Camcorder DVD and Mini DVD Format:
How to Get the Best DVD Performance!

How to get the best performance from DVD digital storage media

The camcorder DVD and Mini DVD format is for you if you want a simple way to store and playback your video footage immediately after shooting it..!

Here some ways to get the most out of your DVD discs…!

A few years back the DVD was one of the most popular formats used as digital video recording media for camcorders. DVD camcorders are still sold and used today and are excellent video cameras.

In this article we will look at the Camcorder DVD and Mini DVD format by going over some of the things you should know...  and can do... That will ensure that you get the best performance from your DVD camcorder... And... this particular type of digital camera storage media in general.

Some General Tips to Ensure Optimal DVD and Mini DVD Performance...

Tips to keeping your DVDs performing at a high levelHere are some tips that will help you keep your DVD camcorder working at a high level…

Tip #1: Keep DVDs and Mini DVDs away from high humidity and temperature environments...

These factors can negatively affect the DVD and can cause recording and playback problems.

Tip #2: Clean your DVD only with a soft, lint-free cloth as you don't want to scratch the disc surface...

Never use a tissue, paper towel, or old rag to clean a DVD. Any one of these can possibly scratch the DVD surface. Scratches on the disc can cause the laser beam to skip and result in whole sections of the DVD not being able to be read by your recording or playback equipment.

Tip #3: Keep both your camcorder and DVD player clean and free of any dust or dirt. Set up a cleaning schedule and clean it often.

You can buy special cleaning discs that you can just pop into your player or camcorder to clean the laser lenses and... compressed air is also useful to clean out any dust or foreign matter that gets into the drive systems. – How to clean your DVD and CD!

You always want to clean your DVDs and CDs every once in a while!

Here's a quick video on the techniques you can use to do this safely!

One Common Cause of DVD "Mystery" Failures...

How to get optimum playback from your DVD discHere is an important tip concerning the playback of DVDs... And the cause a lot of "mystery" failures...!

DVD tip #1

 * If you want to label your DVDs do not use glue-on DVD labels as they tend to heat as the disc is played causing the label to "pull" and warp the disc.

This adversely affects the DVDs balance and will give you a poor recording and/or play back.

In a lot of cases, if the DVD is warped, you may get no  playback at all! The label may also peel off and damage the camcorder or DVD player internally.  If you've ever had a hard time getting a CD or DVD out of your player make sure that the label (if it's a glue-on one) is not the culprit.

Printing labels directly to your DVD discYou can directly print your label Information to an inkjet printable DVD!

To label a disc, use a soft felt tip pen or marker and write only on the top of the disc or use a "printable" DVD that will allow you to print your label directly  on to the disc with the use of a special printer adapter. Some of the newer high end printers have this capability built-in or you can buy an add-on unit for a lot of the printers that are currently on the market. If you know that you are going to produce a fair number of CDs or DVDs it would be a good idea to look into this capability on a printer the next time you're in the market for one.

I can tell you from experience that I have "saved" some DVDs that had glue-on labels and have gotten them to work again by carefully removing the label. But… It can be a very  exacting and time-consuming project as you can easily damage the DVD in the process. – Do not use glue-on labels

 * So a word to the wise… Bypass all of that and don't use glue-on labels...!

The Advantages of Using the Camcorder DVD and Mini DVD Format...

Advantages of using DVD digital storage mediaHere are some of the advantages you will find in DVD and Mini DVD camcorders!

DVD tip #1
  • Camcorders that use DVDs are usually full featured, small, rugged and light. With an emphasis on... Full-Featured  and Rugged !

DVD tip #2
  • With a DVD camcorder you have the ability to directly access scenes... Whereas.. if you shoot on videotape you must wind or rewind the tape to the scene you want to view.

DVD tip #1
  • The DVD camcorder is superior to video tape, as far as enhanced video and audio capabilities and in durability... Especially if you're using Blu–ray discs!  In fact... the re-recordable RW or RAM DVDs can be recorded and re-recorded to literally thousands of times.

DVD tip #1
  • Making multiple copies is far more convenient since the video footage is already captured on the original DVD. Also.. You can view your work immediately by playing back the video in your camcorder or on your DVD Player.

DVD tip #1
  • The DVD and mini DVD is also suited for long term archival use. It's a great storage medium. Compact, rugged and easy to secure. Most DVD manufacturers specify a 30-50 year (or more) life expectancy for high quality discs if taken care of properly.

DVD tip #1
  • Another plus is that the picture quality of a DVD is better in terms of resolution than standard tape since your footage is already digitized and doesn't have to be converted. To edit your video footage you can capture it to your video editing software directly from the camera using your computer's USB or Firewire connection or you can pop the finalized disc from your camcorder into your computer's DVD drive and save the video file to the computer folder of your choice.

DVD tip #1
  • The advantage of DVD over tape is that videotape (of any kind including Mini DV tape) is vulnerable to heat, stretching and electrical fields... Also the many small moving parts inside a videotape cassette can wear out or jam causing the tape to break. The videotape camcorder (Large or Mini) has a far more intricate transport system than the DVD camcorder and that just increases the chances of camera failure. The older large videotape players are not common these days and Mini DV tape Is mainly geared to be captured to your computer and then viewed .

Some Drawbacks When Using the DVD and Mini DVD Format…

Disadvantages of using DVD digital storage mediaThe drawbacks using this type of media format are that...

  • The video footage shot with a DVD camcorder is highly compressed which makes for a lower quality video resolution than most of the newer high definition types of formats.

  • It is also more difficult and time consuming to import and edit video from a DVD in some  types of video editing software due to the type of video compression that is used.

Is This Type of Video Camera Format Best for You?

Advantages of DVD camcordersVideo cameras that use the DVD or Mini DVD format are best for those who want to do...

  • Make short videos and/or…
  • Like the convenience of being able to shoot their videos, finalize the disc, and play it back immediately on their computer or DVD player.
  • Also…  DVD camcorders are now very reasonably priced and you can pick up a very full-featured camera for not a whole lot of money!

I hope this data on the camcorder Mini-DVD format will help you care for your disks...

So that they can give you the long life and reliability that they are intended for…!

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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