A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock used in filmmaking or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram. In most cases, a helical scan video head rotates against the moving tape to record the data in two dimensions, because video signals have a very high bandwidth, and static heads would require extremely high tape speeds. Videotape is used in both video tape recorders (VTRs) or, more commonly and more recently, videocassette recorder (VCR) and camcorders. Tape is a linear method of storing information and since nearly all video recordings made nowadays are digital direct to disk recording (DDR), videotape is expected to gradually lose importance as non-linear/random-access methods of storing digital video data become more common.
Information stored can be in the form of either an analog signal or digital signal.