Honestech has an entire suite of software programs that are cheap, do what they’re advertised and easy to use. I’ve spent the last few weeks dabbling with VHS to DVD 3.0 Deluxe, DVD Player 3.0, Claymation Studio, and Rapid Video Blogger. I wouldn’t normally use any of it, but given the chance to test them out, I just couldn’t resist.
I own quite a few VHS tapes and I’ve been dying to transfer them to DVD before I’ve burned through them or my VCR decides to crap out on me. The USB video capture device aka My-vidbox makes the transferring content from VCR, video camera or audio equipment a breeze. It works its magic and eventually makes its way to your DVD burner. I had a few bootleg Phish MiniDiscs laying around and decided to transfer convert them to MP3. It was so easy that I actually I kicked myself for not using it earlier. You can even convert video to work on your iPod or PSP. The VHS to DVD 3.0 Deluxe is a pretty sweet deal for only $79.99.
DVD Player 3.0 is DVD playback software that hopes to eliminate the existing playback options already installed on most laptops and PCs. It does, however, allow you to screen capture your favorite scenes from Debbie Does Dallas. There’s also a parental control function that requires a password to run the program, which could come in handy for parents whose children are into naughty videos like Teletubbies or Barney. It also supports DVD, VCD and SVCD formats. Paranoid parents can swoop this up for $29.99.
Claymation Studio was by far my favorite program. If you or your kids are into filmmaking then this is a perfect introduction. Sure, it’s claymation, but you’ve got to start somewhere. To begin your filmmaking career I suggest you have one of the following: a digital camera, webcam, or camcorder. You can even import existing pictures to help create your own characters for your award winning new movie. The demo I was shown featured a Spider Man action figure fighting a webcam and then getting himself stuck inside a food container. It was entertaining and seemed simple enough to use. My feeble attempts weren’t nearly as good, but I’m still working on my masterpiece and hope to submit it to a few studios. It’s a steal at $49.99 and your kids will love you for it.
Rapid Video Blogger is a one-stop-shop for creating movies, slide shows and music. Import or capture content and then edit everything the way you’d want to present it and drop it into a template to make it look snazzy and professional. If you want the parental units or grandparents to see what you did on your recent vacation, but don’t want to send a DVD or CD of random videos and pictures you took then spice it up with special effects and music and revel in the compliments you’ll be getting. Try it out for $29.99.