|See also:||VCR Vidding, Vidding, Vids, Bittorrent|
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Digital (or computer) vidding began in the late 1990s as early video-editing software became available on home computers. Originally it meant hooking up a VCR to a "pass-through" device (at first this was generally a camcorder; later specific pass-through devices became available), which in turn was hooked up to the computer's "capture card". Playing the tape in the VCR would allow the card to "capture" the video and audio streams in a digital format on the computer, which could then be imported to the video editing software and manipulated. By the turn of the century, DVDs were fast taking over from VHS tapes, and digital vidding began working with source that actually started out as digital (such as DVDs or computer video files).
By the early '00s, digital video editing overtook VCR editing as the dominant technique in vidding circles. (See also Vividcon 2002 for more details on the growing popularity of digital video at that time.)
Digital vidding allows vidders to host and display their vids online and the digital age vastly opened up the audience for vids, as did better/faster Internet connections (broadband).
While AMV editors had embraced online versions early on, and had always put visual quality first (e.g., putting up full-size, 50MB files for download), live-action vidding culture was faced with an audience that wasn't used to giving up hours of their bandwidth to download a single vid, sight unseen. The standard for early uploaded vids was to try to get a file size of around 10MB, so that someone on a 56.6k modem wouldn't have to spend half a day downloading it. This meant reduced size and quality; many early online vids were 360 x 240 or even smaller, with reduced frame rates (15 frames per second, rather than the standard 25 fps or 29.97 fps).
Such small, low-quality vids were hard to watch, and gained an early reputation for being "squintyvision" that kept many vidders from putting their vids online, not wanting them to suffer in terms of quality.
As broadband gained a stronger foothold in fandom and people got used to sharing torrents and other large files, download sizes for vids began to climb as well, until by the late '00s live-action vidders were putting up the same large file sizes as the AMV editors, and the "squintyvision" fears largely vanished. Vids also began being put up as streaming video on YouTube, Imeem, Ning, and other video-hosting sites, as well as on vidders' own webpages.