mini dv time code

mini dv timecode

Each mini dv tape has an eight-digit (00:00:00:00 – hours:minutes:seconds:frames) time code. This time code makes it easier to quickly find a certain trick on your tape. The problem with mini dv time code: On a brand new tape the camera starts the time code from zero whenever you switch it off and back on again. This makes finding the noseslide at 00:01:25:08 quite difficult because there will be multiple 00:01:25:08s on the tape.


Before taking a new mini digital video tape to a skatespot record coloured stripes, black screen or even your goldfish over the whole tape. This method is called striping and ensures continuous time code.


You have probably seen it in skatevideos: The skater finally rolls away from his trick and the filmer holds his hand over the lens. There are three good reasons for that:

1) It looks really professional…

2) When fast-forwarding the tape searching for the makes, just watch out for the hand.

3) For a continuous timecode if you haven’t striped your tape: Make sure you have enough recording after the landed trick. When you and the skater have reviewed the footage (and decided you are gonna film it with kickflip-into) you can safely overlap the last few seconds of the previous shot. Without overlapping (or striping), your mini dv camera doesn’t have a reference point to pick up the continuous time code from and will start at zero again.


Last but not least, unique and constant time code can be very useful during the editing process: Imagine your hard drive dies during an editing project (yes, this sh.. happens). Let’s suppose you have always entered a tape name when you first digitalized the footage. Then most editing software will be able to reconstruct your edit with just the project file by searching and re-capturing your mini dv tapes.