Digital Video

What Does Digital Video Mean?

Digital video (DV) is video that is captured and stored in a digital format as ones and zeros, rather than a series of still pictures captured in film. Digital, versus analog, signals are used. Information is processed and stored as a sequence of digital data for easy manipulation by computers, but the video is still presented to the viewer through a screen in analog form.


Techopedia Explains Digital Video

Digital video is composed of a series of orthogonal bitmap (BMP) images displayed in constant rapid succession with common frequencies of 15, 24, 30 and 60 frames per second (FPS); the more frames the DV has, the more movement details are captured or displayed.

As a point of reference, good quality movies and videos are recorded and viewed at 60 FPS, while super slow motion videos are taken with high-speed photography equipment at more than 1,000 FPS and then viewed at standard rates. Each orthogonal BMP image or frame in the DV includes a raster of pixels with width and height expressed in number of pixels, known as resolution. The higher the captured video’s resolution, the higher its clarity and quality.

Because of digital manipulation, a video can be upscaled, or captured in low resolution and displayed in higher resolution with obvious losses in perceived and numerical quality. However, a high resolution video can be successfully downscaled without perceived quality loss, even though the images are perceivably smaller and, thus, of a lower quality on a high resolution screen.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…