Mini DV tape or HDV transfer

Mini DV or HDV tape transfer.

HDV. High definition video first appeared as a Prosumer format using Mpeg 2 compression onto standard Mini DV tapes.

Mini DV or HDV tape transfer

Mini DV or HDV tape transfer.

This video format used Long GOP compression to write High Definition video onto magnetic tape. This was the same tape that Mini DV camcorders and video decks used for Standard definition video. Most of the HDV video tapes had a 60 minute runtime.

Please note that there is no way of telling if your Mini DV tape has been recorded in SD or HD until you put it into a deck or camcorder. A Mini DV camcorder or deck will not be able to play a tape recorded in the HDV format, but an HDV deck will play both formats.

Mini DV tapes

The most widely used HDV camcorder was the 3 CCD Sony Z1. (pictured above Sony FX 1 E ).

HDV video tape transfer.

To preserve the quality of the picture the best way to transfer the HDV video footage is via firewire to a PC or Mac computer.

Video Image Productions capture your HDV footage using Apple Pro Res 4:2:2.

This is an excellent format for video editing or transferring to DVD or HD Youtube Etc. Compared to High Defintion and 4K camcorders now HDV is still a good quality picture even if it is only 1080i.

For more Information please go to Video Image Productions.

HDV tape transfer to computer digital video

HDV tape transfer to computer.

Video Image Productions provide an HDV tape transfer to computer video files.

About HDV video tape.

HDV tape transfer to computer


HDV is a format for recording of high-definition video on Mini DV cassette tape. The video was recorded in MPEG 2 format. It used the same Mini DV video tape format that was used for Standard definition video recording.  The format was originally developed by JVC and supported by Sony, Canon, and Sharp. The four companies formed the HDV consortium in September 2003.

Conceived as an affordable high definition format for digital camcorders, HDV quickly caught on with many amateur and professional videographers due to its low cost, portability, and image quality acceptable for many professional productions.

The data rate for both the audio and video is constant and is roughly the same as DV data rate. The relatively low video data rate can cause bit rate starvation in scenes that have lots of fine detail. Rapid movement or other complex activity like flashing lights. It may result in visible artifacts. These Include blockiness and blurring. In contrast to the video, HDV audio bitrate is relatively generous. At the coded bitrate of 384 kbit/s, MPEG-1 Layer 2 audio is regarded as perceptually lossless.

sony HDV camcorder

Personal view.

I bought into HDV very early on. I still own a Sony Z1 which has been my work horse for many years. One important thing to remember with any HDV tape transfer to computer is to keep the tape heads clean.


Our transfer process.

Our HDV tape to computer service is a totally digital process.

Connections. Even though HDV is a tape based format it is still digital. Our HDV decks have  firewire and HDMI output connections. These are then connected to our Apple and PC work stations. With this type of connection there is no quality loss in the transfer. The hardware used is Black Magic Design professional broadcast products.

Link to Sony HDV tape.