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Copy miniDV videotape to DVD

Posted on 2011-09-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I've got a Canon ZR85 digital video camcorder.  It's got S-video, DV, USB and AV terminals.  My question is how do I use one of the available terminals to copy the miniDV tapes to DVD?

I've got a Dell Optiplex running Vista with Windows Movie Maker & Windows DVD Maker.  I've tried plugging in the camcorder to the PC with the USB cable and then selecting "import from digital video camera" but I get an error message that says it doesn't find a compatible digital video device.

I would like to maintain the greatest video quality possible.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,
darin
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Question by:DarinOBrien
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Expert Comment

by:aboo_s
ID: 36476915
One possible solution is getting  a TV card for your PC, plug in video from camera playback and record!
An alternative is to get a DVD recorder.
USB will only transfer images and in some cases compressed videos. AV terminal is the one you should be dealing with, this is where you need that TV card. There are some real cheap ones out there!
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Assisted Solution

by:John_Arifin
John_Arifin earned 400 total points
ID: 36477242
I don't know whether your Dell Optiplex has the Fire Wire terminal.
The 4 pins Fire Wire Card (IEEE 1394) and the FireWire Cable are quite cheap.
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Accepted Solution

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Michael-Best earned 1600 total points
ID: 36477550
See your manual pages 80-83
If you do not have the manual you can download it here:
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/minidv_camcorders/zr85#BrochuresAndManuals

Your Canon ZR85 has IEEE 1394 interface ( FireWire 400 )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394

If your Dell does not have a IEEE 1394 interface  then you will need to buy and install a IEEE 1394 interface card or if you have a PCMCIA slot you can use a IEEE-1394A CardBus PCMCIA CARD.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10302

Also you will need the firewire cable.

You then need to install DV to DVD conversion software:
How to transfer mini dv to dvd:
http://www.dvd-photo-slideshow.com/pdf-files/How%20to%20convert%20mini%20dv%20to%20dvd.pdf
Or
http://www.xilisoft.com/dv-to-dvd-converter.html
Or google DV to DVD software.
  How-to-convert-mini-dv-to-dvd.pdf
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Author Closing Comment

by:DarinOBrien
ID: 36478370
I've got IEEE1394 interface already so I just had to order a 4P-6P firewire cable.  

Thanks for the links to the DV to DVD conversion software...;most helpful!

Thanks to everyone for the excellent help.
darin
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