Camcorders forum

General discussion

Mini DV to VHS Adapter?

by BSquared18 / January 28, 2006 12:33 PM PST

When I recently purchased a mini DV camcorder at Microcenter, the salesman, who seemed to know his stuff, said with certainty that adapters are available that are the size of a VHS cassette, into which you can insert a DV tape, and then view in a standard VHS machine (similarly to the way VHS-C tapes work in adapters). He went further to say that the adapter has a chip to read the tape, and that these units cost about $30.

On the other hand, I've read an online article which said that no way no how is that possible.

Who is correct? Does such an adapter exist? Is so, please give me a manufacturer and/or model name/number.



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I can't imagine a salesman who 'knows his stuff'.
by Kiddpeat / January 28, 2006 1:40 PM PST

They usually know something about their own merchandise, and little to nothing about anything else.

I've never heard of such a device, and can't imagine why anyone would make one. VHS machines are dead as far as the market is concerned.

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by drhiberd / January 29, 2006 12:16 AM PST

No, there is no such product that exists. They make mini-dv players (Like a vcr) but they are very expensive.

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So much for knowing his stuff!
by jcrobso / January 29, 2006 7:45 AM PST

There was an adapter for VHS-C cassets that would let them be played in a full size VHS deck.
VHS and MiniDV are NOT compatable in any way. John

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Camcorder replacement
by carolinelisa / September 5, 2007 10:11 PM PDT

We purchased a mini camcorder over 10 years ago when they first came out. We no longer have the camcorder and have since lost the adapter which allows you to place the small tape into a standard VHS cassette. We have dozens of video with no way to view them. Does anyone know where I can purchase a replacement. They definitely exist as we had one for years.


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I see them on Ebay.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 5, 2007 10:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Camcorder replacement

I didn't check


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mini camcorder replacement cassette
by carolinelisa / September 5, 2007 10:15 PM PDT


We purchased a mini camcorder over 10 years ago when they first came out. We no longer have the camcorder and have since lost the adapter which allows you to place the small tape into a standard VHS cassette. They definitely exist as we had one for years. I'm now looking for a replacement.


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What you are using and what Bill needs are
by boya84 / September 5, 2007 11:14 PM PDT

very different.

What you are using is a camcorder which recorders to miniVHS tapes. That is why you can insert the small tape from the camera into the full-sized VHS "adapter" and playback in a VHS player.

Bill is asking for a VHS adapter into which miniDV tapes can be inserted. MiniDV and miniVHS are different sized tapes and the information encoded on the tapes is different. The VHS you are using is an analog signal... MiniDV is digital (the DV stands for Digital Video) information. The VHS player would not know what to do with the digital information on the miniDV tape.


Yes, there are adapters for miniVHS tapes to be played back in VHS machines (if you can find them).

No, there is no adapter for a MiniDV tape that will play in a VHS machine, though, as previously stated there are miniDV decks (expensive). It would be cheaper to get an inexpensive camcorder to be the play-back mechanism...

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An adapter does exist. It's called an AV cable
by Dan Filice / September 6, 2007 1:08 PM PDT

All you need to do is plug the mini-DV camcorder into the RCA video-in plugs on the VHS machine with an AV cable, and TA-DA! There's the adapter. Happy

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Same with the VHS-C camcorder...
by boya84 / September 6, 2007 1:16 PM PDT

Good one, Dan...

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An adapter does exist. It's called an AV cable
by jaackdeth / May 12, 2011 8:52 AM PDT

How then do you get it to record to a vhs tape?

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by boya84 / May 12, 2011 1:16 PM PDT

The AV cable plugs into the camcorder on one side. The other side will be RCA male connectors that will fit the RCA female connectors on the VHS recorder's AV-In jacks.

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I just remembered - they are
by boya84 / September 6, 2007 1:15 PM PDT

"VHS-C"... for compact...

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RE: Mini DV to VHS Adapter?
by GeoMcGinn / September 12, 2007 10:04 AM PDT

Isn't that device called "your camcorder?"

