There isn’t a mini-DV tape converter through which you put in your mini-DV tape and directly convert your footage to a digital video format.
It is only possible with the S-VHS format where there’s an adapter you fit an S-VHS tape into and play it back through a VHS player.
If you don’t have a mini-DV converter, then you would need to have a mini-DV player to help you gtransfer video footage to a computer and from there convert it to a digital format.
A mini-DV player works very much like a VHS deck. All you have to do is pop in your tape into the player and hit the play button.
You can then get footage into your computer through a video capture software.
As you would have already known mini-DV camcorders come with a Firewire port to enable the output of digital video to a computer that has a Firewire connection. A mini-DV player has the same facility.
Check out the video below to see how a Firewire connection works on a mini-DV camcorder. The same applies to a mini-DV player.
Buy Used mini-DV Player Models
You can’t go out and buy a mini-DV player in your neighbourhood electronics store. The mini-DV format is no longer in vogue after the arrival of the HD video format.
However, you can still find used models over Amazon or eBay.
As these items are rare expect to pay above USD 300 for a set.
Comparatively, mini-DV camcorders are cheaper. However, if you have the budget, you should go for a mini-DV player, as it’s much more convenient to handle.
Tape to Digital Service
Buying a mini-DV player would only be economical if you have a big number of tapes to convert to digital. If you have only a few tapes to convert, then it would be wiser to use a tape to digital conversion service in your neighbourhood as an alternative to mini-DV tape converter without a camcorder.