Well since all the video outputs are analog the only way to get the video into your computer is by using a video digitizer. These are widely available and cost from $50 and up. They allow you to plug in S-Video source and will digitize the video to a file on your computer. Depending on the device and software, you can create a standard DVD from this or various types of AVI files. A space-efficient format is DiVX 5. There are some new DVD players that will play this format. This format allows you to take about 2 hours of DVD video and put it on a single CD-R. (700 mb). On a DVD-R you can put about 12 hours of this format. I am unfamiliar with the ability of these new players or what the requirements are exactly.
I think that what you are looking to do is to create standard DVDs to play on standard set-top players? Then you need a digitizer with software that will create a DVD compatible file that you can burn directly to a standard DVD-R.
I noticed that LiteOn DVD drives come with DVD-IT! which easily creates high-quality DVDs from AVI files. My friend is in the wedding/photography business and he is really happy with the quality it creates–much better than a stand-alone DVD recorder from a couple years ago.
A simpler option that doesn’t involve a computer is to get one of the new LiteOn stand-alone DVD recorders:
On http://pricewatch.com I found the 5001 costs about $260. Didn’t find the 5005 yet–I don’t even know what the difference is. These have a firewire connection so you can upload your digital recordings for editing on the computer. Of course you don’t need to since they record on DVD-R/+R/RW. Panasonic has some models that have both a HD and DVD-RAM drives.
But I think you are looking for an option that won’t cost you a few hundred $ more. I don’t know if you are planning to move a lot to DVD or just an occassional show or segment. Depending on how long it takes, how fast your computer is, etc. it might be tiresome to constantly digitize data to your computer and make DVDs. So it really depends on what you are trying to do.
Another option is if you have a MiniDV camcorder with an analog video/audio input–I believe that some of these will let you feed video into the input and digitize it to their firewire port–so you can directly transfer the digitized video into the computer through a cheap $20 firewire card (some new computers have this built-in already).
Just for completeness: As for other products on the market–ReplayTV and maybe TiVO have computer uplink ports which allow you to send your recorded shows off the HD to your computer.
Considering the abilities of most computers these days, I’d say that the easiest way by far is to simply use a stand-alone unit if you plan to do this a lot.
Lemme know if this is helpful or you need more info.