BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: For radiotherapy of prostate cancer, the patient is usually positioned in the left-right (LR) direction by aligning a single marker on the skin with the projection of a room laser. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of a room-mounted video camera in combination with previously acquired CT data to improve patient set-up along the LR axis. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The camera was mounted in the treatment room at the caudal side of the patient. For 22 patients with prostate cancer 127 video and portal images were acquired. The set-up error determined by video imaging was found by matching video images with rendered CT images using various techniques. This set-up error was retrospectively compared with the set-up error derived from portal images. It was investigated whether the number of corrections based on portal imaging would decrease if the information obtained from the video images had been used prior to irradiation. Movement of the skin with respect to bone was quantified using an analysis of variance method. RESULTS: The measurement of the set-up error was most accurate for a technique where outlines and groins on the left and right side of the patient were delineated and aligned individually to the corresponding features extracted from the rendered CT image. The standard deviations (SD) of the systematic and random components of the set-up errors derived from the portal images in the LR direction were 1.5 and 2.1 mm, respectively. When the set-up of the patients was retrospectively adjusted based on the video images, the SD of the systematic and random errors decreased to 1.1 and 1.3 mm, respectively. From retrospective analysis, a reduction of the number of set-up corrections (from nine to six corrections) is expected when the set-up would have been adjusted using the video images. The SD of the magnitude of motion of the skin of the patient with respect to the bony anatomy was estimated to be 1.1 mm. CONCLUSION: Video imaging is an accurate technique for measuring the set-up of prostate cancer patients in the LR direction. The outline of the patient is a more accurate estimate of the set-up of the bony anatomy than the marker on the patient's abdomen.