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Are your tapes analog or digital?

Are your tapes analog or digital?

First, you need to know if your tapes are analog (slightly older) or digital format. The equipment you need to capture these videos differs for each format. See the list below for what tapes are in what format. The years in the table are from the time period when the camera was at the height of it’s use and are there to give you an idea of what kind of camera you owned. Analog tapes require a hardware device to convert (or transcode) from the analog to digital format, where as digital tapes can be captured straight to your computer without an analog to digital converter. See the “Steps & Equipment to Capture Your Tapes Section.”

Tape name & years it was typically used

VHS (1980 - 1990)

Digital8 - D8 (2000-2004)

MiniDV(1995 - 2007)

DVCAM(1998 - 2007)

HDV (2004 - 2008)


  • 1-Your tapes
  • 2-A VHS camera or VCR machine
  • 3-An Analog to Digital converter. I recommend VIDBOX Video Conversion for Mac. (purchase here)
  • 4-A computer (this example is for Macs)