, including both PAL and NTSC capability. But one improvement is badly needed: IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE A PAUSE BUTTON ON THE CAPTURE PANEL, rather than just a stop/start recording button. That would be great for cutting out ads and other junk instead of resorting to editing the file afterwards.

The video editing component seems adequate enough (for my needs anyway). But I found one HUGE issue. For my first recording, I tried to strip out the TV ads. I did this by stopping & starting the recording in the capture screen, and of course this resulted in multiple (3) files which I thought I could simply merge into one single file in the Edit panel. But when I tried to do this, it took an inordinate amount of time to process. In fact, my VHS recording was only 50 minutes with the ads, and after 1 hour of file processing, the software still had not finished merging the files into one file. Not only that, the size in MB of the resultant file was greater than the sum of the original files! NOT ACCEPTABLE! I aborted the process and simply re-recorded with the TV ads in place.

I have also found a bug. But it only seems to happen if you keep the picture control properties (brightness, contrast, hue etc) window open while copying a video tape (I like adjusting these things on the fly, during capture). The screen suddenly and without warning, turns green. The solution to this problem is to stop the recording and then play with various settings. Sometimes, this is not enough and the app has to be restarted. Sometimes, even this doesn't work and the PC must be restarted. Best thing, don't keep the properties window open while capturing.

On balance, I still think this is a great package. I still would strongly recommend it in spite of the limitations I've described.
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on October 3, 2011
Rescuing content from 20-year-old home VHS tapes has been on my "to-do" list for a while. Realizing that the tapes were likely degrading over time, I bit the bullet and purchased VHS to DVD 5.0 based on the Amazon reviews.

I am quite satisfied with the end result. Using a high-end JVC Hi-Fi Super VHS deck and its S-Video output, the quality of the resultant MPEG videos was surprisingly good. Keep in mind that this product does not perform miracles: native VHS resolution is poor compared to modern DVD or Blu-Ray resolution.

The drivers installed flawlessly on Windows 7 Professional (64-bit). The software had a slight glitch and complained about a missing template every time I started it up in advanced mode. It turned out to be a permission issue that was fixed by changing file permissions as a Windows administrator.

Initially, I was concerned about the tracking pixel rows on the bottom of the video coming from the converter. However, once the MPEG files were burned to a DVD and displayed on a set-top DVD player, it was obscured. However, when viewing the DVDs on a computer, the additional tracking pixel rows were visible, but was not a big deal.

Also of initial concern that turned out to be a non-issue was audio/video sync mentioned by other reviewers. After transferring a lengthy video, there seemed to be a lag between audio and video. Fortunately, it was only a user interface artifact. When the MPEG was played later, the two were in sync.

Needing more advanced editing functions, I ended up using the included software only to capture the video. Once the MPEG files were on my hard drive, I used Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD 5.0 (commercial, free 30-day trial) to finish things off and prepare the DVD content.

Overall, I would recommend this product. The price point was good, and the performance met my expectations. You could spend more money for a more robust hardware solution (such as an internal card), but there's no guarantee the end result would be any better since the source VCR and its VHS resolution will likely be the limiting quality factor.
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