The Gadget Q&A
More on VHS transfer
Plus: How to edit that VHS file once it's on your computer
It's a DVD world these days. What do you do with your huge library of old VHS tapes? (Bill Hogan/Tribune file photo)
A: Mea culpa, friends. Many of you have written in with this question and the answer is the Toshiba DVR620, available online at amazon.com, walmart.com and other stores. You'll find it for $145 to $180, using an Internet search engine.
The DVR620 is not a one-button-to-record model, but it's not onerous. Once the unit is connected to your TV, use the up/down keys on the remote:
— Select Setup > General Setting> Enter
— Select Recording > Enter
— Select Dubbing Mode > Enter
— Select VCR to DVD > Setup
— Select VCR on the remote, then fast-forward, if necessary, to the section you want to begin recording. Rewind the tape a little bit, then press Play and Pause. Dubbing takes a few seconds to begin. Now you're ready to record.
— On the remote, press DVD > Record mode repeatedly
— Press Dubbing to begin the process, then press Stop to end it.
The DVR620 also can copy from DVD to VHS, and it's a modern DVD-VCR combo unit that will record in HD, so for a lot of people with a library of VHS tapes lying around, it's a great option.
If you're OK fiddling around with settings, Honest Technology and other companies have a less-than-$50 box you can connect to your computer and VCR (if it's still working) to copy tapes to your computer's DVD burner. You'll have to adjust the program's settings to get the best copy.
Q: OK. Today you told us how to create a DVD from a VHS tape. Great.
Now, how do I get the DVD into a program like iVideo in order to edit it? iVideo does not accept the format VIDEO_TS. Thanks.
A: You'll need software that converts Video_TS files to DV files. This will work only on material that hasn't been copyrighted.
Go to Cnet's download.com and search for the phrase "Video_TS to DV" and you'll get lots of software to consider, rated by people who've actually used it. Some of the software has been rated by the editors of Cnet.com, too.
Have a question about your computer, cellphone, camera or any gadget? Let us know! E-mail Eric Gwinn at email@example.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming Gadget Q&A column.