views updated May 29 2018



Although video and film are two very different mediums of representation, they overlap in significant ways, and their relationship continues to evolve on many levels. Both technologies combine images and sounds that are projected on screens to be viewed; both are time-based media; both have the capacity to reproduce reality accurately; and both are equally capable of distorting and manipulating reality. The literal and technical similarities might end there, but video and film are increasingly enmeshed and their differences blurred, to the extent that some detractors of video have already mourned the death of cinema, claiming that it has been overtaken and replaced by video. On the other hand, video can be seen as an extension of cinema that has expanded and amplified the possibilities of what was called in the early days "motion pictures." With the introduction of digital technology, the scope of cinema will only continue to expand.

The history of video must take into account its many distinct uses, from entertainment to surveillance, art to home video. Although videotape was available in the mid-1950s, it did not become widely used in television broadcasting until the 1960s, at which time artists also began to experiment with the technology. In the 1980s home video recording became affordable and hugely popular, along with VCRs and the proliferation of films on video. While the former constituted a veritable revolution in terms of access to the means of production, the latter had an equally important impact on the distribution of cinema and the ways that movies are watched. VCRs also made it possible to record television programs, giving TV viewers more control over broadcast schedules.


With the introduction of digital film and video, DVDs, the Internet, and multimedia, video may become, retrospectively, an intermediary stage between cinema and digital media. But as a medium with its own properties, it plays an important role in the history of media institutions and aesthetics. The key difference between video and film is that videotape is magnetically coated and contains codes that trigger electronic signals to the projection apparatus, whether it be a TV monitor or a projector. Although several different formats of videotape exist, in general the information that can be stored in this system is substantially less than that which is photographically printed on a strip of celluloid. Video images are immediately recorded and accessible, whereas film, like photography, needs to be chemically "developed" to release images created by exposure to light. Both film and video can now be produced digitally, but videotape, like film, is an analog medium, which means that images are captured and stored as continuously variable forms, with gradations produced by the reflection of light.

Some of the techniques that video artists have used include long takes, loops, low-definition imagery, surveillance techniques, and multiple monitors. Shot durations are significantly increased with video, which can run for hours without the need to change reels of tape. Video is a medium that lends itself to gallery installation, where viewers are not expected to watch pieces from beginning to end as they would a film, but to move in and out of the ongoing temporality of the work. The video artist Bill Viola (b. 1951), for example, uses very long takes to capture the rhythms of nature, but also inserts special effects to create a sense of magic or hyperrealism (I DoNot Know What It Is I Am Like [1986], The Reflecting Pool [1977–1979]). The special effects available to the video artist include electronic distortions of sound and image. Viola records sound simultaneously with the image, but he frequently slows both tracks down to create slightly distorted soundscapes. Sadie Benning (b. 1973) is one of many artists who uses a children's video format (Pixelvision) to capture low-definition images with a very shallow depth of field to create intimate, personal effects. In the 1970s the technology lent itself to a minimalist aesthetic, using real time to record performances, but as the technology evolved so did the range of subjects, styles, and effects.

Video art in gallery installations can involve components such as closed-circuit connections in which performers or gallery-goers appear live onscreen. Monitors can be placed within sculptural spaces such as Nam June Paik's (1932–2006) jungle installation TV Garden (1974–1978), in which monitors of various sizes are scattered among plants and running water, ironically interrupting nature with technology. One of the specific properties of video is sometimes described as the "flow" of information, images, and sound; akin to the flow of electricity that generates the image, and the ongoing flow of TV that never really ends, the flow of video is a transmission process. The image is continually being made anew by the electronic circuitry of the tape and the monitor. In video art the production of images is often privileged over narrative information, although many video artists, such as Lisa Steele in Birthday Suit (1974), also work in a narrative mode, experimenting with the codes of storytelling and performance.

Videotape's detractors are concerned about the loss of information and reduced image quality of video. Poor quality tape and "panned and scanned" movies on TV are in many ways distortions of original films. Moreover, video viewing typically takes place in less "controlled" situations than film screenings. Whether it is located in the home or in the gallery, in public spaces such as bars, airports, or sides of buildings, video addresses its viewer very differently than does cinema. Film theorists of the 1970s understood the film spectator as a fixed point in a darkened auditorium, a paradigm that is fundamentally altered with the video and television monitor. Thus it is not only the electronic image that defines video, but the apparatus of spectatorship it entails. The video spectator is said to be more "mobile," more "empowered" than the cinema spectator, who is glued to his or her seat and supposedly gripped by the narrative unfolding on the screen. When that same narrative is viewed on home video, the spectator may leave the room, fast-forward through the tape, or carry on a conversation while it plays. This is precisely anathema to the experimental filmmaker who has attempted to create a total aesthetic viewing experience; at the same time, it has entailed a shift in film theory away from narrative and toward issues of spectatorship.

