I would highly recommend you consider a capture card that supports native MPEG-2 capturing ready for DVD as opposed to the IEEE1394 based products which support DV capture. With DV capture you will have to recompress/convert to MPEG-2, which is a lossy process… DV having half the chroma resolution (YUV 4:1:1) vs. YUV 4:2:2 for MPEG-2.
Speaking of ADS, you have the ADS Instant DVD 2.0, it provides the best quality you can get with hardware encoders as it uses a professional mpeg encoder chip used in high-end DVD recorders costing 5 to 10 times more.
Will the hardware handle the macrovision protection the most Disney flicks have? If not is there another choice of hardware that would work (Canopus)? Also, do these solutions have most of the audio sync issues taken care of?
I use the ADS Instant DVD 2.0 and there are no sync issues here… The hardware locks audio to video. There are always exceptions, despite the audio lock technology, it is not perfect…these consumer units do not fix video timing issues. Audio sync issues will arise especially on poor VHS tapes, particularly VHS copies (2nd generation and above) and also poor VHS player or tapes with very poor / constantly adjusting tracking, this will likely throw off the sync unless you have a high end VCR or use a time base corrector to completly regenerate the sync.
Usually the macrovision detectors are found in all VCRs and are active once the video signal is INPUT into another VCR. As far as a capture cards, from what I know, some have macrovision detectors and will not allow you to capture or cause problems… Some capture devices have what is called a PASSTHRU…they will NOT strip out the macrovision but pass it through. If I am not mistaken, the ADS Instant DVD 2.0 can handle macrovision - I once had to copy my original VHS film to DVD, and it had macrovision, it copied just fine… (I later ended up buying the DVD anyways for quality purposes.) I am not 100% sure, you need to check what chipset is used by your capture device and look on the internet to find the white papers about that chipset.
I own the old VHS tapes and am not looking to make pirate copies but simply to back them up for use by future grand kids.
If you have a capture device you lose nothing to try it out… It worked fine on my ADS capture device, I don’t know for sure about your pyro…I have a hunch it should be no problem.