Customer Reviews: VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe
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on January 7, 2011
This software does what it says: it helped me convert my old VHS home movies to DVD. Yay! The software has two settings: 1) The basic mode works smoothly and simply. 2) The advanced mode was incredibly S-L-O-W on my computer, but it works if you're patient.

Basically, you install the software on your computer, then hook up your VCR (or camcorder) to the conversion box, which you then connect to your computer via USB. The box includes all the cords you need. The software has a preview screen so you can see what's playing/recording right on your computer screen.

Basic Mode: You record directly from the VHS to a blank DVD in your computer's DVD burner. As the movie plays, it burns. It saves the digital file in a temp folder, so you can immediately create more than one DVD of the same movie without having to run through it all over again. (But once you say you're done, it deletes the temp file.) The finished product doesn't have a menu or chapter points. It records exactly what's on the VHS from beginning to end. Simple and easy.

Advanced Mode: This converts your VHS into a digital .mpg file and saves it on your computer. You can then assemble clips, add music, add menus and chapter points (for navigation), etc. Then once you've assembled everything, you burn it to a DVD. This mode is super-duper slow on my computer, and it froze up a couple of times. But it works if you're patient.

(There's a third setting that you can use to transfer audio from LP or cassette to a CD. But I haven't tried this.)

One note about transferring video to DVD: While watching the preview screen, it will seem like the audio is out of sync with the video. But when we play the DVDs back on our TV, it matches up fine.

I've transferred 7 tapes so far. Overall, it does what it says. I do wish the advanced mode worked more smoothly, but for now I'm just thrilled it works, and that I can finally watch -- and share -- my old home movies!
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on December 31, 2010
So bought this item in a gold box deal and had not used it till couple of days ago when i had some off time so I decided to give it a try.

First of all the kit comes with all cables that u need to connect, a small box called vidbox and instruction manual. You insert the CD into your laptop and off you go.

You will of course need a separate VHS player to play your VHS tapes.

Run the CD, register the product online which is easy and remember to re-start the computer, the software should prompt you to restart the computer once fully installed, once done the Cd installs the software and instruction manual onto your computer, click on the icon which guides you through the process. Now that I have used both easy menu and expert menu I can comment on both.

One caveat is that the best quality is achieved only when you record upto 110 minutes in one sitting, you can still record for longer duration with slight compromise in the quality of the recording. SO MAKE SURE UR TAPES ARE NOT LONGER THAN 70 MINUTES DURATION BEFORE U START RECORDING, if they are longer than 70 minutes duration then you can adjust the recording time on the menu pretty easily to fix this issue.

overall the converted video quality is decent, I personally use cocusoft products to reconvert dvd files to MP4 for palyback on quicktime.

Of note though you will need a seperate 3.5 to 3.5 mm cable or 3.5 to rca audio cable to convert audio cassettes to mp3 or wma format, I ordered them from amazon and recieved them today.

I am using 3.5mm to RCA cable via vidbox to convert my audio cassette files to WMA files, and LO IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM, AWESOME!!!.

I have previously tried audacity but found it complicated and confusing to use, but with Honestech the audio-file conversion is a breeze!!!, truly, just remember few things.

1. In the settings click on the noise reduction box and set noise reduction below - 10.0 ( minus ten point zero), I initially set noise reduction at the highest and the recording quality was very bad but once I set it to low level it worked like a charm, no hissing unlike with other software. ( NOW NOISE REDUCTION LEVEL OF - 11.2 IS WHERE I FOUND THE BEST QUALITY OF RECORDING WAS, BUT FOR YOU ALL IT MAY DEPEND ON YOUR COMPUTER SETTINGS AND ALSO THE QUALITY OF THE TAPE USED TO RECORD THE ORIGINAL, SO BY TRIAL AND ERROR USE YOUR OWN JUDGMENT.!!!)

2. In the audio device properties keep the ''master input mix'' bar at 25% level or lower, and in this setting the recoding was smooth and the output file had no hissing for me and the quality of recording was better than original.

3. Now this one is important, when you record using 3.5mm to rca audio cable via vidbox I have very little hissing only, however if you use 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm cable bypassing vidbox there is lots of hissing noise, so i think either the vidbox has a built in filter or it just does good job eliminating hissing, I have so far used only one type of 3.5mm to 3.5 mm cable to record the audio so unsure if the quality of the cable i used had anything to do with it??, anywayz if you want to convert cassette to wma then connecting to your computer through the vidbox probably gives you the best quality.

