I have many old tapes that I need to copy to DVD. Most state that to copy these is not legal. However, I see many advertisements relating to equipment that can do this. This would be strictly for private use, and not for public use or profit by selling.
Can I copy these for my own home use?
It's a very grey legal area. It turns out, under current legislation, it's actually illegal - if I understood correctly - to rip a CD that you legally own to MP3 to play on an MP3 player for your personal use. The government is talking about changing this, as it's patently absurd. To what extent the same applies with 'format shifting' from tape to DVD, I don't know. If it were me, FWIW, I'd go ahead and do it. It may be illegal, but it's far from immoral - and anyway, who's going to know? :-)
Legal or not the best and easiest way is to a dvd recorder the gadgets available can be fraught with problems and remeber you will be recording in realtime.Same as if you use a dvd recordr howver once the tapes are on dvd should youwish to esdit will only takea minutes to transfer to PC
For copying 'real' movies, those are probably good suggestions. When I transferred all my home movies from tape to DVD, I wanted to be able to edit them before committing them to DVD - so I hooked up a VCR via a Canopus AVDC-55 attached via Firewire and imported them using Adobe Premiere. Probably a bit over the top for what you want to do...