Glossary of Video Terms

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Terminology Description
Compression Ratio (Data)

A ratio of 1) the size of the uncompressed file to 2) the size of the file following compression. For example, a 14: 1 compression ratio means that the file is 14 times smaller than the size of the uncompressed recording.


This is the process of representing an analogue  source as a discrete set of points (samples). As analog sources are continuous in all respects, digitized versions of them are approximations of the assumed values actually represented in the analogue original.


Optical storage format made ubiquitous in the delivery of standard definition digital video (encoded utilizing MPEG-2). Although DVDs are convenient, they are not recommended for long term preservation.

File Format

The type of file saved on a computer, usually a “container" that contains various streams of information. When dealing with audio,.wav. is the most common uncompressed format. For digital video, the more common formats include .mov. and .avi.