Dictionary of Video and Television Technology

Dictionary of Video and Television Technology
Dictionary of Video
and Television Technology
Newnes is an imprint of Elsevier Science.
Copyright © 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
[This page intentionally left blank.]
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Recognizing the importance of preserving what has been written,
Elsevier Science prints its books on acid-free paper whenever possible.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
ISBN: 1-878707-99-X
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
The publisher offers special discounts on bulk orders of this book.
For information, please contact:
Manager of Special Sales
Elsevier Science
225 Wildwood Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
Tel: 781-904-2500
Fax: 781-904-2620
For information on all Newnes publications available, contact our World Wide
Web home page at: http://www.newnespress.com
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Printed in the United States of America
Dictionary of Video
and Television Technology
Keith Jack
Vladimir Tsatsulin
An imprint of Elsevier Science
San Diego
N e w Yo r k
San Francisco
To k y o
[This is a blank page.]
Preface ............................................................................................................. vii
About the Authors ...................................................................................... ix
# ............................................................................................. 1
A ............................................................................................ 3
B ........................................................................................... 22
C ........................................................................................... 39
D .......................................................................................... 75
E ......................................................................................... 100
F ......................................................................................... 113
G ........................................................................................ 129
H ........................................................................................ 135
I .......................................................................................... 146
J ......................................................................................... 159
K ........................................................................................ 161
L ......................................................................................... 164
M ....................................................................................... 176
N ........................................................................................ 193
O ........................................................................................ 199
P ......................................................................................... 205
Q ........................................................................................ 224
R ......................................................................................... 227
S ......................................................................................... 239
T ......................................................................................... 271
U ........................................................................................ 289
V ........................................................................................ 292
W ....................................................................................... 311
X ........................................................................................ 316
Y ........................................................................................ 317
Z ......................................................................................... 319
APPENDIX A: Associations ................................................. 321
APPENDIX B: Standards Organizations............................... 325
Just a few short years ago, the applications for video were fairly confined—
analog broadcast and cable television, analog VCRs, analog settop boxes
with limited functionality, and simple analog video capture for PCs. Since
that time, a tremendous and rapid conversion to digital video has taken
place, with consequent changes in broadcast standards and technologies.
“Convergence” is the buzzword that has come to mean this rapid coming
together of various technologies that were previously unrelated. Today we
DVD and SuperVCD players and recorders, with entire movies being
stored on one disc, with newer designs supporting progressive scan
capability for even higher video quality.
Digital VCRs and camcorders, that store digital audio and video on
Digital settop boxes, which interface the television to the digital cable,
satellite, or broadcast system. Many also now support interactivity,
datacasting, sophisticated graphics, and internet access.
Digital televisions, which receive and display digital TV broadcasts,
either via cable, satellite, or over-the-air. Both standard-definition
(SDTV) and high-definition (HDTV) versions are available.
Game consoles, with high-definition graphics and powerful processing, and with the newer systems supporting DVD playback and
internet access.
Video editing on the PC, using real-time MPEG decoding, fast MPEG
encoding, and other powerful techniques.
Digital transmission of content for broadcast, cable and satellite systems, with the conversion to HDTV underway.
This is a complex and ever-changing field and there is a need for a reference that documents the evolving terminology, standards, and acronyms.
The Dictionary of Video and Television Technology contains the most up-todate terms and their usage. The book is a valuable reference for engineers
working in the fields of analog and digital video, broadcast personnel, technicians, or anyone charged with the task of understanding, using, or
implementing video and television signals. We hope this companion volume to the popular Video Demystified, 3rd Edition proves just as valuable to
those creating and working with the converging technologies of the 21st
Keith Jack has architected and introduced to market over 25 multimedia
ICs for the PC and consumer markets. Currently director of product marketing for Sigma Designs, Inc., he is working on next-generation digital
video and audio solutions. He has a BSEE from Tri-State University in Angola,
Indiana, and holds two patents for video processing.
Vladimir Tsatsulin is a retired military officer with an electronics engineering degree from MVIZRU Military Academy. Following his retirement from
the military, he worked as a TV technology professor at “Elektrons” state
company in Riga, Latvia and later was a member of the expert group that
developed a TV and PC database for the Invention Machine Co. Today
Tsatsulin is a technical writer and translator for the Belorussian State University of Informatics and Electronics in Minsk, Belarus. He is co-author of The
English-Russian Dictionary on Television and Audio/Video Equipment, a standard reference now in its third edition.
[This is a blank page.]
0h A reference time moment at the mid-level crossing
point of the leading edge of the line sync pulse. This
is the default timing reference in the TV environment (as opposed to the active line start which is
commonly used in computing environments). Syn.:
line datum; line start [moment]; time datum.
0v A reference time moment given by the line datum
coincident with the beginning of the first equalizing pulse (525-line standard) or with the beginning
of the first broad pulse in the vertical sync group
(625-line and 1125-line standards). Commonly accepted as a timing reference point for color framing
and SCH determination in 625-line standard. Syn.:
frame datum.
1.78:1 16:9 ratio for “wide-screen” TV.
10-bit The generic description for equipment having a
data path 10 bits wide. Such a path can represent
data having up to 1024 different values (four times
that of an 8-bit system).
100% [color] bars 1. In PAL/SECAM countries and in
Japan: color bars with the nomenclature 100/0/100/0.
2. In the USA and other NTSC countries: color bars
with the nomenclature 100/7.5/100/7.5.
12-12-12 rule The maximum number of stations that
can be owned by one company: 12 TV stations, 12
AM radio stations, and 12 FM radio stations. This
rule of the FCC replaces the longtime limitation of
12-14 truck Ku-track, named for the GHz range.
12-14 unit Ku-track.
1080i Number of active vertical scanning lines in interlaced scan format specified by HDTV standard
adopted by the FCC. See Interlaced scanning.
1,300-nm optical-wavelength transmission window
An optical wavelength frequently used for cable-TV
trunk and other multi-km fiber-optic systems.
16-VSB system Zenith’s 16-level digital transmission
system, using vestigial sideband modulation technology. Can send two digital HDTV MPEG-2 signals
on a single 6-MHz cable channel, doubling the number of HDTV signals on a cable channel. Alternately,
it can be used to deliver as many as 24 SDTV MPEG2 channels, or a mix of HDTV and SDTV channels.
With a data rate of 38.8 megabits/s, it has twice the
data rate of 8-VSB. Although designed for digital
cable, many digital cable systems continue to use
QAM modulation technology.
2-D Two-dimensional.
(2+3)D mode A mixture mode in which both the
2D-image and the 3D-image are displayed as mixed.
2.5D effect A digital video effect similar to a 2D effect
but with the appearance of three dimensions. E.g.,
a picture can be distorted and put on the surface of
a disk to give the illusion of being put on a sphere. If
this disk is rotated 90 degrees about its x-axis it will
be seen to be a single line, providing its 2D nature.
A true 3D effect may be rotated and viewed about
any axis and still maintain an appropriate shape.
2D effect A digital video effect where picture transformations and manipulations are restrained within
an arbitrary plane surface.
2H Sync pulse with period of two lines, the rising edge
of which marks the start of a line with positive
polarity of V component in a PAL chrominance signal or the start of a Dr line in Dr/Db sequence in a
SECAM chrominance signal. Syn.: 7.8 kHz; Dr/Db
switch; PAL switch; PAL switching signal; SECAM
3C Computer, communication, consumer. Color
videophone is an example of a 3C integrated product.
3-D Also 3D. Three-dimensional.
3-D display technology A technique, developed by
Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd of Osaka, that does not require special viewing glasses. Instead, a proprietary
image splitter separates images into right-side and
left-side elements. The splitter works in conjunction
with a conventional LCD to produce the image. A
special algorithm and digital-signal processing can
produce real-time 3-D images from ordinary 2-D signals such as conventional TV and video programming.
3:2 pull-down A method used to map film (24 fps)
onto 480-line TV (30 fps), in which one film frame
occupies three TV fields, the next two, and so forth.
Since the two fields of alternate TV frames are from
different film frames, operations such as rotoscoping
are not possible, and editing must be done carefully. Advanced equipment can unravel the 3:2
sequence to allow frame-by-frame treatment.
3/4-inch U (EIAJ) Video Recording Format The first
mass-produced and practical videocassette format
4:1:1 Y’CbCr
and machine to be used in the US. Introduced by
Sony in 1971, this videotape format uses the trade
name U-matic (shortened to just U), which has become synonymous with the machine. It was endorsed as the standard for 3/4" tape recording by
the Electronic Industry Association of Japan (EIAJ).
4:1:1 Y’CbCr Means that for every four horizontal Y’
samples, there is one sample each of Cb and Cr.
4:2:0 Y’CbCr Means that for every block of 2 x 2 Y’
samples, there is one sample each of Cb and Cr.
There are three variations of 4:2:0 YCbCr, with the
difference being the position of Cb and Cr sampling
relative to Y.
4:2:2 Also CCIR 601, ITU-R BT.601. The most commonly accepted standard for component digital
video. The active picture area of the luminance Y’
component is 720 pixels horizontally by 480 or 576
lines vertically (per frame). Each of the color difference signals, Cb and Cr, are sub-sampled horizontally so that, per frame, they each have 360 pixels
horizontally by 480 or 576 lines vertically. At 8 bits
per pixel, the total active picture rate is 166 Mbps.
The full bit rate including line and field blanking
periods is 216 Mbps. Likewise for 10 bits per pixel,
the active picture data rate is 207 Mbps with the
full bit rate at 270 Mbps. This is the standard for
digital studio equipment; the terms “4:2:2” and
“601” are often used synonymously (but technically incorrectly).
4:2:2 Y’CbCr Means that for every two horizontal Y’
samples, there is one sample each of Cb and Cr.
4:4:4 Y’CbCr Means that for every Y’ sample, there is
one sample each of Cb and Cr.
4fsc Four times the frequency of the NTSC or PAL color
subcarrier. Also the sampling rate of a D2 digital
video signal with respect to the subcarrier frequency
of an NTSC or PAL analog video signal.
5.1 A type of surround sound using six audio channels: left, center, right, left rear (or side) surround,
right rear (or side) surround, and a subwoofer, considered the “.1” since it is bandwidth-limited.
601 See 4:2:2.
7-7-7 rule An FCC restriction that formerly limited ownership by one company to a maximum of seven TV
stations (of which only five could be VHF), seven
AM radio stations, and seven FM radio stations; now
7.8 kHz See 2H.
780p Number of active vertical scanning lines in progressive scan format specified by HDTV standard
adopted by the FCC. See Progressive scanning.
8mm Hi-Fi High sound quality built into the 8mm video
recording format. This format was originally designed
to automatically incorporate AFM hi-fi recording in
all 8mm camcorders and VCRs. Unlike standard VCRs
that place the separate audio track longitudinally
on the tape, 8mm AFM units “write” the audio track
on the tape diagonally along with the video information. The high quality sound, however, is restricted
to one monophonic track, thereby not necessarily
producing stereo. Some 8mm units are equipped
with Pulse Code Modulation, a digital audio recording process that can produce stereo audio.
8mm/VHS, VCR; Sony A dual-deck VCR that can edit
from 8mm to VHS and vice versa. Both decks have
high-end features such as stereo audio and the capability of accommodating high-band recordings
(Hi8 and S-VHS), but in standard resolution only. Included are several editing features, including jog/
shuttle controls.
8mm video. A mini-video camcorder format that uses
a compact cassette (60-, 90- or 120-minute lengths)
and is capable of producing hi-fi audio. Flying erase
heads provide smooth edits and clean scene transitions. The video quality of the 8mm format equals
that of VHS in many respects and surpasses it, although only slightly, in color reproduction. In addition, its built-in hi-fi audio capability offers superior
sound to competing formats. However, 8mm video
is not compatible with most home VCRs. Some models have added advanced features, such as automatic
focus, glitch-free editing and the capability of superimposing time and date upon an image. Other
competitive formats include Hi8, S-VHS, S-VHS-C,
8-pin connector A type of jack commonly used for the
VTR-to-monitor connection; provides a full set of audio and video connections—one ground and one lead
each for audio-in, audio-out, video-in, and video-out.
8-VSB See vestigial sideband.
ABC Commonly refers to the American Broadcasting
Corporation or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. May also be an abbreviation for automatic
brightness control.
aberration In CRT displays, a distortion of an image
caused by failure of the electron beam to focus all
points accurately on the screen.
ABL Abbreviation for automatic brightness limiter.
above the line A budget category that includes the
artistic or creative elements, primarily nontechnical
personnel and activities.
abstract set A set, such as on a TV news program,
that has a neutral background.
AC adapter An external device for equipment that
converts alternating current (AC) power into direct
current (DC) power.
AC coupled AC coupling passes a signal through a
capacitor to remove any DC offset, or the overall
voltage level that the video signal “rides” on. One
way to find the signal is to remove the DC offset by
AC coupling, and then do DC restoration to add a
known DC offset (one that we selected). Another
reason AC coupling is important is that it can remove large (and harmful) DC offsets.
AC hum A low-pitched sound (50 or 60 Hz) heard
whenever AC power is converted into sound. It is
usually the result of ground loops or inadequate
shielding of cables.
AC interlock A safety function on equipment that turns
off power when the back of the device is opened.
AC transmission See Alternating-current transmission.
AC’97, AC’98 These are definitions by Intel for the
audio I/O implementation for PCs. Two chips are
defined: an analog audio I/O chip and a digital controller chip. The digital chip will eventually be replaced by a software solution. The goal is to increase
the audio performance of PCs and lower cost.
AC-3 Original name for Dolby® Digital. Also, the version of Dolby compressed audio used in some movie
theaters for surround sound.
ACATS Abbreviation for Advisory Committee on
Advanced Television Service.
ACC Abbreviation for automatic color control.
accelerating anode See Electron gun.
accelerating electrode An electrode that accelerates
A The cable TV midband channel occupying 120-126
MHz. May also refer to an advertising rate for commercials (see AAA rate).
A&E Abbreviation for Arts and Entertainment cable
A.F. Abbreviation for audio frequency.
A/D Short for analog-to-digital converter.
A/D converter Short for analog-to-digital converter.
A/PAL An early version of PAL used in Ireland and the
United Kingdom. Characteristics were 405 lines per
frame, 50 fields per second, 2:1 interlaced.
A-1 The cable TV midband channel occupying
108-114 MHz.
A-2 The cable TV midband channel occupying
114-120 MHz. May also refer to Antenne-2, or the
second French state broadcast TV network.
AA The cable TV hyperband channel occupying
300-306 MHz. May also refer to an advertising rate
for commercials (see AAA rate).
AAA rate The most expensive advertising rate for radio and TV commercials. AA is the next lower rate,
followed by the A rate, and finally the B rate (the
lowest rate).
A-B color frame code Another name for color frame
A-B mix A transition where one video source (A) fades
out while another video source (B) fades in. The
amount of each source used to generate the result
is determined by the relative position of a mixer fader
arm. When the fader arm is all the way at the source
A side, then only video source A appears at the
output. Also means cross-fade or mix.
A-B roll A video editing system where two or more
sources are used, in conjunction with a video mixer,
to create dissolves and other transitions between
the different sources.
A-B roll editing An editing procedure using two synchronized sources of the same program material.
A-B switch A device that inputs two video sources (A
and B), and outputs either A or B. Since it doesn’t
affect the signal quality, it is also called a passive
A-B test A direct comparison of sound and/or picture
quality of two sources, or devices, by playing one,
then the other.
acceleration voltage
the electrons of an electron beam. See also Electron
acceleration voltage A voltage that produces an acceleration of a beam of charged particles.
accentuation Another name for pre-emphasis.
accentuator Another name for a circuit that provides
access In videotex, the number of frames requested
by a user.
access time In video, the amount of time it takes to
reach the desired point of a program.
ACE head On newer VCRs, the control-track and audio heads are combined into one unit. This head is
often referred to as the ACE head, for Audio, Control, and audio Erase.
achromatic Without color or varying brightness
information. May also refer to being capable of transmitting light without breaking it up into its constituent colors. Also see Monochromatic.
achromatic color A shade of gray. Also see Variables
of perceived color.
achromatic lens A lens corrected for chromatic aberration. In its simplest form, it consists of a pair of
lenses, designed so that the dispersion produced by
one lens (being divergent) corrects the dispersion
produced by the other (being convergent). Usually,
a convex lens of crown glass and a concave lens of
flint glass are used. The combination brings all colors closer to the same focal point.
achromatic locus The area on the chromaticity diagram that contains all points representing acceptable reference white standards. Also called the
achromatic region.
achromatic point A point on the chromaticity diagram representing an acceptable reference white
achromatic region See Achromatic locus.
achromatic stimulus A visual stimulus that gives the
sensation of white light and thus has no color.
ACK Abbreviation for automatic color killer.
acoustic delay line A delay line used to delay sound.
It may be mechanical or electronic.
acoustic feedback This may occur when the input to
a system (such as a microphone) receives sound from
the output of the system (such as a speaker), forming an uncontrolled closed loop. It usually results in
a high-pitched squeal.
acoustic holography Using a single-frequency sound
wave to produce a 3D image of an object. It is usually viewed on a CRT display.
acoustic wave A wave that is transmitted through a
solid, liquid, or gaseous material as a result of vibrations of the particles. Also called a sound wave.
acoustic wave device A device used in signal processing that transfers acoustic waves on a substrate,
enabling a wide variety of processing functions to
be performed. Delay lines, attenuators, phase
shifters, etc. may be implemented.
acoustics The reverberation of sound, or lack of it, in
a room. Acoustics can affect the results of the audio
recording. Some parts of a room have “dead” spots
while others are more “lively.” The built-in microphone of a video camera operates better in dead
areas; hiss and noise occur in live portions of a room.
ACS Abbreviation for alternate channel selectivity.
action line See Line.
action shot See Moving shot.
action track A digital video effect where fast-moving
objects appear to remain on-screen. This effect requires motion detection to isolate the moving objects so that they may be frozen and accumulated
into a single image. The technique was developed
for sports action replay analysis. Also called image
active filter A filter that requires power to operate.
Also refers to a filter designed to reject noise and
ripple that may otherwise be transmitted to a TV
active image The visual portion of a video signal.
active image area See Active picture area.
active interval The portion of an active line that contains video information. Also see Trace interval and
active lines The scan lines of a video signal that contain picture information. Most, if not all, of these
lines are visible on the display. Scan lines that do not
contain video information are usually said to be in
the vertical blanking interval.
active material A fluorescent material used in CRT
active mixer An audio mixer that compensates for
signal losses. Some active mixers can also modify
the audio signal by compressing it, adding echo, or
modifying a specific frequency range.
active part The portion of a video scan line that carries picture information. Also called analog active
active picture area The useful portion of a video display.
active pixel region The area of the display used for
the actual display of information. There may be a
visible region not used to display information, called
the border region.
active position The position on a display where subsequent actions will occur.
active satellite See Communications satellite.
active scan line See Active lines.
active signal correction A common name for the
fuzzy logic used in some video equipment. See ASC.
active video The part of the video waveform that
contains picture information. Most of the active
video, if not all of it, is visible on the display.
active-matrix LCD Active matrix is a technique for
making color LCD displays, by using transistors to
make up each of the pixels. The most common type
of active matrix LCD is based on a technology known
addressable box
as TFT. The two terms, active matrix and TFT, are
often used interchangeably.
actuator In general, a device, under the control of an
electrical signal, which carries out a mechanical action. It may also refer to the VCR device that causes
the video head to be moved to the videotape track.
In satellite TV, it controls the movement of the satellite dish so that it receives the strongest signal.
ACTV Abbreviation for Advanced Compatible
ACTV-1 In 1988, a proposed system described by
Isnardy had undergone computer simulation at the
David Sarnoff Research Center. The system was
named ACTV-1, for “Advanced Compatible TV, First
System.” It was intended to provide a 16:9 widescreen picture, while being compatible with standard NTSC receivers, and use the standard 6-MHz
NTSC channel. To accomplish this, a second subcarrier was added to the NTSC signal. This second subcarrier was a 395th multiple of one-half the line frequency, or about 3.1075171 MHz. An additional
“helper signal,” quadrature modulated with the picture carrier, was used to improve the vertical resolution. The ACTV-1 receiver was to be a 16:9 widescreen 525-line progressive TV.
ACTV-2 This proposed system used two 6-MHz NTSC
channels, with the ACTV-1 system being used for
one of the channels. The ACTV-2 system was an
extension of the ACTV-1 system. The ACTV-2
receiver was to be a 16:9, 1050-line interlaced TV.
adaptation The dynamic change of the type of audio
or video processing performed, dependent on the
sound or picture content.
adapter A device that makes electrical and mechanical connections between equipment not originally
intended to be used together.
adaptive comb decoder A NTSC/PAL video decoder
that uses an adaptive comb filter.
adaptive comb filter A filter that performs luminance
(Y) and chrominance (C) separation based on the
picture content. The frequency responses of the Y
and C filters look like the teeth on a comb, hence
the name comb filter.
adaptive control Processing that varies automatically
to generate the desired results regardless of the input. The automatic gain control (AGC) is an example
of an adaptive control: the gain of the amplifier varies automatically to generate a constant output level,
regardless of the input level.
adaptive range coding A process that condenses the
entire NTSC or PAL video bandwidth into a digital
signal that can be recorded on tape. The technique
requires the use of high-grade metal-particle tape.
adaptive transform/sub-band coding See Zenith
Spectrum-Compatible HDTV System.
adaptive transformation A video compression technique. The amount of information that must be
transmitted for a particular portion of the image is
proportional to the fineness of detail in that portion. A portion of the picture with little detail can
be transmitted with very few bits, and this provides
extra time for transmitting portions with high detail. A buffer is used to restore the original spatiotemporal relationship. If the entire picture has high
detail, the buffer may become overloaded, so the
rate of information transfer is reduced by reducing
high-frequency details. This, of course, reduces the
image quality by introducing artifacts.
ADC, A/D Abbreviation for analog-to-digital converter.
Add-A-Vision A combined film and TV camera system based on the Mitchell BNC but of British design. A variant of Add-A-Vision known as EFS (Electronic Filming System) is basically similar, but employs the Mitchell Mark 2 camera.
additive color system Color based on the addition
of light. For video, the three primary colors are red,
green, and blue. These may be added together in
varying amounts to generate any other color. Color
printing and film use the subtractive color system.
additive primaries Three colors from which all other
colors can be generated by adding some mixture of
them together.
add-on recording Also called transition editing recording. Most VCRs allow pause during recording,
but due to timing problems, there is usually a disturbance of the picture during playback at the place
where the pause was used. To eliminate this disturbance, transition editing recording backs up the tape
for about 2.2 seconds during pause recording. When
the pause is released, the deck will play back for
about 1.2 seconds while aligning the control timing
already on the videotape to the desired timing. After about 1.2 seconds, the deck switches to the
record mode, with the overall effect of there being
no artifacts during playback.
address search Also known as VASS or VHS Address
Search System, it is a VCR feature that permits the
user to assign a number to each index stop by marking it magnetically or electronically. Most VCRs use
one or more search methods to find a specific scene
on a videotape. These machines automatically place
an electronic mark on the tape each time the Record
button is activated, thereby marking the beginning
of every program recorded. Other features allow for
specific scenes within a program to be marked.
address track In VCRs, a path for laying down a specific code number for each frame of video on the
tape. This code consists of a time so that, for example, 00:27:14:03 would be read as 00 hours, 27
minutes, 14 seconds, and 3 frames.
addressability The ability of a cable or satellite TV
provider to control a set-top box in a subscriber’s
home. If communication from the set-top box to
the provider is also possible, it is called a two-way
system. Otherwise, it is called a one-way system.
addressable box A set-top box used by cable and
addressable converter
satellite TV providers that supports addressability. It
connects between the cable outlet (or satellite dish)
and the TV, allowing viewers to order and receive
pay-per-view programs and subscription channels.
addressable converter See Addressable box.
addressable decoder See Addressable box.
addressable programming A cable or satellite TV
provider may enable or disable a specific program
from being decoded and displayed by a specific addressable box. For example, a viewer orders a payper-view movie. They call a phone number; a computer answers and confirms the request. The provider then sends a coded message, which is received
by the viewer’s addressable set-top box. The message temporarily enables that particular set-top box
to descramble the channel, offering the desired program.
addressable set-top box See Addressable box.
addressable system A cable or satellite TV system
that supports addressable programming.
adjacent channel A channel that is immediately next
to another channel in frequency. For example, NTSC
channels 5 and 6 are adjacent. However, channels 4
and 5 are not since they are separated by non-TV
adjacent sound carrier The RF carrier that conveys
the audio information for the channel immediately
below the desired channel.
adjacent video carrier The RF carrier that conveys
the video information for the channel immediately
above the desired channel.
adjacent-channel interference Interference caused
by an adjacent channel.
adjacent-channel selectivity The ability of a receiver
to reject signals on adjacent channels.
adjustment switches For a display, the controls for
horizontal synchronization, vertical synchronization,
luminance, hue, contrast, etc.
ADO Abbreviation for Ampex Digital Optics by Ampex
Corporation. This is a video special effects device
for creating effects such as flips and twists.
ADP Abbreviation for automatic data processing.
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, a technology that converts existing copper telephone lines
into access paths for multimedia and high-speed
data communications while maintaining the regular phone voice services. The ANSI T1 committee has
standardized Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT) as the line
code to be used in ADSL. See DMT.
ADTV Abbreviation for Advanced Digital Television.
advance ratings When an audience-survey company
provides a preview (by telephone) to a client of the
ratings of a radio or TV program or station.
Advanced Compatible Television Several techniques
were developed to transmit additional information
within the NTSC and PAL video signal. Conventional
TVs would ignore the additional information, and
display the usual picture. Advanced TVs would use
the additional information to display an improved
picture, usually with a 16:9 aspect ratio. None of
the techniques were popular, although PALplus was
introduced in Europe.
Advanced Digital Television (ADTV) A proposed fully
digital HDTV system, since replaced by the ATSC
HDTV standard; Advanced Television Research Consortium (Thomson Consumer Electronics, Philips,
NBC, David Sarnoff Research Center, Compression
Laboratories Inc.). The baseband input was 1050
lines, 2:1 interlaced, and 59.94 fields/s. Source coding was based on the ISO MPEG draft specification
for the transportation of moving images over communication data networks. ADTV modified the
MPEG standard to handle the more stringent requirements of HDTV, and it referred to its scheme as
MPEG++. After video and audio signals were digitized and encoded, the transport encoder separated
data into two streams in order of their importance
to overall system operation. Data critical for maintaining the basic integrity of received pictures — typically the gray-scale levels, audio signals, data-cell
headers and motion descriptors — were assigned
High Priority (HP). The low-frequency coefficients and
then the higher frequency (fine detail) coefficients
formed the Standard Priority (SP) data stream. Assignment states were adaptive, so SP data could transcend to the HP stream when HP loading was light.
The two streams were formatted into separate 148byte data transport cells. The cell format was similar
to data-communication packets. The single-byte service header identified the type of data being carried
in the main 120-byte block. The two data streams
were quadrature amplitude-modulated onto separate carriers contained within a 6-MHz band. The
HP channel was 960 kHz wide; the SP channel occupied 3.84 MHz, and was filtered to have minimum power at the NTSC carrier frequencies. ADTV
receivers had similar functioning filters so that a cochannel NTSC station did not interfere with HDTV
advanced editing Special VCR features to assist in
making glitch-free, professional-looking edits. Such
features may include assemble editing, edit preview,
digital image superimposer, and the flying erase
advanced systems See System terminology.
advanced television A family of TV systems that improve the quality of standard TV. This includes EDTV,
Advanced Television Systems Committee The necessity for standardizing the HDTV format in the
United States required the FCC to make a choice
that would have a large economic impact. To make
the choice with impartiality and expertise, the FCC
appointed an ad hoc committee, the ATSC, to study
competing proposals, including field testing, and
make a recommendation to the FCC.
alpha channel
Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service Established in 1987 at the request of the United
States television broadcast industry. The original plan
was to develop an advanced television system using
reserved, but unassigned, frequency spectrum. Another objective became the development of a digital HDTV standard.
AES/EBU digital audio interface A commonly used
digital audio interface specified as a result of cooperation between the Audio Engineering Society and
the European Broadcasting Union. It is a serial transmission format for two-channel linearly represented
digital audio data. Each audio sample is carried by a
sub-frame containing: 20 bits of sample data, 4 bits
of auxiliary data (which may be used to extend the
sample to 24 bits), 4 other bits of data and a 4-bit
preamble. Two sub-frames make up a frame that
contains one sample from each of two audio channels. Frames are further grouped into 192 frame
blocks. AES/EBU signal includes channel status data
containing information about signal emphasis, sampling frequency, channel mode (stereo, mono, etc.),
use of auxiliary bits (extend to 24 bits or other uses),
and a CRC (cyclic redundancy code) for error checking. There are several allowed sampling frequencies
within the 32-kHz to 48-kHz range, the most
common being 44.1 and 48 kHz.
AFC Abbreviation for automatic frequency control.
AFM See Beta hi-fi.
AFT Abbreviation for automatic fine tuning.
afterglow See Persistence.
AFV Abbreviation for audio-follows-video.
AGC Abbreviation for automatic gain control.
aggregate Gathered into, or considered as, a whole.
A picture image is perceived as an aggregate of individual points.
agile receiver A satellite receiver that can be tuned to
any desired channel.
AIF Audio Interchange File. An audio file format developed by Apple® Computer to store high quality
sampled sound and musical instrument information.
aircraft flutter Sudden changes in the quality of a TV
picture, caused by the reflection of the TV signal
from an aircraft flying somewhere over the direct
path between a transmitter and receiver. The reflected signal interferes with the normal signal at
the receiving antenna.
airplane flutter. See Aircraft flutter.
airwaves Slang for radio waves, used in radio and TV
ALC Abbreviation for automatic level control or automatic light control.
alfecon An iron/silicon/aluminum alloy, used for video
alfesil An iron/silicon/aluminum alloy, used in video
algorithm A formula, or set of steps, used to simplify,
modify, or predict data. Complex algorithms are used
to compress files and reduce high digital video and
audio data rates.
alias See Aliasing.
alias frequency An erroneous lower frequency obtained when a periodic signal is sampled at a rate
equal to or less than twice the signal’s frequency.
aliasing Distortion in a video signal. It shows up in
different ways depending on the type of aliasing in
question. When the sampling rate interferes with
the frequency of program material the aliasing takes
the form of aliasing frequencies that are known as
sidebands. Spectral aliasing is caused by interference
between two frequencies such as the luminance and
chrominance signals. It appears as herringbone patterns, wavy lines where straight lines should be and
lack of color fidelity. Temporal aliasing is caused when
information is lost between line or field scans. It
appears when a video camera is focused on a CRT
and the lack of scanning synchronization produces
a very annoying flickering on the screen of the receiving device. In sampling, aliasing is the impairment produced when the input signal contains frequency components equal to or higher than half of
the sampling rate. Typically produces jagged steps
on diagonal edges. See also Nyquist limit. Syn.: alias.
aliasing noise A distortion component that is created
when frequencies present in a sampled signal are
equal to or greater than one-half the sample rate.
alignment In VCRs, the angle the video heads make
with the tracks on the videotape. Misalignment often causes distortion, signal loss, video noise and
snow. May also refer to TV tuners and IF amplifiers
operating at the correct frequency.
alignment disc See Test disc.
alignment tape A special-purpose videotape containing audio and video reference signals that are used
to correctly adjust the recording and playback heads
of VCRs. Alignment tapes are produced by manufacturers and are not generally available to the public. They are normally for use within the company
and its authorized service centers.
alkali metal An alkali-producing metal, such as lithium,
cesium, or sodium, that has photoelectric characteristics. Commonly used in phototubes and camera tubes.
all-channel tuning The ability of a TV or VCR to
receive all the available channels.
all-digital This term means that everything is done
digitally—storage, processing, editing, etc. No
analog signals are present in the system.
alpha See alpha channel and alpha mix.
alpha channel The alpha channel is used to specify
an alpha value for each sample. The alpha value is
used to control the blending, on a sample-by-sample
basis, of two images: new pixel = (alpha)(pixel A
color) + (1 - alpha)(pixel B color). Alpha typically has
a normalized value of 0 to 1. In a computer environment, the alpha values can be stored in additional
alpha mix
bit planes of frame buffer memory. A 32-bit frame
buffer actually has 24 bits of color, 8 each for red,
green, and blue, along with an 8-bit alpha channel.
Also see Alpha mix.
alpha mix This is a way of combining two images
using the alpha channel. The box that appears over
the left-hand shoulder of a news anchor is put there
by an alpha mixer. Wherever the samples of the little
box appear in the frame buffer, an alpha number of
“1” is put in the alpha channel. Wherever they don’t
appear, an alpha number of “0” is placed. When
the alpha mixer sees a “1” coming from the alpha
channel, it displays the little box. Whenever it sees a
“0,” it displays the news anchor. (Of course, it
doesn’t matter if a “1” or a “0” is used, but you get
the point.)
alpha wrap When the videotape almost completely
encircles the head drum of the VCR, permitting the
use of only one head.
alphabetic Pertaining to letters of the alphabet.
alphageometric In videotex, simple picture description instructions that enable line drawings, colored
polygons, curved lines, etc., in addition to text, to
be displayed. An accepted standard for
alphageometric display is the North American Presentation Level Protocol Syntax (NAPLPS). See
Alphamosaic, Alphaphotographic.
alphamosaic In videotex and teletext, a method of
coding that displays a mosaic of 2 x 3 rectangles.
This method uses a simple and inexpensive decoder,
but is restricted to text and graphics that do not
require curved or diagonal lines. See Alphageometric,
alphanumeric Using both letters and numbers.
alphanumeric code Pertaining to a character set that
represents numbers or letters of the alphabet.
alphanumeric display The display of information using only letters and numbers. When a display is called
an alphanumeric display, it is usually not capable of
displaying sophisticated graphics.
alphaphotographic In videotex, a method of coding
that allows photographic quality images to be displayed. The time needed for transmission and the
complexity of decoding restricts its use. See
Alphageometric, Alphamosaic.
alternate channel selectivity The ability of a tuner to
focus on one channel at a time, while rejecting interference from adjacent channels. The tuner’s ability to
suppress this interference is measured in dB; the higher
the number, the better the performance. A rating of
about 80 dB is considered excellent. This term should
not be confused with capture ratio, referring to two
channels occupying the same frequency.
alternating-current transmission A method of transmission used in TV in which the direct-current component of the luminance signal is not transmitted.
A direct-current restorer must be used in this form
of transmission. See direct-current transmission.
aluminized screen A CRT display that has a thin coating of aluminum on the back of the phosphor layer.
Electrons readily penetrate the coating, activating
the phosphors to produce an image. The aluminum
reflects outward light that would otherwise go back
inside the tube, thereby improving the brilliance and
contrast of the display. Also called a metal-backed
screen, metallized screen, and mirror-backed screen.
AM, amplitude modulation A method of encoding
data onto a carrier, such that the amplitude of the
carrier is proportional to the data value.
amateur TV (ATV) A part of ham radio in which hobbyists send and receive TV (also called fast-scan TV)
AMA-type screen Actuated-mirror array (AMA) display system for civilian uses. Developed by Daewoo
Electronics Co. Ltd., Seoul. The AMA system can be
applied to almost all kinds of TVs, projectors and
laptop portable displays. If used on 40" or larger
TVs, it can drastically increase the screen brightness
because AMA-type screens are 10 times more efficient in light production and 2,000 times quicker in
response time than LCD screens.
ambience Reflected light or sound that reaches the
viewer or listener from a variety of directions. Light
or sound waves bounce off the ceiling, walls and
other boundaries of an area.
ambient light The normal illumination. The term is
commonly used with projection TV systems and
video cameras, since how these devices function in
ambient light is one method of measuring their
ambient noise Refers to normal background noise,
which can be measured with a sound-level meter.
ambient-light filter A filter used in front of a display
to reduce the amount of ambient light reflecting off
the display. The filter, generally of a dull finish, can
be incorporated into the faceplate of the display or
it can be a separate sheet of plastic.
American Museum of the Moving Image A showplace that emphasizes the hardware of the TV and
film industry, including costumes, sets and other
paraphernalia. Located in Queens, New York, the
museum exhibits a variety of equipment, ranging
from 19th-century devices to the Sony Walkman.
Other highlights include interactive exhibits, video
art displays, video screenings and a host of consumer
products based on popular TV shows and personalities.
American Television Alliance (ATVA) Consists of
General Instrument Corp. (GI) and Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT).
AML Abbreviation for amplitude-modulated link.
AML frequencies In an AML system, there are four
groups of frequencies: C, D, E, and F. Group C channels add 12,646.5 MHz to the VHF frequency. Group
D channels add 12,705.7 MHz to the VHF frequency.
Group E channels add 12,898.5 MHz to the VHF
analog-to-digital converter
frequency. Group F channels add 12,958.5 MHz to
the VHF frequency.
A-mode See MUSE-9 system.
AMOL/SID Abbreviation for Automated Measurement
Of Lineups/Source IDentification. An identification
signal included in the vertical blanking interval (VBI),
broadcast by virtually all TV networks. It is used by
TV-ratings services to identify the network, show,
date, time, hour, minute and second of a broadcast.
As part of the AMOL system, the signal helps a TVratings service verify when specific shows and commercials were broadcast on local stations.
amp Short for amplifier.
amplified coupler A device typically used to boost a
TV signal so it can be adequately received by several
TVs and VCRs throughout the home.
amplifier A device that outputs a magnified version
of the input signal.
amplifier power The amount of magnification an
amplifier can produce, usually specified in watts. The
larger the number, the greater the magnification the
amplifier can produce.
amplitude Strictly, the peak value of a signal in the
positive or negative direction. The difference between minimum and maximum values is the peakto-peak amplitude. May also refer to the value of
a signal in the positive or negative direction at a
particular moment.
amplitude distortion See Distortion.
amplitude fading See Fading.
amplitude modulation A method of encoding data
onto a carrier, such that the amplitude of the carrier
is proportional to the data.
amplitude-modulated link This system converts cable
TV frequencies to microwave frequencies and transmits the signal to a receiving site, where the microwave frequencies are converted back down to the
standard cable TV frequencies. The AML system used
by cable operators is called community-antenna radio service (CARS) and is in the frequency band of
12-12.95 GHz. The studio transmitter link AML service is used for connecting studio facilities, usually
in a city, to the transmitter or up-link site out of the
city. The antenna systems used at these frequencies
are usually parabolic dishes of 4-10 feet in diameter. Also see Cable television relay service.
amplitude-shift keying A method of encoding data
onto a carrier, such that a finite number of different
amplitude levels of the carrier are produced.
anaglyph An image made up of two slightly different
views, in contrasting colors, of the same subject.
When viewed through a pair of corresponding color
filters, the image seems three-dimensional.
anaglyphic method A three-dimensional viewing
method based on colored light, such as the familiar
red and green viewing glasses. It usually yields imperfect pictures because the filters fail to eliminate
the complementary color completely.
analog The representation and measurement of the
performance or behavior of a system by continuously variable physical entities such as current, voltages, etc. Analog data yields an exact replication of
the original information. Most conventional VCRs,
for example, record information using the analog
process. Analog differs from digital, which duplicates
information in a discrete, or discontinuous, form, as
with more advanced VCRs.
analog active lines See Active lines.
analog active part See Active part.
analog channel A transmission channel that is used
to transmit an analog signal.
analog component format A format that uses three
signals to specify color and brightness. The most
common video formats are YPbPr and YUV.
analog component video See Analog component
analog encryption A video scrambling method that
operates within the standard video bandwidth. Some
approaches may result in degradation of the original video signal when it is decoded.
analog monitor In reality, all displays based on CRT
technology are analog. Some analog monitors are
incorrectly called digital monitors since they accept digital signals, and convert them to analog
analog signal processing The conventional method
used by audio and video equipment manufacturers
to reproduce a signal. A broadcast signal is produced
in the shape of a series of waves, each wave height
representing voltage while the distance between
peaks in these waves determines the frequency of
that part of the signal. These components of the
signal, along with others, are separated, amplified
and fed into VCRs, TV sets and so on for reproduction. Much of the original quality of the signal, however, is lost through this process, although some units
are better able to rebuild the signal than others,
thereby producing a better picture. A more sophisticated approach to reproducing a signal is by means
of digital signal processing.
analog tuning A method of tuning a TV, VCR, etc.
Analog tuning permits setting the system to any
channel within its frequency range. This tuner, because of its manual capability, either of the mechanical or electronic variety, differs from the frequencysynthesis tuner, that is preset.
analog video Video signals that use a continuoustime signal, with varying amplitude.
analog/digital converter See Analog-to-digital
analog-to-digital converter A device that transforms
a signal from analog form to digital form. This is
done by taking samples of the analog signal at regular intervals. Each analog sample value is then converted into a binary code. For video applications,
additional functions are usually incorporated, such
as automatic gain, filtering and black level clamping. An ADC for digitizing video must be capable of
sampling at 10 to 150 million samples per second.
Sometimes also called a digitizer.
analogue The European spelling of analog.
anamorphic Viewed picture format with geometric
deformation of the wide-screen picture aimed to
achieve full vertical screen occupation while using
the conventional TV display.
anamorphic lens A special camera lens that allows
the user to make videotapes in wide-screen format
using a standard video camera.
ANC/WNL Abbreviation for Automatic Noise Canceling and White Noise Limiting. These circuits are in
some TVs to process the video and sound signals.
ancillary data Non-video data transmitted within a
digital video data stream, usually during the horizontal and vertical blanking intervals. It may be digital
audio, teletext, etc.
ancillary timecode BT.1366 defines how to transfer
VITC and LTC as ancillary data in digital component
angle modulation Modulation where the angle of a
sine-wave carrier is the characteristic varied from its
normal value. Phase modulation and FM are particular forms of angle modulation.
angle of view (AOV) The area or width of a subject or
scene that a lens takes in or covers. The AOV depends on the focal length of the lens and is given by
the equation cot A/2 = 2F/W, where A is the AOV, F
is the focal length of the length and W is the width
of the photosensitive surface. The smaller F, the
greater the AOV. For example, a 12.5mm focal length
has a wider angle than a 75mm lens.
ANIK The name given to Canadian TV, and more recently, to Canadian TV satellites. ANIK is an Inuit
word meaning “brother.” ANIK satellites have both
4-GHz C-band and 12-GHz Ku-band transponders.
animation Also called time lapse. See Frame-by-frame
recording, intervalometer, interval timer, optical animation, pipeline architecture, pixilation, time lapse
anode-voltage-stabilized camera tube Syn.: highelectron-velocity camera tube. See Camera tube. See
also Iconoscope.
anomalistic period The interval of time between one
passage of a satellite through its apogee and the
next consecutive passage.
anomalous propagation Accidental transmission of
VHF radio waves beyond the horizon, probably
caused by temperature inversion in the lower atmosphere.
ANSI Abbreviation for American National Standards
Institute. This organization sets standards for the
computer languages, electrical specifications, communications protocols, etc.
antenna In TV, that part of a transmitter or receiver
facility that sends out waves into or accepts them
from the air. Also, a wire or set of metal rods constructed for the purpose of intercepting waves in
the air and changing them into an electrical signal
that is sent to a TV receiver. TV antennas are affected by various external factors, such as the location of the transmitters, the contours of the land
and certain obstructions, and the physical condition
of the antenna and connecting cables. Most antennas (except satellite dishes) utilize the dipole technique: two equal rods or arms, each as long as 1/4
the wavelength of the anticipated signal. The antenna lead-in is located at the center of the two arms.
Since direction is important for maximum reception,
most antennas have a combination of reflecting rods
and directors (shorter rods) to provide additional directivity. Commercial TV antennas are usually designed for local (15-20 miles), suburban or mid-range
(20-30 miles), or fringe use.
antenna combiner A device that combines the signals from several antennas, each of which is aimed
at a different TV station. Antenna combiners are
helpful where all the TV transmitters are not located
in a single direction.
antenna coupler A device that is used when more
than one TV is connected to a single antenna. Also
known as an antenna splitter, it helps prevent impedance mismatch and interference between TVs.
Several commercial types are available. The resistance
antenna splitter prevents some impedance mismatch
and offers some isolation, but contributes to a reduction in signal strength. The transformer antenna
splitter reduces both impedance mismatch and
insertion loss.
antenna farm The location for the transmitting antennas for most or all of the TV stations in an area.
antenna rotator A small motor mounted externally on
an antenna mask and remotely controlled to adjust
the antenna direction so that it receives the best possible signal from a TV station. In some areas where
multiple TV stations do not transmit their signals from
a central location, a single dipole antenna is not effective. Either several antennas or a single antenna
with a rotator must be used for best reception.
antenna splitter See Antenna coupler.
antenna-switching circuitry Controls to select alternate inputs to the TV set (pay decoder, TV games,
VCR, etc.). Found in the front-end stages of some
TV sets. It improves reception of cable-TV signals.
anti-alias filter A filter (typically a lowpass filter) used
to bandwidth-limit a signal to less than one-half the
sampling rate. Also called an anti-aliasing filter.
anti-aliasing The process of smoothing jagged edges,
especially along curved or diagonal edges of displayed objects, such as graphics and text.
anti-aliasing circuitry An electronic circuit that performs anti-aliasing. Many professional character
generators offer anti-aliasing as one of their features.
anti-aliasing filter See Anti-alias filter.
aperture response
anti-comet tail gun A device in a TV camera tube to
reduce or eliminate streaks, called comets.
anti-copy signal See Anti-piracy signal.
anti-logarithmic amplifier Used in 3D-image TV camera systems to form a depth video signal.
Antiope The French teletext system.
antiPAL test pattern A video signal that has a deliberately wrong PAL switch function. The polarity of
the U component, instead of the V component, is
switched. This enables measuring the performance
of the line averaging function in the PAL decoder.
When it works correctly, the display has no color
since the antiPAL chrominance is cancelled by the
decoder’s line averaging.
anti-piracy signal A method of preventing pre-recorded videotapes from being “pirated” or duplicated illegally. One system places a special signal
electronically on the tape; another modifies the horizontal and vertical sync pulse and the color burst
phase, causing rolling or other forms of instability in
the picture during the copying process. Supposedly,
this signal has no effect during playback on a TV
set. Also called anti-copying signal.
anti-reflection coating A thin coating deposited on
the surface of glass to reduce reflection of ambient
anti-top flutter pulse Disables the phase detector
during equalization and framing times.
AO A category of the movie rating system that indicates the program is for adults, 18 and older.
AOD Abbreviation for audio optical deflector.
AOM Abbreviation for audio optical modulator.
APC Abbreviation for automatic phase control.
APEL Abbreviation for Advanced Product Evaluation
aperture An opening through which electrons, light,
radio waves, or other radiation can pass. The aperture in the electron gun of a CRT determines the
size of the electron beam. The aperture in a TV camera is the effective diameter of the lens that controls
the amount of light entering the camera tube. The
dimensions of the horn mouth or parabolic reflector determine the aperture of a microwave antenna.
The aperture in a lens is an adjustable orifice controlling the amount of light transmitted by a lens.
The maximum diameter of the aperture in relation
to the focal length of the lens determines its theoretical speed. Its effective speed depends also on
the transmission of the glass elements of the lens.
aperture correction Method of compensating for loss
of higher picture frequencies caused by the scanning spot in a camera tube having a finite size, and
thus failing to respond sharply to sudden vertical
boundaries between dark and light areas. Consider
a square spot of finite size scanning a sharp blackto-white transition. The resulting signal output
changes level with a linear slope. In practical electron devices the spot tends to be circular or nearly
so, and to have a Gaussian distribution of energy,
so that the signal changes with a more rounded transition. This effectively reduces the high frequency
content of the signal, and compensation must be
made by increasing the gain in the high frequencies, taking care not to exceed the bandwidth of
the channel or unduly increase noise or introduce
phase distortion.
aperture corrector An equalizer designed specifically
to offset aperture distortion.
aperture delay The time from an edge of the input
clock of the ADC until the time the ADC actually takes
the sample. The smaller this number, the better.
aperture distortion Attenuation of the high-frequency
components of a TV picture signal caused by the
finite cross-sectional area of the scanning beam in
the camera. The beam then covers several mosaic
globules in the camera simultaneously, causing loss
of picture detail.
aperture grille A slotted metal screen located just
behind the inside of a TV display tube’s screen surface, used to limit the points at which the electrons
hit the phosphor coating of the screen. A Sony invention, the function is similar to that of a shadow
mask, the purpose of both being to ensure the reproduction of a true color TV picture. See also Color
picture tube.
aperture jitter The uncertainty in the aperture delay.
The aperture delay time changes a little bit each time,
and that little bit of change is the aperture jitter.
aperture mask Shadow mask. An opaque disk behind the faceplate of a color picture tube; it has a
precise pattern of holes through which the electron
beams are directed to the color dots on the screen.
aperture reduction ring An accessory on some projection TV systems to make the image appear sharper
by cutting down on the f stop, or aperture, of the
projecting lens. The disadvantage is that using a
smaller aperture also decreases the amount of light
transmitted to the screen.
aperture response The aperture response of a component or system is a graph of the peak-to-peak
amplitude of its response (e.g., of the variations in
reflected light) as a function of the TV line number.
Assume that a pattern of black-and-white lines of
varying widths is scanned by a narrow light beam,
and the peak-to-peak variation in the reflected light
from the black and light lines is measured. On lines
that are much wider than the diameter of the spot,
these variations will be of full amplitude. As the width
of the lines is decreased so that the scanning spot
always overlaps a portion of black and white line,
the amplitude of the variations will decrease. When
the width of the lines is twice the diameter of the
spot, the variations disappear. The width of these
lines is specified by its reciprocal, the number of alternate black and white lines (counting both black
and white lines) that can be fitted into the vertical
aperture slit
dimension of the picture. This parameter is known
as the TV Line Number. The aperture response of a
component or system can be specified either by its
response to a square-wave pattern, i.e., alternate
dark and light bars, known as the contrast transfer
function (CTF), or by its response to a theoretical
pattern in which the cross-sectional darkness of the
bars varies sinusoidally, the modulation transfer function (MTF). The CTF is physically measurable, but
the MTF is more useful for analytic purposes. Aperture response is a universal criterion for specifying
picture definition and other aspects of imaging system performance. It can be used for film images,
camera lenses, TV camera imagers, video amps and
other bandwidth-limiting components, the scanning
process, receiver picture tubes, and the human eye.
aperture slit In 3D-image display with parallax barrier, an interval between the stripe barriers. A viewer
observes the displayed image through the aperture
slits by both eyes.
APL Abbreviation for average picture level.
apochromatic lens A lens that has been corrected for
chromatic aberration for three colors.
apple tube A color CRT with vertical red, green, and
blue phosphor stripes. The spacing varies at the top
and bottom of the CRT, so the face somewhat
resembles an apple.
Applegate diagram A diagram used to illustrate the
principle of electron bunching in velocity-modulated
tubes (e.g., klystron, traveling-wave tube).
APT Abbreviation for automatic picture transmission.
APTV Abbreviation for Associated Press TV.
Aquadag A trademark of Acheson Colloids Co. for
their brand of colloidal graphite in water, widely used
to produce a conductive coating on the inside surface of the glass envelope for CRTs, where it collects secondary electrons emitted by the fluorescent
screen. Also used on the outside of some picture
tubes, where it serves as the final capacitor of the
high-voltage filter circuit.
ARC Abbreviation for adaptive range coding.
arc of good location The portion of the geosynchronous orbit (22,300 miles above the equator) that
provides optimum coverage of a country.
archiving The storage of TV shows, movies and other
programs for future playback.
arcing A curved movement, as in the circular motion
of a TV pedestal camera, for which the instructions
are “arc left” and “arc right.”
ARO Abbreviation for Audio Receive Only, small dish
antennas used by radio networks for music and news
programming distribution from TV satellites.
A-roll The primary material, as opposed to B-roll. In
video editing, alternate scenes are arranged on two
reels (A-roll and B-roll) and then assembled.
ARS board RF record/playback amplifier, servo circuit,
and audio signal record/playback circuit; Betamax
art card A cardboard (generally 11"x14") with a dark
background and light letters (although it may be
black letters on a white background). As used in TV,
it contains credits and other information and is
mounted on an easel in front of a TV camera.
Article 810 See National Electrical Code.
artifacts Distortions in a video signal; spurious signals
created artificially (hence the term artifact) by the
imaging process. One of the most common is crossluminance, a characteristic of composite systems
employing a color subcarrier. It is a dot pattern that
results from failure of the subcarrier signals on successive frames to cancel each other completely, e.g.,
on vertical edges of areas with high saturation. They
can also be produced by moving objects in an interlaced scanning and appear as interline flicker. They
can be eliminated or greatly reduced by the use of
progressive scanning and component color systems.
In the video domain, artifacts are blemishes, noise,
snow, spots, etc. When you have an image artifact,
something is wrong with the picture from a visual
standpoint. Don’t confuse this term with not having the display properly adjusted. For example, if the
hue control is set wrong, the picture will look bad,
but this is not an artifact. An artifact is some physical disruption of the image.
artificial HDTV See Osborne compression system.
artificial satellite See Satellite.
Arts & Entertainment A cable TV advertiser-supported
network specializing in cultural programs, documentaries, variety shows and chiefly foreign feature films.
ASC 1. American Society of Cinematographers. 2.
Active Signal Correction. Syn.: fuzzy logic (in Sony
usage—see, e.g., KV-27XBR50, Sony monitor/
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a code for transmitting data, made up of
128 letters, numbers, symbols, and special codes
each represented by a unique binary number.
ASIC Application specific integrated circuit.
ASK Abbreviation for amplitude-shift keying.
aspect ratio The width-to-height ratio of a display. It
is usually expressed as two numbers separated by a
colon (width:height), such as 4:3 or 16:9. It may be
expressed as a normalized single number, such as
1.33. A 35-mm frame of film measures 36 x 24 mm,
meaning it that it has an aspect ratio of 3:2. Since it
is different in size from a 4:3 or 16:9 TV screen, a
little bit of the sides or tops of movies are chopped
off when displayed on TV.
aspect ratio conversion Conversion of the TV picture geometry preserving the scanning standard,
e.g., from the so-called anamorphic format to
letterbox format. The video signal itself is aspectratio independent.
aspheric corrector plate Lens, one surface of which
is specially shaped and is not part of the surface of a
sphere as are the surfaces of most lenses. Used in
some large-screen TV projectors and some widerange room lenses.
ASR Abbreviation for automatic standard recognition.
assemble edits Edits that record all aspects of the
program (audio, video, and control) at the same time.
assembly edit VCR feature that allows for clean transitions when adding audio or video sequences to
prerecorded material. Also an editing technique in
which pretaped segments are rerecorded end-to-end
in a preferred order with selected transitions.
astigmatism 1. A type of spherical aberration in which
light rays from a single point of an object do not
converge at the corresponding point in the image.
2. A defect in an optical or electron lens that causes
focusing in different axial planes to occur at different points along the lens axis. As a result of astigmatism, a point object gives rise to an image in the
form of a horizontal line at another point. Normally
the best compromise is between these two points
where the image has the form of a circle of least
confusion, representing equal vertical and horizontal resolution.
Astra Luxembourg’s broadcast satellite. Frequency
band: 11.2-11.45 GHz. Channels: 16 transponders.
Polarization: linear.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line See ADSL.
asymmetrical compression Techniques where the
decompression process is not the reverse of the compression process. Asymmetrical compression is more
compute-intensive on the compression side so that
the decompression of video images can be easily performed at the desktop or in applications where sophisticated codecs are not cost effective. In short, any
compression technique that requires a lot of processing on the compression end, but little processing to
decompress the image. Used in DVD-Video creation,
where time and cost can be incurred on the production end, but playback must be inexpensive and easy.
asymmetrical-sideband transmission Vestigial sideband transmission.
asynchronous Refers to circuitry and operations without common timing (clock) signals.
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) The technology
selected by the CCITT in 1988 to realize a B-ISDN. It
is a fast, cell-switched technology based on a fixedlength 53-byte cell. All broadband transmissions
(whether audio, data, imaging or video) are divided
into a series of cells and routed across an ATM network consisting of links connected by ATM switches.
Each ATM link comprises a constant stream of ATM
cell slots into transmissions that are placed or left
idle, if unused. The most significant benefit of ATM
is its uniform handling of services allowing one network to meet the needs of many broadband services. ATM accomplishes this because its cell-switching technology combines the best advantages of
both circuit-switching (for constant bit rate services
such as voice and image) and packet-switching (for
variable bit rate services such as data and full motion video) technologies. The result is the bandwidth
guarantee of circuit switching combined with the
high efficiency of packet switching.
asynchronous transmission The transmission mode
by which characters may be sent with random timing. The data bits of each character are introduced
by a start bit and followed by a stop bit. The asynchronous mode is common for low-speed transmission, less than 2.4 Kbps.
ATC See ancillary timecode.
ATM See Asynchronous Transfer Mode.
atomic bomb wipe A transition in which a scene is
slowly moved up on the screen (suggesting an atom
bomb cloud) as it is replaced by another scene.
ATR Abbreviation for audio tape recorder.
ATSC Advanced Television Systems Committee, a private sector organization founded in 1982 to develop
voluntary standards for the entire spectrum of
advanced television systems, including high definition (HDTV). See HDTV.
ATSC A/49 Defines the ghost cancellation reference
signal for NTSC.
ATSC A/52 Defines the (Dolby Digital) audio compression for ATSC HDTV.
ATSC A/53, A/54 Defines ATSC HDTV for the USA.
ATSC A/57 Defines the program, episode, and version
ATSC A/58 PSIP for Taiwan.
ATSC A/63 Defines the method for handling 25 and
50 Hz video for ATSC HDTV.
ATSC A/65 Defines the program and system information protocol (PSIP) for ATSC HDTV.
ATSC A/70 Defines the method for conditional access
ATSC A/90, A/91 Defines the data broadcast standard for ATSC HDTV.
ATSC A/92 Defines IP multicasting using data broadcasting for ATSC HDTV.
attached A physical channel of a digital picture manipulator is said to be attached to a logical channel
of a controller when the physical channel is successfully acquired by the controller.
attenuation cable A cable designed to connect the
line-level audio output of one device to the lowlevel microphone input of another device.
attenuation distortion Syn. frequency distortion. See
attributes display In videotex, a means of modifying
the presentation of characters on the screen. Attributes may be applied to the full screen, a full row,
part of a row (serial), or to subsequently printed
characters (parallel).
ATV Abbreviation for Advanced Television or amateur
television. 1. Advanced Television. Refers to any type
of advanced TV system not presently in general use
or production. The most recent example of ATV is
the HDTV system now reaching the marketplace.
ATV identification
ATV standards in North America include standard,
enhanced, and high-definition versions. Although
ATV systems are collectively considered to offer better quality than the NTSC signal, they can carry
multiple pictures of lower quality and can also support the cancellation of artifacts in ordinary NTSC
signals. 2. Amateur TV. Sending pictures by amateur radio. You’d expect this abbreviation to apply
equally to fast-scan TV (FSTV), slow-scan TV (SSTV)
and fax, but it’s generally applied only to FSTV.