I shall try out various setting for video recording over next few weeks and update this review again.

Once again the audio conversion software works like a charm, I am happy with this software, so far it has been a great buy, instead of spending a fortune at walgreens or sams or other stores trying to get your old tapes converted, with he help of this software and a laptop you can get it done at home!!!, wow, I am happy.

Overall this product works as advertised and is a winner, thanks Honestech for a great product.

ADDENDUM - 01/06/2010

Advanced Video options are nice to use as well.

You can convert either in 4:3 of 16:9 format, one can convert the VHS to WMV format and store it on hard disc whils the basic simple format only lets you burn it onto dvd immediately after aquring the content. Easy record format only lets you record 110 minutes of best quality of video whilst advanced recording input u can do about 5-6 hours of WMV format recording which is awesome.

Some of the settings I used for advanced format included WMV format best video output possible at 4:3 since my VHS tapes were standard definition only. I initially did a mistake by trying to record to an external source HD connected via USB drive, you will achieve best performance quality by recording on the internal hard-drive of a laptop or a desktop, you can always transfer it to an external storage device, software froze up when i tried to record to an external HD but worked fine with internal HD.

You can also edit, join, unjoin, add effects to your video using th existing software which is cool too. you can also record it in various formats suiting VCD or DVD or WMV. For some reason there are no options for recording the video in MP4 format.

Overall an excellent source for someone who doesnot want to spend a fortune trying to get their home videos or LP or cassette tapes converted to digital MP3 or WMV pr WMA formats.
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on December 3, 2010
I tried other software and had great difficulty getting it to work. When I purchased this product I had my fingers crossed because most of the other copy software I used created a lot of work and I never did get decent copies. VHS to DVD 5.0 worked right out of the box. No problems with computer (Vista OS) no problem with audio or video. I was thrilled to be able to view old vhs tapes for the first time in years and convert them to DVD! The video looks fine on my HD television set... considering the source of the video... plays on my regular DVD player and my Blu-ray player. Set up was simple...just install the software and you're ready to roll. If you have old VHS tapes with irreplaceable programs and you want to save them to disc, this will do the trick!
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on January 11, 2011
I have never written a review before but after using this product I just had to. I wanted to convert a VHS tape to a DVD. I researched several products and based on the reviews I chose this one. And, boy was I glad that I did. Yes, it cost a little more than some of the others but it was worth it. The set-up and installation took only 5 minutes. The process of recording the VHS tape then burning the DVD was easy. The instructions were great. The first tape I converted would play on my desktop but there was no audio. I called their Tech Support (someone actually answered the phone). The tech walked me through a few steps to make sure that the tape was being recorded properly - it was. He then had me update my Windows Media Player and the DVD played fine (both audio and video). It not only will play on the computer but it also plays on both of the DVD players that I have in my home. The audio and video remained in-sync through the recording and burning. In my opinion, this is one great product and works as advertised. Thank you everyone who has ever written a review!
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on April 22, 2011
I have had this program up and running for several days now, but in that short time have discovered that this is a wonderful one! I had previously purchased a Different Program from Another Company that had excellent technical help, which was a good thing because they needed it! I am not a computer whiz, in fact my family shudders every time I have to do anything new or complicated on the computer because I become a nervous wreck. I have Vista, and Honestech's VHS to DVD program loaded perfectly on the first try. Utterly painless. They give excellent, concise install instructions, and the whole program is on a single cd. Even better, at the same time it is loading your VHS to DVD program, it is also loading a detailed pdf manual with its own desktop icon. I learned from experience that this manual can be kept open while you are running the VHS to DVD program, so if you need to doublecheck anything, you can just click over and follow along in the manual.

I use the Advanced feature where I can edit, merge and save, plus reopen projects for later burning. I have not done the basic, straight to dvd feature because I want to save to my external hard drive once they have been burned. The Advanced feature is not difficult to learn, and as I said, you have the nifty, clear and easy to follow manual to figuratively hold your hand if you need it. The Edit feature is more fun than fun. There is a cute scissors icon that you click both before and after any parts you want to delete. The forward and reverse icons have a choice of increments for more precise editing. Segments that have been edited are just dragged and dropped into the Storyboard, where you can also add special effects (I haven't done that yet) or titles, which I have done. (Something I learned is that you cannot get into the special features like Titles until you have placed at least one section onto the Storyboard.) I will confess that the "Merge and Save" after editing takes a while, but it makes a very smooth video.

