Just purchased a Sony HC 32 miniDV camcorder and find its output excellent. However, I must say they don't explain how to get that excellent video onto DVD. Matter of fact the software they supply does not facilitate the transfer. It just allows the transfer of stills (and vcd?) via USB. They don't even supply a firewire cable which is necesary to transfer the video into a computer with all the digital information intact (they supply only a USB cable, and an av interface with RCA connectors). They also don't explain that you need a third party sofware package to assist in capturing the video by firewre, then editing, and writing to dvd compatible with set top players. I use Showiz DVD 2 and find it excellent, but Sony Vegas lite, and Ulead's DVD Movie Factory are favorably commented on in these posts also. These packages contain the drivers necessary to recognize the firewire connection to the camcorder, and they present a simple tv recorder like interface to control the miniDV tape in your camcorder. Once captured to a file on your computer, they can then be processed by editing, titling, setting chapters etc before being written to your finished DVD. The results are excellent...far better than standard cable quality TV resolution. If you don't want to go through this whole firewire process for the best picture, and the convenience of the DVD format, your next best option is to use the AV outputs and capture to the old fashioned VHS recorder as timwerx suggests. VCD is terrible video quality not even equalling VHS quality. USB transfers are terrible and lead to jerky pictures of low resolution. Sony should be more honest, and they should include firewire cables and recommendations for dvd authoring software with their camcorders. Their camcorders can produce excellent quality video, but NOT if captured by USB in VCD.
The last option for those who don't want the the firewire routine is to get a freestanding dvd recorder. They have come down in price and will accept AV input (and some firewire) and produce a very good quaity DVD with very little fuss and bother. Matter of fact, this IS the best option for those without fast computers, with large hard discs equipped with firewire and the proper DVD authoring software and lack the time and patience needed in the authoring process. The downside is lack of editing control.