In digital video editing, non-linear editing (NLE) is a method that allows you to access any frame in a digital video clip regardless of sequence in the clip. This method is similar in concept to the “cut and paste” technique used in film editing from the beginning. This method allows you to easily include fades, transitions, and other effects that cannot be achieved with linear editing.
Video and audio data are first captured to hard disks or other digital storage devices. The data is either recorded directly to the storage device or is imported from another source. Once imported they can be edited on a computer using any of a wide range of software.
A 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 connection, and editing can take place through a web browser interface, so strictly speaking a computer for video editing does not require any installed hardware or software beyond a web browser and an internet connection.
Digital nonlinear systems provide high-quality post-production editing on a desktop computer. However, some detail may be lost if lossy compression is used to store the images.