Because video is technologically so closely connected to the cultural institutions of broadcast television, many video artists engage not only with the formal properties of the medium, but also with its affinities with TV. The tapes made by the director Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930) with Anne-Marie Miéville (b. 1945), Six fois deux/Sur et sous la communication (1976) and France/tour/detour/deux/enfants (1977), are modeled on the TV-interview documentary form, as is the work of Steve Fagin (The Machine that Killed Bad People, 1990). The low costs of video production have also made it possible for more constituencies, outside the mainstream of corporate TV, to produce for television. Paper Tiger Television, for example, produced a series of activist, alternative critiques of the media in the 1980s and 1990s. Igloolik Isuma productions in Northern Canada, from which the film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (which was shot on digital video) emerged in 2002, produced dramatic and news videos for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation as early as 1983.

The documentary potential of the medium, together with its accessibility, has been among its chief contributions to global image culture, giving rise to the cheap programming potential of reality TV, among other things. Because of the low costs of shooting and editing, filmmakers can collect more material more cheaply, and with much less training. It has become a key tool for activists and journalists, as well as for the multiple surveillance activities of security and police. Perhaps the most notorious instance of the documentary potential of video was the amateur footage captured in 1992 of Rodney King's beating by the Los Angeles police.


Video has become in many ways the "everyday" form of film, the dominant means for the circulation of images in daily life. Film becomes, in contrast, a more specialized practice, a more expensive activity for both producers and viewers, who pay increasingly high ticket prices to see films projected in theaters. Because video has become part of everyday experience, filmmakers frequently include video within their films, sometimes for the aesthetic contrast between the high-definition film image and the low-definition video image. In Wim Wenders's (b. 1945) diary-documentary Lightning Over Water (1980), a film about the director Nicholas Ray (1911–1979) and his death from cancer, another man, Tom Farrell, is also making a documentary about the director, and Wenders includes Farrell's footage as well as Farrell himself with his video camera in his own film, suggesting a kind of rivalry between the videographer and the filmmaker over Ray's legacy. In Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend, 1977), when a character is conned into killing a man on the subway, his nervous escape from the scene is captured on a set of surveillance monitors. For Wenders, video is an important technique for blending documentary and fictional modes.

Other filmmakers use video as a kind of wallpaper environment for their characters. In Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone, 1994), a video image can be glimpsed in almost every scene, either on a TV or projected right onto the walls. One of the effects is to suggest that the murderous couple in the film are products of a violent media environment. Fictional video interviews played an important role in Steven Soderbergh's (b. 1963) Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), a film that kick-started the independent film movement in the United States when it won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1989. It also gave video a kinky caché, linking it to the sexual fantasies and power games of the film. In all of these instances, video features as a reflexive device that enables filmmakers to comment on the production of images within their films. The reality effects of their own film images are necessarily put into question, even while they are able to enhance the spectacular appeal by creating images within images.

In the TV series The Sopranos (beginning in 1999), which is shot on film, characters are often watching TV, and those shows constitute intertextual references by which The Sopranos comments on its own dramatic and cultural status as a gangster narrative. In this series video carries with it connotations of the archive, or a cultural image-bank that filmmakers can draw on. In Atom Egoyan's (b. 1960) film Exotica (1994), video functions more as the repressed memory of one of the characters. Footage of the main character's dead daughter and departed wife, which he himself shot on video, is replayed in grainy black and white in fragments that haunt him, and indeed haunt the film itself as a repressed memory.

Found footage practices have a long history in experimental filmmaking, but video has made the tendency much more accessible and prolific. Music videos began to appear on TV in the 1980s, appropriating many techniques, including found footage, from experimental film practices. Music videos were also among the first commercial media to adopt nonnarrative principles of construction, deploying associative montage techniques, special effects, and found imagery. A small genre of "scratch video" emerged in the 1980s as well, when it became possible for amateurs to copy and edit fragments of commercial tape at home. This has evolved into the projection of video collages at dance clubs. These nonlinear and nonnarrative uses of video opened up new roles for visual media in everyday life.


