VHS video is analog video. It was created long before we had digital video. In order to be edited in Vegas, it must first be converted from analog to digital. This conversion is not done by Vegas, which is why you won't find any menus or options labeled "VHS." Instead, the conversion is done by hardware which is inserted between your VHS tape deck and your computer. The easiest and most common piece of hardware which is used for this purpose is a standard definition camcorder. You are looking for either a "DV" camcorder, or a "Digital8" camcorder. Many of these, although not all of them, have the ability to "pass through" video. If you have something like this, you can attach the red, white, and yellow cables from your VCR (the two stereo channels and the video) to your camera, and then connect a Firewire (also called a 1394) cable from the camcorder to your computer. Your computer must have a Firewire connector. Not all computers have these.
It is possible that your husband my have used a more specialized piece of hardware. You will be looking for something which has at least three round connectors labeled Audio L, Audio R, and Video (or something similar) and also a rectangular digital connector.
If you want more help, just click on my user name and send me a private email. We can hook up via phone or Skype. I do media restoration for a living, and I transfer a LOT of VHS tape. Right now I am transferring about 100 LPs and 78 rpm records ...
The DVD recorder would be the way to get from VHS to firewire, connecting the VHS player Video/Audio outputs to the DVD recorder analog inputs. The recorder will do the conversion to digital and output a DV signal through firewire.
UNLESS... the DVD recorder's firewire jack is input only. Every one i ever saw on the shelves only allowed input through the firewire jack. This seemed extremely useless to me. If i had ever seen one with firewire out i would have snapped it up in a heartbeat.
... and there is (presumably !) no VHS drive in you computer either !
You need video acquisition hardware to interface your analogue video player (VHS or whatever) to the computer. Vegas will see the interface and you access it through there. I have ADS Pyro which connects via Firewire, but there are many others including USB-connected ones
I transferred my VHS and SVHS tapes to my DV camcorder (MiniDV tapes) and then transferred them to my PC later. I needed to buy a SVHS cassette recorder. I think I paid £44 for a new one. Having the precious footage on the mini dv tapes is a convenient way to store hours and hours of VHS/SVHS recordings.
My father had a load of old cine film and he sent it away to a company who put it all on DVD. I can't remember the cost but I do remember being very surprised how cheap it was. I bet there a hundreds of similar companies offering this service if you google it.
I would either do this or look on ebay for a cheap mini dv camera with passthrough. I bet you could get one for £40, do what you have to do then sell it for the same amount a week later.
The wayIi approached this a while back, was to play the VHS 'out' to the input of my DV cam, then out via the firewire of the cam into PC. Vegas found it fine, but remember to switch off 'device control'. This all depends on your DV cam having 'pass thru' of course.
Geoff, I don't know about a program that gets VHS tape. Johnmeyer was able to help me get it transferred through a camopus - hardware that took the Analog and transferred to the digital and then I was able to capture it in to Vegas Pro. I then was able to edit it. I am thankful for your and his and everyone's help.