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Converting MiniDV to Digital and DVD

Including Mini DV to Digital, DVD, MP4, AVI, MOV, Mac, usb, mp3 and Blu ray transfers - San Diego

Mini DV conversion service

How do you watch or convert Mini DV tapes to DVD or a digital file without amini dv to dvd and digital conversion camcorder if you no longer have one? Even if you were to purchase the best Mini DV to DVD or Mini DV to digital converter from Amazon, Walmart or Best Buy, you still need a functioning Mini DV camcorder or player in order to play the tapes.

They stopped making Mini DV camcorders years ago and it’s getting harder to find one in good working condition. There is no such thing as a mini dv converter machine and mini dv to vhs adapters do not exist.

Being a magnetic tape media they will start to degrade 7-10 years after video is recorded on them. With every year that goes by there is a risk of video information disappearing from the tape. The time to convert your videos is now before that happens.

We convert Mini DV to DVD, Gold Archival DVDs, CD, blu ray, usb and digital files including MP4, MP3, AVI and MOV for editing or uploading to the web.

For videos from other countries we can transfer from PAL Mini DV to NTSC DVD, digital, usb, MP4, MP3, MOV and AVI.

What makes our Mini DV to Digital and Mini DV to DVD conversion service better?

All Mini DV transfers performed in our studio – Faster Service

We never send our clients’ family memories overseas or to any other transfer factory. All video transfer orders are done right here in our San Diego studio. This enables us to provide a better quality transfer and faster turnaround than most other companies. Most orders are completed in less than 2 weeks, many within a few days!

Professional VCRs produce better transfers

Professional VCRs have better video heads and circuitry that helps keep the image more stable and consistant. They are more dependable than using a mini dv camcorder.

Your family’s recorded memories cannot be replaced and we feel your videos deserve to be converted with the best quality possible.

Transfer pricing based on actual length of the video

Most transfer services will charge you the same price per tape, whether your video is 2 hours or 5 minutes. Mini DV tapes tend to run 60 minutes or less so you can save some money since our flexible pricing is based on the actual length of each tape. Bring in all of your videos and save even more with our volume packages.

Digital conversion to MP4, AVI and MOV

Sunray was one of the first companies to provide Mini DV to digital conversion service. After converting your video to MP4, AVI or MOV files, they can be put onto a USB flash drive or external hard drive for your convenience.

AVI and MOV files offer the best quality. MP4 files are more compact as they are compressed to 1/10 the size of AVI or MOV. AVI and MOV are also better for editing purposes should you decide to do that.

Many places only offer MP4 versions of your videos. We offer AVI, MOV and MP4 formats for your convenience.

First to transfer video to true Archival Gold DVDs

Your family videos cannot be replaced and it’s important to preserve them as long as possible. That’s the reason we became one of the first companies to transfer Mini DV to Gold Archival DVDs. Their 100 year lifespan makes it one of the longest lasting media options available for saving your videos.

Volume level adjustment option

In cases where the sound is too quiet on the tape, we can raise the volume during the transfer if you choose that option. Most video transfer companies will leave the volume as it is.

 

These are just a few of the reasons people choose Sunray Video for transferring their videos. We’ve listed more reasons below. Very few video transfer services can match the variety, quality and fast service we provide. Our reviews say it all.

Bring in your videos today to get your FREE estimate! Or give us a call 858-578-4786

Don’t take our word for it, see what our clients had to say.

Very Knowledgeable

We had Sunray Video digitally convert our collection of family Video tapes (from 1986-mid-90s) to AVI. My family and I were concerned that the old tapes would no longer read, but we were so pleasantly surprised with the quality. I spoke directly with Kirk on several occasions before and during the process. He was very knowledgeable and flexible working with us. We first sent him 5 of our 10 tapes to check them for quality, before sending the rest. What a relief to have finally converted these old gems, full of memories!

Rachel HB

Thank You for Your Fine Work

My daughter had you prepare a video for our 50th wedding anniversary. I'm writing to thank you for your fine work. There wasn't a dry eye in the house! Everyone really enjoyed it and it will be cherished for the rest of our lives.

Warren P.

Read more reviews

 

Which format is the best for transferring Mini DV?

To answer this we must first determine what you plan to do with your video. Do you plan to watch it on TV only, watch it on a computer or do you plan to edit the video? The following options and descriptions may help with your decision.

