The Easy Way to Copy Your Videos to DVD
Most people nowadays have some sort of video camera and make movies of precious moments like family gatherings, holidays, outings, special events, babies and kids parties, etc.
The whole point of doing this is to make a permanent record of the events and to be able to look back and enjoy them in years to come.
The problem is, the technology changes so fast and those treasured films can end up on outdated media such as 8mm cine film, VHS tapes, analogue video tape and even the slightly more modern digital video tapes.
You can of course still replay the images providing you still have the original equipment ... and it still WORKS!
The best thing, as it stands, may be to burn your films onto DVD. Hopefully that technology will be around for a while.
Picture from Pinnacle's own advertisement for the Dazzle DVD Recorder
My Story - Failed Attempts to Burn DVDs
Skip this if you want to go straight to the solution I found.
I began shooting 8mm cine film in the late 1960s, early 1970s when my children were born and they started to grow up.
Each Super 8 film reel only lasted a bit more than 3 minutes and I ended up with dozens of them. I spliced some together to make longer films but when VHS Video came along, I decided to convert all my early films to VHS tapes. My method was to project each film onto a screen and refilm it with my (then) new 8mm Camcorder. This could then be plugged into a VHS recorder to transfer the movies to the VHS tapes. All films after that were made using the Camcorder.
After a few more years I replaced the camcorder with a smaller, lighter Sony Handycam (state of the art when I bought it). The new machine used the tiny DV tapes and is still in use.
Recently I decided it was time to burn all of my old media onto DVDs. I have most of the hardware I need including the old camcorder, my digital Handycam, a VHS player, a PC and a laptop. The problem was finding compatible software to upload the various types of media, for editing, movie production, burning to DVD and making copies.
After a number of abortive attempts to combine various pieces of hardware and software to produce playable and copyable DVDs I found an acceptable solution in the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder
The Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder - Perfect for the job. Inexpensive and simple to use.
he Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder solved my problem at a stroke. My main concern was to convert my old video tapes, as shot in the camera, to DVD. I needed a quick solution. I would have liked to break down each film into clips, edit and add titles and effects, but my priority was to convert the raw tapes to a more durable and flexible medium.
My Dazzle DVD Recorder plugs into a USB port on my computer. The video and audio output leads from the video camera plug straight into the Dazzle box. The software asks for a blank DVD. Click on "Start Recording" and your video movie is burned straight from the camera to the DVD, which will then run on your normal DVD player. It couldn't be simpler!
What you Get in the Kit - Easy Plug and Play Components
The Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder consists of just three basic elements:
1. The Dazzle connector lead with USB plug and input sockets for video and audio leads from your analog or digital video source.
2. Software installation CD.
3. Quick Start Guide.
Buy the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder from Amazon.com
With Dazzle DVD Recorder, anyone can transfer video to a DVD using a PC-no experience required. Simply connect a VCR, DVD player, camcorder or other video device to the Dazzle USB hardware. Then use Pinnacle Instant DVD Recorder software to create a DVD recording, complete with menus and chapters, at the click of a button. You can burn your video directly to a DVD without first copying files to the PC hard drive, saving both valuable time and space. The DVD can be played on any home DVD player. DVD burning has never been so easy thanks to the Dazzle DVD Recorder.
More Video to DVD stuff on Amazon.com - All you need to preserve those precious moments.
UK Buyers on Amazon.co.uk - Click Here - Video to DVD
Minimum System Requirements
For the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder
Before you buy the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder it is as well to check your PC or laptop is compatible with it. Check that your system has the following:
• Windows XP (SP 2 or higher) or Windows Vista (32bit only)
• Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz or higher (2.4 GHz or higher recommended)
• 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
• DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound card
• 1 GB of disk space to install software
• 1 USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) port
• DVD burner for creating DVDs
Most of the above requirements are normal in reasonably new computers, (not more than 2/3 years old). If in doubt, check your system specification.
This information was taken from the box my Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder came in.
What Video Tapes Have You Got? - The Dazzle DVD Recorder can cope with them all.
I've got all three of these sizes of tape with old home movie videos on that I wanted to put on to DVD.
