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Where digital video has come from and where it is going

You probably have at least one piece of digital equipment in your home, but have you ever wondered how such an impressive peeve of technology got its start.If not you may be interested to know that the digital technology that most of us take advantage of in one way or another every day, did not exist 50 years ago.

As with most of America's cutting edge technological breakthroughs, the government was using digital technology long before this technology was available to the public.Digital imaging technology was jump started by the race to obtain information from space study.In the 1960's digital images were first used as a means by which we earthlings could see pictures of the moon.NASA was more interested in the scientific aspect of the capability to see images without film.Nevertheless, you could say that digital images got their start on the moon.

All good innovations by government agencies will eventually make it to the market in one way or another.This time it was Texas Instruments who is credited with introducing the first digital camera to the market some 12 years later.This crude version of what we now have did little to excite the market at first but then grew in popularity.Although popular, availability limited the distribution and affordability of the digital picture for several more years.

Digital video was not too far behind the digital photo craze.Sony is credited with the introduction of digital video to the global market in 1983.Sony was the first digital video format that recorded an uncompressed standard definition component video signal in digital form.Just as the digital camera was only available to the wealthy, the first digital video cameras could only be afforded by professional television networks and producers.

Digital video as it was meant for the general consumer was introduced by Apple around 1990.Although many people did not have the hardware capabilities to fully support this format, the digital video camera gained popularity.Although the quality at first was nothing to what we have now, Apple and other software and digital imagines specialists eventually introduced playback standards in the form of MPEG's and the DV tape format.These programs allowed for a simplified editing process and the ability to use a standard desktop computer for these digital projects.

Today Apple's Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere remain popular choices among those working with digital video.Hardware and software is becoming increasingly affordable and even full length films are being captured entirely in a digital format.Digital video is also able to be compressed to fit more data on an average computer.Digital video is also being delivered over the internet for an international audience in formats such as MPEG4 and Windows Media.Entire movies can be uploaded and downloaded onto the internet and sent through cyber space.

The last 45 years had been building up to the digital age as we now know it.Of course improvements and innovations will continue to be made and even more amazing technical feats will be accomplished.In 2007 the highest resolution demonstrated for digital video generation was 33 megapixels.That equals about 60 digital video frames per second.This capability has only been demonstrated in laboratory settings and thus is not yet available to the market.However, this gives us a peak into what is to come next.Researchers predict that the future will eventually bring what they believe to be the highest speed attainable at having the capability to film up to one million frames per second.These high speed cameras may be just the thing that we will need to capture the moments of our future.

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