Encyclopedia > MiniDV

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MiniDV is a format to record digital video.

MiniDV tapes are 6.5 x 4.8 x 1.2 cm and hold either an hour or an hour and a half of video depending on whether the video is recorded at Standard Play (SP) or Extended Play (EP). In terms of video quality, it is a step up from any analog format.

MiniDV uses the exact same codec as Digital 8[?], DV, DVCAM[?], or DVC Pro. Because MiniDV uses the exact same codec, the video information -- before it hits the tape -- is no different than Digital 8, DV, DVCAM, or DVC Pro. However, DVCAM and DVC Pro record video on the tape differently. The drawback will be not the tape format, but the camera.

DVC Pro videotape decks can play back (but not record on) MiniDV tapes with an adapter. First generation DVC Pro videotape machines require a ROM update. DVCAM videotape decks may or may not play back MiniDV tapes, depending upon the model.

A full MiniDV tape holds about 15 GB of information; as the tapes sell for less than $10 apiece as of 2003, researchers are working on a way to have the tapes hold information other than video.

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