I still have a VCR. It hasn't been used in years, but I have the old family archive of VHS. Home movies from when I was a kid. At some point, I think I archived them all on a hard drive somewhere. Yet it was one of those situations where I did it without actually sorting any of it through. So I have a hard drive somewhere with large files of videos.
I still have the VHS. I still have the VCR. I have some box I bought years ago to put them on PC, which cleared up video issues but it only connects via a firewire port, which my current PCs don't have.
Some years ago I did convert quite a few old tv commercials and some tv shows to upload to a youtube channel. But you have to be very careful about copyright issue's it only took me one single song upload before I got some official warning and my video was taken down. Then I thought well bugger this and I just removed all my video's and closed the youtube channel.
I just did all of my conversions using a basic internal PCI slot TV tuner card which I have in my old PC which is not far away as I know I can always go back to this old system if I ever want to convert any VHS tapes into digital format for uploading. My old PC also has a firewire port like yours but I have never used this port at all.
That filter box you mention sounds pretty good I never had one of those when I did my VHS conversions years ago.
You mention how VHS tapes degrade over time but all I can say it don't put all your eggs in one basket and just rely on storing everything in a digital format on a hard drive etc. I actually have a couple of those external back up hard drives and one of them has failed on me but luckily I always back up onto 2 hard drives. But even still you can't guarantee that a hard drive will one day just cark it and you can't retrieve anything from it.
So I guess what I am saying is don't throw away any of those old original VHS tapes or whatever other media your memories are stored on. Try and look after them as best you can you'd be amazed just how many years a good old VHS tape can survive it would probably even outlast the converted video's on a hard drive!