Mini DV Players & Where To Buy Them (Tape Decks / VCRs)

If you are in need of a Mini DV player for Mini DV cassette tapes, and you’re not exactly sure where to look then you’ve found the right place!

Since there is no such thing as a Mini DV to VHS tape adapter that would allow you to play your tapes back in a VHS player, you have 2 options for playing your Mini DV tapes:

  • Mini DV Camcorder – there were far more Mini DV camcorders produced and currently sold in used marketplaces. Averaging $100-$200 on eBay this is the most affordable option.
  • Mini DV Player / Tape Deck / VCR – there were far fewer of these produced and are harder to find and more expensive than buying a used Mini DV camcorder

And if you’re not up for buying used equipment to play and transfer your Mini DV tapes to digital then use a video transfer service, as they transfer all kinds of videotape not just VHS.

This article tells you where to buy Mini DV players, lists the Pros and Cons of Mini DV players, as well as model numbers and links to the most popular players that were produced.

Mini DV Tape Players / Tape Decks – Best Places to Buy

From scouring the web I only found 2 websites that list consistently Mini DV Players for sale, and 2 other websites that were based on “inventory” as these are all used items.

  • eBay – has the best selection of Mini DV players by far. Just want out for listings that are “parts only” as those are valid listings just not fully functional items
  • Amazon – has some models listed, not all
  • Craigslist – online used items, I actually found a mini DV player for sale near me for a fair price
  • Facebook Marketplace – try both local-only or for sale groups near you, or entire marketplace. Found only a few on here

Mini DV Tape Player PROs and CONs

PROS: So who does it make sense for to purchase a Mini DV tape player:

  • Multiple Tape Formats: Some decks play back multiple formats like DV, DVCAM, and DVCPRO tapes. There are also decks that hare combo Mini DV and S-VHS, so if you need to transfer both formats you may consider one of these players. If you are a video pro that has shot in these multiple formats then these players make the most sense for you.
  • Professional Grade Results: most but not all Mini DV players are professional grade equipment used by video professionals.

CONS: The drawbacks of Mini DV Players

  • Scarcity: Tougher to Find as well as repair/replace
  • Price: Due to the scarcity these units are generally twice or more the cost of a Mini DV camcorder

Mini DV Tape Player Models

Sony Semi-Professional Grade Mini DV Players / Tape Decks / DVCAM

  • Sony DSR-11 (eBay 9 – avg $50)
  • Sony DSR-20 DVCAM / DV / MiniDV VTR Player/Recorder (1 Amazon / eBay 8) – prices from $120 to over $400
  • Sony DSR-30 DVCAM / DV / MiniDV VTR Player/Recorder

Professional Grade Mini DV Players / Tape Decks

  • Sony DSR-1500AP Digital Video Cassette Recorder DVCAM VCR Mini DV PAL DSBK-1501 – CHECK TO SEE IF PLAYS NTSC – The DSR-1500AP automatically detects DV, DVCAM and DVCPRO tape formats. – PAL format ships from overseas, averages > ,1000
  • Sony DSR-1800 AP DVCAM DV MiniDV Digital Tape Player Recorder Deck
  • Sony DSR-2000
  • JVC BR-DV3000U Professional DV MiniDV Deck with Firewire Cable

Portable Mini DV Players / Tape Decks

  • Sony GV-D1000 Walkman
  • Sony GV-D900
  • Sony GV-D300 mini-DV VCR
  • Sony DSR-V10 mini

HDV High Definition Mini DV Players / Tape Decks

  • Sony HVR-M15U PAL/NTSC 1080i HDV DVCAM DV Digital Video Player Recorder VCR EX

JVC Mini DV / S-VHS Combo Player Models (Victor)

JVC manufactured a number of combo Mini DV Tape Player that also has an integrated S-VHS player. The DV side of the player had a Mini DV tape slot and IEEE1394 firewire output, and the S-VHS side had s-video and composite video outputs.

Who This is Good For: Anyone looking to play MiniDV tapes as well as S-VHS tapes. S-VHS tapes are a higher grade of VHS that can’t be played back on a normal VHS player, although S-VHS players can play back normal VHS tapes as well as S-VHS.

According to Wikipedia, JVC stands for “Japan Victor Company”, so the Victor models listed are JVC but just released in Japan. This also means international shipping may be involved with any Victor models, so read carefully before buying.

  • JVC HR-DVS1 miniDV
  • JVC Hr-dvs2u 
  • Victor HR-DV3
  • Victor HR-DV4