What is remote viewing?
The term "Remote Viewing" has one definition with two separate parts to it. The first part of the definition says it is:
The process of an individual acquiring information about a person, place, thing or event which is distant in time or space, when that information could not be accessible to the individual through any means currently known to science.
Sounds like psychic work eh? The second part of the definition is the groundwork for the first part. Remote viewing is technically:
A certain type of psychic or "ESP" process, defined as Remote Viewing instead of ESP by the fact that it is done within an approved Remote Viewing protocol.
There are rules in RV to ensure the information one is obtaining could not be accessible to the psychic through any means but psi.
These rules, taken as a set, are called "the Protocol." (There are good and bad protocols, certainly more than one.) The term ‘approved’ refers to validation by the leading scientists in the field that it is ‘tight’ enough to prevent anything from fraud to accidental information transfer to creep in ‘disguised as’ ‘real psi’.
The protocol exists to validate the definition of Remote Viewing. If you are doing psi work within an approved RV protocol, it is certain you are using Psi. Not fraud, not subconscious physiological data transfer, not natural mentalism-type intuition. It has to be psi.
In layman's terms, remote viewing is "psychic work." The protocol does not affect one being psychic; it doesn't have much to do with the psychic process itself. Rather, it affects the situation one is being psychic within.
There are also "methods" for gathering psychic information that many employ, either in or out of a proper RV protocol, and as slang, most refer to them simply as 'remote viewing.' But how you go about obtaining psychic information--the process and "how-to"--are methods. Some people teaching these call them "protocols" (because it is their set of 'rules'). This can be confusing to the public.
The methods have nothing to do with the RV protocol, except that they are supposed to be used within it. You can use any given method, but if you do not use it within an approved RV protocol, your psychic work does not qualify as remote viewing--it is simply psychic work.
The most well-known psi methodology related to RV is Coordinate or Controlled RV ("CRV"), a set of methods and concepts from a variety of sources compiled by psychic Ingo Swann in the early 1980's. These were designed to be used within a remote viewing protocol, which is why they were referred to as 'remote viewing.'
Probably the second most well known set of psi "methods" are those which are part of the Silva Mind Control techniques. These were not designed to be used in the RV protocol and so are not called RV, but like any psychic methods, can be put in protocol and used for RV. Or - make up your own!