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Thresholding video images is very challenging due to the fact that image background generally has low resolution and is also more complicated and highly distorted than document images. As a result, thresholding methods that work well for document images may not work effectively for video images in some applications. This paper investigates the issue of thresholding video images for text detection and further develops a relative entropy-based thresholding approach that can effectively extract text from complicated video images. In order to demonstrate its performance a comparative study is conducted among the proposed thresholding method and several thresholding techniques which are widely used for document and gray scale images. The experimental results show that thresholding video images is far more difficult than thresholding document images and simple histogram-based methods generally do not perform well.