HP DVD Movie Writer — Initial Review

I’ve wanted to try this for a while — a little ludwig goes a long way: HP DVD Movie Writer — and so finally bought one and tried it out.

Net impression — I am a little disappointed. This is basically a usb-attached dvd burner with some bundled software. It has a few features to automate the transfer of a vhs tape to dvd — notably a bundled set of video in ports. But I was under the impression that a PC was hardly needed to transfer VHS tapes to DVD — the hp site says “Transfer your home video to long-lasting DVDs … all without additional hardware or software.” and “Transfer, edit and preserve your home video ? even print DVD case covers ? with one easy-to-use device.” and “automatic, unattended conversion of your home movies”.

Well that is all a little over the top. The device is non-functional without an attached PC driving it. And you have to interact a lot with the “Wizard” to get it to capture your tapes. And I am pretty sure you need at least two other devices — a pc and a printer — to print the dvd case covers. The bundled software is the normal set of bundled shlock you will find with a PC or dvd burner these days. Perhaps slightly more automated but the same basic crud.

Now, it did create playable DVDs which is something, this can be hard to do. I didn’t create a single coaster. So I guess it got some things right. But nowhere near as automated and trouble-free as implied.