What are Audiovisual Media?

What Does Audiovisual Media Mean

We explain what audiovisual media are, its history and characteristics. Also, how they are classified and what they are for.

The audiovisual media transmit images and sound in a synchronized way.

What are audiovisual media?

The audiovisual media (or simply audiovisual media) are those mass communication mechanisms that transmit their messages through channels that involve not only the sense of sight, as in traditional print media, but also that of hearing.

In other words, audiovisual media use multimedia technology , which combines the visual virtues of the printed model with the immediacy of talk radio, thus achieving a more complex format that imitates the real presence in the order of the events transmitted. This is the case with television , movies and more recently the Internet .

This type of communication media is based on the joint transmission of images and sound in an articulated way , that is, simultaneously and synchronized, to achieve a powerful reality effect never before seen in the history of human communication .

This work of assembly between the two registers (the visual and the auditory), which can point to realistic naturalness, as in television newscasts, or pursue special effects as in fictional cinema, is called “montage”.

The audiovisual media revolutionized human society in its gradual appearance during the twentieth century , and currently constitute the main source of information transmitted daily or contained in digital media such as DVDs or Web pages .

It can help you: Communication Sciences

History of audiovisual media

The development of talkies was first around 1920.

The combination of audio and voice in a mass communication medium took place for the first time in the development of talkies , around 1920. This advance represented a renewal of the filming practices and the very conception of cinema and then television, already that provided a much richer, real-life experience to their performances, which until then seemed more theatrical.

The arrival, thus, of new information technologies and especially the Internet and the different digital video formats, meant an even more resounding change, in which these elements so similar to real life could be manipulated and intervened to generate surprising visual and auditory effects, like those we enjoy today in fictional cinema.

In addition, the popularity of virtual networks allowed the massive circulation of audiovisual content , to the point that any user with a cell phone equipped with a camera can record audiovisual events and share them with the public, or even communicate with distant relatives in real time. being able to see and hear them across enormous distances.

Characteristics of audiovisual media

As its name indicates, audiovisual media are those that combine both visual aspects (still or moving images) and sound. They are based on the synchronized coexistence of these stimuli, whether they try to imitate reality or propose a new , fictional one.

In this sense, audiovisual media are usually immediate, massive, and at the same time ephemeral (since their representation ends in time) and durable (since they can be stored and reproduced over and over again from the beginning).

Classification of audiovisual media

Traditional slides are accompanied by the voice of the speaker.

There are different forms of audiovisual medium, and we can study them separately:

  • Traditional Cases such as the blackboard, the slides or the traditional overhead projectors, are not properly audiovisual (but rather visual), but they constitute the germ of what would come later, since in their cases the visual medium was the accompaniment of an oral explanation by of the teacher or speaker, in order to take advantage of both formats.
  • Massive. From the massification of image and sound , cinema and television became powerful audiovisual media to reach the population quickly and immediately, and for this reason the media of this type, especially television stations, They became vitally important in the concert of societies, coming to be called part of the "fourth estate" or media power.
  • Interactive Since the appearance of the Internet, the audiovisual media were not only massive and fast, but also allowed the viewer not to play such a passive role, but to choose, intervene and give feedback , or even broadcast information, as in the video conferencing or video calls.

What are audiovisual media for?

The audiovisual media play a key role in informing the masses in contemporary society, allowing them to witness reality almost as if they were there, in any other corner of the world.

Likewise, it allows us to dream of possible realities through fictional cinema and to experience these worlds of lies as if they really existed, by using sound and vision .

To this must be added the enormous advantage that audiovisual telecommunications represent, overcoming enormous distances to allow two or more people to see and hear each other in real time : a true global communication revolution.

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