ATV identification Short for Amateur TV identification.
ATVA Abbreviation for American Television Alliance.
ATVA-P 6-MHz simulcast HDTV/EDTV format. Scanning:
787.5/59.94, sequential; channel coding: digital. The
signal is sampled initially at a rate well above the
Nyquist limit. By various bandwidth reduction techniques, the bit rate is brought within the capacity of
a 6-MHz frequency band.
AU (also SND) Interchangeable file formats used in
Sun and other workstations. Basically it is a raw
audio data format preceded by a header.
audimeter An early device attached to home TV sets
and designed to measure a family’s viewing habits.
Placed in representative homes, it was used by the
A.C. Nielsen Company to measure the popularity of
TV shows. The rating information determined the
advertising rates of the shows and which shows
would be renewed or cancelled. In addition, the ratings revealed which channel or channels were
watched the most.
audio Latin for “I hear.” Used to describe frequencies
capable of being heard by the human ear, between
15 Hz and 20 kHz. The sound segment of a videotape, VCR, VDP or other component. Also, the input,
output, cable wire, attachment or other feature, accessory or software referring to the sound portion of
a system. For example, there are audio inputs, audio
cables, audio mixers, etc. Slang for sound.
audio alarm A feature that presents an audible signal
to tell the user that certain functions have been activated. For instance, some VCRs beep once when
recording begins and twice when it ends.
audio bandwidth In reference to videotape, the parameters or audio range of a tape. Although human hearing can respond to frequencies from approximately 15 or 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the audio portion of a videotape has a bandwidth that is much
shorter, somewhere from 50 Hz to 10 kHz, depending on certain tolerance limits measured in dB. This
poorer response is caused by the small area of the
tape allotted to the audio track and by the extremely
slow speed at which the tape travels past the audio
head. Higher-quality tapes extend these numbers on
both ends of the bandwidth to produce less distortion, hiss, etc. However, the audio bandwidths of
most tapes do not present any true limitations to
many low-priced VCRs since these machines have
an even shorter range than that of the videotape.
audio cable tester A device designed to check cables
for shorts, phasing, continuity, etc. Used mostly by
professionals, the cable tester is used with standard
XLR3 pin-type cables and 3-conductor phone plugs.
audio cue The identification of an event by the use of
a sound to alert those producing either an audio or
video tape to the fact that something is about to
happen. In video productions, certain words in the
script are used as “cues” to denote shifts in action,
camera position, microphones, or other technical
events; in electronic editing, audio cues are often
used to signal edit points.
audio decoder Accessory used in conjunction with
VCR-equipped stereo sound to send the signals to
various speakers for the purpose of creating a theatrical effect at home. The audio decoder picks up
the encoded stereo track on the videotape and interprets the appropriate paths for the signal,
directing it to front, back and side speakers.
audio demodulation circuit A circuit to separate the
audio information from its carrier. This carrier is actually a subcarrier that is impressed onto the video
audio distribution amplifier A device designed to
improve the sound quality of videotapes. A typical
model contains a special filter circuit that decreases
buzz and other noise, a microphone input for mixing sound-on-sound or adding narration, bass and
treble tone control, etc. Some models provide a bypass feature for comparison of the affected and
unaffected signal. The amp is often used to prevent
generation loss of audio when duplicating tapes.
audio dub To rerecord the audio portion of a video
tape without disturbing the video portion of the signal; also, to make a copy of an audio tape.
audio dubbing narration The addition of narration
to a videotape. The process requires the following
steps: Connect an external microphone into the mic
input of the VCR. If you decide to use the built-in
mic of the video camera, connect the camera to the
VCR. Turn down the volume of the TV set to avoid
feedback. Press Audio Dub, start the tape and the
audio dubbing recorded music The addition of music to a previously recorded videotape. One simple
procedure is to place the mic next to one of the
speakers and switch the sound system to mono.
Another, more desirable, method is to connect the
amplifier or receiver of a stereo system or an audiotape recorder to the audio input of the VCR.
audio equalizer See Equalizer.
audio essay A discussion of a specific film or program
added to a commercial videodisc or videotape. Usually applied to classic works, the audio essay, which
utilizes one of the stereo channels, presents an “expert” who takes the viewer on an oral and visual
journey of the production. The historian or critic
covers such items as biographical information per-
audio/video dub
taining to the performers or director, missing or
added scenes, interviews and related still shots and
audio expander A feature on an audio processor to
improve the dynamic range of sound.
audio expansion circuitry A development found in
TVs to provide a simulated stereo effect when receiving monaural broadcasts, cable TV, or signals
from monaural external units (VCR, video disc player,
etc.) connected to the rear panel audio/video inputs.
audio for video The term to describe two components of audio production used in the video medium: 1. High-quality stereophonic audio. 2. Multitrack production techniques. The adaptation of these
components for the medium of video has given production teams the ability to further improve TV
through the introduction of creative, high-quality
audio frequency modulation (AFM) See Beta hi-fi.
audio head In video, a stationary magnetic head capable of recording and playing back sound signals.
After receiving the audio signal, the head pulses it
onto the videotape during recording or takes it from
the tape for reproduction during playback. The audio head is the third and last process that affects
the videotape. The erase head is the first, followed
by the video heads. The audio head assembly is
sometimes called the audio/control head and contains three heads. One performs the audio recording and playback, the second is designed for audio
dubbing and the third is the control track head that
transmits pulses onto the tape to control the start
of each alternate field, that is, to track the original
recorded signal.
audio input A jack, often located at the rear of a VCR
and TV, that accepts audio signals.
audio modulation Refers to modifying a carrier with
audio information so that it may be mixed with the
video information and transmitted.
audio optical deflector (AOD) In 3D viewing systems,
a device that serves as a horizontal scanning system.
audio optical modulator (AOM) In 3D viewing systems, a device that serves as an optical modulating
system. The incident laser beam is intensity modulated by the AOMs in response to a video signal.
audio output A jack, often located at the rear of a
VCR, DVD player, and TV, that outputs audio signals. One, two (for stereo), or six audio outputs may
be present.
audio plug The metal connector at either end of an
audio cable that fits into component receptacles
called jacks. The three basic types of audio plugs
used in home video are mini-plugs, phono plugs and
phone plugs. The mini-plug is a smaller version of
and similar to the phone (for telephone) plug. Both
have a shaft that protrudes from a metal sleeve. The
phono (from phonograph) plug, often referred to
as an RCA-type plug, also has a small shaft, but it is
surrounded by a petal-shaped metal cup.
audio processor A device that can be used in audio;
e.g., between a VCR and a stereo system. The audio
processor usually contains such features as inputs
for microphones, VCRs and tape; a multiple-band
equalizer for improved sound; a stereo delay simulator and an audio expander to extend the
dynamic range of the sound signals.
audio response The ability to reproduce audio signals. Better-quality videotapes, especially those listed
as HG (high grade), produce less hiss, or an aboveaverage signal-to-noise ratio. Tapes of poorer quality cause more audio distortion, hiss, etc. Audio response becomes more critical in the slower speed
modes of both Beta and VHS machines. The average listener can respond to frequencies from approximately 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Videotape, however,
falls short of this range, and is somewhere between
50 Hz and 10 kHz. Distortion and poor response
result beyond these parameters. Tapes that exceed
this audio bandwidth range (within certain tolerance
limitations measured in dB) may be considered better than average, although most home video machines have a range narrower than that of most
tapes. DVD-Video and DVD-Audio offer much improved audio capabilities over videotapes.
audio signal An electrical signal whose frequency falls
within the audible range, the lowest measured at
about 15 to 20 Hz and the highest at approximately
20 kHz.
audio signal-to-noise ratio In videotape, a measurement that determines the loudness of an undistorted
signal relative to tape noise. Audio signal-to-noise
ratio is measured in dB. The larger the number, the
better the audio quality of the tape.
audio subcarrier The carrier wave that transmits audio information within a video broadcast signal.
Audio subcarriers are frequency modulated. They are
transmitted above the video, in the 4.5 to 8.0 MHz
range for NTSC and from 5.5 to 8.5 MHz for PAL/
SECAM broadcasts.
audio/control head See Audio head.
audio/video amplifier An accessory that adds sound
processing to videotapes. The unit usually comes
equipped with multiple audio/video inputs and outputs on its rear panel and digitally delayed audio
modes that offer such special effects as stage, stadium, theater and matrix. The switchable amplifier
may power several channels, depending upon the
watts-per-channel used. Some models accommodate
S-VHS and ED-Beta formats and feature a title generator and a video enhancer.
audio/video combiner Device serving to embed several digital audio signals within a digital video signal
stream (usually using a serial digital interface).
audio/video dub A video camera feature that permits the replacement of a current segment of audio
audio/video input
and video information on tape with new material.
When audio/video dub is activated, new information is inserted over both tracks. Most present cameras offer this feature while other models provide
only audio dub.
audio/video input Basic RCA jacks found on VCRs
and TV monitor/receivers. Stereo models provide one
input for video and two for audio. Mono units offer
only one audio and one video jack.
audio/video memory function A feature, found on
some TVs, that permits optimum control set-ups to
be stored in memory for later recall.
audio/video mixer An editing accessory that allows
switching back and forth between two video sources,
such as two VCRs or a VCR and camcorder. Some
A/V mixers offer additional features such as a fader,
wipe effects and special-effects generator. There are
manual and electronic mixers. The electronic type
may use computer software and IR technology to
“learn” the tape transport commands of the recording VCR. The user simply marks and names the
scenes on the footage to be edited and instructs
the mixer that scenes should appear in the final tape.
audio/video mute Special electronic circuits designed
to silence a TV set to circumvent annoying noise and
static. The mute feature also darkens the screen
when the tuner is between channels or a videotape
ends. Muting is sometimes referred to as blanking.
audio/video processor A multi-function device for
use with various video components. The processor
usually provides inputs and outputs for audio and
video switching, an audio and video distribution
amp, a video stabilizer, an image enhancer, an RF
converter, etc. Some sophisticated models may offer color tint control, color intensity control, split
screen enhancer, audio/video mute, a bypass switch
and a fade duration control.
audio/video receiver A separate unit designed to
function as a control center of home entertainment
systems. These systems usually accommodate several audio inputs (CD, phono, tape and line) and
several video inputs (VCRs, DVD and cable/satellite
set-top box). Some units permit two-way dubbing,
includes S-video and component video terminals and
offer memory that can store several surround sound
settings as well as “memorize” 30 stations for instant recall.
audio/video signal See Signal.
Audio/Video Support System (AVSS) In DVI runtime
software, the software package that plays motion
video and audio.
audio/video switcher See Switcher.
audio-follows-video An advanced feature of a professional/industrial editing console or switcher that
permits the audio signal to follow the video edit
operations, thereby facilitating audio crossfades to
be produced under editor control. AFV offers a wide
range of possibilities for professional editors. Scene
transitions produced in the video mode can automatically activate fades between complex audio
balances. Thus, video edits and scene transitions can
contain more tightly synchronized crossfades. Also,
AFV facilitates the addition of music, dialog and special audio effects to multi-track master tape before
a work print is produced.
audio-follows-video switcher A switcher that
changes both audio and video sources with the push
of one button.
audio-mix control A stereo VCR feature that designates the amount of audio each channel feeds to
the mono RF output. Table-model and portable stereo VCRs produce dual channel sound by means of
two individual audio tracks laid down on the top
portion of the videotape. During the normal stereo
playback, both tracks are utilized. The audio-mix
control, however, permits an increase in either leftor right-channel sound by simply rotating the knob.
audition The preliminary studio test of a performer,
act, or complete program for a TV or radio show.
augmentation channel See Terrestrial HDTV broadcasting, MUSE-9 system.
augmented reality A subset of virtual reality which
attempts to generate a composite view for the user
of the real world combined with a computer-generated virtual scene. The technology has applications
in medicine, the military, entertainment, and manufacturing.
aural signal The audio portion of a TV signal; the
picture portion is called the video signal.
aural transmitter The equipment used to transmit
the audio portion of a TV program. The audio and
video transmitters together make up the TV transmitter.
AUSSAT Australia’s broadcast satellite. Frequency band:
12.25-12.75 GHz, 15 channels. Polarization: crosspolarized continental beams.
authoring The process of using multimedia applications to create multimedia materials for others to
view. Multimedia authoring uses many tools, from
the text editor or desktop publishing application, to
tools for capturing and manipulating video images
or editing audio files.
authoring platform A computer that has been outfitted with the hardware for creating material to be
viewed in a multimedia box. The video quality of
the authoring platform has to be high enough that
the playback equipment is the limiting factor.
auto channel search See Automatic channel scan.
auto cue and play Functions of VCRs. Just insert a
pre-recorded video cassette without an erasure prevention tab and the VCR turns itself on, then skips
over the no-signal portion and immediately starts
playback at the beginning of the recording.
auto image stabilization Syn.: Lens stabilization.
auto lock switch A feature, found on some
camcorders, designed to simplify and speed up the
automatic color circuitry
operation of the camera. When the user activates
the Auto lock switch, it simultaneously sets the autofocus system, white balance, shutter speed and backlight compensator.
auto play See auto cue and play.
auto program See Automatic channel scan.
auto repeat A VCR feature that allows the viewer to
automatically play back a videotape. Auto repeat
differs from repeat play, a feature that plays a videotape up to a specific point, stops and rewinds to
a previous point, and continues to play that portion
of the tape indefinitely until the button is pressed
auto selection tool An imaging term. A tool that selects an entire area within a specified range of color
values around a selected pixel.
auto start See auto cue and play.
auto tracking A VCR feature that seeks out the most
accurate playback tracking position for a given videotape. Since VCRs differ in their video head placement, some tapes, especially those recorded at the
slowest speed, may not play properly on other VCRs.
Many machines come equipped with a manual tracking control to adjust for these variations; auto tracking handles these differences automatically.
auto/manual aperture control A device that places
the control of the f-stops or aperture openings into
the hands of the user. Many camcorders feature
automatic iris control, a less desirable feature for
some camera owners who prefer to make their own
selections. Some users choose to open or close the
lens one or two additional stops for special
auto/manual iris control Syn.: Auto/manual aperture control.
auto-assemble Generation of an edited master by a
video or audio-for-video edit controller using an existing edit decision list.
autodialer A device which, when activated by a short
code or mnemonic key or, in videotex, by the selection of a number from a menu, causes the dialing of
a prerecorded telephone number.
auto-focus Also called automatic focus. A process built
into some video cameras in which an impulse of invisible light is emitted to the subject and returned
to a pair of IR sensors. This distance is then calculated by an IC. Finally, a drive motor adjusts the lens.
Hitachi, Toshiba and Akai were among the first companies to feature auto-focus in their cameras. Some
of today’s video cameras offer a more sophisticated—and more accurate—auto-focus technique.
Instead of relying on the not-too-precise IR reflection to measure distances, the focal adjustment of
these later cameras operates directly off the
image-sensing elements.
auto-framing See Automatic framing.
automatic background control Automatic brightness control.
automatic backlight compensator Syn.: Backlight
automatic backspace editing A VCR feature that
eliminates frame overlapping for glitch- and distortion-free transitions. A built-in microprocessor, after
checking the signals of the control track, makes certain that a new recording starts at the end of the
last frame each time a recording is begun from the
Pause mode.
automatic brightness control (ABC) 1. A TV receiver
circuit to keep the average brightness of the reproduced image essentially constant. Its action is like
that of an automatic volume control in a sound receiver. Also called automatic background control.
2. In a TV receiver, a circuit that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display in accordance with
the level of ambient light near the receiver. A photocell may be used to measure the ambient light, its
output, after amplification, being used to control
the grid bias of the picture tube.
automatic brightness limiter (ABL) A circuitry in TVs
to limit the maximum beam current to prevent
overdriving the CRT.
automatic channel scan A TV or VCR feature that
automatically programs the TV or VCR tuner memory
to lock in only active channels. Usually operated from
the remote control unit, the ACS, sometimes described as auto program, automatic channel search,
or programmable scan, searches up and down those
channels active in a particular area and ignores the
inactive ones that only bring in noise and static.
automatic channel search Automatic channel scan.
automatic chapter search A videodisc player feature
that, when activated, takes the viewer to a particular selection on the disc. This chapter search feature
is often found on the remote control unit of a player.
automatic chroma control Automatic color control.
automatic chroma correction See Automatic chroma
gain control.
automatic chroma gain control Automatic correction of chrominance channel gain typically using
subcarrier burst level as a reference. Syn.: ACC,
automatic chroma correction.
automatic chrominance control Automatic color
automatic color circuitry Electronic circuits built into
some TV sets, TV monitors and monitor/receivers
designed to retain factory-preset color levels. Automatic color circuitry locks in this balanced color arrangement regardless of discrepancies between
channels and scenes. One disadvantage or criticism
of this feature concerns the viewer’s preference—
the colors may appear too weak, too intense, too
bluish, etc. However, the color circuitry usually comes
with a switch that can be deactivated so that the
colors can be adjusted manually. Also a technician
can modify the automatic color circuitry so that it
operates more to the owner’s liking.
automatic color compensation
automatic color compensation A feature found on
some TV sets which monitors the three color guns
or electron beams so that the colors retain their accuracy for the life of the CRT. Under normal conditions, tubes lose their color intensity as they age.
With the addition of the special electronic circuitry,
the TV set can compensate for this imbalance.
automatic color control (ACC) A circuit in a color TV
set to keep color intensity levels essentially constant
despite variations in the strength of the received color
signal. Also called automatic chroma control and
automatic chrominance control.
automatic color purifier Automatic degausser.
automatic color tint control See Color tint control.
automatic contrast control A circuit that maintains
the contrast of the TV picture at a constant average
level. The manual contrast control determines the
average level and the automatic contrast control
maintains this average, despite variations in signal
strength as different stations are tuned in.
automatic contrast correction A TV feature that helps
to bring out almost imperceptible detail in overly
bright or extremely dark sections of a screen image.
automatic degausser An arrangement of degaussing coils mounted around a color TV picture tube,
combined with a special circuit that energizes these
coils only while the set is warming up after being
turned on. The coils demagnetize any parts of the
receiver that have been affected by the earth’s magnetic field or by the field of any nearby home appliance. Automatic degaussing permits a color TV receiver to be moved around a home without readjusting purity controls. Also called automatic color
automatic digital tracking A VCR feature that automatically monitors its own playback. Special circuitry
continually compares the RF signals on the videotape to reference signals in the circuit. If the two
signals are not in sync, the special circuit emits a
correcting signal to the capstan servo, which permits the video head to make adjustment for the best
possible signal.
automatic fade control A video camera feature designed to provide fade-outs at the end of scenes
and fade-ins at the openings. When the fade control is engaged during the middle of a scene, nothing occurs until the end, when the fade-out ends
the scene. If the control is pressed before starting
the camera, the scene will open with a fade-in. Some
cameras can be programmed to fade in and out on
a scene.
automatic fine-tuning (AFT) control A circuit on such
units as VCRs and TV sets that keeps the frequency
of the oscillator in the tuner correct for best color
picture by compensating for drift and incorrect tuning. Eliminates the need for careful manual fine-tuning each time a station is changed.
automatic focus See Auto-focus.
automatic focus compensation A projection TV feature that adjusts for the disparity in projection differences between the lens and the center of the
screen and the lens and the edges of the screen.
automatic focusing Electrostatic focusing in which
the focusing anode of a TV picture tube is internally
connected through a resistor to the cathode so that
no external focusing voltage is required.
automatic framing A video camera zoom lens feature that keeps the size of the subject constant.
Whether the subject moves toward or away from
the camera, the automatic framing function maintains the original size of the image. Canon was the
first company to offer the special zoom lens feature, also known as auto-framing, on some of its
higher-price 8mm camcorders.
automatic frequency control (AFC) A circuit that
locks onto a chosen frequency and will not drift away
from that frequency; a technique to lock onto and
track a desired frequency. Used in TV transmitters,
VCRs, and TV receivers to keep undesirable changes
to a minimum.
automatic gain control (AGC) A control circuit that
automatically changes the gain (amplification) of a
signal so the desired output signal remains essentially constant despite variations in input signal
strength. In a camcorder, this feature is designed to
increase the signal only to the degree that the image gains an even intensity. AGC increases a blank
signal to gray; in poorly lighted scenes it adds noise
to shadowed areas and produces less saturated colors. Usually in the form of a switch, the AGC when
activated has one disadvantage: some deterioration
occurs in the video image. In most VCRs a circuit
controls the intensity of incoming audio and video
signals so that they match predetermined output
levels while taping off the air or recording with a
camcorder. AGC is different from the sensitivity
switch that affects the general amplification of the
video signal. In audio, the AGC automatically boosts
or attenuates audio signals to optimum levels. AGC
is also known as automatic level control, a feature
found on other instruments such as a color noise
meter, where it serves to stabilize input levels.
automatic hue control A signal inserted into the vertical blanking interval to help a TV set adjust the
proper color. Found on only a few TV models, automatic hue control, which is placed on line 18 of the
blanking interval, may cause a problem when prerecorded tapes encoded with the anti-piracy code
Macrovision are played. The anti-piracy signal uses
this same line for its white pulses that are placed
here to defeat copying the tape information to another VCR. Automatic hue control is similar in function to automatic color circuitry.
automatic image stabilization As applied to video
cameras, a method of achieving a steady recorded
picture while the user is walking with the video cam-
automatic transition editing
era. Normally, the results of such camera recording
show up as images that are jumpy at best or unintelligible at worst. The use of servo mechanisms and
rapidly responding compensating motors converts
camera movement into relatively smooth pictures.
Modern video cameras do the stabilization electronically by using only a portion of the CCD array to
capture the image. What portion of the CCD array
is used to capture the image is determined by the
amount and type of movement. All this is accomplished by activating a special switch on cameras
equipped with automatic image stabilization.
automatic iris control A camcorder feature designed
to automatically operate the lens opening by “reading” the average light within a scene. If the automatic control cannot be overridden manually, then
there is no way to correct for extreme light or dark
backgrounds, etc. Some cameras are equipped with
auto/manual aperture control, a more desirable
method, offering both flexibility and automation.
automatic level control (ALC) When used to describe
an audio signal control, means the same as AGC.
automatic light control (ALC) In video, an electronic
circuit that modifies any incoming light to a predetermined level. In a vidicon camera, it is the control
that automatically adjusts the target voltage to compensate for variations in light levels. The ALC affects light the way the AGC affects video.
automatic lock A DVD player feature that holds the
optical assembly in place when the power is shut
off. Similar to a “park” program for a computer disk
drive, the automatic lock helps to prevent damage
to the internal assembly whenever the machine has
to be moved.
automatic pedestal control A process that automatically adjusts the pedestal height in a received TV
signal as a function of input signal strength or some
other specified parameter.
automatic phase control (APC) 1. A circuit in color
TV sets to reinsert a 3.58-MHz carrier signal with
exactly the correct phase and frequency by synchronizing it with the transmitted color-burst signal. 2.
An automatic frequency-control circuit in which the
difference between two frequency sources is fed to
a phase detector that produces the required control
automatic picture control A switch in some
color TVs to disable one or more of the regular controls and use corresponding preset varlues. Pushing
one button corrects for accidental misadjustment of
controls. Sometimes also referred to as an automatic
gain control.
automatic picture transmission (APT) A slow-scan
TV system in weather satellites; it is capable of transmitting conventional TV pictures of clouds in the
daytime and IR pictures of clouds in at night. Each
image is stored for about 200 seconds in a vidicon
while being scanned for transmission to earth.
automatic program delay A professional/industrial
unit designed to provide delays from a few minutes
to several days, play back multiple feeds simultaneously and accommodate incoming feed recordonly sessions. Delay actions are operated via time
codes, are frame-accurate and are affixed to the studio reference clock. Some units can handle a schedule of up to 1,000 events that can be programmed
for automatic operation.
automatic program edit A feature, found mainly on
top-of-the-line laserdisc combination players, that
aids in the process of dubbing from disc to tape.
Once the user enters the length of tape selected for
recording, the player automatically calculates the
number of tracks that can be recorded within that
time range.
automatic programming A feature on VCRs designed
for presetting a number of programs on different
channels and at various times to record automatically.
automatic sag compensation Refers to a feature,
built into some test instruments such as color video
noise meters, that helps to produce uniform input
automatic scan tracking A feature, found on some
VCRs, designed to provide distortion-free slow motion from freeze frame to play mode. See Visual scan.
automatic standard recognition (ASR) A circuit that
automatically selects the video standard of the received signal. When TV reception is difficult, because
the signals are weak, noisy, or badly distorted, this
feature can be turned off and the video transmission standard chosen manually.
automatic switchover A feature that enables a device to accommodate either 110V or 220V operation without any manual adjustment.
automatic timing See Programmable timer.
automatic tint control A circuit in color TVs to maintain the correct flesh tones.
automatic tracking A method of holding the video
head of a VCR on the track during playback. Tracking adjustments are sometimes necessary to play
back a tape recorded on a different machine.
automatic tracking reset A feature, found on some
older VCRs, that sets the tracking control to its default setting each time a videotape is ejected or when
the power is turned off. Without this feature, the
VCR owner must reset the tracking control manually. Otherwise, the next recording will permanently
be “off center,” a familiar problem with forgetful
VCR owners. Automatic tracking reset differs from
auto tracking, which works completely automatically, requiring no adjustments.
automatic transition editing A process that permits
glitch-free editing by automatically winding videotape back a few frames when recording is stopped.
When record is resumed, ATE aligns the beginning
of the new recording with the end of the previous
one, thereby eliminating glitches and picture
automatic turn-on
breakup. The problem with some types of ATE is
that the last part of the previous scene is sometimes
lost. Also, exact editing is almost impossible. JVC
was one of the first manufacturers to offer this editing technique found today on many VCRs and portable models. Other VCR manufacturers use different approaches, all of which achieve similar results—
almost glitch-free edits. Sony, for example, introduced its time-phase circuit. When the tape restarts,
its movement is delayed electronically by special circuitry until the beginning of a field rather than the
middle of one. ATE is also known as edit-start, editstart control, scene transition stabilizing.
automatic turn-on See auto cue and play.
automatic variable frequency scanning A feature
of display monitors that allows them receive a range
of signals that allows the user to switch from video
to computer graphics. Some models can scan from
15 to 36 kHz while others offer more limited ranges
such as 31.5 and 35 kHz. Several monitors designed
exclusively for computers call this feature
automatic white balance A feature on camcorders
to help simplify white balance control. By aiming
the camera at a white card or similar object and
pressing a button for a few seconds, a special circuit
in the camera scrutinizes and compares the RGB
channels and automatically corrects them. Sometimes automatic white balance is only one, two, or
three controls used on a camera for color adjustment. Other cameras have improved the automatic
white balance adjustment by allowing it to be put
on hold. By preventing the adjustment from changing automatically to match the shifting light conditions, the camera user can capture the dramatic
changes in such scenes as sunsets without the camera compensating for these light changes.
auto-phasing A video mixer with auto-phasing has
the ability to compensate for timing differences between the input sources, allowing it to perform transitions free of artifacts. This is usually accomplished
by built-in line or frame synchronizers.
auto-setup A type of professional/industrial TV monitor that adjusts itself automatically, thereby eliminating the fine tuning previously required by technicians. These monitors are especially useful in viewing the same image when interchanging videotapes
from one facility to another. Another advantage is
the capture of the same image when several autosetup monitors, adjusted for the same color temperature, are arranged in a row.
autosizing 1. Syn.: Character sizing. 2. In graphics
hardware, autosizing refers to a monitor’s ability to
accept signals at one resolution and display the image at a different resolution. Without autosizing,
an image must be adjusted manually so that it fills
the screen properly.
autostereogram A technique used for 3D TV with-
out using special glasses for the viewer. Large lenses
are employed and the viewer must be in a very specific, fixed location to watch the 3D picture. It is not
compatible with normal TV programming.
autostereoscopic system A 3D-image display system that doesn’t require special glasses.
auto-stop circuit A circuit that puts a VCR into stop
mode if any of the detectors that generate the autostop operations sense a need to automatically stop
the machine. See Head drum rotation detector, Tape
end sensor, and Tape slack sensor.
autotiming The capability of some digital video equipment to automatically adjust input video timing to
match a reference video input. Eliminates the need
for manual timing adjustments.
auto-transition A transition (such as a mix or wipe)
that occurs without the use of a manual control,
such as a fader arm. Auto-transitions may be triggered from a button on the switcher, or externally
in the case of an editor (such as via a GPI interface).
In a DVE or vision mixer a “take” button (which may
be remote controlled) will usually trigger a predefined
transition. In this context, “take” is sometimes called
auto-winder See Rewinder.
aux See Auxiliary bus.
auxiliary bus Some video mixers have extra switching
buses that allow video signals connected to the
switcher to be fed to external equipment such as
digital effects systems, slow-motion VTRs, etc. The
auxiliary bus usually has no specific mixer function;
it is a utility feature. Syn.: aux.
auxiliary preset button A feature found on some
VCRs that is designed for setting in advance the
output channel of a decoder that may be required
for some cable TV systems.
auxiliary radio services, CATV Three auxiliary radio
services, Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS), Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS),
and Cable Television Relay Service (CARS), are used
to supplement and broaden the coverage of CATV
auxiliary trigger A video camera option that provides
an additional pause button. It can be useful in certain situations such as shooting in awkward or unusual positions.
available light The amount of natural or artificial light
that is present. Light is measured in lux or footcandle
numbers. The lower the number, the greater the
sensitivity of the camera.
average picture level (APL) The average level of the
luminance within an active picture. Usually expressed
as a percentage of reference white level. APL is often incorrectly used instead of “flat field.”
average transmitted power In TV transmitting systems, a power depending on the picture content,
being minimum for an all-white picture and maximum for all black. The NTSC/PAL composite video
azimuth technique
waveform is inefficient in its power use, and most
of it is used for the sync and blanking pulses. See
Rated transmitted power.
AVI Audio-video interleaving. Microsoft® Video for
Windows file format for combining video and audio into a single block in time, such as a video frame.
ASF is intended to replace AVI.
AVO Audiovisual object. In MPEG-4, audiovisual objects (also AV objects) are the individual media objects of a scene, such as video objects, images, and
3D objects. AVOs have a time dimension and a local
coordinate system for manipulating the AVO.
AVSS Abbreviation for Audio-Video Support System.
A-weighted See Weighting noise.
axis Relating to digital picture manipulation, the x axis
is a horizontal line across the center of the screen,
the y axis is a vertical line, and the z axis is perpendicular to plane of the x and y axes, indicating depth
and distance.
axis of action See Line.
AYH option See HP 89400.
azimuth 1. The angle of the recording head in relation to the tape path. To prevent crosstalk, or the
confusion of the video heads in playing back the
proper tracks that are crowded together, the head
gap angle is lifted slightly away from the perpendicular. In Beta format the tilt is 7 degrees. Thus,
each of the two heads lays down a different pattern
on the tape. It is as if one recording head placed
down a horizontal design within its diagonal track
while the second head recorded a vertical pattern.
When the tape is played back, each head can retrieve only the design or pattern it recorded, thereby
eliminating crosstalk. The azimuth system provides
a second advantage. The tracks that the two heads
produce can be placed next to each other, eliminating the guardbands or spaces previously required
between tracks. This permits storing more information on the tape. Sony first introduced the azimuth
system in 1975. Some Super-VHS camcorders have
a double-azimuth 4-head system that reduces the
size of noise bars during the search mode and provides noise-free still frames. 2. A compass bearing
expressed in degrees of rotation CW from true north.
It is one of the two coordinates (azimuth and elevation) used to align a satellite antenna.
azimuth blanking Automatic blanking of a radar
transmitter beam as the antenna scans a predetermined horizontal sector of its scanning region. This
may be used to prevent interference with TVs in a
city close to the search radar site.
azimuth-elevation (Az-El) mount An antenna mount
that tracks satellites by moving in two directions.
The azimuth is the horizontal plane and elevation is
up from the horizon.
azimuth error correction Electronic circuitry designed
to help correct artifacts in prerecorded Dolby surround sound. It helps with such problems as dialogue, targeted for the front center channel, being
directed to the rear speakers.
azimuth recording This recording is used in VHS to
eliminate the interference, or crosstalk, picked up
by a video head. Since adjacent video tracks touch,
a video head can pick up some information from
the adjacent track. The azimuth of the head gaps
assure that head “A” only gives an output when
scanning across a track made by head “A.” Head
“B,” therefore, only gives an output when scanning
across a track made by head “B.”
azimuth technique See Azimuth recording.
b 1. Bit; for example, bps for bits per second. 2. Binary; for example, 1101b for the binary number
B 1. Blue. 2. CATV midband channel, 126-132 MHz.
3. See AAA rate. 4. Byte. 5. Baud. 6. Bel. 7. TV
standard; Australia, Austria, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria,
Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Rhodesia, Saudi Arabia,
Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Yugoslavia. Characteristics: 625 lines/frame, 50 fields/
s, interlace—2:1, 25 fr/s, 15,625 lines/s, aspect ratio—4:3, video band—5 MHz, RF band—7 MHz,
visual polarity—negative, sound modulation—F3,
pre-emphasis—50 us, deviation 50 kHz, gamma of
picture signal—0.5, used band—VHF.
B channel A “bearer” channel is a fundamental component of ISDN interfaces. It carriers 64,000 bits/s
in either direction, is circuit switched and should be
able to carry either voice or data. Can be used for
videophone (see Common intermediate format).
B&W Black-and-white.
b/s Bits per second.
B+ Supply voltage; the plus sign indicates the polarity.
B+ boost A circuit in TV sets that adds to, or boosts,
the basic B+ voltage. The boost source is a by-product of the horizontal deflection system. See also
baby 750-watt spotlight.
baby legs Low camera tripod.
back channel A means of communication from users
to content providers. As content providers are transmitting interactive television (analog or digital) to
users, users can also connect through a back channel to a Web site, for example. The back channel
can be used to provide feedback, purchase goods
and services, etc. A simple type of back channel is
an Internet connection using a modem.
back light Light placed behind objects in a scene and
pointing toward the camera to provide a rim of light,
that outlines the object and creates a sense of depth
by setting off that object from the rest of the scene.
See Lighting.
back lot An area of a movie studio or TV station where
exterior scenes are shot.
back matching The matching of the input and output of electronic devices to reduce signal reflection
and ghosting. Also known as impedance matching.
back plate The electrode to which the stored charge
image of a camera tube is capacitively coupled. Syn.:
signal electrode. Used in vidicon, iconoscope.
back porch The area of the analog video waveform
between the end of horizontal sync and the start of
active video. In NTSC and PAL video signals, this part
is largely occupied by the color burst.
back porch clamping The process of resetting video
signal level offset to zero by using the black level at
the back porch as a reference. Syn.: clamping; black
level clamping.
back porch switching Video signal switching performed within the vertical blanking interval to minimize the visibility of switching artifacts. Syn.: vertical
interval switching.
back projection When the projection is placed behind a screen (as it is in TV and various video
conferencing applications where the image is displayed on a monitor or a fabric screen) it is described
as a back projection system. In these systems the
viewer sees the image via the transmission of light
as opposed to reflection used in front projection systems. Audiences generally prefer back projection
systems since they seem brighter.
back up In camcorders, an indicator on the menu display. When the indicator appears, the settings are
retained even when the battery is removed, as long
as the lithium battery is in place.
back-back porch The portion of a back porch that
follows the color burst.
background 1. Short form of the term color background—the same as matte generator. 2. One of
the video sources involved in keying. Specifically, the
background video is the video that has parts of it
replaced with the key fill, or foreground video. When
associated with chroma-keying, for example in a
weather report, the background is the weather map
and the foreground is the weather reporter.
background color In videotex, the color of the area
of the character cell not occupied by the foreground
color; the color of the remaining area of the character. The color may be any from the available color
tables or be transparent, in which case the full-screen
background color (or the cumulative result of all picture elements previously set or the video picture) is
background generator Usually part of vision mixer.
The color and sometimes even the texture of the
generated background is adjusted with such controls as “Luminance,” ”Chrominance,” ”Hue,” etc.
Syn.: matte generator.
background music jack An audio feature on some
camcorders that permits the user to connect an external sound source during the recording process.
Adding background sound while the original recording is in progress eliminates the usual generation
loss that is inherent in tape editing when music is
recorded after a recording session.
background video See Background.
backing The plastic-ribbon base, usually mylar, onto
which is coated the oxide formulation of both audio and video tape. The backing is resistant to stretching and decomposition. A binder to hold a coating
of magnetic oxide particles is placed on the backing. Backing is also called base film.
backlight switch On some video cameras with automatic iris control, a feature designed to provide one
f-stop more light. In a scene containing a bright
background with a dark subject, the automatic iris
usually reads the darker part of the picture, causing
the main subject to be underexposed. Activating the
backlight switch compensates for this by adding
more light. Different from a contrast compensation
switch, the backlight switch only opens the lens
wider. The backlight switch is sometimes listed as
an automatic backlight compensator.
backspace edit A feature on many VCRs whereby the
tape will automatically rewind a certain number of
frames to create a clean cut when the camera is
backspacing 1. Reverse cueing technique. 2. A feature on VCRs designed to eliminate picture breakup
between scenes by backing up the tape when the
Pause mode is engaged. Then when Record is
pressed, the tape begins at the end of the previously recorded section. On some machines the tape
is backed up over the last few frames of the previous scene.
backtiming 1. Reverse cueing technique for editing
backspace used in electronic editing. 2. A technique
in live news, variety, or other programs in which the
last segment is rehearsed and timed. Thus, in the
actual broadcast, as the time to begin this segment
approaches, the director is prepared to stretch it,
speed it up, or replace it. In TV news programs,
backtime is the clock time (the actual time) at which
the last segment should begin if the program is to
end on time. Thus, if the last segment is 40 s long
and the newscast must end at 11:28:55, the last
segment must begin at its backtime, 11:28:15. Each
of the preceding segments also can be backtimed
from the end of the program working toward the
backward compatibility The capability of an improved
or enhanced piece of hardware to accept software
designed for an earlier model. For instance, S-VHS
VCRs, that require special tape to benefit from the
improved features of the VCR, can play back standard videotapes. However, the conventionally recorded tapes will not reflect the higher quality of
S-VHS VCR . See also Compatibility.
Baer, Ralph Developed the first video games in 1971
while he was employed by Magnavox.
Baird, John Logie Pioneer in British TV, inventor of the
first marketable home videodisc system in 1928. Using a TV system based on electro-mechanics (a lightsensitive cell and a mechanical revolving disc), he was
able to send a TV signal from London to New York in
1928. The BBC employed his system when TV was
introduced into England in 1929. Within a few years
the process succumbed to an all-electronic TV system developed in the USA by such scientists as
Vladimir Zvorykin and Philo T. Farnsworth.
balanced converter See Balun.
balanced modulator A modulator in which the carrier and modulating signal are introduced in such a
way that the output contains the two sidebands
without carrier. Used in color TV transmitters to apply the I and Q signals to the subcarriers, as well as
in suppressed-carrier communications transmitters.
balop Balopticon, an opaque projector made by Baush
and Lomb (hence the name) that casts positive images by reflection for a TV camera. The images generally are artwork on a large slide (a balop) used as
background for a TV or film scene or as part of a
sequence, such as a card or slide of a book jacket,
product, name and address of a sponsor, or other
balun BAlanced to UNbalanced. An adapter used for
converting 300 ohms into 75 ohms. Usually supplied
with a VCR to convert 300-ohm antenna wire, the
balun is often needed to connect a video game, VCR
or other component to a TV set, etc. One example of
its function involves connecting a 300-ohm video
game to a 75-ohm projection TV system. Also used
to balance the impedance of an outdoor antenna
(usually 300 ohms) to the impedance of modern TV
sets and VCRs (usually 75 ohms). There are two types
of baluns: a VHF-only and UHF/VHF model. Sometimes called balanced converter, bazooka (slang), linebalance converter, and matching transformer.
balun coil A set of balun coils are found between
antenna connection and TV tuner to match the input of 300 ohms to 75 ohms at the tuner input.
banana tube A type of color picture tube in which
television signals were sent through a long, thin tube,
followed by RGB signals flashed at timed intervals.
band In audio/video, a span or range of frequency
band separator
signals. Most TV sets and VCRs can be adjusted for
any one of three ranges: L (low band) for VHF channels 2-6; H (high band) for VHF channels 7-13, midband A-I and superband J-W; and U for UHF channels
14-83. However, more sophisticated machines offer four ranges: VHF low (channels 2-6), VHF midhigh (channels 7-13 and cable A-I), UHF (14-83) and
VHF super (for superband channels on cable). TV
satellites work within two frequency ranges. Large
dish antennas require the popular C-band, whereas
smaller dish antennas utilize the Ku-band.
band separator An accessory that separates incoming UHF, VHF and AM antenna signals so that they
can be directed to their respective terminals. Some
band separators accept a 300-ohm (twin lead) input while others take a 75-ohm input and, with a
built-in matching transformer (75 to 300 ohms), provide a VHF output as well as a UHF output. Band
separator is essentially a set of filters.
band switch See Turret tuner.
banding A video defect in TV transmission in which
strips of the picture differ from adjacent areas, often due to a videotape player.
bandpass filter A circuit that transmits alternating
currents whose frequencies are between given upper and lower cutoff values, while substantially attenuating all frequencies outside this band. Used in
TVs, VCRs. These filters are also used in signal processors to affect color and definition to allow only a
selected range of frequencies to pass through.
band-stop filter A filter that attenuates alternating
currents whose frequencies are between given upper and lower cutoff values while transmitting frequencies above and below this band. It is the
opposite of a bandpass. The band rejected is generally much wider than that suppressed by a trap. Also
called band-rejection filter, bandstop filter, and
rejector circuit.
bandwidth (BW) 1. Refers to the frequency range
transmitted by an analog system. In video systems,
specifying the highest frequency value is sufficient,
since all video systems must transmit frequencies
down to 30 Hz or lower. In transmission, the U.S.
analog and digital SDTV channel width is 6 MHz. 2.
Incorrectly used as the equivalent of informationcarrying capability of digital TV systems, e.g. “the
compression system has a 6-MHz bandwidth.” The
particular artifacts generated by such systems may
make nonsense of the quoted frequency
bandwidth compression A technique to reduce the
bandwidth needed to transmit a given amount of
information. Bandwidth compression is used to
transmit voice, video and data.
bandwidth efficiency In TV, the ratio of picture quality to RF bandwidth.
bandwidth, HDTV (color set and color-difference set).
See SMPTE 240 standard.
bandwidth on demand Say you want two 56-Kbps
circuits right now for a videoconference. Use one of
the newer pieces of telecommunications equipment
and “dial up” the bandwidth you need. An example
of such a piece of equipment is an inverse multiplexer. Uses for bandwidth on demand include video
conferencing, LAN interconnection and disaster recovery. Bandwidth on demand is typically only for
digital circuits and it’s typically carved out via a T-1
permanently connected from a customer’s premises
to a long distance carrier’s central office, also called
a POP—Point of Presence.
bandwidth reduction, EUREKA-95 HDMAC system
To transmit the 21-MHz luminance baseband compatibly to the D-MAC and D2-MAC receivers, bandwidth reduction by a factor of approximately four is
required. This is accomplished by the coding and
decoding process as follows. The encoder has
“branches” for three degrees of motion: an 80-ms
(4 fields) branch for stationary and slowly moving
areas of the scene; a 40-ms (2 fields) branch for
moving areas; and a 20-ms (1 field) branch for rapid
motion and sudden scene changes. These branches
are switched to the transmission channel by the
motion processor. The switching signals are also
transmitted to the receiver via DATV channel, where
the branch in use at a particular time, after decoding, is connected to the receiver for processing and
display at the 1250/50/2:1/16:9 rates of the camera
or telecine equipment at the transmitter.
The chrominance signals, each of 10.5 MHz baseband, are transmitted after similar 3-branch encoding, but without motion compensation. The encoding
in the 80-ms branch extends over four fields. Hence,
the luminance bandwidth for stationary areas is reduced from 21 MHz to 5.25 MHz. But the 40-ms and
20-ms branches extend only over two fields and one
field, respectively, so additional bandwidth reduction
is required. This is achieved by several processes, e.g.,
“quincunx” scanning (scanning of successive picture
elements alternately from two adjacent lines) on alternate fields, which produces a synthetic interlace;
and line shuffling that interleaves high-definition
samples so that two lines within a field are transmitted as one MAC/packet line, to which the D-MAC
and D2-MAC receivers respond compatibly. The clues
required to perform the inverse operations at the receiver are transmitted over the DATV channel.
bandwidth requirements The bandwidth required
by a TV signal is half the number of pixels transmitted per second. A wide bandwidth is required to
resolve fine detail while maintaining a high enough
picture repetition rate to avoid objectionable flicker.
This explains the huge spectrum requirements of TV
Bandwidth Segmented Orthogonal Frequency
Division Multiplexing BST-OFDM attempts to improve on COFDM by modulating some OFDM car-
riers differently from others within the same multiplex. A given transmission channel may therefore
be “segmented,” with different segments
being modulated differently.
bank 1. A set of similar devices connected together
for use as a single device (bank of resistors). 2. A
storage area (data bank). 3. In film and TV, rows of
lighting. 4. In broadcasting, a pool or collection of
commercials (commercial bank).
bank timer A VCR timer-related feature that can store
several sets of timer-recording instructions under
different categories. On-screen menus help the
viewer to code in timing information under such
topics as news, cinema, cartoons and drama. These
instructions are then entered into the timer section
for upcoming recordings.
bar A common test pattern component. The bar looks
on a TV screen as a vertical strip, usually specified by
color, level and edge rise-time, e.g. 75% 2T White
Bar. Sometimes the bar component is called “windows” or ”box.”
bar code A pattern of vertical lines of differing widths.
These can be read by a bar-code scanner to provide
data to a VCR . See also LCD digital scanner programming system.
bar code programming A VCR feature that simplifies transmitting recording instructions to the clock/
timer of the VCR. VCRs that come equipped with
this programming function provide a pen-like device, called a bar-code scanner, and a programming
card containing a list of days, time segments and
channel numbers. The owner, using the scanner, simply checks off the appropriate day, time and channel on the card for each program to be recorded.
The information is then transferred to the VCR to
be displayed for confirmation on the TV screen.
bar generator A signal generator that delivers pulses
uniformly spaced in time and synchronized to produce a stationary bar pattern on a TV screen. A colorbar generator produces these bars in different colors
on the screen of a color TV set.
bar pattern The pattern of repeating color bars produced by a bar generator, for adjusting color TV
barrier grid See stabilizing mesh.
bar tilt Time domain parameter indirectly showing lowfrequency response distortion by checking bar waveform. The tilt of the flat top of the bar is usually
expressed as a percentage of the bar’s amplitude,
ignoring overshoots. Syn.: tilt.
bar-code scanner An optical character reader that
can automatically read data from documents bearing information formed with a special bar code. See
also LCD digital scanner programming system.
barker audio See Video inversion.
barker channel A channel to advertise the pay TV
service to nonpaying would-be viewers. The main
audio channel can be used as a barker channel.
Barkhausen A term applied to a display of one or two
black vertical lines on the left side of the TV picture
tube due to some spurious behavior (oscillation) in
the circuit. These lines are usually seen best when
there is no picture on the screen (just a blank raster).
Barkhausen magnet A permanent magnet mounted
on the horizontal output tube of a TV receiver to
reduce Barkhausen oscillations.
Barkhausen oscillation An undesired oscillation in
the horizontal output tube of a TV receiver; it causes
one or more ragged dark vertical lines on the left
side of the picture.
barn doors Adjustable flaps that fit over a video light
to concentrate the beam in a broad or narrow path.
Also called flippers.
barracuda British TV and film slang for a telescopic
light support, made from lengths of metal pole.
barrel distortion 1. The characteristic distortion of a
scene by a wide-angle lens: a rounded and out-ofproportion look around the edges of the scene,
caused by objects being too close to the lens. 2.
Distortion in which all four sides of a received TV
picture bulge outward, like a barrel. See Distortion.
barrel effect Vertical edge distortion of a screen image. The effect tends to be more pronounced in rear
projection TV systems.
barrier display section In (2+3)D-image display system with parallax barriers, a section in which the
number of parallax barriers, width aperture ratio,
shape including the interval, and generating position can be freely programmably controlled in
accordance with an instructed input.
barrifocal mirror system One of the 3D-image display systems that doesn’t require special glasses.
bars and red Popular two-part test pattern with standard color bars above red field. Useful for the detection of noise and moire. Professional jargon
sometimes refers to this signal as “Bars in Blood”!
Syn.: split field/red.
base The part of an electron tube that has the pins,
leads, or other terminals to which external connections are made either directly or through a socket.
base film Backing.
base light The general illumination of an area. The
base light helps provide the camcorder with a lighting level above that which is needed to prevent electronic noise. All video units, such as VCRs and
cameras, produce video noise that affects the video
signal. The base light, which is usually located over
the subject, helps to overcome this.
baseband 1. The band of frequencies containing the
information, prior to modulation (and subsequent
to demodulation). The band that transmits picture
and synchronizing signals in TV; the band containing all the modulated subcarriers in a carrier system.
When applied to audio and video, baseband means
an audio or video signal that is not RF modulated
(to channel 3 or 4 for example). 2. In satellite TV,
baseband signaling
the raw audio and video signals prior to modulation
and broadcasting. Most satellite headend equipment
utilizes baseband inputs. More exactly, the composite unclamped, non-de-emphasized and unfiltered
receiver output. This signal contains the complete
set of FM modulated audio and data subcarriers.
baseband signaling The transmission of a digital signal without modulation. Only one signal at a time
can be present on a baseband channel.
baseband transmission A type of data transmission
in which each medium carries only one signal, or
channel, at a time.
baseband video Same as composite video (CVS or
baseline sequential JPEG The most popular of the
JPEG modes that employs the lossy DCT (Discrete
Cosine Transform) to compress image data as well as
lossless processes based on variations of DPCM (Differential Pulse Code Modulation). The “baseline” system represents a minimum capability that must be
present in all Sequential JPEG decoder systems. In this
mode, image components are compressed either individually or in groups. A single scan pass completely
codes a component or group of components.
basic cable A term referring to the minimum services
a U.S. subscriber of a CATV system gets for the minimum monthly charge. These services usually include
VHF and UHF channels, CNN, religious and weather
channels and other programming nationally distributed. Other services, like HBO, require additional
monthly fees.
basic rate interface (BRI) There are two “interfaces”
in ISDN: BRI and PRI. In BRI, you get two bearer Bchannels at 64 kilobits/s and a data D-channel at 16
kilobits/s. The bearer B-channels are designed for
PCM voice, video conferencing, group four facsimile
machines, or whatever you can squeeze into 64,000
bits/s full duplex. The data D-channel is for bringing
in information about incoming calls and taking out
information about outgoing calls. It is also for access to slow-speed data networks, like videotex,
packet switched networks, etc. One BRI standard is
the “U” interface, which uses two wires. Another
BRI standard is the “T” interface, using four wires.
basic set A film, TV, or stage set with furniture and
scenery but without props.
basic television service A charge for delivery of TV
broadcast by cable; typically a monthly fee for the
lowest level of service.
basket Cassette lift mechanism in front-loading VCRs.
Also called elevator.
bat blacks In video, to fade out; to turn a picture to
darkness or superimpose over a picture.
battery See Lead acid battery, Nickel cadmium
baud (B) A unit used to measure the number of times/
s that a data transmission channel changes state.
Since, even in a binary channel, the baud rate in-
cludes all elements transmitted including coordination elements, the baud rate is not necessarily equivalent to the data rate, and baud is not necessarily
synonymous with bits/s.
bazooka Slang for a large item. Slang term for balun.
BB 1. Black burst. 2. CATV hyperband channel, 306312 MHz. See TV channel assignments.
BBC [color] bars Color bars with the nomenclature
100/0/100/25 in 625/50/2:1 scanning standard.
BBC standard The British Broadcasting Company in
London began transmissions in 1929, but their first
service was more or less experimental even though
the public was “invited” to buy receivers. It was an
electromechanical system with a picture resolution
of 30 lines and a field rate of 25 Hz. Then, in 1936,
an all-electronic system was adopted and the standard was set at 405 lines/50 Hz, which has remained
in effect since then as the standard for VHF black
and white TV in England.
BCU A big close-up of a picture in photography, film,
or TV; ECU is an extreme close-up.
BDC Block Downconversion.
beam 1. A semi-coherent flow of electrons. 2. A narrow stream of essentially unidirectional electromagnetic radiation (as in a radio wave) or charged
particles (as in an electron beam).
beam adjustment A control on vidicon cameras that
regulates the amount of current flowing in the beam.
beam angle See Cathode-ray tube.
beam bender Ion-trap magnet. See Ion trap.
beam bending Deflection of the scanning beam by
the electrostatic field of the charges stored on the
target of a camera tube.
beam blanking Blanking.
beam convergence The adjustment that makes the
three electron beams of a 3-gun color picture tube
meet or cross at a shadow-mask hole.
beam current The current of a scanning beam in
camera or TV CRTs.
beam deflection tube A color picture tube with a
single electron gun and in which the screen is composed of horizontal stripes of red, green and blue
phosphors arranged in sequence. A grid of horizontal wires is mounted close to the screen and, by applying suitable potentials to these wires the electron
beam can be deflected so as to strike the phosphor
stripe giving the required color. Also called beamswitching tube.
beam indexing Refers to a signal generated by an
electron beam that is deflected and fed back to a
control device. Beam indexing is one of several methods of presenting images upon a screen.
beam landing errors Errors that can occur when the
electron beam does not strike the target correctly,
owing to distortions of the magnetic fields. This may
happen in cameras and TV CRTs in areas where two
fields interact, such as line and frame deflecting
beam magnet Convergence magnet.
beam splitting Method of dividing the color components of the image so they can be cast upon more
than one vidicon target area (or tube); used in 2-, 3and 4-tube color cameras.
beam-indexing tube A color TV picture tube with a
single electron gun and in which the screen is composed of vertical stripes of red, green and blue phosphors arranged in sequence. A beam indexing system
operated, e.g., by signals from vertical stripes interleaved with the red, green and blue groups ensures
that at any instant the electron gun is always
switched to the phosphor stripe on which the beam
is incident.
beam-splitting systems Devices for splitting a light
beam to form two or more separate images from a
single lens. Often used in color TV cameras to form
the three primary color images. Beam-splitting can
be accomplished by prisms, semi-reflecting surfaces
and dichroic mirrors.
beam-switching tube Beam deflection tube.
beamwidth The acceptance angle of an antenna, usually measured between half-power (3 dB) points.
bearding A video distortion appearing as short black
lines to the right of bright objects. It’s caused by
interruptions in the horizontal sync of the tape.
Beck, Stephen Video artist, electronic engineer. Working with a video synthesizer, he originated the concept of combining color, form, texture and motion
to produce abstract kinetic video art. His works are
recognized worldwide. In the early 1970s he worked
on a PBS series called “Video Visionaries.”
beeper feedback See Audio alarm, Trigger alarm.
bel Symbol: B. A relative measurement, equal to the
logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of two amounts
of power. One power value is a reference value. The
decibel, a smaller unit equal to 1/10 B, is more commonly used.
bell filter Filter in a SECAM decoder to de-emphasize the chrominance signal prior to frequency demodulation.
bells and whistles Special effects, flashy graphics,
and other extras added to films, TV programs, or
any audiovisual presentation.
below the line Technical and production costs as indicated in the program budget—includes production equipment and technical personnel.
BER (or B.E.R.) Bit Error Rate. Accuracy of digital demodulation or decoding. Analogous to SNR, but refers to digital transmission.
best time available (BTA) An instruction with a purchase order for a TV or radio station to broadcast a
commercial at the most favorable time available.
Beta format A system of home videotaping using a
special 2-hub plastic videocassette, 1/2-inch tape and
recording speeds incompatible with other formats.
Introduced for home use in 1975 by Sony, the Beta
format uses a cassette smaller than that of its com-
petitor, the VHS format. Although the originator of
home VCR, Beta has almost completely disappeared
in the U.S. Other companies, including Zenith,
Toshiba, Marantz and Sanyo, had originally selected
the Beta format for their VCRs and video cameras,
but have since abandoned that format in favor of
the more successful VHS.
Beta hi-fi A full-frequency stereo process for VCRs
developed by Sony in 1982. Conventional video stereo as found on VHS machines uses longitudinal
sound tracks (tape passing across a stationary head),
but this method produces poor sound quality because of two factors. The tape speed of video machines is very slow, only a fraction of that of audio
recorders. Secondly, the small space of the tape allotted to the normal mono audio track has to be
split in half to provide for the dual channels necessary for stereo. For these reasons, a noise reduction
system such as Dolby B is required to improve some
of the less-than-adequate sound. Sony avoided these
two shortcomings by using the video heads to place
the FM-modulated audio (AFM — Audio FM) signals onto the tape, superimposing the channels over
the video signal. A greater dynamic range results,
with a frequency response said to be from approximately 20-20,000 Hz. The portion of the tape otherwise assigned to the audio signal can still be used
for a mono sound track (to keep the system compatible with other Beta machines). It can also be used
as a third audio track for different functions, such
as recording a foreign language.
Betacam Sony’s trade name for component analog
tape recording format. The term is often incorrectly
associated with component analog video interfacing in general. The system has continued to be developed over the years, offering models for the
professional/industrial markets. Digital versions also
exist as the high-end Digital Betacam and Betacam
SX for ENG and similar applications.
Betacam color bars Historically these bars followed
early Betacam signal levels, giving rise to 75% color
bars in YPrPb format with PrPb gain boosted by a
factor 1.333. At the righthand side of the pattern,
the “black set” test and 100% white bar are added.
In the 625 version the white level is 700 mV, in the
525 version the white level is 100 IRE (714.825 mV).
Betacam SP The Sony trademarked “Superior Performance” analog component video tape recording
format similar to the Betacam format. Betacam SP
players will play back Betacam recordings but not
vice-versa. Betacam SP is recorded on oxide or metal
Betacam-SX Sony’s trademark for a component digital tape recording format with signal compression.
Developed for news acquisition. Compression is similar to MPEG-2, but with fixed GOP structure to allow easier edits. The digital signal recorded on tape
uses a higher level of digital compression (DCT-based)
than Digital Betacam, which results in a lower bitrate after coding. At the interface level it is compatible with D-1 format, i.e. conforms to ITU-R BT.656.
Betacam-SX players can play back analog component Betacam SP tapes.
Betamax Sony’s trade name for its initially popular
1/2-inch Beta format VCR. The first Betamax, the
SL-7200, was introduced in 1975. The Betamax has
virtually disappeared in the U.S., losing marketshare
to the VHS format.
Betascan Sony-developed feature found on Beta VCRs
that allows for quick picture search (15x, Beta III).
