I have tried many methods to convert VHS to DVD over the years:
1) Phillips DVD Recorder when they first came out. The problem with this was it recorded directly to DVD and had a horrible menu, and did not allow editing. Also any VHS with Macrovision would refuse to copy.
2) Capture cards on PC. Work well and give the best results, but take a lot of time to copy the tape in real time, then convert to DVD using an authoring program. This was in the early days of DVD players, where they would only play fully authored DVDs and could not cope with raw MPEG1 MPEG2 or MPEG4 files, which most do now. Most capture cards ignore Macrovision.
3) Hybrid of the above, a Kiss networked DVD player with HDD recording capability. This allowed direct copy in MPEG2 format from any analogue source onto HDD, and the ability to transfer the captured files via FTP onto a PC, or play them back on the player.
From your comments about keeping the budget to a minimum, a simple capture device such as the Terratec Grabster
for under 50 quid does a good job. If the DVD player you are using is capable of playing raw MPEG2 files then you do not need any software, just burn them direct to a DVD-R as data. If your Father-In-Law is not very tech savvy then the use of a HDD recorder is the easyest option, as he can record the tapes once, and play the files back direct off the recorder. Most come with a 160GB drive, and at a medium resolution of 2GB/Hour for MPEG2, would store around 80 hours of video. There is a cheap 80GB version here Here