In less than a decade video technology has come from nowhere to occupying a place in over a third of the television households of the world. This recent emergence of video as the most rapidly developing communication medium, with a variety of possible applications, has of course affected the distribution of television programmes, films and the patterns of domestic television consumption. This report analyzes both the four video "rich" areas of the world - South East Asia, Western Europe, North America and the Arab States - and those areas which have yet to see high levels of video penetration. Commissioned from the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the research was conducted by the Broadcasting Research Unit, London. Manuel Alvarado, Research Fellow of the Unit, organized and co-ordinated the work of over 30 researchers who covered 39 countries in five continents.
The massive amount of data collected during the two year research period 1985/6 has been edited down into a 340 page volume which reveals a range of video flows and usages and presents a body of data which should be of use to those with a professional, commercial and academic interest in the future of this new medium.