Since the 1990s video has become increasingly enmeshed with computer technologies, with a variety of repercussions on film practices. So-called digital cinema effectively combines techniques of film and video, further blurring their differences. Films can be shot on film or video and transferred to different formats for editing and distribution. Digital editing is now the dominant mode of film editing. Editing programs available for home computers have once again democratized the means of media production. Because digital information can be combined and manipulated seamlessly, digitization of music, sound effects, artwork, photography, and computer-generated special effects enables a convergence of media, and thus has become an important part of the postproduction stage of filmmaking.

The media theorist Lev Manovich has suggested that film is moving closer to animation with digital technologies and away from its photographic origins. Because digital images can be manipulated on the level of representation, through software available on home computers, the film image is no longer always indexical: what we see onscreen did not necessarily exist "in reality" in front of the camera but may have been manufactured. Thanks to digital media, the "visible evidence" of film and photography can no longer be taken for granted.

On the other hand, the enhanced image and sound quality of digital technology can also be exploited for a greater sense of realism. Feature films that have been shot entirely on digital video include Lars von Trier's (b. 1956) Dancer in the Dark (2000), Wenders's Buena Vista Social Club (1999), and Alan Cumming's The Anniversary Party (2001). Von Trier, in particular, exploits lightweight digital camera equipment, which is easily hand-held, for the intimacy it makes possible with his actors. In the low-tech aesthetic of Kevin Smith's Dogma (1999), digital video offers an inexpensive means of shooting with a smaller crew and less ancillary equipment. Blown up to 35mm film, the image is as sharp as an original film image, and offers a cheap alternative for independent filmmakers who have traditionally used 16mm film.

One of the key advantages of digital cinema is the length of shots that are made possible, an especially useful technique for films involving improvisational acting and for documentary filmmaking. One of the more experimental uses of digital technology is Mike Figgis's (b. 1948) Timecode (2000), which shows four simultaneous long takes on a screen divided into four quadrants, each corresponding to a different camera that follows the actors as they improvise around a script set in a film production studio in Los Angeles. By contrast, Aleksandr Sokurov's (b. 1951) Russkiy kovcheg (Russian Ark, 2002) uses a single long camera movement for the entire film, creating a fluid movement through an architectural space that appears to be a literal movement through history. The ninety-minute-long Steadicam shot was stored on a hard disk system and was accomplished in a single take following months of rehearsals with 867 actors in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Films produced entirely on digital equipment are often transferred to film for theatrical release. On the other hand, the video market has become such an important aspect of the film industry that many films are released "straight-to-video." This has created something of a two-tiered system within the film industry, in which only the most expensive productions and most promising titles get released as "films."


DVD technology has served as a catalyst for film history. Many titles from the Hollywood archive, as well as European, Asian, and other world cinemas, have been released on DVD, often with "special features" including critical commentary, outtakes, production documents, directorial and other cast and crew testimonials, and multiple viewing choices such as subtitle languages and aspectratios. In many instances the digitized sounds and images restore the films to something approximating their original forms. The DVD market provides an important stimulus for expensive restoration projects.

The influence of video on film scholarship and the teaching of film studies should not be underestimated, as the advent of DVDs is only one step in a process that began with the introduction of video as a tool for preserving and distributing film titles. This has been especially important for films that are marginal to the mainstream, including American B movies and cult films, Japanese and other Asian films dating back to the 1930s, and the many riches of other world cinemas, experimental cinema, and documentary cinema. Video markets have enabled the circulation of titles among collectors and scholars interested in film as a cultural phenomenon. Many of these obscure titles have long since been unavailable on film, and it may be a long time before they are released on DVD.

Film analysis was once performed on Steenbeck editing machines, using reels of fragile celluloid. Since the 1980s students and scholars have been able to view the wealth of film history on videotape, which is much more amenable to repeated viewings, rewinding, and freeze-frames. Celluloid film is an extremely delicate material and rapidly deteriorates with multiple projections, making the teaching of film difficult and expensive. Few educational institutions were able to provide the facilities for film viewing, or for film collections, often relying on poor and decaying prints shown on faulty projection equipment. Videotape is not a permanent medium either, and DVD technology, too, will no doubt eventually show its material weaknesses; but in the mean time these technologies are an invaluable means of preserving film history and making it accessible. It is largely thanks to electronic media that film studies has been able to find a place in educational institutions around the world.

