Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms

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Variable-focal-length lens Zoom lens.

VCR Videocassette recorder.

vector graphics system A graphic 3-D modeling electronic graphics approach in which the appearance of three-dimensions is created by being able to rotate or move the subject matter. The moving perspectives are automatically calculated and created by the software involved.

vectorscope A CRT instrument that displays the phase and saturation of the primary and secondary video colors. Use to align cameras and equipment.

velocity mike See ribbon mike.

vertical blanking interval A period in which the electron beam in display is blanked out while it travels from the bottom of the screen to the top.

vertical fader See linear fader.

vertical interval Synonymous with vertical blanking.

vertical resolution The amount of detail that can be perceived in the vertical direction.

vertical sync Pulses that define the end of one television field and the start of the next at a rate of 59.94Hz for NTSC color and 60Hz for black and white video.

VGA (video graphic array) A medium-resolution computer video display standard.

VHF (very high frequency) Commonly, television channels 2 through 13.

VHS (video home system) A consumer oriented videotape format using 1/2-inch tape housed in a cassette. VHS-C smaller version.

video 8 8mm video Videocassette format that uses 8mm tape in a cassette. Also Hi8.

video cassette A plastic videotape housing containing both a supply and takeup reel.

video deposition  Videotape of lawyers ask a witness questions to determine the facts in a case.

video digital effects Electronic special effects that make it possible to alter video in a variety of ways, such as compressing, flipping and reversing polarity.

video engineer An individual who operates the video controls of a CCU to attain the best video quality.

video field production Non-studio video production.

video gain switch A selector switch on a camera or CCU which increases gain or amplitude of a video signal--generally at the expense of some video quality. Used to compensate for the lack of light.

video head The small signal-to-tape transfer device responsible for recording the video signal in a VTR. Video heads are mounted on a head wheel that rotates at a high rate of speed in relation to the videotape.

video leader Countdown leader. A visual and audio countdown at the beginning of a videotape. Generally starts 10 seconds before the beginning of the show and visibly counts down to two seconds.

video level The strength or amplitude of a video signal.

video monitor A high-quality television display device, generally without a tuner or audio circuitry.

video noise See noise.

video on demand /  VOD  Wide bandwidth cable or phone line allowing views to see or download full motion video in real time.

video projector High intensity system which can project a video image on a large screen.

video switcher See switcher.

videoconferencing Teleconferencing. The use of a two-way video system to communicate with groups at distant locations in part, so that they can simultaneously participate in discussions. videodisc Video storage medium that uses thin circular plates, and translucent plastic, on which video, audio and various control signals are encoded along a spiral track. Optical disc systems use a laser beam to read the surface of the disc.

videospace All visual elements in a production which interact to create the experience of reality.

vidicon A one-popular type of camera tube known for its reliability and long life.

viewfinder A viewing screen built into a video camera enabling the operator to monitor the images being recorded. Most electronic viewfinders also allow the playback and review of recorded material.

visual effects Special effects. A wide range of electronic video transitions and methods of combining video sources. Included are wipes, keys, mattes and inserts.

VITC (vertical interval time code) A system of recording NTSC/EBU time code in the vertical interval of the video signal.

VL bayonet mount A standardized lens mount system used on many video camcorders.

VLS A script designation for very long shot.

voice recognition A computer system which can recognize certain voice commands and respond appropriately.

voice-over Speech heard over related video, without the person talking being seen on the screen.

vignetting  A darkening or diffusing of the edges of an image often caused by a lens shade that is too small.

VITC / vertical interval time code Time code data recorded as part of the video signal.

VL-mount  Standardized lens mount for camcorders allowing the use of different types of lenses, all of which can successfully interface with the camera electronics.

voiceover  Narration added to and somewhat louder than background music or sounds.

volatile memory Digitized information stored in a computer or microprocessor that remains only as long as there is electrical power.

volt  A measure of electrical pressure. 120 volts is the standard in the United States and many other countries.

VTR Videotape recorder

VU meter An instrument (meter) that measures the loudness of sound in terms of decibels and percentage of modulation.

VU (volume unit) Unit of measure for audio level or signal strength.


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