Betaskipscan Sony Betamax feature that provides instant switching from high-speed FF or REW mode
to Betascan search mode to determine location on
the tape.
bezel In video, the frame surrounding a video picture
that has different proportions from that of the TV
screen. For example, when some cable or broadcast
stations present a wide-screen theatrical film in its
correct aspect ratio (about 16:9), the top and bottom portions of the screen (4:3 aspect ratio) remain
blank. Some local and network stations provide a
decorative bezel to replace the normally black portions of the screen. Bezels may come in different
BF Burst flag.
B frames Bi-directional predictive frames used by
MPEG. These are composed by assessing the difference between the previous and the next frames in a
television picture sequence. As they contain only predictive information, they do not make up a complete picture and so have the advantage of taking
up much less data than the I frames. However, to
see the original picture requires a whole sequence
of MPEG pictures to be decoded. See MPEG.
BG Burst flag.
bias light Internal illumination of a TV camera tube
that reduces or removes the halo (reflected light that
extends beyond the desired boundaries).
biased automatic gain control Syn.: delayed AGC.
It is a process that comes into operation only for
signals above a predetermined level.
bible In the production of a TV series, the general outline of plots and character development prepared
before the first program of the season. Some producers refuse to bible the show, in order to maintain the flexibility to make plot and cast changes
during the season.
biconcave A lens configuration in which the lens element has an inward curve on both sides.
biconvex A lens configuration in which the lens element has an outward curve on both sides. A magnifying glass is the most common example of a
biconvex lens.
bicycling The shipment of videotape recordings of TV
programs from one transmitting entity to another.
In order to save film and videotape costs, the pro-
grams are sent to a station or cable system when
they are needed for the station’s schedule. After a
program is broadcast, that station or system sends
it on to the next operation.
bidirectional Describes a microphone that accepts
sound waves from two different directions, while
attenuating sound waves from any other direction.
bifilar transformer A transformer in which wires for
the two windings are wound side by side to give
extremely tight coupling. When used as TV IF transformers to couple stagger-tuned IF stages, the high
coupling eliminates the need for a DC blocking
BIFS Binary format for scenes. In MPEG-4, a set of
elements called nodes that describe the layout of a
multimedia layout. BIFS-Update streams update the
scene in time, BIFS-Anim streams animate the stream
in time. BIFS are organized in a tree-lined hierarchical scene graph node structure derived from VRML.
Bildschirmtext (Btx, BTX) Now called Datex-J. The
public videotex system in the Federal Republic of
billy- A prefix denoting one thousand million, synonymous with “giga.”
binary gradation A gradation of black and white.
binary pair Synonymous with bistable circuit.
binary variable A variable that can have one of two
values (0 or 1). Also known as two-valued variable.
binary-coded character A character represented by
a binary code.
binder A chemical adhesive to hold the magnetic oxide particles to the backing or base of the videotape. The quality of the binder is important in that
its composition determines the number of dropouts
that are likely to occur.
bipolar PG In VCRs, pulse generator signals that have
both positive and negative excursions.
bipolar sync See Tri-level sync.
bird Jargon or nickname for communications satellites.
birdseye In film and TV, a spotlight with a reflector
back invented by Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956),
who is better known for developing methods for
quick-freezing foods.
B-ISDN Broadband ISDN. See ISDN.
bistable Having two states.
bistable circuit A circuit that can be triggered to adopt
one of two stable states. Also known as binary pair,
bistable trigger circuit, trigger pair.
bistable trigger circuit Syn.: bistable circuit.
bit A single binary information unit. Usually represented
by “0” or ”1.” As a jargon term can be used to
describe a single step of the quantization scale.
bit assignment In video compression, the process of
creating the compressed data bit stream from the
raw output of the compression algorithm.
bit bucket Any device able to store digital data—
whether it be video, audio or other types of data.
bit budget The total number of bits available on the
black burst
media being used. In DVD, the bit budget of a singlesided/single-layer DVD5 disk is 4.7 GB.
bit depth The number of levels that a pixel might have,
such as 256 with an 8-bit depth or 1,024 with a
10-bit depth.
bitmap A digital representation of an image in which
the bit-mapped characters, composed of dots or
pixels, are readable on a screen.
bit parallel format See Parallel digital [video] interface format.
bit pattern A sequence of bits. Bit patterns may be
used to represent characters in a binary code.
bit plane In digital video, with display hardware that
has more than one video memory array contributing to the displayed image in real time, each memory
array is called an image plane. However, if the arrays have only one bit-per-pixel, they may be called
bit planes.
bit rate Relating to the speed of a device, e.g., the
speed with which binary digits can be transferred
over a communications channel. May be measured
in bits/s or baud. It is the digital equivalent of bandwidth.
bit rate conversion See Sampling rate conversion.
bit serial format Format where 10-bit serialized video
data are transmitted via BNC type connector or fiberoptical connector with clock rate: 10 x 4 x 3.579 =
143 MHz (digital composite NTSC and PAL-M), 10 x
4 x 4.433 = 177 MHz (digital composite PAL), 10 x 27
= 270 MHz (digital component 4:2:2) or 10 x 36 =
360 MHz (ITU-R BT.601, digital component). Syn.:
Serial Digital [Video] Interface.
bit stream A serial sequence of bits.
BitBlt Abbreviation for bit boundary block transfer, a
data transfer function that moves a rectangular region of pixels within or between bitmaps. This function often is used for displaying pop-up windows,
cursors, and small symbols such as text. BitBlt traditionally is capable of performing a Boolean (e.g.,
XOR) operation between the source and destination during the transfer. Also called RasterOp.
BITC Burned-In Time Code. This means the time code
information is displayed within a portion of the picture, and may be viewed on any monitor or TV.
bite A short segment, or take, that is repeated on network radio and TV news programs.
bitmap A region of memory or storage that contains
the pixels representing an image arranged in the
sequence in which they are normally scanned to display the image. If a bitmap can be directly displayed
on the screen, it is referred to as a frame buffer. If
the bitmap cannot be viewed directly, then its data
must be moved to display memory to be viewed.
For example, a text font can be stored in an offscreen bitmap, and each character is moved to the
proper place on the screen (using BitBlt) as it is
bitmap descriptor In the DVI runtime software, a data
structure that contains the parameters of a bitmap
including its location in memory, its dimensions, and
its pixel format.
bitmap font A special format of a text font that contains pixel values for each text character.
bitmapping A technique used in graphics display in
which the information displayed on a screen corresponds, pixel by pixel, with bits held in memory.
bits per pixel (bpp) The number of bits used to represent the color value of each pixel in a digitized
bits per second The number of bits transmitted per
second over a communications line.
BK Black.
BL Black; also blue, depending on the context, so when
in doubt, spell it out.
blab-off-switch British slang for a remote-control device to mute the sound of a TV program, such as
during the commercials.
black Very dark. Pitch black or pure black means totally without light. Television black reflects a very
small amount of light from the screen, about 3%
black after white A TV receiver defect in which an
unnatural black line follows the right-hand contour
of any white object on the picture screen. The same
defect also causes a white line to follow a sudden
change from black to a lighter background. It is
caused by receiver misalignment.
black and white signal 1. A signal wave that controls luminance values in black and white TV. 2. The
portion of a signal wave that has major control of
the luminance values in a color TV system, regardless of whether the picture is displayed in color or in
black and white.
black and white television Television that reproduces
a picture in black and white (b&w) with shades of
gray between black and white. Black and white receivers use the brightness information transmitted
as part of the color signal—the luminance signal—
but the image is produced in black and white.
black and white transmission Transmission of a signal wave that controls the luminance values in a TV
picture but not the chromaticity values. The result is
a black and white picture.
black body A perfect absorber of all incident radiant
energy. It radiates energy solely as a function of its
black body radiator See Full radiator.
black box 1. An electronic device with known performance characteristics but unknown constituents. 2.
A general term given to a variety of electronic devices
because of their color and shape. They include image
enhancers, image stabilizers, video amps and up converters that can be connected to a VCR or a TV set.
black burst (BB) A video signal that contains the color
black. This gives the signal the major reference points
of color-burst pulse, a black reference, and sync. It is
black-burst generator
used as a base “neutral” signal to format tape and to
reference most video hardware. Black burst tells the
video equipment the vertical sync, horizontal sync,
and the chroma burst timing. Syn.: house sync.
black-burst generator See black burst.
black clipper See Black limiter.
black clipping A video control circuit that regulates
and contains the black level of the video signal so
that it does not disturb or appear in the sync portion of the signal.
black compression A reduction in TV picture-signal
gain at levels corresponding to dark areas in a picture. The effect reduces contrast in the dark areas
of the picture as seen on monitors and receivers.
Also called black saturation.
black crushing Compression of low values of signal
(i.e., black) resulting in loss of significant detail in
the darker picture areas.
black current stabilizer An adjustment on each CRT
gun (R, G, B) for setting the leakage current when
the gun is in the vertical blanking interval. If not
adjusted there will be background discoloring. The
leakage is measured via sensing resistors in the CRT
cathode circuits.
Black Entertainment TV A CATV channel targeted
for a black audience and offering entertainment,
sports and films. BET also covers interviews and other
news pertaining chiefly to its black audience.
blacker-than-black 1. Excursion of the TV video
waveform signal downwards below the nominal
black level; e.g., the excursion of the synchronizing pulses to zero signal. 2. The amplitude area of
the composite video signal below the reference
black level in the direction of the synchronizing
pulses (e.g., the luminance signal overshoots after
a white-to-black transition). ITU-R BT.601 quantization scale provides 15 levels of headroom below
reference black to allow some blacker-than-black
blacker-than-black region The portion of the standard TV signal in which the electron beam of the
picture tube is cut off and synchronizing signals are
transmitted. These synchronizing signals have greater
peak power than those for the blackest portions of
the picture.
black filter A filter, used in devices for direct display of
an image on the retina of the eye using a scanning
laser, that attenuates the intensity of the incident
laser beam to such a level that laser beam will not be
harmful to an eye into which it is introduced.
black level The bottom level of the picture signal, below which are the sync, blanking, and other control
signals that do not appear as picture information.
This level is generally set at 75% of the maximum
signal amplitude of the synchronizing pulses and
represents the darkest an image can get. It defines
what black is for the particular video system. If for
some reason the video dips below this level, it is
referred to as blacker-than-black. You could say that
sync is blacker-than-black.
black level clamp Circuit that establishes the signal
level corresponding to black at a finite level. Necessary after AC coupling to restore the DC component in the TV signal, and to eliminate low-frequency
distortion and hum. The signal is fed through a capacitor and shorted to a fixed direct voltage during
line blanking intervals. Used also in line clamp amplifiers.
black level clamping The process of resetting video
signal level offset to zero by using the black level at
the video back porch as a reference. Syn.: back porch
clamping; clamping.
black level control A feature on some TV sets that
controls the extent of black within picture areas. This
may affect the contrast of the image, but it is not
strictly a contrast control; it does not determine
which portions of the image should turn black but
rather the degree of blackness. The conventional
contrast control, on the other hand, constricts or
extends the range of contrast only. On broadcaststudio quality video cameras the black level control
feature is called “pedestal” while the contrast control is known as gain.
black level noise Very similar to a white spot noise
spike except it is in the opposite or black level direction.
black level retention The ability of a TV set, VCR or
similar unit to reproduce black areas on a TV screen.
Although no TV receiver produces an absolute black,
manufacturers have constantly experimented in this
area to improve the overall image contrast. The range
of color contrasts depends on the span between the
darkest gray and purest white. The wider the range,
the more noticeable the distinctions between hues.
This variation in shades helps to give the appearance
of depth or three dimensions to the image on the TV
screen. The contributions over the years of several
companies, including NEC, Proton, Zenith, Sony and
Panasonic, have resulted in subtle improvements in
black level retention. These enhancements are more
prominent in the higher-priced TV monitor/receivers
than in low-end TV sets. Black level retention is measured by percentage; e.g., 80% or better is rated satisfactory while 90% is considered good.
black limiter A device preventing a video signal being
lower than some pre-set threshold near black level.
Syn.: black clipper.
black matrix Picture tube in which the color phosphors are surrounded by black for increased
black matrix lenticular screen See Black stripe projection television.
black matrix/black surround A technique to reduce
the unexcited field brightness and the light reflected
by the phosphors of color kinescopes. The results
can be seen by observing the kinescope of a color
bleed through
receiver of recent design when the set is turned off.
In contrast with older sets in which the kinescope
was whitish gray, new sets appear black.
black negative A TV picture signal in which the voltage corresponding to black is negative with respect
to the voltage corresponding to the white areas of
the picture.
blackout A suppression or stoppage, such as a news
blackout. In sports TV, the suppression of coverage
in a particular area because of contractual agreements with the home team of the league.
black-out A temporary loss of sensitivity of any electronic device following the passage of an intense
transient signal.
black-out point Cut-off.
black peak A peak excursion of the TV picture signal
in the black direction.
black positive A TV picture signal in which the voltage corresponding to black is positive with respect
to the voltage corresponding to the white areas of
the picture.
black saturation Black compression.
black set [test] [pattern] Same as pluge, but for black
level only.
black stretch Nonlinearity applied to the TV signal so
that the part toward black is increased in amplitude
relative to the rest of the signal. The effect is to make
detail in the black more visible, and correct the crushing caused by the nonlinear toe of the typical transfer
curve. As in film technique, a slightly higher contrast
than is theoretically desirable often improves the picture.
black stripe The process of prerecording a video tape
with no input signal in order to lay down a uniform
sync signal over the length of the tape. Black-striping makes it easier to hide editing glitches because
blank spots in the video program simply appear black
rather than full of visual static. Video production studios use a special video signal for this purpose,
known as black burst. Studio black burst ensures
that all the video tape produced at the studio is blackstriped with the same video frequency because every tape is black-striped with a black burst from the
same source. Amateur videographers can accomplish this same task by placing a lens cap over a video
camera and recording an entire tape.
black stripe projection television Refers to a process designed to increase the contrast of a picture
in a projection TV system. It was introduced by
Sylvania and later incorporated by Magnavox into
its large-screen TV sets. The black stripe projection
method, introduced in 1981, is considered a significant advance in projection TV systems since they are
continually compared to standard TVs for sharpness
and brightness. Also known as black matrix lenticular screen. The black stripe refers to a slightly recessed black line that is imprinted onto the screen.
This tends to add sharpness and contrast to the projected image.
blank To cut off the electron beam of a CRT.
blanked picture signal The signal resulting from
blanking a TV picture signal.
blanking Suppression. Process of the cutting off of
the electron beam of a TV picture tube, or camera
tube, or during retrace by applying a rectangular
pulse voltage to the grid or cathode during each
retrace interval. On the screen, the scan line moves
from the left edge to the right edge, jumps back to
the left edge, and starts out all over again, on down
the screen. When the scan line hits the right-hand
limit and is about to be brought back to the lefthand edge, the video signal is blanked so that you
can’t “see” the return path of the scan beam from
the right to the left-hand edge. To blank the video
signal, the video level is brought down to the blanking level, which may or may not be the black level if
a pedestal is used. There are usually two blanking
components to eliminate the horizontal and vertical
components of the return trace. Also called beam
blanking. The opposite action is called gating.
blanking and muting circuit The VCR is permanently
video-blanked and audio-muted in all modes, except play, record, and the mode known as “E-E,”
that stands for electronics-to-electronics. The E-E
mode allows the operator to view the picture that is
to be recorded.
blanking level The level that separates picture information from synchronizing information in a composite TV picture signal. It coincides with the level
of the base of the synchronizing pulses. This could
be the black level if a pedestal is not used or below
the black level if a pedestal is used.
blanking pulse level The reference level for video
signals. The blanking pulses must be aligned at the
input to the picture tube.
blanking signal A wave of recurrent pulses, related
in time to the scanning process, to effect blanking
in TV. The pulses occur at both the line and field
frequencies and cut off the electron beam during
retrace at both transmitter and receiver.
Blay, Andre Founder and originator of the home video
prerecorded videocassette industry. In 1977 he purchased the rights to a package of 20th Century Fox
films for the purpose of home video sales. Included
in the 50 features were such classics as “The Grapes
of Wrath.” Blay’s company, Magnetic Video, transferred the films to Beta and VHS formats and retailed
them for $50 to $60 each, thereby introducing the
first prerecorded programs for the home market.
bleed A small amount of space at the edges of a shot
to compensate for any loss between the picture as
it appears on the studio monitor and on the home
TV screen.
bleed through The result of one channel superimposed over another. With a VCR, this may occur if
the wrong open channel is employed. A local station may be transmitting at that frequency. Switch-
bleeding whites
ing from channel 3 to 4 (both known as “open”
channels, with a switch located on the back of most
VCRs) or vice versa usually eliminates bleed through.
bleeding whites A condition in which white areas in
a TV picture appear to flow into black areas, caused
by excessive signal strength at the picture tube.
B-level title In home video, a secondary movie that is
not carried by all retail video outlets.
blinds [wipe] A periodic wipe pattern consisting of
repetitive identical stripes, a background image being seen through these “venetian blinds.” Changes
in the width of the stripes give the appearance of
the blinds opening and closing. Of course the blinds
themselves may be either a color matte or different
live video.
blip 1. A white streak or speck that appears momentarily on a TV screen during playback of a videotape. Blips are caused by dropouts. These streaks
occur occasionally, but if they seem to be excessive
then the video heads need cleaning or the tape brand
should be changed. 2. To remove a portion of the
recorded sound from a videotape of a TV program,
such as expletive or other undesired words.
blit Short for bit-blit, which is short for bit-boundary
block transfer.
blitter A circuit or device that does blitting. See bit-blt.
block 1. To work out talent and camera positions within
a scene before taping. 2. Rectangular area of picture, usually 8 x 8 pixels, that is individually subjected to DCT coding as part of a digital picture
compression process. 3. Artifact of digital compression, usually displaying momentarily as misplaced
rectangular areas of picture.
block cipher In video scrambling, a cipher that is produced by simultaneously transforming a group of
message bits into a group of cipher bits. In general,
the groups are the same size.
block converter Syn.: Up converter.
block downconversion (BDC) The process of lowering an entire band of frequencies in one step to some
intermediate range to be processed inside a satellite
receiver. Multiple BDC receivers are capable of independently selecting channels because each can process the entire block of signals. See also
block matching Method of motion estimation based
on a sequential search for a maximal correlation
between pixel blocks from the current video picture
and shifted blocks from the adjacent video picture.
block out Prior to taping, to draw a sketch of, write
down, or run through the action that a scene or
series of scenes will contain.
block product cipher See Encryption.
blocking The process of positioning actors, cameras,
lights, props, and other video production equipment.
blocking oscillator A type of oscillator in which blocking occurs after completion of (usually) one cycle of
oscillation and lasts for a predetermined time. The
whole process is then repeated. Fundamentally it is a
special type of squegging oscillator and has application as a pulse generator and a time-base generator.
blocking tape In TV production, tape affixed to places
on the floor to indicate where a performer should
blonde A medium-size (2000 W) quartz iodine lamp
used in TV.
bloom Undesirable video picture caused by excessive
light saturation.
blooming A fuzziness at the edges of bright objects
or with subjects wearing white shirts in bright light,
as seen on a TV screen. This is an effect, sometimes
caused when video becomes whiter-than-white, in
which a line that is supposed to be thin becomes fat
and fuzzy on the screen. Blooming also occurs during slide-to-tape transfer when recording slides continuously. When the camera records a dark,
underexposed slide followed by a brighter one, the
camera needs time to adjust between the two, causing an annoying overexposure or blooming effect.
Blooming also occurs when the brightness control
is turned too high. This leads to an increase in the
size of the scanning spot on a CRT, or an out-offocus image. See also Photoconductive lag.
blower Microphone.
blue gain control An adjustment that controls the
amount of gain of the blue color relative to red and
blue gun The electron gun whose beam strikes phosphor dots emitting the blue primary color in a
3-gun color TV picture tube.
blue restorer The DC restorer for the blue channel of
a 3-gun color TV picture tube circuit.
blue video voltage The signal voltage output from
the blue section of a color TV camera, or the signal
voltage between the receiver matrix and the blue
gun grid of a 3-gun color TV picture tube.
blue/red balance See Red/blue balance control.
blue-beam magnet A small permanent magnet used
as a convergence adjustment to change the direction of the electron beam for blue phosphor dots in
a 3-gun color TV picture tube.
blur 1. Artifact in form of reduced dynamic resolution.
2. Generic term for out of focus (blurred).
blur pan See Swish pan.
BMK-multy Software capable of transmitting and receiving SSTV. Used in computer-based SSTV systems.
B-mode (of sound transmission). See MUSE-9 system.
BNC Bayonet Normalized Connector; Bayonet NeilConcelman; Baby N Connector. A weatherproof
twist-lock coax connector standard on commercial
video equipment and used on some brands of satellite receivers. The most popular type of connector in
professional TV and video.
BNR A noise reduction system introduced by Sony. The
Beta Noise Reduction technique is similar to those
systems already in use but not compatible.
Bode equalizer An equalizer used to correct the frequency response of TV sound circuits in which the
amount of equalization can be adjusted, without
change in the shape of equalizer characteristic, by
operation of a single control.
body brace A metal frame worn over the upper torso
to which a camera is attached and which supports
that camera.
Boella effect A reduction in the effective resistance of
fixed composition resistors when operated at VHF
or higher frequencies, because of dielectric losses.
boob tube An unfavorable description of a TV set. A
boob is a stupid or foolish person.
boom Can be a microphone boom, light boom, or
camera boom; a microphone or light boom is a long
piece of metal piping at the end of which a light or
microphone is attached to allow either microphone
or light to be positioned over the heads of subjects
in a scene while remaining outside the camera angle
of view; a camera boom is a complex piece of heavyduty equipment that allows the camera and operator to be raised to selected heights.
boom microphone A sensitive, directional microphone
usually suspended above the camera or over the action. Its function is to pick up specific sounds or voices.
boom operator Sound technician, a member of the
TV crew responsible for manipulating the microphone and boom.
boom shot See Crane.
boost To turn up; to increase in volume; to make the
video/audio signal stronger.
booster 1. A generator or transformer inserted in a
circuit in order to increase (positive booster) or decrease (negative booster) the magnitude or to
change the phase of the voltage acting in the circuit. 2. A separate RF amplifier connected between
an antenna and a TV set to amplify weak signals.
booster diode A diode in the line output stage of a
TV set that recovers much of the energy stored in
the line deflection coils and makes it available as an
additional source of supply. This can be added to
the normal supply to provide a high-voltage (boost)
supply for the line output stage and other stages in
the receiver.
booster station A low-power repeater of a full-power
TV station that simply amplifies the signal of the
parent station and rebroadcasts it on the same channel to an immediate area. Boosters always broadcast on the same channel as the parent and thus
differ from translator stations that convert an incoming signal from a parent station and rebroadcast it
on another channel.
booster voltage The additional voltage supplied by
the damper transistor to the horizontal output, horizontal oscillator, and vertical output transistors of a
TV set to give greater sawtooth sweep output.
bootstrapping A technique used in a variety of applications in which a capacitor—the bootstrap capaci-
tor—is used to provide 100% positive feedback for
alternating currents across an amplifier stage of unity
gain or less. Bootstrapping is used for control of the
output signals by using the positive feedback to control the conditions in the input circuit in a desired
manner. Bootstrapping is commonly used in circuits
that generate a linear time base, particularly in a
sawtooth generator.
border A thickened edging, similar to a picture frame,
placed around a key signal, a digital effect, or along
the edges of a wipe. The thickness, color and softness of the edge are generally adjustable. Syn.: edge.
border area That part of the display screen (visible
display) that is outside the defined display area.
boresight The direction along the principal axis of either a transmitting or a receiving antenna.
boresight point 1. The area of maximum signal
strength of a downlink signal. 2. The center of the
transponder footprint.
bottles See Color framing.
bounce 1. A sudden variation in TV picture brightness
or size, independent of illumination of the original
scene. 2. In broadcasting, signals bounced off the
ionosphere, satellites, or other bounce points. 3. A
method of testing the very low frequency response
of video systems (e.g. clamping performance) by
periodic abrupt change of picture content, in particular by the abrupt change of average picture level.
Typically, the bounce test is generated by interleaving the test line with several stuffing lines and by
alternating the stuffing lines between black and
white. Usually the bounce rate is adjustable through
a wide range, e.g., from 0.1 Hz to 2 Hz.
bounce light A light source or lighting technique used
to soften shadows on a subject’s face, etc. A bounce
light may be the main light source that is aimed at
the ceiling or a light-colored wall. The diffused light
will “bounce” off the surface and minimize harsh
shadows on the subject.
bouncing A fault or design condition in which the
d.c. level of a TV signal varies suddenly to cause the
waveform display to appear to bounce up and down
and brightness of the picture monitor to vary sharply.
bow-tie antenna A dipole antenna in which the two
rods are replaced by triangular metal plates to give
a bow-tie appearance. Used chiefly with a reflector
for UHF TV reception.
bow-tie timing test signal Analog component test
signal in a form of frequency bursts put in Y and Pb,
Pr channels. The frequencies are intentionally made
slightly different so that the summation of two signals, e.g., Y and Pb, produces a beating waveform
called “bow-tie.” The shape of the bow-tie clearly
shows gain and delay inequalities between channels.
box 1. Test pattern in the form of a white box on black
or gray background. A change of window size provides an easy way to control average picture level.
boxed mode
2. A mode of test pattern or wipe generation where
the main signal is gated by a window signal to provide a background image at the perimeter. 3. Informal: To present on TV.
boxed mode In teletext, a method of displaying characters of one color on a rectangular background of
another color and superimposing the whole on a
broadcast picture displayed on a TV set.
Bozo box Audio equipment linked to a TV camera, so
simple that even Bozo the Clown could operate it.
BPP Bits per pixel.
BPS Bits per second.
BPSK Biphase shift keying. BPSK is a digital frequency
modulation technique used for sending data over a
coaxial cable network. This type of modulation is
less efficient, but also less susceptible to noise, than
similar modulation techniques such as QPSK and
branch 1. The action of routing a user to a particular
part of a computer program or videodisc segment
based on the user’s responses. 2. See Bandwidth reduction (EUREKA-95 HDMAC system).
branch-switching See bandwidth reduction (EUREKA95 HDMAC system).
break An accidental interruption of a broadcast
break point An abrupt change of shape in a gamma
correction circuit. While such a circuit properly requires a smooth curve, the gain is more commonly
varied in three discrete steps. If a smooth signal is
passed through such a circuit, and then displayed
on a waveform monitor, it is seen to consist of three
straight lines, each at an angle relative to the others. The break point is the point at which the change
in gain occurs.
break-out box An accessory designed to permit equipment with multiple-pin jacks to interconnect with separate, conventional audio and video plugs. The box
often has two built-in jacks, one for accepting BNC
connectors and the second for audio miniplugs. It also
has an extended cable with a multi-pin connector (8or 10-pin). Break-out boxes, mostly used by professionals, are available in different configurations.
breakthrough Unwanted signals present at the
break-up 1. Total picture distortion that lasts for only
a second or two. This usually occurs between scenes
when using a video camera or when stopping or
pausing a VCR and starting again. Some portable
and home VCRs contain electronic circuitry that helps
to minimize these break-ups or “glitches,” as they
are sometimes called. 2. Disruption of the video signal producing a noisy, distorted, or otherwise imperfect video picture. Used to describe various
problems that produce an incoherent video picture.
3. Any other video or audio interference, such as
breezeway The time interval between the trailing edge
of the horizontal synchronizing pulse and the start
of the color burst in the standard NTSC color TV
bridge 1. A brief audio or visual passage or sequence
intended to connect segments of a program. 2. In
voice and videoconferencing, a device that connects
three or more telecommunications channels so that
they all communicate together. In video
conferencing, bridges are often called MCUs—
Multipoint Conferencing Units. One feature of some
video bridges is their ability to figure out who’s speaking and turn the camera onto that person and have
that person be on everyone’s screen.
bridged-T network. A T-network with a fourth branch
connected across the two series arms of the T, between an input terminal and an output terminal.
Used in TV IF-amps as a filter. For example, two
bridged-T filters can be used: one is tuned to 39.75
MHz and paralleled across the other, which is tuned
to 47.25 MHz.
bridging amplifier A device that boosts CATV signals
and then feeds branching cables. It has a high-impedance input and is used to tap the signal from a
trunk line without disturbing its performance.
brightness 1. The subjective of the amount of light
received from a source. The objective measured
brightness is more properly called luminance. The
brightness of a TV set determines the grid bias applied to the CRT and hence the light output from
the screen. Since the eye is not equally sensitive to
all colors, brightness cannot be a quantitative term.
2. Former name for luminance. See also Variables of
perceived color. 3. In projection screens, the brightness of the image in both front and rear projection
screens is determined by the directional characteristic of the screen material. In either type, the brightness for a given projector luminance output (lumens)
varies in proportion to the reciprocal of the square
of any linear dimension (width, height, or diagonal)
of the screen as follows: B = L/A, where B — perceived brightness, nit; L — projector light output,
lumen; A — screen viewing area (HxW), mxm. To
improve the apparent brightness, screens can be
designed with directional characteristics. This characteristic, called screen gain, changes the brightness
equation as follows: B = G x L/A. 4. The intensity of
the video level. Refers to how much light is emitted
by the display.
brightness control A control that varies the brightness of the fluorescent screen of a CRT by changing
the grid bias of the tube, thereby changing the beam
current. Used in TV sets. On a video processor, a
feature designed to adjust the video level. In this
respect, it is used to improve scenes that are either
too dark or too light, to fade in and out when eliminating commercials and to soften the effects of
glitches and edits.
brightness equation See Brightness.
broadcasting service
brightness ratio An indication, expressed as a ratio
of the difference between the whitest and the
blackest object in a scene; the range from brightest
white to darkest black as it occurs in the scene being recorded. Too wide a range between brightest
and darkest can lead to an unacceptable contrast
ratio when the scene is displayed on a TV screen.
brightness value (luminance) The relative brightness of a particular object in a scene; the point on
the gray scale at which the object is between absolute black and absolute white, either of which can
be used as a point of reference to determine the
brightness value of the object. Essentially a relative
determination made by the observer.
brilliant 1. Full of light. 2. A color with high lightness
and strong saturation. 3. Describing sound that is
sharp and clear. The relationship between the bass
and treble frequencies can be regulated (brilliance
control) to achieve a more brilliant quality.
bring up Syn.: Fade in.
broad pulses Field-synchronizing pulses in the standard TV waveform, so called because they are
broader (i.e., of longer duration) than line-synchronizing pulses. The receiver can distinguish between
field- and line-sync pulses. In the NTSC 525-line system there are six broad pulses, and in PAL 625-line
system five broad pulses after each field.
broadband Also called wideband. 1. A band covering
a wide range of frequencies, usually greater than
those required for voice communications. Contrasts
with baseband; synonymous with wideband. 2. Denoting an electronic device or circuit, such as an amp,
that operates satisfactorily over a large range of input signal frequencies. 3. A transmission facility that
has a bandwidth (capacity) greater than a voice grade
line of 4 kHz. (Some say that to be “broadband” it
should be 20 kHz.) Such a broadband facility—typically coaxial cable—may carry numerous voice, video
and data channels simultaneously. Each channel will
take up a different frequency on the cable. There’ll
be guardbands (empty spaces) between the channels to make sure each channel doesn’t interfere
with its neighbor. A coaxial CATV cable is the classic
broadband channel. Simultaneously it carries many
TV channels.
broadband antenna An antenna that will function
satisfactorily over a wide range of frequencies, such
as for all 12 VHF TV channels.
broadband communications system System that
delivers multiple channels over a wide bandwidth
to users. CATV is the quintessential broadband communications system.
broadband ISDN (B-ISDN) A standard for transmitting voice, video, and data at the same time over
fiber optic telephone lines. B-ISDN supports data
rates of 1,500,000 bps. Has not been widely implemented.
broadband transmission A type of data transmis-
sion in which a single medium (wire) can carry several channels at once. Cable TV, e.g., uses broadband transmission. In contrast, baseband
transmission allows only one signal at a time.
broadcast To send information to two or more receiving devices simultaneously—over a data communications network, a voice mail, electronic mail system,
a local TV or radio station or a satellite system.
Broadcast FTP Protocol (BFTP) A one-way IP multicastbased resource transfer protocol, the unidirectional
Broadcast File Transfer Protocol (BFTP) is a simple,
robust resource transfer protocol that is designed to
efficiently deliver data in a one-way broadcast-only
environment. This transfer protocol is appropriate
for IP multicast over television vertical blanking interval (IPVBI), in IP multicast carried in MPEG-2, as
with the DVB multiprotocol encapsulation, or in
other unidirectional transport systems. It delivers
constant bitrate (CBR) services or opportunistic services, depending on the characteristics and features
of the transport stream multiplexor or VBI insertion
broadcast message A message from one user sent to
all users, as with a TV station signal.
broadcast quality A level of picture and/or signal quality that is assumed to be acceptable for main broadcast contribution, thus taken to mean “being of the
highest quality.”
broadcast station A TV or radio station that transmits
programs to the general public. Also called station.
Broadcast Technology Association See BTA.
broadcast television Conventional, common, TV
broadcasting; TV with accompanying sound for
public use.
broadcast transmitter A transmitter for use in a commercial AM, FM, or TV broadcast channel.
broadcast TV Over-the-air broadcasting of TV programs, in contrast to cable TV, microwave, etc. The
major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) and many local TV stations use broadcast TV for the transmission of their programs.
broadcast TV standard Set of technical specifications
defining the method of over-the-air RF-transmission
of a TV picture with accompanying sound. The scanning standard and color TV system are also included
in the definitions.
broadcasting Radio or TV transmission to the public.
Specific frequency bands are available for public
broadcasts and are assigned in accordance with international agreements. Broadcasting differs from
other methods of transmission, such as the two-way
radio, that is aimed at a limited audience.
broadcasting satellite (BS) An artificial body in earth
orbit to relay back to the earth radio and TV signals.
broadcasting service A radio communications service in which the transmissions, including sound and
TV, are intended for direct reception by the general
broadcast-level video monitor
broadcast-level video monitor See Video monitoring equipment.
B-roll Supplementary or backup material. With video
news releases, the B-roll generally follows the primary material on the same cassette. In editing, alternate scenes are arranged on two reels, an A-roll
and a B-roll, and then assembled.
brown goods Electrical goods of a type traditionally
housed in wooden cabinets—for example, TVs,
radios, and hi-fis.
browse mode A feature that enables many electronic
slides or other items to be shown simultaneously on
a video screen; useful for library browsers, TV editors, and others.
Bruch blanking [sequence] See Burst blanking
BS Broadcasting satellite.
BS.707 This ITU recommendation specifies the multichannel audio specifications for the PAL and SECAM
video standards. Covers the Zweiton and NICAM 728
BS antenna A parabolic antenna to receive microwaves
from a geostationary satellite.
BskyB The broadcaster of the Sky Multichannels Package, that carries three movie channels and a few
general entertainment channels intended for Ireland
and the UK.
BST-OFDM See Bandwidth Segmented Orthogonal
Frequency Division Multiplexing.
BT British Telecom.
BT.470 This ITU recommendation specifies the various
NTSC, PAL, and SECAM video standards used around
the world. SMPTE 170M also specifies the (M) NTSC
video standard used in the United States. BT.470 has
replaced BT.624.
BT.601 This ITU recommendation was developed for
the digitization of component video signals (YUV
and RGB). ITU-R BT.601 defines R’G’B’ to Y’CbCr
color space conversion, digital filtering, sample rates,
4:4:4 and 4:2:2 YCbCr formats, and the horizontal
and vertical resolutions. Both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect
ratios for 525-line and 625-line systems are
BT.653 This ITU recommendation defines the various
teletext standards used around the world. Systems
A, B, C, and D for both 525-line and 625-line TV
systems are defined.
BT.656 This ITU recommendation was developed for
the transmission of BT.601 4:2:2 Y’CbCr digital video
between equipment. It defines a parallel interface
(8-bit or 10-bit, 27 or 36 MHz clock rate) and a
serial interface (270 or 360 Mbps).
BT.709 This ITU recommendation specifies the 1920 x
1080 RGB and 4:2:2 YCbCr interlaced and progressive 16:9 digital video standards. Frame refresh rates
of 60, 59.94, 50, 30, 29.97, 25, 24, and 23.976 Hz
are supported.
BT.799 Defines the transmission of 4:3 BT.601 4:4:4:4
YCbCrK and RGBK digital video between pro-video
equipment. Two parallel interfaces (8-bit or 10-bit,
27 MHz) or two serial interfaces (270 Mbps) are used.
BT.809 This ITU recommendation specifies information sent during the vertical blanking interval using
teletext to control VCRs in Europe.
BT.1119 This ITU recommendation defines the widescreen signaling (WSS) information for NTSC and
PAL video signals. For (B, D, G, H, I) PAL systems,
WSS may be present on line 23, and on lines 22 and
285 for (M) NTSC. EIA-J CPX-1204 also specifies a
WSS signal on lines 20 and 283 for NTSC
BT.1124 This ITU recommendation defines the ghost
cancellation reference (GCR) signal for NTSC and PAL.
BT.1197 This ITU recommendation defines the PALplus
standard, allowing the transmission of 16:9 programs over normal PAL transmission systems.
BT.1302 Defines the transmission of 16:9 BT.601 4:2:2
YCbCr digital video between pro-video equipment.
It defines a parallel interface (8-bit or 10-bit, 36 MHz)
and a serial interface (360 Mbps).
BT.1303 Defines the transmission of 16:9 BT.601
4:4:4:4 YCbCrK and RGBK digital video between
pro-video equipment. Two parallel interfaces (8-bit
or 10-bit, 36 MHz) or two serial interfaces (360
Mbps) are used.
BT.1304 Specifies the checksum for error detection
and status for pro-video digital interfaces.
BT.1305 Specifies the digital audio format for ancillary
data for pro-video digital interfaces. Also see SMPTE
BT.1358 720 x 480 (59.94 Hz) and 720 x 576 (50 Hz)
4:2:2 YCbCr pro-video progressive standards. Also
see SMPTE 293M.
BT.1362 Pro-video serial interface for the transmission
of BT.1358 digital video between equipment. Two
270 Mbps serial interfaces are used.
BT.1364 Specifies the ancillary data packet format for
pro-video digital interfaces. Also see SMPTE 291M.
BT.1365 Specifies the 24-bit digital audio format for
pro-video HDTV serial interfaces. Also see SMPTE
BT.1366 Specifies the transmission of timecode as
ancillary data for pro-video digital interfaces.
BT.1381 Specifies a serial digital interface-based (SDI)
transport interface for compressed television signals
in networked television production based on BT.656
and BT.1302.
BTA 1. Broadcast Technology Association. An organization of Japanese manufacturers and research, BTA
has proposed the Clearvision system. 2. Broadband
Telecommunications Architecture, an architecture introduced by General Instrument’s Broadband Communications Division at the Western TV Show on
December 1, 1993. General Instrument said the plant
is built to 750 MHz and can support reduced node
size and add services such as video-on-demand, te-
burst flag
lephony, interactivity, data services, etc. 3. Best Time
BTA Clearvision system See Clearvision system.
BTA system See Clearvision system.
BTSC This EIA TVSB5 standard defines a technique of
implementing stereo audio for NTSC video. One FM
subcarrier transmits a L+R signal, and an AM subcarrier transmits a L-R signal.
BTV Business TV.
Btx Also BTX. Bildschirmtext.
bubble A new TV serial developed from an already
existing one (typically a soap opera) and incorporating some of its characters.
buffer 1. A circuit or component that isolates one electrical circuit from another. 2. A digital storage device used to compensate for a difference in the rate
of flow of information or the time of occurrence of
events when transmitting information from one device to another. 3. In telecommunications, a protective material used in cabling optical fiber to cover
and protect the fiber. The buffer material has no
optical function.
build day The day scheduled to erect a set in a TV
station. Also called set day or setup day.
built-in antenna An antenna located inside the cabinet of a radio or TV receiver.
bulk acoustic wave An acoustic wave that travels
through a piezoelectric material.
bulk videotape eraser A device with an electronically generated neutral magnetic field that can clear
a recording on tape by “scattering” the tape oxide
particles. Erasers are available in various sizes and
prices. Usually the wider the tape, the stronger the
model necessary. Normally, home VCRs effectively
erase videotape automatically before re-recording
so that a bulk eraser is not required. The bulk videotape eraser, also known as a tape eraser or simply
eraser, has several advantages: it works faster and
more effectively and assures security by erasing the
entire tape. VCRs only erase up to the point where
the re-recording ends.
bull’s eye pattern A zone plate pattern (circular or
elliptic) with lowest spatial frequency in the center
and uniform rise of spatial frequency along any radius, so that the spatial frequency is directly proportional to the distance from the center. Syn.: circular
zone plate; Fresnel zone plate.
bump mapping See Relief mapping.
bumping down See Dubbing.
bumping up See Dubbing; Eng.
bunching In a velocity-modulated tube the process
whereby the density of the electron stream is modulated by the applied signal so as to gather the electron into clusters at particular points along the drift
space. See Velocity modulation.
bundle of data In video compression, a group of pixels—usually a two-dimensional array of pixels from
an image.
burn 1. To destroy the light conversion function of a
certain portion of the vidicon target area by exposing it to a light source that is too intense; also the
result, an image permanently impressed on the target area, that appears as black spots during display.
See also Image burn. 2. The light spots or flares on
videotape that result from a damaged pickup tube
(caused by pointing the camera at a hot or bright
light source). A particular problem with older cameras using Vidicon pickup tubes.
burn out TV images are said to suffer from burnt-out
whites, or bleached whites, when they appear on a
TV screen to lack tonal gradation in the white and
near-white portions. The four most common causes
of this picture degradation are: (1) Over-exposure of
the studio camera tube. (2) Unsuitable film densities or gamma, effectively giving overall distortion.
(3) Amplitude nonlinearity in the vision signal chain,
causing the higher amplitude portions to be compressed or, in the most severe cases, clipped completely. (4) Incorrect setting of receiver brightness
and contrast controls.
burned-in image An image that persists in a fixed position in the output signal of a TV camera tube after
the camera has been turned to a different scene.
Burned-In Time Code (BITC) This means the time code
information is displayed within a portion of the picture, and may be viewed on any monitor or TV.
burst 1. A term used in video to refer to the color
burst portion of a video signal. On a color
vectorscope graticule the burst portion of a video
camera signal, for example, is seen as a heavy horizontal line along the 180 degrees axis. If no line
appears on this testing unit, it signifies that no
color is being transmitted; hence, only a blackand-white picture will be produced on a TV screen.
2. A rapid, intense sequence of words, as by a
speaker cramming material into a 15 s or other
brief TV sequence.
burst amp control A function usually found on a color
processor and designed to manipulate the gain of
the control subcarrier in relation to the luminance
signal. The burst amp control mainly affects the color
mid-range, especially the flesh tones. Normally, the
color deviations in the color subcarrier are corrected
in VCRs and TV sets by the ACC. However, in some
components in which the ACC may not be that
effective, the burst control can help.
burst amplifier In color TV set, an amp stage keyed
into conduction and amplification by a horizontal
pulse at the exact of each arrival of the 3.58- or
4.43-MHz color-burst signal.
burst blanking sequence A rule defining the specific
line numbers in the vertical blanking interval on
which the subcarrier burst must be suppressed. In
the PAL system it is often called “Bruch blanking
[sequence]” (after Dr. Walter Bruch).
burst flag A pulse produced by a color sync genera-
burst gate
tor; when present, it causes the signaling color camera to produce a burst signal, or color burst. Syn.:
BF; BG; burst key; burst strobe.
burst gate A signal that tells the system where the
color burst is located within the scan line.
burst gating Process of separating the color burst from
the complete color signal. The encoded color TV signal, as transmitted, must include a phase reference
for the chrominance detector in the receiver. This is
done by transmitting a short burst of the color subcarrier during the line-blanking interval that follows
the synchronizing signal. To keep the signal as immune as possible from noise, the burst is maintained
for the longest possible time. This usually allows
about 10 cycles of the sub-carrier to occur during
the burst interval. To avoid phase errors between
the burst and the encoded picture signal, the burst
is applied to the video waveform in the encoder or
colorplexer. This is done by matrixing the burst gating pulse from the studio sync pulse generator, into
the encoder modulators. The sub-carrier is then produced by these modulators for the allotted period.
In a receive-type signal decoder, the burst is gated
into the phase reference circuits by a pulse derived
from the flyback of the horizontal scan. In other types
of decoder, the gating pulse is derived from the signal synchronizing waveform.
burst keying pulse Pulse for correctly timing the color
burst in a TV color system, usually by a gating
burst phase Phase of subcarrier signal forming the
color burst with which reference the modulated subcarrier signal is compared.
burst phase control A feature usually found on a
signal processor such as a color processor or processing amplifier and designed to adjust the tint of
the color signal. When the burst phase control is
rotated in one direction, red turns toward blue, blue
changes toward green and green shades veer toward red ones. When the control is rotated in the
opposite direction, the color shifts also reverse their
roles. The burst phase control differs from the
chrome control that affects color intensity rather than
burst separator The circuit in a color TV receiver that
separates the color burst from the composite video
burst signal In a color TV transmission, the burst of
high frequency associated with the color information. Syn.: color burst.
burst-locked oscillator Oscillator, for example in a
color receiver, locked to the color burst for subsequent application to later circuits.
bursts See Explosion.
bus 1. A channel along which signals travel from one
of several sources to one of several destinations. 2.
One complete channel of an audio or video mixing
system, including inputs, gain controls, and output;
two or more buses are required for video signal
switching. 3. A row of buttons on a video mix/effects switcher that controls hundred of special effects such as wipes, fades, etc.
Bushnell, Nolan Inventor of the first successful electronic video game, Pong; founder of Atari. While
working at Bally Manufacturing Company, he soon
learned that his employers showed little interest in
his video game technology. He therefore built a coinoperated version of Pong on his own. Shortly after,
he founded Atari.
business television (BTV) 1. Videos and TV programs
sponsored by companies, generally about their business and transmitted free via closed circuit or other
distribution. 2. Point-to-multipoint videoconferencing. Often refers to the corporate use of
video for the transmission of company meetings,
training and other one-to-many broadcasts. Typically uses satellite transmission methods and is migrating from analog to digital modulation
Butterworth filter A filter that has essentially flat
amplitude response in the passband and an attenuation rate beyond cutoff 6 dB per octave for a singlepole filter. Transient response is much better than
for a comparable Chebyshev filter. See also Filter.
buttonhook feed A rod shaped like a question mark
supporting the feedhorn and LNA. A buttonhook
feed for use with commercial grade antennas is often a hollow waveguide that directs signals from a
feedhorn to an LNA behind the antenna.
buzz This is sometimes called intercarrier buzz, a raspy
version of AC hum, usually caused by improper
adjustment of some IF circuits in TVs and VCRs.
BW Bandwidth.
BWF Broadcast WAV An audio file format based on
Microsoft’s WAV format. It can carry PCM or MPEG
encoded audio and adds the metadata, such as a
description, originator, date and coding history,
needed for interchange between broadcasters.
B-Y matrix A circuit to construct color difference
signal B-Y according to the equation B-Y = -0.30R0.59G+0.89B.
B-Y signal A blue-minus-luminance color-difference
signal used in color TV. It is combined with the luminance signal in a receiver to give the blue colorprimary signal.
bypass switch An electronic circuit, found on some
image enhancers and processors, designed to permit the user to circumvent all video processing for
instant comparison between original and electronically enhanced signal information.
bypassed mixed highs The mixed-highs signal, containing frequencies between 2 and 4 MHz, that is
shunted around the chrominance-subcarrier modulator or demodulator in a color TV system.
bypassed monochrome Deprecated term for shunted
C 1. Cyan. 2. Color component of s-video signal. 3.
CATV midband channel, 132-138 MHz. 4. Clock.
5. TV standard; Belgium, Korea. Characteristics: 625
lines/frame, 50 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 25 fr/s,
15,625 lines/s, aspect ratio—4:3, video band—5
MHz, RF band—7 MHz, visual polarity—positive,
sound modulation—A3, pre-emphasis—50 µs,
gamma of picture signal—0.5. 6. Children through
age 7—see Movie rating systems. 7. Compatible.
c/aph Cycles per active picture height, the measure of
the spatial frequency of a periodic pattern in TV picture expressed as a ratio of picture height to the
period of the pattern. It could be derived from tvl
units: frequency value expressed in c/aph is equal to
half of the frequency expressed in tvl; i.e., “288
c/aph” is the same as “576 tvl.”
C1,C2 SC-HDTV chroma difference components.
CAA Constant Angular Acceleration. A laser video enhancement designed to eliminate crosstalk, or unwanted extraneous signals. CAA, a modification of
CLV, is accomplished by making rotational speed
changes part of a sub-multiple of the horizontal sync
frequency. As a result, rolling horizontal noise bars
are kept out of the screen image.
CAB Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau; Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
cabinet The housing for a radio receiver, TV receiver,
or other piece of electronic equipment.
cable Short form of cable TV.
Cable Act of 1984 An act passed by the U.S. Congress
that deregulated most of the CATV industry including subscriber rates, required programming, and fees
to municipalities. The FCC was left with virtually no
jurisdiction over cable TV except among the following areas: (1) registration of each community system
prior to the commencement of operations; (2) ensuring subscribers had access to an A-B switch to permit
the receipt of off-the-air broadcasts as well as cable
programs; (3) carriage of TV broadcast programs in
full without alteration or deletion; (4) non-duplication of network programs; (5) fines or imprisonment
for carrying obscene material; and (6) licensing for
receive-only earth stations for satellite-delivered via
pay cable. The FCC could impose fines on CATV systems violating the rules. This act was superseded by
the Cable Reregulation Act of 1992, and by the 1996
Telecommunications Act.
cable compatible A consumer electronics phrase
coined in the 1980s to describe TV sets and VCRs
that are designed to be directly connected to a cable
drop in a home. The units (sometimes called cableready sets) contain a tuner that can receive all cable
as well as broadcast channels.
cable compensation circuits Circuits designed to
compensate for losses in TV signal links and not designed for a wide frequency range. Some units can
be adjusted over a wide range of gain and frequency
with reasonably constant phase equalization.
cable control See Cable television.
cable converter Syn.: Up converter.
cable correction, TV camera Since TV cameras may
be used with varying amounts of camera cable, a
variable amount of cable correction must be provided. A typical loss figure for coaxial camera cables
is 10 dB at 10 MHz for a 1,000 ft. run. It is important that the correcting network be properly
matched to the attenuation characteristic of the
cable, the loss being proportional to the square root
of the frequency, as streaking effects will otherwise
occur on the picture.
cable drop The last connecting element of a cable
system in a tree network configuration. The cable
drop consists of a small coaxial cable (about 1/4" in
diameter) that connects the feeder cable of the distribution system to the subscriber’s home and then
to his converter or TV set. Also called house drop.
cable loss See Coaxial.
cable modem A data modem that uses the bandwidth of a cable system, providing internet access
over cable TV networks at speeds much faster than
modems using telephone lines.
cable origination Cablecasting.
cable penetration The percentage of homes that subscribe to CATV, generally within a specified area.
cable plant The system of wires in a building. For data
communications purposes, the cable plant will typically be made of coaxial cable, twisted pair, other
wire, or now, more commonly, optical fibers.
cable puller A person responsible for setting up and
handling power, sound, and picture cables. Gener-
cable ready
ally one cable puller is allocated to each camera.
The cable puller follows the camera during moving
shots and makes sure that the cables do not
become tangled.
cable ready Cable compatible. The FCC developed a
series of specifications that a TV set (or VCR ) must
have to be advertised or sold as “cable ready” or
“cable compatible.” Those include the ability to tune
all standard cable channels up to 804 MHz and meet
standards on adjacent-channel, image-channel, and
direct-pickup interference; tuner overload; cable input conducted emissions; and radiated emissions.
In addition, all cable-ready sets must contain a standard back-of-set decoder interface, designed to replace the set-top box and permit the TV’s features
to be used with scrambled signals by separating
scrambling functions from program functions.
Cable Reregulation Act of 1992 Reregulation Bill
1515 passed the U.S. Congress in October 1992,
forcing the FCC to reregulate cable television and
CATV rates (after the Cable Act of 1984 effectively
deregulated the cable TV industry). After the act was
passed, the FCC forced the industry to reduce its
rates by 10% in 1993 and then again by 7% in 1994.
cable system See Cable television.
cable system operator See Cable television.
Cable Telephony Transport System (CTTS) Transmission system that allows multiplexed telephony
traffic to be carried through a single coaxial cable
simultaneously with TV channels; Hughes Network
Systems Ltd., Hertfordshire, England. The system
converts telephony signals onto an RF carrier for distribution through existing fiber and coaxial TV cables.
With a coaxial cable-TV distribution system, TV signals are modulated onto an RF carrier that runs between 550 and 600 MHz. Multiplexed telephony
channels are then assigned to carrier signals either
side of the TV signal. The path from a cable
company’s headend to subscribers runs at 650 MHz,
and the return link at between 40 MHz and 50 MHz.
cable television (CATV) A TV program distribution
system in which signals from all local stations and
usually a number of distant stations are picked up
by one or more high-gain antennas at elevated locations, amplified on individual channels, then fed
directly to individual receivers of subscribers by overhead or underground coaxial cable. The mechanical
connections or electrical conductors are operated
by cable control. Cable TV systems are generally
called cable systems; the companies that own and
operate them are known as cable system operators.
Used to improve reception and to make more stations available in a given area. The system sometimes includes equipment for originating local
programs, time and weather reports, news bulletins, and other services. Also called community
antenna TV.
cable television adapter An automatic switching ac-
cessory designed to permit the viewing and taping
of various broadcast, CATV and pay TV channels by
using certain programmable VCRs. Watching one
program while recording another from pay TV or
cable can present problems as well as complex connections. The components include a cable converter
with a decoder for the pay TV channel, a VCR and
a TV receiver. If the VCR is cable ready, it can be
used to tune in various cable channels, but the pay
TV decoder presents another obstacle. To overcome
this, a CATV adapter can be added as a fourth unit,
providing greater flexibility. For instance, to record a
pay channel while simultaneously viewing a VHF
channel, the VCR has to have one of the preset channels tuned to that used by the cable operator. Then
the VCR/TV switch is set at TV, the receiver channel
at the one to be viewed and the converter box positioned at the pay TV channel. The adapter offers
other possible combinations such as recording a VHF
channel while viewing a pay TV program. Without
this device, a viewer must have either two decoder
boxes, a patch box or an RF switcher to perform the
same functions. The latter two accessories are preferable if more inputs are required, the patch box
being less permanent than the switcher.
cable television carrier system An arbitrary method
employed by cable systems in which the transmission of broadcast signals is “offset.” This results in
minimal screen interference from neighboring channels. Although typical TV broadcast channels start
and finish with MHz numbers that are even (e.g.,
66-74 MHz for channel 4), different carrier systems
use varying offset frequencies. Two basic types are
the HRC (Harmonically Related Carrier) and the ICC
(Incremental Coherent Carrier) systems. With HRC,
the cable operators offset all channel frequencies,
channels 5 and 6 by 1.25 MHz and the remainder
by .75 MHz. Cable companies utilizing the ICC system offset the frequencies of channels 5 and 6 by 2
MHz. Offsetting, however, can create problems. The
cable converter may have to be retained, whereas
with normal channels it can be eliminated since
cable-ready tuners can lock in on these stations. Finally, another disadvantage of offset frequencies is
that these channels become difficult to tune in with
any degree of accuracy.
cable television converter A device used with CATV
to carry multiple channels to subscribers who could
receive them on an unused channel. Based on the
principle that many channels could be carried in exactly the same electronic space as one, cable operators started to offer 12 channels through their
converter box. (The Focus-12 device was first used
in New York’s borough of Manhattan.) The number
of channels capable of being carried by the converter grew and the Gamut-26 was introduced. Because of the shielding of the converter, the channels
are transmitted to the box by cable, not over the air.
camera chain
cable television cooperative A CATV station owned
by subscribers. There are fewer than 3 dozen cable
cooperatives of the more than 4,700 cable systems
in the US. Most of these co-ops are in the Midwest.
Cable co-ops differ from municipally owned cable
stations that are owned by the local governments.
See Public access TV.
cable television frequency distribution The channel-numbering plan developed by the EIA/NTCA
Joint Committee on Receiver Compatibility and published by both organizations as an Engineering Standard. Standard frequencies refer to cable systems
that transmit on the standard off-air frequencies for
channels 2 to 6 and 7 to 13. Supplemental channels
are in 6-MHz increments, counting down from channel 7 (175.25 MHz) to 91.25 MHz and upward from
channel 13 (211.25 MHz).
Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) An inexpensive microwave service for transmitting a large number of CATV program signals from one site to
another, as from head end to head end. The amplitude-modulated CATV channels from 112 to 300
MHz are heterodyned upward to 12,758.5 to
12,946.5 MHz and transmitted as microwave channels. This is called an amplitude-modulated link, or
AML. For relatively short distances, an AML is usually more economic than cable or conventional microwave service. See also Auxiliary radio services.
Cable Television Relay Station (CARS) A fixed or
mobile station used for the transmission of TV and
related audio signals, signals of standard and FM
broadcast stations, signals of instructional TV fixed
stations, and cablecasting from the point of reception to a terminal point from which the signals are
distributed to the public.
cable up To (cause to) become connected to a cable
TV system.
cablecasting 1. Programming carried on CATV, as opposed to over-the-air broadcasting; also called cable
origination. 2. The transmission of such programming.
cable-compatible tuner This tuner eliminates the need
for external channel selection and provides direct tuning of regular VHF/UHF channels plus additional unscrambled cable channels. (A convertor may be
necessary to view scrambled CATV channels.)
cabletext Teletext transmitted by cable or satellite to
CATV systems.
cache Local or temporary storage.
caddy A protective plastic jacket, sleeve or holder that
stored the now defunct CED videodisc. The caddy
was inserted into VDP that automatically removed
the disc and prepared it for play. The CED, developed by RCA, contained delicate microscopic
grooves that were protected by the caddy. The CED
system, that employed a stylus that physically tracked
the disc grooves, differed from the LaserVision system. The latter uses a laser beam that “reads” the
information of a grooveless videodisc that is virtu-
ally indestructible and therefore needs no protective caddy. By the mid-1980s the public virtually rejected both systems, selecting videotape as the
medium of its choice. However, the laserdisc made
a comeback by the late 1980s.
call In film, TV, theater, the stipulated time to report
for work on any given day.
call letters The name of a radio or TV station. Most
stations east of the Mississippi River have call letters
beginning with W; west of the Mississippi, call letters usually begin with K. Canadian stations begin
with C; Mexican stations, with X.
call sheet A list of dates and times the cast and
crew must report for a TV, film, theatrical, or other
call-in Referring to a radio or TV program that broadcasts telephone conversations with listeners.
camcorder A portable video camera that incorporates
its own videotape and audio tape recorder. It is capable of recording full-color videotapes with sound.