The Other Program wouldn't open again after I closed it, so I was a bit jumpy when I closed this program the first time. However, it opens happily every time.

I suppose people want to know the downside, too, so there are a couple things to take into consideration. First, this is not a quick thing. You have to play videos into it in real time. Then it does take time to process if you use the Advanced feature, both in the "Merge and Save" feature previously mentioned, and again when preparing to burn to dvd. If you hoped to transfer all your VHS tapes in a weekend, revise your estimate, at least with the Advanced feature. Third, you cannot fit a lot onto each dvd. The dvds say they hold 120 minutes, and that is about what you will get here, depending on the "quality" feature you choose. I was able to put a lot more per dvd with the VHS to DVD vcr machines, but none of my machines ever lasted more than 6 months before they died.

I love this program! I am enjoying it immensely, and agree with the reviewer who said it was lovely to rediscover old memories. I say this is the best program you can get, affordable, easy to learn, and fun to boot!

Addendum: I have been using this program every day since I got it and discovered another Really Nifty thing it does. I had one truly awful video, dark and with washed- out color, and this program has a feature beneath each segment of the Storyboard where you can brighten, increase contrast, and saturate what color you do have. Using this feature, I was able to transform a virtually unwatchable video into one that I am glad to share with others.
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on April 13, 2011
Unfortunately, this did not work on my HP computer with a dual-core 2.2 gHz cpu, 3.0 gig of memory, and 2.0 USB running Vista. Their e-mail technical support was quite supportive and responsive; however, in the end they said they could not figure-out why it wasn't working on my computer and offered a refund. It would work at lower resolution; however, the DVD at high resolution was jerky and pixilated whenever there was much movement. According to their tech support, it was not a lack of computer-power or resources, and they said it must be a conflict with some other software installed. They were unable to determine what conflict, although they did ask for and received a system profile file using MSINFO32. So I will take them up on their offer of a refund and write-off the return postage as the cost of experience.

It is too bad, as it was exactly what I needed and it worked well, except for the poor quality of the final product it produced.
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on July 8, 2011
Many here are right in stating that, after a while, in a long recording, the sound starts to lag the picture, to a degree that makes it impossible to disregard.

So, here are my two suggestions on how to correct that:

1 - Divide a long video in segments when recording it. For instance, set the timer in the software to record only 10-15 minutes. Then, after it automatically stops, save the resulting file as "episode 1" for instance, and proceed to record the second segment of same length. Name that episode 2, and repeat until the video ends. This procedure doesn't give the sound lag the chance to develop into a problem, as it worsens with time and we are keeping the video segments short.

Once all the segments are recorded, you can use the video editing software that comes with the product to join all segments back into a single video. A bit of work, to be sure, but it does resolve the video lag issue.

2 - If you don't like the solution above because it's too laborious, then I suggest you record your whole video in one pass as usual, and later correct the sound lag during playback. How? If using a media server PC, install the free (open source) VLC Media Player, an extremely capable universal video player, and use it to play your video. One of its many options is the Audio Track, which allows you to delay or advance the sound track and synchronize it back to the video. So by manually adjusting this parameter you can fix the sound lag. Finally, save the resulting video with your corrections.
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on December 14, 2010
I was looking for a product to transfer all my old VHS tapes over and needed something that was Windows 7 64 bit compatibable and this product works great! So far I have converted over 40 VHS tapes over without any issues and you can also lighten them with the settings and some of my tapes are over 30 years old and had a dark picture, so this product cleared them up and made them sharper. I researched other products and I would reccomend this one over all the others. Comes with all the connections you need, so nothing else needs to be purchased.
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on January 6, 2011
The software is easy to work with, and the VidBox gadget is easy to plug-and-play. However, they just don't work. As soon as a tape starts playing, the audio and video start to fall out of sync. By the end of a two-hour videotape, there are as many as two seconds between someone's lips moving and hearing the words.
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on November 19, 2010
Got this to convert old movies to DVD. Works great, simple to use. There are a lot of features that I have not even used yet but worked great on converting my daughter's wedding video. You do need access to have a VHS player or something to be able to play your old recordings from. Did a good job and decent quality and like I said I haven't even tried a lot of the features. I got it for a great gold box price and it definitely is worth it.
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