The Much Sought-after Sony DRV-1000 and DRV-1000P DVCam/MiniDV Drives

In 2008, I searched the web for information about the possibility of a MiniDV tape drive with high speed interface for a PC that would fit a 5¼” slot.

At the time I was uploading my videos from my Sony HDR-HC1 camcorder to a PC via a FireWire cable. Then could I edit the videos. However, because I lacked large disk drives, I had to copy the finished production back onto a MiniDV tape. I then use the HDR-HC1 camcorder to pay back the tapes on a high def monitor via RGB cable.  In 2009, I absolutely couldn’t afford the $2,700 purchase price for a Sony HVR-M15, much less the pricy Sony HVR-M25.

After doing this several times I decided to Google “minidv drive”. Eventually I stumbled across a number of blogs describing something that Sony supposedly made. Like so many, I kept at it trying to find information about what it might be. I have used tape backup devices that used mini cassettes very similar to the MiniDV. So it stood to reason that someone might have made a drive that takes MiniDV tapes.

Eventually I did find a flyer at a computer store that described the Sony DRV-1000. However…

This is a MiniDV or DVCAM – um, well, don’t hold your breath. It is not a MiniDV tape drive with a SCSI, IDE or SATA interface. Sorry. It is merely a tiny version of the Sony DSR-20 DVCam/MiniDV Deck that can be mounted in a 5¼” slot connected to the PC motherboard via IEEE 1394 FireWire (Sony’s i.LINK protocol). It won’t rapidly read tapes cutting upload times. It plays them back real-time – at the same rate they were recorded. It is also not 1080i HD capable like the Sony HVR-M15U HDV Deck.

What a disappointment.

Sony refused to allow the Chinese to build an actual MiniDV Drive.

It shows-to-go-you what happens when a manufacturer of video equipment owns media production companies – you-know, Sony Music, Sony Pictures...

Like the Betamax, the MiniDV format has since fallen into obsolescence. Today it is the ubiquitous SD card available to everyone, not just the production companies. Now with less than $500 for a camera plus a fairly good PC with editing software, the average YouTuber can produce high resolution videos comparable to the pros.

Sorry Sony, you lose – again!

S March 2018

Note. This past year I did stumble across a Sony HVR-M25U new in box with zero hours for about $100.