Mini DV to CD vs DVD vs Blu ray

On occasion someone may ask about converting Mini DV to CD. Often they are confusing CD with DVD as the discs look very similar.

Converting Mini DV to CD

CDs are not really designed for video, they only hold up to about 700mb of information which is not a lot. CDs were originally designed for music, audio and data and that’s what they are best used for. If you just want the audio portion from the video then CDs are a good option, but you’ll be limited to about 70 minutes or so. CDs will play on CD, DVD and blu ray players.

Converting Mini DV to DVD

When movies first became available on disc they were put on DVDs. DVDs hold up to 4.7GB of information or about 2 hours of video. If you think you’re only going to watch your Mini DV videos on your TV using a DVD or Blu ray player then a DVD will be the best option.  We recommend putting them on a 24k Gold Archival DVD that will last longer than any other media currently available.

DVDs will play on DVD players, blu ray players and on computers equipped with a DVD drive and appropriate DVD player software.

Converting Mini DV to Blu ray

Blu ray discs were created for high definition video as they hold a lot more data (25GB) than regular DVDs. Mini DV tapes are considered standard definition so there isn’t really any significant benefit for putting them on a blu ray disc. Blu ray would be a better choice for HDV or hi-def camcorder footage. The biggest disadvantage for using Blu ray discs is that they will only play on blu ray players.

Learn more about the difference between CD, DVD and Blu ray.

 

Mini DV to Digital vs DVD

Not everyone has a disc player these days, so we have been receiving more requests to convert Mini DV to digital files such as MP4, MOV and AVI. We were one of the first companies to offer this option.

Mini DV to Digital File Conversion (Mini DV to usb)

If you don’t own a DVD or Blu ray player and plan to watch your video on a computer only or you want to have the video edited, converting your Mini DV to a digital file may be a better choice. Your video can then be put onto a usb flash or hard drive.

Editing video from a DVD is not ideal since the video is compressed and may produce a lower quality final product.  You’ll also need special software to “rip” the video from the disc into an editable file format.

Converting Mini DV to AVI or MOV (Mini DV to Mac)

If you want the best quality digital file, then we recommend converting your Mini DV to AVI or MOV format. If you want to edit your videos then either of these should work. Both formats are not compressed like MP4 and can be recognized by most video editing programs. AVI is a native file format for PCs and MOV is native for MACs. 1 hour of video in AVI or MOV will take 13GB of drive space.

Converting Mini DV to MP4

If you want to upload your videos to the web or share them with others (without editing) you may want to have them digitized to an MP4 file.  This will keep the file size smaller as this is the most compressed file format.  It us commonly used by YouTube.  Many of the modern TVs have a USB port that will accommodate a flash drive and can play MP4 files. 1 hour of video in MP4 will take 1.3GB of drive space.

Gold DVDs last longer than a hard drive or flash drive

If you’re thinking about storing your videos on a hard drive, keep in mind that the average lifespan for a traditional-style (spinning platter) hard drive is about 5-7 years before they crash or seize up.  For this reason they are not the best option for long-term archival storage of your videos, so you may want to put them on a Gold Archival DVD instead.

Converting Mini DV to MP3

Converting Mini DV to mp3 could be considered the same as converting video to audio. If you only want the audio portion from a video then mp3 is an option. If you want to keep the video and the audio then AVI, MOV or MP4 make more sense.

 

For additional information available on converting to DVD vs digital refer to our blog article on choosing a format for converting video to DVD or digital.

If you’re still not sure what format to get, give us a call. We’ll make sure you get what you need.

How much does it cost to transfer Mini DV to DVD or digital?

Most transfer firms charge a flat rate per tape regardless of the length, so you pay the same price whether it’s 5 minutes or 2 hours long. We charge different rates based on the length of the actual recorded material, as you’ll see below.

Mini DV tapes can hold up to 1 hour of video if the recording was done in the SP setting. They can hold up to 90 minutes of video if recorded in LP setting, but most of the tapes we’ve seen were recorded in the SP mode. Based on the 1 hour recording, DVD can hold 2 or more Mini DV tapes depending on the length of the recordings.

The other factor in pricing is based on whether you want a DVD, Gold Archival DVD or a digital file (MP4, MOV or AVI).

Mini DV Conversion Pricing and Options

We offer 4 options for transferring your video tapes to digital form:

Mini DV to digital and dvd conversion

Mini DV

  1. Mini DV to DVD includes: 1 standard DVD copy.
  2. Mini DV to Archival Gold includes: 1 Archival Gold DVD DVD copy and 1 standard DVD copy.
  3. Mini DV to Digital file only includes: Digitizing to AVI, MOV or MP4 file/s. No DVDs in this package.
  4. Mini DV to Gold DVD & digital file package includes: Put onto 1 Gold 100-year Archival DVD copy, 1 standard DVD copy and digitized to AVI, MOV or MP4 file.
<30 minutes<60 minutes<120 minutes
to Standard DVD$10/tape$14/tape$18/tape
to Gold DVD$14/tape$20/tape$26/tape
to AVI/MOV/MP4*$16/tape$23/tape$30/tape
to Gold DVD & file*$25/tape$35/tape$45/tape

Volume discounts for orders over 15 tapes.

*Price does not include Hard drive or Flash drive.
All video transfer orders under $30 will be charged a minimum transfer charge of $30.

Additional Services Available

  • Add chapters to DVD: $ 5.00 per chapter
  • Additional Gold DVD copies: $15.00 per disc / Get 3 Gold copies for $40
    (Each gold disc comes with a FREE standard dvd copy)
  • Additional Standard DVD copies: $ 8.00 per disc  / Get 3 copies for $18 / Get 5 for $25

PAL Mini DV to NTSC Conversion

Videos produced in the United States, Canada and Mexico are usually in a format referred to as NTSC. Videos produced outside of North America may in a foreign video format referred to as PAL. We convert MiniDV video tapes from PAL to the NTSC format. We can also transfer NTSC videos to PAL DVDs when you need to send a DVD to another country.

<30 minutes<60 minutes<120 minutes
to Standard DVD$14/tape$20/tape$24/tape
to Gold DVD$18/tape$26/tape$32/tape
to AVI/MOV/MP4*$20/tape$29/tape$36/tape
to Gold DVD & file*$30/tape$42/tape$52/tape

 

How to Order

Step 1: Make sure each tape has its own unique label on it. We will use that label for the chapter title on the DVD or the file name for a digital file. Keep the title short, less than 30 characters.

Step 2: Decide what format you want your videos converted to, DVDs or digital files (MP4, AVI or MOV). If you only want DVDs skip to Step 4.

Step 3: DIGITAL FILEs: What file format do you want them in: AVI, MOV or MP4?  Will you be providing your own external USB hard drive or flash drive or do you want us to add one to the order?  If you’re providing your own, don’t forget to include it with your videos. If you don’t want any DVDs skip to Step 8.

Step 4: DVDs: For transfer to DVDs: If the tapes are less than 2 hours each, do you want us to combine them to fill up each 2 hour DVD? This will conserve space in your media cabinet. Is it okay for us to split any tape over 2 discs if it will not fit?

Step 5: Number the video tapes in the order you want them to appear on the DVDs (if you have a preference).

Step 6: Decide how you want your DVDs to be labeled. How do you want it to read? This is just for your benefit so that one day in the future, when you pull out the DVD you’ll know what’s on it. (Example:  Smith Family Videos)

Step 7: Do you want your videos on Gold Archival 100-year DVDs? Will you need any additional DVD copies for anyone else? How many?

Step 8: Do you have any 8mm or 16mm films you need transferred to DVD or digital files? Do you have any photos or slides you need scanned to digital files? This would be a good time to get them together and bring in with your videos.

Step 9: Now you’re ready to bring your videos to Sunray for transfer. Select the option below for dropping them off in person or ordering by mail. If you prefer to ship them to us, we recommend using a courier such as UPS or FedEx for shipping as they have good tracking systems so you’ll know where the package is at all times. 

Order by Mail

Have questions?

Call us at 858-578-4786

Why choose Sunray Video for your Mini DV to DVD or digital transfer?

Before you send your money and irreplaceable memories out to be converted, you’re entitled to know what’s going to happen with them. Most companies say very little about their actual transfer process or how their process compares with others. You shouldn’t have to make such an important decision based solely on price. We think there are some things you should know about our process.

Professional VCR’s make a difference
Converting video tapes to digital form using a professional VCR provides a sharper picture than a typical consumer VCR and better tracking for stabilizing the image.  This is particularly helpful with older tapes where dropouts may appear.  The transfer warehouses choose to use consumer level VCRs; it’s the only way they can handle the large volume they get.

Experienced Technicians and Editors
Our technicians have over 16 years of experience in converting video. We can help you determine what format you have and what format will best suit your needs. Our editors have over 22 years experience in editing video and can help you edit your video.

True 100 Year Gold Archival DVD
Do not be fooled by imitation archival DVDs.  So called 100 year discs are not the same as the true Gold Archival DVD.  Gold DVDs will last much longer than standard DVDs.

Transfer rates based on length of video
Our rates are determined by the length of video on each tape.  You won’t be charged the full price for shorter videos like most other transfer companies.

Volume Discounts
We offer discounts based on how many tapes you bring in for transfer.

Did you know?
Magnetic video tape was only designed for 7-10 years of optimal use. After that the image quality will begin to deteriorate. As more time goes by, more information is lost in the recording.

Additional Mini DV Transfer Info

How many Mini DV tapes can fit on a DVD?

That depends on the length of the recording on each tape. DVDs will hold up to 2 hours of video. A Mini DV tape can hold up to 1 hour of video. You can have as many Mini DV tapes on a disc that will fit within the 2 hour limit.

How does the quality of the DVD or Digital file compare with the original Mini DV tape?

Converting Mini DV to DVD or a digital file (AVI or MOV) does not lose any quality using our transfer process. Transfer to an MP4 file may lose a little due to the compression factor, but it’s usually not noticeable.

Can a broken Mini DV tape be transferred?

If the tape or the cassette shell is broken, we can usually repair it prior to transfer for an additional charge.

Can the video be edited?

If there are any parts of the video that you want to have edited we recommend transferring the Mini DV to a digital file such as AVI or MOV. It is much easier to edit the video in this format. After the conversion, you can edit the video yourself if you have the software and know how to use it or you can have us edit it for you for an additional charge.

How long does it take to convert Mini DV to DVD or digital?

Mini DV conversion is a “real time” process with no way to do a high speed transfer. Our normal turnaround time can run from a day to a few weeks depending on how much video you have to convert. We’re typically faster than most transfer services. In the past we’ve heard that Walmart and Costco can take up to a few months to convert Mini DV to DVD. Since both places have to send the videos out to another company for transfer that will add a few more days to the process. If that company is backlogged it will add even more time to that.

How does Walgreen’s Mini DV to DVD transfer compare?

After checking their website it appears Walgreens charges a lot more than we do. They charge $24.99 per tape plus $9.99 for the DVD. If you wanted to put two (2) 60-minute tapes onto the same DVD, Walgreens would charge $59.97. We can put both tapes on a gold archival DVD for only $52 and you get an additional regular DVD copy FREE!

Walgreens does not offer the option of converting Mini DV to digital at all. And they send their transfers out to another company, adding more time to the process (3 weeks to 3 months depending on their backlog).

How do Walmart and Costco Mini DV to DVD transfers compare?

Both companies send their transfers out to another company which will add more time to their process. Turnaround time can vary from 3 weeks to 3 months.

Walmart transfer prices are more expensive but don’t necessarily yield better results.

After checking their website it appears Costco does not offer the option of converting Mini DV to digital at all. For Mini DV to DVD transfers they have a limit of no more than 2 tapes per disc.

How is Mini DV different than HDV?

HDV uses a tape format that looks very much like a Mini DV tape. The main difference is that HDV is used for recording high definition video whereas Mini DV is used for recording in standard definition.

 

For additional information on HDV to blu ray, DVD or digital transfers refer to our video transfer tips and FAQs.

Mini DV Transfer Tips and FAQs

What is an Archival Gold DVD?

Inside every DVD and CD is a reflective layer of material, usually made of some type of metal composite, that helps the DVD (or CD) player to read the information contained on the disc. A Gold DVD is a DVD that uses 24k gold as the reflective layer within the disc....

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How long do video tapes last?

Do VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi-8 and MiniDV video tapes ever go bad? Family vacations, kids blowing out candles and holiday gatherings are among the most cherished family memories captured on video. Sadly, these irreplaceable recordings on the verge of extinction as the tapes...

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