Mike: let me try to help out here. Apologies if what I'm going to say is a little low level and is insulting, but...
1. You record your video, ideally in miniDV format (very small magnetic cassette, used by all moden digital cemcorders).
2. You connect your digital camcorder to your PC, ideally via a Firewire capture port on your PC. Again, Firewire is pretty much the standard.
3. On your PC needs to be a bit of software that allows you to capture video. Windows XP comes with Windows Movie Maker (WMM) as standard, and WMM will do this capturing for you. There are many, many other video capture/editing packages available - many on this board swear by Adobe Premiere and its little brother, Premiere Elements.
4. You now switch on your digital camcorder in playback mode, fire up your video capture software and start the transfer process.
5. The capture puts digital video (.avi file) on your hard drive. It can take a whole lot of space. Capture will be a whole lot better on a well defragged disk.
6. Now, chances are, you'll want to edit your 'raw' video. You'll do this (typically) with the same piece of software you used to capture it in the first place. WMM can do this.
7. Once you've got your video into a state that you're happy with, you'll want to transfer it to DVD. For this, you'll need a) a DVD authoring software package, such as Adobe Encore and b) as you've surmised, a DVD burner for your PC. This will allow you to create a DVD that will play on any PC or 'set top' DVD player. You can do menus etc., but more importantly, it will convert your edited .avi files into MPEG (the kind of video DVDs understand) and into a structure that DVDs need.
And that's about it. So your basic requirements are:
1. A PC with a relatively fast processor (1.5GHz+), as much memory as you can muster (512MB is generally accepted as the least you can get away with), a large, well-defragged hard drive, a DVD writer and a 1394/Firewire port.
2. A digital camcorder, complete with cable that will allow you to attach it to the Firewire port on your PC
3. Software to a) capture and edit your videos, and b) to author them to DVD.
Does that help?
Premiere Pro, Encore, Photoshop, Ulead VS6, WXP Pro, Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 2 x 250GB SATA3 drives, 2 x 250GB USB 2 external drive, DVD writer, GeForce 7300 GS 256MB
The biggest fool can ask questions that the wisest man cannot answer...