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there are reasons for an adapter!
by 1prod / July 6, 2008 11:24 AM PDT

Of course it can be played back through the camera but there are reasons why someone would not want to do that. I was searching for this adapter when I came across this discussion. In my case the tv studio who owns the field camera does not allow playback on their cameras to preserve their cameras. Thanks to the poster who knows his stuff for letting me know I'm searching in vain.

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The first link is to an
by boya84 / February 23, 2011 8:08 AM PST

adapter for a DVCPro format VTR - Video Tape Recorder. Not many people have these. The DVCPro format is a Panasonic-specific video format. The AG DVX100 camcorder could record to DVCPro format.

The second link is the full-sized VHS adapter for VHS-C (compact) tapes. As previously indicated, MiniDV format tapes will not fit and the digital video and audio information on the miniDV tape cannot be read by an analog VHS tape deck.

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vhs cassette
by sosbandit / June 29, 2011 3:48 AM PDT

if there is an adapter it will be like the vhs c adapter were u put the cassette into the bigger adapter for play in a vcr,but a mini dv cassette adapter for play on an analog player ,i have looked online and cannot find it,,but you can send your tape out to have it digitized for editing online,and to dvd,,there are many better ways to read your tape,,vcr s are not the best way to view your digital content,,imovie is a great place to start,,ill keep looking for this adapter,,i would like to have one too if they exist,,,thnx

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You may meet Diogenes of Sinope along the way.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 30, 2011 7:14 AM PDT
In reply to: vhs cassette

There will never be such a thing. And even though it's technically possible the cost would be that of a small car.

Why isn't a cheap solution as noted above acceptable?

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sosbandit, understanding what you are
by boya84 / June 30, 2011 9:13 AM PDT
In reply to: vhs cassette

asking for being basically technically impossible is what Bob's trying to get you to.

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Today is far different from years ago.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 30, 2011 11:57 AM PDT

Today you can marvel at things like the iPad 2 which can, in theory best supercomputers from 1990.

And it can beat the 1985 Cray 2 (cost was about 17 million back then.)

This is only part of the reason why I think it's possible to make some machine the size of a VCR cassette to hold the miniDV tape and do all the work needed to send a worked over signal to the VCR heads.

The effort surely would employ hundreds of engineers from computers to materials and motor specialists and if mass produced might break below 6 figures.

Almost anything is possible but we have to find those that would pay the price.

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I guess anything is possible, but..
by Dan Filice / July 1, 2011 5:47 AM PDT

Everyone is forgetting that a miniDV tape is only 1/4 the width of a VHS tape. The tape heads on a VHS machine are not of the same size and format to match the smaller tape. How in the world could the heads of a VHS machine read a miniDV tape? I guess we could install smaller miniDV heads into a VHS deck, by that would be silly. Why don't we try to play a VHS tape in a miniDV camcorder? Just as silly.

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Didn't forget it. In fact it's partially why it is possible.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 1, 2011 5:55 AM PDT

Mind you I'm talking very high tech here. Imagine a miniDV player inside a VHS Cassette case that plays the tape and using the compute engines that now fit their translate it to signals the VCR head can use.

Figure millions to develop. We have two buyers so far so there's no reason to think about doing it yet.

Just a few thousand times harder than a (picture)


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Mini vhs tapes
by Vamom2 / October 14, 2011 6:53 AM PDT

I had a video camera back in the 90's when my kids were small that used mini vhs tapes. It did indeed need an adapter in order to play back the video in a regular VHS player. It has been so long ago I do not remember the make or model, sorry. I hope it helps you just knowing there is such a thing.

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Yes. That was VHS-C (compact.)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 17, 2011 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Mini vhs tapes
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mini dv
by splash2005 / June 27, 2013 11:28 PM PDT

I was just wondering if you ever figured out how to play your mini dv? I hope so!! I have so many tapes laying around and I no longer have my jvc camcorder. I need a way to play these at least on a vcr.

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It's been well discussed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 28, 2013 1:51 AM PDT
In reply to: mini dv

Folk became confused or thought there was such an adapter when they saw an adapter like this one:

Since DV is a digital video such a thing would have to have it's own read heads, some electronics and more so the cost would be more than a camcorder.

I understand folk's confusion on this but to play this you need the camcorder or deck.
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