Many are equipped with telephoto lenses to permit
panning from near to distant objects or scenes.
Camcorders come in a variety of formats: VHS, SVHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8.
Cameo 1. Macintosh-based personal video-conferencing
system, announced by Compression Labs (CLI) in January of 1992. Developed jointly with AT&T and designed to work over ISDN lines the Cameo transmitted
15 fps of video and needed an external handset for
audio. 2. A lighting technique used in TV production
in which only the foreground is lighted. The background remains intentionally dark or unlit.
camera The eye of the video system; an instrument
capable of absorbing the light values of a scene and
converting them to a corresponding series of electrical pulses through the use of a cathode ray pickup
tube such as vidicon; a light-sensitive CRT (and its
associated electronic circuitry and lens optics), that
translates the light values of any scene it views into
a set of voltage variations that can be used to recreate those light values on another CRT such as that
used for TV display. A solid-state camera has also
been developed in which the transduction element
is an array of CCDs. This type of camera is very much
smaller and lighter than those containing electron
tubes and is typically the size of an ordinary handheld photographic camera.
camera categories There are two major TV camera
categories, live and film. Live cameras generate video
signals from the optical images of indoor and outdoor scenes. Film cameras generate TV signals from
film or slide images.
camera chain The configuration of apparatus required
to produce a video signal from an optical image,
e.g., a TV camera, associated amps, power supply, a
monitor, and the cable needed to bring the camera
output signal to the control room of large studio
camera system.
camera control unit
camera control unit (CCU) See Studio camera.
camera cue A red light or buzzer indicating that a TV
camera is shooting a scene for transmission, live or
taped; also called cue light, tally light, or warning
camera flow diagram A diagram that traces output
from the cameras to its ultimate destinations. Used
in TV studios.
camera head See Studio camera.
camera jack An input on VCRs that accepts video camera connections. Manufacturers use 10-pin, 14-pin
(Type K) or 5-pin DIN jacks. However, two similar
jacks may not necessarily be compatible. For example, a 10-pin jack on a specific camera may fit a
10-pin VCR , but not all functions assigned to each
pin will operate as intended. Adapters are available
for connecting jacks of different pin numbers and
camera log A detailed listing of the shots each camera is expected to take.
camera mode Mode of vertical-temporal video signal
processing that assumes that odd and even fields of
the TV frame contain information from different time
moments, typical of interlaced TV camera output.
camera mounting head An accessory video camera
support designed for moving and manipulating the
video camera efficiently. Mounting heads, originally
simple devices based on friction and gears that were
designed for the film industry, have taken on new
engineering techniques, resulting in complex (e.g.
fluid) heads for use with professional video cameras
and camcorders.
camera opticals Special effects, such as IRIS IN or IRIS
OUT, that are generated using only the camera
camera rehearsal A full-dress rehearsal, one with costumes, at which the movements of the camera are
blocked; more advanced than a reading or script
camera search A video camera feature that allows
the user to review existing scenes while the camera
remains in Record mode.
camera signal The video output signal of a TV
camera tube An electron-beam tube in a TV camera
that converts an optical image into a corresponding
charge-density electric image and scans the resulting electric image in a predetermined sequence to
provide an equivalent signal. Examples are the iconoscope, image dissector, image orthicon, and vidicon.
A chip MOS can replace the conventional camera
tube, though the cameras using this process are more
costly. Also called image pickup tube, pickup tube
and TV camera tube.
camera-to-VCR adapter See Adapter.
campus environment An environment in which users—voice, video and data—are spread out over a
broad geographic area, as in a university, hospital,
medical center, prison. There may be several telephone systems. There may be several LANs on a campus. They will be connected with bridges and/or
routers communicating over telephone, microwave
or fiber optic cable.
Cannon connector A particular brand of audio jack
that features three leads—two for the signal and
one for the overall system grounding; a very secure
type of connecting jack often found on high-quality
microphones, video monitors, and VTRs.
cans Headphones worn by TV and radio production
personnel. The slang term is also used to refer to
the circular metal containers in which a film is stored,
leading to the industry use of the phrase, “in the
can,” for a completed motion picture or TV program.
cap sheet Caption sheet.
capacitance electronic disc See CED.
capacitor An electronic component that accepts an
electrical charge that it can dispense at a consistent
and predictable rate. In relation to a VHD videodisc
system, a capacitor is formed by the combination of
the disc and a tiny piece of metal, known as an electrode, that is part of the stylus.
capstan A rotating shaft on the VCR that is turned by
a motor and which, in turn, governs the speed of
the tape as it proceeds from the supply reel to the
take-up reel. The capstan is supplemented by the
pinch roller. Pressure holds the tape firmly against
the capstan.
capstan lock A method of stabilizing videotape playback that essentially relies on the stability of the
power source for a constant base. It is the first degree of lockup, suitable mainly for home VTRs. Capstan lock is not a very stable state. See Lockup.
capstan servo 1. The control of the tape to assure
accurate and uniform speed during record and playback by passing the tape between a spinning post
in the tape path, which is an extension of the VCR
motor and is called capstan, and a rubber pinch
roller. Internal electronic circuitry in the VCR senses
any fluctuations in tape speed and advances or retards the tape to a predetermined rate as it passes
between the capstan post and the pinch roller. 2.
An electronic circuit built into editing VTRs to provide smooth edits. The servo is a speed control system that locks into the sync of another recorder to
insure that both video signals are interlocked for
glitch-free edits. Without this feature, picture
breakup appears between scenes. See Lockup;
Vertical lock.
capstan servo editing Head override editing. A
method of electronic editing in which a new video
signal replaces an already existing signal without disrupting the picture (except for a switch from signal
1 to signal 2 at the point of addition). The motor
speed of the capstan—which controls the speed of
the videotape—on VTR B is controlled by the vertical sync pulses on the videotape on VTR A during
cartridge lamp
the “editing” of the signal on tape A onto tape B so
that no disruption of the flow of signal information
occurs during the switch of signals.
CAPTAIN Character And Pattern Telephone Access
Information Network system, Japanese version of
Teletext resembling Minitel in France.
caption generator Device used to generate text and
simple graphics for video titles or captions.
caption key A key signal derived from a title source
such as a character generator. Syn.: title key.
caption sheet Also called cap sheet, dope sheet. In
TV, a list of scenes.
Caption Writer VCR Instant Replay, Inc., Miami. A
VCR that can print instant transcripts of TV programs through an ordinary computer printer. The
VCR is intended to be connected directly to a printer,
using the parallel port, or to a computer, using the
serial port.
captioning The process of superimposing subtitles at
the bottom of a TV screen.
capture (of data) The recording of data on a form or
its entry into a computer.
capture effect A property of an FM system to receive
only the stronger of two signals, suppressing the
weaker of the two. In the case of an AM system (as
used in conventional TV broadcasting for video, and
in AM broadcasting and CB radio), a signal that is
20 dB weaker than the desired signal can cause a
noticeable, annoying interference. In an FM system
(assuming we are above threshold), the weaker signal will be suppressed to the point where it is inaudible. A performance figure given for hi-fi FM
receivers, called the capture ratio, is the numerical
value that measures this effect.
capture range Range of the input signal frequencies
to which a phase locked loop (PLL) is able to lock.
Once locked, the PLL generally has a greater input
frequency range known as hold range. The term is
similarly applicable to genlocking SPGs.
capture ratio 1. The ability of a tuner to restrict or
reject a second, weaker signal in proximity to the
main signal. This permits the strong signal to be received without interference from secondary signals
traveling on the same frequency. Capture ratio is
measured in dB; the lower the number, the more
effective the tuner in terms of “capturing” the strong
signal. Moderate-priced tuners may have a capture
ratio of approximately 3 dB while more costly units
approach a figure of 1 dB. The term, that applies
more to audio than to video, should not be confused with alternate channel selectivity that refers
to adjacent stations. 2. In FM systems, that ratio of
two received signals in which the stronger signal suppresses the weaker one. Since the systems used for
satellite TV use FM for both video and audio, a satellite transponder will respond to a (received) pirate
signal only a few dB stronger, completely suppressing the legitimate program carrier. This is an inher-
ent property of both an FM system and the satellite
cardioid One of many possible pickup patterns of a
directional microphone. As the name suggests—cardioid means heart-shaped—sound waves coming to
the microphone’s rear and sides are rejected, while
those directly in front of it are received.
carrier 1. Short for carrier frequency, carrier wave. A
pure-frequency signal that is modulated to carry
information. In the process of modulation it is spread
out over a wider band. The carrier frequency is the
unmodulated frequency on any TV channel. 2. A
company that provides communications circuits.
Carriers are split into “private” and “common.” A
private carrier can refuse service to anyone, but a
common carrier can’t. Most of the carriers in U.S.
industry—local phone company, AT&T, MCI, US
Sprint, etc.—are common carriers. Common carriers are regulated. Private carriers are not. 3. The
mechanism that holds the cassette inside the VCR;
part of the cassette-lift mechanism.
carrier chrominance signal Chrominance signal.
carrier frequency A certain wavelength of a special
frequency on which a signal is registered for transmission in a clear way to a receiver. The audio or
video signal is then isolated from its carrier frequency,
amplified and reproduced.
carrier synchronization In a TV set, the generation
of a reference carrier with a phase closely matching
that of a received signal.
carrier wave Syn.: carrier. The wave that is intended
to be modulated, or, in a modulated wave, the carrier-frequency spectral component. The process of
modulation produces spectral components falling
into frequency bands at either the upper or lower
side of the carrier frequency. These are sidebands,
denoted upper or lower sideband according to
whether the frequency range is above or below the
carrier frequency. A sideband in which some of the
spectral components are greatly attenuated is a vestigial sideband. In general these components correspond to the highest frequency in the modulating
signals. A single frequency in a sideband is a side
frequency. The baseband is the frequency band occupied by all the transmitted modulating signals.
CARS Community antenna, or cable television, relay
service. A fixed or mobile station used for the transmission of television and related audio signals, signals of standard and FM broadcast stations, signals
of instructional television fixed stations and
cablecasting from the point of reception to a terminal point from which the derived signals are distributed to the public.
cartridge A plastic container holding a single reel,
closed loop of videotape. In contrast, a videocassette contains two reels. Cartridges are presently
found only on industrial machines.
cartridge lamp A pilot or dial lamp that has a tubular
Cartvision format
glass envelope with metal-ferrule terminals at each
end. It resembles a TV or radio fuse and is mounted
in the same type of socket clips.
Cartvision format A now-defunct 1/2-inch-wide tape
cassette system capable of two hours of playing time;
1972. Developed by Avco and distributed by Sears.
This format used a skip field, 3-head system, resulting in a reduction of tape consumption. Only every
third TV video field was recorded. On playback, each
of the three heads was played in order on the same
track, producing a proper TV signal. Vertical resolution was one-half of a standard TV signal. Fast motion of the picture content could not be reproduced
because of the loss of two out of three TV fields.
cascade voltage multiplier A circuit consisting of
some stages of the half-wave doubler stacked together. Used in TVs.
cascode amplifier A common-emitter transistor amp
in series with a common-base stage analogous to a
grounded-cathode, grounded-grid amp. Its input resistance and current gain are nominally equal to the
corresponding values for a single common-emitter
stage, and the output resistance is approximately
equal to the high output resistance of the commonbase stage. Found in TV receiver-tuned amps where
the collector load is replaced with a tuned circuit, it
is most effective in amplifying signals that are 25
MHz and higher.
Cassegrain feed system In satellite TV, an antenna
feed design that includes a primary reflector, the dish
and a waveguide to a LNA.
cassette A cartridge for holding and winding magnetic tape. Also called cassette shell; shell.
cassette eject The method used to remove a videocassette from the VCR housing. Older machines simply allowed the cassette chamber to spring up with
a loud thud. Today’s more sophisticated methods
include the use of gears, air-dampened pistons, coil
springs and pneumatic fan blades—all much quieter and gentler.
cassette indicator An icon that appears in the display
window of some VCRs to indicate whether the machine contains a videocassette and the direction of
the tape movement. A series of LEDs connects the
two circles that make up the icon and light up sequentially to describe in what direction the tape is
moving. The indicator is not illuminated when the
machine is shut down.
cassette shell The container that holds the videocassette. The shell usually has several vital parts to help
move the tape accurately from the supply to the
take-up reel. These include a flange, hub and clamp,
leaf spring, tape pad, guide pin, guide roller, tape
guide and tape guide rib. A window is provided on
the top to view the two tape reels. Also called shell.
cassette-in switch A small leaf switch used to detect
when a cassette tape is fully loaded in the VCR.
cassette-lift mechanism A mechanism that brings
the cassette into threading position. The mechanism
includes the carrier.
castellation [of test pattern] Alternating white
and black boxes at the perimeter of a test chart.
Useful to test TV picture positioning on the display
screen, also to observe picture cropping, display
registration, etc.
CATA Community Antenna Television Association. An
association of CATV operators and owners, based
in Fairfax, VA.
cathode-ray tube (CRT) An electronic tube in which
a beam of electrons can be controlled and directed
by an electronic lens so as to produce a visible display of information on the surface of the tube or to
store data in the form of an energized portion of
the tube’s surface. All CRTs have an electron gun to
produce an electron beam, an electrode (cathode
or grid) that varies the electron beam intensity and
hence the brightness, and a luminescent screen to
produce the display. The electron beam is moved
across the screen either by deflection plates or magnets. The deflection sensitivity of the tube is the distance moved by the spot on the screen per unit
change in the deflecting field. Electromagnetic deflection is used when high-velocity electron beams
are required, as in TV sets, that need a bright display. Focusing of the beam may also be done electrostatically or electromagnetically or by a
combination of methods. A greater degree of focusing is required when the electron beam is deflected towards the edges of the screen. The point
at which the electron beam comes to a focus is the
crossover area and the solid angle of the cone of
electrons emerging from this area is the beam angle.
For convenience the deflection and focusing coils
are often mounted around the narrow neck of the
tube as a single unit, termed a scanning yoke. Such
an arrangement reduces the overall physical dimensions of the assembly and is particularly important
when the tube contains more than one electron
beam, as in the double-beam CRT or some forms of
color picture tube, and therefore requires more than
one set of coils. The screen of the CRT may be coated
with aluminum on the inside and this coating held
at anode potential. Such an aluminized screen prevents the accumulation of charge on the phosphor
and improves its performance by increasing the visible output and reducing the effects of ion
broadment. In the case of a CRT in which the screen
is not aluminized, the maximum potential difference
that can be applied between the anode and cathode is limited to the value at which the secondary
emission ratio of the screen rises to unity and is
known as the sticking potential. There are three types
of CRT displays: the familiar TV receiver, the monitor and the monitor/receiver. The electronic
viewfinder of a video camera is actually a miniature
monitor. CRT was originally called Braun tube. Also
CCIR 601
called kinescope and picture tube when used in TV
cathode-ray-tube display 1. The presentation of a
received signal on the screen of a CRT. 2. That part
of a system (a TV receiver, monitor or monitor/receiver) in which controlled electron beams provide
data in visual form.
cathode-voltage-stabilized camera tube Syn.: lowelectron-velocity camera tube. See Camera tube;
Image orthicon; Vidicon.
cathodoluminescence The emission of light when
substances are bombarded by cathode rays (electrons). The frequency of light emitted is characteristic of the bombarded substance.
CATV Originally Community Antenna Television. Also
Cable Television (now generally meaning cable TV).
CATV grew from a select service to small communities who were isolated from the reception of conventional TV programs. Local companies supplied
transmission to these remote areas—for a slight fee.
Since the telephone lines could not carry the “broadband” TV required, cables were used instead.
CATV adapter See Cable television adapter.
CATVI Cable-TV Interference.
CAV 1. One of the two formats of the laservision (LV)
videodisc system. A constant angular velocity (CAV)
disc plays for 30 minutes per side and is capable of
many special effects not available to the CLV, onehour-per-side format. The CAV disc turns at a constant speed of 1800 rpm or 30 revolutions per
second, matching TV’s standard of 30 frames per
second. This permits such special effects as freeze
frame, single frame advance, slow motion, visual
scan, etc. 2. Component Analog Video.
cavity resonator Type of tuned circuit used at ultrahigh frequencies (Bands IV and V). Instead of the
more conventional inductor and capacitor, a hole or
cavity inside a piece of metal can be made to resonate with a very high frequency.
Cb Coded color difference signal (digital B-Y).
C-Band The range of frequencies from 3.5 to 6 GHz.
The microwave frequency range of a satellite TV signal. These signals usually fall between 5.9 and 6.4
GHz when transmitted to a satellite and range from
3.7 to 4.2 GHz when returned to earth.
C-Band satellite Relatively low-powered communications satellite that uses the C-band. These satellites
cover the entire US. They are used by cable systems
and TV broadcasters to receive the signals on large
TVRO dishes. C-Band offers over 250 channels of
video and 75 audio services to about 850,000 subscribers in the U.S., at the time of this writing (2002).
CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
CBR Constant bit rate. CBR refers to multimedia delivery when there is dedicated bandwidth and the
data can be delivered at a guaranteed constant bit
rate. MPEG-1 and 2 are designed for CBR delivery.
Constant bit rate cannot be assured on the Internet
or most Intranets. Protocols such as RSVP are being developed and deployed to provide bandwidth
CBS Columbia Broadcasting Service, one of the major
U.S. television networks.
CC 1. Closed Caption. 2. CATV hyperband channel,
312-318 MHz.
CCD Charge-coupled device.
CCD color comb filter Advanced electronic circuitry,
usually found only on a TV monitor/receiver, designed
to improve image detail and definition without color
fringing or video noise appearing on screen. The
color comb filter makes use of a CCD to gain greater
luminance/chrominance separation. Separating
these two elements of the signal—while keeping
the full luminance bandwidth—results in less distortion in the final picture.
CCD telecine Telecine device where the scanning is
achieved by the linear passing of film across a single
TV line CCD sensor array. The complete TV frame is
built up in a suitable buffer store. Syn.: line array
CCDC Channel-Compatible DigiCipher, one of the proposed HDTV simulcast systems.
CCF system Chroma crawl free system. Chroma crawl
is an artifact of encoded video, also known as dot
crawl or cross-luminance, that occurs in the video
picture around the edges of highly saturated colors
as a continuous series of crawling dots. It is a result
of color information being confused as luminance
information by the decoder circuits. A CCF system
eliminates chroma crawl.
CCIR Comite Consultatif International des Radiocommunications or International Radio (Consultative
Committee in International Radio). The international
body to determine standards for telecommunications. Used to describe 625-line TV system used
primarily in W. Europe. The US system of TV is 525
lines. The HDTV system is 1125 lines. The CCIR no
longer exists—it has been absorbed into the parent
body, the ITU.
CCIR 1119 See BT.1119.
CCIR 1124 See BT.1124.
CCIR 470 See BT.470.
CCIR 601 (BT.601) Now known as ITU-R BT.601-2. An
internationally agreed-upon standard for the digital
encoding of component color TV that was derived
from the SMPTE RP125 and the EBU 324E standards.
It uses the 4:2:2 sampling scheme for Y,U and V
with luminance sampled at 13.5 MHz and chrominance (U and V components) sampled at 6.75 MHz.
After sampling, 8-bit digitizing is used for each channel. These frequencies are used because they work
for both 525/60 (NTSC) and 625/50 (SECAM and
PAL) TV systems. The system specifies that 720 pixels be displayed on each line of video. The D1 digital videotape format conforms to CCIR 601. See CCIR
656, ITU-R BT.601-2.
CCIR 653
CCIR 653 See BT.653.
CCIR 656 (BT.656) The international standard defining
the electrical and mechanical interfaces for digital
TV operating under the CCIR 601 standard. It defines the serial and parallel interfaces in terms of
connector pinouts as well as synchronization, blanking and multiplexing schemes used in these interfaces. A simplified version of this interface is
commonly used for transferred digital video between
IC chips. Now known as ITU-R BT.656.
CCITT Consultative Committee in International Telegraphy and Telephony. The international body that
determines standards for telecommunications.
CCITT V.23 International videotex modem standard
(1200/75 bps or 75/1200 bps).
C-clamp A metal device shaped like the letter C, used
to connect lighting instruments to a pipe grid above
a TV studio. A version of the C-clamp is also used to
temporarily hold flats together or pieces of scenery
in place.
CCR Central Control Room.
CCTV Closed-circuit TV.
CCU Camera Control Unit. See Studio camera.
CCVS Composite Color Video Signal.
CCW Counter-clockwise.
CD 1. Color Difference signals of (R-Y) and (B-Y). The
Green signals (G-Y) can be extracted from these two
signals. 2. Abbreviation for compact disc.
CD graphics player A CD unit, resembling the conventional CD player, but equipped to play back still
images, in addition to the usual 80 minutes of music, recorded on CD+G (Graphics) discs. Once the
unit is connected to a TV set, the owner can view
song lyrics, biographical data about performers and
drawings—items usually appearing as liner notes.
Normal CD players do not have the necessary features, such as outputs for video or S-video, to play
back these images; neither do they offer a graphics
output jack for an add-on decoder that can access
these still images.
CDDI Copper distributed data interface. A high-speed
data interface, similar to FDDI but using copper instead of fiber.
CD+G A CD disc, similar in appearance to the conventional disc, that contains visual information in the
form of still images or graphics. When a specially
equipped CD graphics player is connected to a TV
set, these discs can provide pictures, musical information or text. The resolution is similar to that produced by computer graphics. CD+G discs, which first
appeared in 1988, can be played on standard CD
players, but the added visual benefits will not be
available. Because of its limited technology, the
CD+G disk produces only still images, differing
sharply from the CD-Video disc or CD-I format, that
turns out “moving pictures.” However, this format
allows the disc to retain its full 80 minutes of playing time. Another advantage of CD+G discs is that
they will work with different TV formats, such as
PAL or SECAM. Since the discs are encoded using
the binary system, each system translates this code
to fit its own TV standard before it appears on screen.
The music portion of the disc, of course, is not
CD-i Compact Disc-Interactive. A compact optical disc
system containing text, graphics, still images and
high-quality sound, which can be played back in a
dedicated CD-i player. The CD-i player can be connected to a standard TV set and optionally to a
stereo system. CD-i was developed jointly by Sony
Corp. and Philips Electronics NV, who defined its
basic specifications in what is known as the Green
Book, in the 1980s. By 2000, DVD and other platforms largely supplanted CD-i.
CD-ROM Compact Disc Read Only Memory. An optical
disk capable of storing large amounts of data. A
CD-ROM player is needed to read a CD-ROM.
CD-ROMS are well-suited to large software applications, graphics, sound and video.
CD-ROM XA Compact Disc Read Only Memory
eXtended Architecture. Microsoft’s extensions to
CD-ROM that allow audio to be interleaved with
data. Though it is not a video specification, limited
video can be included on disc.
CDS Color Difference Signal.
CDTV 1. The first computer to incorporate a built-in
CD-ROM drive, designed and sold by Commodore.
2. Canadian Digital Television Association.
CD-V Compact video disc. A format for putting 5 minutes of video on a 3-inch disc. This format has come
and gone.
CDV Compression Labs Compressed Digital Video, a
compression technique used in satellite broadcast
systems. CDV is the compression technique used in
CLI’s SpectrumSaver system to digitize and compress a full-motion NTSC or PAL analog TV signal so
that it can be transmitted via satellite in as little as 2
MHz of bandwidth. (A normal NTSC signal takes 6
CED Capacitance Electronic Disc system; the RCA video
disc marketed in the 1980s. System of video recording a grooved disc, employing a groove-guided capacitance pickup. Could be considered the final
chapter in grooved media that began with the Edison
Ceefax The teletext service of the BBC. Its name is a
corruption of the phrase “see facts.” Ceefax transmits some 100 pages of information such as news,
weather, and entertainment options, that can be
displayed on the TV. The information can be called
up at any time by the viewer using a keypad.
cellular vision Microwave TV transmission system in
28-GHz band to send voice and video over the airwaves. The cellular vision system, financed by the
Suite 12 Group (Freehold, NJ), was invented by Bernard Bossard. An alternative to CATV, it makes use
channel lock
of a band that was once considered to be too high
a frequency for effective TV transmission. The TV
signals are received by a 4.5-inch-square, flat antenna that can be mounted either inside or outside
a customer’s house. Microwaves at 28 GHz can carry
more information than longer-wave transmissions,
and they can be bounced off buildings. The major
drawback to microwave transmission is seen as its
limited range—only a few miles from the transmitter. To eliminate mutual interference and ghosting,
microwave transmissions from adjacent transmitters
will be polarized as “vertical” or “horizontal” signals that can be distinguished by a customer’s antenna. With only slight modification, a cellular vision
microwave receiving antenna can be converted so it
will transmit signals back to the base antenna. This
would give cellular vision interactive capability.
center frequency blue, SECAM 4,250.000 kHz.
center frequency red, SECAM 4,406.000 kHz.
center up An instruction to place an image in the
middle of an area, such as a TV screen.
centered sweep A variant of line sweep with the highest or lowest frequency in the center of TV line (effectively a double sweep), hence the small variations
of the frequency response at this central point are
more visible.
central control room Area in the TV center dedicated
to routing and switching functions. Syn.: CCR; master control room; MCR.
ceramic microphone See Piezoelectric microphone.
certificate of compliance The FCC approval that must
be obtained before a cable system can carry TV
broadcast signals.
C-format VTR An industrial machine with 1" tape
format used by professionals. Introduced in the
1970s, the C-format VTR is aimed to replace the 2"
machines in use since the development of VTRs in
1956. The C-format, with its two quality audio channels and the addition of Dolby noise reduction,
brought forth a potential for improved sound.
CG Character Generator.
CGA Color Graphics Adapter. The original low-resolution color standard for IBM-compatible microcomputers, introduced in 1981. The CGA is capable of
several character and graphics modes. It can be used
to turn a TV set into a monitor. CGA was superceded by EGA, VGA, XGA, and SVGA.
CGMS-A Copy Generation Management System –
Analog (CGMS-A). See EIA-608.
chain A network of radio, TV, radar, navigation, or
other similar stations connected by special telephone
lines, coaxial cables, or radio relay links so all can
operate as a group for broadcast or communication
purposes or determination of position.
channel 1. Band of frequencies allocated to a specific
use—for example, a single TV transmitter. TV bands
are subdivided into numbered channels, and the
standard channel width therefore determines the
number of channels the band can accommodate;
width varies from country to country. In the US, spectrum space is about 6 MHz wide for each channel.
2. Signal transmission or processing path dedicated
to specific signal or signal component, e.g. “chrominance channel.” 3. Part of digital video effects device having its own control parameters and dedicated
to manipulation of one TV picture. For example, twochannel DVE is able to rotate one picture and simultaneously squeeze another picture.
channel 1 The 44–50-MHz spectrum, which the FCC
assigned to land-mobile and two-way radio service
in 1948. Hence, VHF TV station channels start with
channel 2.
channel capacity Refers to the number of channels a
cable TV system can handle simultaneously.
channel coding Data encoding and error correction
techniques to protect the integrity of data being
transported through a channel. Typically used in
channels with high bit error rates, such as terrestrial
and satellite broadcast and videotape recording.
Channel F Video Game System One of the first video
games to introduce programmability with a large
selection of game cartridges. Introduced by Fairchild
in 1976, Channel F had a short-lived career after
selling a few hundred thousand systems. The company decided to abandon the game a short time
after its inception. Then, in 1982, Zircon took over
the Channel F inventory and brought out a revised
version, Channel F II.
channel flashback This function makes it possible
to instantly switch between two selected TV channels at the touch of a button on the remote controller. This button returns to the previously viewed
channel index An advanced TV set or VCR feature
that displays every channel in the tuner memory.
Channel index, or channel search as it sometimes is
called, accomplishes this by showing a consecutive
sequence of images, in the form of freeze frames,
along the side and bottom of the screen while the
main picture appears on screen in a larger format.
Advances in digital technology have made this feature, along with others, possible.
channel labeling A TV feature that permits the viewer
to enter the identification letters of an area network
into a channel/time display. For instance, ABC, CNN
or HBO can be listed on screen along with the channel number and time each time that display mode is
channel lock A feature found on some TV sets that
allows one channel to be locked with access only
via a private code. The channel lock is primarily designed to allow parents to prevent the authorized
viewing of certain channels by children. Once locked,
even unplugging the set will not restore the access
without the proper code. Some lock-out techniques
involve the use of conventional lock and key.
channel search
channel search See Channel index.
channel selector A switch or other control that tunes
in the desired channel in a TV set.
channel strip An amp that has sufficient bandpass
for one TV channel. Used in cable TV systems and
fringe-area home locations to improve reception of
a single desired station.
channel surfing Flipping channels on a TV set.
Channel-Compatible DigiCipher (CCDC) A proposed
fully digital HDTV system, American TV Alliance
(ATVA). Operated with the same baseband standards
as the DSC system.
Chaoji VideoCD Another name for Super VideoCD.
chapter In videodisc terminology, one of several arbitrary portions of a program into which a disc can be
divided electronically. These chapters—e.g., musical numbers or short film subjects—can readily be
located by special features on the videodisc player.
Some VDPs can be programmed to play back a sequence or more than a dozen chapters on one side
of a disc. Each chapter is made up of many frames,
also easily accessible.
chapter search See Automatic chapter search.
Character And Pattern Telephone Access Information Network system (CAPTAIN) A form of videotext developed in Japan and operated through the
public switched telephone network. Displays are on
a TV set. It is interactive.
character generator (CG) 1. In TV receiver, a built-in
device that electronically displays letters, numerals
and other symbols on the video screen (e.g., in teletext or videotex mode). 2. A professional/industrial
device designed to produce electronic letters and
numerals by way of a specially designed keyboard.
It is basically used for titling and graphics as well as
for special key and fade effects. Broadcast-type units
offer such advanced features as anti-aliasing, and
many fonts including italic, drop shadows, outlines,
autosizing, embossing and bevels. Some home video
cameras and VCRs have built-in character generators. See also Video effect titler.
character sizing Refers to a generally standard feature of an industrial/professional character generator designed to create electronically or digitally
various sizes and types of letters, numbers and
character space In videotex, the space on a screen
display occupied by a character or graphic symbol.
charge image The pattern of electrical charges on
the target surface of a camera tube that results from
the optical-image input and which, when scanned,
gives rise to the picture-signal output from the tube.
charge-coupled device (CCD) A form of light-sensitive microprocessor that converts an image into an
electrical flow. This charge-transfer device consists
of an array of MOS capacitors suitably designed so
that they are coupled and therefore charges can be
moved through the semiconductor substrate in a
controlled manner. The CCD may be used for imaging, as in the solid-state TV camera, primarily in
camcorders and lightweight cameras. Used also in
still video cameras.
charge-coupled image sensor A CCD in which
charges are introduced when light from a scene is
focused on the surface of the device. The image
points are accessed sequentially to produce a TV-type
output signal. Also called solid-state image sensor.
charge-injection device (CID) A charge-transfer device used as an image sensor in which the image
points are accessed in an XY manner. The major advantages of the CID over the CCD are its resistance
to blooming an image and its resistance to defects
in the array.
charge-transfer device (CTD) A semiconductor device in which discrete packets of charge are transferred from one location to the next. Several different
types of CTD exist, e.g., CCDs. Applications of CTDs
include short-term memory systems, shift registers,
and imaging systems. Information is usually only
available for serial access.
cheater cord A special extension cord used to apply
AC power to a TV or radio receiver when the back
cover with its protective power interlock is removed
for servicing.
Chebyshev filter A constant-k filter that achieves
sharp frequency cutoff at the expense of amplitude
ripple in the passband. See also Filter.
check disc, CD and CDV players See Test disc.
checkerboard [test pattern] Test pattern in a form of
several bands with alternating white and black
boxes. This pattern is useful to test geometry, registration, medium and low frequency distortions.
checkerboard assembly In video editing, a
nonsequential method of auto assembly in which
the computerized editing system records all edits
from the videotape playback reels currently in use,
leaving gaps to be filled later by subsequent reels.
Also called B-mode assembly.
checksum An error-detecting scheme that is the sum
of the data values transmitted. The receiver computes the sum of the received data values and compares it to the transmitted sum. If they are equal,
the transmission was error-free.
cherry picker Motorized high-angle camera crane position with an operator bucket.
chinese Referring to horizontal flaps on TV, film, or
other lamps.
chip chart Standard black and white scale test chart
for video camera alignment. Consists of two sets of
horizontal gray scales. Also called chipchart, crossed
gray scale.
chopper A device that interrupts a current or beam of
light or IR radiation at regular intervals, to permit
amplification of the associated electrical quantity or
signal by an AC amplifier.
chopper power supply A pulse-width-modulated
chroma keying
(PWM) chopper regulated power supply working like
the horizontal deflection systems in many modern
TV sets. The chopper power supply may consist of a
low-voltage bridge rectifier circuit providing voltage
to the primary winding of the chopper transformer.
The dc voltage via the chopper transformer is connected to the chopper transistor. Was first used in
Japanese TV chassis.
chroma 1. Indication of degree of color saturation.
Two parameters together define any color in the visible spectrum. One of these describes the dominant
hue. This is the pure spectral color, or wavelength,
which when mixed with white light produces a color
equivalent to the sample color. The second parameter indicates the amount of white light that has to
be added to obtain this color match. A color that
requires no white to be added is a pure spectral color
and is said to be saturated. As white light is added
to a spectral color, it becomes paler and desaturated.
2. The dimension of the Munsell system of color that
corresponds most closely to saturation, which is the
degree of vividness of a hue. Chroma is frequently
used, particularly in English works, as the equivalent of saturation. Also called Munsell chroma. See
also Variables of perceived colors. 3. A boxed photo,
art, or graphics, relevant to a news item, that appears on a TV screen next to the newscaster. Sometimes the photo or art is shown behind the
newscaster, projected by means of a rear projection
or chromakey system.
chroma amplitude modulation See Chroma signalto-noise.
chroma bandpass filter In a NTSC or PAL video signal, the luma (black and white) and the chroma
(color) information are combined together. If you
want to decode an NTSC or PAL video signal, the
luma and chroma must be separated. The chroma
bandpass filter removes the luma from the video signal, leaving the chroma relatively intact. This works
reasonably well except in images where the luma
information and chroma information overlap, meaning that we have luma and chroma information at
the same frequency. The filter can’t tell the difference between the two and passes everything within
a certain area. If there is luma in that area, it is passed
through too, which can make for a funny-looking
picture. Next time you’re watching TV and someone is wearing a herringbone jacket or a shirt with
thin, closely spaced stripes, take a good look. You
may see a rainbow color effect moving through that
area. What’s happening is that the chroma demodulator thinks the luma is chroma. Since the luma isn’t
chroma, the video decoder can’t figure out what
color it is and it shows up as a rainbow pattern. This
problem can be overcome by using a comb filter.
chroma bar Test signal in a form of color subcarrier
modulated by a bar signal, usually on gray level
chroma blanking See Chrominance blanking.
chroma burst Color burst.
chroma control 1. The control that adjusts the amplitude of the carrier chrominance signal fed to the
chrominance demodulators in a color TV set, to
change the saturation or vividness of the hues in
the color picture. When in its zero position, the received picture becomes black and white. Also called
color control and color-saturation control. 2. On
color processors, process amplifiers, etc., a feature
designed to modulate the color intensity of the video
signal. When the chroma control is tuned up, the
intensity of the colors is increased and they become
more vivid; when the knob is turned down, the intensity is decreased and the colors develop a pastellike quality. The chroma control, which is similar to
the chroma control of a TV set, differs from the burst
phase control (also located on these signal processors) that adjusts color tint rather than intensity.
chroma crawl See Cross-luminance.
chroma crawl free system See CCF system.
chroma decoder A video processor designed to decode a composite video signal into its red, green
and blue components. Used chiefly by professionals, the decoder is a chroma demodulator compatible with RGB monitors, video projectors, chroma
keyers, etc.
chroma demodulator After the NTSC or PAL video
signal makes its way through the Y/C separator, the
colors must be decoded, which is what a chroma
demodulator does. It takes the chroma output of
the Y/C separator and recovers two color difference
signals (typically I and Q or U and V). With the luma
information and color difference signals, the video
system can figure out what colors to put on the
chroma key tracking A digital effect that compresses
the signal from a video source into the available
chroma key window.
chroma keying Also chromakeying. 1. The electronic
introduction of a color background into a scene; process differs from black and white keying because
the presence of color makes it possible for the operator of the keying unit to introduce the background
by adjusting the color values. See also Genlock. 2.
The keying in of an object against an established
background—two images fused together electronically. A blue-green background against an object
placed for keying against another scene is called
chroma key blue. To produce this effect, the subject
is placed in front of a blue background. The cameras are then connected to a SEG with a chromakeyer
that automatically switches the subject/key camera
to the background camera each time the camera
beam “sees” blue. There are different types of
chroma keying, such as upstream and downstream
chroma keying, each using various combinations of
cameras and backgrounds.
chroma matte
chroma matte See Linear chroma-key.
chroma noise See Chrominance noise.
chroma oscillator A crystal oscillator used in color TV
sets to generate a 3.579545- or 4.433619-MHz
(NTSC, PAL) signal for comparison with the incoming 3.579545- or 4.433619-Mhz chrominance-subcarrier signal being transmitted. Also called
chrominance-subcarrier oscillator, color oscillator,
and color-subcarrier oscillator.
chroma phase modulation noise See Chroma
chroma ramp Test signal in a form of color subcarrier
modulated by a ramp signal; i.e., the chroma amplitude rises linearly along the TV line. This signal is
usually on a gray level pedestal. Syn.: chroma
chroma sawtooth See Chroma ramp.
chroma signal-to-noise The amount of interference
influencing either the color saturation or the hue
within the picture. There are two types of chroma
noise. Chroma amplitude modulation applies to color
saturation and appears as minor changes in color
strength, especially in large blocks of a particular
color. The effect within the color takes on a mottled
pattern. The second type, chroma phase modulation noise, is manifested by traces of different colors from that of the original. Both types of chroma
noise subtract from the fine detail and purity within
the color signal that is reproduced on the TV screen.
Chroma signal-to-noise is measured in dB; the higher
the number, the sharper and more detailed the color
picture. See also Color response.
chroma trap In a NTSC or PAL video signal, the luma
(black and white) and the chroma (color) information are combined together. If you want to decode
the video signal, the luma and chroma must be separated. The chroma trap is a method for separating
the chroma from the luma, leaving the luma relatively intact. How does this work? The NTSC or PAL
signal is fed to a trap filter. For all practical purposes,
a trap filter allows some types of information (actually certain frequencies) to pass through but not others. The trap filter is designed with a response to
remove the chroma so that the output of the filter
only contains the luma. Since this trap stops chroma,
it’s called a chroma trap. The sad part about all of
this is that not only does the filter remove chroma,
it removes luma as well if it exists within the region
where the trap exists. The filter only knows ranges
and, depending on the image, the luma information may overlap the chroma information. The filter
can’t tell the difference between the luma and
chroma, so it traps both when they are in the same
range. This means that the picture is degraded somewhat. Using a comb filter for a Y/C separator is
better than a chroma trap or chroma bandpass.
chroma-key A device that permits one video image to
replace another video image of a particular color,
usually a solid blue or green drape or screen. Broadcast TV studios use chroma-keys to create the illusion of a weather forecaster standing in front of a
wall-sized satellite photo. The forecaster is actually
standing in front of a colored screen, while a video
engineer, working in a booth out of the camera’s
view, uses a chroma-key and switcher to replace the
video image of the colored screen with the image
of a satellite photo.
chroma-key blue See Chroma keying.
chromatic Relating to color.
chromatic aberration 1. Defect of a lens appearing
as colored fringes around the image, resulting from
the material of the lens having different refractive
indices for different colors of light, so that the blue
rays come to a focus at a different point from the
red rays. This defect is reduced in achromatic lenses.
2. An electron-gun defect that causes enlargement
and blurring of the spot on the screen of a CRT because electrons leave the cathode with different initial velocities and are hence deflected differently by
the electron lenses and deflection coils.
chromatic color See Variables of perceived colors.
chromatic dispersion One of the mechanisms that
limits the bandwidth of optical fibers by producing
pulse spreading because of the various colors of light
traveling in the fiber. Different wavelengths of light
travel at different speeds. Since most optical sources
emit light containing a range of wavelengths, each
of these wavelengths arrive at different times and
thereby cause the transmitted pulse to spread as it
travels down the fiber. Chromatic dispersion affects
both single-mode and multimode fibers, and it is
the principal bandwidth limitation for single-mode
chromaticity The color quality of light that can be
defined by its chromaticity coordinates. It is an objective term for the definition of the characteristic
of a color in colorimetry, corresponding to the subjective qualities of hue and saturation. Chromaticity
depends only on hue and saturation of a color, not
on its luminance (brightness). Chromaticity applies
to all colors, including shades of gray, whereas
chrominance applies only to colors other than grays.
chromaticity coefficient Measure of the purity of a
color. Often arbitrary scales are quoted for practical
chromaticity coordinate One of the two coordinates
(x or y) that precisely specify the exact identity or
chromaticity of a color on the CIE chromaticity diagram. Also called color coordinate and trichromatic
chromaticity diagram System of representing colors
in problems of colorimetry as points on a two-dimensional diagram whose coordinates may be employed in calculation, generally in the form known
as the color triangle. The most common version is
the CIE chromaticity diagram used in color TV.
chromaticity flicker Flicker in a color TV set caused
by fluctuation of chromaticity only.
chromatron A single-gun color picture tube that has
color phosphors deposited on the screen in strips
instead of dots. The R,G, and B color signals are applied in sequence to the single grid of the tube as
the beam is deflected to the correct color strip by
horizontal grid wires adjacent to the screen. Also
called Lawrence tube.
chrominance (In video, the terms chrominance and
chroma are commonly (and incorrectly) interchanged.) 1. The color portion of the video signal.
Chrominance includes hue and saturation information but not brightness. Low chroma means the color
picture looks pale or washed out; high chroma
means the color is too intense, with a tendency to
bleed into surrounding areas. Black, gray and white
have a chrominance value of 0. Brightness is referred
to as luminance. The chrominance signal is modulated onto a 4.43-MHz carrier in the PAL TV system
and a 3.58-MHz carrier in the NTSC TV system. 2.
The difference between any color and a specified
reference color of equal brightness. In color NSTC
TV, this reference color is white, having coordinates
x=0.310 and y=0.316 on the chromaticity diagram.
chrominance bandwidth Chrominance-channel
chrominance blanking Blanking of chrominance signal. Syn.: chroma blanking.
chrominance carrier Chrominance subcarrier.
chrominance channel 1. That part of the frequency
spectrum of a color transmission containing chrominance information. 2. Any path that is intended to
carry the chrominance signal in a color TV system.
chrominance demodulator A demodulator in a color
TV receiver for deriving the I and Q components of
the chrominance signal and the chrominance-subcarrier frequency. Also called chrominance-subcarrier demodulator.
chrominance modulator A modulator used in a color
TV transmitter to generate the I and Q components
of the chrominance signal from the video-frequency
chrominance components and the chrominance subcarrier. Also called chrominance-subcarrier
chrominance noise Refers to a particular kind of video
interference that affects color signals in the form of
temporary traces of color aberrations. Visible as randomly colored spots on TV picture. Chrominance
noise differs from luminance noise that affects both
black and white and color signals. Also called chroma
noise; color noise.
chrominance phase switching See SECAM chrominance phase switching.
chrominance primary The nonphysical color represented by either the I and Q chrominance signal component in a color TV system. These chrominance
signals are chosen to be electrically convenient com-
ponents remaining after the luminance signal is removed, from a full-color signal at the transmitter.
chrominance reversal See Image reversal.
chrominance signal The color component of the composite baseband video signal assembled from the I
and Q portions (NTSC) or U and V (PAL). Phase angle
of the signal represents hue and amplitude color
chrominance staircase Test signal in a form of color
subcarrier modulated by staircase signal; i.e., the
chroma amplitude rises in discrete steps along the
TV line. This signal is usually on a gray level pedestal. Syn.: multi-level chroma bar.
chrominance subcarrier The 3.579545- (NTSC),
4.433618- (PAL), or 4.406-/4.250-MHz (SECAM, RY/B-Y) carrier (SECAM — two carriers) whose modulation sidebands are added to the black and white
signal to convey color information in a color TV set.
The chrominance subcarrier is transmitted
unmodulated in the form of color bursts that are
used for synchronizing purposes in the receiver. Also
called chrominance carrier, color carrier (deprecated),
color subcarrier (deprecated), and subcarrier.
chrominance tube See Color dissector tube.
chrominance vector In a color TV signal, the finite
mathematical vector whose angle represents the hue
and whose length represents saturation. The reference frequency burst gives the necessary phase information.
chrominance/luminance delay inequality In video,
an effect caused by the color and black and white
signals being recorded separately on the tape or differing luminance and chrominance filtering characteristics in the system, resulting in colored edging or
fringing around objects.
chrominance-carrier reference A continuous signal
that has the same frequency as the chrominance
subcarrier in a color TV system and fixed phase with
respect to the color burst. This signal is the reference to which the phase of a chrominance signal is
compared for modulation or demodulation. In a
color receiver it is generated by a crystal-controlled
oscillator. Also called chrominance-subcarrier reference, color-carrier reference, and color-subcarrier
chrominance-channel bandwidth The bandwidth
of the path intended to carry the chrominance signal in a color TV system. Also called chrominance
chrominance-subcarrier demodulator Chrominance
chrominance-subcarrier modulator Chrominance
chrominance-subcarrier oscillator Chroma
chrominance-subcarrier reference Chrominancecarrier reference.
chroming A method of producing a special effect on
chromium dioxide
a videotape recording. A videotape is recorded normally and then rerecorded onto another tape. The
recorded signals from the original tape have neighboring pixels electronically aggregated to artificially
reduce the resolution of the picture. Chosen sections of the picture may also have the color electronically altered to give the desired effect.
chromium dioxide One of the coatings available in
the composition of videotape. It is magnetically sensitive and used mostly on Beta tapes. The VHS format generally utilizes ferric oxide.
chromostereoscopy Part of a three-dimensional TV
system employed in Japan but developed in California. Chromostereoscopy uses a technique in which
red-colored objects appear closer than blue-colored
ones, thereby giving the impression of depth. The
process is compatible with 2-D or conventional TV
broadcasting. But for a full, 3-D effect, the viewer
needs special glasses.
CID Charge-injection device.
CIE Commission Internationale de I’Eclairage. French
acronym for the International Illumination Commission, an international standardization organization
that issues documents defining the colorimetry of
all TV systems.
CIE chromaticity diagram A chromaticity diagram
established as an international standard by the CIE.
In this diagram, used in color TV, the color wavelengths are plotted as coordinates of x and y.
CIF Common Interface Format. A videophone ISDN
standard that is part of the CCITT’s H.261/Px64 standard. This video format was developed to easily allow video phone calls between countries. The CIF
format has a resolution of 352 x 288 active pixels
and a refresh rate of 29.97 frames per second. It
produces a color image of 288 noninterlaced luminance lines, each containing 352 pixels to be sent
at a rate of 30 fr/s. The format uses two B channels,
with voice taking 32 Kbps and the rest for video.
Note: CIF now commonly means any 352 x 288 image, regardless of refresh rate.
Cinemax, Owned by Time Warner. A pay-TV service
offered to subscribers for a monthly fee. Cinemax,
similar to Home Box Office, offers current Hollywood
films, classics and foreign features 24 hours per day.
Owned by Time, Inc.; began operation in 1980.
Cinepak A high-quality medium bandwidth compression that is not real-time but can play back in software. Its 24-bit format produces high-quality video
at 320 x 240 resolution and 15 frames per second
at a 150 Kbps data rate. A CD-ROM solution developed a number of years ago and not a competitor
to more current techniques.
circle-in An optical effect in which a picture diminishes and disappears as it is replaced by a second
picture that grows in a circle from the center; the
opposite of a circle-out. See also Iris in, Iris out.
circle-out See Circle-in.
circuit The combination of a number of electrical devices and conductors, when connected together to
form a conducting path, fulfil a desired function such
as amplification, filtering, or oscillation. A circuit may
consist of discrete components or may be an integrated circuit (IC). Some circuits, such as CCDs, can
only be produced in integrated form.
circuit breaker The breaker that may work in place of
the line fuse to open when an overload is found in
the TV circuits. Some horizontal output stages have
a separate circuit breaker.
circular polarization Electromagnetic waves whose
electric field uniformly rotates along the signal path.
Broadcasts used by INTELSAT and other international
satellites use circular, not horizontally or vertically
polarized, waves as are common in North American
and European transmission.
circular zone plate A zone plate pattern (circular or
elliptic) with lowest spatial frequency in the center
and uniform rise of spatial frequency along any radius, so that the spatial frequency is directly proportional to the distance from the center. Syn.: bull’s
eye pattern; Fresnel zone plate.
circularly polarized antenna Antenna producing a
circularly polarized wave. In one form of circularly
polarized antenna, used for TV stations, the single
horizontally polarized dipole in the panel antenna is
replaced by crossed dipoles that are fed in quadrature, producing a circularly polarized wave.
circularly polarized wave An electromagnetic wave
for which the electric and/or magnetic field vectors
at a point describe a circle.
city grade service The area closest to a TV transmitter, one of three areas of a TV station’s coverage.
Further away from the transmitter is called A contour, and the peripheral area is called B contour.
CIVDL Collaboration for Interactive Visual Distance
Learning, a collaborative effort by ten U.S. universities that uses dial-up videoconferencing technology
for the delivery of engineering programs.
cladding 1. When referring to an optical fiber, a layer
of material of lower refractive index, in intimate contact with a core material of higher refractive index.
2. When referring to a metallic cable, a process of
covering with a metal (usually achieved by pressure
rolling, extruding, drawing, or swaging) until a bond
is achieved.
cladding diameter The diameter of the circle that
includes the cladding layer in an optical fiber.
cladding mode In an optical fiber, a transmission mode
supported by the cladding; i.e., a mode in addition
to the modes supported by the core material.
cladding mode stripping A device for converting optical fiber cladding modes to radiation modes; as a
result, the cladding modes are removed from the fiber. Often a material such as the fiber coating or jacket
having a refractive index equal to or greater than that
of the fiber cladding will perform this function.
cladding ray In an optical fiber, a ray that is confined
to the core and cladding by virtue of reflection from
the outer surface of the cladding. Cladding rays correspond to cladding modes in the terminology of
mode descriptors.
clamp A circuit for ensuring constancy of the potential of a particular section of a recurrent waveform.
This is basically another name for the DC-restoration circuit. It can also refer to a switch used within
the DC-restoration circuit. When it means DC restoration, then it’s usually called “clamping.” When
it’s the switch, then it’s just “clamp.” Clamps are
used to ensure that the parts of the waveform that
represent black in displayed pictures are maintained
at a constant potential. To enable a clamp to operate at the desired instants it is driven by clamping
pulses synchronized with the waveform to be
clamper An electronic circuit that sets the video level
of a picture signal before the scanning of each line
begins to ensure that no spurious electronic noise is
introduced into the picture signal from the electronics of the video equipment. Also called DC restorer.
clamping The action of the electronic clamper circuit;
the process of resetting video signal level offset to
zero, e.g., by using the black level at the composite
video back porch as a reference. Syn.: back porch
clamping; black level clamping.
Clarke belt The circular orbital belt at 22,247 miles
above the equator, named after the writer Arthur
C. Clarke, in which satellites travel at the same speed
as the earth’s rotation. Also called the geostationary
Class I time In TV, preemptible time, as opposed to
Class II.
clean editing An electronic edit of a video picture
free of noise, distortion, or other disruption in the
signal when it changes from picture 1 to picture 2.
In a clean edit, the picture is instantly replaced by a
subsequent picture. Most camcorders provide clean
cleaner See Video head cleaner.
cleaning solvent The special cleaning fluid used on
video and audio heads and other elements along
the tape path of a VCR . The most popular and recommended liquid solvent is trichlorotrifluoroethane
or Freon. This solvent is more effective than alcohol,
which evaporates more slowly and may leave a
clearline 45 A Sprint name for DS-3 service. This highcapacity point-to-point private line service transmits
voice, data, and video at 44.736 Mbps.
clearline fractional 1.5 A Sprint name for all-digital
private line service that transmits voice, data, and
video at speeds from 112/123 Kbps up to 672/768
Kbps—a fraction of a T-1, also called a DS-1. The
service may be ordered in 56/64 Kbps increments
from two channels (112/128 Kbps) to 12 channels
(672/768 Kbps). Point-to-point service connects customer sites via dedicated T-1 access lines.
Clearvision system (also BTA Clearvision system, BTA
system), Broadcast Technology Association, Japan,
1988. It was a single-channel NTSC-compatible EDTV
system: 6-MHz channel, 525-line scanning, 59.94
fields per second, interlace 2:1. Five changes from
conventional NTSC practice were proposed: progressive scan in the receiver display, separate luminancechrominance processing in the receiver,
compensation of detail rendition in highly saturated
color images, adaptive emphasis of the high-frequency components at low levels of the luminance
signal, and higher-resolution signal sources. Aspect
ratio: NTSC — 4:3, EDTV — 16:9.
CLI Compression Labs, Inc. One of the foremost codec
(compression/decompression) makers and developer
of some of the first “low-bandwidth” codecs in the
US. Their VTS 1.5 codec was one of the first two
codes (the other was from NEC) to compress fullmotion video to 1.5 Mbps (T-1 speed).
Click and drag A computer term for the user operation of clicking on an item on-screen, using a mouse,
and dragging it to a new location.
click tuner A mechanical TV tuner that clicks into position for each of the 70 available UHF channels and
the 12 VHF channels.
cliff effect In digital television, when a receiver can no
longer receive a viable signal.
clinching See Windowing.
clip To cut off sharply. See also Film clip.
clipper Limiter. Both black and white clippers are normally used in video processing to prevent unwanted
signal excursions above nominal peak-white or
below black.
clipping 1. An effect of distortion where the peaks of
driven signals are chopped off. Clipping usually occurs in the amp when it is turned up too high, but it
can also occur in maladjusted circuits in a VCR or
TV set. 2. Any action that cuts off the peaks of a TV
signal. This may affect either the positive (white) or
negative (black) picture-signal peaks or the synchronizing signal peaks.
clipping logic A circuit used to prevent illegal conversion. Some colors can exist in one color space but
not in another. Right after the conversion from one
color space to another, a color space converter might
check for illegal colors. If any appear, the clipping
logic is used to chop off, or clip, part of the information until a legal color can be represented.
clip sheet A nonlinear editing term referring to the
location of individual audio/video clips (or scenes).
Also called a clip bin.
clock/calendar A video camera feature that permits the user to stamp the time or date, or both,
over a video image being shot. The information is
superimposed over the recorded image for further
clock jitter
clock jitter Undesirable random changes in clock
clock phase deviation See Clock skew.
clock recovery The reconstruction of timing information from digital data.
clock-setting by TV (VCR, Sony) Sony has introduced
VCRs whose clocks are set automatically by TV. The
recorders use the TV signal’s vertical blanking interval (VBI), especially field 2 of line 21, which is the
closed-caption line. PBS stations are transmitting the
clock-setting signal. When the VCR is turned off, it
automatically searches through the channels until it
finds one that is transmitting the clock signal.
clock skew A fixed deviation from proper clock phase
that commonly appears in D1 digital video equipment. Some digital distribution amplifiers handle
improperly phased clocks by reclocking the output
to fall within D1 specifications.
close shot Closed loop drive system.
closed caption decoder A device that allows the user
to view conversations, narration and other sounds
from TV programs or prerecorded videotape as subscript on TV screens. Primarily intended for the hardof-hearing. It decodes an otherwise invisible signal
and presents captions at the bottom portion of the
screen, revealing what the performers are saying.
Captioned subtitles are inserted on one of the lines
within the vertical blanking interval.
closed captioning A service which decodes text information transmitted with the audio and video signal and displays it at the bottom of the display. See
the EIA-608 specification for (M) NTSC usage of
closed captioning. For digital transmissions such as
HDTV and SDTV, the closed caption (CC) characters
are multiplexed as a separate stream along with the
video and audio data. It is common practice to actually embed this stream in the MPEG video bitstream
itself, rather than at the transport layer. Unfortunately there is no wide-spread standard for this
closed captioning stream—each system (DSS, DVB,
ATSC, DVD) has its own solution. The practical place
in MPEG to put closed captioning data is in the
user_data field, which can be placed at various frequencies within the video stream. For DVD, it is the
group_of_pictures header, which usually proceed
intra pictures (this happens about two times a second). ASTC broadcasts, the EIA-708 data is inserted
in the user_data field of individual picture headers
(up to 60 times/sec).
closed information Videotex information that is intended for only a restricted user audience and
which can be accessed only by the use of a key
(code) number. It may consist of company confidential information or text, data, and images sold
to subscribers. The concept makes a closed user
group possible.
closed loop drive system Tape drive system that includes a feedback in the loop. Used for accurate
positional control of quadruplex heads in transversescan VTRs. Also called a close shot.
closed user group (CUG) A service on a database,
videotex, or other electronic information system
available only to preassigned users, such as lawyers,
physicians, or other professional or affinity groups.
closed-captioned TV A broadcast with captions on
line 21 of the VBI.
closed-circuit Distribution system using wires or microwaves to connect receiving sets to transmission
equipment (e.g., CCTV).
closed-circuit television (CCTV) A TV system, other
than broadcast TV, that forms a closed circuit between TV camera and receiver. CCTV has many industrial and educational applications—for example,
in security systems. See X-ray television.
Closed Subtitles See subtitles.
close-up A relative determination of a camera angle
of view; usually, a shot that shows the subject of a
picture in great detail.
close-up lens A special video camera adapter lens designed for extremely close work, such as recording
coins, stamps, insects, etc. Many recent camcorders
provide macro settings to accomplish this function.
When using either a supplementary lens or the macro
feature built into the camera, the operator will notice that the depth of field is severely restricted.
CLUT Color look-up table.
CLV Constant Linear Velocity. One of the two formats
of the LaserVision (LV) videodisc system. CLV discs
can play for up to 1 h per side but lack the many
special effects features offered by the CAV format
of 30 minutes per side. Since the larger outer tracks
of the disc hold more information than the smaller
diameter inner tracks, the playing time is extended.
However, the 30 revolutions per second of the CAV
speed, that matches TV’s 30 frames per second, is
altered, thereby eliminating such features as freeze
frame, single frame advance and slow motion. However, some advanced models of laserdisc players incorporate digital memory to handle smooth freeze
frames, slow motion and other special effects.
c-mount A standard lens mount used on many video
cameras and camcorders to permit compatibility and
interchangeability with other lenses by diverse manufacturers. A typical use would be temporarily fitting
a wide angle or telephoto lens to the camera in place
of the normal one. Since almost all camcorders come
equipped with a zoom lens, which offers a wide
range of focal lengths, the average home
videographer has little need to change lenses.
