First we had the Ion USB turntable; then we had the Ion USB tape recorder. Now Firebox has started to sell another cunningly simple device: the Ion USB VCR 2 PC Converter.

The £149 Ion USB VCR 2 PC Recorder plays your old videotapes and records them into a 21st digital format so you can enjoy them again.

The idea, presumably, is that those of us who have long since dumped our knackered old video tape recorders but still cling to the faint hope of one day miraculously being able to play our old analogue recordings again finally have a way of doing so.

While £150 seems a steep price tag for a device on which to play outdated footage, Ion’s combined player and tape digitiser manages to solve both parts of the problem.

After all, it’s all very well having a set of tapes you want to preserve for posterity, but you can’t do much with them unless you have a VCR – these days, they come with designer price tags and are labelled ‘vintage’.

Ion's VCR 2 PC Converter lets you play and enjoy your videos once again and saves them in a format you can play on a DVD player, laptop or PC. In addition, your freshly-minted digital video footage can be output in a suitable format for playback on an iPod video or a PSP games console.

The unit works with PAL VHS tapes only and is designed for use with PCs. However, it can also be used with Macs via iMovie or iVideo. For more details, see Firebox.

Ion USB VCR Converter

Ion USB VCR Converter