How to Convert Mini DV Digital Video Cassette to DVD

Many digital video cameras record on a small tape know as a miniDV. MiniDV tapes typically record an hour of footage and function just as an older VHS tape would. Because the footage is saved on a tape, you need to use the camera or a MiniDV tape deck to place the contents of the tape onto a computer so you can burn a video DVD. MiniDV tape decks cost a nice chunk of change (upwards of $1,000), so it is probably in your best interest to use the MiniDV camera when uploading video to your computer.

Disk in the drive
credit: Disk in the drive image by Sergey Galushko from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Step

Plug the FireWire cable into the FireWire port on the digital video camera. Plug the other end of the FireWire cable into the FireWire port on your computer. The port looks like a USB port except one side is curved and a "Y" logo is next to it.

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Power on the video camera and set it to "VCR."

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Launch the video editor installed on your computer. Most computers come with some sort of video editor, such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.

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Select "Capture" and chose the connected digital video camera as the capture device. Click "Record" on the screen and the images of the MiniDV are recorded onto the computer. Select "Stop" on the screen on stop the recording.

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Click and drag the video file recently captured down into the time line of the video editor. Click "Edit" followed by "Export." In the export menu title the movie, select an output location and chose a video format. Some of the most widely used formats are .mov, .wmv and .mpeg4. Click "OK" and the video begins to export. Depending on the size of the video file, this process can take several minutes.

Step

Insert the blank DVD into the DVD burner. Close out any prompt windows that may appear.

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Launch the DVD burning software. Title the disk at the top of the screen and select to create either a data DVD or a video DVD. A data DVD saves the video as a movie file and gives you the availability to transport the video from computer to computer. You cannot watch the movie on a DVD player, however. With a video DVD, you can watch the movie on a DVD player but you can't transport and copy the video file onto other computers.

Step

Click and drag the video file into the video editor and click "Burn." The contents of the MiniDV tape are now placed onto the DVD.