See 2-inch Quad/Quadraplex


A process in which a continuous signal (analog) is converted to a series of points at discrete levels (digital). The quantized version of a ramp, a continuum of levels, would be a staircase, where only certain distinct levels are allowed. [AMIA]


A proprietary digital video format easily encapsulated and downloaded over the internet. The Quicktime format can accommodate multiple tracks, annotations, and interactivity. [Variable Media]

RAM (Random Access Memory)

Random Access Memory is computer storage whose contents can be accessed in any order. This is in contrast to sequential memory devices such as magnetic tapes, discs, and drums, which allow a computer to access data only in a fixed order. RAM can be both written to and read from, in contrast to Read-Only Memory or ROM. [EAI]

RCA connector

The connector used with VCRs and stereos for composite video signals and audio. [Projector People]

Real time

he transfer of data that returns results so quickly that the process appears to be instantaneous. [Projector People]


A proprietary software player designed to play streaming audio or video. [Variable Media]


Compressed video file format commonly used on the Internet. [MIC]

Rear Projection

Projecting an image through a translucent screen material for viewing from the opposite side. [Projector People]


The basic unit of a database. Each record stores information on a single entity. [IMAP]

Reference copy

A copy of the tape used for exhibition or viewing purposes, also known as the viewing copy. [IMAP]


The process of copying the information on one tape [or other media storage device] to another tape of the same or different format. See also migrate. [AMIA]


This term can refer to periodic retensioning of tape, or the rerecording of recorded information onto the same tape (or different tape) to refresh the magnetic signal. In the audio/video tape community, refreshing generally refers to retensioning of the tape, but it can also refer to the copying of one tape to another. See migrate. [AMIA]

Region codes

Different regions of the world support different DVD standards. DVDs contain one or more region codes, which indicate the area(s) of the world in which distribution and playback are intended. Many DVD players allow playback of any disc, or can be modified to do so. Region coding originated in the video game industry as a way to control distribution and discourage bootlegging. [EAI]


The laying down of the rights of ownership, the identity and the condition of an object or group of objects. The term 'registration' is also used for a recording of a work of art that is not specifically made for or with the medium of video, or of a musical, dance or (theatrical) performance or exhibition. [Montevideo]


Replacing the original container (box, can, sleeve, etc.) of a collection item with a new housing that provides improved protection from light, heat, moisture, dust and handling. Some archival containers also provide improved air circulation around the item and reduced exposure to, or contact with, acidic compounds that encourage deterioration. [MIC]


The most radical preservation strategy is to reinterpret the work each time it is re-created. To reinterpret a Dan Flavin light installation would mean to ask what contemporary medium would have the metaphoric value of fluorescent light in the 1960s. Reinterpretation is a dangerous technique when not warranted by the artist, but it may be the only way to re-create performed, installed, or networked art designed to vary with context. [Variable Media]

Relative humidity (RH)

The amount of water in the air relative to the maximum amount of water that the air can hold at a given temperature. [AMIA]


See migrate.


In the variable media paradigm, a recording medium is "reproduced" if any copy of the original master of the artwork results in a loss of quality. Such media include analog photography, film, audio, and video. [Variable Media]

Research Libraries Group

A not-for-profit membership corporation of over 160 universities, national libraries, archives, historical societies, and other institutions with remarkable collections for research and learning... [RLG develops] cooperative solutions to the problems that research collections and their users face in the acquisition, delivery, and preservation of information. [rlg.org]


A relative, rather than an absolute, value, usually expressed as the density of elements, such as pixels, within a specific distance, most commonly an inch [Getty]


The process and work of improving the degraded quality of the sound or image in terms of video and audio preservation. It is important to be clear whether a proposed restoration relates to aspects of an image that are part of the historical nature of the technology being used at the time and are part of the original work and damage which has occurred after the piece was made due to deterioration, poor handling or bad transfers. It is important to recognize that the artifacts of the original technology are of historical value and are part of the texture of the work. These should not be removed. However, where damage has occurred after the work was finished there may be a case for intervention. Dropout, for example, can be digitally "filled in" by copying information from the surrounding areas. There are also systems that detect artifacts in the image using motion compensation. A copy of the original un-restored video should always be archived alongside any restored version. [BAVC]


The process where a tape is unspooled onto a take-up reel and then rewound at a controlled tension and speed. In performing this procedure, tape pack stresses are redistributed and, thus, the tape is retensioned. This has sometimes been referred to as exercising the tape. [AMIA]


Reversible restoration means that, after restoration, it must be possible to bring an object back into the state in which it was prior to restoration, without causing damage to the authentic material. [Montevideo]

RF (Radio Frequency)

The term used for the signal of the video play head during playback. RF is not used to describe an audio head playback signal. [AMIA]


(Red, Green and Blue) The basic parallel component set in which a signal is used for each primary color; or the related equipment or interconnect formats or standards. The same signals may also be called "GBR" as a reminder of the mechanical sequence of connections in the SMPTE interconnect standard. See also CMYK. [BAVC]


Abbreviation for relative humidity.


Abbreviation for Research Libraries Group. [BAVC]


A lack of vertical synchronization which causes the video picture to move upward or downward. [BAVC]

ROM (Read-Only Memory)

See ROM image.

ROM image

A computer file containing a copy of the data from a read-only memory chip, often from video games. ROM cartridges can be extracted with special software, creating files known as "ROM images" for use in emulators. ROM images are traded in software piracy circles. [EAI]