As I explain in my books, the most popular (and most effective) DV bridge is the ADS Pyro AV Link (between $100-150).
What you DON'T want to do is get a cheap digitizer, like the Dazzle or Plextor DVD Maker. These devices are designed to be used pretty much with the software that comes with them.
With ADS Pyro, your files will be 100% compatible with Premiere Elements or virtually any PC- or Mac-based video editing system.
The cheapst option I found is if you can get a minidv camera you are able to use it as a convertor from the vhs VCR or just get a DVD recorder make your dvd video disc at high rez (1hr) PE lets you edit the VOB file.Hope it helps
A miniDV tape camera with pass-through (very critical) is a good way to do it. Unfortunately, most PAL miniDV tape cameras have this disabled due to tariff reasons, and many mfgrs. are no longer offering this. However, if one has, or can find one with pass-through, then they have what they need, with maybe a few extra cables and a DVD deck.
My way is probably a bit longer but it works for me as I don't need to do this way often, BUT I use my Toshiba VCR to DVD burner. You can buy them fairly cheap, mine has a hard- drive but they come without and just burn directly to DVD. Then I move the resulting VOB file from the DVD to my computer and use it in Premiere Elements.
another way I've done it is to hook up my mini-DV camera to the VCR and tape it onto the camera and then CAPTURE in Premiere Elements.
The drawback with using a combination VCR/DVD deck is that it will compress the data (DVD's are highly compressed). PRE will then compress the video again when you Share. This can lead to a loss in quality.
DV-AVI (the 'native' format for PRE Standard Definition) runs at around 12 - 13 GB per hour.
DVD format is around 2.3 GB per hour (assuming a two hour video on a single layer DVD).
Thus the compression factor is around 80%. PRE's rendering is not 'smart rendering'. i.e. it does not leave untouched video where no change has been made - it always re-renders the whole footage. If you don't need the power of PRE (example: all you want is to add a menu and scene markers) you may be better off with a smart-rendering product.
Obviously acceptable quality is in the perception of the viewer. Personally I am gradually recopying my tapes (where I used a VCR-> DVD Recorder-> DVD workflow) as I much prefer the quality produced by my Canopus ADVC bridge.
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Have used Pinnacle Quick Start with the Dazzle DVC 90 to capture some old TV VCR video to AVI format. Then used Elements to edit the
AVI files with good results. Quality only as good as the input.
In addition to the DVD-Video/MPEG-2 compression, most such hardware solutions do not write 100% DVD-compliant VOB's. This ARTICLE goes into more detail.
PrE will Import 100% DVD-compliant VOB's, but one still has to deal with that MPEG-2 compression. If the intended delivery is DVD-Video, another MPEG-2 compression will take place, compromising quality.