Video Authentication Evidence In New Jersey

In Balian v. General Motors, 121 N.J. Super. 118, 296 A.2d 317 (App.Div.1972), certif. denied, 62 N.J. 195, 299 A.2d 729 (1973), we specified four elements ordinarily required for authentication of a video tape. One of those elements was evidence concerning the circumstances surrounding the taking of the film. Over the years authentication requirements have become more flexible, perhaps because the technology has become more commonplace. See, e.g., State v. Wilson, 135 N.J. 4, 637 A.2d 1237 (1994); N.J.R.E. 901. Nevertheless, authentication must establish that the video tape is an accurate reproduction of that which it purports to demonstrate. We find that the information presented to the trial court at the time it ruled the tape could be shown was insufficient to meet that standard.