CMX A trademarked, computer-interfaced video editing system, made by Chyron Corporation, of Melville,
NY, developed by a joint venture of CBS and
CMYK This is a color space primarily used in color printing. CMYK is an acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK. The CMYK color space is subtractive,
coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing
meaning that cyan, magenta, yellow and black pigments or inks are applied to a white surface to remove color information from the white surface to
create the final color. The reason black is used is
because even if a printer could put down hues of
cyan, magenta, and yellow inks perfectly enough to
make black (which it can’t for large areas), it would
be too expensive since colored inks cost more than
black inks. So, when black has to be made, instead
of putting down a lot of CMY, they just use black.
C/N (also CNR) Carrier-to-noise ratio.
C/N threshold The C/N at threshold of visibility (TOV)
for random noise.
coarse chrominance primary The least important of
the two chrominance primaries in a color TV signal,
called the Q signal. Because its bandwidth is typically limited to 0.5 MHz, this signal affects only the
larger, coarser variations in the color picture. The
other primary is the fine chrominance primary or I
signal, going up to 1.5 MHz.
coating The magnetic oxide particles on videotape,
which are formed into diagonal fields of information by video heads. Beta tapes are generally coated
with chromium dioxide (original Sonys were designed for optimum efficiency with chrome tapes)
while VHS tapes generally are composed of ferric
oxide. Beta tapes, when combined with cobalt, provide better resistance to dropout or flaking of particles but are weaker in the area of high frequencies.
VHS tapes offer better frequency response, but the
oxide composition may present a problem with the
excessive snow or distortion, especially with lowgrade tapes.
coaxial A special cable designed to carry one or more
TV channel signals with minimum power loss and
high video frequency transmission. Rated at 75
ohms, this cable offers a thicker surrounding of the
center conductor and rejects undesirable interference. In video, a few types of coaxial cable are available, but the RG-59 is the most popular. It has a
thick coating around the center conductor for
strength and protection from interference. It is designed for cameras, monitors, VCRs, etc. RG-6 is
heavier and uses a larger center conductor than RG59 and is considered the all-around better cable
when using long cable lengths. The reason is that
there is less signal loss per 100 feet of RG-6 than
with RG-59. However, RG-6 has a higher capacitance
per foot than RG-59, so when using short lengths
of cable—less than 4 or 5 feet—the better choice is
really RG-59. Most F connectors are made for
RG-59. If using RG-6, the F connectors with the
larger crimp barrel should be used. Cable loss is
expressed in dB at different TV broadcasting frequencies. Every 3-dB drop doubles the signal loss. Signal
loss increases at higher frequencies. Capacitance is
expressed in pF and is cumulative for the length of
the cable. That is, if cable capacitance is 15.5 pF per
foot, a 3-foot length has a total capacitance of 46.5
pF. The higher the capacitance, the more the signal
is degraded.
coaxial CATV A multichannel video transmission system. In coaxial CATV systems, video signals amplitude-modulate carriers with frequencies of 70 MHz
or higher and are multiplexed on a frequencydivision basis.
coaxial connector See F connector.
cochannel A channel in which the TV set receives two
TV stations on the same channel. In the US, the FCC
has meticulously placed TV stations on the same
channel far apart. Also, the frequency of the TV stations is displaced ±10 kHz. Therefore, the separation in frequency may be as much as 20 kHz (one
+10 kHz, the other –10 kHz). This allows the primary TV station to be received by the TV set even
though there is some picture impairment caused by
the other station.
cochannel interference Interference between two
signals of the same type in the same channel.
Cochannel interference occurs when two TV stations
operating on the same frequency are received at the
same location. The most common effect is “venetian blinds,” alternate black and white horizontal
bars across the picture that results from the “beat”
between the two carriers.
codec Coder-decoder. A device to convert analog video
and audio signals into a digital format for transmission, and also to convert received digital signals back
into analog. Also compression/decompression.
codec conversion The back-to-back transfer of an
analog signal from one codec into another codec in
order to convert from one proprietary coding scheme
to one used by another codec manufacturer. The
analog signal, instead of being displayed to a monitor, is delivered to the dissimilar codec where it is
redigitized, compressed and passed to the receiving
end. This is obviously a bi-directional process. Conversion service is offered by carriers such as AT&T,
MCI and Sprint.
coded image A representation of an image in a form
suitable for storage and processing.
coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing
Coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing,
or COFDM, transmits digital data differently than
8-VSB or other single-carrier approaches.
Frequency division multiplexing means that the data
to be transmitted is distributed over many carriers.
Thus, the data rate on each COFDM carrier is much
lower than that required of a single carrier. The
COFDM carriers are orthogonal, or mutually perpendicular, and forward error correction (“coded”)
is used. COFDM is a multiplexing technique rather
than a modulation technique. One of any of the
common modulation methods, such as QPSK, 16QAM or 64-QAM, is used to modulate the COFDM
coder 1. In general: Device performing an “encoding” function, e.g., an analog-to-digital converter.
2. Specifically: Composite color video coder, e.g.,
“NTSC coder,” ”SECAM coder,” for producing composite signals from component video sources.
coding Representing each video signal level as a
number, usually in binary form.
coercivity Also called magnetic coercivity. In videotape, the ability of the particles that compose the
magnetic medium to be magnetized. Therefore, the
higher the coercivity, the better the quality of the
COFDM See Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division
cogging Break-up of vertical edges caused by a displacement of the raster from one field to the next.
A TV receiver fault.
coherent detection Syn.: synchronous detection. See
Suppressed-carrier transmission.
cold color Pale, often with a blue or green tint, as
opposed to warm color.
Colecovision A revised video game system introduced
in 1982 by Coleco. The system had realistic and
above average color graphics, 8-direction control
sticks, a pushbutton keyboard and a special controller for changing the speed as well as the action
during the game. An optional adapter permitted
playing the Atari VCS game cartridges.
collaboration A multimedia term. Collaboration involves two or more people working together in realtime, or in a “store-and-forward” mode. Applications
enable a group of people to collaborate in real time
over the network using shared screens, shared
whiteboards, and video conferencing. Collaboration
can range from two people reviewing a slide set on
line to a conference of doctors at different locations
sharing patient files and discussing treatment options.
collector Anode which collects the secondary electrons emitted from the mosaic of an iconoscope or
similar device.
collimation Process of setting up a lens system to produce a parallel beam from a source emitting rays
which diverge or converge. Collimators, which produce these parallel beams, play a part in many pieces
of optical equipment such as relay systems in TV
color cameras. Collimators are also used for checking the calibration and performance of lenses.
collision The result of two devices trying to use a shared
transmission medium simultaneously. The signal
interference requires both devices to retransmit the
data lost due to the collision.
color A characteristic of light that can be specified in
terms of luminance, dominant wavelength, and purity. Luminance is the magnitude of brilliance. Wavelength determines hue and ranges from about 400
nm for violet to 700 nm for red. Purity corresponds
to chroma or saturation and specifies vividness of a
hue. In video, color is formed by the three primary
colors (red, green and blue) and their
color adjustment circuitry An advanced TV feature
that allows the user to modify the color temperature of white while retaining natural skin tones of
the subject. The special circuits adjust for cooler or
warmer white color temperature.
coloration See Microphone.
color background generator An electronic circuit
used in chroma keying to produce a solid color background of any desired hue and saturation.
color balance Adjustment of the circuits that feed the
three electron guns of a color picture tube to compensate for differences in light-emitting efficiencies
of the three color phosphors on the screen of the
color bar chart See Video test chart.
color bar generating signal In video cameras. a signal produced as a set of vertical color bars. This can
be used as a test pattern when compared to a color
bar chart such as the Munsel color chip chart. By
using this chart in conjunction with a color
vectorscope, it is simple to determine whether the
video camera components are in good working
color-bar generator A signal generator that delivers
to the input of a color TV receiver the signal needed
to produce a color-bar test pattern on one or more
color bars A test pattern of specially colored vertical
bars used as a reference to test the performance of
a color TV and transmission path. Peak white and
black level bars are also provided. The R,G and B
bars correspond to the system primary colors. The
other three are yellow (R+G), magenta (R+B) and
cyan (G+B). Colors that are 100% saturated as well
as having 100% luminance are very abnormal. To
avoid overload conditions at the transmitter, therefore, it is normal to transmit the color bars with reduced luminance. The test pattern is used to check
whether a video system is calibrated correctly. A
video system is calibrated correctly if the colors are
the correct brightness, hue, and saturation. This can
be checked with a vectorscope.
color-bar test pattern A test pattern of different colors of vertical bars, used to check the performance
of a color TV set.
color breakup Momentary separation of a color picture into its primary components as a result of a
sudden change in the condition of viewing, such as
fast movement of the head or blinking of the eyes.
color burst In a color TV system, that portion of the
video waveform that sits between the breezeway
and the start of active video. The color burst tells
the color decoder how to decode the color information contained in that line of active video. By looking at the color burst, the decoder can determine
what’s blue, orange, or magenta. Essentially, the
color encoder
decoder figures out what the correct color is. In
NTSC, the color burst is a short series of oscillations
at the chrominance subcarrier frequency of
3.579545 MHz, following most transmitted horizontal sync pulses. Also called burst; burst signal.
color-burst pedestal The rectangular pulselike component that is part of the color burst when the axis
of the color-burst oscillations does not coincide with
the back porch. Also called burst pedestal.
color carrier Alternate term for chrominance subcarrier.
color-carrier reference Chrominance-carrier
colorcast A TV program broadcast in color.
color cell See Color picture tube.
color constancy In video, the continuity of color
intensity either in a single frame or over a short range
of time.
color contamination 1. Refers to the appearance of
small traces of color that spill over to black and white
portions of a video image and detected (as unwanted
color) between closely set lines in a video picture;
color contamination can distort the image. The
amount of color contamination that a video camera
produces can be determined by the use of a black
and white pattern and is measured in IREs. A smaller
numerical reading represents a purer or better picture. An average rating is 7 IRE. 2. Poor rendition of
color in a color TV set, caused by incomplete separation of color component paths.
color control Chroma control.
color control unit An accessory connected between
a video camera and recorder which adjusts or corrects color temperature for both indoors and outdoors. The color control unit, used if no filter or
electronic system of correction comes with the camera, offers two advantages. It is a more flexible
method of adjusting color temperature and, because
it is a separate unit, the camera remains lighter in
weight. However, there are also a few inconveniences. The color control unit is another piece of
equipment that has to be made off camera.
color conversion filter A colored glass disc fitted over
the front of a lens of a video camera to change the
color temperature. Since the camera tube is normally
balanced for proper exposure with tungsten (indoor)
light, some type of conversion is required when the
camera is used outdoors. One method is using a
special orange-colored filter. However, manufacturers have devised more sophisticated ways of correcting color temperature: built-in, behind-the-lens
optical filters, electronic switching, etc. Also known
as color correction filter, conversion filter.
color coordinate Chromaticity coordinate.
color correction filter Color conversion filter.
color corrector Equipment for adjustment of the color
values of a color video signal. Color corrector is usually required for proper reproduction of images from
motion picture film. In VCRs, a feature that helps
correct any defects in videotape. The special circuitry,
along with dropout compensators, noise reduction
and picture enhancement circuits, helps to compensate for any imperfections in tape manufacture and
design. In camcorder, an optional accessory designed
to allow the user to adjust white balance, correct
for color and add color wipe transitions between
scenes. The unit may have additional features, such
as the capability for audio mixing and the transfer
of film negative to positive video pictures.
color-crawl See Moire.
color cycling A special process that permits dramatic
color changes of screen images ranging from diagrams to music-video effects. Color cycling is often
performed by professional videographers using such
highly technical equipment as computers with special computer-generated animation programs that
allow for color ranges and user-definable timing.
color decoder The circuit in the video decoder that
uses the chroma portion of a video signal to derive
the two color difference signals. The color decoder
sits right after the Y/C separator. In NTSC, the color
decoder needs a reference signal that is accurately
phase-locked to the color burst. If it isn’t locked well
enough, then the color decoder can’t figure out the
right colors. Also called a chroma demodulator.
color decoding In broadcast TV, the transformation
of composite video into primary color signals (or luminance and color difference signals).
color demodulator See chroma demodulator.
color depth The number of bits per pixel. One bit per
pixel allows two colors (often black and white) to
be displayed, two bits per pixel allow four colors,
three bits allow eight colors, etc.
color difference signals The video signals (R-Y) and
(B-Y) obtained by subtraction of the luminance value
Y from each of the primary color signals. There are
many scaled, matrixed and therefore different versions of color difference signals such as: I, Q; U, V;
Pr, Pb; Cr, Cb; Dr, Db, which should not be confused
with basic color difference signals.
color difference set, HDTV See SMPTE 240M
color dissector tube Coloring tube; chrominance
tube. A CRT designed to separate a scene’s hue and
saturation values into their R,G,B components for
electronic encoding as part of the color video
color-dot-crawl See CCF system.
color edging Spurious color at the boundaries of differently colored areas in a color TV picture; extraneous colors that appear along the edges of objects,
but don’t have a color relationship to those areas.
Color edging includes color fringing and
color encoder The color encoder does the exact opposite of the color decoder. It takes the two color
difference signals, such as I and Q or U and V, and
color encoding
combines them into the chroma signal. The color
encoder, or what may be referred to as the color
modulator, uses the color subcarrier to do the encoding.
color encoding The transformation of primary color
signals (or luminance and color difference signals)
into composite video.
color enhancement light A special light, found on
some camcorders, designed to illuminate an area several yards in front of the camera. The small 10 W
light, first introduced in 1989 by Panasonic on one of
its camcorder models, usually provides enough light
to capture the natural colors of a particular scene.
color fidelity The ability of a color TV system to reproduce faithfully the colors in an original scene.
color field TV field numbered with reference to the
start of color frame. E.g., in NTSC the color frame
starts with color field I and ends with the color
field IV.
color field corrector A device positioned outside a
color picture tube to produce an electric or magnetic field that acts on the electron beam after deflection to produce more uniform color fields.
color filter A sheet of material that absorbs certain
wavelengths of light while transmitting others. Used
in video cameras to compensate for wide variations
in lighting conditions without excessive adjustment
of operating controls. The spectral response of color
filters is specified by their color temperature. The
color temperatures of a typical complement of color
filters are 3200 and 5600 K. These permit the
camera to switch from daylight to artificial illumination without major readjustment of the electronic
color flash A color dot rushing across a black and
white telecast as seen on a color TV set. These red,
green and blue dots—or color flashes—occur when
random noise, after being picked up by the decoder
and matrix, reaches the picture tube.
color flicker Flicker due to fluctuations of both chromaticity and luminance in a color TV receiver.
color frame Set of several frames that begins and ends
with the same SCH value (NTSC and PAL) or same
color difference signal type (SECAM). Depending on
the color TV system it consists of: NTSC – 2 frames
(4 fields); PAL – 4 frames (8 fields); SECAM – 2 frames
(4 fields). If chrominance phase switching is taken
into account then one SECAM color frame consists
of six frames (12 fields).
color frame code A code to identify alternating video
frames involved in an edit. Color video frames have
an alternating nature, which can be indicated by
designating them as either A or B. Each frame ending in an even number is defined as having the A
characteristic, and each frame ending in an odd number is defined as having the B characteristic. The presence of a binary one in bit 11 of the time code word
indicates the presence of this A-B color frame code.
color framing TV synchronization providing synchronization of color frames, usually for post-production purposes. Modern VTRs do color framing
automatically as part of the run-in process. Lack of
color framing will result in chroma flashes after insert or assemble edits on some VCRs. Syn.: color ID;
color identification; color sync.
color fringing 1. Spurious chromaticity at boundaries
of objects in a color TV picture. Small objects may
appear separated into different colors. It can be
caused by a change in position of the televised object from field to field or by misregistration. Fringing is particularly noticeable when a black and white
signal is received. It is minimized using a color killer.
2. Artifact of chrominance coding-decoding process
due to the limited bandwidth. It gives the appearance of the color not precisely fitting the object defined by the luminance signal.
color graphics The capability of a system to draw pictures, create graphs, highlight text, etc., using
Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) A circuit board for
the color monitors of PCs that supplies R,G,B, and
intensified (RGBI) video and composite video signal.
Up to 16 colors can be formed on an RGBI TTL-compatible monitor, and up to 16 shades of gray can be
formed on a composite video monitor.
color ID See Color framing.
color identification See Color framing.
colorimeter An instrument that measures color by determining the intensities of the three primary colors
that will give that color.
colorimetry The science of color measurement. In
video, the procedure of measuring color and analyzing the results. Colorimetric characteristics include
such elements as wavelength and primary-color
coloring tube See Color dissector tube.
color intensity In video, the saturation of a color. The
original color signal and the concentration of the
electron beam determine color intensity or saturation. If a certain color has high saturation, that color
is usually considered bright; if the color consists of
low saturation, it is said to be dull. More recent TV
sets have introduced special circuitry to improve saturation. These models prevent the automatic color
circuitry from oversaturating individual scenes so that
the color of objects is not emphasized to the detriment of the entire picture. Saturation differs from
hue, which refers to the shade of a color.
color intensity control A feature, found on some
video processors, designed to adjust color level. This
increase or decrease in color intensity helps to produce rich, natural color; boost weak, faded colors;
and reduce overly bright colors. Especially useful in
copying videotapes, color intensity control allows
boosting color before the recording process to help
prevent generation loss.
color picture tube
colorization A process that converts black and white
movies to color. The technique involves the use of
computers that assign pre-selected colors to individual areas or shapes of the original black and white
film. These colors are then carried throughout the
scene or sequence for the purpose of consistency.
Those film makers connected with the original work
and other critics of the process have voiced their
protest against colorization on the grounds that it
tampers with the original creative talents that went
into the making of the film.
colorizer Electronic circuitry used to generate a chrominance signal in relation to the gray values of a black
and white video signal. Each gradation of gray from
black to white is assigned a color value. The result is
an artificially, and often inaccurately, colored picture.
color key This is essentially the same thing as chroma
color killer 1. The circuit in a color TV set to cut off
chrominance amplifier during reception of black and
white programs. 2. An electronic circuit used in a
VTR to suppress the 3.58-MHz color carrier frequency
when a black and white tape is being shown; the
same circuit in a black and white VTR used to suppress the color carrier frequency when a color tape
is being played back in black and white. Without a
color killer, the color signal would appear in the displayed black and white picture as random noise.
color look-up table (CLUT) In digital video, a table of
color values with any bits per pixel (bpp) format,
and indexed by a pixel value of smaller value. This
allows display of a selected group of colors by a low
bpp system, where the group of colors is chosen
from a much larger range (the palette) of colors represented by the bpp value used in the CLUT.
color mapping The process of using a CLUT for a
color display.
color model A technique for describing a color (e.g.,
color modulator Color encoder.
color noise Random interference in the video. Because
of reduced color bandwidth or color subsampling,
color noise appears as relatively long streaks of incorrect color in the image.
color oscillator Chroma oscillator.
color phase The proper timing relationship within a
color signal. Color is considered to be in phase when
the hue is reproduced correctly on the screen. In the
NTSC and PAL systems, color phase is the difference
in phase between a chrominance signal (I or Q) and
the chrominance-carrier reference in a color TV receiver. Also called tint. See Hue.
color phase alternation (CPA) The periodic changing of the color phase of one or more components
of the chrominance subcarrier between two sets of
assigned values after every field in a color TV
color phase correction That which produces the cor-
rect color hues. Color phase refers to the color signal in terms of its timing relationship.
color phase detector The color TV receiver circuit that
compares the frequency and phase of the incoming
burst signal with those of the locally generated
3.579545-MHz chroma oscillator.
color picture signal The electric signal that represents
complete color picture information, excluding all synchronizing signals. In composite form it consists of
a monochrome component plus a sub-carrier modulated with chrominance information.
color picture tube A type of CRT designed to produce colored images in color TV. The colored image
is produced by varying the intensity of excitation of
three primary colors R,G, and B. The 3-gun color
picture tube consists of a configuration of 3 electron guns—the red gun, blue gun, and green gun—
that are tilted slightly so that the electron beams
intersect just in front of the screen. Each electron
beam has an individual electron lens system of focusing and is directed towards one of the three sets
of color phosphors. There are several different types
of color picture tubes, the main differences being in
the configuration of electron guns and arrangement
of the phosphors on the screen.
One main type is the dot matrix tube, an example
of which is the Colortron. It has a triangular arrangement of electron guns and has the phosphors arranged as triangular sets of colored dots. A metal
shadow mask is placed directly behind the screen,
in the plane of intersection of the electron beams,
to ensure that each beam hits the correct phosphor.
The mask acts as a physical barrier to the beams as
they progress from one location to the next and minimizes the generation of spurious colors by excitation of the wrong phosphor.
The other main type of 3-gun color picture tube
is the slot matrix tube, which has the electron guns
arranged in a horizontal line. The phosphors are arranged as vertical stripes on the screen and the
shadow mask is replaced by an aperture grille of
vertical wires. This type has advantages in focusing
the beams but has a smaller field of view than the
triangular arrangement of electron guns.
The Trinitron is a type of color picture tube that
has certain advantages over 3-gun tubes. It has a
single electron gun with three cathodes aligned horizontally, an aperture grille, and vertical striped phosphors. The cathodes are tilted towards the center so
that the electron beams intersect twice, once within
the electron lens focusing system and once at the
aperture grille. This allows a single electron lens system to be used for all three beams, thus requiring
fewer components. The system is therefore much
lighter and cheaper than the 3-gun tubes. The effective diameter of the electron lens is greater and
sharper focusing of the three beams is therefore
Microconvergence of the electron beams as they
traverse the screen increases with the distance from
the center of the screen. In the horizontal arrangement of electron guns, microconvergence only occurs along the line direction rather than in both line
and field directions as occurs in the triangular configuration. The 3-cathode arrangement of the
Trinitron, however, allows a greater lens aperture
than in the 3-gun arrangement. The diameter of the
electron tube for a given screen size is also reduced
in the Trinitron. CRTs of the Trinitron type can be used
for applications where multiple electron beams are
required; the angle of the tube may be increased to
give a relatively wide-angle color picture tube and
hence a relative reduction in the overall size of color
TV sets. The color quality and definition of the picture on the screen of a picture tube depends greatly
on the dynamic convergence of the beams and the
size of the color cell. Scanning of the three electron
beams across the screen is effected by a system of
deflection coils to which sawtooth waveforms are applied in synchronism with the transmitter, the flyback
signal being blanked. Extra convergence coils are frequently used to ensure the correct convergence of
the beams at the shadow mask or aperture grille. A
system of dynamic focusing is also used in which the
voltage applied to the convergence coils is varied automatically according to the relative position of the
spots on the screen; this minimizes microconvergence.
The size of the color cell is the smallest area on the
screen that includes a complete set of the three primary colors. A smaller color cell is available with horizontally aligned electron guns or cathodes than is
possible in the triangular configuration.
colorplexer Encoder; the section of a color TV transmitter that accepts the R, G and B separation signals and produces a complete encoded video signal.
Composite sync signals are also added.
color primaries The R,G, and B primary colors that
are mixed in various proportions to form all the other
colors on the screen of a color TV receiver.
color processor A device designed to enhance a picture by individually controlling brightness, color tint
and intensity, and the skin tones. Among its many
uses, it can color-correct duplicate tapes while recording or during playback. It is similar to a proc
amp but without its number of corrective steps or
special effects.
color purity Absence of undesired colors in the spot
produced on the screen by each beam of a TV color
picture tube. This term is used to describe how close
a color is to the theoretical. For example, in the Y’UV
color space, color purity is specified as a percentage
of saturation and +/-q, where q is an angle in degrees, and both quantities are referenced to the color
of interest. The smaller the numbers, the closer the
actual color is to the color that it’s really supposed
to be. For a studio-grade device, the saturation is
+/-2% and the hue is +/-2 degrees. On a vectorscope,
if you’re in that range, you’re studio grade.
color purity magnet A magnet on the neck of a color
picture tube, to improve color purity by changing
the path of the electron beam.
color recording Two methods have been used in the
recording of color signals onto tapes. One is called
the direct method, and the other is called the colorunder method. In the direct method, the NTSC signal is coupled to the FM modulator, just as is done
with the black and white signal. The color signal
consists of an AC, 3.58-MHz signal on a DC level.
The DC portion of the signal determines, through
the FM modulation action, the carrier frequency for
the video and color signal modulation. The AC portion of the signal produces sidebands of this FM
carrier. The color signal can be easily demodulated
as with the black and white signal. One problem
with this direct method is that the sidebands on demodulation can cause interference beats in the picture. The color-under method separates the color
and luminance signals from the incoming signal.
Each portion of the total signal is processed individually. The color is heterodyned down from 3.58
MHz to a lower carrier frequency and recorded directly onto tape. The FM carrier is used as a bias
that is amplitude-modulated. During playback in this
method, the color carrier is recovered and heterodyned back up to 3.58 MHz.
color registration The accurate superimposing of the
R,G, and B images used to form a complete color
picture in a color TV receiver.
color response 1. The sensitivity of a device to different wavelengths of light. 2. In videotape, the ability
of the tape to reproduce color signals. Various tapes
respond differently to color signals. Those of poorer
quality display signs of color smear, also known as
chroma signal-to-noise. Both terms refer to the ability
of the tape to accurately reproduce color.
color sampling rate The number of times per second
that each primary color is sampled in a digital video
color saturation The degree to which a color is mixed
with white. High saturation means little or no white,
as in a deep red color. Low saturation means much
white, as in light pink. The amplitudes of the I/Q, U/V,
and Cb/Cr signals determine color saturation in a color
TV receiver. Also called saturation.
color saturation control Chroma control.
color separation overlay (CSO) A technique used in
color TV for superimposing part of one scene on
another. When a particular color, such as blue, occurs in one scene viewed by a camera, the output
of another camera filming a different scene is automatically switched in to replace the areas of the chosen color in the original picture. All other colors are
transmitted normally from the first camera. The technique is widely used for achieving special effects.
color television
color set, HDTV. See SMPTE 240M standard.
color shift In video, the extent to which colors hold
their hue after being recorded in a particular format. Color shift may occur within a single format.
For example, a top-of-the-line VHS machine often
displays less color shift than one of the economy
models. In addition, the recording speed affects color
shifting; SP normally provides better color rendition
than does EP, or 6-hour recording mode. Also, viewers who participated in comparison tests of different formats (LaserVision, 8mm, Super-Beta, ED-Beta,
VHS, S-VHS, Hi8), conducted by a leading video
magazine, selected LaserVision videodiscs as having
the least color shift.
color sidebands The signals that extend for about
0.5 MHz above and below the 3.579545-MHz color
subcarrier signal, which is broadcast as part of a color
TV signal. The color sidebands contain picture
chrominance information, which is removed from
the color subcarrier by a synchronous detection process in receivers.
color signal Any signal that controls the chromaticity
values of a color TV picture, such as the color picture signal and the chrominance signal.
Color Slide Theater A TV system developed by
Sylvania in 1968 to show slides on the TV screen. A
color console TV had a built-in Kodak Carousel slide
projector which projected slides onto the TV screen.
The console also contained an audio tape recorder
for presenting an accompanying narrative while the
slides were advanced by remote control. The model
remained on the market for only one year.
color space A mathematical representation for a color.
No matter what color space is used—RGB, YIQ, YUV,
etc.,—orange is still orange. What changes is how
you represent orange in an imaging system. For example, the RGB color space is based on a Cartesian
coordinate system and the HSI color space is based
on a polar coordinate system.
Colorstream The name Toshiba uses for the analog
YUV video interface on their DVD players and televisions. If it also supports progressive (noninterlaced)
video, it is called Colorstream Pro.
Colorstream Pro See Colorstream.
color-striping An anti-copying process designed to
prevent VCR and DVD users from copying videodiscs or pay-per-view cable broadcasts. This technique is also added to the pressings of videodiscs so
that a videotape which has copied the material will
play back an image filled with rotating color bands.
color subcarrier Alternate term for chrominance subcarrier. The carrier wave on which the color signal
information is impressed; contains the color burst
and alternating phase color information, usually off
to 3.58 MHz. For (M) NTSC the frequency of the
color subcarrier is about 3.58 MHz (3.57954 MHz)
and for PAL (B, D, G, H, I) it’s about 4.43 MHz. The
color subcarrier is used to run the color encoder or
color decoder. In the color encoder, a portion of the
color subcarrier is used to create the color burst,
while in the color decoder, the color burst is used to
reconstruct a color subcarrier.
color-subcarrier oscillator Chroma oscillator.
color-subcarrier reference Chrominance-carrier
color subsampling The technique of using reduced
resolution for the color difference components of a
video signal compared to the luminance component.
Typically the color difference resolution is reduced
by a factor of two or four.
color sync 1. The reference and control signal that is
required to record and play back color—designated
by the figure 3.58 MHz. This number becomes the
reference point to which VCRs lock in for color. 2.
See Color framing.
color sync burst A “burst” of 8 to 11 cycles in the
4.43361875 MHz (PAL) or 3.579545 MHz (NTSC)
color subcarrier frequency. This waveform is located
on the back porch of each horizontal blanking pulse
during color transmissions. It serves to synchronize
the color subcarrier’s oscillator with that of the transmitter in order to recreate the raw color signals.
color table A table of color values that are displayed
in an indexed color system.
color television A TV system that produces a colored
image on the screen of a color picture tube. An additive color reproduction process is used on the
screen whereby three primary colors — red, green,
and blue — are combined by eye to produce a wide
variety of colors. The apparent color of the image
depends on the relative intensities of the three primary colors and a properly adjusted color TV receiver
approximates the original colors of the transmitted
Three separate video signals are produced by a
color TV camera. These signals are used to produce
a composite signal that is broadcast and received by
a color receiver. The receiver extracts the original
video information from the composite signal and
modulates the intensities of the three electron beams
of the color picture tube in order to excite the
appropriate red, green, or blue phosphors on the
The composite signal transmitted in color TV
needed to be compatible with the large number of
black and white receivers in use. It is therefore composed of two parts: the luminance signal and chrominance signal. The luminance signal contains
brightness information. It is obtained by combining
the outputs of the three color channels and is used
for amplitude modulation of the main picture carrier frequency. This produces the black and white
image. The color information is contained in the
chrominance signal, which is transmitted using a
subcarrier wave at a frequency chosen to cause the
least interference on a monochrome set. The chromi-
color television signal
nance signal is obtained by combining, in a color
coder circuit, fixed specified fractions of the separate video signals into sum and difference signals.
Two quadrature components of the chrominance
signal are produced and used for amplitude modulation of the chrominance subcarriers. The subcarriers
are suppressed at transmission. The original information is extracted from the chrominance signal in
the color decoder in the receiver. The frequency overlap is the range of transmitted frequencies that are
common to both the luminance and chrominance
The composite color signal contains the luminance and chrominance signals; it also contains synchronizing pulses for line and field scans as well as
color burst signal. The color burst establishes a phase
and amplitude reference signal that is used to demodulate the chrominance signal. In color receivers
the chrominance circuits are disabled by the color
killer during weak signal or black-white TV program
reception. This ensures that only luminance information reaches the tube and prevents color fringing on the image.
color television signal The entire signal used to transmit a full-color picture. It consists of the color picture signal and all the synchronizing signals.
color temperature The temperature of a black-body
radiator that produces the same chromaticity as the
light under consideration. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin. Measurement of the color
quality of a light source, being the temperature on
the Kelvin scale at which a black body must be operated to give a color matching that of the source in
question. In this definition, a black body is a temperature radiator whose radiant flux in all parts of
the spectrum is the maximum obtainable from any
temperature radiator at the same temperature. It is
called a black body because it absorbs all the radiant energy that falls upon it. If a TV has a color temperature of 8,000 degrees Kelvin, that means the
whites have the same shade as a piece of pure carbon heated to that temperature. Low color temperatures have a shift towards red; high color
temperature have a shift towards blue. The standard for (M) NTSC in the United States is 6,500 degrees Kelvin. Thus, professional TV monitors use a
6,500-degree color temperature. However, most
consumer TVs have a color temperature of 8,000
degrees Kelvin or higher, resulting in a bluish cast.
By adjusting the color temperature of the TV, more
accurate colors are produced, at the expense of picture brightness. In color TV, to avoid color distortion, the color temperature of the lighting of the
scene must be matched to that of the system which
is to record and reproduce it.
color temperature switch A control on many video
cameras which adjusts for different lighting conditions such as bright sun, indoor light, etc. The more
sophisticated—and costly—cameras may have a
switch with as many as four settings: incandescent
indoor lighting (3200 degrees K), fluorescent lighting (4500 degrees K), sunlight (5200 degrees K) and
cloudy bright (6000 degrees K). Color temperature
control, which corrects the camera for various kinds
of light, is different from white balance control, which
helps to set or establish colors, but both may be used
together to adjust for natural color rendition.
color tint control A function on older TV receivers
designed to adjust color when a channel is changed.
Different channels transmit colors that are always
consistent. Some of the reasons for this diversity include the frequent adjusting of the transmitter for
color balance, the individual channel’s deliberate
decision to enhance its color in the hopes of attracting more viewers, and the peculiar whims of station
engineers whose personal visual and esthetic tastes
affect the color that is telecast to home TV sets. As
a result, the TV viewer often has to adjust the color
tint control when he or she switches channels. Some
more sophisticated TV receivers provide a memory
chip which stores the proper tint adjustment for each
channel, thereby automatically making corrections
as the viewer changes channels.
color transient improvement A circuit for color difference signals with transient detecting, storage and
switching stages resulting in faster transients of color
difference signals.
color transmission The transmission of a signal wave
for controlling both the luminance and chromaticity
values in a picture.
color triangle Method of representing colors as points
within a triangle to permit the calculation and specification of a number of aspects of colorimetry. The
three corners of the triangle represent three color
stimuli of R,G, and B lights, whose wavelengths are
defined, and any color which can be produced by
mixing these three stimuli in different proportions
can be represented by a point within the triangle.
The position at which a mixture of the three stimuli
gives the effect of white is known as the white point.
Pure spectral colors fall outside the bounds of the
triangle since they cannot be absolutely matched
by mixtures of three stimuli.
Colortron See Color picture tube.
color-under method A process employed by all home
video recorders to record color and black and white
information separately. The color portion of a video
signal is converted to a lower frequency while the
black and white part of the video image is left unchanged. These two signals are rejoined during playback. But since the union is never exact, fringing,
erratic color or video noise may result from what is
known as chrominance/luminance delay inequality.
See Color recording. See also Down-converted color.
color value The three numbers which specify a color.
See also Pixel value.
Common Carrier Bureau
color vectorscope A testing instrument used to measure the color purity, frequency response and so on
of video components. It can test RF and video signals as well as check the time delay between two
signals. When used in the field, the unit can help
with multiple camera setups by providing precise
phase matching (genlock) adjustments.
color video noise meter A professional/industrial instrument designed to measure luminance noise,
chroma AM noise and chroma PM noise for either
NTSC or PAL signals. These electronic meters usually provide other features, such as automatic level
control, automatic sag compensation, character displays that indicate present operations and warning
messages, special circuitry for automatic testing and
automatic memory.
color video printer See Video printer.
color wheel A graphic depiction of the color components. The color wheel principle shows how the three
primary colors blend into intermediate colors and
white. In the present color TV system, this basic threecolor system is used to produce the color TV
color zero The color in the Amiga’s palette that can
be replaced by a genlocked video signal from another source, e.g., a video camera.
coma 1. Lens defect associated with images away from
the optical axis. A non-axial point object does not
give rise to a point image even in the absence of
spherical aberration, and the best image that can
be produced consists of a small patch of light with a
tail to one side in the shape of a comet. 2. A CRT
image defect that makes the spot on the screen
appear comet-shaped when the spot is away from
the center of the screen. See also Distortion.
combat camera A hand-held camera used to film or
tape warfare or other action.
comb filter A filter whose insertion loss causes its spectrum to form a sequence of equispaced narrow passbands or stop bands centered at multiples of some
specified frequency. The frequency response resembles
the teeth of a comb. One major application for comb
filters is separating NTSC and PAL color and brightness signals.
combination-tone distortion Syn.: intermodulation
distortion. See Distortion.
combined head Syn.: read/write head.
combiner In digital picture manipulators, a device that
controls the manner in which two or more channels
work together. Under software control, it determines
the priority of the channels (which picture appears
in front and which in back) and the types of transitions that can take place between them.
combiner circuit The circuit that combines the luminance and chrominance signals with the synchronizing signals in a color TV camera chain.
combining filter Passive device for feeding the outputs of two transmitters to a common aerial system.
combining unit Circuit designed to combine sound
and vision outputs to enable them to use a common aerial array. The requirements of the combining unit are that a minimum loss should occur within
the unit, that a minimum signal should be fed back
to the other transmitter, and that the impedances
of the inputs and output should correctly match
those of the transmitters and aerial, in order to
achieve a maximum transference of power.
combi player A general term used by journalists and
columnists to describe a unit that can play various
sizes of audio and video discs.
comet tail Also called comet. A streak, generally caused
by an overload camera tube. They can be prevented
or minimized by means of an ACT gun in the tube.
See Photoconductive lag, Anti-comet tail (ACT) gun,
commercial eliminator A device designed to eliminate commercials during unattended recording on
a VCR. One type works only during black and white
programs and films, cutting out color commercials
by a special color burst signal that activates the VCR.
A second type operates with recordings of black and
white and color programs. This unit disconnects an
internal circuit when the program fades to black and
activates another circuit when the audio goes silent.
Because these devices require that the VCR be in
Pause, they don’t work on many machines which
cannot operate in Pause mode when the automatic
timer is engaged. Commercial eliminators of either
type are not 100% accurate; often part of a program is edited out along with the unwanted commercials. By the late 1980s, they had all but
disappeared from the video marketplace.
commercial killer Commercial eliminator.
commercial-killing VCR A VCR with a system that
kills commercials; RCA. When the recorder makes a
tape from a broadcast or cable program, it automatically rewinds it to the beginning and fast forwards to the start of the first commercial break
(whose location has been memorized on the VCR’s
tape counter based on visual and audio cues). The
VCR then encodes commercial-start and -end signals on the tape’s control track. It continues to seek
out and mark recorded commercials to the end of
the tape, and then rewinds. On playback, the VCR
goes into the forward search mode during the commercials, while a blue field masks the picture. The
end signal puts the VCR back in the play mode. Thus,
instead of a commercial, the viewer sees a blank
blue screen for a maximum of 30 s.
Commission Internationale de I’eclairage (CIE) An
international group that has set most of the basic
standards of light and color now used in color TV.
Commodore Dynamic Total Vision See CDTV.
Common Carrier Bureau A department of the Federal Communications Commission responsible for
recommending and implementing regulatory poli-
Common Image Format
cies on interstate and international common carrier
(voice, video, data) activities.
Common Image Format See CIF.
Common Interface Format See CIF.
Common Intermediate Format A videophone ISDN
standard which is part of the CCIT’s H.261. It produces a color image of 352 by 288 pixels. The format uses two B channels, with voice taking 32 Kbps
and the rest for video.
comms Informal communications.
communications satellite (comsat) An artificial unmanned satellite in earth orbit that provides high-capacity communication links between widely separated
locations on earth. International telephone services
and the exchange of live TV programs and news are
achieved by transmitting microwave signals, suitably
modulated, from an earth station to an orbiting satellite and back to another earth location.
The first satellites, including the large metallized
balloons ECHO-1 and ECHO-2, were passive systems;
they simply reflected or scattered the microwave
beam back to another earth station. Present-day
systems use active satellites, in which the signal is
amplified and its frequency changed by a transponder before it is retransmitted to earth. The first successful active satellites included the Telstar and Relay
satellites (1962-64). They were in relatively low orbits and were only in line of sight of any two earth
stations for a short period each day and then had to
be tracked as they moved across the sky.
A satellite in a geosynchronous orbit revolves from
west to east in an orbital period equal to that of the
earth’s rotation (about 23 hours 56 minutes). It traces
a figure-of-eight pattern in the sky with equatorial
plane. A geostationary orbit is a circular synchronous orbit lying in the equatorial plane at an altitude of 35,790 km. A geostationary satellite will
appear to be stationary to an observer on stationary
orbits. One such satellite can cover an extensive surface area, excluding polar regions. For global coverage at least three geostationary satellites are needed,
situated over the equatorial Atlantic, Indian, and
Pacific Oceans. For long east-west links at high northerly latitudes the Russians have used satellites in
highly elliptical 12-hour orbit.
The International Telecommunications Satellite
Consortium (Intelsat), established in 1964, is responsible for international nonmilitary satellite communications. Early Bird, later renamed Intelsat 1, was
launched in 1965. The much heavier Intelsat IVa,
launched in 1975, have up to 6000 circuits and a
much longer life.
The radio window covers the frequency range
from 15 MHz to 50 GHz, with the optimum transmission in the range 1 to 10 GHz. The frequency
bands used by Intelsat systems are from 5.925-6.425
GHz for the earth-to-satellite path and from 3.7-4.2
GHz for the satellite-to-earth path.
Solar cells form the primary power supply for satellites with a back-up of batteries for use during the
brief periods of solar eclipses. The operational lifetime of a modern satellite should be at least 5 years.
A geostationary satellite can be maintained in a
stable attitude by spinning about an axis parallel to
the earth’s axis. In Intelsat IV the high-gain aerials
are mounted on a platform that rotates about the
spin axis but in the opposite direction. The aerials
then appear stationary with respect to the earth, at
their desired orientation. Parabolic reflectors allow
spot-beam transmission to regions of limited size,
such as W. Europe, which have high communication traffic densities.
The earth stations must be situated some distance from terrestrial microwave relay systems to
avoid radio interference. The aerials of the stations
in the Intelsat system, such as at Goonhilly in
Cornwall, have apertures of 25 to 30 meters. The
aerials should be steerable to compensate for perturbations of the orbits caused by gravitational effects of moon and sun. Present-day systems provide
simultaneous multiple access to one satellite from a
large number of earth stations within one coverage
zone. This is achieved by time-division multiplexing
or frequency-division multiplexing. In the former case
a station does not share the transponder power with
other stations and can operate at close to saturation where the transponder is most efficient.
community antenna relay service (CARS) See Microwave relay.
community antenna television (CATV) Another
name for cable TV. Signals from distant TV stations
are picked up by a large antenna, typically located
on a hill, then amplified and piped all over the community below on coaxial cable.
compact disc (CD) The 12 cm. (4.75 in.) optical readonly disc used for digital audio, data, or video in
different systems.
Compact Disc-Interactive (CD-i) An interactive audio/video/computer system developed by Sony and
Philips for the consumer market. Provides audio, digital data, still graphics and limited motion video.
Geared toward home entertainment. Unlike conventional CD-ROMs, CD-i drives have a built-in microprocessor to handle many of the computing
functions. CD-i also has commercial and industrial
applications. CD-i has been superseded by DVD and
other platforms.
compact disc, read-only memory (CD-ROM) A compact disc adapted for home entertainment that is
capable of storing video and audio data in digital
format for playback through a computer. Data bits
are stored as microscopic pits on the disc and are
read by a laser beam.
Compact Disc Video (CDV) A compact laser disc, introduced by Philips, which plays both pictures and
sound. Compared with video cassettes, they have
component television
better sound, last longer, give easier and faster access to the section you want, and have better freezeframe. You can’t, however, record onto or from
them. The basic technology of the CDV is similar to
that of the audio or sound CD (called CD-DA to distinguish it). They look the same, but CDVs are usually colored gold, whereas CD-DAs are silver. Initially
they were made in three sizes, which contain respectively 6, 20, and 60 minutes of audio-visual
material on each side. Superseded by DVD.
compact source iodide (CSI) An iodide gas-discharge
mercury arc lamp that is small-size and produces
near-daylight illumination, used in film and TV.
compact video cassette See CVC.
Compact Video Compressor One of several software
algorithms for compressing video into QuickTime
movies. It is very asymmetrical, in some cases taking
as much as 1 hour to compress 1 minute of video,
which can later be quickly decompressed. The advantage here is that a movie with Compact Video
Compression looks better and runs faster than the
Apple Video-compressed movie. The Compact Video
Compressor was also optimized to create movies that
can be smoothly played back from a CD-ROM disc.
comparator A circuit that is a basic component of
flash ADCs. Has two inputs, X and Y, along with
one output we call Z. The comparator implements
the following mathematical function: if A – B greater
than 0, then Z = 1; if A – B less than 0, then Z = 0. If
A = B, Z may be undefined and oscillate between 1
and 0 wildly until that condition is removed, it may
be a “1,” or it may be “0,” depending on how the
comparator was designed.
compatibility, HDTV/conventional TV In 1988 Robert Hopkins suggested five levels of compatibility:
Level 0 — Incompatible. The conventional receiver cannot display the HDTV image, and the HDTV
receiver cannot display the conventional image.
Level 1 — The HDTV signal can be converted by
an expensive adapter to provide a display on the
conventional receiver.
Level 2 — Same as level 1, except that the adapter
is inexpensive.
Level 3 — The HDTV image is received and displayed by the conventional receiver, but at a loss of
quality relative to the receiver’s optimum performance.
Level 4 — The same as level 3, except that the
quality of the image is the highest of which the
receiver is capable.
Level 5 — The image displayed by the conventional receiver has all the quality of the HDTV image.
Other terms applicable to compatible systems are
“forward” versus “backward.” In a forward system,
the conventional receiver obtains service from the
advanced or HDTV signal at levels 1 through 4. In
the backward version, the HDTV or advanced receiver obtains service from the conventional signal.
When the audience is served by substantial num-
bers of HDTV and conventional receivers, both types
of compatibility are highly desirable.
compatible color television system A color TV system that permits the substantially normal black and
white reception of the transmitted color picture signal on a typical unaltered black and white receiver.
This is accomplished in the NTSC and PAL systems
by dividing the color video information into a luminance signal and two chrominance signals. The luminance signal is the equivalent of a black and white
TV picture signal and is used alone by a black and
white receiver.
complementary colors Colors which result from subtracting in turn the three primary colors from the
visible spectrum: minus-green (magenta), minus-red
(blue-green or cyan) and minus-blue (yellow).
component digital A digital representation of a component analog signal set, most often Y, B-Y, R-Y.
The encoding parameters are specified by ITU-R
BT.601-2 (CCIR 601). The pro-video parallel interface is specified by ITU-R BT.656 (CCIR 656) and
component digital editing A sophisticated editing
process used in relation with professional/industrial
equipment such as digital or production switchers.
This advanced editing technique usually employs
other features, such as compositing in real time and
color correction functions.
component switcher A video switcher that deals with
the individual color components (R,G,B or YPbPr) of
the picture instead of the encoded composite video
signal. It’s almost like having three separate switchers combined into one package. The three color components travel through the switcher in parallel. This
generally produces a much sharper picture and
crisper special effects.
component television The use of individual units such
as a TV monitor, tuner, speakers and so on which
make up a TV system otherwise combined in one
box, the TV set or receiver. Proponents of component TV speak of advantages such as better video
and improved sound as well as flexibility in component selections. The center of such a system is the
monitor which, although it lacks a tuner, has direct
audio and video inputs, higher resolution, more circuitry, etc. The component tuner is capable of better electronic isolation, thereby eliminating more
noise, distortion and signal loss than its counterpart
built into the conventional TV set. Component tuners also feature frequency-synthesized tuning, various audio/video inputs/outputs, wireless remote
control, etc. Sony introduced the first component
TV in 1980 in Japan and later to the US. It provided
a choice of two monitors with dual channel 10-watt
amplifiers and external speakers as well as other optional accessories. Discriminating American
videophiles have opted for TV monitor/receivers
instead of component TV.
component tuner
component tuner An individual unit which, along with
a TV monitor, audio amp, speakers and other parts,
make up a TV system or component video. The tuner
portion of this system provides a video signal with less
loss, noise and distortion than is usually present in conventional TV sets. This is the result of quality components within the tuner, better isolation of the parts
and generally higher manufacturing standards. Component tuners offer several features, including, among
others, wireless remote control, frequency-synthesis
tuning and direct inputs and outputs for connections
to monitors, VCRs, cameras and speakers.
component video 1. Three color video signals that
describe a color image. Typical component systems
are R,G,B; Y,I,Q; or Y,U,V. 2. Transmission and recording of color TV with luminance and chrominance
treated as separate signals.
composite color signal The color picture signal plus
all blanking and synchronizing signals. The composite color signal thus includes the luminance signal,
the two chrominance signals, vertical and horizontal sync pulses, vertical and horizontal blanking
pulses, and the color-burst signal.
composite color sync The signal comprising all the
sync signals necessary for proper operation of a color
receiver. This includes the horizontal and vertical sync
and blanking pulses, and the color-burst signal.
composite digital A digitally encoded video signal,
such as NTSC or PAL video, that includes horizontal
and vertical synchronizing information.
composite master An original program produced by
editing various portions of other recordings onto a
new reel of tape; in electronic editing the resulting
tape is one generation from the master materials
from which it was recorded.
composite picture signal The complete picture signal as it leaves the TV transmitter. The picture consists of picture data, blanking pulses, synchronizing
pulses for monochrome, and the color subcarrier,
color burst, and other information needed for transmission of color pictures. Also called composite signal and composite video signal.
composite signal Composite picture signal.
composite sync The total sync system containing both
vertical and horizontal scan controls.
composite triple beats See Triple beats.
composite video signal Composite picture signal.
(CVS/CVBS) A signal that carries video picture information for color, brightness and synchronizing signals for both horizontal and vertical scans.
Sometimes referred to as “Baseband Video.” Typical composite TV standard signals are NTSC, PAL,
and SECAM. RGB is not an example of composite
video, even though each red, green, and blue signals may each contain sync and blank information,
because all three signals are required to display the
picture with the right colors.
compositing system A sophisticated professional/in-
dustrial device designed to produce shadows, transparencies, reflections, blue foreground objects and
other effects. Used chiefly in post-production, the
compositing system can correct corner darkening
and unnatural shadows in a multi-layered image.
Some models provide a built-in time-code reader,
capabilities for hundreds of events to be programmed for real-time on-line compositing and a
menu-driven remote control.
compressed serial digital interface (CSDI) A way of
compressing digital video for use on SDI-based
equipment proposed by Panasonic. Now incorporated into Serial Digital Transport Interface.
compressed video TV signals transmitted with much
less than the usual bit rate. Full standard coding of
broadcast quality SDTV typically requires 45 to 90
megabits per second. Compressed video includes
signals from 2 Mb/s down to 56 Kb/s. The lower bit
rates typically involve some compromise in picture
quality, particularly when there’s rapid motion on
the screen.
compression 1. A digital process that allows data to
be stored or transmitted using less than the normal
number of bits. Video compression refers to techniques that reduce the number of bits required to
store or transmit images. 2. Audio term similar to
video clipping is the automatic adjustment of volume variations to produce a nearly consistent level
of sound. Elimination of audio overmodulations produces a sound track lacking in dynamics—it is never
soft or loud, but always at the same level. 3. Digital
effect where the size and/or aspect of the picture is
changed on the TV screen; zoom effect with objects
decreased in size.
compression artifacts Compacting of a digital signal, particularly when a high compression ratio is
used, may result in small errors when the signal is
decompressed. These errors are known as artifacts,
or unwanted defects. The artifacts may resemble
noise or may cause parts of the picture, particularly
fast moving portions, to be displayed with the movement distorted or missing.
compression/expansion noise reduction See Noise
reduction system.
compression ratio A number used to tell how much
information is squeezed out of an image when it
has been compressed. For example, suppose we start
with a 1-Mbyte image and compress it down to 128
Kbytes. The compression ratio is 8:1; 1/8 of the original amount of storage is now required. For a given
compression technique—MPEG, for example—the
higher the compression ratio, the worse the image
looks. This has nothing to do with which compression method is better, for example JPEG vs. MPEG.
Rather, it depends on the application. A video stream
that is compressed using MPEG at 100:1 may look
better than the same video stream compressed to
100:1 using JPEG.
continuous motion
compunications A recent creation meaning the combination of telephones, computers, TV and data
computerized editing A system of editing that permits the numbering of each frame of video as it is
being shot on location with a video camera. This
reference then makes it possible to edit the tape
immediately. Computerized editing is available only
with industrial VCRs. Also called computer-assisted
computerized TV See Telecomputer.
COMSAT COMmunications SATellite.
concave A lens configuration in which the lens
element has an inward curve.
condenser Describes a type of microphone element
that uses two condenser plates to convert sound
waves to voltage variations.
condenser lens A lens to concentrate the image so
that it will all enter the video camera lens.
condenser microphone A wide-range mic usually
built into video camera or camcorder. It is designed
basically to pick up all the sound in the shooting
area and is characterized by wide frequency range
and low distortion. The mic contains circuitry that
uses a condenser and requires batteries.
conditional access This is a technology by which service providers enable subscribers to decode and view
content. It consists of key decryption (using a key
obtained from changing coded keys periodically sent
with the content) and descrambling. The decryption
may be proprietary (such as Canal+, DigiCipher,
Irdeto Access, Nagravision, NDS, Viaccess, etc.) or
standardized, such as the DVB common scrambling
algorithm and OpenCable. Conditional access may
be thought of as a simple form of digital rights
Two common DVB conditional access (CA) techniques are SimulCrypt and MultiCrypt. With
SimulCrypt, a single transport stream can contain
several CA systems. This enables receivers with different CA systems to receive and correctly decode
the same video and audio streams. With MultiCrypt,
a receiver permits the user to manually switch between CA systems. Thus, when the viewer is presented with a CA system which is not installed in his
receiver, he simply switches CA cards.
connector The metal fitting or connection at the end
of a wire or cable. A connector can be male or female, thread-type or slip-on. The barrel-shaped female connector has external threads and is usually
located at the rear of the component, while the male
part is on the cable. There are various types of connectors. The BNC is most often utilized for professional hook-ups. The PL-259 is double the size of its
look-alike, the F-fitting, and is sometimes used with
video cameras and some industrial equipment as well
as for transmitting video-only signals. The F-connector, the most popular, is designed basically for RF
signals which transmit both audio and video signals.
All the above connectors use coaxial cable. The twin
lead cable usually doesn’t need connectors. Generally, VHS machines use the RCA phono type while
Beta VCRs employ mini-plugs for audio and RCA
phono jacks for video. Another type is the multi-pin
connector used between a video camera and a VCR.
console 1. A large cabinet for a radio or TV receiver
that stands on the floor rather than on a table. 2. A
main control desk for TV station.
constant angular velocity See CAV.
constant bit rate Constant bit rate (CBR) means that
a bitstream (compressed or uncompressed) has the
same number of bits each second.
constant linear velocity See CLV.
constant luminance system A color TV system in
which the brightness of the reproduced picture depends solely on the transmitted luminance signal and
is unaffected by the chrominance signal transmitted with it. This is an ideal which is not perfectly
achieved in the NTSC, PAL and SECAM color
Constant-Minimum Wavelength-Constant Angular
Velocity (CWL-CAV) Method for high-density magneto-optical disc recording; NEC Corp., Tokyo. The
technique allows up to 23 Gbytes of multimedia data
to be written to a single 30-cm disc. 32 minutes of
NTSC composite digital signals can be recorded without compression. Using MPEG-2 compression at 8
Mbits/s, up to 5 h of full-motion video can be
recorded on a disc.
Consumer Electronics Show (CES) A seasonal event
originating in the 1960s consisting of independent
dealers, buying groups, domestic and foreign manufacturers, government officials, importers, chain and
department store buyers, trade guests and members of the press. New products and innovations in
consumer electronics are highlighted and displayed.
consumer-level monitoring equipment See Video
monitoring equipment.
continuous film scanner A TV film scanner in which
the motion-picture film moves continuously while
being scanned by a flying-spot kinescope.
continuously variable slope delta (CVSD) modulation
A technique for converting an analog signal (such
as audio or video) into a serial bit stream. Modulator/demodulator circuits that encode and decode
functions on the same chip with a digital input for
continuous motion In video, a smooth, moving image such as that which is produced on videotape,
DVD or some videodisc formats such as CD-I or CD-V.
Other disc formats, such as CD+G, produce graphics, with some new images displayed on screen in
less than 1 s. However, the total effect resembles
strobe display—a sequence of images—rather than
the more familiar continuous motion that viewers
know from TV and films.
continuous presence
continuous presence In teleconferencing, the simultaneous presence of two or more video images. The
images may appear on a single monitor in a split
screen mode or on two separate monitors.
contour control Refers to the capabilities of a projection TV system or similar unit to adjust the sharpness at the edges of a screen image in relation to its
contrast. See also Horizontal image delineation.
contouring In digital systems, the appearance of patterns in a digitized image because the quantization
did not have enough levels. This is an image artifact
caused by not having enough bits to represent the
image. The reason the effect is called “contouring”
is because the image develops vertical lines.
contours-out-of-green In TV cameras, a technique
for increasing picture sharpness. Pulses are generated from the green signal at each edge in the image by separating its high-frequency components.
The green channel is used to generate these pulses
because it has the best signal-to-noise level. The
“white” contours—changes from dark to light—are
added at the aperture correction circuit, while the
“black” contours are added after gamma
contrast The degree of difference in tone between
the lightest and darkest areas in a TV picture; a video
term referring to how far the whitest whites are from
the blackest blacks in a video waveform. If the peak
white is far away from the peak black, the image is
said to have high contrast. With high contrast, the
image is very stark and very “contrasty,” like a blackand-white tile floor. If the two are very close to each
other, the image is said to have poor, or low, contrast. With poor contrast, an image may be referred
to as being “washed out”—you can’t tell the difference between white and black, and the image looks
gray. Contrast is measured in terms of gamma, a
numerical indication of the degree of contrast. Pictures with high contrast have deep blacks and brilliant whites, and pictures with low contrast have an
overall gray appearance.
contrast compensation switch On some video cameras with automatic iris control, a feature designed
to provide more or less light by opening or closing
the lens approximately one f-stop. In scenes with
lighter or darker backgrounds than the subject, the
automatic iris may not give the desired lighting,
thereby resulting in over- or underexposure. The contrast compensation switch corrects for this by either
opening or closing the lens. This feature is different
from and more flexible than the backlight switch
which can only open the lens.
contrast control A manual control that adjusts the
range of brightness between highlights and shadows on the reproduced image in a TV set. Usually,
the contrast control varies the gain of a video amplifier. In a color TV set a dual control can be used,
with one section controlling the luminance signal
and the other section controlling the chrominance
signals; this permits adjustment of contrast without
changing color.
contrast gradient See Gamma.
contrast range See Contrast ratio.
contrast ratio Contrast range. The ratio of the maximum to minimum luminance values on a CRT, liquid-crystal display or active display for a TV set, a
computer monitor, or a video terminal. A contrast
ratio of at least 10:1 is needed for the best readability. In (2+3)D-image display systems with parallax
barrier stripes, at least 6:1 or more is needed as a
contrast ratio of the barrier and the opening portion (portion without any barrier). When the contrast ratio is less than 6:1, a crosstalk occurs.
contrast resolution The number of gray levels at each
pixel in a digital image, determined by raising two
to the power of the number of bits at each pixel.
contrast transfer function (CTF) See Aperture
contribution In B-ISDN applications, the use of broadband transmission of audio or video information
to the user for post-production processing and
contribution quality The level of quality of a television signal from the network to its affiliates. For digital television this is approximately 45 Mbps.
control desk Console.
control grid An electrode situated between the cathode and the other electrodes of an electron tube,
the potential of which determines the magnitude
of the electron current flowing from the cathode to
the other electrodes. The control grid is usually situated very close to the cathode and is constructed in
the form of a wire spiral, the pitch of which can be
adjusted during manufacture to give the required
degree of control over the density of the electron
stream. Thus, the pitch of the grid determines the
mutual conductance of the tube. In a CRT, the control grid (sometimes known as the modulator) is often in the form of a disk containing a small aperture
through which the electron beam passes.
control room A room from which engineers and production personnel control and direct a TV or radio
program. It is adjacent to the main studios and separated from them by large, soundproof, double-glass
control signal A special signal recorded onto the videotape at the same time a video signal is being recorded. Using during playback as a reference of the
servo circuits.
control track The lower portion along the length of a
videotape on which sync control information is
placed and used to control the recording or playing
back of the video signal on a VCR. Editing a tape
that has only control track instead of time code is
very difficult. Master tapes (edited) have control track
information instead of time code. Time code must
copy block
be added to master tapes in order to have editing
flexibility in combining master elements.
control track counter editing controller A device
to control videotape editing by counting the control
track pulses on the tapes.
control track pulse An electronic control signal placed
on the bottom portion of the videotape during recording. When the tape is played back, the control
track pulses guide the video heads in reproducing
accurately the original information. The pulses, which
make up the control track, usually govern the speed
of the VCR and designate the start of every second
video field recorded on the tape.
