Archive for the ‘Mini DVD’ Category

Mini-DVDs are so adorable…until you try to play them!!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

I don’t know what it is about the universe, but somehow, we have been getting a lot of questions about Mini-DVDs these days. Perhaps the camcorders that made them have died and there is a desperation to save the material on these discs before their material is lost forever to the dreaded “incompatible format” message.

So what do you do with those little discs and how the hell do you get the material off of them safely?

Alright. It’s not as hard as it seems. There are two ways to do it…and one way to definitely NOT do it.

First of all, if you have a side-loading iMac, do not insert the mini-DVD into the CD slot or your computer (errr… and your life) will be seriously hosed. Instead, you’re going to need an external DVD drive that sits flat on the desk. Also, that drive must have the Mini-DVD imprint cut out in the tray to accommodate the small disc.

Then, stick the disc in the external drive. Once it loads, copy the entire disc to a folder on your computer. Eject the disc.

Next, open your burning software and burn all the contents of the folder to a new disc as a data dvd, not a playable DVD. This will include the VOB files. Burn the disc and you’re all done. Even the menus are copied and the disc will play perfectly on any DVD player if you use DVD-R media.

The second way to transfer the mini-disc to a standard DVD-R is to play the disc in a DVD player or camcorder that accommodates the format. Take the analog wires from the DVD player “Out” connectors and send it to a DVD-R recorder. Make sure to set your source DVD player as “play continuously through chapter stops,” or something that sounds like that. Then hit record on your DVD recorder and the video will copy. The only problem is, the menus won’t copy, but at least the video content will be preserved.

Finally, don’t buy into newfangled technology that is unproven in the marketplace for less than a year and a half. Seriously! People clamored for those adorable little mini DVDs the second they hit the shelves in stores without thinking of the fact that the format is inferior, holds insufficient amounts of video, overly compresses the footage, is next to impossible to playback on any other video or computer machine, and easily scratches and jams.

By the way, those discs are a freaking blast for teenagers to have “frisbee” fights with!

Home video Mini DVD camcorders – 10 reasons why they’re a very bad choice!

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Clever gadgets are fun to play with but not to record your important family events. In fact, just don’t use them. Seriously.

These are the type of cameras we’re talking about here:

Sony DCM-M1, Sony Handycam DCR-DVD108 DVD, Samsung SC-DC164, Canon DC-100, Canon DC-20, etc.

The problem with mini DVD camcorders:

1) The DVDs are very incompatible with many computer DVD trays.
2) A simple scratch when handling the disc and your memories are hosed forever. Look out, it’s a toddler with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!!
3) They usually only hold a miniscule 10 minutes of recording time at best quality! Ten minutes!!
4) Once finalized, the discs are done for. You can’t re-record over them like you can standard videotape.
5) The discs are expensive.
6) Special “ripping” software is usually required to edit the material on the discs.
7) There is substantial compression used on the image. If you try to project it for an audience on a big screen or do any kind of video compositing, the footage is going to have tons of really unpleasing artifacts.
8) They are really hard to clone for friends and relatives due to the compatibility issues.
9) People try to stick them in sideloading CD slots on computers it jams in there, resulting in repair fees and/or downtime.
10) Watch out for that toddler with the peanut butter sandwich… Oh my God!! he’s grabbing the disc off the table.

Yeah, this format wasn’t the greatest idea of gadgets. Please copy your material ASAP to a different format and dump that camcorder as fast as you can.

By the way, a good way to copy the disc to a better format is to use the factory-provided wire and connect it to a MiniDV camcorder or a standard DVD recorder.