DV Cam & Mini-DV Video Formats

DV Cam & Mini-DV Format Information:

Videotape Format: DV/Mini DV

In use: 1995-Present

Recording mode: Compressed component digital video, helical scan. 2 channels of digital audio, sampled at 48 kHz. Other audio sampling and multiple track options available.

Tape width: 6.35 mm (1/4")

Features: Small and portable. Low cost. Superior performance when compared to analog formats of similar size and cost. Many models available.

Existing machine longevity: Still in use today.

Videotape longevity: Unknown.

Current usage: Widely accepted for production, field acquisition, and consumer uses, among other applications.

Notes on the DV Cam & Mini-DV formats...This format was considered by some when it was introduced, as a small miracle. The ability to record and reproduce a digital video signal in a camcorder similar in size to the then available products such as 8mm and Hi 8mm consumer and industrial level models, was a great benefit. Much less expensive that Digital Betacam, with superior performance when compared to 8mm and high 8mm recorders, DV cam and mini DV enhanced the then current news gathering and other field acquisition abilities, plus opened up new digital recording possibilities as well. Although still a much sought after format for daily use, its use of very small recording tape should be considered fragile from a long-term archival standpoint.

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