Can HDV be shown on ordinary televisions, DVD players etc?
Internet Filmmakers' FAQ
HDV is a highly compressed high definition format. As a result, it is not naturally compatible with standard definition televisions or DVD players as such. However, both the camera and the VTR have a "down converted" output that can be used to play into a standard definition TV. This output will provide a standard definition (lower detail) version of the HDV original recording.
If however you are going to edit with your HDV footage, it can be captured into an editing system either via the cameras / players firewire connection or alternatively through a firewire to serial digital video converter. From then on, your editing system will be editing a high-definition master and at the end of this process, HD masters or downconverted SD masters can be created to play on TV systems or create DVDs.