There are two formats for camcorders: Analogue Video (AV) and Digital Video (DV), differing in the way they record and the subsequent quality of image.
AV records by storing variable electrical signals on magnetic tape, represented as peaks and troughs of waves.
DV records by representing these waves in terms of on-off commands, or ones and zeros. The difference between the two is seen most sharply when you start copying images, or editing.
The variable waves of AV start to diminish in clarity and intensity and so some parts of the picture are lost, resulting in fuzzy images and poor sound, which get worse at each copy. With DV, however, the ones and zeros may weaken but they remain ones and zeros, so there is virtually no loss of quality, even after repeated copying. Editing on your PC is more straightforward with DV than with AV as you need only a simple capture card in the back of your PC, while AV will require a more expensive converter, or ?breakout box,? to translate AV signals to digital code.
Last update: 10:24 PM Monday, October 17, 2005