MiniDVDs – Understanding What They Are

DVDs (also known as digital versatile discs) have been around for just over two decades and they are used in a variety of different ways, from storing your favourite films to storing your important computer and software files. However, since the invention of DVDs, there have been a few adaptations that are noticeably different, especially when it comes to size.

Here is what you need to know about MiniDVDs.

What are MiniDVDs?

MiniDVDs (circa 1996) are the exact same as DVDs but the main difference is that standard DVDs have a diameter of 12 cm (4.72 in) whereas MiniDVDs have a diameter of 8 cm (3.15 in). The difference in size means that MiniDVDs were originally used for music CD singles. Because of this, they also became known as MiniCDs or the CD single.

The other difference between standard DVDs and MiniDVDs is that standard DVDs can store a maximum of between 4.7 GB and 17 GB of data (this depends on the type of DVD), whereas MiniDVDs can store a maximum of between 1.4 GB and 5.2 GB of data (again, this depends on the type of MiniDVD).

What’s the Difference Between MiniDVDs and Traditional Media?

Other than the two significant differences mentioned in the first section, there are couple of other differences between MiniDVDs and traditional media. In this context, traditional media can be CDs, DVDs, HD-DVDs, etc.

Even though MiniDVDs served the same purpose as CDs and DVDs (to store files and other data), they were considered less popular compared to DVDs because they has insufficient memory, so they couldn’t store as much data, but they were popular compared to CDs as they could store more data, hence they were used more for CD singles.

Even though they are smaller than standard DVDs and CDs, MiniDVDs can still be used in Blu-ray and DVD players, so they are easily compatible with various reading hardware. They can also be used in consoles that can play DVDs and CDs (for example, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii).

In fact, when the Nintendo GameCube was introduced in 2001, it became the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its storage medium, where the optical discs used were, in fact, a variation of the MiniDVD.

MiniDVDs were also used as storage media in recordable DVD camcorders, because they were small, compact and could be taken around with ease. However, with the introduction of smartphones and the like, they have become more obsolete.

Although MiniDVDs may be largely obsolete, plenty of people still have home videos stored on them but because they are still compatible in DVD players, as discussed earlier, it’s easy to transfer them to a more modern form of media, whether that be on DVDs, hard drives or even the Cloud. For more information, get in touch with us on 0800 592 433.

The Evolution of the Camcorder

Today, the camcorder that is used to film home movies and family events holds almost no resemblance to the recorders that began it all. They have gone from being unattainable to the average home hobbyist to being a standard family commodity.


Here’s a look back at the evolution of camcorders; from the barely lift-able straight to the pocket sized.

The Beginning


The first video camcorder was created by a research team headed by Charles Ginsburg at the Ampex Corporation in 1963 – they produced the first video recorder there and it was known as the VR-1500. It was the world’s first home video system and cost an impressive $30,000. It was not portable, weighing over one-hundred pounds, and the camera and monitor were not a reasonable size for home use.

This was a major problem and was addressed later by the Portapack. They were thirty pounds lighter, however they had many drawbacks as each reel only held three minutes of video and had to be put in a lightproof container, and then later developed. These became the tool for photojournalists at the height of their popularity and were used to records all sorts of activities; from cultural events to political rallies.



Convenience became the name of the game for companies and as such JVC entered the game with the rise of the VHS. They produced the hoist on the shoulder camcorders that came to define the market for over a decade, they were popular as you could shoot straight onto a VHS and then put it into a VCR in order to watch straight away.

VHS also produced much better sound and picture quality than the older reel-style camcorders; colour was also introduced and with the rise of colour television became the new norm. The GR-C1 Videomovie camera was released in 1984, becomingan industry favourite due to all of the afore mentioned benefits and holds a cult following to this day. It was the first ‘all-in-one’ camcorder.

Digital Recording


In 1995 the camcorder world was shaken to its very core by the release of the very first digital recording camera available to the consumer market. Soon there was widespread adoption of DV recording and the interface that allowed users to attach their camcorders to the PC for easy playback.

The quality jump was remarkable and was easily the best on the market available to consumers; it eliminated traditional problems such as white noise and tracking issues. The only downside was that you still needed a small DV tape to record and store the digital footage.

The Palm of Your Hand

Today, digital recording has meant that phones can act as the most convenient and smallest option for all of your home movie needs. HD recording is now the norm as a result of vast improvements across the market. Since the turn of the 21st Century every camcorder has gotten smaller, the picture better and the future seems to be heading into 3D camcorder territory. Home movies will be a fully immersive experience, eventually, an astonishing fact considering where the humble camcorder started.

Here at Video2DVD Transfers, we are dedicated to making your home videos come to life on DVD. We make them easy to watch and quick to enjoy with your family again and again.

For more information contact us on 0800 592 433 and we will be more than happy to help!

The Limitations of VHS

VHS was a ground-breaking technology for its time. However, in spite of how it invented the home video experience, its limitations made it impossible to carry it over to modern times. When it comes to comparing it with DVD and Blu-ray technologies, analysing its main features is important.

VHS: A Ground-breaking Technology

VHS, or Video Home System, was developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in the 1970s. Before VHS, the Ampex VRX-1000 was the first commercially successful VTR introduced in 1956 by Ampex Corporation. With its exorbitant prices of USD$50,000 (more than $400,000 with 2016’s inflation), and USD$300 (over $2,000 with 2016’s inflation) for a 90 minute reel of tape, it was planned for the professional market.

VHS was introduced as a consumer friendly version that quickly took the market by storm. But what made VHS so successful?