VHS to DVD pain

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I recently borrowed a neighbours DVDR3320V Video Cassette Recorder & DVD Video Player/Recorder so that I could copy some VHS tapes to DVD. It worked, but in the way that smashing a brick into your mouth to remove your teeth works!

It was one of the most painful and unintuitive experiences I have come across – the classic technical manual written without the end user in mind. By way of example:

On Page 45 it explains how to copy VHS to DVD, under a very clear and easy to understand headline. Follow the instructions to the letter and you will be able to play back the resulting DVD on this player, but not on anything else. Instructions on what to do to finalise the DVD to play on other players is on Page 29, with absolutely no link at all or reference on Page 45.

Who write about finalising a process before they actually tell you what the process is? Madness!

The neighbours are elderly, and by their own admission not technically aware, but for I really can’t blame them for not being able to get to grips with this. They have about 50 VHS that they want copying to DVD and the ‘plan’ was that I would keep the player hooked up in my study and slowly work my way through them. I provide them an unofficial ‘technical support’ help desk so I was happy enough to do this as a favour. At the moment the player is back with them as they wanted to watch a DVD the other day, and to be honest I am sort of hoping that is stays there.

Not only was it too complicated to use but it wasn’t very intuitive either. For example it gave a range of recording quality options, but it didn’t compute which you should use to fit the whole VHS onto a DVD – so wasted time and DVD’s finding that out.

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5 thoughts on “VHS to DVD pain

  1. Susan

    The big question is, what is the software? What is the software that came with the device? Because if it’s Pinnacle, I’m just telling you now to run away screaming. I’ve done this a half-dozen times, so feel free to email me offline for my suggestions. 🙂

  2. Mac Sokulski

    It’s unfortunate that the instructions are so vague and chaotic. I found that many electronic devices have similar instructions. Once you have it figured out it should be quite easy to duplicate the process, right? Personally I try to stay way from these kind of things. It’s easier to digitize my old tapes to a Mac and then go from there.

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    It easy enough as you say. Unfortunatley I don’t own a VHS player (only one we have is built into the B&O TV) so this was my only option.

  4. Michele

    I have one of these with a brand name of Broksonic. Worst thing I ever bought for the exact same reason. I’ve been able to make DVD’s that play on this unit and nothing else. The instructions are very poor.

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