Video is not necessarily a competitor with film, or a poor sibling, but perhaps an extension or augmentation of film, especially as it evolves into digital technologies. Video has enabled us to see film differently, perhaps as something that is disappearing, but also as something sensual, a communal experience that takes place in a dark crowded theater. The cinema is a place we have to go to, but video has become part of the world around us.

SEE ALSO Film History;Film Studies;Independent Film;Spectatorship and Audiences;Technology;Television


Cubitt, Sean. Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture. New York: St. Martin's, 1993.

Hall, Doug, and Sally Jo Fifer. Illuminating Video: An Essential Guide to Video Art. New York: Aperture Foundation, 1990.

Hanhardt, John G., ed. Video Culture: A Critical Investigation. Rochester, NY: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1987.

Hark, Ina Rae. "'Daddy, Where's the FBI Warning?': Constructing the Video Spectator." In Keyframes: Popular Cinema and Cultural Studies. Edited by Matthew Tinkcom and Amy Villarejo, 72–81. London: Routledge, 2001.

Manovich, Lev. "What Is Digital Cinema?" In The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media. Edited by Peter Lunenfeld, 172–192. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.

Renov, Michael, and Erika Suderburg, eds. Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Catherine Russell

Technology, Video

views updated May 11 2018

Technology, Video


Video technology was developed as an adjunct to centralized television systems. Its widespread adoption since the 1970s has had the profound impact of integrating film and television culture into global everyday life. Initially many hoped that video technology would lead to greater diversity of programming and an expansion of televisions function beyond ephemeral entertainment and would empower the ordinary viewer. The empowerment that has occurred has increased cultural fragmentation and an isolation of viewers from each other. Thus video technology contributes to the general post-1970s trend of privatizing life spheres.

Video is not a precise term. It most commonly refers to those technologies that record or download electronic images, but the general reference to all electronic images remains. In analog systems the recording is achieved by breaking down reflected light into a series of electrical impulses typically recorded on a magnetic tape. In digital systems the electrical impulses are further refined by a computer into a series of numbers that are recorded and that can be retrieved by other computers and displayed as images.

The American corporation Ampex first demonstrated a working video recorder in 1956. In the early 1960s video technology was used for instant replays in sports and the breaking events of President John F. Kennedys 1963 assassination. Video cameras and systems were developed for surveillance and other uses. The Japanese manufacturers took the lead in developing consumer video recorders. Sony introduced the 1/2-inch Portapack in 1965 and the 3/4-inch U-matic cassette system in 1969. These were adopted in the educational market and also in the adult film market. But it was in 1975 that the 1/2-inch cassette systems captured the global consumer market. At first there were two formats, Sonys Betamax and JVCs VHS, but within five years VHS dominated. The digital versatile disc (DVD) became the dominant video format after its introduction in 1997.

The video revolution was sparked by a pent-up desire of people throughout the world to change their use of television. Television critics were scornful of televisions vast wasteland of poor choices in the United States and no choice in other countries. However, enhanced choice was a secondary reason for most VHS purchasers. The most important motivation was to watch shows at the time and place that was convenient for the viewers (time shifting ). Thus video technology became part of the sociological phenomenon of a time crunch. This function of video was not imposed by corporations but was the result of a consumption junction (a term coined by Ruth Cowan in The Consumption Junction [1987]) among users, manufacturers, and content providers.

There was some experimentation with original programming for video. But videos overwhelming use was to extend the global market for Hollywood films and television shows and the mainstream values they convey, fitting a general pattern of suppressing [videos] radical potential (Winston 1998, p. 11). Raymond Williamss concept of mobile privatization is an influential way to understand video use. He deduced that broadcasting was a culmination of a century-long pattern of privatizing popular culture. People use television to make their homes the center of their lives. Video dramatically accelerated this trend. The additions of downloading movie and television clips on the computer, the cell phone, and the I-pod have gone even further in the private viewing of filmed entertainment.

Diaspora communities use video technologies for ready access to their home cultures. However, this direct access has weakened specialized movie theaters and has lessened the opportunities for theater bookers to introduce the audience to unknown titles.

The art of filmmaking has changed. The mainstream American film industry dramatically merged into transnational media conglomerates attracted by the new video revenue (Wasser 2001). Video became the most important market, surpassing the theatrical box office. Story lines and characters are sold across a variety of media, from games to merchandise.

