Home Theater & Entertainment DVDs, DVRs & Videos Copy Video From a Camcorder to a DVD Recorder Save those camcorder tapes to DVD with a DVD Recorder By Robert Silva Writer Robert Silva has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has written for Dishinfo.com, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Robert Silva Updated February 21, 2020 DVDs, DVRs & Videos TV & Displays Audio DVDs, DVRs & Videos Tweet Share Email Most of us now record home videos using smartphones and digital cameras, but for those that still use camcorders, or have a lot of old 8mm, Hi8, or miniDV videotapes tucked away in the back of drawers and closets, it's a good idea to transfer them to DVD. To transfer your 8mm/Hi8/miniDV/Digital8 tape to a DVD Recorder, follow the steps below. If you have a VHS or VHS-C camcorder, you can also use the following steps to transfer those tapes to DVD using a DVD recorder, either with the camcorder or via a VCR. Let's get started. Locate the Composite or S-video connections (AV outputs) on your camcorder. Some camcorders may have a 3.5mm mini plug that connects to an AV cable that has a minijack on one end and RCA audio/video jacks on the other. If you no longer have the one that came with the camcorder they can be purchased at a local Best Buy or online. Refer to the photo example below. Plug the camcorder directly into the DVD Recorder and NOT the TV using the corresponding AV connections. However, the DVD recorder needs to be connected to a TV so you can monitor and playback your recording. Standard RCA connections for audio and video connections used in the example. Switch the DVD Recorder from its tuner to the AV inputs the camcorder is connected to in order to get the signal from those inputs to record on DVD. This is done with either an input select button on the DVD Recorder's remote or front of the DVD recorder. If the DVD Recorder has video inputs on both the front and back, the back inputs are usually labeled Line 1, AV1, Aux1, or Video 1 and the front inputs may be labeled Line 2, AV2, Aux2, or Video 2. Put the tape to be copied in the camcorder, and also put a blank DVD in your DVD recorder (make sure the DVD is formatted or initialized - depends on format used). Press Play on the Camcorder, then press record on the DVD Recorder and you will be able to copy your tape. When your recording is done, press Record Stop on the DVD recorder and stop on the camcorder. Depending on what format of disc you use in the DVD recorder, you may need to go through a finalization step before removing the DVD from the DVD recorder. If you need to finalize your DVD, this step takes several minutes. On formats that require finalization, this process allows the finished DVD to be playable on most standard DVD players. Test your recorded DVD on more than one DVD player, if possible. If successful, continue the same process with other tapes. The iLink or Firewire Connection Alternative On a miniDV or Digital8 camcorder, you also have the option to use the iLink (aka Firewire, IEEE1394, DV) interface to copy your video to a DVD recorder, provided the DVD recorder also has an iLink input. Most DVD recorders have this input on the front panel, but some DVD recorders don't have an iLink interface. If you have this option available, it is preferable for copying miniDV or Digital8 camcorder video to DVD. You need a 4-pin to 4-pin iLink cable (refer to the circled connector in the image below) to connect the miniDV or Digital8 camcorder to the DVD recorder. Startech After connecting the camcorder to the DVD recorder using iLink or Firewire connections, the rest of the recording steps are the same as outlined above. Recording to DVD Recorder/Hard Drive Combo Unit If you have a DVD Recorder/Hard Drive Combo unit, you also have the option of transferring your camcorder video to the DVD recorder's hard drive first (no PC required). Once the recording is copied onto the hard drive, you may be able to make changes or add titles, depending on the capabilities of the DVD recorder. After "editing" on the hard drive, you can then copy your completed video to DVD at a later time. This method also allows you to make multiple DVD copies (one-at-a-time) of your camcorder video using the same source (the video stored on the DVD recorder hard drive). This ensures the same quality on each DVD copy, which is great for distributing DVDs to friends and family. Shown below is an example of the front and rear view of a DVD/Hard Drive combo recorder. Magnavox Although copying camcorder tapes to DVD using a DVD recorder, as shown above, is pretty straightforward, if you don't already have a working DVD recorder and are looking to purchase one, new units are now very rare.