Home > Articles

The Future of Digital Video

This chapter is from the book

One of the big questions in the digital video industry these days is "When will digital video overtake film?" With George Lucas shooting the new Star Wars film, Episode 2, with a high definition digital video camera (Sony HDW-F900), it would seem that we are on the threshold. However, digital video technology still faces a lot of evolution ahead. Video resolution capability needs to get much better, and then computer processing power will need to get far faster to handle the higher data rates that go along with higher resolution video. Finally, digital projection quality needs to reach the level of film projection.

Once the technology is there, it will then take a considerable amount of time before all of this can be rolled out into your local theater. We will eventually watch movies at the theater via digital video projectors but it will not happen in the next few years.

In the meantime, digital video still is a remarkably capable technology for amateurs and professionals to both hone their filmmaking style and even make feature-length films. Consider this: The cost of a one-hour DV tape is ten dollars. The cost of one hour of 16mm film plus processing is more than $2,000; for 35mm film the cost is even higher. At these prices, DV is a better option for most amateur filmmakers.

You always have the option, if your film is good enough, to do a DV to film transfer. Spike Lee's recent film Bamboozled was shot mostly with three consumer Sony VX-1000 DV camcorders. He also shot the documentary The Original Kings of Comedy using DV camcorders.

About DVD

The most tangible high quality video distribution format appears to be recordable DVD, which is beginning to hit the market, and will eventually be as commonplace as the VHS VCR. While this won't equal 35mm projected film, it will provide a very high quality and convenient distribution format for independent filmmakers as well as families sharing their home videos.

DVD offers superior sound and video compared to the VHS format. DVD can resolve up to 525 lines of horizontal resolution while VHS resolves around 240. On the sound front, DVD allows for simple stereo sound, as well as 5.1 Digital Dolby or DTS sound (the latter two require a compatible sound system). With the right speakers DVD sound quality can rival or exceed anything you hear at your local movie theater (see Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1 Consumer home theater packages are starting to become more common in your local electronics store. The Pioneer HTD-510DV is one example.

In addition to regular stereo sound, which will play back on anything, 5.1 Digital Dolby and 5.1 DTS sound are some of the more common DVD sound formats. To properly play back this format you need a receiver that decodes Digital Dolby or DTS signals. Also some DVD players come with onboard Digital Dolby decoders. On the hardware end you then need five regular speakers—two rear speakers, two front speakers, one center speaker (that sits in the middle between the two front speakers)—and finally a subwoofer, which can go anywhere (as low frequency sound waves are nondirectional). For a diagram of this, check out Figure 3.2.

However, you can record video with your VHS VCR, and current DVD players lack that ability. In the last few years, the only way you could create your own video that would be playable back on your DVD player was to author your own video CD (VCD).

Figure 3.2 Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround sound speaker systems include five satellite speakers and a subwoofer for more immersive sound.

VCDs have much lower image quality than DVDs and some DVD players will not even play them back. Creating VCDs requires a computer, a CD burner, special software, and a lot of time and patience. Considering the sub-VHS quality you end up with, VCD creation has understandably never become very popular. With the recent introduction of recordable DVD drives, you now have the ability to author your own high-quality DVDs. This technology should prove explosive for both the computer industry and the creative possibilities of the home user.

Eventually, set top DVD recorders will take the place of VCRs, but right now the prices are high, the models are few, and the reliability is untested (see Figure 3.3). So the first few waves of DVD recording products will mostly be for the computer.

Figure 3.3 Tomorrow's VCR, the Pioneer DVR2000 standalone DVD recorder is an example of what we might be recording our favorite TV shows on in the next few

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020