Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Now for the fun stuff.

My having a ridiculous number of VHS tapes (fig. 1) ...

Fig. 1: Many of my VHS tapes are on this shelf. But not all of them.

...combined with my upcoming move into a rather small space considering the number of residents (fig. 2) ...

Fig. 2: TheLimey trying to create enough space for all my books.

...means that I have been considering how to transfer the content of my VHS tapes to DVD. After looking into it at length, I have decided to go with the Pinnacle PCTV USB2.

I decided on it because I need a fast and easy way to make the transfer. I love that it's USB. True, firewire is better for audio/video stuff, and USB is a step down from that. But USB is a step down from "professional filmmaker" to "normal person creating stuff at home for their own use", so it's a step I'm glad to make.

Plus, not too many PC manufacturers are coming out with standard firewire-enabled products (as mine isn't). It's also a lot less costly than those standalone analog-to-DVD units. (I got mine new on eBay for $70USD including shipping!)

So. I got it for the whole transferring business. However, it turns out it has a lot of other neat-o capabilities. For example, it's a TV tuner on its own. This means you can take it travelling (I'm assuming you'd already be bringing your laptop) and never miss an episode of Dr. Who (as long as you are in Canada, where they still have decent programming on network TV.)

Not only that, you can view --I don't know, four? five? --channels at once in different windows on your PC screen. Or, as they advertise, "watch the game in a minimized window while you work!" (I have already allowed that TheLimey may take it to work to show off these capabilities once I get it set up.) Of course, you can then record what you're watching and capture still shots, too.

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