CONUS Continental U.S. Also, a TV news company
that provides global news coverage to local TV
stations that are members on an exclusive market
conventional systems 525-line NTSC system and 625line PAL and SECAM. See also System terminology.
convergence 1. A condition in which the electron
beams of a multibeam CRT intersect at a specified
point, such as at an opening in the shadow mask of
a three-gun color TV picture tube. Both static and
dynamic convergence are required. 2. A measure of
the clarity of a color monitor. A measure of how
closely the R,G and B guns in a color monitor track
each other when drawing a color image. 3. See Multimedia.
convergence alignment A process which lines up or
overlaps the three primary colors of TV (red, green,
blue) and brings them into registration to form a
perfect image.
convergence coil One of the coils used to obtain convergence of electron beams in a three-gun color TV
picture tube.
convergence control An adjustment or set of adjustments that brings together the three primary colors
(red, green, blue) into one focal point. In projection
TV using a three-tube system, alignment is needed
to merge the three separate images into registration without color fringing. Controls for two colors
are adjusted both horizontally and vertically while
the third primary color (usually green) serves as
reference for the other two.
convergence electrode An electrode whose electric
field converges two or more electron beams.
convergence magnet A magnet assembly whose
magnetic field converges two or more electron
beams. Used in three-gun color picture tubes. Also
called beam magnet.
convergence plane A plane that contains the points
at which the electron beams of a multibeam CRT
appear to experience a deflection applied for the
purpose of obtaining convergence.
convergence surface The surface generated by the
point of intersection of two or more electron beams
in a multibeam CRT during the scanning process.
converging meniscus A lens configuration in which
the lens element has an outward curve on one side
and an inward curve on the other.
conversion factor (CF) In digital video, the ratio
between the digital and the normalized representation of the signal. Normalization is done to
R = G = B = 1 at peak white and the digital signals are represented on a scale of 256 (8 bits).
conversion filter See Color conversion filter.
converted chrominance signal See Converted subcarrier direct recording method.
converted subcarrier The process of frequency shifting the color 3.58-MHz subcarrier and its sidebands
down to 629 kHz. See also Converted subcarrier
direct recording method.
converted subcarrier direct recording method In
order to avoid visible beats in the picture caused by
the interaction of the color (chrominance) and brightness (luminance) signals, the first step in the converted subcarrier method is to separate the
chrominance and luminance portions of the video
signal to be recorded. The luminance signal, containing frequencies from dc to about 4 MHz, is then
FM recorded. The chrominance portion, containing
frequencies in the area of 3.58 MHz, is down-converted in frequency in the area of 629 kHz. This converted chrominance signal can be recorded directly
on the tape. The frequencies in the area of 629 kHz
are still high enough to allow equalized playback. In
practice, the converted chrominance signal and the
FM signals are mixed and then simultaneously applied to the tape. Upon playback, the FM and converted chrominance signal are separated. The FM is
demodulated into a luminance signal again. The converted chrominance signal is reconverted back up in
frequency to the area of 3.58 MHz. The chrominance
and luminance signals are combined, which reproduces the original video signal.
converter See Cable television converter, Single conversion block converter, Up converter.
convex A lens configuration in which the lens element has an outward curve.
cookie A cutout screen placed before a light source to
cast random wall shadows. Light source should be
a focused source through a lens (an ellipsoidal lamp
is ideal, or a slide projector can be used).
coordinate data In (2+3)D-image display systems, information to indicate the position and size of the
Coppola, Francis Ford Film director; early proponent
of previsualization, a videotaping of artists’ views
and scenes of a film to help form a rough version of
the finished work; and the first director to utilize
electronic cinema during the making of One from
the Heart (1982). Although more popularly known
for his films (The Godfather and Apocalypse Now),
Coppola remains in the forefront of video and electronic experimentation as they relate to filmmaking.
copy block In radio and TV broadcasting, the portion
copy guard
of the script to be read. In TV broadcasting, this is
written on the right half or two thirds of the page,
with cues and technical details written on the left.
copy guard See Anti-piracy signal.
copying In video, the term refers to making a duplicate copy of the audio and video material of a tape.
The process can include dubbing, as it is often called,
from a 1/2-inch machine to an industrial 3/4-inch, 1inch or 2-inch VTR. Or it can involve a Beta format
and a VHS machine or vice versa. There are two basic
methods employed, RF copying and direct copying.
In the first, the open channel output is connected to
the VHF input of the machine doing the recording. In
the second method, cables are connected from the
audio and video outputs of the first machine to the
audio and video inputs of the recording VCR. This
method is much preferred since its direct connections
produce a better copy. However, special cable connections may be needed since Beta and VHS use different phono plugs, especially in the audio input and
output. If your original tape is a master, the new copy
is called a first generation tape; if your tape is a prerecorded one, then the copy you have just made is called
a second generation tape. Each generation removed
from the original or master adds to the degradation
of the picture quality. Duplicating copyrighted
material is not legal.
copy-protection signal A signal to prevent home
copying of prerecorded videotapes. Located in the
VBI, that signal includes pulses that affect the AGC
of the VCR that is recording the copy-protected tape.
The nature of the signal in the VBI distorts the video
of the unauthorized recording.
core The light-transmitting material at the center of a
fiber optic cable.
corner antenna Corner-reflector antenna.
corner insert A second video picture signal added to
an area of the first video picture signal. Corner inserts are achieved by halting the horizontal and vertical scanning of the first picture in a predetermined
area and inserting the second picture’s scanning
portions into that area. See PIP.
corner-reflector antenna An antenna that consists
of two conducting surfaces intersecting at an angle,
which is usually 90 degrees, with a dipole or other
antenna located on the bisector of the angle. The
surfaces are often made of wire mesh to reduce wind
resistance. Maximum pickup is along the bisector of
the reflector angle. Used as a UHF TV and radio
receiving antenna. Also called corner antenna.
corona Similar to an electric arc, except that this is a
characteristic of much higher voltages (thousands).
Corona occurs as a continuous, fine electrical path
through air between two points, sometimes accompanied by a faint violet glow, usually near the
picture tube.
correlator filter Used in certain noise reduction systems to separate and cut out noise from overtones.
The filter permits the passage of overtones which it
“reads” based on the original tone. When no tone
is present, the filter blocks the passage of any extraneous sound (noise) from getting through. The results of the correlator filter are similar to those of
the dynamic noise filter, but the methods of achieving them are different.
co-siting Relates to component digital video, in which
the luminance component (Y) and the two chrominance components (Cb and Cr) are sampled at the
same time.
couch potato A person who stays at home (sits on a
couch) and vegetates (is sedentary, like a potato),
especially by watching TV for long periods.
coupler An accessory which accepts two sources or
units and permits them to be fed through one output. In other words, a two-way splitter can be used
in reverse to form a coupler. The splitter/coupler
should be the signal splitter type, not the VHF/UHF
version. See Signal splitter.
coverage (CVG) 1. The geographic area in which a TV
station is received by viewers, as indicated on a coverage map. See Service area. 2. In film, TV, the shooting of a scene from various views and using various
coverage map See Coverage.
covering power In film and TV, the capacity of a camera lens to pick up (cover) a clear image over the
entire frame.
cover shot In TV, a wide or long-distance view, generally begins a sequence to establish the location.
cover story An article featured on the cover of a magazine or other publication, generally the major article
in the issue. With the development of magazinestyle TV programs, many print terms have come into
use by broadcasters; thus, cover story also denotes
a major feature or sequence on a TV program.
CPA Color Phase Alternation.
C-Phone (short for computer phone) A Twincom’s personal videoconferencing kit that includes the necessary software and a single piece of hardware—
housing the camera, mic, and speaker. It sits atop
the computer monitor. In addition to full-motion
color video at 30 fr/s, the C-Phone system bounces
the incoming audio off the PC’s screen to create the
impression that the caller’s voice is coming from the
CPS emitron tube Syn.: Orthicon.
Cr Coded color difference signal (digital R-Y).
crab A method of moving a TV or film camera on a
pedestal, on which all wheels are steered simultaneously; mobile unit used in crabbing. The method
is used for lateral movements (crab shots), particularly in small areas. The instructions are crab left (or
truck left) and crab right (or truck right).
crane A vehicle with a movable arm or boom (generally hydraulic) that moves a platform on which are a
camera and a crew; sometimes called whirly. A crane
cross-hatch signal
typically has three seats, for the director, camera operator, and camera assistant or focus puller. The base
of the vehicle is called a trolley. A crane shot or boom
shot is a shot taken from a crane.
crane shot See Crane.
crash editing A simple, basic editing technique of
adding one segment after another of recorded programming from one tape onto another. The method
utilizes the Pause control (instead of Stop), then
Record, to help minimize picture breakup between
scenes. Most recent video equipment compensates
for pausing and recording, thereby virtually eliminating the annoying breakup that used to show up
between scenes edited on older VCRs. As in all editing, two home video recorders, audio and video input and output connections and a TV set used as a
monitor provide the bare essentials. Also called assemble or assembly editing.
crawl Lettering that moves across all or part of a TV
screen (often the bottom). The crawl can refer to
news of national importance, local election results,
dramatic changes in local weather conditions, etc.
Also called crawl roll. The effect is produced by
mounting the text on a drum like mechanism, also
known as the crawl roll. The crawl can be horizontal (across the top or bottom of the screen) or vertical (from the bottom, moving up). It is positioned in
the crawl space.
crawling dot pattern See Moire.
crawl roll See Crawl.
crawl space See Crawl.
CRC Cyclic redundant check. Used in data transfer to
determine if the data has been corrupted. It is a
check value calculated for a data stream by feeding it through a shifter with feedback terms EXORed
back in.
creepy-crawlies A specific image artifact that is a result of the NTSC system. When the nightly news is
on, and a little box containing a picture appears over
the anchorperson’s shoulder, or when some computer-generated text shows up on top of the video
clip being shown, along the edges of the box, or
along the edges of the text, you’ll notice some
jaggies “rolling” up (could be down) the picture.
That’s the creepy-crawlies. Some people refer to this
as zipper.
creepy peepy A portable TV camera, or minicam; also
spelled creepy-peepy, creepie peepie, or creepiepeepie.
crispening Process of electrically sharpening the edges
of a TV image.
crimping A mechanical method of attaching a jack to
the end of a cable. The sleeve of the jack is squeezed
around the cable so that it will stay on; most often
used in coaxial cable installation.
critical flicker frequency The frequency at which a
flickering light source is perceived by the eye to be
changing from pulsating to continuous. The lowest
frequency at which the TV picture does not flicker is
about 60 Hz.
critical focus Precision-sharp clarity of image; an instruction to a camera operator of this requirement
for a specific scene. Areas in front of and behind
the subject may be blurred or imperfect.
critical fusion frequency The lowest repetition rate
at which a continuous image is perceived. Both TV
and motion pictures depend on the retentivity of
the eye to merge a rapid sequence of images into a
single continuous one. If the repetition rate of the
images is too low, the eye will fail to merge them,
and flicker results.
critical section In the DVI RTX software, a critical section is a segment of code in one RTX task which
must not be interrupted by another RTX task.
crop Camera framing; or framing of an object to exclude some picture information.
cross A movement of a performer across a stage or
set. Types include direct cross (movement in a straight
line) and curved cross (one or more curves in moving from one place to another). The starting and
ending points of the movement are sometimes
shown on the stage or stage plan with an X (cross).
cross backlight Kicker.
cross-channel fade See Cross-fade.
cross-color In NTSC or PAL, a signal intermodulation
arising in the bands occupied by the chrominance
subcarrier signal. It causes a display of false colors
to be superimposed on repetitive patterns in the luminance image. This occurs when the video decoder
incorrectly interprets high-frequency luma information (brightness) to be chroma information (color),
resulting in color being displayed where it shouldn’t.
cross-color interference Interference produced in the
chrominance channel of a color TV set by crosstalk
from the monochrome signal.
cross-fade To fade out one video signal and fade in
another as a simultaneous movement; can be written as X on taping scripts. May be applied to vision,
sound or lighting. Also known as cross-channel fade
or fader.
crosshatch generator A signal generator that generates a crosshatch pattern for adjusting color TV set
crosshatching In projection TV, the converging of colored lines on a screen to bring the three color tubes
into alignment. In three-tube systems (each tube or
“gun” representing a primary color) it is essential
that all three converge exactly. Projection TV systems,
therefore, provide each color tube with a test pattern of intersecting lines to facilitate crosshatching.
cross-hatch signal A grid-like pattern produced on a
TV screen designed to check horizontal and vertical
linearity as well as align convergence. The crosshatch signal pattern consists of 14 by 17 lines (NTSC
standard) or 14 horizontal by 19 vertical lines to
match the PAL 625-line standard. Some units, such
as the TV signal generator, produce a cross-hatch
signal which can be internally switched to a dot
pattern, the dots appearing at the crossing points
of the lines.
cross-luma See Cross-luminance.
cross-luminance Signal intermodulation arising in the
bands occupied by the chrominance subcarrier signal; artifact in the luminance channel due to deficiency of Y/C separation in the decoder. This occurs
when the video decoder incorrectly interprets
chroma information (color) to be high-frequency
luma information (brightness). It causes a crawling
dot pattern, primarily visible around colored edges
and looks like parasitic dots at the sharp or moving
edges of saturated colored objects. Syn.: chroma
crawl; cross luma dot crawl; moving dots.
cross modulation A condition occurring when one
signal erroneously modulates another signal.
crossover area See Cathode-ray tube.
crossover distortion See Distortion.
crossover voltage In CRTs, the secondary-emitting
surface voltage (SESV) at which the secondary emission ratio (SER) is unity. There are generally two
such voltages, V1 and V2. It is possible to predict
the voltage at which the target of a TV camera tube
or the screen of a CRT will stabilize. For example, if
the initial target potential is below V1 the secondary emission ratio is less than unity and the number of electrons striking the target exceeds those
lost from it. Thus the target potential is driven negative until it stabilizes at a potential near that of the
electron-gun cathode. This is the type of target stabilization used in all low-velocity camera tubes. If,
however, the initial target potential is between V1
and V2 and if the final anode potential of the electron gun is also between these two voltages then
the secondary emission ratio is greater than one
and the target releases more electrons than it gains
from the electron beam. If the target potential is
initially below that of the final anode all the secondary electrons released are collected by the final
anode and the target potential rises until it is approximately equal to that of the final anode. If the
target potential is initially above that of the final
anode the retarding field between target and anode returns the secondary electrons to the target
and the target potential falls until again it is approximately equal to the final anode potential. This
is the type of stabilization that occurs in high-velocity TV camera tubes and in CRTs.
cross-pulse generator An electronic circuit, available
as a separate component or built into high-priced
TV studio monitors, which shifts the video picture
on a TV screen so that the horizontal and vertical
pulses are visible on the screen, making it possible
to adjust tracking and screw and thereby achieve as
stable a picture as possible.
crosstalk (XT) 1. Interference from one signal that is
detected on another. 2. The sound heard in a receiver along with a desired program because of crossmodulation or other undesired coupling to another
communication channel. 3. Interaction of audio and
video signals in a TV system, causing video modulation of the audio carrier or audio modulation of the
video signal at some point. 4. Interaction of chrominance and luminance signals in a color TV receiver.
5. An effect created by crowding together the diagonal tracks on a tape, thereby confusing the heads
during playback. Packing the signals may get more
information into a given space on the videotape,
but it eliminates the guard bands or spaces between
tracks. To correct XT, the azimuth technique was
introduced by Sony in 1975. In videodisc playback,
XT refers to the rolling horizontal noise bars and
other extraneous signals that “spill over” from adjacent pits to affect the main picture area. More
advanced solid-state laser pickups have virtually
eliminated this problem.
crossview Reception of an unwanted picture on a vision circuit analogous to cross talk on sound. Depending on the system, crossview becomes visible
at about 30 dB difference in level between the
wanted and unwanted signals.
CRT Cathode ray tube. The glass display device found
in TV sets and video computer terminals. See Cathode ray tube.
CRTC Canadian Radio TV and Telecommunications
Commission. Canada’s federal telecom regulator.
CRT coating A method designed to increase the
brightness and contrast of a TV picture image. The
technique, called internal angular reflection coating, accomplishes these gains by improving the
focus of the path of light from the CRT to the
projection lens.
crush Tendency to reduce excessively the tonal range
of some part of the picture signal, e.g., white crush,
black crush.
crystal Generic term for devices based on piezo-electricity. Each crystal is cut to vibrate at the desired
crystal control Technique of generating various electrical frequencies from one stable piezo-electric crystal source. The timing of the scanning functions in a
TV system may be derived from a crystal timing oscillator, whose inherent stability results in very stable
scanning. This is vital if the TV signal is recorded on
tape recorders with poor servo stability, or if it is a
color signal which has to be encoded with a subcarrier that is frequency-related to the line scan rate. A
disadvantage of crystal control is that the picture
frequency is no longer locked to the a.c. power line.
Display devices with poor power supply filtering may
then exhibit a moving hum bar. Improvement in
receiver design, however, is such that crystal control
has become general practice.
crystal lock Operation of a TV synchronizing pulse
system from a stable crystal frequency reference
rather than from mains frequency reference.
crystal microphone See Piezoelectric microphone.
CSA Canadian Standards Association.
CSDI See Compressed serial digital interface.
CTD Charge-transfer device.
CTF Contrast Transfer Function. See Aperture response.
CTL coding A VCR feature that magnetically marks
the beginning of individual recordings for future reference. CTL coding differs in some ways from conventional indexing. The unique digital coding
function, very similar to address search, permits the
user to add or erase codes at any point on the tape.
In addition, by specifying a particular code, the user
can locate in any direction a particular program or
segment. The user simply enters a number on the
remote control and activates the shuttle search
mode. When the marked number is located, the VCR
will automatically play back the selected segment.
CTTS Cable Telephony Transport System.
CTV Color TV.
cucaloris A small sheet, usually of metal, with a pattern stamped out of it. When placed in front of a
light source, it casts its pattern onto a background.
cue To scan the playback picture at a faster-than-normal speed in the forward direction. Syn.: searchforward.
cue and review A very general term describing different features on different machines. Sony uses it for
its visual scan; on its SL 3000 portable, Sony applies
Cue and Fast Forward without a picture. According
to Akai, Cue means high-speed search with a picture. JVC uses the term Cue with its program indexing feature. Finally, there is Cue/Review, another
concept when applied to video cameras.
cue card A large card containing lines to be spoken by
a performer, often used off-camera on TV; also called
flip card, idiot card, or idiot sheet.
cueing Presetting a record, transcription or a tape on
the first playback machine for immediate starting.
cue light (in British usage) Tally light.
cue mark A signal or code placed on a video tape or
film to warn the VCR or the movie operator where
a section begins or when to change reels. In video,
cue marks are placed on tape electronically when a
special control is activated. Each time the VCR goes
into Record, an electronic signal is encoded on the
tape. The machine can then quickly locate those sections in either Fast Forward or Rewind. Also known
as index mark.
cue/review A feature on virtually all video cameras
with an electronic viewfinder which permits replaying almost instantly a portion of recorded tape. Cue/
review may go under different names, depending
on the manufacturer. The term is also used with VCRs
and is synonymous with “search” or the individual
speed of the search in each mode, such as 6x in SP,
cue track An area that runs longitudinally along the
videotape and carries audio and editing information
in the form of reference pulses or time codes.
curved cross See Cross.
cut 1. An abrupt transition between two scenes. Also
describes video editing. 2. To instantly replace one
picture with a second picture.
cut-away Videotape shot of an interviewer that may
be interspersed during the editing process to avoid
a jump-cut editing of the interviewee. Any shots
(close-ups, reactions, etc.) that can be used to break
up long scenes or allow transitions to other parts of
the program.
cut in blanking Interfield cut.
cut-off 1. Syn.: black-out point. The point at which
the current flowing through an electronic device is
cut off by the control electrode. In a CRT the cut-off
bias is the bias voltage that just reduces the electron-beam current to zero. 2. Syn.: TV-cutoff. Section of the transmitted image that is hidden from
viewers by the receiver’s mask. All final video shots,
edits must be viewed in the TV-cutoff mode—switchable on most editing monitors to show what information will be in the final viewed product.
cut-off voltage (of a camera tube) See Target
cutting on the action A production or editing technique in which two events are set in contrast to each
other; as event A is taking place on the screen, the
camera switches to event B before event A has
ended; often used to develop plot, create tension,
or produce contrast.
cutting on the reaction A production or editing technique in which one event is followed by a scene
that displays the results of that event; after event A
has taken place, the camera cuts to event B to show
the impact of event A on the plot or characters.
cutting to tighten An editing procedure used to
shorten a series of shots. Used to eliminate excess
footage and to produce a coherent whole.
CVBS Abbreviation for Composite Video Baseband Signal or Composite Video, Blanking, Synchronization.
CVC Compact Video Cassette. A 1/4" VCR format incompatible with other video formats. No longer being produced, the format was introduced by
Technicolor in 1980. The CVC recorder used 1/4"
videotape in a cassette approximately the size of an
audio cassette. The maximum record/play time was
about 1 h. CVC was unlike UCM, another 1/4" system which featured a one-unit combination of camera/recorder. These two systems were also
cvg Coverage.
CVP-M3 Color video printer; Sony. Connects to a VCR,
camcorder, or laser disc player and creates color
prints from video footage in about 1 minute. Prints
may be dated and titled, and multiple images can
be merged for PIP effects.
CX Introduced by CBS Records, a noise reduction system which compresses and expands a program,
thereby extending the dynamic range. However, like
its competitors DBX and Dolby, it must be played
back through a decoder to benefit from the extension. The advantage that CX offers is that a program played back without the decoder will still be
intelligible. Although CX also operates on the compression/expansion principle, it compresses and expands only loud signals. CX was used with the first
opera videodiscs, produced in stereo by Pioneer
Artists in 1982.
cyan Color obtained by mixing equal intensities of
green and blue light. It is also the correct name for
the subtractive primary color usually called “blue.”
cylinder servo The cylinder motor drives the video
heads at the proper speed and position with respect
to the tape. Except for the hi-fi machines that use
spinning audio heads, cylinder servo problems affect only the picture. One frame consists of two fields
of video information, or 525 lines. These frames of
information are repeated 30 times each second. The
VCR upper cylinder contains two video head tabs
mounted 180 degrees apart. Each head tab records
one field of video information each revolution of
the cylinder to form a complete frame. The cylinder
motor speed is about 1800 rpm or 30 rps. This speed
must be maintained even during periods when the
tape is not moving around the cylinder. This is the
job of the cylinder servo signal.
D 1. CATV midband channel, 138-144 MHz. 2. PAL
TV standard; ex-USSR, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland. Characteristics: 625 lines/
frame, 50 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 25 frames/s,
15,625 lines/s, aspect ratio—4:3, video band—6
MHz, RF band—8 MHz, visual polarity—negative,
sound modulation—F3, pre-emphasis—50 µs,
gamma of picture signal—0.5, used band—VHF.
D-1 A professional/industrial noncompressed component digital video tape format (19-mm tape) for very
high-end digital video tape decks that is capable of
producing sophisticated visual effects. D-1 VTRs offer a separate black and white image from color
image, a feature that allows the professional to experiment with color difference matting, color correction and perspective moves. In addition, D-1 can
handle simple and 3-D graphics and accurate scene
matches. This flexibility in picture manipulation has
made the D-1 format a popular tool in turning out
visual effects for broadcast TV.
D-2 A professional/industrial recording noncompressed
composite video tape format (19-mm tape) for medium- to high-end digital video tape decks. On a professional/industrial level, there are two major digital
formats—D-1, the component digital standard, and
D-2, the composite digital standard. The former
records the luminance and two color-difference channels digitally, while the latter, D-2, records such basic
standard signals as NTSC and PAL. D-2 VTRs, which
serve as playback and postproduction machines, offer several state-of-the-art advances as well as compactness and higher quality than their rival units.
D-3 A noncompressed composite video tape format
(0.5" tape) for medium- to high-end digital video
tape decks.
D-5 A noncompressed component digital video tape
format (0.5" tape) for very high-end digital video
tape decks.
D-6 A digital tape format using a 19-mm helical-scan
cassette tape to record uncompressed high-definition
television material at 1.88 GBps (1.2 Gbps). D-6 is
initially the only high-definition recording format defined by a recognized standard. D-6 accepts both the
European 1250/50 interlaced format and the Japanese 260M version of the 1125/60 interlaced format
that uses 1035 active lines. It does not accept the
new HDTV standard format of 1080 active lines. ANSI/
SMPTE 277M and 278M are D-6 standards.
D-7 DVCPRO, Panasonic’s development of native DV
component format which records an 18-micron
(18x10-6m, eighteen thousandths of a millimeter)
track on 6.35 mm (0.25-inch) metal particle tape.
DVCPRO uses native DCT-based DV compression at
5:1 from a 4:1:1 8-bit sampled source. It uses 10
tracks per frame for 525/60 sources and 12 tracks
per frame for 625/50 sources; both use 4:1:1 sampling. Tape speed is 33.813mm/s. It includes two
16-bit digital audio channels sampled at 48 kHz and
an analog cue track. Both Linear (LTC) and Vertical
Interval Time Code (VITC) are supported. There is a
4:2:2 (DVCPRO50) and progressive scan 4:2:0
(DVCPRO P) version of the format, as well as a highdefinition version (DVCPROHD).
D-9 (Formerly Digital-S) A 1/2-inch digital tape format, developed by JVC, which uses a high-density
metal particle tape running at 57.8mm/s to record a
video data rate of 50 Mbps. Video sampled at 4:2:2
is compressed at 3.3:1 using DCT-based intra-frame
compression (DV). Two or four audio channels are
recorded at 16-bit, 48 kHz sampling; each is individually editable. The format also includes two cue
tracks. Some machines can play back analog S-VHS.
D-9 HD is the high-definition version recording at
100 Mbps.
D-9 HD A high-definition digital component format
based on D-9. Records on 1/2-inch tape with 100
Mbps video.
D-16 A recording format for digital film images making use of standard D-1 recorders. The scheme was
developed specifically to handle Quantel’s Domino
(Digital Opticals for Movies) pictures and record them
over the space that sixteen 625 line digital pictures
would occupy. This way three film frames can be
recorded or played every two seconds. Playing the
recorder allows the film images to be viewed on a
standard monitor; running at 16x speed shows full
motion direct from the tape.
DA Distribution amplifier. A piece of equipment that
produces multiple outputs identical to its input
DA-88 A Tascam-brand 8-track digital audio tape machine using the 8mm video format of Sony. It has
become the de facto standard for audio post-production, although numerous other formats exist,
ranging from swappable hard drives to analog tape
DA-C, D/A Digital-to-analog.
daisy chain Refers to a single playback VCR, used as
“master” in a duplicating process, feeding more than
one machine. The recording units are called “slave”
units. Many home VCR owners have gotten together
in this manner to duplicate videotapes. However,
signal loss is bound to occur if too many machines
are connected. A video distribution amp may be
employed to increase the signal level.
damper A diode in the horizontal deflection circuit of
a TV receiver that makes the sawtooth deflection
current decrease smoothly to zero instead of oscillating at zero. The diode conducts each time the
polarity is reversed by a current swing below zero. It
incidentally provides B+ boost voltage.
dark clip After emphasis, the negative-going spikes
(undershoot) of a video signal might be too large in
amplitude for safe FM modulation. A dark clip circuit is used to cut off these spikes at an adjustable
level. See White clip.
dark current Current in a photoelectric or photoconductive device when the device is supplied with its
normal operating voltages and there is no light on
the target.
dark field brightness Unexcited field brightness.
DAT Digital audiotape.
datacasting See Teletext datacasting.
data compression A technique that provides for the
transmission or storage, without noticeable information loss, of fewer data bits than were originally
used when the data was created.
data recorders Machines designed to record and replay data. They usually include a high degree of error correction to ensure that the output data is
absolutely correct and, due to their recording format, the data is not easily editable. This compares
with video recorders that can conceal missing or incorrect data by repeating adjacent areas of the picture and that are designed to allow direct access to
every frame for editing. Where data recorders are
used for recording video there must be an attendant “workstation” to see the pictures or hear the
sound, whereas VTRs produce the signals directly.
Typically VTRs are more efficient for pictures and
sound while data recorders are most appropriate for
data slicing The process of extracting digital data from
an incoming analog signal.
Datavision Videotex system, Sweden.
Datex-J Videotex service, Germany. It is the former
Bildschirmtext (BTX). Services: online-shopping,
home-banking, travel reservations and the like.
DATV channel See Bandwidth reduction (EUREKA-95
HDMAC system).
DATV signal Digitally assisted TV signal.
DAVIC Abbreviation for Digital Audio Visual Council.
It’s goal was to create an industry standard for the
end-to-end interoperability of broadcast and interactive digital audio-visual information, and of multimedia communication. The specification is now
ISO/IEC 16500 (normative part) and ITR 16501
(informative part).
day/event Refers to a VCR’s programming capabilities. “Day” pertains to the length of time a machine
can record in advance; e.g., 14 days, 1 year, etc.
“Event” points out the number of programs the VCR
can record in that time period; e.g., four events over
21 days.
day modulation A means of doubling the use of a
radio channel by transmitting two carrier waves in
quadrature, each separately modulated with different signals.
day picture A photo of a scene depicting the weather,
used by newspaper and TV assignment editors.
dB Decibel, a standard unit for expressing relative
power, voltage, or current.
D.B. Delayed broadcast.
D’B Transmitted blue color difference signal (SECAM);
D’B = +1.5(B-Y).
dBm Measure of power in communications. 0 dBm =
1 mW, with a logarithmic relationship as the values
increase or decrease. In a 50-ohm system, 0 dBm =
0.223 V.
Dbrn Decibels with reference to noise.
DBS Direct broadcast by satellite. Also direct broadcast satellite, direct broadcast service, digital broadcast system.
DBS HDTV The DBS service for HDTV occupies frequencies in the 12- and 22-GHz bands, and the
bandwidths of each channel have been set at 24
MHz (in the Americas) and 27 MHz (in Europe and
Asia). FM is used with approximately a 3-to-1 ratio
between the baseband modulation and the channel width. The maximum video bandwidth thus falls
between 8 and 9 MHz. The Japanese MUSE HDTV
system operates with an 8.1-MHz video band, the
European MAC system with 8.5 MHz. These bandwidths are barely sufficient for a multichannel HDTV
system, e.g., one using the 6-MHz NTSC channels
plus an auxiliary channel of 2-3 MHz. If the full channel requirement for the NHK Hi-Vision system (up
to 30 MHz) is to be accommodated, the signal must
be compressed in frequency.
dBV Decibels above/below 1 V (in video, relative to 1
V p-p).
dBW Decibels referenced to 1 watt.
dbx A noise reduction system designed to eliminate
unwanted sound from a program while still maintaining that program’s full audio range. By compressing a program before it is recorded and expanding
it during playback, dbx restores or recaptures the
original dynamic range. A linear compression/expansion system similar to Dolby, CX and others, dbx
covers the entire frequency range, yielding approximately 30 dB improvement in signal/noise over the
whole band at mid-frequencies. It also provides better than 40 dB of noise reduction.
DC 1. Direct current. 2. Downconverter, satellite TV.
DC-1 Digital pocket camera that captures motion and
sound; Ricoh Co. Ltd., Tokyo. DC-1 can record up to
492 still images, 100 minutes of sound, and, while
not a video camera, can record short motion sequences (four video scenes of 5 s each). The effective resolution of the DC-1 is 380,000 pixels,
comparable to S-VHS quality.
DC component The average value of a signal. In video
it represents the average luminance of the picture.
DC/DC converter An electrical circuit that accepts a
direct-current input at one voltage level and converts it to direct-current output at a higher or lower
voltage. This is typically accomplished by “chopping”
the input DC, converting it to a coarse alternating
current, then amplifying and rectifying the AC. For
example, there is a DC/DC converter that steps up
1.5-VDC of power cell to 12 VDC for operating portable TV sets. Circuit also permits operation from
AC line.
DC inserter A TV transmitter stage that adds to the
video signal a DC component known as the pedestal
DC light A video camera feature that draws power
from the internal battery of the unit for the purposes of improving image detail. In addition, the
feature is used to enhance color. Only a small number of cameras offer DC light.
DC picture transmission TV transmission in which
the signal contains a DC component that represents
the average illumination of the entire scene.
DC restoration 1. The capability of the TV monitor,
receiver or camera to respond to alterations in brightness as viewed by a video camera. The better the
DC restoration, the greater the picture detail in night
scenes or low-lit shots. DC restoration makes use of
a special circuit that returns the direct current signal
to the TV or camera outputs. 2. DC restoration is
what you have to do to a video waveform after it
has been AC coupled and has to be digitized. Since
the video waveform has been AC coupled, we no
longer know absolutely where it is. For example, is
the bottom of the sync tip at –5 V or at 100 V? Is
the back porch at 3.56 v or at 0 v? In fact, not only
don’t we know where it is, it also changes over time,
since the voltage level of the active video changes
over time. Since the resistor ladder on the flash ADC
is tied to a pair of voltage references, such as REFto 0 V and REF+ to 1.3 V, the video waveform needs
to be referenced to some known DC level; otherwise, we couldn’t digitize it correctly. DC restora-
tion is essentially putting back a DC component that
was removed to make an AC-coupled signal. We
don’t have to put back the original DC value—it
could be a different one. In decoding video, the DC
level for DC restoration is such that the sync tip is
set to the ADCs REF- level. Therefore, when sync tip
is digitized it will be assigned the number 0.
DC restorer A clamping circuit used in video to restore the DC component of the video signal after
AC amplification. The resulting DC voltage also
serves as the bias voltage for the grid of the TV picture tube, to make average reproduced brightness
correspond to the average brightness of the scene
being transmitted. Also called clamper, reinserter,
and restorer.
DCSC Digital Color Space Converter; converts the
YCbCr signal to RGB.
DCT Discrete Cosine Transform. Used in the MPEG,
H.261, and H.263 video compression algorithms.
DC transmission TV transmission in which the DC
component of the picture signal is still present. The
true level of background illumination is thus maintained at all times.
DCV Digital Compressed Video.
DD CATV hyperband channel, 318-324 MHz.
DD2 Using D-2 tape, data recorders have been developed offering (by computer standards) vast storage
of data (which may be images). A choice of data
transfer rates is available to suit computer interfaces.
Like other computer storage media, images are not
directly viewable, and editing is difficult.
DDC Direct Drive Cylinder.
DDR Digital disk recorder.
DDS 1. Dynamic Drum System. 2. Direct Digital
Synthesis. 3. Digital Data Service.
dead 1. (of a conductor or circuit). At earth potential.
A conductor or circuit not at earth potential is termed
live or alive. 2. Exact or precise, as in dead sync.
dead roll A technique of starting a taped program or
a film at its scheduled time on a station but not
broadcasting it, so that the preceding program, specifically a live sports or news event, is continued.
When the live program ends, the dead rolling tape
or film is telecast at the point it has rolled to, usually
with the announcement, “We now join the program
already in progress.”
dead sync Exact synchronization of audio and video.
deaf aid A small earpiece used by TV reporters, anchors, and others.
decay characteristic Persistence characteristic.
decelerating electrode An electrode in a CRT biased
so as to slow down the electron beam. It is usually
in the form of a mesh or a short cylinder. Such an
electrode is used in low-velocity TV camera tubes
such as the image orthicon in which the electron
beam is required to approach the target at a very
low velocity. Syn.: decelerator.
decibel (dB) One-tenth of a bel, used to define the
decibels with reference to noise
ratio of two powers, voltages, or currents, in terms
of gains or losses. It is 10x the log of the power ratio
and 20x the voltage or current ratio. The logarithmic ratio of power levels (usually satellite TV) or voltage levels (usually conventional TV) is used to indicate
gains or losses of signals. Decibels relative to 1 watt,
milliwatt and millivolt are abbreviated as dBW, dBm
and dBmV, respectively. Zero dBmV is used as the
standard reference for all SMATV calculations.
decibels with reference to noise A measure in dB of
the signal-to-noise ratio on a communications line.
decimation When a video waveform is digitized so
that 100 pixels are produced, but only every other
one is stored or used, the video waveform is decimated by a factor of 2:1. The image is now 1/4 of
its original size, since 3/4 of the data is missing. Decimation is a quick-and-easy method for image scaling and is in fact the method used by low-cost
systems that scale video into a window.
decimation filter A filter designed to provide decimation without the artifacts associated with throwing data away.
decipher To remove the effects of a secret encryption
code or scrambling from data, restoring the code to
an intelligible form.
deck A magnetic-tape transport mechanism. See VCR
declination offset angle, satellite TV The adjustment angle of a polar mount between the polar axis
and the plane of a satellite antenna used to aim at
the geosynchronous arc. Declination increases from
zero with latitude away from the equator.
decode Decipher.
decoder A device used to alter data from one coded
form to another. Contrasted with encoder.
decoder box A device supplied by a pay TV system
designed to unscramble signals so that subscribers,
who usually pay a monthly fee, can receive a clear
picture of a particular channel. Pay TV companies
scramble their signals so that their channels appear
on screen as unintelligible to nonsubscribers.
decoding In general, the recovery of the original signal from a coded form of the signal. In particular, in
stereophonic radio reception, the recovery of the left
and right signals from the multiplex received signal
and in color TV reception the recovery of the three
primary color signals from the color video signal.
decor The decorative scheme of an area, such as a
stage, or film or television set.
dedicated chip A small piece of silicon imprinted with
logic circuits. Used in early video games such as Pong,
these chips permitted the games to provide such
basic activities as paddle movement. The games,
however, were non-programmable since the chip
was an inherent part of the game console.
dedicated design A term applied to an accessory or
software which attaches to or fits equipment only
of the same manufacturer. For example, because
of a particular thread design, a supplementary lens
of one manufacturer may only fit that company’s
camera-equipped standard lens. The problem is
even more prevalent with multi-pin connectors and
de-emphasis Inverse of pre-emphasis, a reduction of
the higher frequency portions of an FM signal (restoration of flat base-band frequency response after
demodulation) used to neutralize the effects of preemphasis. Deemphasis performs a frequency-response characteristic that is complementary to that
introduced by pre-emphasis. When combined with
the correct level of pre-emphasis, it reduces overall
noise levels and therefore increases the signal-tonoise ratio. Syn.: post-emphasis; post-equalization.
deemphasis network A circuit used to restore the
pre-emphasized frequency response to its original
deep Dark and rich (a deep red). In 3D TV camera
systems with laser projectors, now it is preferred that
the radiant energy of laser beam be out of the visible range of light that the video camera senses,
therefore IR or deep red may be utilized.
defeat Turn off.
defeat filter In electronics, a filter which cuts any frequencies in the band it rejects. Defeat filters, as well
as others such as bandpass filters, permit the boosting and suppressing of selected material at a choice
of frequencies. These filters are used in signal processors to affect color and definition.
defined display area The rectangular position of the
display in which all text and pictorial images may be
definition The degree or extent of detail or sharpness
in a TV image. Definition depends on various factors. With a camera, sharpness is affected by the
quality of the lens, the lighting, etc. With a VCR, it
is affected by the quality of the tape, the speed mode
selected, the condition of the heads, etc.
deflection The orderly movement of the electron beam
in a picture tube. Horizontal deflection pertains to
the left-right movement, vertical deflection the updown movement of the beam.
deflection coils Coils (in a deflection yoke) external
to the CRT in TV systems with electro-magnetic scanning. Wound in two distinct sections, one each for
line and frame, often on a single former, they deflect the electron beam to scan the screen of the
CRT. Also called Deflector coils.
deflection defocusing Defocusing that becomes
greater as deflection is increased in a CRT because
the beam hits the screen at an increasingly greater
slant, and its spot becomes increasingly more elliptical as it approaches the edges of the screen.
deflection electrode An electrode whose potential
provides an electric field that deflects an electron
beam. Also called deflection plate.
deflection factor The reciprocal of the deflection sen-
delta-array picture tube
sitivity in a CRT. Deflection factor is usually expressed
in amperes per inch for electromagnetic deflection
and volts per inch for electrostatic deflection.
deflection IC In TV sets, the deflection circuits usually
have both the vertical and horizontal oscillator and
amplifier circuits in one IC component. You now find
the deflection circuits in one large IC with many different circuits.
deflection plane A plane perpendicular to the CRT
axis containing the deflection center.
deflection plate Deflection electrode.
deflection sensitivity The displacement of the electron beam at the target or screen of a CRT per unit
of change in the deflection field. Usually expressed
in inches per ampere in a deflection coil. Deflection
sensitivity is the reciprocal of deflection factor.
deflection voltage The voltage applied between a
pair of deflection electrodes to produce an electric
deflection yoke Complete assembly of horizontal and
vertical deflection coils in their special mounting. Deflection yoke for TV picture tube contains four separate coils. Syn.: scanning yoke. Also called yoke.
defocus To make a beam of electrons, light, or other
radiation deviate from an accurate focus at the intended viewing or working surface.
defocusing dissolve A TV technique in which one
camera slowly goes out of focus while another camera slowly brings its image into focus.
degausser Device to demagnetize color picture tube
for color purity.
degaussing Demagnetizing. In color TV sets, an internal or external circuit device that prevents or corrects any stray magnetization of the iron in the
picture tube faceplate structure. Magnetization results in color distortion.
degaussing coil A plastic-encased coil, about 12" (30
cm) in diameter, that can be plugged into a 120VAC wall outlet and moved slowly toward and away
from a color TV picture tube to demagnetize adjacent parts.
degradation The deterioration of the video information on a second tape that has been copied from
another, or master, tape. Each generation removed
from the original or master adds to the degradation of the picture quality. Other factors besides
duplicating tapes can cause degradation. Some
methods of signal scrambling or encoding, for example, may result in degradation of the original
video information when it is decoded. On the other
hand, digital VCRs, as opposed to conventional
analog machines, maintain the integrity of the original information. Using this process, signals converted into numbers not only are safe from
distortion and noise, but can produce unlimited
copies without degradation. Since the digital signal remains permanent, there is no loss in detail
with successive generations of recordings. Profes-
sionals have isolated five other basic types of degradation that affect NTSC picture quality—noise,
intermodulation, microreflections, envelope delay
and phase noise.
deinterlacing Also progressive scan conversion. Interlaced-to-noninterlaced conversion.
delay distortion Phase distortion in which the rate of
change of phase shift with frequency of a circuit or
system is not constant over the frequency range required for transmission. Also called envelope delay
distortion. It occurs on communication lines because
of differences in signal propagation speeds at different frequencies. It can seriously impair data transmission. See Distortion.
delayed automatic gain control An AGC system that
does not operate until the signal exceeds a predetermined magnitude. Weaker signals thus receive
maximum amplification. Also called biased automatic gain control.
delayed broadcast (DB) The broadcast of a radio or
TV program at a time later than its original transmission.
delayed recall An interviewing technique to determine what an individual remembers. For example,
TV viewers are called the day after they have watched
TV for at least half an hour and questioned about
the programs and commercials regarding their opinions and the degree of idea communication and
name registration.
delay line (DL) Any circuit, device, or transmission line
that introduces a known delay in a transmission of
a signal. Coaxial cable or suitable L-C networks may
be used to provide short delay times but the attenuation is usually too great when longer delay times
are required. Acoustic DLs are often employed (in
TVs, VCRs, etc.) when a longer delay is needed. The
signals are converted to acoustic waves, usually by
means of the piezoelectric effect. They are then delayed by circulation through a liquid or solid medium before being reconverted into electrical signals.
Fully electronic analog DLs are now being provided
by CCDs. Shift registers and CCDs may be used for
digital DLs.
delay line aperture control An electronic method of
improving contrast by artificially increasing the
strength of the original video signal. Similar to another technique known as horizontal image delineation, delay line aperture control strengthens the
beginning and end of the signal as it repeatedly
passes from black to white.
delay-line cable A special cable in the black and white
channel of a color TV set that provided a time delay
just long enough to make the monochrome and
chrominance signals arrive together at the CRT. Now
done digitally.
Del Rey HD-NTSC system HD-NTSC system.
delta-array picture tube A shadow-mask color picture tube the screen of which is composed of a very
delta factor
large number of color cells, each consisting of a dot
of red, green and blue phosphor arranged in a delta
(triangular) formation.
delta factor A term used in VCRs to indicate that a
playback signal has some jitter or wow and flutter.
Delta factor or a change in frequency, means that
the color signal off the tape is not a stable frequency
of 629 kHz, but rather a signal whose frequency at
any instant is some small amount above or below
629 kHz.
delta modulation A pulse-modulation technique in
which a continuous analog signal is converted into
a serial bit stream which corresponds to changes in
analog input levels.
demagnetization Removal of residual magnetism.
demagnetizer A device for removing undesired
demagnetizing Removing magnetism from a ferrous
material. Also called degaussing.
demagnetizing force A magnetizing force applied in
the direction that reduces the residual induction in
a magnetized object.
demand priority Access method providing support
for time-sensitive applications such as video and
multimedia as part of the proposed 100BaseVG standard offering 100 Mbit/s over voice-grade UTP
(Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable. By managing and
allocating access to the network centrally, at a hub
rather than from individual workstations, sufficient
bandwidth for the particular application is guaranteed on demand. Users, say its proponents, can be
assured of reliable, continuous transmission of information.
demassified media Channels of communications, or
media, that reach small or selective audiences, as
opposed to mass media.
demodulation The reverse of modulation. The process of recovering an original signal from a modulated carrier, for example the process of converting
a modulated RF carrier signal to a form that can be
heard or displayed.
demodulator A circuit that separates or extracts the
desired signal, such as sound energy or picture information, from its carrier. In video, demodulation
is the technique used to recover the color difference
signals in NTSC, SECAM or PAL systems. Chroma
Demodulator and Color Decoder are two other
names for a demodulator used in a video application. For SSTV, a device that extracts image and sync
information from an audio signal.
demonstration mode A feature on some VCRs designed to help the user understand the various programming functions. The demonstration mode leads
the user through these functions and the contents
of the several on-screen menus. Time shifting, or
setting up the VCR to record one or more programs
at a later time or day, has been a difficult operation
for many VCR owners who simply end up using their
machines only for playing back prerecorded tapes.
Manufacturers, realizing this, have come up with
several methods for making recording easier. These
include OTR (one-touch recording for taping a show
presently being telecast), on-screen programming
(which guides the viewer step by step) and, finally,
demonstration mode.
demultiplexing Separating elementary streams or individual channels of data from a single multi-channel stream. For example, video and audio streams
must be demultiplexed before they are decoded. This
is also true for multiplexed digital television transmissions.
depth default signal In 3D TV camera systems with
laser projector, a signal to indicate that either (or
both) sensors does (do) not receive sufficient reflected laser energy (for example, if the scene is very
distant) to output an electrical signal. In that case, it
is necessary to set the depth video output to a “default” voltage, thus communicating that condition
to the receiver. Presence of a default value of depth
video would signal to the receiver monitor that it
should treat those scene points as if they were at
“infinite” distance.
depth information In apparatus for direct display of
an image on the retina of the eye using a scanning
laser, a perspective information that is provided by
the variable focus optical system to a laser beam at
a suitable stage after optical modulation by the optical modulating means, and the laser beam after
scanning in response to a scanning signal by the
scanning means is focused to form an image on the
retina of an eye.
depth matrix In 3D TV receiver systems, a circuitry to
combine the depth video signal and the horizontal
sweep signal H in accordance with the equation:
H’ = cD + H; “c” is a constant between +1 and -1,
“D” is the instantaneous depth position with D = 0
corresponding to the position of a reference frontal
place or “window,” H’ is the modified horizontal
sweep signal. The horizontal sweep signal H’ will
thus be a nonlinear sweep signal.
depth-multiplex recording The process of recording
hi-fi audio on VHS hi-fi VCRs. The system uses separate rotating heads to record the audio portion.
depth of field Refers to the range of focus of a camera lens, or, in other words, that which is in focus
behind and in front of a subject. Depth of field
changes with the lens opening (the smaller the opening, the greater the depth of field), the distance between subject and camera (the closer the subject,
the shorter the depth of field) and the type of lens
(wide angle lenses provide greater depth of field than
depth of focus The allowable latitude of lens image
plane to vidicon target area that ensures that a given
picture remains in focus. Depth of focus is adjusted
by moving the vidicon closer to or farther away from
Deutshe Industrie Normenausschus
the end of the lens. Not normally used in video as a
focusing adjustment.
depth of modulation chart A method of measuring the sharpness of a video camera. The chart consists of a predetermined pattern of short vertical
lines spaced according to “bursts” that are calibrated in MHz. The bursts range from 0.5 to 4 MHz.
Depth of modulation, or modulation transfer function, refers to determining the “quantity” of resolution or sharpness of an image. Normally, the
degree of sharpness is highly subjective. Depth of
modulation charts seek to remove this aspect, replacing subjectivity with mathematical calibrations
that result in percentages. For example, a pattern
can now be considered properly registered if the
depth of modulation totals 80%. Depth of modulation problems, such as dark objects appearing
light or light objects becoming darkened, may be
the result of a faulty camera or lens.
depth perception A subjective evaluation of the distance between objects viewed with regard to their
size and the planes they describe.
depth video signal In 3D TV systems, a signal containing 3D-image information.
derivative equalizer An equalizer that operates by
adding to the signal to be equalized controllable
amounts of the time derivates of the signal. Such
equalizers are used in TV transmission for correcting waveform distortion in video circuits and normally only the first and second derivatives are used.
desaturation Reduction of color saturation often as
result of distortion or defect in the TV transmission
descrambler A device which corrects a signal (often
video) that has been intentionally distorted to prevent unauthorized viewing. Used with satellite TV
Descriptive Video Service (DVS) Video for the blind.
In 1990, Boston PBS station WGBH launched the
Emmy-winning DBS. Via the SAP channel available
on stereo TVs and VCRs, DVS soundtracks describe
visual elements—facial expressions and body language, costumes, sets, scene changes—during
pauses in dialog. The descriptions are written in a
prose-like style to help bring listeners more fully into
the program.
descryption A process of decoding or unscrambling
TV signals, as with pay-TV services.
deserializer A device that converts serial digital information to parallel digital.
Designated Market Area (DMA) An A.C. Nielsen Co.
term for a group of counties in which a TV station
obtains the greatest portion of its audience. Each
US county is part of only one such DMA. The DMA
rating is the percentage of TV homes within the area
viewing an individual station during a particular
deskewing An imaging term. Adjusting—straighten-
ing—an image in software to compensate for a
crooked scan.
desktop video 1. The combination of computers and
video; the creation and editing of video images on a
computer. Desktop video refers to three basic applications: Videotape editing; Special effects and graphics; Digital video editing. There are two other
applications that incorporate elements of desktop
video, but can’t really be considered desktop video
per se: interactive multimedia (like CD-ROM) and
TV tuners for computers. 2. Communications that
rely either on videophones or PCs offering a video
window. See Desktop videoconferencing.
desktop videoconferencing Delivery system for providing two-way voice and full-motion color pictures.
Since video calling takes place on a PC, you can share
information—computer companies call this data or
document conferencing. Desktop videoconferencing
products must be connected to either a PC network
or ISDN phone lines. The system offers convenience,
privacy, and the useful combination of video calling
and data sharing. Also called personal
detail enhancement circuitry An image processing
technique designed to add contrast and produce
sharper outlines to images. An electronic circuit splits
the incoming video signal and sends it along two
paths, one ignoring the split signal and the other
modifying the black-to-white transitions so that certain objects appear sharper. The two signals are then
joined to produce a better image.
detail enhancer Refers to electronic circuitry built into
a VCR to help deliver a clear screen image during
playback. This electronic feature is usually part of
the HQ circuitry of many VCRs. Sometimes described
as a “detail switch,” this feature may have two settings—one for use with conventional videocassettes
and another for HG (High Grade) tapes for producing sharper images.
detailer Image enhancer.
detail set A part of a set used for closeups in film and
TV; also called insert set.
detector 1. Syn.: demodulator. A circuit that was used
in older TVs to demodulate the received signal—
i.e., to extract the signal from a carrier with minimum distortion. 2. In an optical communications
receiver, a device that converts the received optical
signal to another form. Currently, this conversion is
from optical to electrical power; however, opticalto-optical techniques are under development.
detent A part that stops or releases a movement.
detent tuner “Click” type of TV tuner.
detent tuning 1. Tuning into a satellite channel by
selecting a preset resistance. 2. A TV receiver tuning
control in which a detent mechanism determines
the correct position of the tuning shaft for receiving
a desired station.
Deutshe Industrie Normenausschus (DIN) A Ger-
man institute that sets industrial standards. In the
audio field, plugs and sockets having DIN geometry
are used throughout the world.
deviation The level of modulation of an FM signal—
the extent by which the base-band of subcarrier signal shifts the main carrier frequency. In VHS the upper
limit is 4.4 MHz.
device control A multimedia definition. Device control enables you to control different media devices
over the network through software. The media devices include VCRs, laser disc players, video cameras, CD players, and so on. Control capabilities are
available on the workstation through a graphical user
interface. They are similar to the controls on the
device itself, such as play, record, reverse, eject, and
fast forward. Device control is important because it
enables you to control video and audio remotely—
without requiring physical access.
dew detector A passive device, found in some VCRs,
whose resistance value depends upon ambient humidity; the resistance drops when moisture is
present. Also called dew sensor.
dew indicator A warning light that goes on when there
is too much moisture in the atmosphere. This feature
appears on many VHS machines but on few Beta
VCRs. Simple remedies consist of shutting off the
machine for a while, using a hair blower near the
VCR to minimize the moisture, putting on the air conditioner, etc. Some machines have a dew control that
shuts off the VCR when moisture is excessive.
dew sensor Dew detector.
DFM SSTV bandpass filter A bandpass filter especially designed for SSTV.
DG Differential gain. Change of the chrominance amplitude (i.e., chrominance gain) as function of luminance level. In a color video channel, the voltage
gain for a small chrominance subcarrier signal at a
given luminance signal level expressed as a percentage difference relative to the gain at blanking or
some other specified level. Can cause changes of
hue with changes of level.
DG/DP Differential gain/phase.
D/I Drop and insert. A point in the transmission where
portions of the digital signal can be dropped out
and/or inserted.
DIA/DCA Document Interchange Architecture/Document Content Architecture. IBM-promulgated architectures, part of SNA, for transmission and storage
of documents over networks, whether text, data,
voice or video. Becoming industry standards by default.
Diagnostics Tests to check the correct operation of
hardware and software. As digital systems continue
to become more complex, built-in diagnostics become an essential part of the equipment.
diagonal audio recording Another method of recording sound on videotape, as opposed to linear
audio and stereo. Diagonal recording places the
audio track along with the diagonal video track for
better quality. In contrast to linear stereo, or linear
track stereo as it is sometimes called, the superior
Beta or VHS Hi-Fi technique uses diagonal audio
dial A panel on a radio or TV set on which the frequencies are indicated.
diamond display See Synthetic diamond display.
diaphragm 1. A thin flexible sheet that can be moved
by sound waves, as in a microphone, or can produce sound waves when moved, as in a loudspeaker. 2. An adjustable opening used in TV
cameras to reduce the effective area of a lens to
increase the depth of focus. Also called iris. 3. A
conducting plate mounted across a waveguide to
introduce impedance.
diascope A built-in test pattern that allows the TV
camera to generate test signals for registration and
other setup adjustments without the use of an external test pattern. It is a useful feature of many
diathermy interference TV interference caused by
diathermy equipment. It produces a herringbone
pattern in a dark horizontal band across the picture.
dichroic Having two colors.
dichroic conversion filter A camera lens filter that
balances the color values of objects in direct sunlight so they will match the value of scenes shot
under artificial light.
dichroic daylight conversion filter A lens filter that
balances the color values of objects in direct sunlight so that they will match the values of scenes
taped in artificial light.
dichroic filter An optical filter designed to transmit
light selectively according to wavelength (most often, a high-pass or low-pass filter).
dichroic mirror A glass surface coated with a special
metal film that reflects certain colors of light while
allowing other colors to pass through. Used in some
color TV cameras to reflect one designated visible
frequency band and transmit all others.
dichroic reflector (mirror) Selectively reflecting surface from which light of certain wavelengths is reflected and other incident wavelengths transmitted.
For example, a dichroic surface may be made which
reflects only the longer wavelengths corresponding to the red region of the spectrum and transmits the remainder, so that the light transmitted is
blue-green in color. Dichroic reflectors have particular application in color processes involving
beam-splitting systems since they permit very efficient subdivision of the available light into the required spectral regions. In the TV camera, dichroic
filters may be used to analyze the subject in terms
of the separate primary colors. Red and blue reflecting dichroics, in conjunction with plain frontsurfaced mirrors, direct the red and green
components to their respective pick-up tubes. The
digital effects
green tube takes the remaining image after its passage through both dichroics.
differential gain (DG) How much the color saturation changes when the luma level changes (it isn’t
supposed to). The result on the display will be incorrect color saturation. For a video system, the better
the differential gain—that is, the smaller the number specified—the better the system is at figuring
out the correct color.
differential gain/phase Video (color) nonlinear distortion parameters.
differential nonlinearity (DNL) A measure of the
maximum amount by which the distance between
the midpoints of adjacent steps on the ADC transfer function (quantized output level) differs from the
width of one LSB.
differential phase (DP) Change of the chrominance
phase as function of luminance level. The result on
the display will be incorrect colors. For a video system, the better the differential phase—that is, the
smaller the number specified—the better the system is at figuring out the correct color.
differential pulse code modulation (DPCM) Refers
to a digital system in which the data transmitted or
stored represents the difference between data elements (for images it is pixels), rather than the data
elements themselves. See also Prediction.
