As a growing number of consumers adopt DVD technology, VHS is being rendered largely useless. So, as the selection of DVDs, burners, and players grows, many people are left wondering what to do with their old VHS tapes. With the help of Sony’s DVDirect VRD-MC1, it’s easy to convert all those tapes that recorded first steps, recitals, and weddings.
In the past, anyone who wanted to convert VHS tapes to DVD could either connect a VCR to a DVD player or burn the DVD with video inputs on a PC. Now, going from a chunky VHS tape to a sleek DVD is surprisingly straightforward with Sony’s MC1 (www.sonyburners.com). The device is a 16X DVD burner that functions as a converter that can record video to DVD if linked to a VCR or camcorder, or as an external drive when connected to a PC. Unlike other VHS converters, the MC1 does not need a PC. And at $259.99, the MC1 can preserve your old memories without breaking the bank.
The best news about the MC1 is that it’s a multipurpose device. In addition to converting VHS to DVD, it does much more. With slots for the five most popular digital camera memory cards, the MC1 can record images from the memory card to the DVD-R or DVD-RW. That’s good news for people who want to burn digital photos on the road without a PC. Users can create DVD slideshows from digital photos and add their own background music. They can send photos from a flash card to a DVD, or even to a PictBridge-compatible printer. Users can also create music CDs or MP3s, or save other data to DVD.
In addition to its many facets, the MC1 gets high marks for its 2-inch color LCD screen. A new feature, the LCD screen is popular with users who want to watch what they’re recording and edit accordingly. A common complaint about the LCD screen is that it is slightly smaller than the usual camcorder LCDs, but it is still large enough for viewing purposes.
Follow these simple steps to convert your VHS tapes to DVD:
Step One: Connect the VCR to the MC1 using either the Digital Video (DV), S-Video, or Composite Video inputs. In addition, the MC1 has standard RCA-style stereo audio inputs.
Step Two: Choose a recording speed. The MC1 offers a choice of five different modes: HQ, HSP, SP, LP, and SLP. SLP, or Super Long Play, provides the poorest quality, and HQ, or High Quality, is the best. The other options lie somewhere in the middle. Of course, as the quality of recording increases, the recording time decreases. SLP will allow six hours of content, while HQ is only an hour. Mid-grade SP provides two hours of recording time while still allowing decent quality.
Step Three: Once the camcorder or VCR is connected, users need only press play on the original recording and then press record on the MC1. The MC1′s LCD screen allows for easy viewing and editing, so that six hours of