Best format for converting miniDV (AVI) tapes for playing on WDTV

I’ve had a look on the excellent forum and am aware that mu WDTV won’t play back DV format. I’m therefore about to emark on the long slog of coverting 40 hours of DV tape into a suitable format for my WDTV. Time taken to do do this and the amount of disk space taken up is much less important to me than capturing the tapes in good quality. My questions are;

  1. What is the best format to convert to in terms of quality and reliabilty (my windows media defaults to WMV) and

  2. What is the best software to do this?

many thanks


I use Ultra Video Converter, be aware that this is not a free software, it gives me the option to convert and upscale the quality of the movie, it can convert to almost all the video codecs in the market.

Try Handbrake (free) with an mkv container. It has had a lot of recommendations on this forum and mkv seems to be the container that the WD unit likes.


I tried a copy of handbrake and used the MKV container. I ran it off a very old laptop (its around 8 years old but its got a livewire connection to capture the miniDV tape and is being used solely for this project) and it took about 8 hours to convert an hour of DV AVI! The quality unfortunately was not what I had hoped. I might try a better spec computer and try messing around with the settings…


I might have to purchase this for the ability to upscale the quality. Could I use this to record direct from miniDV to DV AVI before converting to MKV as I want to keep a lossless back up of the tapes as well as a copy for the media player?

They have a trial, or used to, try to see if it fit your needs before make any final purchase.

You cannot really “upscale” quality. The final quality will not be better then the original DV avi and in fact may even be worse.