Answered Advice on archiving mini-DV tapes?


Novice Member

I need to upload my mini-DV tapes to PC to preserve them. I connect my HC22E camcorder to a PC using Firewire and use Premier Elements 3.0 to capture the video of each tape. This results in a Premier Elements project and a series of .avi files.

Is this a sensible way of archiving the video?

Best regards



Well-known Member
You could just download the whole tape to your PC and only let the editor split it up when you want to edit that section of tape.
As long as you record the DV to your PC and then back up that file you should be reasonably safe.


Well-known Member
If you want to keep all the content of the tapes without any quality loss at all, then you will need to transfer the DV content. Ensure you are 'capturing' (more accurately 'transferring') using Firewire and storing the files as DV.AVI. There are other codecs that can use the '.avi' extension, but they will convert the video as you capture it, and that will cause some quality loss. I would recommend using wither WinDV or Scenalyzer (both free) for this transfer task to ensure you are not converting the video at this stage.
These transferred files will be exact copies of the originals, and will need about 13GB per hour of HDD storage space.
Once you have all the files, DV is an easily edited format, and you can cut out the rubbish and save the remainder - again as DV for no quality loss - or you can convert the edited files for saving in a variety of formats.
For many years people have used DVD discs, but they are fast being superseded. Blu-ray has never really been that successful as a mainstream format for recordable discs (it's fine for pre-recorded films)
I find converting to MP4 a very useful format... Good quality and much smaller file sizes than DV or DVD. Suitable for replay on a computer - or for uploading to You Tube - as well as playing on most modern TVs and HDD recorders via a USB input. Also plays on most hardware media players.

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic JZ2000 Final Thoughts - TV Calibration: Should you? And More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom