How to download video from MiniDV tapes without a camcorder?
February 28, 2008 3:22 PM   Subscribe

I have several old MiniDV tapes, but no camcorder. Is there any hardware I can buy that I can plug into my PC and let me download the video? Is there anything compatible with Linux?
posted by icheyne to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
 
MiniDV recorders (Google them) are expensive, especially when compared to low-end camcorders that will do the trick for under $200 new. You can probably find something with a broken LCD on craigslist for far less, if all you want it for is its transfer ability.
posted by mhz at 3:44 PM on February 28, 2008


Yes. MiniDV players will run you $1k minimum easily. Just buy a cheapo DV cam for $200 and there you go. That or you could go to one of those media places where they put old tapes on DVD. They usually have the equipment and are pretty cheap, like $10 a DVD.
posted by sanka at 3:48 PM on February 28, 2008


Broken LCD is a clever idea. I bet under $100.
posted by rokusan at 3:50 PM on February 28, 2008


Is it possible that you know someone who has a miniDV camcorder you could borrow?
posted by thomas144 at 3:52 PM on February 28, 2008


With all respect, stating the obvious: an inexpensive, used camcorder?
Canon Optura, maybe less than $200 on your favorite auction site.
posted by artdrectr at 3:55 PM on February 28, 2008


MiniDV recorders (Google them) are expensive, especially when compared to low-end camcorders that will do the trick for under $200 new.

That's what I did when my beautiful Sharp MiniDV camcorder b0rked... I bought a lousy Samsung model for $200.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:03 PM on February 28, 2008


I don't know London, but here in the Bay Area, California, you can rent time in a video lab and transfer the content to VHS, hard drive, or DVD that way. (Or, from my direct expereince, weasel your way into a film school lab.)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:28 PM on February 28, 2008


Get a cheap camcorder - borrow one, hit Craigslist, or buy one. In the Bay Area, I got one used for $200. It had the Firewire connector, standard for DV. If you don't have a Firewire card, well, I got a Linux-compatible one for $20.

As for Linux software, I've used dvgrab & kino. If you don't have either of those packages, the dyne:bolic live cd has kino.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:57 PM on February 28, 2008


Thanks for all the great answers guys. I'll ask my friends if I can borrow a Firewire connected camcorder. :)
posted by icheyne at 1:16 AM on February 29, 2008


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