DigiCipher Proposed fully digital HDTV system, American TV Alliance (ATVA). Operated with a 1050-line
analog RGB input. The scan was interlaced 2:1, and
the field rate was 59.94. The line rate, twice that of
NTSC, was chosen to allow easy conversion of signals between the two systems.
digital Of or referring to a quantity that is expressive
numerically. See also Digitization.
Digital 8 Digital 8 compresses video using standard
DV compression, but records it in a manner that allows it to use standard Hi-8 tape. The result is a DV
“box” that can also play standard Hi-8 and 8 mm
tapes. On playback, analog tapes are converted to a
25 Mbps compressed signal available via the i-Link
digital output interface. Playback from analog tapes
has limited video quality. New recordings are digital
and identical in performance to DV; audio specs and
other data also are the same.
digital advanced television An alternate term for
high-definition television (HDTV).
digital audio processor A device that is used in conjunction with any standard VCR to record digital
audio tracks on videotape.
digital audiotape (DAT) An audiotape designed for
use in systems that employ digital, rather than analog, recording technology. DAT cassettes are more
compact than conventional audio cassettes and are
used for data and image storage as well as audio.
Digital Betacam A VCR format introduced by Sony in
1993. It is a high-quality digital format that can
record 100 generations without signal degradation
because the signal is component digital. This means
the video signal is broken into its two pieces, or components: luminance (black and white information)
and chrominance (color information). The information is converted into a digital data stream, which is
then recorded on the tape. This format also has four
independently editable CD quality audio channels.
digital clock The component of a VCR or a tuner/
timer serving a dual function: time-keeping and timesetting for unattended recording. Usually different
controls set the clock or the timer.
digital color art A VCR feature that permits the viewer
to place a tint over the video image. Provided the
VCR is equipped with the necessary digital circuitry,
this digital playback function offers the viewer a
choice of several colors from which to choose.
digital color space converter (DCSC) A circuitry that
converts the YCbCr signal to RGB.
digital component video Digital video using separate color components, such as YCrCb or RGB. See
CCIR 601. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as D-1.
digital composite video Digital video that is essentially the digitized waveform of composite NTSC or
PAL video signals, with specific digital values assigned
to the sync, blank, and white levels. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as D-2 or D-3.
digital compression A process designed to permit
full-motion video to be sampled, stored in a computer, and played back in real time. MPEG compression is the current standard.
digital delay line See Delay line.
digital disk recorder (DDR) A video recording device
using a hard disk drive or optical disk drive. DDRs
afford nearly instantaneous access to recorded
digital effects A series of special image enhancements resulting from digital circuitry built into some
VCRs, TV sets and video cameras. For example, a
VCR equipped with this circuitry can produce steady
still pictures without the usual streaks and other visual interferences that often accompany this function. These stills can be obtained from a live
broadcast as well as from a videotape. In addition,
the audio portion of the program continues while
the still remains on screen. Other features of digital
circuits include noise reduction, PIP, slow motion
(without video interferences) and a quick succession
of still pictures known as strobe display. Strobe display, which differs from the conventional continuous slow motion function, produces images without
interference and offers a wider range of slow motion. Digital circuitry also allows the viewer to watch
two pictures at the same time. Some VCRs apply
digital techniques to improve the overall image quality of poorly recorded tapes. Advanced circuitry accomplishes these feats by digitally “capturing” video
frames from the moving videotape and parading
them on the TV screen. Unlike conventional VCRs,
digital encryption
which use analog signal processing, machines with
digital circuitry also reduce the graininess of multigeneration tapes.
digital encryption An electronically advanced method
of encoding or scrambling video information for
security purposes. Digital encryption, which rephrases original video information line by line, is
generally a more costly procedure than its counterpart, analog encryption, but results in a higher quality
video image after the information is restored or decoded. The digital system requires a larger bandwidth than does the analog technique, which uses
the standard 4.5-MHz bandwidth.
digital field comb filter A feature, usually found in
advanced TV sets, that greatly reduces the NTSC interference effects often accompanying conventional
TV sets. These special comb filters surpass the performance of standard line filters by delivering as
many as 480 lines of horizontal resolution from wide
band sources such as DVD and S-VHS tapes.
digital gain-up A feature, found on some video cameras, that enhances image contrast through the use
of special electronic circuitry. Digital gain-up is particularly important in improving pictures shot under
extremely low light conditions. Some camcorders
advertise a digital gain-up circuitry response of 1 lux.
digital image superimposer A video camera feature
designed to electronically store high contrast images.
These images are usually used for a variety of purposes, such as superimposing titles, graphics or captions. When the user activates the button of this
feature, the digital superimposer memorizes an image. Some cameras provide a built-in superimposer
with a 4-page, 8-color memory. The digital image
superimposer, also known as a digital superimposer
or word register, is more sophisticated than a character generator. The latter also creates titles but more
slowly and with limited typefaces.
digital intro scan This function scans the videotape
and plays about 10 seconds of the beginning of each
program (the part immediately following each encoded index signal) then freezes still images onto
the three subscreens.
digital leased-line service (DLS) A system with a 634km fiber-optic network, handling 48 TV channels or
carrying 2.5 billion bits information per second;
Dacom, Seoul, South Korea.
digitally assisted television signal (DATV signal) A
signal of the HDMAC system. It is transmitted during the vertical field interval of 1/50 second = 2000
microseconds. This time permits a maximum bit rate
of 1 Mb/s, but after allowance for error correction,
a maximum bit rate of 960 Kb/s is available. A principal function of the DATV signal bit stream is to
keep the branch-switching in precise synchronism
at the transmitter and receiver.
digital light processing (DLP) A completely digital
approach to projection display. The all-digital char-
acteristic of DLP-based display offers a unique capability to simultaneously display video, graphics and
text that provides optimum performance for multimedia applications.
digital light switch See Digital Micromirror Device.
Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) All-digital display
system, completely compatible with digital broadcasting, requiring no D/A conversion; Texas Instruments (TI). TI calls DMD a digital light switch. DMD
has an array of hundreds of thousands of aluminum
mirrors fabricated on a silicon chip. Each tiny mirror
represents one pixel. When a voltage is applied to a
mirror, it pivots slightly, reflecting light from an external light source through a projection lens onto a
screen. When in the “off” state, light reflected from
the mirror doesn’t enter the lens.
digital monitor Computer monitor that accepts digital in addition to analog signals. DVI is the standard
digital video interface.
digital multi-audio A feature built into a few VCRs
that assigns auxiliary audio tracks to the videotape
in lieu of video information. With Hi8 VCRs, e.g.,
digital multi-audio permits up to 24 hours of audio
digital multi-effects system A professional/industrial
system designed chiefly for TV stations that is capable of manipulating flat video images into 3-D
images in real time. In addition, the system can produce such effects as sparkle, degrade (image
breakup) and centipede (elongation of an object or
digital noise reduction See Digital video noise
digital oversampling See Oversampling.
digital paint art A feature, found only on digital VCRs,
that produces a rough gradation to a screen image
to simulate the effect of an oil painting. Digital paint
art usually offers several levels of contrast.
digital photography See Still video camera.
digital picture memory An advanced electronic feature, found on some VDPs and VCRs, which permits
the audio portion of a program to continue while a
picture “freezes” on the screen.
digital remote control A remote control in which the
user selects or adjusts a desired function by punching out one or more digits on a calculator-like keyboard. Applications include direct selection of TV
programs by channel number. In one version used
for remote control of color TV, an ultrasonic receiver
converts the 14 possible ultrasonic frequencies into
digital codes that control the desired ON/OFF, channel-select, color, tint, and volume functions.
digital rights management (DRM) Digital rights
management is a generic term for a number of capabilities that allow a content producer or distributor to determine under what conditions their product
can be acquired, stored, viewed, copied, loaned, etc.
Popular proprietary solutions include InterTrust, etc.
digital television standards converter
digital satellite system (DSS) A digital system, offering 400 to 500 lines of resolution and CD-quality
audio. Compared to the 330 lines of resolution currently available on TV, or the 260 lines of resolution
on VHS tapes, this is a major step up. In your home,
the system consists of a small 18" satellite dish
mounted outside your home and an integrated receiver/decoder (IRD), about the size of a VCR, which
sits near your TV. A telephone line plugs into the
back of the receiver, either directly or through an
optional wireless transceiver, so that you can order
programming and other services directly through the
telephone line. DSS uses both MPEG-1 and MPEG2 digital compression and decompression. Some
systems are switching to MPEG-4. See also RCA DSS,
digital scan A feature on specially equipped VCRs designed to allow the viewer to see a picture in FF or
REW mode. Only some VCRs with digital effects include this function.
digital servo transport circuitry A VCR system that
controls both the capstan and head-drum motors
to provide better track positioning. Some motors may
produce phase and frequency errors. These defects
in destabilization are sensed and corrected by a crystal oscillator. Image quality depends upon accurate
tracking, which, in turn, relies upon the precision
and rigidity of the motors. Imprecise tracking may
result in audio wow-and-flutter or picture jitter or
digital signal processor (DSP) A specialized digital
microprocessor that performs calculations on digitized signals that were originally analog (e.g., video)
and then sends the results on. The big advantage of
a DSP lies in the programmability of digital microprocessors.
digital signal sound processor An accessory designed
to offer a simplified version of surround sound audio effects. Usually composed of dual speakers, an
amp and digital delay circuits, the sound processor
comes equipped with jacks for hooking it up to VCRs
or TV receivers. The unit can be used without the
complex wiring often necessary for surround sound.
Digital Spectrum Compatible (DSC) A proposed fully
digital HDTV system, Zenith/AT&T. Operated with
progressively scanned baseband video at 787.5 lines
per frame and 59.94 frames/s. The line-scan rate
was 47,203 Hz, three times that of the NTSC system to permit easy conversion between the two systems. DSC used the discrete cosine transform coding
as a basis for its spatial compression.
digital still-frame memory An electronic feature,
found on some VCRs and video cameras, that can
play back single frames with perfect steadiness. VCRs
and cameras with digital circuitry usually provide
unstable freeze frames containing electronic interference or video noise in the form of lines, streaks
or snow. Digitally produced special effects, such as
still-frame, eliminates these interferences. In addition, still-frames can be acquired from live broadcasts as well as videotape.
digital stereo In VCRs, the enhancement of audio by
means of special digital and error-correction circuitry
that virtually eliminates interference. Discrete right
and left digital audio signal processing helps to produce a dynamic range of over 90 dB. Digital stereo
has proven effective with video cameras as well. This
is especially true with digital audio dubbing, which
adds hi-fi sound to special effects and music.
Digital Storage Media Command Control (DSM-CC)
See Multi- and Hyper-media coding Experts group.
digital superimposer See Digital image superimposer.
digital S-VHS An experimental audio enhancement
process that records audio signals in a lower level of
a videotape than conventional video signals. The
digital system is compatible with existing S-VHS recorders and S-VHS-C camcorders. Developed by JVC,
which calls the process D-MPX (depth-multiplexed
signal AC bias recording system), digital S-VHS promises benefits for both consumer and professional applications. The system provides a sampling frequency
of 48 kHz in 2-channel mode and 32 kHz in 4-channel mode.
digital switcher A professional/industrial unit that
speeds up component digital editing by providing
additional sophisticated capabilities to the production switcher, including multi-layer compositing in
real time and color correction functions. In addition,
digital switchers can accommodate several chroma
keyers simultaneously to isolate different areas during the composite procedure. See Switcher.
digital sync A TV feature that eliminates the need for
a manual vertical hold control. Digital sync automatically produces vertical hold modifications by sensing variations in video sync and locking into the
correct reference for vertical adjustment.
digital television (DTV) Digital broadcasting represents a more efficient means of transmitting a broadcast signal than the analog delivery system. Up to
12 SDTV programs can fit into the spectrum space
occupied by one analog program. In the U.S., the
FCC has mandated a transition to DTV for broadcasters. See HDTV.
digital television converter A converter used to convert TV programs from one system to another, such
as for converting 525-line 60-field US broadcasts to
625-line 50-field European PAL or SECAM standards.
The video signal is digitized before conversion. Also
called digital television standards converter.
digital television standards converter A professional
electronic accessory which uses digital technology to
convert different broadcasting and recording standards of other countries. Ordinarily incompatible standards such as SECAM, PAL and PAL M are connected
to the TV converter, which processes the signal for
line and field conversion. A memory output compen-
digital tracking
sates for distortion usually caused by such conversion. The converter also operates with satellite broadcasts of foreign programs. Other functions of the
device include its use as an editor, mixer and frame
synchronizer to integrate local shows into network
programs. Also called digital television converter.
digital tracking A VCR feature, most notably on some
S-VHS models, that automatically compensates for
disparities in viedotapes recorded on different machines. Occasionally, a tape recorded on one machine may not play correctly on another VCR because
the video heads or video head drums of the two
machines may not be positioned at the same exact
height. This difference causes video noise or bars to
appear on the TV screen. The viewer may eliminate
this interference by manually adjusting the tracking
or skewing control dial. Digital tracking (sometimes
called twin digital tracking), when activated, will correct the video signal automatically and optimize playback in any of the speed modes. Another advantage
of digital tracking is that the user does not have to
return the tracking control to its default position.
This adjustment is necessary on VCRs without digital tracking to prevent future tapes from being recorded incorrectly.
digital traffic Traffic consisting of digital data that
may or may not be combined with voice, video, or
other forms of analog information which has been
converted to a format suitable for pulse-code
digital transcoder An accessory designed to convert
digital signal formats from D-1 to D-2 VTRs and vice
versa. The transcoder is used chiefly with industrial
tape machines.
digital transfer A technique that uses digital circuitry
to transfer wide-screen theatrical films to video. Digital transfer, which is superior to other, older methods, produces better image quality while providing
special sophisticated effects such as enlarging images, zooming in and out and simulating the original movements of the movie camera.
Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) An
encryption method (also known as “5C”) developed
by Sony, Hitachi, Intel, Matsushita and Toshiba for
IEEE 1394 interfaces.
Digital Transmission of Increased Capacity (DTIC)
Parallel transmission of data across the channel; Digital Compression Technology (New York City) and
Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.). Used
in digital signal compression technique that permits
existing communication systems to transmit the
same volumes of advanced voice, video and data as
state-of-the-art optical fiber. The patented technology is based on a breakthrough algorithm that compresses signals, at a ratio 16:1 in channel, rather
than at the source as with MPEG.
digital tuning The use of quartz crystals that are tuned
to each FM and AM frequency. Digital tuning, which
replaces the conventional dial readout, does away
with the need for a manual tuner.
digital TV receiver A TV set designed to produce superior audio and video through the use of digital
encoding of the broadcast signal. Instead of the
conventional method of analog signal processing,
the digital system uses large-scale integrated circuitry.
Some of these chips digitally decode the video signal and process it while another handles the audio
in a similar manner. Meanwhile, another special circuit in the TV receiver controls the tuning, power
supply and other components. Digital TV reconstructs the signal more accurately than its counterpart, the analog process, which tends to lose much
of the original quality. However, the relatively higher
cost of this technique has affected its general acceptance in the marketplace.
digital VCR A VCR that uses special electronic circuitry
to store and process information using electrical
pulses to represent numbers. Video signals, which
are waveforms, are normally recorded in analog form
along with inherent video noise, or electronic interference. Digital machines, on the other hand, convert video signals into a predetermined code, or set
of binary numbers. This method virtually eliminates
video noise to produce an improved screen image
and clearer special effects such as freeze frame, slow
motion, PIP, strobe display, mosaics and
posterization. Digital VCRs, first introduced to the
general public in 1986, offer other benefits. For instance, viewers can call up two different programs
simultaneously on their TV screens. In addition, signals converted into numbers not only are safe from
distortion and noise, but can produce unlimited copies without degradation. Since the digital signal remains permanent, there is no loss in detail with
successive generations of recordings.
Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) Compact discs that hold
over two hours of digital audio, video, data, and
graphics. The video is compressed and stored using MPEG-2. Beginning to replace VHS as the standard for in-home video viewing. See also Digital
Digital Vertical Interval Timecode DVITC digitizes
the analog VITC waveform to generate 8-bit values.
This allows the VITC to be used with digital video
systems. For 525-line video systems, it is defined by
SMPTE 266M. BT.1366 defines how to transfer VITC
and LTC as ancillary data in digital component
digital video 1. A system where all of the information
that represents images is in some kind of computer
data form, which can be displayed or manipulated
by a computer. Digital video specifically excludes
analog video, where images are represented by continuous-scale electrical signals. 2. A video signal represented by machine-readable binary numbers that
describe a finite set of colors and luminance levels.
digital video stabilizer
3. A process of videotape recording with a potential
for more accurate color renditions and pictures of
higher resolution. Conventional recordings use the
analog system of placing information on tape. On a
professional/industrial level, there are two major digital formats—D-1, the component digital standard,
and D-2, the composite digital standard. The former
records the luminance and two color-difference
channels digitally, while the latter, D-2, records such
basic standard signals as NTSC and PAL. MII is another format competing for recognition. Digital compression, another technique, is still in the
experimental stage.
digital video camera A professional video camera
that has fewer moving parts and is generally lighter
and smaller than its counterpart, the analog camera. First introduced by Panasonic in 1989, digital
video cameras can filter out video cross-color and
can make any necessary adjustments automatically.
The company also introduced the first digital
camcorder, which has 1/2" format.
digital video cassette See DVC.
digital video compression Reducing the amount of
information necessary to reconstruct video frames
at the receiving end of a transmission. The electronic
signals are squeezed and thus signal capacity can
be increased by factors of 8,10, or more. The process can expand the number of channels per satellite transponder and create sufficient channel
capacity to make DBS systems practical, and is used
in HDTV. Cable operations are able to transmit hundreds of channels over a single fiber optic cable.
Digital Video Disc (DVD) Refers to standards for
the higher density CD. DVD also stands for Digital
Versatile Disc.
digital video effects system A professional/industrial workstation designed to produce numerous
special video effects during the editing process. These
units can be used for transitional or non-transitional
functions. Some transitional uses (dissolving from
one scene to another) include warp, prism, curvilinear, montage, mirror, mosaic, sparkle, trailing, decay, drop shadow, multi-freeze and rotation effects.
In addition, a DVE system can be utilized to perform
non-transitional tasks, such as correcting errors in a
source tape. An intrusive shadow, window glare or
overhead microphone can be removed by simply
enlarging the picture and trimming it until the unwanted image does not appear. DVE units generally
cost thousands of dollars.
digital video frame storage A laser VDP feature designed to retain one frame in memory, or in a buffer.
This single frame appears on the TV screen until random access search for a new segment is completed.
Before the introduction of this feature, VDPs would
go to a black screen whenever random access was
activated. Digital video frame storage operates automatically whenever the viewer presses the random
access function. The last frame seen on screen is
then stored in the buffer and appears until the new
material is located.
Digital Video Interactive (DVI) technology (David
Sarnoff Research Center) A technology with the objective of putting TV-style video and audio on a personal computer. Digital video interactive technology
made possible the first systems which truly merged
PCs and TV. The technology was first shown publicly on March 1, 1987. The audiovisual material for
this presentation was done entirely with the DVI system, displayed on a large screen projector, showing
slides from hard disk, motion video and audio from
CD-ROM, and application demonstrations.
Digital video interactive technology consists of
four unique elements:
• A custom VLSI chip set, which is the heart of the
video system
• A specification for a runtime software interface
• Some audio/video data formats
• Compression and decompression algorithms.
digital video noise reduction Special electronic technology that improves signal-to-noise ratios by combining two video fields. First introduced into S-VHS
VCRs, this electronic video noise reduction system
differs greatly from other attempts to reduce image
interference from video signals. Using special comb
and notch filters, this new system, also known as
field correlation, adds a complete field of information to each succeeding field. Since both fields are
almost identical, the signal power is therefore
doubled. Although distortion and video noise is inherent in all video signals, the interference does not
double along with the enhanced dual-field video
image. This results in a clearer screen image without the usual additional video noise and wavy lines.
Several sophisticated VCRs with this digital feature,
sometimes listed as DVNR, offer several settings.
They include one for use with prerecorded tapes,
another to compensate for poor reception caused
by a weak signal, and the usual on/off switch. The
digital system, introduced by NEC in 1986, works
with both broadcast signals and prerecorded tapes.
digital video recorder (DVR) DVRs can be thought
of a digital version of the VCR, with several enhancements. Instead of a tape, the DVR uses an internal
hard disk to store compressed audio/video, and has
the ability to record and playback at the same time.
The main advantage that DVRs have over VCRs is
their ability to time shift viewing the program as it is
being recorded. This is accomplished by continuing
to record the incoming live program, while retrieving the earlier part of the program that was just recorded. The DVR also offers pause, rewind, slow
motion, and fast forward control, just as with a VCR.
digital video stabilizer A device to eliminate video
copy guards. While watching rental movies, you may
notice annoying periodic color darkening, color shift,
digital video transmission
unwanted lines, flashing or jagged edges. This is
caused by the copy protection jamming signals embedded in the videotape, such as Macrovision copy
protection. The digital video stabilizer eliminates copy
protections and jamming signals and brings you clear
digital video transmission An experimental method
that permits specially equipped VCRs to receive
rented or purchased movies by way of satellite. By
calling on the telephone, the consumer can order a
movie to be transmitted to his or her VCR. Because
of the digital process, the rented film can usually be
recorded in about 10 minutes and can be played
back two times. If the film is purchased by this
method, it can be played countless times. The only
limitation, albeit a major one, is that at the present
time a satellite dish is required. Developers hope that
in the future they can build receiving capabilities
directly into the VCR.
digital zoom 1. A VCR feature that employs special
electronic circuitry to produce various effects such
as enlarging one portion of a screen image to full
screen size. Some viewers may find this a useful
method of examining an image more closely. The
digital zoom feature, which appears only on digitaltype VCRs, can be used on any segment of the
screen. For example, some digital VCRs can divide a
screen picture into four parts with a fifth image appearing in the center. This last image can be enlarged four times its original size. 2. A camcorder
feature that achieves a close-up effect not through
the optics of the lens, but via manipulation of the
electronic signal. These digital telephoto shots generally suffer from decreased resolution.
digitization The process of changing an electronic
analog signal such as a TV signal into a discrete numerical form. Digitization is subdivided into the processes of sampling the analog signal at a moment
in time, quantizing the sample (assigning it a numerical level), and coding the number in binary form.
The advantages of digitization include improved
transmission and repeatable quality; the disadvantages include the need for more storage space than
the analog signal. Data compression works to reduce that disadvantage.
digitize To convert an analog or continuous signal into
a series of ones and zeros—that is, into a digital
digitized video Today’s analog TV systems contain a
large number of digital subsystems. The signals used
by these are digitized representations of the composite NTSC, PAL, or SECAM TV signals and are referred to as digitized video.
digitizer 1. A device that converts an analog signal
into a digital representation of that signal. Usually
implemented by sampling the analog signal at a
regular rate and encoding each sample into a numeric representation of the amplitude value of the
sample. 2. A device that converts the position of a
point on a surface into digital coordinate data.
digitizing The process of converting an analog signal
into a digital signal. With images, it refers to the
processes of scanning and A/D conversion.
dihedral A term used to describe the relative position
between the two video heads as they are mounted
in the head cylinder. Perfect dihedral means that the
tips of the heads are exactly 180 degrees apart.
diheptal base A tube base having 14 pins or possible
pin positions. Used chiefly on TV CRTs.
dilution Reducing the intensity of a color by adding
DIN Deutsche Industrie-Norm. German standard for
electronic connections. DIN plugs can be 3-, 4-, 5-,
or 6-pin plugs, depending on their use, although
they all have the same outer diameters and appearance. DIN connectors were used in earlier Sony professional equipment. Today DIN plugs and
connectors are still available in 3-pin and 6-pin configurations.
diode gun A small aperture, high-resolution gun found
in camera tubes for HDTV.
diopter A unit of measurement of a lens, equal to the
power of a lens with a focal distance of 1 m, commonly used in eyeglasses. A lens with a plus (+) number of diopters is converging; a minus (-) number of
diopters is diverging. A plus diopter is used in TV for
close-ups. See also diopter lens.
diopter lens A feature found on the electronic
viewfinder of some video cameras that permits magnification and adjustment for users who wear eye
DIP Dual in-line package; refers to integrated circuits.
diplexer Specialized piece of equipment for joining
power radio feeds. A diplexer sometimes denotes a
unit for combining two feeds of the same frequency
(joining of parallel transmitters), sometimes for splitting a feed to two separate feeders (to feed two
aerial arrays). A diplexer is also used in TV receiver
aerial systems, either for joining two aerials together
to a common feeder (e.g., Band I and Band III) or for
splitting the output of an aerial into separate bands
for separate receiver inputs.
diplexing 1. The simultaneous transmission or reception of two signals while using a common antenna,
made possible by using a device called a diplexer.
Used in TV broadcasting to transmit visual and aural
carriers by means of a single antenna. 2. A process
in which video circuits carry two full frequency audio channels, thereby making stereo TV possible. The
two audio channels are transmitted above the video
signal, the main one at 5.8 MHz and the other at
6.4 MHz. Diplexing is capable of operating on telephone and microwave transmissions.
direct broadcast by satellite (DBS) A method of
broadcasting that uses a communications satellite
in geostationary orbit as the main transmitter. The
Dish Network
signal to be broadcast is transmitted from its point
of origin on the earth to the satellite where it is received, amplified, and retransmitted to cover a wide
area. It is detected directly by individual receivers
using a suitable dish antenna tuned to the DBS
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) 1. A term commonly
used to describe Ku-band broadcasts via satellite
directly to individual end-users. 2. A satellite transmitting TV programs which can be received by small
fixed dish antennas often installed in backyards or
on the roofs of houses. DBS services carry a large
number of channels and directly compete with cable
TV. In the U.S., at present two companies offer DBS
service, DirecTV and EchoStar.
direct channel access Electronic channel selection.
direct chapter search A videodisc feature, usually
found on the wireless remote control component,
that allows the user to access different programs on
the disc.
direct copying See Copying.
direct cross See Cross.
direct-current restorer (DCR) A device that restores
the DC component or low-frequency component to
a signal that has had its low-frequency components
removed by a circuit element with high impedance
to direct current. The device may also be used to
add DC or low frequency to a signal lacking these
components. DCR is used in TV sets to reconstruct
the original video signal. It is required either to restore the DC component to the received signal as in
AC transmission or to correct for the presence of an
unwanted spurious DC component.
direct-current transmission A method of transmission used in TV in which the DC component of the
luminance signal is directly represented in the transmitted signal. See AC transmission.
direct-drive capstan servo motor See VTR.
direct drive cylinder As used in VHS, this means that
the video heads are driven by a self-contained
brushless DC motor using no belts or gears. DDCs
produce pictures with better stability.
directional microphone A microphone which is more
sensitive to the sound in front of it, blocking any
sound coming from its rear. It is preferred for recording from a distance.
direct method See Color recording.
direct pickup The transmission of TV images without
intermediate photographic or magnetic recording.
direct recording Recording that produces a record
immediately without subsequent processing, in response to received signals.
direct reflection Reflection of light, sound, or radio
waves in accordance with the laws of optical reflection, as by a mirror. Also called mirror reflection, regular reflection, and specular reflection.
direct scanning A scanning method that illuminates
the subject at all times and only one elemental area
of the subject is viewed at a time by the TV camera.
Used in live TV broadcasting, whereas indirect or
flying-spot scanning is sometimes used in industrial
TV systems.
direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television Satellite
systems providing television service direct to homes.
At present in the U.S., there are three commercially
available systems: C-Band, DirecTV, and Dish Network. See C-Band, DBS, and high power satellite
DirecTV One of two DBS satellite companies in the
U.S. The other is Dish Network, owned by EchoStar.
direct video/stereo audio inputs A TV monitor/receiver feature that permits the connection of a stereo VCR directly into the TV’s A/V inputs. This
technique improves picture quality. In addition, the
hookup provides stereo sound by way of the builtin speakers of the monitor/receiver.
direct view A CRT or projected image that is watched
directly, as opposed to a hard-copy print.
direct view TV Refers to conventional TV as opposed
to rear or front projection TV. Some large-screen direct view monitors/receivers feature screens ranging from 27 to 40 inches, measured diagonally.
disconnect In CATV, telephone, and other fields, a
subscriber whose service has been terminated,
usually for nonpayment.
discrete cosine transform (DCT) A pixel-block based
process of formatting video data where it is converted from a three-dimensional form to a two-dimensional form suitable for further compression. In
the process the average luminance of each block or
tile is evaluated using the DC coefficient. Used in
the CCITT’s Px64 videoconferencing compression
standard and in the ISO/IEC’s MPEG and JPEG image compression recommendations. A DCT is a way
to represent an image. Instead of looking at it in the
time domain—which, by the way, is how we normally do it—it is viewed in the frequency domain.
It’s analogous to color spaces, where the color is still
the color but is represented differently. In the same
way that the YCbCr color space is more efficient
than RGB in representing an image, the DCT is more
efficient at image representation.
discrete multi-tone See DMT.
discrete time oscillator (DTO) A digital version of the
voltage-controlled oscillator.
discriminator A circuit that converts a frequencymodulated or phase-modulated signal into an amplitude-modulated signal. An audio detector in an
FM receiver or TV sound circuit. Also, a detector performing a similar function in other frequency control circuits, such as horizontal frequency control.
dish Jargon for a parabolic microwave antenna, used
for receiving line-of-sight terrestrial signals or signals from satellites.
Dish Network One of two DBS satellite companies
operating in the U.S. The other is DirecTV.
display The visual presentation of information, usually on a TV-like screen or an array of illuminated
digits. The display may take the form of a CRT, LCD
or beam indexing. Hand-held or pocket TVs may use
any one of these three types of displays.
display list A list of commands placed in memory by
the host CPU. A display processor then interprets
and executes the display list commands independently from the activity of the host CPU. This is how
the two processors communicate while running in
display primaries Primary colors that, when mixed in
proper proportions, produce other desired colors.
The three primaries usually used are red, green, and
blue. Also called receiver primaries.
display screen Refers to the presentation of various
kinds of information on the TV screen other than
prerecorded or over-the-air broadcast programs. VCR
displays may take the form of menus that permit
the viewer to program the unit to record events for
later viewing. Displays of some TV receivers provide
on-screen menus for adjusting the color or audio
portions of a picture, switching from one antenna
source to another or confirming a channel selection.
Many VDPs display, often by means of superimposed
images, such functions as chapter, track, frame,
speed, playback or scan direction.
display window That part of a VCR, located on the
face of the unit, that provides the user with a variety of information, such as tape counter, current
time, etc. If the VCR is programmed, the window
will display the time, day, channel and number of
shows to be recorded as well as the recording speed.
Also, the display window shows Play, FF, Reverse and
Rew modes when these have been activated. Different models, depending on sophistication, offer
other features, such as auto-rewind when tape has
reached its end and an indicator light when a cassette is inserted.
dissector tube Image dissector.
dissolve 1. Fading between scenes without going to
black. 2. The merging of two TV camera signals in
such a way that as one scene disappears, another
slowly appears.
distance change command In some autostereoscopic
3D-image display systems, a command to provide
the image can be stereoscopically observed from a
position of the designated distance.
distance learning 1. Video and audio technologies
used in education so students can attend classes in
a location distant from where the course is being
presented. 2. A Pacific Bell term for students sitting
in front of TVs and phones and participating in
classes that are being held and delivered elsewhere.
In one of PacBell’s trials, they used a T-1 signal, so
the distant lecturer could see and hear his distant
students using full-color video.
distant signal In CATV, a station “imported” from a
market other than the one in which the cable system is located.
distortion 1. Any undesired change in the waveform
of a signal. 2. Any undesired deviation of an image from proportionality with the original scene.
Distortion is a significant problem in telecommunication systems. There are several different types of
Amplitude distortion occurs when the ratio of
the root-mean-square value of the output to the
r.m.s. value of the input varies with the amplitude
of the input, both waveforms being sinusoidal. If
harmonics are present in the output waveform only
the fundamental frequency is considered.
Aperture distortion of an image occurs in a scanning system when the scanning spot has finite dimensions rather than infinitely small dimensions.
Attenuation distortion occurs when the gain or
loss of the system depends on frequency. Also called
frequency distortion.
Barrel and pincushion distortion are seen when
the lateral magnification is not constant but depends
on image size. Barrel distortion occurs when the
magnification decreases with object size, pincushion distortion when it increases with object size.
Coma is a plumlike distortion of the spot occurring when the focusing elements of the electron gun
are misaligned.
Crossover distortion occurs in push-pull operation when the transistors are not operating in the
correct phase with each other.
Delay distortion is a change in the waveform
because of the variation of the delay with frequency.
Harmonic distortion is due to harmonics not
present in the original waveform.
Intermodulation distortion results from spurious
combination-frequency components in the output
of a nonlinear transmission system when two or
more sinusoidal voltages, applied simultaneously,
form the input. Intermodulation distortion of a complex waveform arises from intermodulation (see
Modulation) within the waveform.
Keystone distortion is due to the length of the
horizontal scan line varying with the vertical displacement of the line. It is most pronounced when the
electron beam is at an acute angle to the screen
and results in a trapezoidal image instead of a rectangular one. It can be removed using suitable transmitter circuits.
Nonlinear distortion is produced in a system when
the instantaneous transmission properties depend
on the magnitude of the input. Amplitude, harmonic, and intermodulation distortion are all results
of nonlinear distortion.
Phase distortion of an image is seen in electronic
systems, such as CRTs, TV picture tubes, etc. It is
due to errors in the electron-lens focusing systems.
Trapezium distortion is a trapezoidal pattern on
the screen of a CRT instead of a square one and
occurs when the deflecting voltage applied to the
plates is unbalanced with respect to the anode.
See also Envelope delay; Field tilt; Foldover; Glitch;
Hook; Line tilt; Meshbeat; Shading signals; Smear.
distribution amplifier (DA) A piece of equipment that
takes an input and gives multiple outputs of that
same input. An RF power amp used to feed TV or
radio signals to a number of receivers, as in an apartment house or hotel.
distribution control Linearity control.
distribution system A communication system consisting of coax but occasionally of line-of-sight microwave links that carries signals from the headend
to end-users.
distribution systems See System terminology.
distribution quality The level of quality of a television signal from the station to its viewers. For digital
television this is approximately 19.39 Mbps.
distribution-quality television TV conforming to the
NTSC standard, the SECAM standard, the PAL standard, or the PAL-M standard. Syn.: (in CCITT usage)
existing-quality TV. See also Enhanced-quality television, High-definition television.
disturbance 1. An undesired interference or noise signal affecting radio, TV, or facsimile reception. 2. An
undesired command signal in a control system.
dithering 1. The process of spreading the energy of a
signal. The 6-MHz satellite signal is shifted up and
down the 36-MHz satellite transponder spectrum
to distribute the energy of the video signal. The purpose is to reduce the interference that any terrestrial microwave transmitter could cause to the
satellite transmission. 2. A method for making digitized images appear smoother using alternating
colors in a pattern to produce a new, perceived color.
For example, displaying an alternating pattern of
black and white pixels produces gray. Also, a technique of adding random noise to pixel values before quantization.
divcon Device for displaying printed messages on a
TV screen from information received from its computer-type store, a tape reader, or a keyboard provided. Developed in the US by RCA.
divergence The spreading of a cathode-ray stream
due to repulsion of like charges (electrons).
diverging meniscus A thicker version of the converging meniscus lens configuration. One side curves
inward and the other side curves outward, but the
edges of the curves do not meet at the rim as they
do in converging meniscus lens.
dk Dark; Deck.
DL Delay Line.
DLP Digital Light Processing.
DM Delta Modulation.
DMA Designated Market Area.
D2-MAC One of two European formats for analog
D-MPX See Digital S-VHS.
DMD See Digital Micromirror Display.
DMT Discrete Multi-Tone. A technology using digital
signal processors to pump more than 6 megabits/s
of video, data, image and voice signals over today’s
existing one-pair copper wiring. DMT technology is
actually a form of frequency division multiplexing
(FDM). It provides the following:
• Four “A” channels at 1.5 Mbps. Each “A” channel may carry a “VCR”-quality video signal, or
two channels may be merged to carry a “sports”quality real-time video signal. In the future, all 4
channels operating together will be able to transport an Extended Definition TV signal with significantly improved quality over anything available
today. (“A” channels are asymmetric, carrying information only from the telephone company to
the subscriber’s residence. All other channels
within ADSL are symmetric or bi-directional.)
• One ISDN “H zero” channel at 384 Kbps (kilobits
per second). This channel is compatible with
Nortel’s multirate ISDN Dialable Wideband Service or equivalent services. This channel could also
be used for fast, efficient access to corporate LANs
for work-at-home applications, using Nortel’s
DataSPAN or other frame-relay services.
• One ISDN Basic Rate channel, containing two “B”
channels (64 Kbps) and one “D” channel (16
Kbps). Basic Rate access allows the home user to
access the wide range of emerging ISDN services
without requiring a dedicated copper pair or the
expense of a dedicated NT1 unit at the home. It
also permits the extension of Nortel’s VISIT personal video conferencing to the home at fractional-T1 rates (Px64).
• One signaling/control channel, operating at 16
Kbps giving the home user VCR-type controls over
movies and other services provided on the “A”
channel including fast-forward, reverse, search,
and pause.
• Embedded operations channels for internal system maintenance, audits, and telephone company administration.
• Finally, the home user can place or receive telephone calls over the same copper pair without
affecting the digital transmission channels listed
above. And since ADSL is passively coupled to
the POTS line, the subscriber’s POTS capability is
unimpaired in the event of a system failure.
DNG Digital news gathering. Electronic news gathering (ENG) using digital equipment and/or transmission.
DNL Differential nonlinearity.
DNR See Dolby Noise Reduction System.
DOC A professional term or abbreviation that refers to
dropout compensation. Several industrial products,
such as the time base corrector, provide this feature
in addition to their major functions.
dock Loading slot in VCRs.
dockable video camera A professional/industrial video
camera designed to connect to a specially designed
unit so that the camera can be operated in several
formats. Cameras so equipped usually have a multistandard switchable encoder that offers special outlets for Beta, S-VHS and other formats.
docudrama A combination of documentary and
drama, such as Roots and other TV shows that are
semifictionalized versions of history.
docu-fantasy A TV presentation that uses factual elements as the basis of a far-fetched dramatic reconstruction or projection of events. The overt
encroachment of speculation and dramatization into
documentary programs, and of documentary techniques into drama, began with the docudrama, but
with the advent of the docu-fantasy seems to leave
the tiresome world of facts behind altogether.
document camera A specialized camera on a long
neck that is used for taking pictures of still images—
pictures, graphics, pages of text and objects which
can then be sent stand alone or as part of a video
Dolby, Ray Engineer; co-developer (with Charles
Ginsburg) of the first video recorder, demonstrated
in 1956; inventor of the famous Dolby Noise Reduction System used in almost all quality audio recorders and many VTR and VCR machines.
Dolby Digital An audio compression technique developed by Dolby. It is a multi-channel surround
sound format used in DVD and HDTV. First used in
movie theaters in 1992, it is the result of decades
spent by Dolby Laboratories developing signal-processing systems that exploit the characteristics of
human hearing. (Formerly Dolby AC-3.)
Dolby E An audio coding system designed specifically
for use with video, available from Dolby Laboratories. The audio framing is matched to the video framing, which allows synchronous and seamless
switching or editing of audio and video without the
introduction of gaps or A/V sync slips. All of the common video frame rates, including 30/29.97, 25, and
24/23.976, can be supported with matched Dolby
E audio frame sizes. The Dolby E coding technology
is intended to provide approximately 4:1 reduction
in bit rate. The reduction ratio is intentionally limited so that the quality of the audio may be kept
very high even after a number of encode-decode
generations. The fact that operations such as editing and switching can be performed seamlessly in
the coded domain allows many coding generations
to be avoided, further increasing quality.
Dolby Noise Reduction System (DNR) A technique
invented by Ray Dolby designed to increase hi-fi signals during recording and condense them in reproduction. This results in weak segments of the signal
being boosted during recording and decreased to
normal when they are played back, thereby mini-
mizing background noise. DNR provides an inexpensive method of adding quality stereo to videotape
in both professional machines and home VCRs.
Variations of the system include Dolby A, B and C.
Dolby B provides an increase in noise reduction to
10 dB above 7,000 Hz, while Dolby C is said to offer
an increase of 20 dB over a wider range than B.
Dolby Pro Logic A circuitry to recreate the sound of a
Dolby Stereo theater in home A/V systems. Dolby
Pro Logic decodes movies, TV shows and musical
recordings that have been encoded with Dolby Surround, directing sound to the proper, realistic location in a 5-speaker system while creating expanded
listening area. Unlike the old 3-channel Dolby Surround Systems that used a phantom center channel
derived from the left and right speakers, Dolby Pro
Logic is a 4-channel system: left, right, center and
rear. Center-channel information is derived from the
left and right channels and fed to a separate amp
for separation and accurate positioning. Dialogue is
anchored to the center-channel speaker, which
should be positioned directly above or below the
TV. The rear-channel information is derived by extracting the differences between the front channels
and then delaying and processing them using a
modified, Dolby B-type noise reduction.
Dolby Surround (Dolby Stereo and Dolby 4:2:4)
Matrix Analog coding of four audio channels—Left,
Center, Right, Surround (LCRS)—into two channels
referred to as Right-total and Left-total (Rt, Lt). On
playback, a Dolby Surround Pro Logic decoder converts the two channels to LCRS and, optionally, a
subwoofer channel. The Pro Logic circuits are used
to steer the audio and increase channel separation.
The Dolby Surround system, originally developed for
the cinema, is a method of getting more audio channels but suffers from poor channel separation, a
mono limited bandwidth surround channel and
other limitations. A Dolby Surround track can be
carried by analog audio or linear PCM, Dolby Digital
and MPEG compression systems.
dolly 1. Wheeled mounting device for TV cameras. It
allows the camera to be tracked forward and back
by an operator other than the cameraman, while
the cameraman controls the height of himself and
the camera. The cameraman can also pan and tilt
the camera in the usual way. 2. Wheels on the feet
of a tripod. 3. The action of moving a camera toward or away from a scene, as to dolly in or dolly
dollying See Tracking.
dolly shot See Tracking.
domain In magnetic substances, such as tapes, a region of molecules that is the smallest known permanent magnet. On an unmagnetized tape, these
domains are oriented in a random fashion over the
entire surface of the tape. The result of this random
magnetization is that N and S magnetic poles effec-
double-sideband transmission
tively cancel one another. When a signal is recorded
onto tape, the magnetization from the recording
head orients the individual domains into specific directions, so their combined magnetism produces an
average magnetic flux force at the surface of the
tape. The video recording process takes place in a
bandwidth of much higher frequency than does the
audio recording process. Therefore, the basic tape
formulation for video recording must be highly refined, in order to increase the domain particle density and to reduce the dropouts.
domestic satellite See Satellite focus.
DOMSAT DOMestic communication SATellite.
Donald Duck effect An unintelligible sound track
caused by speeding up videotape playback without
modifying the audio pitch. Some VCRs have doubleor triple-speed play, in which the unmuted audio
track emerges sounding like the Walt Disney character. Some machines, on the other hand, disengage the sound track in this mode, while others use
special digital processing which makes the sound
track intelligible.
dope sheet Caption sheet.
doppler shift A general phenomenon, of importance
in satellite communications. Denotes an apparent
change of frequency of a wave train caused by relative motion between the wave source and an observer. If a source emitting waves approaches the
observer, the waves are crowded together and their
frequency thereby increased. Similarly, if the source
recedes, the waves are stretched out and their frequency is decreased. An example of the doppler shift
is in the change of note of a train whistle as the
locomotive approaches and passes an observer.
dot Picture element.
dot crawl See Cross-luminance.
dot generator A signal generator that produces a dot
pattern on the screen of a 3-gun color TV picture
tube, for use in convergence adjustments. When
convergence is out of adjustment, the dots occur in
groups of three, one for each of the receiver primary colors. When convergence is correct, the three
dots of each group converge to form a single white
dot matrix tube See Color picture tube.
dot pattern Tiny dots of light made by the signal of a
dot generator and appearing on the screen of a color
picture tube. The three color-dot patterns (R,G,B)
merge into one white-dot pattern once the beam
convergence is attained.
dot pitch The distance between screen pixels measured in millimeters. The shorter the distance, the
better the resolution. It is a measure of the clarity of
a RGB color monitor. Dot pitch is the major determinant in the clarity of an image on screen.
dot-sequential color television A system in which
signals from the primary color sources (for instance,
the three tubes of a color camera) are transmitted
in sequence so rapidly that each signal persists for
only the duration of scanning one picture element.
Thus neighboring elements are reproduced in different primary colors but the elements are so small
and so closely spaced that at normal viewing distances the eye cannot resolve them and sees the
color formed by the addition of the primary components.
double amplitude Syn.: peak-to-peak amplitude.
double azimuth A Sony innovation in the videohead
drum that practically eradicates interference (i.e.,
“noise”) during still frame, slow motion, and picture search modes.
double-azimuth 4-head system. See Azimuth.
double-beam CRT See Cathode-ray tube.
double buffering As the name implies, you need two
buffers—for video, this means two frame buffers.
While one of the buffers is being displayed, the other
buffer is operated on by a filter, for example. When
the filter is finished, the buffer that was just operated on is displayed while the first buffer is now
operated on. This goes back and forth, back and
forth. Since the buffer that contains the correct image (already operated on) is always displayed, the
viewer does not see the operation being performed
and sees a perfect image all the time.
double chain In TV, the simultaneous running of two
projectors, each with different film or tape, in order
to intercut from one to the other, such as for cutaway or reaction shots in an interview.
double-eye system A 3D-image system based on a
single observer. See multi-eye system.
double image A TV picture consisting of two overlapping images, due to reception of the signal over two
paths that differ in length so signals arrive at slightly
different times. The longer path generally involves
reflection of the signal by a hill, building, or large
metal structure. The later-arriving reflected signal is
often called a ghost because it is usually weaker than
the direct signal and produces a phantomlike image
to the right of the regular image.
double mirror A digital video effect where the displayed picture appears as though split by an imaginary line, one side having the original image and on
the other side of the split is a complementary mirror
image. Syn.: symmetry.
double sided page turn See Page turn.
double-side videodisc player A relatively high-priced
unit that permits both sides of a CLV or CAV 12"
videodisc to play continuously without the viewer’s
having to change or turn over the disc. These players usually provide a quick transition from one side
to the other with little interruption.
double-sideband transmission The transmission of
a modulated carrier wave accompanied by both of
the sidebands resulting from modulation. The upper sideband corresponds to the sum of the carrier
and modulation frequencies, whereas the lower side-
double-sided mosaic
band corresponds to the difference between the
carrier and modulation frequencies. Low-power UHF
TV stations with less than 1 kW radiated power are
allowed to use double-sideband transmission, except that the lower subcarrier sideband must be attenuated by at least 42 dB.
double-sided mosaic An array of photosensitive elements insulated one from the other and mounted
in a TV camera tube in such a way that an image
can be projected optically on one side of the mosaic. The corresponding electric signal is obtained
by electronically scanning the other side of the
double speed play A technique that permits viewing
a program at two times the normal speed and listening to an intelligible sound track without the
Donald Duck effect which usually accompanies audio tracks that are speeded up. This feature was first
used on a VCR manufactured by JVC.
down-converted color The color information in a
VCR is converted down to about 600 kHz, placing it
below the luminance frequency (thus the term “color
under”). This signal is still amplitude- and phasemodulated for color saturation and tint. The downconverted color signal is recorded directly onto the
magnetic tape using the same heads that record the
FM luminance signal. As with the FM luminance,
the color signal is converted back to the standard
video signal during playback. As the tape moves
through a VCR, variations in tape speed occur that
cause severe problems for the critically phased color
signal. During the playback process of converting
the 600 kHz signal back to 3.58 MHz, these errors
are easily corrected.
down-converter A circuit that lowers the high-frequency signal to a lower, intermediate range. It is
used in conjunction with single pay TV systems that
send their signals via multipoint distribution service
(MDS) microwave. The down-converter lowers the
frequency of the signal so that it can be received by
the TV set. In satellite TV, there are three distinct
types of downconversion used in satellite receivers:
single downconversion; dual downconversion; and
block downconversion.
downlink The radio or optical transmission path downward from a communication satellite to the earth.
The upward path is the uplink.
downlink antenna 1. The antenna on-board satellite
which relays signals back to earth. 2. The spherical
dish, which receives the return signal from a satellite. The original signal is sent from an earth station
called the uplink to the satellite 22,300 miles above
the equator, where the signal is then transmitted to
various (downlink) receiving stations. The downlink
TV signal usually ranges from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz.
downloading Recording an off-the-air program for
viewing at a more convenient time. Downloading,
or using the time-shift capacity of the VCR or PVR,
is one of the machine’s strongest selling points. Home
View Network, the now-defunct brainchild of ABC,
introduced broadcast downloading—for a monthly
fee—as an alternate pay TV service. Today, the term
downloading is more often used with computers,
particularly with users who have modems and can
download data from other sources. See Time shift.
downstream In interactive or 2-way TV, the programming to the subscribers.
downstream channel The frequency multiplexed
band in a CATV channel that distributes signals from
the headend to the users.
downstream keyer A special-effects generator that
enables the technical director (TD) to insert or key
over composite video signal just before the video
signal leaves the switcher to go over the air.
downward modulation (US) Negative modulation.
downwards conversion Standards conversion to a
lower (for example, 625 to 405) line standard.
DP Differential phase. Change of the chrominance
phase as function of luminance level. In a color video
channel, the phase shift of a small chrominance subcarrier signal at a given luminance signal level, relative to the phase shift at blanking level. Can cause
changes of hue with changes of level.
DPCM Differential pulse code modulation.
DQPSK Differential quadrature phase shift keying, a
digital modulation technique commonly used with
cellular systems.
D’R Transmitted red color difference signal (SECAM);
D’R = -1.9(R-Y).
DRAM Dynamic RAM (Random Access Memory). High
density, cost-effective memory chips (integrated circuits) used extensively in computers and generally
in digital circuit design, but also for building
framestores and animation stores. Being solid state,
there are no moving parts and they offer the densest available method for accessing or storing data.
Each bit is stored on a single transistor, and the chip
must be powered and clocked to retain data.
drama-com Syn.: dramedy.
dramedy A TV comedy-drama.
drape To cover, hang, or decorate; cloth hanging, perhaps in folds, as in drapery or drapes, often used as
a backdrop on a TV set.
Dr/Db switch Sync pulse with period of two lines, the
rising edge of which marks the start of a line with
positive polarity of V component in PAL chrominance
signal or the start of a Dr line in Dr/Db sequence in
SECAM chrominance signal. Syn.: 2H; 7.8 kHz; PAL
switch; PAL switching signal; SECAM switch.
drive control Horizontal drive control.
drive pulses Signals from the sync generator that control the scanning of the electron beams.
driver A software entity that provides a software interface to a specific piece of hardware. For example,
the DVI video driver provides software access to the
video board hardware.
drive unit The unit that drives the large output stages
in a high-powered TV transmitter, normally of 5 kW
upwards and operating in the VHF and UHF bands
of 40 MHz to 850 MHz.
DRM See Digital rights management.
drop 1. A wire or cable from a pole or cable terminal
to a building; the hookup between a CATV system
and the subscriber’s set. 2. Syn. insert. Sound effect
inserted on an audio- or videotape after the initial
drop field scrambling This method is identical to the
sync suppression technique, except there is no suppression of the horizontal blanking intervals. Sync
pulse suppression only takes place during the vertical blanking interval. The descrambling pulses still
go out for the horizontal blanking intervals (to fool
unauthorized descrambling devices). If a
descrambling device is triggering on descrambling
pulses only, and does not know that the scrambler
is using the drop field scrambling technique, it will
try to reinsert the horizontal intervals (which were
never suppressed). This is known as double reinsertion, which causes compression of the active video
signal. An unauthorized descrambling device creates a washed-out picture and loss of neutral sync
during drop field scrambling.
drop frame SMPTE time code format to reconcile the
difference between the frame rate for black and
white TV (30 fr/s) and color TV (29.97 fr/s).
drop-in A TV channel that can be added to existing
allocations without causing interference to stations
located elsewhere but on the same channel.
dropout Loss of a portion of the video picture signal
caused by lack of iron oxide on that portion of the
video tape or by dirt or grease covering that portion
of the tape.
dropout compensator Circuitry that senses signal loss
produced by dropout and substitutes for missing
information the signal from the preceding line—if
one line drops out of a picture, it is filled in with the
preceding line, resulting in no visible dropout on the
screen. Dropout compensators are built into VTRs
and time base correctors.
dropout count The number of dropouts detected in a
given length of magnetic tape.
dropout measurement Refers to the length of time
the signal does not appear on the TV screen and the
loss of signal strength caused by the dropout. The
time-length of dropouts, measured in microseconds,
varies. The dropout may last for as short a time as a
fraction of one line scan or continue for the length
of a few lines. If this dropout time is relatively short,
built-in dropout compensator circuitry in later-model
VCRs corrects the problem automatically; otherwise,
streaks appear across the screen. Signal strength loss
resulting from dropouts is measured in dB.
dry block In film, TV, a rehearsal without cameras.
dry edit See Paper edit.
DS- A hierarchy of digital signal speeds used to classify
capacities of lines and trunks. The fundamental
speed level is DS-0 (64-kilobits/s) and the highest is
DS-4 (about 274 million bits per second. Here are
definitions: DS-1, DS-1C, DS-2, DS-3, DS-4. They
correspond to 1.544, 3.152, 6.312, 44.736, and
274.176 Mbps. DS-1 also called T-1.
DS-0 Digital Service, level 0. It is 64,000 bps, the worldwide standard speed for digitizing one voice conversation using pulse code modulation (PCM).
DS-1 Digital Service, level 1. It is 1.544 Mbps in North
America, 2.048 Mbps elsewhere. The 1.544 standard is an old Bell System standard. The 2.048 standard is a CCITT standard.
DS-1c Digital Service, level 1C. It is 3.152 Mbps in North
America and is carried on T-1.
DSC See Digital Spectrum Compatible.
DS-2 Digital Service, level 2. It is 6.312 Mbps in North
America and is carried on T-2.
DS-3 Digital Service, level 3. Equivalent of 28 T-1 channels, and operating at 44.736 Mbps. Used for delivery of broadcast TV signals. Also called T-3.
DS-4 Digital Service, level 4. 274,176,000 bits per
DSL Digital subscriber line. The ability to use a standard telephone line to transport data. xDSL is the
generic term for each of two varieties: ADSL (asynchronous), where the upstream and downstream
data rates are different, and SDSL (synchronous),
where the upstream and downstream data rates are
the same.
DSM-CC Digital Storage Media Command Control. See
Multi- and Hyper-media Coding Experts Group.
DSP Digital signal processor. A specialized computer
chip designed to perform speedy and complex operations on digitized waveforms. Useful in processing sound and video.
DSS Digital Satellite System. No longer used.
DTCP Digital Transmission Content Protection. Technology to safeguard copy-protected material transmitted via IEEE 1394 digital interface connections.
DTCP was developed by Matsushita along with other
consumer electronics manufacturers.
DTIC Digital Transmission of Increased Capacity.
DTO Discrete time oscillator. A digital version of the
voltage-controlled oscillator.
DTS® DTS stands for Digital Theater Systems. It is a
multi-channel surround sound format, similar to
Dolby Digital. For DVDs that use DTS audio, the DVD
- Video specification requires that PCM or Dolby
Digital audio still be present. In this situation, only
two channels of Dolby Digital audio may be present
(due to bandwidth limitations).
DTT Digital terrestrial television. A term used in Europe to describe the broadcast of digital television
services using terrestrial frequencies.
DTV Short for digital television, including SDTV, EDTV,
and HDTV.
DTV Team
DTV Team, The Originally Compaq, Microsoft and Intel, later joined by Lucent Technologies. The DTV
Team promotes the computer industry’s views on
digital television—namely, that DTV should not have
interlaced scanning formats but progressive scanning formats only. (Intel, however, now supports all
the ATSC formats, including those that are interlaced,
such as 1080i.)
dual-band feedhorn In satellite TV, a feedhorn which
can simultaneously receive two different bands, typically the C and Ku-band.
dual-band LNB A type of low noise block
downconverter (LNB) that incorporates two switchable local oscillators to receive two distinct bands.
With a single-band LNB, receiving both Europeans
DBS (11.7 - 12.5 GHz) and ECS (10.95 - 11.7 GHz)
broadcasts, for example, would require one or two
parabolic antennas, two feedhorns and two singleband LNBs. With a dual-band LNB, on the other
hand, a single system (one parabolic antenna, one
feedhorn, and one dual-band LNB) is sufficient to
receive broadcasts from both satellite broadcasting
systems by simply switching the local oscillators. The
dual-band LNB thus offers great savings in space and
dual camera recording system A video camera feature that permits the integration of two different
pictures from two cameras. First introduced by
Panasonic in 1989, the dual camera recording system allows the user to record one video image with
one camera and superimpose another picture with
a second camera mounted on top and connected
with a multipin attachment. Video from the mounted
camera can be blended into the main image as an
inset, as a dissolve or as a superimposed picture.
dual-channel sound A technique used in TV receivers to separate the sound and video signals after
the common first detector stage. Separate IF stages
are employed for each signal.
dual-channel system An approach to HDTV system
design. See HDTV.
dual deck VCR A VCR with two slots designed for
editing or duplicating tapes. Companies experimenting with these units boast that tapes copied on these
machines cannot be distinguished from the original. Dual deck VCRs offer several advantages. They
can record one program while playing a second cassette, record two different programs simultaneously
and edit from one tape to another. As expected,
manufacturers who have announced production of
dual deck VCRs have come under heavy fire from
several sources, including the Motion Picture Association of America. The unit, critics charge, promotes
piracy of copyright material and could cost the software industry a loss of millions of dollars. Although
several Japanese firms have dismissed the dual deck
VCR as an unprofitable product, several American
companies have demonstrated such units.
dual digital/analog converter A videodisc player feature designed to improve the stereo output. These
converters usually come in pairs for left and right
channels and permit concurrent decoding, resulting in enhanced stereo that simulates a live concert
dual electromagnetic focus A feature used with some
projection-TV systems to produce a very small beam
for better horizontal resolution. In conventional TV,
electromagnetic focusing is accomplished by a single
coil attached to the neck of the CRT. As direct current passes through the coil, magnetic field lines are
produced parallel to the axis of the tube.
dual feedhorn A waveguide feed system designed
for both vertically and horizontally polarized signals.
dual field auto exposure system The ability of the
CCD image sensor of a camcorder to simultaneously
measure the light levels of an entire image and the
central zone, calculate these and adjust the exposure with emphasis upon the central zone. Some
cameras allot about 35% of the image to the central area.
dual image effect A video camera feature that permits the user to mix a still image with live images
recorded by the camera. Several types of effects are
possible with this feature, such as creating a splitscreen with a still frame on one side of the screen;
inserting a still image in the center of an action scene;
or putting an active image in the middle of a fullscreen still picture. These effects can be accomplished
only with a digital-type camera.
dual-in-line package (DIP) A flat rectangular, leaded
package for circuit board mounting of ICs, relays,
resistor networks, and other miniature components.
dual-loading system A method of loading tape,
employed by some VCRs, that combines the standard full-loading procedure with half-loading.
