Video was first developed for mechanical television systems, which were quickly replaced by cathode ray tube (CRT) systems which were later replaced by flat panel displays of several types.
Video systems vary in display resolution, aspect ratio, refresh rate, color capabilities and other qualities. Analog and digital variants exist and can be carried on a variety of media, including radio broadcast, magnetic tape, optical discs, computer files, and network streaming.
Video technology was first developed for mechanical television systems, which were quickly replaced by cathode ray tube (CRT) television systems, but several new technologies for video display devices have since been invented. Video was originally exclusively a live technology. Charles Ginsburg led an Ampex research team developing one of the first practical video tape recorder (VTR). In 1951 the first video tape recorder captured live images from television cameras by converting the camera's electrical impulses and saving the information onto magnetic video tape.
Video recorders were sold for US $50,000 in 1956, and videotapes cost US $300 per one-hour reel. However, prices gradually dropped over the years; in 1971, Sony began selling videocassette recorder (VCR) decks and tapes into the consumer market.
The use of digital techniques in video created digital video, which allows higher quality and, eventually, much lower cost than earlier analog technology. After the invention of the DVD in 1997 and Blu-ray Disc in 2006, sales of videotape and recording equipment plummeted. Advances in computer technology allows even inexpensive personal computers and smartphones to capture, store, edit and transmit digital video, further reducing the cost of video production, allowing program-makers and broadcasters to move to tapeless production. The advent of digital broadcasting and the subsequent digital television transition is in the process of relegating analog video to the status of a legacy technology in most parts of the world. As of 2015, with the increasing use of high-resolution video cameras with improved dynamic range and color gamuts, and high-dynamic-range digital intermediate data formats with improved color depth, modern digital video technology is converging with digital film technology.
Frame rate, the number of still pictures per unit of time of video, ranges from six or eight frames per second (frame/s) for old mechanical cameras to 120 or more frames per second for new professional cameras. PAL standards (Europe, Asia, Australia, etc.) and SECAM (France, Russia, parts of Africa etc.) specify 25 frame/s, while NTSC standards (USA, Canada, Japan, etc.) specify 29.97 frames. Film is shot at the slower frame rate of 24 frames per second, which slightly complicates the process of transferring a cinematic motion picture to video. The minimum frame rate to achieve a comfortable illusion of a moving image is about sixteen frames per second.