There's the large 19cm VHS Videocassettes, the 9.5cm x 8mm Video8 cassettes and the 6.5cm Mini DV Digital Video Cassettes as in my picture.
These tapes obviously playback on three totally different pieces of equipment which are getting older all the time, so you can understand why I wanted to convert them all to standard DVDs, which are easier to handle, easier to store, much easier to copy if I want to pass them round to family and friends. I am sure many people will be thinking along the same lines.
How it works - Simply plug and play
That's it basically. Just plug it in and follow the simple on screen instructions.
The chances are you already have the necessary standard leads with your video camera/player, which you have previously used to play back on a TV screen. I had several sets, but if you don't have them they can be purchased at any electronics store or online. Simply plug the yellow, red and white jack plugs into the colour-coded input sockets on the Dazzle Recorder as shown in the picture. Connect the other end of the leads into your video camera/player.
Plug the Dazzle into a USB 2 port on your computer and you are ready to transfer your videos straight through to the DVD burner on your PC/laptop. The Dazzle does not require a special power source. It takes what little power it needs from your PC.
The leads I have used above are described as RCA Video/Audio cables. Your camera/player may use an S-Video cable which has a single multi-pin plug and socket. There is a fourth socket on the Dazzle to accommodate this if required.
Assuming you have already installed the Pinnacle Dazzle software from the supplied CD, you must now start this up. The screen will request a blank DVD. Insert the DVD. Dazzle will prepare it for burning and ask you to click on the "start recording" button on the screen. Click on this. Start your video player and watch your movie on the small screen while it burns directly to the DVD.
A one hour video will take one hour to burn, which seems to be the maximum time allowed. If your movie is longer than one hour, you can stop the player when the DVD is full and repeat the process on another blank DVD for the remainder.
Why I Recommend The Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder - It works for me!
I'm recommending The Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder simply because I've used it and it did the job I wanted.
I previously had limited success burning my home movies to DVDs using programs like Nero Express. I found the whole process difficult, long-winded and extremely hit and miss. So often I have spent frustrating hours trying various settings with programs like Nero only to find the finished DVD, when I insert it in my player, brings up a message like "Wrong Disk"!
One thing I should say, is that Pinnacle claim their product will allow you to add menus and chapters to your finished DVD during the burning process. I, however, had limited success with this and decided to bypass this option because I was in a hurry and simply wanted to transfer my videos in their raw state, unedited and without additional titles. I have possibly not yet taken advantage of all the Dazzle has to offer.
I know there are other video to DVD products out there, but this is the one I tried and I'm happy with the results. Feel free to just say "Hi!" if you like this lens.
Was This Information Helpful? - Either way I'd like hear your comments
Namymartyn on March 01, 2012:
nice lens created by you really appreciable..........
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on February 25, 2012:
Well, you've just answered all my questions about transferring videos to DVD. I've been meaning to do something about my videos for a long time.
Bob Black (author) from East Midlands, England, UK on February 22, 2012:
@MartieG: There must be many people out there with exactly the same problem. It is such a shame that precious memories might be lost forever because technology moves on so fast. I would hope you could maybe borrow the equipment to update your movies. Good luck and thanks for coming by.
MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on February 22, 2012:
I have all the old VHS tapes and would love to convert them to DVD but no longer have the gigantic VHS recorder :>( Interesting lens!
anonymous on February 20, 2012:
This is all new to me I hadn't seen this before
Coreena Jolene on February 20, 2012:
Very informative! My husband did something similar recently. We had an issue where one of our older cameras did not work anymore. He was lucky enough to find someone selling a similar model that would play our old tapes on ebay so he bought it and was able to convert some tapes.
anonymous on February 20, 2012:
I have become such a geek now and I just love new technology, even though I don't always understand it I have the determination that makes me want to find out how everything works. I got a new camera for Christmas and I am still reading the instructions I am able to take pictures on Auto, but I want to get better than that, the software that came with it is a little bit difficult to, but me being me I am not going to give up. For the software here you explained it really well, and if your like me you will be getting that Dazzle down pat. Great articule as always, love reading them