Here are the steps to putting your old videos on DVDs:
1. Copy the VHS video to a DV video.
I hookup my DV camcorder to the VHS video player, and record the movie onto DV. You might be able to go direct from VHS to the computer, but I find it easier take the extra step, because the computer can control DV (digital video) camcorders.
2. Copy the video to the computer.
Use the DV editing software to copy the movie from the DV camcorder. Warning: your computer needs about 13GB (that's gigabytes, not megabytes) of disk space for every hour of video.
I've discovered that a bug in some early Canon digital camcorders cause them to lose connection with the DV editing software when your computer has Maxtor hard drives. Maxtor has a fix on their Web site, which is a pain, becuase you have to (1) apply the patch; (2) reboot the computer; (3) copy the movie; (4) remove the patch; and (5) reboot the computer again.
3. Edit the video.
The DV editing software lets you add transitions, menus, text, effects, and so on. (I used MGI VideoWave after giving up on Pinnacle Studio.)
4. Burn the DVD.
This takes two steps: (1) the software first makes a disc image on the hard drive. This is a very slow process that takes many hours, and requires about 5GB per hour of video. (2) The software then transfers the disc image to the DVD disc. Fortunately, the blank DVD discs are down to 50c each (used to be $10 each).
I once had a problem where the DVD editing software didn't recognize the DVD drive, and so just created the disc image. As a work-around, I use the disc burning software that came with the DVD drive to copy the disc-image files to the DVD.
In summary, you need: (1) the computer hardware to read video; (2) about 18GB free disk space for every hour of video; (3) software to edit and burn the video; (4) a DVD burner; and (5) the patience of Job.