We need just a little more detail.
What audience are you encoding for,
1. TV Audience via a DVD
2. TV Audience via VHS tape
3. I want to encode back to camera?
4. I want to encode for YouTube or similar.
5. Something else alltogether perhaps,
Let me know and I wil ltry to lead you through the encoding process,
COMPAQ something or other with 500Gb Boot Disk, 1Tb external Firewire Disk, 4Gb Memory and a super duper sound card, 19" TFT Monitor etc etc etc
Sony TRV33e : Sony TRV310e : Canon XM2
Sony Vegas Studio editions to v11
Remember, there is always more to learn than there is to teach.