As I have said a few times over the last few months, I have a part time gig working at my local Jaycar store, and frankly it is a blast and I am loving it.
I come across all range of people looking for all range of things, and I can modestly suggest my experience in tech over the years has been of some assistance.
One product close to my heart is called the USB 2.0 DVD Maker (catalogue number XC4867) that allows the digitizing of VHS and BETA tapes from a VCR but also lends itself to converting miniDVD tapes from a digital camcorder as long as there is composite out or equivalent via an A/V plug to triple RCA connectors.
Its close to my heart as I have a shedload of MiniDV tapes and my current PC setup will not allow the install of a Firewire card in order to capture them.
MAGIX have a similar unit to the Jaycar one (it may even be a re-branded version of the same thing – or vice versa) and I have used this successfully for a few years now. I even reviewed it back in 2019.
But for some reason, a lot of people have trouble with this product. Not all, but a number suggesting that maybe some PC technologies / hardware setups are not 100% compatible in some areas.
Now, for an experienced PC person who is used to re-installing drivers, performing Windows rollbacks and so on, they would not be too phased and would try and figure out a work around.
But the market this product is aimed at is generally not in that demographic, so an easier solution needed to be found.
And there is one.
And in the best sci-fi tradition, it is a little black box!
Called the Composite AV to USB Video Recorder, (catalogue number AC1790) this goes away from a software solution to do the conversion via a PC, and instead does all the processing on board and writes the subsequent files to a memory stick inserted into the USB port in the black box itself.
Connectivity to the videorecorder or camcorder / camera is still via RCA connectors, and there is even an HDMI connection so you can review the images on a TV as it is recording. The whole thing is seamless, needing no knowledge of installing drivers and the like.
It just works.
And of course, if you want to later edit your footage, there are any number of free and inexpensive apps for both Windows and Mac in which to do this by simply importing the files from the USB stick.
At AUD$109 it is a simple and elegant solution anyone can use with minimal setup and next to no technical knowledge.
Many people have hundreds and even thousands of hours of videos they wish to convert to digital format for long term safekeeping and of course playback, and this is the perfect solution.