Video games have influenced narrative film aesthetics toward visceral effects that seduce the audience into experiencing the repetitive thrills and spills of movement and sound at the expense of character development and plot logic. To make people feel the experience of the movie, filmmakers have increasingly turned toward another aspect of video technology, computer generated images (CGI). Video shifted experimental filmmaking from the art house to the art gallery. Adult filmmaking is entirely in video.

Video technology has enabled the large trends of mass culture. On the industrial end, industries have consolidated. The promise of grassroots video making has rarely caught the mass publics attention. One interesting example is the explosion of cheap fictional videos in Nigeria. On the consumer end, audiences have fragmented as viewers use video to facilitate a flexible work and leisure balance focused on consuming culture in isolated domestic spaces.

SEE ALSO Modernization; Technology, Cellular


Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. 1987. The Consumption Junction: A Proposal for Research Strategies in the Sociology of Technology. In The Social Construction of Technological Systems, eds. Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor J. Pinch, 261280. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Levy, Mark R., ed. 1989. The VCR Age: Home Video and Mass Communication. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Wasser, Frederick. 2001. Veni, Vidi, Video: The Hollywood Empire and the VCR. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Williams, Raymond. 1992. Television: Technology and Cultural Form. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. (Orig. pub. 1974).

Winston, Brian. 1998. Media, Technology, and Society: A History. New York: Routledge.

Frederick Wasser

Video Devices

views updated May 23 2018

Video Devices

Video devices are peripherals added to a computer to allow it to work with video. A video capture card provides a way to input video to the computer from conventional sources such as a camera, a VCR, or a TV cable or antenna. A video output card allows video to be output from the computer to a monitor. It is also possible to get video output cards that output video via a cable that can be connected directly to a television, allowing video to be played from a computer and watched on a television.

All information stored on a computer is stored in digital form as a sequence of numbers. When video is received from a source outside the computer, such as a VCR, it is usually in analog format and must be converted into digital form that can be stored in the computer. This is one of the key functions of a video capture card. To record a video sequence in digital form with the quality of a standard TV program would require approximately ninety gigabytes for one hour, equivalent to the capacity of approximately 140 CDs. A significant reduction in the required disc space, without a noticeable loss of quality, can be achieved by compressing the video. Instead of ninety gigabytes to store one hour of TV-quality video, the same information can be compressed to approximately two gigabytes. Because video is almost always stored on a computer in compressed form, most video capture cards also include hardware to perform video compression.

In the same way that the video capture card converts the incoming video to digital form, the video output card must do the opposite conversion, taking the digital video from the computer and outputting analog video for display on a monitor or television. Often the video output card will include hardware for decompression of the video as well as the conversion from digital to analog. Software running on the computer can also perform the decompression, but if the computer is not fast enough, the video will not play back smoothly.

It is also possible to get digital, as opposed to analog, video cameras. Many commercially available camcorders record compressed digital video onto tape. Such a camcorder can be connected directly to a computer without the need to use a video capture card because the video is already in a compressed digital video form. Digital video cameras are also available for connection directly to a computer. Again, because they output video in a digital format, a video capture card is not needed.

One reason to transfer video to a computer is to allow for editing. Once the video is stored on the computer, sophisticated editing software can be used to manipulate the video. For example, holiday camcorder recordings typically contain much unwanted material. After transferring the video from the camcorder to a computer, the video can be edited to remove the unwanted parts. When the editing is finished, the holiday video can be transferred back to the camcorder tapes or to a standard VCR. Or, the edited video can be kept on the computer and played from the computer to a monitor or television.

If a computer is equipped with both a camera and a video output card, it can be used for video conferencing. In video conferencing, two or more people in different locations communicate with each other using both sound and video through their computers. The camera captures a digital video signal of the person, and the computer transmits it through a network to the other participants. Similarly, the other participants have cameras so that video is transmitted to them also. Each person also needs a video output card to display the video received from the other video conference participants. Video conferencing allows people to both see and hear each other while in remote locations.

When a computer is equipped to handle video, it can be used to perform functions normally done by consumer electronics devices. If a computer includes a digital versatile disc read-only memory (DVD-ROM) drive and a suitable video output card, it is possible to play DVD videos on the computer. Or, the output from the video card can be connected to a television and the DVDs can be watched on the television instead of the computer monitor.

see also Animation; Games; Interactive Systems; Virtual Reality.

