In the early days of electronic video production, linear (tape-to-tape) editing was the only way to edit video tapes. In the 1990s, non-linear editing computers became available and opened a whole new world of editing power and flexibility. The ever evolving video technology helped improve videos on quality, and video editing on your computer makes it even easier. Until the advent of computer-based random access non-linear editing systems (NLE) in the early 1990s “linear video editing” was simply called “video editing”
The costs of editing systems have dropped such that non-linear editing tools are now within the reach of home users. With the edit decision lists (EDL), the editor can now work on low-resolution copies of the video. This makes it possible to edit both standard-definition broadcast quality and high definition broadcast quality very quickly on normal PCs which do not have the power to do the full processing of the huge full-quality high-resolution data in real-time.
A multimedia computer for non-linear editing of video will usually have a video capture card to capture analog video and/or a FireWire connection to capture digital video from a DV camera, with its video editing software. Modern web-based editing systems can take video directly from a camera phone over a GPRS or 3G mobile connections.
Editing can also take place through a web browser interface; strictly speaking, a computer for video editing now does not require any installed hardware or software provided by a web browser and an internet connection. Various editing tasks can then be performed on the imported video before it is exported to another medium, or MPEG encoded for transfer to a DVD.