Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:17 am
This post explains how to play a Sony Handycam MiniDVD on a computer. It also covers how to watch MiniDVD without a camcorder. Finally, solutions are offered if your MiniDVD won’t play on a computer.
The solutions offered here are not limited to Sony Handycam MiniDVDs. They also apply to MiniDVDs from other camcorder models.
MiniDVD camcorders were popular once upon a time. Some folks preferred them over tape-based camcorders.
The main reason for their popularity was mini DVDs provided playback ease.
With a tape-based camcorder, you would need the camcorder to play back your tape.
Also, you would need to undergo the hassle of connecting your camcorder to your TV.
Playing, a tape from a camcorder isn’t the most convenient thing to do. Even if you have a camcorder remote.
If you want playback ease, you can buy an 8mm or MiniDV VCR or player. Most folks would need to break the bank to do it.
How to Watch a MiniDVD without a Camcorder
The best way to watch a MiniDVD is through the camcorder you shot it with. However, what if you were given the MiniDVD without the camcorder?
Or you may have the camcorder but it’s not functional. In this case, there are options to play a MiniDVD without a camcorder.
A MiniDVD can be easily played back on a DVD player or a computer with a DVD drive.
Here’s how to play a Sony Handycam MiniDVD on a computer. The method applies to other DVD camcorders as well, as mentioned earlier.
If you have been using DVD camcorders a lot, you would have heard of the term finalize the disc.
Finalizing a MiniDVD
A MiniDVD doesn’t work like a tape. You can record on a tape and then play it back on a TV. You can then remove the tape and continue recording on it.
That’s not the case with a mini DVD.
You have to close the disc first before you can read it on a device away from your DVD camcorder.
You’ll be reminded that finalizing a disc will not allow you to record on it anymore.
This is a major drawback of the DVD camcorder. With a tape, you can just play and record on it without having to finalize it.
What if You Don’t Have a Camcorder?
So, how do you finalize a Mini DVD if you don’t have a camcorder?
Finalizing with a Computer
You may finalize a MiniDVD with a computer. However, you would need a paid program called CDRoller.
This data recovery software, among others, will help you finalize a Mini DVD without the need for a camcorder.
It would be a worthwhile investment if you have many unfinalized discs.
Buying a DVD Camcorder
You may want to buy a DVD camcorder if you have many MiniDVD discs to finalize. If so, buy a DVD camcorder of the same brand as the faulty unit.
You can find used DVD camcorder models over at online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
Tape to Digital Service
If you have only a single DVD or two to finalize, then you may want to send your disc(s) to a tape-to-DVD/digital service.
These services usually have many DVD camcorder models. They can do the disc finalization job for you.
How to Play a MiniDVD on a Computer
If you have a finalized Sony Handycam MiniDVD, you would need a DVD drive and DVD player software to view your disc.
Most computers don’t come with built-in DVD drives these days. But you can always affordably buy an external DVD drive.
A MiniDVD can easily fit into a DVD drive tray. Just place it on the ‘middle ring’ as shown below.
DVD Player Software
If you’re on a Windows 10 computer, you’ll have no luck.
Since Windows 8, there hasn’t been a built-in DVD player in your operating system.
So, you’ll have to make do with a third-party DVD player like the VLC Media Player.
Read more on how to play a MiniDVD on a Windows computer.
You’ve learned how to play a Sony Handycam MiniDVD on a computer. Now, go ahead and give it a try.
How to Fix MiniDVD Won’t Play on a Computer
In most cases, you’ll not have a problem playing your MiniDVD on a computer without making any
In case your MiniDVD doesn’t play, here are some fixes to try. Before that, makse sure your MiniDVD is finalized, as explained above.
- Make sure the MiniDVD is properly inserted into the DVD drive. It must sit tight on the tray.
- Check if your DVD drive is enabled or detected in the computer operating system. You would do this by going to Device Manager.
- Check whether your disc is scratched or damaged. Look out for dust and smudges on the disc and clean them.
- If you’re using an external DVD drive, check to see if it’s securely plugged into your computer’s USB port.
- Is your computer set to a high-resolution display? Try changing it to 720 x 480 or 640 x 480.
- If you suspect a faulty DVD drive, try playing another CD or DVD. If the new disc plays, then there’s no issue with the DVD drive.
You may also want to try enabling auto-play. When this function is activated, your MiniDVD will play automatically when a disc is inserted.
Here are the steps on how to activate Auto-Play on Windows.
Step 1 – Select Hardware and Sound in Control Panel
Enter Control Panel in the Windows search bar on the bottom left of your computer screen.
In Control Panel select Hardware and Sound.
Step 2 – Select Auto Play
Select AutoPlay and then choose Play CDs or other media automatically.
Step 3 – Choose Use AutoPlay for All Media
Tick Use AutoPlay for all media and devices.
Then under Videos make the necessary selection. You would want to choose a default media player to play your MiniDVD when you insert the disc.
You have seen how you can fix a MiniDVD that won’t play on your computer. If you face this problem, give any of the above fixes a try.