DV was a compressed standard definition digital video format lauched in 1995. DV equipment was generally significantly cheaper than previous digital video formats. Domestic and professional camcorders recorded this format onto magnetic tape cassettes either as a PAL or NTSC signal. Audio was recorded as uncompressed linear PCM.
The format was digitally transferable to computers and other recorders via the IEC 61834 (also called Firewire or iLink) family of interfaces and cables.This enabled digtial video production to be created on personal computers using Non Linear Editing software (NLE) without expensive capture and playback video cards.
Variants of the format included DVCAM (tape speed was one third faster), DVCPRo and Digital 8. Digital 8 used the 8mm tape width of the analogue Video 8 and Hi8 formats.
Small cassettes, also known as S-size or MiniDV cassettes, had been intended for amateur use, but have become accepted in professional productions as well. MiniDV cassettes are used for recording baseline DV, DVCAM as well as HDV.