Backup on a DV Camera

in Mac Software edited January 2014

I don't know if this is the right forum, but I'll ask anyway. Does anyone know if anyone has developed a little backup routine that allows a Firewire DV camera to be used as a tape backup facility?

I've done a quick search and found nothing, but it seems to me a simple thing to achieve. Does the camera really care what is stored on the tape? Obviously if not a video file then it can't show anything, but surely it isn't impossible to fool it into recording something?

That way it would be easy to copy large files/collection of files betweeen Macs that don't have a DVD writer.

Just a thought,



  • Reply 1 of 8
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,792member
    It's a very good idea. The only tape backup system for macs I know of is proprietary and ridiculously expensive.

    I'm surprised someone hasn't thought of using DV for backup before.

    The only problem I can foresee is that doing large backups might wear out the camcorder head. Of course, these things are made to record for hours at a time, so maybe I should leave this to someone who knows what they're talking about. <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Yo. There is a program I got that supposedly works really well. It is called Dv Backup and you can get it here.

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    Hope that helps.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    yes, there is a workng group devoted to the task of realizing the use of dv as a backup medium.

    i just scanned my links for them but couldn't find it. i haven't been keeping up on their progress ever since i got a superdrive.

    i know they are out there or were out there at least.

    if i remeber correctly someone had it working on a PC but you had to jump through some geeky hoops to get it to work.

    i don't know what their current progress is.

    that's all i got for ya.

    and it was called something like "the dv backup working group" or something i think.
  • Reply 4 of 8

    you're a star! How did you find it!! Anyway, seems to work great. Not quite the finished product, but appears to do the job.


  • Reply 5 of 8
    Just as a friendly reminder, I guess I'm becoming the Backup Nazi around here...

    DV tapes are not data grade tapes. They're mostly considered a consumer medium, and as such the quality of the tapes themselves are treated likewise. This simply means that your data is not necessarily safest on a DV tape.

    MiniDV or full size DV tapes are for video, and by nature are not as sensitive to the concerns of storing binary data on them. Tape like DAT comes in audio grade and data grade... and the data grade tape is made to be much more reliable and durable than the audio counterpart. Every time you have to rewrite over a tape, the integrity of it falls. Tape that isn't meant for data applications loses its integrity quicker than tape that is. That's why in the professional video world, you never master out to tape that has been used before.

    As such, I would not trust mission critical data to a DV tape. Not saying you can't do it, and I'm definitely not telling you to lose all hope and go drop $500 on a better system... just giving you a head's up.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    M3D Jack,

    thanks for your comments. For my purposes DV tape will be perfect.

    But I was puzzled by your comments that DV tape is for video, and hence not sensitive to binary data storage. I thought the whole point of DV was that the video is stored on the tape in binary format? That's why, I was told, you can replay the tapes 100's of times without any loss of quality.

    I can see that MiniDV tapes would probably be thinner etc than industrial grade dedicated backup tapes, but for the vast majority of home users surely it is perfect stuff? I did read that your point that you wouldn't use it for mission-critical stuff, but even so....


  • Reply 7 of 8
    It stores digital data much like Digital Betacam, Betacam SX, or D2 store digital data. But that data is still video with some audio tracks and, in the case of some cameras/decks, SMPTE timecode.

    The tape is less susceptible to degradation of the quality of video stored on it... however, subsequent recordings on top of old ones will result in the gradual deterioration of the tape, and as such, of what you store on it. This happens to all tape, just it will happen to DV tape quicker than some others. Remember, tape, be it "digital" or not, is still an analog format.

    But this is all taking a microscopic look at it all. As you said, for you, it's going to work out great. So I wouldn't worry about it
  • Reply 8 of 8
    bartobarto Posts: 2,246member
    Data is stored on DV in many different places, unlike video. Same goes for data vs video CDs.

    Mission Critical=bad, but it should be fine for most stuff.

Sign In or Register to comment.