What I have been using for 2 years
After multiple trials & errors, I settled on 1 simple capture package and a different dvd writer package.
Pinnacle Studio Moviebox comes in USB & DV (Firewire) formats. Each has an external video capture box that connects to the RCA video/audio jacks of your "source" and can convert the video signal to DV (video camera format) or MPEG of various compressions. I have a slow cpu (1.3 Ghz) & can only convert to DV, but your PC's specs mean you can record directly at, say 4000 Kbps, & have 4 hrs. per dvd. The Pinnacle Studio software gives a great preview & editing system; and you can see what is happening as you capture.
I have to use 2 steps: record to high-quality DV in real time to edit & then convert the edited video to mpeg (this process takes 4 minutes for every 1 of video with my 1.3G cpu). If your PC is fast enough to pre-convert from the breakout box, you can eliminate the 2nd conversion.
The 2nd software I use is Ulead's MovieFactory. It is very easy to use & has never given me an error message, where Nero always has. The menu making & disc burning process usually takes 20-30 minutes for assembled mpeg files. If DV file need to be coverted, the time expands by about 4 to 1.
What I do is capture the video to DV via the breakout box in 10 - 15 min. chunks (commercial to commercial), edit to taste, & save/convert the edited material to mpeg. Then I open the Ulead MovieFactory (I use ver. 2, but ver. 3 is available now), create a disc file & select all of the mpegs that I want on the dvd in the order I want them. The MovieFactory keeps very good track of the disc capacity. When I fill the disc, I burn it. Just that simple. If the burn specs for mpeg match the saved files specs, no further conversion happens & no video quality is lost. I set both the video & audio in both packages to exactly the same and the MovieFactory simply assembles & burns the video clips to dvd.
All this comes after trying 4 different breakout boxes to capture the video and Pinnacle Studio, Edition, Liquid Edition, Ulead Video Studio, Roxio, & Nero as my capture/recording software.
The Pinnacle software will also burn to dvd, but I prefer the MovieFactory's greater flexibility. I paid $180. plus tax for my Studio DV Firewire & have never regretted a cent of it. It has captured & edited over 50 dvd's & gives me lots of control over the editing process. The Ulead MovieFactory runs about $50.
If you want any further specs or info, feel free to email me.