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Thread: copying a tape to dvd

  1. #1

    Default copying a tape to dvd


    I am very new to all of this and am wanting to do a very simple thing:

    copy the contents of my videocamera (which tapes on mini tapes) to the computer and burn onto DVD to keep, so that i can use the tape again.

    I dont want to edit or anything just make exact copies.

    I tried using windows movie maker but it kept saving in 1 min files.

    Im wondering if there is a simple way to copy the tape to dvd without too much hassle.

    many thanks
    any suggestions or links to helpful sites would be appreciated

  2. Default

    A very important point needs to be made here before you go any further. While DVDs are handy to watch and store, the home burned type only have a shelf life of maybe 6 years. Some say less and some say a little more, stored in a good environmant. They are also easier to damage than you might think, especially the home burned ones. Tapes can last decades. I would not use the tapes over.,00.html
    Last edited by Evereddie; 09-28-2006 at 06:58 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006



    The hardware solution would be to buy a DVD recorder - the type that sits under your telly. If your camera is a miniDV one, consider getting a recorder with a firewire input, as the transfers will then be lossless. This solution keeps the PC out of the loop, and also lets you record TV programmes to DVD. Prices of DVD recorders are falling all the time.

    The software solution (assuming your PC has a DVD burner) is to get a low-cost all in one capture/editing and dvd burning program, such as Sonic MyDVD, or Nero (there are plenty more). What you are up against is the need to convert the footage on your tapes (DVAVI format) into the format used on DVD's (MPEG2). That requirement to encode to MPEG2 usually comes at a price.

    But if you are willing to invest some time in researching the subject, you may be able to work out a cost-free solution by visiting , and more specifically

    And I agree with the previous poster about re-using the tapes. I would never re-use tapes because:

    1. Re-using them would mean losing the original footage forever (the DVD copy will be of lower quality and is not future-proof).
    2. Second hand tape is more likely to produce poor recording results.
    3. Tape is cheap. Look on eBay for established sellers selling 5 and 10 packs far cheaper than you will find on the High Street. Or ask someone who is a member to get some from Costco for you.

    Hope this helps

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