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We describe the results of a series of psychophysical experiments that investigated the relationships among defect visibility, content importance, and perceived impairment in digital video. Various types of controlled defects were inserted into normal video and shown to our test subjects. The defects varied in their strength, location, appearance, size, and duration. We measured three specific subjective quantities: the defect detection probability, the perceived impairment, and the content importance. Impairment was found to be tightly related to defect visibility but only weakly related to content importance.