Varifocal Lens

A projector lens that has three focal elements contained in a single assembly. [Projector People]

VCR (Video Cassette Recorder)

A playback deck designed to record and play consumer-grade, 1/2-inch videotapes in various standards. [Variable Media]


Oscilloscope that reads chrominance portion of a video signal.[BAVC]

Vertical Resolution

The total number of horizontal lines that can be perceived in the vertical direction of the screen. [Projector People]

VGA (Video Graphics Array)

This is the standard interface for the IBM PS/2. It is the only analog graphics card IBM has used (other cards handle digital information) 720 x 400 in the text mode, graphics mode 640 x 480 resolution.[Projector People]

VGA Resolution

VGA Resolution normally refers to a 640 x 480 pixel display, regardless of the number of colors available. Originally VGA was 640 x 480 16 colors. [Projector People]

VHS (Video Home System)

The most successful of all the home video formats, it was introduced as a competitor to Betamax. Its success was due primarily to its initial advantage over Betamax of having a two-hour playing time 'essential for prerecording movies' and the coup of getting the number-one consumer-electronics brand, RCA, to market it. Although VHS quality has improved significantly since its introduction, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to professional applications. [Vidipax]


The term used to describe visual material in a standard 30 frames-per-second electronic form. A video monitor is a unit that looks like a TV set but does not have antenna terminal connections. Instead, one or two cables are connected directly, that is, without the need to select a specific channel because there are no channels. [AMIA]

Video art

The term 'video art' is understood to refer to expressions of visual art in which video is used as a medium, both in the production process and the presentation. [Montevideo]

Video compatibility

Ability of computers and projection units to transmit and receive data to read and/or project various video tape standards such as NTSC, PAL, SECAM and S-VHS. [Projector People]

Video installation: Multichannel

An installation in which at least one of the media used is video. [Montevideo]

Video installation: Multimedia

Video installation consisting of several carriers and (monitor)screens whose images are connected. [Montevideo]

Video installation: Single-channel

An installation in the narrow sense, consisting of a single videotape that must be shown in a space that is controlled by the artist. [Montevideo]

Video preservation

An archival system that ensures the survival in perpetuity of the program content according to the highest technical standards reasonably available. There are three major facets of video preservation: (1) safeguarding the recording under secure and favorable storage conditions, (2) providing for its proper restoration and periodic transfer to modern formats before the original or next generation copy is no longer technologically supportable, and (3) continuing protective maintenance of at least a master and a copy, physically separated in storage, preferably in different geographic locations. (From the National Film Preservation Board's Television/Video Preservation Study: Volume 1: Report 1997.) [BAVC]

Video sculpture

An installation consisting of one or more monitors, its form reminiscent of a 'traditional' sculpture. In this type of installation, video is the most important medium, but apparatus and specifications of the performance can be essential to the impact and meaning of the sculpture. [Montevideo]

Video signal to noise ratio

See Signal to noise ratio


The 8mm name attempted to cash in on the popular home movie film used by consumers over the previous 40 years. With improved tape manufacture it became possible to pack more information onto the same tape width. The smallest tape introduced up until this time [1984], it was the first format to use metal-particle tape, and produced a horizontal resolution of 40 lines. The single unit 'camcorders', a lightweight camera and VTR, soon became the preferred method for home recording. [Vidipax]

Video8 & Hi8

The Video8 format was developed for the consumer market, where it was widely used through the late 1980s and 1990s. Hi8 was geared towards consumer, industrial, and educational markets. Usage of Hi8 in industrial and educational markets has decreased as use of digital formats (such as MiniDV) has increased. However, for much of the 1990s, Hi8 was a popular format for artists, community video centers, the media arts, and colleges/universities. In the consumer market Video8 is the lowest cost format, followed by Hi8, with digital formats priced higher. This may account for the format's continuing popularity.[Texas Commission on the Arts]


Oxide-coated plastic-based magnetic tape used for recording video and audio signals. [BAVC]


Commercial video tape use started in 1956 in the form of 2-inch quad tape... In a little over 40 years, more than 50 formats have been introduced worldwide, each relying on the same fundamental process of recording image and sound data onto magnetic tape. [ScreenSound Australia]

Videotape formats

Recording formats that differ in magnetic patterns of information, but rely on the same fundamental process of recording image and sound on magnetic tape. A particular format needs its own playback machine that is able that to read the magnetic pattern.There are several characteristics that distinguish one format from another, such as the type of recorded signal, tape speed, width and placement of the video tracks and audio tracks. After 1970 the EAIJ standard was accomplished. The VHS (video home system) 1/2" consumer videotape format is one example. Since 1956, approximately 50 formats have been introduced world wide. For examples, see the resources Hardware section. Current video tape formats include C, U-MAtic, Betacam, M, Betcam SP, Mll, D1, D2, D3, D5, Digital Betacam, Beta, VHS, Hi-*, 8mm, S-VHS, DVC Pro and DVcam.[BAVC]

Viewing copy

A videotape dubbed from a master and made for repeated viewing. See exhibition format. [BAVC]

Vinegar syndrome

Characteristic of the decomposition of acetate-based magnetic tape where acetic acid is a substantial by product that gives the tape a vinegar-like odor. After the onset of the vinegar syndrome, acetate tape backings degrade at an accelerated rate - the hydrolysis of the acetate is catalyzed further by the presence of acetate acid byproduct. [BAVC]

Viral video

The term viral video refers to video content that gains widespread popularity through e-mail messages or media sharing Web sites. [EAI]

VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Langauge)

Used to create navigable #-D environments on the Internet. A VRML plug-in must be downloaded for a Web browser to view VRML files. [Variable Media]


AKA Vertical synchronization. A marker in a video signal for the beginning of a frame. [Projector People]


Abbreviation for videotape recorder.


A unique identifier added to a content file, such as an image, which can be visible or invisible to viewers. The mark, which could be a statement, symbol, or hidden encoding, is designed to persist through processing and serve as evidence of ownership in order to deter piracy. [Getty]


Oscilloscope that reads luminance and other parts of the composite video signal, such as sync, blanking, video, etc. that may need adjustment for accurate display. [BAVC]

Waveform monitor

Measures the amplitudes of the clarity in a video signal.[Montevideo]

Web camera

A video camera whose feed is passed to a Web site, typically in real time. Also known as "Webcam". [Variable Media]

White balance

An electronic process used in video cameras to retain true colors.[BAVC]

Window dub

Copies of videotape with "burnt in" time code display. Hours, minutes, seconds and frames appear on the recorded image. Window dubs are used in off-line editing. [BAVC]


Interlayer slippage or magnetic tape in roll form, resulting in bucking of some strands of tape. The tape will in many cases fold over itself causing permanent vertical crease in the tape. Also, if not fixed, will cause increased dropout. [BAVC]

Zoom lens

A lens with a variable focal length. This translates to being able to adjust the size of the image on a screen by adjusting the zoom lens, instead of having to move the projector closer or further. [Projector People]