Video cassettes,...cassette audio tapes, even,... have gone th' way of th' dinosaur. It's a shame too, because there is nothing "wrong" or "poor quality" about analogue, magnetic tape recording, provided it's done on good tape, with good equipment and a little common sense. As for converting video cassettes to digital video discs, I use a machine built to do exactly that made by Magnavox. (Model #ZV420MW8) It has a VCR and a DVD+RW/+R in one unit (stereo audio, of course). Actually,...you CAN use it to do th' "un-thinkable", which would be to record a video cassette from a CD or TV broadcast. (My 90 year old mother doesn't have a DVD set up, so I can still record current movies for her to watch on her VCR.) When VCRs first came to market, I soon found out that yes, you COULD record 6 hrs. of material on one cassette, but that's where th' quality went fishin'. THIS IS TH' IMPORTANT PART TO REMEMBER! When I DO record VIDEO material to a video cassette, I record anything I want to KEEP on high speed which reduces th' amount of material processed to two hours, but at a much more acceptable quality level. I also use the higher quality, more expensive tapes, because th' materials and assembly techniques used to make these tapes AND cases are superior to th' less expensive alternatives.
For you audiophiles, when you see audio material for sale in a "digitally re-mastered" format, that's exactly what it says it is. Not only do "they" convert th' original audio analogue signal to digital, but the recording is often tinkered with as far as sound engineering goes. That is to say, the original audio settings for th' analogue recordings are sometimes "tweaked" to suit th' ear of th' engineer converting th' taped material to digital. A case in point would be ZZ Top's 1st and 2nd albums.
I also discovered that tape speed didn't matter much for audio recording to a VIDEO cassette. My guess there is that th' tape and recording heads are so much bigger for video cassettes than audio cassettes. So,...although it's not th' "hot set-up" for your car, you CAN put 6 hrs. of nothing but AUDIO material on a VIDEO cassette with excellent results. (Great for parties, BBQs, etc.) My favored way to preserve th' integrity of original releases (as recently as 15 years ago generally, and even now occaisionally, as available) is to buy th' VINYL LP version, play it ONCE on a GOOD turntable,(mine has a limited speed adjustment with a strobe stripe, so it will spin at EXACTLY 33&1/3 RPM, which you can even tune a guitar to) in order to record it to audio tape or CD. I then use th' home-made audio cassettes or CDs to listen to, thus saving th' LP from wear. Not only can you re-record something you lost or otherwise destroyed from an "only played once" LP, but you get all of th' cover art an' other assorted printed material with th' LPs that doesn't come with a factory recorded cassette or CD, not to mention th' generally cheaper quality tapes, CDs and cases used by th' recording companies. (Bigger bang for th' buck, th' way I do it, I think.) Tape feed speed isn't adjustable for audio cassettes, but that's where th' better quality materials shine. Some audio cassette plaers/recorders have an adjustable azimuth that you can access, so you can land or "line up" th' play-back head with th' recording. Most VCRs have this adjustment control labeled "tuning" on their control panels. Just some thoughts.
~347Windsor (Can y'tell I'm a hot-rodder?)