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What is the difference between video and grabación? In other words, what types of "videos" does each describe? Which of the two would best describe a video recorded using a home video recorder or digital camera?

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In Spain the usual spelling and pronunciation is "vídeo" (stressed syllable in "ví") instead of "video" (stressed syllable in "de") which is used in Latin America. –  Javi Jan 2 '12 at 18:06
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3 Answers 3

A 'grabación' is best used for non-professional video recording. 'Vídeos' is used for any kind of visual media, usually for short formats.

If you refer to a short format like a youtube video or a video taken with the phone you will say 'vídeo'. But we usually say 'vídeo' if the video is in VHS or BETA format. Those video magnetic cases are named 'vídeos'.

Here you have some examples that I might help you...

  • Vamos a ver la grabación de la boda de Dani: Let's watch the Dani's wedding video
  • La grabación del parking delató al criminal: The parking recording exposed the criminal
  • El último vídeo de Lady Gaga no me gustó nada: I didn't like the latest Lady Gaga video
  • Pon el vídeo de Dumbo: Put the Dumbo movie
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They are similar, but are used in different ways:

Vídeo

Usually translates to just 'video', though it has other meanings.

  • Phisical Format The device that holds magnetic tape, used to record images and sound (usually refers to VHS).
  • VHS Player The machine to reproduce vídeos is also called vídeo.
  • Recording The recording of images in some sort of physical media. Nowadays this is the most used, since VHS was replaced by other forms of storage. Any kind of video is called vídeo: vídeos de Youtube, un vídeo en al tele, etc.

Grabación

It can be translated to recording, and it means:

  • Act of recording The actual act of capture images and audio in some sort of physical media.
  • Recipient of recording The physical device in which a video is held.

So they have similar meanings, but for vídeo the most common is the concept of a video, and for grabación it's the act of recording a vídeo.

From RAE.es Vídeo and Grabacíon (sorry for the weird links, it's hard to link to words with accents).

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Well, actually links with accents work just fine –  MikMik Dec 30 '11 at 12:53
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To me, there's mostly a one to one relation between vídeo in Spanish and video in English, and between grabación and recording.

That said, video can also mean video cassette recorder, or video cassette.

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