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How To Transfer MiniDV to Computer

Minidv To Computer

Almost all of us have MiniDVs stored somewhere in our house. These MiniDVs contain unforgettable memories, and this is a reason why we don’t throw them away. However, since they are a thing of the past, many people wonder whether they can connect MiniDV to a computer or not. To help you out, we will talk about how to transfer MiniDV to a computer so that you can watch your memories without any hurdles.

Quick Answer

To transfer MiniDV to a computer, you will need to connect your MiniDV Camcorder or Tape Deck to your PC using a USB or AV cable. Then, you need to use a video capture software program to record and save the footage on your PC. 

MiniDV is a thing of the past, and cameras that support it are no longer being made. If you visit the market, you will rarely find one in a store. Your best option is to get one from somewhere online, but you can expect its price to be high, considering a working MiniDV Camcorder in mint condition isn’t easy to find.

Now, while MiniDV Camcorders are no longer being produced, many people still have MiniDV tapes lying around in their houses. Most of them have kept them somewhere safe, as they contain a lot of old memories. People used such cameras to record everything they could in the past to live their memories again in the future. Or they just wanted to record stuff so they can later show it to their children or grandchildren. 

A big problem many people face is that they are unable to watch the footage on their MiniDV tapes. This is mainly because technology has advanced so much in the past 20 years that we no longer find equipment supporting such tapes.

Thankfully, there is a method through which you can transfer MiniDV to a computer and watch all of the precious memories stored in the tapes. 

How To Transfer MiniDV to Computer

For this process, you will need a MiniDV Camcorder or a MiniDV Tape Deck, a USB or AV cable, a computer, a good video capture software program, and of course, a MiniDV tape. After you have gathered all this stuff, you can transfer MiniDV to your computer by following the below steps.

  1. Grab your MiniDV Camcorder or Tape Deck to your computer. You can do this by using a USB or AV cable. You can either use a FireWire cable or a VHS converter. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of both later.
  2. Insert the MiniDV tape into the Camcorder or Tape Deck. 
  3. If you are using a Camcorder, put it in the VCR mode. Otherwise, the process will fail. 
  4. Open the downloaded video capture software on the computer. For this purpose, you can use any software, such as Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro.
  5. Go to the software’s main menu and find and select the “Capture” option.
  6. Play the footage on the Camcorder or Tape Deck in the window that appears. Make sure that the video also appears in the small window on the screen. 
  7. Click the “Record” button, which you can find in the capture window on the screen.
  8. Once the entire footage has been recorded, click “Stop” and save the footage to wherever you like.

After correctly following the abovementioned steps, you will have successfully transferred the MiniDV footage to your computer. If you use a FireWire cable, you will get better quality, and almost every major camera brand has a port for it. On the other hand, a VHS converter costs cheaper, but the quality of the video isn’t that great. 

Keep in Mind

An important thing to remember is that the capture window in the software might not always show the footage playing. If this happens, you will need to repeat the entire process from step 1.

In most cases, you will be able to solve the problem by disconnecting all the cables and reconnecting them again. However, if the problem does not go away, there might be a problem with either the MiniDV tape or the Camcorder/Tape Deck. You can also try using a new pair of cables.


This was everything you needed to know about transferring MiniDV to a computer. As you can see for yourself, the process is pretty simple, but you will need a couple of stuff to do it. Also, ensure that everything is plugged in correctly and you’re using the correct cables, as it won’t work otherwise. In any case, the process can help you watch your old memories on your computer.

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