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Digital Video

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The meaning and connotations of the word "video" have undergone a fair number of changes over the past 100 years or so. Originating from the Latin verb "videre" (to see) and patterned after the term "audio," which was coined in the 1930s, video was originally used to designate those technologies that specialized in the capture of moving images. It was, to begin with at least, more a technical than a popular word.

That changed in the late 1970s when advances in technology made it possible to condense a loop of smaller, lower-resolution film, or "tape," into a portable container. These videotapes made it possible for movies to be created, viewed, and sold to a much larger audience than was previously possible. Thanks to this innovation, VCRs and camcorders became two of the more popular gadgets in homes all over the world.

The technology remained pretty much unchanged for over a decade. Recently, however, advances in the field have further changed the way images are captured and stored. Now the what was once most essential part of video--the tape on which images have been recorded--has become antiquated and unnecessary.

In its place, digital video has become one of the most popular mediums of our time. Using digital technology, instead of older analog devices, aficionados, professionals, and even complete amateurs can now capture, store, and read high-quality reproductions of moving images. With the increasing ubiquity of digital technology, the repercussions of this technological change are becoming more and more wide-reaching.

A Cutting-Edge Technology
Digital video is so common nowadays that it's almost impossible to list all the ways in which it affects the average person's day. As with many ground-breaking technologies, its uses are hardly limited to an elite. Some of its most common forms are Digital Video Discs (DVDs), satellite television, High-Definition (HD) Television, and mobile phone video clips.

DVDs are perhaps the most easily-accessible and widely-understood of these technologies. Most people either own DVD-players or have used them--just go to any video-rental store to see how many of those videos have been replaced, or at least duplicated, by DVDs. Many people even have or use digital camcorders or other devices that allow them to make their own DVDs.

If you're not interested in watching pre-recorded movies or shows, you are probably unfamiliar with DVDs and their accompanying technology. It's very possible, however, that the television provider you subscribe to uses digital video to send its programs from its station (sometimes on the other side of the country) to you. Maybe you even have a High-Definition television set, which displays the incredible quality of digital video at its finest.

Many mobile phones come equipped with tiny cameras that allow their users to take clips of digital video and then store them right on their phone. Though still somewhat new, this technology is becoming fairly popular these days--especially with young people, amateurs, and other individuals who want the creative power of a complete digital studio, but are unable to pay thousands of dollars in order to get one. Whether or not it catches on with the rest of the population remains to be seen.



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