Declan P. Kelly


Fischetti, Mark, ed. "The Future of Digital Entertainment." Scientific American 283, no. 5 (2000): 3164.

Fox, Barry. "Big Squeeze for Video." New Scientist 139, no. 1888 (1993): 2123.

Johnson, Dave. How to Use Digital Video. Indianapolis, IN: Sams, 2000.

Taylor, Jim. DVD Demystified: The Guidebook for DVD-Video and DVD-ROM. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

Video Evidence

views updated May 23 2018

Video Evidence

The use of surveillance cameras and closed-circuit television (CCTV) for security and crime prevention has been growing in recent years. Shopping malls, car parks, offices, airports, and many other public and private places are often fitted with such systems, which means that an increasing number of crimes are now being caught on camera. Such cameras are often small and very discreet, so the perpetrators have no idea that they and their actions are being recorded. Video images relating to a crime can be used in court as evidence , but effective forensic video analysis is a specialized and highly technical task.

When collecting video evidence, the investigators must take as much care as they would in collecting any other form of evidence. Videotapes can readily be wiped or recorded over, so the first task is to preserve the evidence from a camera by preventing this. For analog video evidence, the record tab must be removed or moved to a saved position. For digital video evidence, write protection has to be in place. The chain of custody of the evidence, from collecting the tape from the camera to its receipt in the processing lab, must be carefully adhered to, because questions may be asked in court about whether the video evidence could have been tampered with. Storage should be in a climate-controlled room, because extremes of temperature can damage a video tape.

The images from a surveillance camera or closed-circuit TV system are often blurred, grainy, and of low resolution. Lighting conditions, tape wear, and deficiencies in the camera system all contribute to poor quality pictures. Enhancing such images, without altering them, is challenging. The effort may, however, be well worthwhile if a crucial car number plate or a suspect may thereby be identified.

The video analysis lab will contain a monitor that can produce large images from the tape, a playback deck, a printer, and equipment that can digitize the signal from the original tape so that it can be processed by a computer. Before any analysis is actually carried out, the integrity of the tape should be reviewed and careful notes made of any damage. The video evidence must be protected throughout from external hazards such as magnetic fields or static electric charges that may harm it. It is also important not to over-play the tape, as this can also impair its quality.

There are various software packages that can enhance an image from a video camera and present them either as video tape, still images, or prints for the court. There are many image formats that can be used to do this work, but one of the most popular is the tagged image file format (.tif file). Everything the forensic video analysis technician does to the image must be carefully recorded, because this is sure to be questioned in court. Computer images can be readily manipulated and so everything that has been done to the evidence must be accounted for so that its integrity is preserved.

If a suspect has been detained, video evidence can be used to help identify them. They can be taken back to the original location of the camera and rerecorded standing or walking in the same position. This second image can be compared with the original and an identification or an elimination can often be usefully made. The original image can also be used to give an idea of the actual height and size of a suspect.

Video evidence played an important role in the investigation of the murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool, England, in 1993. A surveillance camera in a shopping mall clearly shows the child being separated from his mother and then being led to his death by the two boys who were later convicted of the killing. The tape was repeatedly shown on television and its poignancy has helped fix this especially tragic case in the memory of the British public. In another case, video footage from cameras in a West London shopping mall was intensively studied by police to solve the doorstep shooting of TV presenter Jill Dando in 1999. Although the key suspect did not appear in these images, they were a powerful aid to reconstruction of the crime as they provided sharp, clear images of much of the last hour of Miss Dando's life. Another famous piece of video evidence is the recording of Diana, Princess of Wales, leaving a hotel in Paris just minutes before the car accident that was to end her life in 1997.

see also Digital imaging.


views updated May 29 2018

vid·e·o / ˈvidēˌō/ • n. (pl. -os) the system of recording, reproducing, or broadcasting moving visual images on or from videotape. ∎  a movie or other piece of material recorded on videotape. ∎  a videocassette: a blank video| the film will soon be released on video. ∎  a short movie made by a pop or rock group to accompany a song when broadcast on television. ∎ Brit. a videocassette recorder.


views updated May 17 2018

video Term used in television and computing to refer to electronic vision signals, and to equipment and software associated with visual displays. The picture component of a television signal is often referred to as video. See also videotape recording


views updated May 17 2018

1. Relating to the storage or broadcasting of information that contains both pictures and sound.

2. The process of storing, reproducing, or broadcasting video information.