With the old VHS tapes now becoming a thing of the past many people are trying to transfer the videos from them onto the newer and more up to date DVD’s or even store them digitally on a hard drive. If you don’t do this over time you run the risk of the videos deteriorating and becoming distorted, which in turn could lead to them being lost forever.
Say hello to the Honestech VHS to DVD 7.0 Deluxe version. What this product does is convert analogue video into digital format so it can then transferred onto a DVD or stored on a computer HDD.
In the box you receive a Vidbox USB 2.0 video capture device, Software CD, USB cable, RCA AV cable and also some documentation including a quick start guide. We have also listed below all of the input/output formats.
Video Input: AVI, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MOV
Image Input: JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG
Video Output: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VCD, SVCD, DVD, Blu-Ray Disc, WMV, Youtube, Facebook
The capture device comes in the form of a small glossy white box. Moving to the rear of the device you will find an S-Video connection, the RCA composite connections and the micro-USB port which is used to connect the box to your computer. Each port is labelled clearly although all of the ports are completely different so even for a novice user it shouldn’t be a problem.
In terms of the build quality of the device, it feels pretty solid and well made and therefore shouldn’t break or be worn down from continued use easily.
The set up of the system is incredibly easy. All the cables you are likely to need are included in the box and it’s just a case of simply hooking up your old analogue device to the Vidbox. Once you’ve done this you can connect the Vidbox to your PC using the USB cable, making sure you’ve also installed the software on your computer from the provided CD.
Once everything has been hooked up you can choose from 3 different options: Easy Wizard Mode, Advanced Mode and Audio Recorder.
Easy Wizard Mode
This mode is best for beginners. You will be asked whether its Blu-Ray or DVD you wish to record and then shown a screen with all of the different input sources. Simply select the one which you are using and the software will guide you through the rest of the process, including recording it to your DVD or Blu-Ray disc.
The advanced mode gives the user more freedom to edit the settings when recording video. This includes saving recorded files to your computer as MPEG or WMV. Using the advanced mode you also get the choice to add a title/credit screens, effects and also transitions. The features that this mode offers can be found in many other standard packages available, most notably Windows Movie Maker.
This mode is for those of you who just wish to record audio from your cassettes, video tapes and LP records to create CDs or WMA files that can be saved onto your computer.
We’ve tested the device and we were surprisingly impressed with the video quality and its pretty hard to see any difference between what appears on the TV and the recorded version on your computer. Any audio recorded also keeps its clarity and again we can’t fault it.
If you’re looking for a product where you need advanced tools for editing videos and adding specialist effects, then you may be better off looking at another product. When we tested the tools we found them to be pretty basic and we don’t think its very often that you would actually use any of them. If you’re looking to add a simple start menu then you’ll be able to carry this out with ease and it’s very straight forward but anything much more than this we’re not sure if it would be our choice of product.
I’m sure lots of us still have a relatively large array of VHS tapes. We cannot emphasize enough that you need to sooner rather than later convert these to a digital format. The wizard mode is absolutely perfect for those who want to quickly carry out the conversion and is pretty much all automated. While the device itself is good we do think the software lacks a few advanced features and the editing tools aren’t up to scratch for us. We feel there is definitely better software on the market for editing videos and for the quite expensive price of £59.99 we feel that this is something that needs to be looked at.
You can currently pick up the package on Amazon.co.uk for £52.29. (At the time of writing – 14/02/2014)Order from Honestech