There have been a lot of different mediums for storing video over the years and they just keep getting better and better. For example, the first movies were silent movies because the technology of the time wasn’t capable of encoding sound on celluloid (or reading it off of celluloid either for that matter). In these movies, text was shown on the screen in between shots of the actors to tell the audience what the actors were saying and music was often played along with the movie either by a live piano player or on a record player of some sort. Of course it didn’t take long for movie makers to figure out how to encode sound on celluloid and a new era in film making was born. It would still be some decades though before color was added to the capabilities of video recording, but when it did, it made a huge difference to the quality of the entertainment.Of course technology eventually emerged that allowed people to make their own home movies on 35 millimeter film, but it wasn’t until the invention of the video cassette that consumers really got control over how they recorded and watched video. The video cassette was (and is) basically a reel to reel magnetic tape that’s enclosed in a casing to protect it from damage. The video cassette player turned the wheels and dragged the tape over heads that read the information encoded on the tape and then converted that information into video and audio. Video cassette tapes came in both VHS and Betamax formats, but the principle of how they worked was basically the same. Video cassette technology allowed people to record their own video either off of TV signals or using video cameras. This technology also gave rise to stores that rented and sold movies that were prerecorded on video cassettes.With exception of a little noticed and failed video disc format that used laser technology and that was marketed in the late nineteen seventies, the VHS video cassette format was the dominant technology until nineteen ninety eight when the DVD- or digital video disc- was introduced. The DVD was the successful descendant of the older laser disc format. DVD’s were much smaller than the older laser discs, being the same size as CD’s, and encoded information much more efficiently. DVD’s gradually replaced VHS as the preferred video storage format of consumers.Now, high definition DVD’s are the latest consumer video storage technology. Unfortunately though High Def DVD’s have yet to be accepted by the mainstream because of an ugly war between the two formats that arrived on the scene virtually simultaneously. Both formats are capable of storing huge amounts of data- enough to render an entire full length movie in movie theater quality from a single disc the same size as the older DVD format.There has been speculation that another video storage format could make high def DVD’s obsolete before they really have a chance to take hold. For example, some insiders predict that in the near future people will purchase terabyte sized hard disks that contain a huge number of movie titles. As the owners of these hard disks want to watch the movies stored on them, they can pay a fee to the distributor in order to unlock and view each movie. This would certainly eliminate a lot of the difficulties associated with distributing individual videos, and as surprising as it may seem, current technology is close to being ready for such a development. The Internet is another alternative source of video to look out for.We may be looking at an interesting phenomenon where an entire video storage format becomes obsolete before it gets adopted by the mainstream.