Dual-loading is designed to speed up the FF and
REW modes. The high-speed tape transport also
results in accelerated searches in all three playback modes.
dual orthomode coupler A dish-mounted device that
allows reception of both vertically and horizontally
polarized signals.
dual-side play See Double-side videodisc player.
dual standard receiver Receiver capable of receiving
TV pictures on more than one line standard, e.g.,
405/625 lines in Britain.
dubbed soundtrack See Dubbing.
dubbing 1. The combining of two sound signals into
a composite recording. At least one source of sound
will have been prerecorded. 2. Duplicating an audio
and/or video signal, such as composite master tape,
to make additional tape copies. Dubbing puts the
resulting copy or dub one generation away from the
tape from which it was recorded. Dubbing can be
accomplished from one videotape format to another—e.g., from a larger format to a smaller one
(2" to 1") or from smaller to larger (3/4" to 1").
Those processes are called bumping up or bumping
down. 3. Can also refer to erasing an audio track
and recording a new track in its place. Lip synchronization is often used in TV and film production to
replace one person’s voice with another’s. The new
version is said to have a dubbed soundtrack. See
also Audio dub. 4. Refers to re-recording a new section of video over existing footage without affecting the audio track. Some camcorders provide a
flying erase head, a few of which are designed to
produce this video dubbing feature. Dubbing also
refers to copying a tape.
dub in/dub out connectors Used by Sony on its professional VCRs to provide high-quality duplicated
tapes. Other manufacturers also use special connectors for this purpose. The technique should not be
confused with the audio/video inputs/outputs used
with home VCRs for copying.
DuMont, Allen B. Inventor who in 1939 marketed
the first all-electronic TV receivers.
duobinary signal A pseudobinary-coded signal in
which a “0” (zero) bit is represented by a zero-level
electric current or voltage, a “1” (one) bit is represented by a positive-level current or voltage if the
quantity of “0” bits since the last “1” bit is odd.
Duobinary signals require less bandwidth than NRZ.
Duobinary signaling also permits addition of errorchecking bits.
duplexer A device that combines audio and video signals, or separates signals on a single-transmission
duplicating of tapes See Copying.
DV Digital consumer video cassette format, formerly
DVB Digital video broadcasting. The group, with over
200 members in 25 countries, that developed the
preferred scheme for digital broadcasting in Europe.
The DVB Group has put together a satellite system—
DVB-S—that can be used with any transponder, current or planned, a matching cable system called
DVB-C, and a digital terrestrial system called DVB-T.
See DVB-T.
DVB-T A transmission scheme for terrestrial digital television. Its specification was approved by ETSI in February 1997 and DVB-T services began in 1998. As
with the other DVB standards, MPEG-2 picture coding forms the basis of DVB-T. Sound may be either
MPEG or Dolby Digital. It uses a transmission scheme
based on Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (COFDM), which spreads the signals over a
large number of carriers to enable it to operate effectively in very strong multipath environments. The
multipath immunity of this approach means that
DVB-T can operate an overlapping network of transmitting stations with a single frequency. In the areas
of overlap, the weaker of the two received signals is
rejected. See COFDM, DVB.
DVC Digital Video Cassette. DVC format. In the 1990s,
55 member companies formed the DVC consortium
to finalize the interface format for connection to
PCs. The interface is based on the IEEE-1394 format
proposed by Apple Computer. The DVC format is
an industry standard for videotape recording agreed
upon by all 55 member companies. The digital
camcorder is the core equipment in the multimedia
era. DVC was ultimately shortened to DV.
DVCAM Sony’s proprietary professional DV format introduced in 1996, directly competing with DVCPRO.
DVCPRO A proprietary digital videotape format developed by Panasonic Broadcast. It is based on the
consumer DV format and uses much of its hardware and electronics. Using 1/4-inch tape, the cassettes are the same size as the larger cassettes of
the DV format. The recording system uses efficient
error correction to reduce the need for mechanical
accuracy but, otherwise, it is a conventional helical-scan system with a control track. The video signals are compressed using DCT algorithms and
chip-sets developed for the DV format. The signal
coding is 4:1:1. Each frame is coded individually
(intraframe-only) at a video data-rate of about 20
Mbits/s. Two studio-quality (48 kHz, 16 bit) PCM
audio channels are provided. The format has a longitudinal control track and a longitudinal audio cue
DVCPRO50 This variant of DV uses a video data rate
of 50 Mbps—double that of other DV systems—
and is aimed at the higher quality end of the market. Sampling is 4:2:2 to give enhanced chroma
resolution, useful in post production processes (such
as chromakeying). Four 16-bit audio tracks are provided. The format is similar to Digital-S (D-9).
DVCPRO HD This variant of DV uses a video data rate
of 100 Mbps, four times that of other DV systems,
and is aimed at the high-definition EFP end of the
market. Eight audio channels are supported. The
format is similar to D-9 HD.
DVCPRO P This variant of DV uses a video data rate of
50 Mbps, double that of other DV systems, to produce a 480 progressive picture. Sampling is 4:2:0.
DVD Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc. A faster
CD that can hold cinema-like video, better-than-CD
audio, and computer data. DVD has received widespread support from major electronics companies,
computer companies, and movie/music studios, and
has rapidly become a popular home video device.
The main features include:
• Over 2 hours of high-quality digital video
• up to 8 tracks of digital audio, each with as many
as 8 channels
• up to 32 subtitle/karaoke tracks
• automatic seamless branching of video
• menus and simple interactive features
• instant rewind and fast forward
• instant search to title, chapter, music track, and
• digital audio output (PCM stereo and Dolby Digital)
• compatible with audio CDs
• low cost.
The capacities currently available are:
• DVD-5: 4.7 GB (1 side, 1 layer)
• DVD-9: 8.5 GB (1 side, 2 layers)
• DVD-10: 9.4 GB (2 sides, 1 layer each)
• DVD-18: 17.0 GB (2 sides, 2 layers)
• DVD-R: 4.7 GB (1 side, 1 layer) (write once)
• DVD-RAM: 2.6 GB (per side, 1 layer) (rewritable)
and 4.7 GB (per side, 1 layer) (rewritable)
In 2002, DVD players are available in the U.S. for
under $100.
DVD-Audio DVDs that contain linear PCM audio data
in any combination of 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4,
or 192 kHz sample rates, 16, 20, or 24 bits per
sample, and 1 to 6 channels, subject to a maximum
bit rate of 9.6 Mbps. With a 176.4 or 192 kHz sample
rate, only two channels are allowed.
Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) is a lossless compression method that has an approximate 2:1 compression ratio. The use of MLP is optional, but the
decoding capability is mandatory on all DVD-Audio
Dolby Digital compressed audio is required for
any video portion of a DVD-Audio disc.
DVD-Interactive DVD-Interactive is under development (due summer 2002), and is intended to provide additional capability for users to do interactive
operation with content on DVDs or at Web sites on
the Internet. It will probably be based on one of
three technologies: MPEG-4, Java/HTML, or software
from InterActual.
DVD-R DVD-ROM. The base physical format of a DVD
that holds data.
DVD-Video Often simply DVD. The application format that defines how video programs, such as movies, are stored and played in a DVD player.
DVE See Digital Video Effects system.
DVI, DVI-D, DVI-I, DVI-CE Abbreviation for Digital Visual Interface. This is a digital video interface to a
display, designed to replace the analog Y’PbPr or
R’G’B’ interface. For analog displays, the D/A conversion resides in the display. The EIA-861 standard
specifies how to include data such as aspect ratio
and format information. The VESA EEDID and DIEXT standards document data structures and mechanisms to communicate data across DVI.
DVI-D is a digital-only interface. DVI-I handles
both analog and digital.
DVI-CE (now known as HDMI) is a proposed
modified version of DVI that is targeted for consumer
equipment. It proposes to use YCbCr instead of RGB
data, includes audio capability and uses a smaller
DVITC See digital vertical interval timecode.
DVI technology An all-digital audio, video, and computer system. Owned by Intel Corporation. See Digital Video Interactive.
DVNR Digital Video Noise Reduction.
DVR See Digital video recorder.
DVTR Digital videotape recorder.
DVTS Pronounced “Divitz.” Stands for Desktop Video
conferencing Telecommunications System.
dynamic convergence The process whereby the locus of the point of convergence of electron beams
in a color TV tube is made to fall on a specified surface during scanning. Without dynamic convergence
that varies with beam angle, the locus would be a
spherical surface at a constant radius from the center of deflection of the beam.
dynamic demonstrator A large schematic circuit diagram that has been cemented to a board, with all
components mounted near or on their symbols and
connected together to give a working circuit of a
radio, TV receiver, or other electronic apparatus.
Used for training purposes in classrooms and
Dynamic Drum System (DDS) JVC’s VHS technology
that makes possible virtually noiseless special effects,
longer playing tapes, and “endless recordings” (due
to its ability to play in both directions, reversing the
tape at the end). DDS can also accomplish smooth
slow-motion (without the frame-by-frame jerkiness)
and noiseless FF or reverse, accompanied by intelligible sound for high-speed viewing. In addition, it
permits still-frame recording while the recorder is in
the pause mode.
dynamic focusing The process of varying the focusing electrode voltage for a color picture tube automatically so the electron-beam spots remain in focus
as they sweep over the flat surface of the screen.
Without dynamic focusing, part of the image would
be out of focus at all times.
dynamic mike A type of very sound-sensitive uni- or
omni-directional microphone, which can stand rough
dynamic picture control Horizontal image delineation.
dynamic range The weakest to the strongest signal a
circuit will accept as input or generate as an output.
dynamic resolution Resolution when there is a movement in the TV picture, for example when the camera is zooming or panning. Syn.: motion resolution.
dynamic rounding The intelligent truncation of digital signals. Some image processing requires that two
signals be multiplied, for example in digital mixing,
producing a 16-bit result from two original 8-bit
numbers. This has to be truncated, or rounded, back
to 8 bits. Simply dropping the lower bits can result
in visible contouring artifacts, particularly when handling pure computer generated pictures. Dynamic
rounding is a mathematical technique for truncating the word length of pixels, usually to their nor-
dynode effect
mal 8 bits. This effectively removes the visible artifacts and is non-cumulative on any number of
passes. Dynamic rounding is a licensable technique,
available from Quantel, and is used in a growing
number of digital products both from Quantel and
other manufacturers.
dynamic track following A feature first used on
Grundig V-2000 VCRs which eliminated white noise
bars during slow motion, freeze frame and visual
scan. On conventional Beta and VHS machines the
video heads in Fast Scan cannot accurately retrace
the diagonal tracks laid down during recording; instead, the heads cross over to adjacent tracks or signals, causing interference of white bars. Grundig
solved this problem by having the two video heads
move up or down to avoid inaccurate retracing and
by keeping them on the full width of the recorded
track. Dynamic track following also assures noise-
free pictures in slow motion and freeze frame modes
without the use of additional or oversized heads as
found in some Beta and VHS machines. Digital video
equipment has overcome the problem in its own
unique way.
dynamic tracking head A videotape head that automatically aligns itself with the center of the video
track on the tape for slow motion or freeze frames.
dynode effect A form of distortion produced by image orthicon tubes. In an image orthicon, the beam,
after scanning the target, is amplified in an electron
multiplier section. The multiplier often consists of
five dynode sections and a collector, and the return
beam is directed on the first dynode under the influence of the persuader voltage. Occasionally imperfections in the dynode surface cause a small
ghostly highlight with a spreading tail to appear on
the picture.
E 1. CATV midband channel, 144-150 MHz. 2. TV
standard; France, Monaco. Characteristics: 819 lines/
frame, 50 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 25 fr/s, 20,475
lines/s, aspect ratio 4:3, video band—10 MHz, RF
band—14 MHz, visual polarity—positive, sound
modulation—A3, gamma of picture signal—0.6.
3. Effects.
early bird See Communications satellite.
early fringe A time period in TV broadcasting, preceding prime time, usually 5 to 8 P.M. on weekdays.
earth station A station equipped with transmitting
equipment for the production of uplink signals, and
also a complete receiving system for picking up
downlink signals. Known as a ground station. Sometimes used synonymously, but incorrectly, with TVRO.
There are more than 5,000 earth stations in the US,
most owned by private citizens. See Satellite TV.
EAV End of active video in component digital systems.
EBICON Electron Bombardment Induced Conductivity.
A TV camera tube that differs from orthicon and vidicon tubes chiefly in the construction of its target.
EBU European Broadcasting Union.
EBU code European standard for encoding time onto
magnetic tape for broadcast and production use. It
uses an 80-bit time code word, as does the American standard. The only major difference is that the
EBU code operates at a rate of 25 fr/s. Since both
black and white and color video signals in EBU run
at exactly 25 fr/s, there is no necessity for drop frame
code or for any indication of its absence or presence within bit 10 of the time code word. With EBU
code, a binary one in bit 11 denotes the presence of
the PAL 8-field frame sequence.
EC Electronic Cinematography.
ECC Error Check and Correct. A block of check data,
usually appended to a data packet in a communications channel or to a data block on a disk, which
allows the receiving or reading system both to detect small errors in the data stream (caused by line
noise or disk defects) and, provided they are not too
long, to correct them.
ECG Electronic Character Generator.
echo Ghost signal.
echo-1, -2 See Communications satellite.
echo cancellation An isolation and filtering of
unwanted signals caused by echoes from the main
transmitted signal.
echo equalizer See Ghost.
EchoStar Communications Corporation A leader in
the satellite TV industry. The parent company of its
small dish direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service, Dish
Network, one of the two DBS companies serving
the U.S.
echo waveform corrector Corrector for linear phase
and amplitude distortions on a TV signal, resulting
from multi-path signals or echoes. Operates by mixing with the input signal other samples of the signal, advanced or delayed in time relative to the main
signal and variable in amplitude and polarity.
E-Cinema (also D-Cinema) Electronic cinema. Typically the process of using video at 1080/24p instead of film for production, post-production and
eclipse-protected Refers to a transponder that can
remain powered during the period of an eclipse.
ECU Extreme close-up.
ED-Beta A professional-quality format for VCRs or
camcorders that can deliver over 500 lines of resolution through the use of an extended bandwidth.
Introduced in 1987, ED-Beta (Extended Definition)
generates superior resolution and offers digital special effects, specially designed video heads for highdensity metal particle tape, flying erase head,
8-segment assemble editing, automatic audio and
video insert editing, linear time and frame counter,
jog/shuttle variable speed search and various onscreen displays. The format records at a very high
bandwidth (up to 9.3 MHz), compared to 5.6 MHz
for many of its conventional counterparts, and requires special metal videotape. ED-Beta can record
and play back regular Beta tapes.
edge A boundary in an image. The apparent sharpness of edges can be increased without increasing
edge noise Refers to the grain or fuzz that appears
on the edge of objects. Edge noise reduces the
sharply defined look of objects in a screen image.
Some VCRs offer a built-in digital time-base corrector to compensate for edge noise. The color version
of edge noise is referred to as edging.
editing methods
edge track recording The placement of the audio
track in a linear position on videotape. Edge track,
or linear, recording differs from diagonal recording.
edging Refers to unwanted edge noise in the form of
color that appears around objects of different colors. Similar to edge noise in B&W TV, edging affects
the otherwise sharply defined color of objects on
EDH Error detection and handling, for recognizing inaccuracies in the serial digital signal. It may be incorporated into serial digital equipment and employ
a simple LED error indicator.
edit Any point on a videotape where the audio or video
information has been added to, replaced, or otherwise altered from its original form.
edit code Time code; videotape retrieval code added
to the original recording and using a time structure
of hours, minutes, seconds and frames to locate a
particular frame in the tape. Can be read off the
screen through the use of a window burn-in over
the screen.
edit control jack A special VCR receptacle that permits two units to be connected for synchronized
operation during editing.
edit controller 1. The main device that controls and
synchronizes all video decks in an editing system. 2.
A VCR feature, either built into or added externally
to the machine, designed to operate the controls of
two VCRs during the editing process. Chiefly made
up of miniature computers capable of storing
memory, the edit controller allows the user to assign to it several edits at one time. Once the controller has stored the information in its memory, it
automatically performs assemble edits. Beta and
8mm units have incorporated the concept of the
edit controller into their systems for several years.
Sony, which offers the controller as an accessory and
calls the unit a remote editing control, allows the
user to assemble eight video sections before it automatically executes the editing sequence. To be
effective, an edit controller or similar device should
be able to find and return to edit points. Some units
use the VCR counter, others rely on a vertical interval time code recorded between video fields, and
still others depend on coded track different from
the video. A more sophisticated version of the controller is the editing console.
edit decision list (EDL) A listing of scenes with which
a video editor assembles a video program from individual shots; takes the form of a printed copy, paper
tape, or floppy disk and is used to automatically assemble the program. Also called edit list.
edited master (EM) In post production for audio or
video, the first copy produced by the process of editing together the original material. Edited master is
the final edited videotape with continuous program
material and time code from beginning to end. Also
called edit master, production master.
edit fader A device used in editing to fade a video
signal to black. It is utilized mostly by professionals
and in conjunction with industrial video recorders.
edit-in The point at which, or the process whereby,
one video signal replaces another during the editing process. See also Edit points.
editing 1. In video, an electronic process of transferring or duplicating selected recorded segments of
tape onto another tape. A second VCR is required,
one functioning as a “player” and the other as the
“recorder.” For best results they are connected
through their audio and video inputs and outputs.
The recording machine is also hooked up to a TV
receiver, which acts as a monitor. Industrial machines
in either 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch format are best suited
for this purpose. They provide more accuracy in eliminating unwanted video frames and guarantee glitchfree edits. However, some top-of-the-line Beta and
VHS machines can produce very satisfactory editing
results. Some VCRs come equipped with built-in edit
controllers, a computerized system complete with
memory, that can perform accurate and professionallooking assemble edits. In addition, edit controllers,
and editing consoles, complete with readout panels, can be added as an external accessory for even
more fancy editing. Also called electronic editing.
See Editing methods. 2. See Strobe.
editing console An accessory, used in conjunction
with a video camera and a VCR, that automatically
synchronizes and controls both units during the editing and copying processes. These more costly components offer several advantages. They provide a
variety of special-effects transitions, including wipes,
fades and dissolves, which can be inserted between
edited scenes. In addition, these consoles allow different titles and fonts to be added, in an array of
colors. Editing is usually accomplished by first previewing tapes, then entering into a keyboard the
selected editing points. The computerized console,
which contains its own memory bank, stores the information and predetermined sequence in its multiscene memory and then automatically carries out
the transfers with precise edits. Some consoles, also
known as editing controllers, operate between camera and VCR by IR beam, while others must be connected using the appropriate cables and jacks. Some
models include a digital effects generator, an audio
processor, a video distribution amp, a color processor and enhancer.
editing controller See Editing console.
editing deck A specially constructed VTR which has,
in addition to play and record circuitry, circuitry and
controls for assembly and/or insert editing; an editing deck is used in conjunction with a second VTR
to record a master program tape (on the editing deck
from various tape-recorded segments being played
back on the second VTR.
editing methods There are three basic methods of
editing terminal
controlling and editing videotape: manual, control
track and SMPTE time code. See Types of edit.
editing terminal In videotex, a terminal designed for
use in projecting, preparing, or modifying videotex
pages. It is distinguished by its facilities for encoding alphanumeric, color, and graphics information.
Online editing terminals operate directly to the view
database computer. Offline (or local) editing terminals permit the preparation, viewing, and modification of videotex pages (both routing and information)
on a local basis.
edit list Edit decision list.
edit master Edited master; production master.
editor An electronic device used by professionals to
control synchronization of at least two devices for
the purpose of switching video and audio material
to a specific point in a program. The editor permits
merging pictures and sound from two VCRs or one
video camera and one VCR into one master tape.
Most of these devices have various controls for different functions such as Play, Forward, Reverse, Preview, etc. Some less costly models are available for
the nonprofessional.
edit-out The point at which, or the process whereby, an
inserted video signal stops and the signal it replaced
for a predetermined length of time resumes. The other
end of an edit-in when insert editing is being done.
With currently available editing decks, edit-ins are more
electronically stable than edit-outs (except in the case
of computer-controlled Quad machines).
edit points The beginning (edit-in) and ending (editout) points of a selected event within a program
being assembled on magnetic tape.
edit search In camcorders, a function used to view
the recorded picture for a moment during recording. Using edit search, you can review the last recorded scene or check the recorded picture in the
edit/start See Automatic transition editing.
edit/start control See Automatic transition editing.
edit switch In VCRs, a feature designed to switch a
low-pass filter out of the video output circuitry as a
means of cutting back on video noise. However, the
function presents one major drawback. Since the
process simultaneously lessens image resolution, it
also accelerates generation loss during editing. An
edit switch on a video camera is designed to change
the video signal that the camera transmits to compensate for any degradation that may occur during
the editing or copying process. Relatively few cameras offer this feature.
EDL Edit Decision List.
EDTV Enhanced Definition Television, which is a subset of the DVB’s and ATSC’s Digital Television (or Digital TV) specifications. The EDTV format is essentially
480 or 576 scan lines with progressive scanning, or
480p/576p (the “p” stands for progressive scanning).
Also see HDTV, SDTV.
educational television (ETV) TV used primarily for
educational purposes, such as for broadcasting lectures from a master studio to receivers in satellite
classrooms or to receivers in homes of those unable
to attend schools.
edutainment The answer to the question “What do
you get when you cross educational material with
interactive video?” A term coined by “someone who
obviously knows nothing about either education or
entertainment,” says Laura Buddine, president of
multimedia games maker Tiger Media. But it is becoming popular in residences and it’s typically played
on PCs with CD-ROM players.
EDV In (2+3)D-image display systems, data indicative
of the display of a digital signal from an external
apparatus through interface.
EE CATV hyperband channel, 324-330 MHz.
e-e Electronics-to-electronics. The picture viewed on
the TV screen when a recording is being made. This
picture goes through some but not all of the
recorder’s circuits and is used to test the operation
of said circuits.
EEPROM Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM. A
special type of EEPROM, referred to as flash memory,
can be rewritten while it is in the device.
effect A multisource transition, such as colorizing,
chroma-keying, etc.
effective isotropic radiated power (or equivalent
isotropically radiated power) (EIRP) Combined result of transmitter (or transponder) RF power, and
transmitting antenna gain. Refers to the satellite signal level strength that reaches earth. EIRP is described
in dB per watt (dBW). Satellites transmit relatively
narrow beams that widen as they approach earth.
The pattern or surface area that they cover is called
the footprint. It is this footprint shape that determines the EIRP.
effective radiated power (ERP). The power of a
station’s visual signal. In the US, TV stations are authorized by the FCC to operate at a certain power.
In order to avoid interfering with other electronic
communications, stations are limited in the amount
of power that can be emitted from their transmitters and antennas. A station may have 149 kW visual power and 29.5 aural power, but its ERP is
expressed as 149 kW.
effects Property, impression. Special effects are optics
(optical effects) or visual effects to produce illusions,
or sound, for simulation of a specific sound. The
abbreviation is FX or sometimes, as with video
effects, E.
effects buttons The push-button controls on a special effects generator that indicate the special effects (inserts, wipes, keying, etc.) available on that
SEG and which are engaged when an effect is
effects channel That bus in a 3-bus switcher set aside
to produce special effects.
EIA Linearity Chart
effects switcher An electronic switcher that activates
the generation control and coordination of special
EFP Electronic Field Production.
EGA Enhanced Graphics Adapter. A video display
adapter, introduced by IBM in 1984. The video display standard for IBM-compatible microcomputers
featuring 640-by-350-pixel resolution. EGA can display no more than 16 colors at once. It was superseded by VGA.
EHT Extra-High Tension.
EIA Electronics Industries Alliance; Electronic Industries
Association. The people who determine audio and
video standards in the US.
EIA-516 United States teletext standard, also called
EIA-608 United States closed captioning and extended
data services (XDS) standard. Revision B adds Copy
Generation Management System - Analog (CGMS-A),
content advisory (v-chip), Internet Uniform Resource
Locators (URLs) using Text-2 (T-2) service, 16-bit
Transmission Signal Identifier, and transmission of
DTV PSIP data.
EIA/IS-702 NTSC Copy Generation Management System - Analog (CGMS-A). This standard added copy
protection capabilities to NTSC video by extending
the EIA-608 standard to control the Macrovision anticopy process. It is now included in the latest EIA608 standard, and has been withdrawn.
EIA-708 United States DTV closed captioning standard.
EIA CEB-8 also provides guidance on the use and
processing of EIA-608 data streams embedded
within the ATSC MPEG-2 video elementary transport stream, and augments EIA-708.
EIA-744 NTSC “v-chip” operation. This standard added
content advisory filtering capabilities to NTSC video
by extending the EIA-608 standard. It is now included in the latest EIA-608 standard, and has been
EIA-761 Specifies how to convert QAM to 8-VSB, with
support for OSD (on screen displays).
EIA-762 Specifies how to convert QAM to 8-VSB, with
no support for OSD (on screen displays).
EIA-766 United States HDTV content advisory
EIA-770 This specification consists of three parts (EIA770.1, EIA-770.2, and EIA-770.3). EIA-770.1 and
EIA-770.2 define the analog YPbPr video interface
for 525-line interlaced and progressive SDTV systems.
EIA-770.3 defines the analog YPbPr video interface
for interlaced and progressive HDTV systems. EIA805 defines how transfer VBI data over these YPbPr
video interfaces.
EIA-775 EIA-775 defines a specification for a baseband digital interface to a DTV using IEEE 1394 and
provides a level of functionality that is similar to the
analog system. It is designed to enable
interoperability between a DTV and various types of
consumer digital audio/video sources, including
settop boxes and DVRs or VCRs.
EIA-775.1 adds mechanisms to allow a source of
MPEG service to utilize the MPEG decoding and display capabilities in a DTV.
EIA-775.2 adds information on how a digital storage device, such as a D-VHS or hard disk digital recorder, may be used by the DTV or by another source
device such as a cable set-top box to record or timeshift digital television signals. This standard supports
the use of such storage devices by defining Service
Selection Information (SSI), methods for managing
discontinuities that occur during recording and playback, and rules for management of partial transport streams.
EIA-849 specifies profiles for various applications
of the EIA-775 standard, including digital streams
compliant with ATSC terrestrial broadcast, directbroadcast satellite (DBS), OpenCable™, and standard definition Digital Video (DV) camcorders.
EIA-805 This standard specifies how VBI data are carried on component video interfaces, as described in
EIA-770.1 (for 480p signals only), EIA-770.2 (for 480p
signals only) and EIA-770.3. This standard does not
apply to signals which originate in 480i, as defined in
EIA-770.1 and EIA-770.2. The first VBI service defined
is Copy Generation Management System (CGMS) information, including signal format and data structure
when carried by the VBI of standard definition progressive and high definition YPbPr type component
video signals. It is also intended to be usable when
the YPbPr signal is converted into other component
video interfaces including RGB and VGA.
EIA-861 The EIA-861 standard specifies how to include data, such as aspect ratio and format information, on DVI.
EIAJ Electronic Industry Association of Japan.
EIA-J CPX-1204 This EIA-J recommendation specifies
another widescreen signaling (WSS) standard for
NTSC video signals. WSS may be present on 20 and
EIAJ Type #1 Recommended Color Standard The
color standard established by the EIAJ to be compatible with the EIAJ Type #1 Standard; color tapes
can be played back in b&w on EIAJ Type #1 b&w
VTRs, and b&w tapes can be played back in b&w on
EIAJ Type #1 color VTRs.
EIAJ Type #1 Standard That standard established by
the EIAJ for 1/2-inch helical scan VTRs.
EIA Linearity Chart A test chart available from the
Electronic Industries Association with configurations
to equal the bar and dot patterns from a sync generator in the average broadcast studio. The function of the chart is to test and measure the scan
linearity of professional, broadcast-type equipment.
It is designed to duplicate the normal broadcast configurations of 14 horizontal and 17 vertical bars. Also
known as a ball chart.
EIA sync
EIA sync Also called EIA RS-170 sync. The standard
waveform for broadcast equipment in the US as established by the EIA.
joint publication of the EIA and the TIA. This document contains a comprehensive listing of the criteria for evaluating the quality of TV images, together
with performance standards for both color and B&W.
E-I-C Engineer-In-Charge, as of a TV production.
Eidophor A projection system developed in Switzerland for theater TV and other applications requiring
a large and bright display. Unlike conventional projection systems, in which the total light available is
limited by the output of a CRT, the primary source
for the Eidophor is an arc light or equally bright
source. The image is formed by a Schlieren optical
system, a complex electrooptical system.
EIRP Effective Isotropic Radiated Power.
Electra A broadcast teletext operation consisting of a
one-way information service. It contains pages of
digital information from a central computer data
base, emanating from TV station WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. Electra information is also fed to and transmitted by superstation WTBS to cable systems, and
some TV stations pick up and retransmit the information from the WTBS signal. The Electra operation
is based on the World Standard Teletext (WST)
Electret condenser A type of very sensitive microphone requiring dc power (usually supplied by a
battery built into the mike).
electric image An array of electric charges, either
stationary or moving, in which the density of charge
is proportional at each point to the light values at
corresponding points in an optical image to be reproduced.
electroluminescense The direct conversion of electrical energy into light.
Electroluminescent TV screen A system of flat screen
TV utilizing numerous microscopic elements. Electroluminescent TV, or EL, is one of a few systems
considered as a replacement for the CRT in producing large-screen TV. EL can be compared in effect to
a large array of light bulbs.
electromagnet A device comprising a ferromagnetic
core within a winding which displays magnetic properties only when a current flows in the winding.
electromagnetic deflection Syn.: magnetic deflection. Deflection of an electron stream by means of a
magnetic field. In a TV picture tube, the magnetic
fields for horizontal and vertical deflection of the
electron beam are produced by sending sawtooth
currents through coils in a deflection yoke that goes
around the neck of the picture tube.
electromagnetic focusing Syn.: magnetic focusing.
Focusing the electron beam in a TV picture tube by
means of a magnetic field parallel to the beam, pro-
duced by sending an adjustable value of direct current through a focusing coil mounted on the neck
of the tube.
electromagnetic frequency spectrum In TV, the
broadcasting frequency which holds the various TV
signals transmitted from broadcast stations. A certain part or band of this spectrum is allotted to each
signal. The FCC apportions each slot to a channel,
thereby permitting many signals while avoiding interference. For instance, a TV channel is given a band
6MHz wide and must carry its video, audio and color
information within these parameters. New forms of
TV transmission may require a wider slot than the
standard 6 MHz. High definition broadcasting, for
example, whose signal transmits much more information and therefore requires an area five times
greater than the above standard, will have to utilize
either cable systems or the 12-GHz portion of the
spectrum via satellite broadcast.
electromagnetic interference (EMI). An electromagnetic disturbance caused by such radiating and transmitting sources as electrostatic discharge, lighting,
radio and TV signals, and power lines. It can induce
unwanted voltages in electronic circuits, damage
components, and cause malfunction. Shields, filters,
and transient suppressors protect electronics from
electromagnetic lens Syn.: magnetic lens. An electron lens consisting of an arrangement of coils that
focuses an electron beam electromagnetically. There
are two basic types; in one type, used with TV camera tubes, the entire tube is included within a coil
carrying DC which produces a magnetic field parallel to the tube axis. This field has no effect on electrons travelling along the tube axis but those moving
at angles to the axis rotated about the axis and return to it at regular intervals along the axis. Thus,
there are a number of points at which the electron
beam is in focus and by adjustment of the accelerating electric field or of the magnetic field one of
these focus points can be made to coincide with
the target.
The second type of magnetic lens employs a very
short magnetic field which can be produced by a
permanent magnet. The field from such a magnet
has pronounced radial components and the interaction of these with the electron beam causes the
beam to rotate about the tube axis. The axial component of the field causes the beam to be deflected
towards the tube axis so that an image, usually rotated, can be produced on the target. See electrostatic lens.
electron beam A beam of electrons that is usually
emitted from a single source, such as a thermionic
cathode. In TV camera tubes and picture tubes such
a beam originates in an electron gun and is focused
by an electron lens on the target or screen. See also
Electron gun.
electronic frequency synthesizing tuner
electron beam recording A technique employed in
video-to-film processes in which movie film images
are created by electronic impulses. The electronic
beam replaces the light, which normally exposes
motion picture film.
electron gun Also called gun. A device that produces
an electron beam and forms an essential part of
many instruments, such as CRTs, etc. It consists of a
series of electrodes usually producing a narrow beam
of high-velocity electrons. Electrons are released from
the indirectly heated thermionic cathode, the intensity being controlled by variation of the negative
potential of the cylindrical control grid surrounding
the cathode. The control grid has a hole in front to
allow passage of the electron beam. The electrons
are accelerated by a positively charged accelerating
anode before being focused by the focusing electrode and then further accelerated by the second
Electronicam System of program production using
combined film and TV cameras, first employed in
the US in 1955, and later developed in Germany
under the name Electronic-Cam.
electronic blackboard This is a teleconferencing tool.
At one end there’s a large “whiteboard.” Write on
this board and electronics behind the board pick up
your writing and transmit it over phone lines to a
remote TV set. The idea is that remote viewers can
hear your voice on the phone and see the presentation on the electronic blackboard. The product has
not done well because it is expensive—typically several hundred dollars a month just for rent, plus extra hundreds for transmission costs. In Japan, there
are similar boards called OABoards, for Office Automation Boards. They do one thing differently: they
will print a copy on normal letter-size paper of what’s
written on the board. This takes about 20 seconds.
Some of these Japanese OABoards will also transmit their contents over phone lines.
electronic camera The combination of video cameras
recording simultaneously with film cameras. The
electronic images are delivered to a central control
board for a director’s perusal and editing. Electronic
cinema was first used successfully by Francis Ford
Coppola during the production of his 1982 film One
From the Heart.
electronic channel selection A feature on a VCR
permitting remote control, faster electronic bypassing of channels and multiple channel recording. The
mechanical rotary-type tuner allowed only one-channel recording with the timer. Electronic channel selection combines the benefits of the versatile
microprocessor chip with those of the Varactor tuner.
Also called direct channel access.
electronic character generator (ECG) A typewriterlike machine that produces reports, sports scores,
identifications, and other lettering as part of a TV
electronic cinematography (EC) The use of video
cameras to produce the picture quality of 35mm film
electronic classroom A supplemental system of education using interactive video so that teachers and
students can listen to and interact with one another.
Although the video portion is restricted to one-way
(the students can see the instructor), the electronic
classroom offers several benefits. Federal and state
governments, universities and public and commercial TV networks can provide a vast array of courses.
Small, budget-tight schools and systems can avail
themselves of sophisticated subject matter and lessons while retaining the all-important communication between instructor and students. The system
usually involves a satellite dish, electronic keypads
and cordless telephones. The initial outlay for the
basic equipment comes to much less than the annual salary for one teacher.
electronic darkroom In still video photography, a facility capable of using a laser beam to scan photographs
or art work and converting the images into digital
signals that are then transmitted to a computer. The
electronic darkroom, usually part of a newspaper,
periodical or other publishing enterprise, permits the
image to be edited for proper color, size and detail.
The picture is then sent to another unit that converts
it into a film image ready for the printed page. Since
images can be manipulated quite easily, professionals in various fields have found the technique effective in removing distracting materials such as blurred
objects, poles or overhead wires. But some capabilities, such as inserting one image into another existing one to form a completely different picture, has
caused critics to voice concern about the ethics of
reconstructing electronic images. Another related
consideration is that no original negative will exist to
confirm the authenticity of a picture under question.
electronic editing Repositioning video signal segments
on a reel of videotape without physically cutting the
tape; a rerecording of the video signal segments in
different order. Electronic editing implies that the
edited version of the program will be one generation removed from the recordings from which it was
electronic field production (EFP) Refers to professional video equipment which usually features more
sophisticated capabilities and a more rugged housing than equivalent home video units. For example,
EFP cameras operate more efficiently in low light
levels, hold registration better, contain special prism
optics, provide superior electronic stability and offer
more durability. Some companies, which sell home
video equipment, have a professional products division, which specializes in EFP components. Other
companies produce only professional equipment.
electronic frequency synthesizing tuner Frequencysynthesis tuner.
electronic game
electronic game A self-contained version of a video
game, with its own microprocessor-controlled screen
or other type of display. Miniature, pocket-sized versions that are battery-powered and can display animated figures and symbols for game playing on a
liquid-crystal panel.
electronic image mail The transmission of slow scan
TV or facsimile via “Store and Forward.” Not a common term.
electronic image stabilization In a camcorder, a function that helps eliminate the shakiness inherent in
hand-held shooting.
electronic indexing See Electronic program indexing.
Electronic Industries Association (EIA) A trade association made up chiefly of electronic component
and equipment manufacturers. Its functions include
standardization of sizes, specifications, and terminology for electronic products in the US. Known as
Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA) 1924-1950,
Radio-Television Manufacturers Association (RTMA)
1950-1953, and Radio-Electronics-Television Manufacturers Association (RETMA) 1953-1957.
Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ) The
Japanese committee that sets electronic standards
for 1/2-inch helical scan video recorders, etc.
electronic matte The process of combining images
from two cameras. See also Matte.
electronic media Radio and TV.
electronic news gathering (ENG) 1. A term used to
describe the process of a TV crew covering news
events at the scene of the event. Production teams
that shoot at remote locations typically use a
Betacam, a professional camcorder developed by the
Sony Corporation. (Sony has also licensed several
other manufacturers, such as Ampex, to produce
Betacam equipment.) Betacams use specialized
1/2-inch tape that permits the integration of a professional quality VTR with a professional quality camera into a single shoulder-mount unit. Most TV
studios that use Betacams dub the material to
1-inch videotape (a process known as bumping up)
in order to take advantage of the superior quality
and editing features available with that level of studio equipment. Another professional 1/2-inch tape
format, although not as widely used as Betacam, is
MII. 2. A recording system used in TV in which scenes
outside the TV studio are recorded directly on to
videotape rather than onto film. A portable TV camera and VTR are used, often in conjunction with a
mobile transmitter that relays the recording directly
to the main control center.
electronic photography See Kodak still-picture process, Still video camera, Still video printer.
electronic program guide (EPG) A schedule of forthcoming programs, shown on the TV screen for the
electronic program indexing In a VCR, a feature
designed to place an electronic signal at the start of
each recording. When the machine is switched to
FF or REW and the index control is turned on, the
tape stops automatically at each point that a program was recorded. With the switch off, the tape
continues to rewind or move forward. On some VCRs
the signal is not automatically encoded on the tape
unless so desired. There are other techniques for
locating segments of tape. One system designates
numbers to the portions of tape. In the LV videodisc
system, electronic encoding permits the viewer rapid
access to marked sections. Each chapter or frame
on the disc can be recalled. More prerecorded programs, including sports discs and music-oriented
shows, are using this feature. The indexing feature
is also known as electronic indexing, picture indexing, program indexing, etc.
electronic publishing The production of text (and
illustrations, if used) on media other than paper, including CATV, computer, teletext, videocassette, videodisc, and videotex.
electronic redlining A term for disenfranchising
people and institutions because of their lack of telecommunications services and apparatus.
electronic scanning Scanning a TV image with an
electron beam in a cathode-ray TV camera tube, as
distinguished from mechanical scanning.
electronic shopping An interactive Videotex system
that enables a consumer to obtain information and
to purchase and pay for items ordered.
electronic setup (ESU) The prebroadcast time during
which equipment is set up and tested.
electronic still camera An appliance using a memory
card in place of traditional film. By integrating optical and electronic technology with precision mechanics, images from the memory card can be instantly
displayed on a TV or a computer monitor, or transmitted over telephone lines.
Electronic Still Camera Standardization Committee (ESCSC) An organization composed of more
than 40 manufacturers of still video cameras dedicated to promoting the relatively new cameras and
accessories and to setting universal standards for the
products. The ESCSC, founded in 1983, focused on
the still video floppy disc (VF) as the standard medium for the emerging system of electronic still photography (ESP).
electronic still video See Still video camera.
electronic switching In video, a process used with
certain accessories such as switchers to avoid problems of noise usually associated with electrical signals and mechanical switching. Electronic switching
is performed by diodes and ICs built into these accessories. The use of electronics in signal switching
provides another major advantage—no deterioration of parts.
electronic text generation Refers to the electronic
production of characters for TV and broadcast purposes. The first successful TV character generator
embedded audio
appeared during the early years of TV. The characters were relatively crude, and the technique was
unable to produce proportionally spaced letters and
numbers. During the 1960s CBS Laboratories experimented with an electronic character generator that
turned out Helvetica Medium typeface in 18- and
28-line sizes and proportional characters of graphicarts quality. In 1964 RCA had the capability to produce by way of a twin-channel generator upper-case
characters in two sizes. With the advent of PCs, character generators combined with software to offer
scores of print styles by the early 1980s. Today, a
host of manufacturers offer compact, sophisticated,
less expensive character generators with such features as italics, drop shadows, anti-aliasing, character sizing, graphic symbols, and animated characters.
electronic tuner A feature which allows the tuning of
TV channels electronically via a keyboard-type panel
instead of the rotary knobs. By employing a microprocessor, the electronic tuner can adjust itself to
receive local channels in numerical order, can be
programmed with various instructions and can offer cable-ready TV sets and VCRs. Another advantage of electronic tuning is the remote control
accessory for changing channels, a feature not possible with the mechanical knobs. In addition, since
hundreds of mechanical parts are eliminated, tuner
reliability has vastly improved.
electronic viewfinder A TV camera viewfinder that
has a small cathode-ray picture tube to show the
image being televised.
electron image 1. An image formed in a stream of
electrons. The electron density in a cross section of
the stream is at each point proportional to the brightness of the corresponding point in an optical image. 2. A pattern of electric charges on an insulating
plate, with the magnitude of the charge at each
point being proportional to the brightness of the
corresponding point in an optical image.
electron lens An assembly of electrodes or of permanent electromagnets that can be used to focus an
electron beam at a given point, for example on the
target of a camera tube or on the screen of a CRT.
electron multiplier An electron-tube structure that
produces secondary electron emission from solid
reflecting electrodes (dynodes) to produce current
amplification. The electron beam containing the
desired signal current is reflected from each dynode
surface in turn. At each reflection, an impinging electron releases two or more secondary electrons, so
the beam builds up in strength. A typical arrangement of nine dynodes can give an amplification of
several million. Used in multiplier phototubes and
TV camera tubes. It is also called a multiplier or a
secondary-electron multiplier.
electron optics The study of the behavior of electron
beams subjected to electric and magnetic fields,
particularly the use of such fields to deflect and fo-
cus electron beams. By applying suitable potentials
to a system of electrodes it is possible to produce an
electric field with equipotential surfaces shaped like
convex or concave lenses. The behavior of an electron beam entering such a system is similar to that
of a light beam entering an optical lens system and
this analogy has prompted the adoption of the term
electron optics. See Electron lens.
electron scanning See Scanning.
electro-optical effect See Kerr effects.
electro-optical shutter Syn.: Kerr cell.
electro-optics The study of the interactions between
the refractive indices of some transparent dielectrics
and the electric fields in which they are placed.
Changes in the optical properties of dielectrics are
produced. See Kerr effects.
electrostatic discharge element An element on top
of the head drum to neutralize the static that can
build up in the head as the tape rubs past it. Most
VCRs made since the early 1980s use this element.
electrostatic focusing A method of focusing an electron beam by the action of an electric field, as in the
TV picture tube.
electrostatic lens An electron lens consisting of an
arrangement of electrodes that focuses an electron
beam electrostatically.
electrostatic voltmeter An instrument for measuring high direct voltages that relies for its action on
the attraction between the opposite charges on the
plates of a capacitor. One form of the instrument
resembles a multi-plate variable capacitor, one set
of plates being fixed and the other free to move
against the pull of a spring. The extent of the movement is an indication of the magnitude of the applied voltage. The instrument, being capacitive, takes
no current from the source of voltage after the initial charging current and is therefore useful for measuring voltages with a very high source resistance,
such as the EHT supply in TV receivers.
elemental area Picture element.
elephant doors Large doors to a TV studio or other
elevation angle The vertical angle measured from
the horizon up to a targeted satellite.
elevator Cassette lift mechanism in front-loading
Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) A system that is
composed of AM, FM, and TV broadcast stations;
low-power TV stations; and non-government industry entities operating on a voluntary, organized basis during emergencies at national, state, or
operational (local) area levels.
EM 1. Edited Master. 2. Extremely Mature—see Movie
rating systems.
embedded audio Digital audio that is multiplexed
and carried within an SDI connection, thus simplifying cabling and routing. The standard (ANSI/SMPTE
272M-1994) allows up to four groups each of four
mono audio channels. Generally VTRs only support
Group 1 but other equipment may use more, for
example Quantel’s Clipbox server connection to an
edit seat uses groups 1-3 (12 channels). 48 kHz synchronous audio sampling is close to universal in TV
but the standard also includes 44.1 and 32 kHz synchronous and asynchronous sampling.
EMI Electromagnetic interference.
Emitron A TV camera tube similar to an iconoscope,
made in Great Britain and named after the manufacturers, Electrical and Musical Industries. Also called
a super iconoscope. Now obsolete.
emphasis Also called preemphasis. In FM transmission, the intentional alteration of the amplitude-versus-frequency characteristics of the signal to reduce
adverse effects of noise in a communication system.
The higher frequency signals are emphasized to produce a more equal modulation index for the transmitted frequency spectrum, and therefore a better
signal-to-noise ratio for the entire frequency range.
In TV, the process of boosting the level of the highfrequency portions of the video signal.
emphasizer Preemphasis network.
Emshwiller, Ed Video artist who uses digital cameras,
minicomputers, video synthesizers, chromakeyers
and character generators to create new concepts in
encipher To scramble or otherwise alter data so that
they are not readily usable unless the changes are
first undone.
encode In general, to encipher.
encoder A device which converts an information into
a coded form. Colorplexer is an example. Syn.: coder.
encoder adjustment A necessary function if multiple
camera setups are to operate accurately. Precise
phase matching, or genlock, adjustments or realignments can be made in the field by experienced technicians with a special portable instrument known as
a vectorscope.
encryption The transformation of data from its original intelligible form to an unintelligible cipher form,
as in the scrambling of TV signals. Pay-TV transmission often is encrypted, and subscribers have devices that decrypt, or unscramble. Two basic
transformations may be used: permutation and substitution. Permutation changes the order of the individual symbols comprising the data. In a
substitution transformation, the symbols themselves
are replaced by other symbols. During permutation,
the symbols retain their identities but lose their positions. During substitution, the symbols retain their
positions but lose their original identities. Combining the basic transformations of permutation and
substitution produces a complex transformation
termed a product cipher.
end-of-tape marker An indication placed on a videotape to specify that the tape is reaching its physical
end. When the marker is reached, most VCR ma-
chines automatically begin to rewind if in the Record
or Play mode. The marker may take several forms,
including among others a photoreflective strip or a
transparent segment of tape.
energy dispersal In satellite TV, the modulation of an
uplink carrier with a triangular waveform. This technique disperses the carrier energy over a wider bandwidth than otherwise would be the case in order to
limit the maximum energy compared to that transmitted by an unclamped carrier. By spreading the
spectrum, there is less chance of interfering with
other users of the same frequencies. This triangular
waveform is removed by a clamp circuit in a satellite
ENG Electronic News Gathering.
engineering setup (ESU) A TV technique to freeze an
image on the screen. It is most frequently used, by
an ESU operator, to project an image over the shoulder of the anchor, or news broadcaster, during the
lead-in of a news item.
enhance control A function on an image enhancer
(or mini-enhancer) designed to increase the sharpness of high-frequency information. The control
adjusts the amount of “boost” applied to the highfrequency signal. Enhancers are signal processors and
are used to increase the detail in a video picture.
Therefore they exaggerate the high frequency information in the video signal. Rotating the enhance
control helps to improve sharpness. The control often has a range capable of increasing 2 MHz from 0
to about 3 times. For maximum effectiveness, the
enhance (sharpness) control usually operates in conjunction with a response (noise reduction) control.
enhanced definition systems Same as IDTV.
enhanced definition television See EDTV.
enhanced NTSC systems Types of proposed Advanced
Television (ATV) systems that used an approach that
modified the existing TV technical standards in a
modest manner. The enhanced systems sought to improve (or “enhance”) the current NTSC system with
better picture quality, but the method did not increase
the number of scanning lines. The systems did, however, improve the aspect ratio and worked within the
current 6-MHz channel. They were described as NTSCcompatible in that the basic signal could be received
on current TV sets, but in order for the picture improvements to be seen, a new TV set was required.
This approach is sometimes called enhanced definition TV (EDTV). Three variations of such a system were
proposed. They are viewed as an evolutionary step
toward HDTV using digital technology.
enhanced-quality television Syn.: (in CCITT usage)
improved-definition TV.
enhanced services Services offered over transmission
facilities which may be provided without filing a tariff. These services usually involve some computerrelated feature such as formatting data or
restructuring the information. Most Bell operating
error concealment
companies (BOCs) are prohibited from offering enhanced services at present. But the restrictions are
disappearing. The FCC defines enhanced services as
“services offered over common carrier transmission
facilities used in interstate communications, which
employ computer processing applications that act
on the format, content, code, protocol or similar aspects of the subscriber’s transmitted information;
provide the subscriber additional, different or restructured information.” In other words, an enhanced
service is a computer processing application that
changes in some way the information transmitted
over the phone lines. Value-added Networks, Transaction Services, Videotex, Alarm Monitoring and
Telemetry, Voice Mail Services and E-Mail are examples of enhanced services.
enhanced TV (ETV) A general term for several experimental systems intended as an alternative to HDTV.
The more formal term for ETV is IDTV, or improved
definition TV. The search for an enhanced system
grew out of the need for a compatible process that
would not make the millions of current TV receivers
obsolete. The topic, however, has become academic
since the FCC early in 1990 decided to opt for a
true HDTV system as a national standard before considering any ETV system. Manufacturers of HDTV
have developed simulcast systems in which TV stations would use one channel for standard NTSC
broadcasts while part of an empty adjacent channel
would transmit information required for HDTV’s
wide-screen image. See High Definition TV, IDTV.
enhancement hardware In video, accessory equipment designed to electronically improve the video
or audio signal of a recording. Image stabilizers,
image detailers, line doublers and noise reduction
systems are examples of enhancement hardware.
enhancement light See Color enhancement light.
enhancer A video signal processing device that allows
the user to improve picture sharpness and increase
color contrast. See also Image enhancer.
envelope delay A type of distortion that takes place
during transmission when a phase shift fails to maintain its constancy over the frequency range. Envelope delay is one of several types of degradation
that affects NTSC picture quality.
EOL End Of Life (of a transponder or satellite).
E’pb Blue color difference, HDTV. E’pb = (E’b —
E’y):1.826. See also SMPTE 240M standard.
E’pr Red color difference, HDTV. E’pr = (E’r —
E’y):1.576. See also SMPTE 240M standard.
EP Extended Play.
EPG Electronic Program Guide.
EP speed See Extended play.
EQ Equalization.
equal energy white Light composed of equal energy
of red, green and blue of the correct wavelengths.
White light may still appear white over a fairly wide
mixture of its components.
equalization (EQ) The normalization of an electronic
signal, either audio or video; adding EQ in audio or
video means reshaping the frequency response to
emphasize certain frequency ranges and eliminate
equalization pulses These are two groups of pulses,
one that occurs before the serrated vertical sync
and another group that occurs after. These pulses
happen at twice the normal horizontal scan rate.
They exist to ensure correct 2:1 interlacing in early
equalizer In audio, a unit designed to selectively increase or decrease portions of the frequency range,
thereby customizing the sound to personal taste or
to accommodate the ambience of a specific room.
The equalizer, a feature on many audio/video receivers, may be positioned between the output of a
microphone mixer and the input of a VCR. It is also
known as graphic equalizer. In video, it acts as a
multi-function video processor which provides (1)
color and definition control during dubbing, (2) its
own modulator to direct viewing, (3) a distribution
amp to permit making more than one copy simultaneously, and (4) a stabilized image for copying. In
general, a video equalizer is used to control video
signal loss. An equalizer provides equalization either
automatically (usually in the case of video) or manually (often available in audio mixers). See also Line
equalizing amp A video circuit preset to provide a
selected equalization to the video signal.
equalizing pulse One of the pulses occurring just
before and just after the vertical synchronizing pulses
in a TV signal and serving to minimize the effect of
line-frequency pulses on interlace. The equalizing
pulses occur at twice the line frequency and make
each vertical deflection start at the correct instant
for proper interlace.
equatorial mount Polar mount.
Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power See EIRP.
equivalent line number (Ne) The line number that
defines a rectangle having the same area as the area
under the aperture response squared curve. Although Ne is not widely used as a criterion of picture quality, it is very useful for TV-system analysis.
erase In video, to clear program material or information electronically each time new material is recorded. Tape may also be erased by using a bulk
videotape eraser.
erase (or erasing) head The device on a tape transport which erases information before new information is recorded to the tape. Flying erase (or erasing)
heads, found on 8mm camcorders and some VCRs,
provide seamless edits between scenes. In addition,
they save space by eliminating the larger erase (or
erasing) heads.
ERP Effective Radiated Power.
error concealment The ability to hide transmission
error correction
errors that corrupt the content beyond the ability of
the receiver to properly display it. Techniques for
video include replacing the corrupt region with either earlier video data, interpolated video data from
previous and next frames, or interpolated data from
neighboring areas within the current frame. Decoded
MPEG video may also be processed using deblocking
filters to reduce blocking artifacts. Techniques for
audio include replacing the corrupt region with interpolated audio data.
error correction In digital video recording systems, a
technique that adds overhead to the data to permit
a certain level of errors to be detected and corrected.
error detection Checking for errors in data transmission. A calculation is made on the data being sent
and the results are sent along with it. The receiver
then performs the same calculation and compares
its results with those sent. If an error is detected the
affected data can be deleted and retransmitted, the
error can be corrected or concealed, or it can simply
be reported.
error detection and handling See EDH.
error resilience The ability to handle transmission errors without corrupting the content beyond the ability of the receiver to properly display it. MPEG-4
supports error resilience through the use of
resynchronization markers, extended header code,
data partitioning, and reversible VLCs.
ESCSC Electronic Still Camera Standardization
ESPN Entertainment and Sport Programming Network.
establishment shot A long shot used to set the scene
by showing the environment in which the action to
follow takes place; e.g., a long shot of a burning
house preceding a medium shot of firemen with
hoses. Also called establishing shot.
ESU 1. Electronic setup. 2. Engineering setup.
E-to-E Also E-E. Electronics-to-electronics. Monitoring
the output signal of a VTR while it is recording is an
E-to-E process. The signal monitored has not yet been
recorded on tape; rather, a sample of the signal is
being fed from the VTR directly to the monitor. With
E-to-E it is not possible to be certain that the signal
is being recorded on the tape.
ETSI EN 300 163 This specification defines NICAM
728 digital audio for PAL.
ETSI EN 300 294 Defines the widescreen signaling (WSS)
information for PAL video signals. For (B, D, G, H, I)
PAL systems, WSS may be present on line 23.
ETSI EN 300 421 This is the DVB-S specification.
ETSI EN 300 429 This is the DVB-C specification.
ETSI EN 300 744 This is the DVB-T specification.
ETSI EN 301 775 This is the specification for the carriage of Vertical Blanking Information (VBI) data in
DVB bitstreams.
ETSI ETR 154 This specification defines the basic MPEG
audio and video parameters for DVB applications.
ETSI ETS 300 231 This specification defines informa-
tion sent during the vertical blanking interval using
PAL teletext (ETSI ETS 300 706) to control VCRs in
Europe (PDC).
ETSI ETS 300 706 This is the enhanced PAL teletext
ETSI ETS 300 707 This specification covers Electronic
Program Guides (EPG) sent using PAL teletext (ETSI
ETS 300 706).
ETSI ETS 300 708 This specification defines data transmission using PAL teletext (ETSI ETS 300 706).
ETSI ETS 300 731 Defines the PALplus standard, allowing the transmission of 16:9 programs over normal PAL transmission systems.
ETSI ETS 300 732 Defines the ghost cancellation reference (GCR) signal for PAL.
ETSI ETS 300 743 This is the DVB subtitling specification.
ETV Educational TV.
EU-95 One of the projects of EUREKA. A central objective of this project is to establish standards for a
European HDTV system compatible with the conventional D-MAC and D2-MAC packet DBS systems
in use there. The organizations principally involved
in the project are Philips (Netherlands), Thomson
(France), and Siemens (Germany). Since the project
is one of the MAC family of DBS systems, it is generally known as HDMAC (high-definition MAC). See
also Bandwidth reduction (EUREKA-95 HDMAC
EUREKA A research and development organization
established by the nations of the European Economic
EuroCrypt-M Encryption system in European satellite
TV, used by Canal Plus, TV3, FilmNet, TV1000, and
a few other programmers.
europium (Eu) A rare-earth element. Atomic number
is 63. Used as the red phosphor in color TV picture
tubes and does not change at higher beam currents.
This permits operating all three guns at higher levels, giving brighter color pictures.
EUTELSAT EUropean TELecommunications SATellite
organization. Intergovernmental organization that
aims to provide and operate a space segment for
public intra-European international telecommunications services. The segment is also used to meet domestic needs by offering leased capacity, primarily
for TV. UK and France are the largest shareholders,
with about 25 member countries in total.
Eu:YSO Europium-doped yttrium silicate. A crystal
material which, when used together with a precision-control dye laser, can theoretically record holographic motion pictures at the rate of 1 frame per
nanosecond. It is theoretically possible to record up
to 10 million frames. For video recorded at 30 fr/s,
that would up to 100 hours of recording time.
EV European Videotelephony.
even field Field with even number in the interlaced
field sequence.
event In video, refers to a timed, recorded, single-
extender lens
continuous program. The first VCRs permitted only
a single event to be programmed for recording per
24 h period. Today’s VCRs with their programmable
timers and electronic tuners allow multiple programming of several events over a period of as many
weeks. The greater the programmability, the more
expensive the machine.
event flags In DVI technology, the data elements used
by RTX to indicate that something has happened.
event number A number assigned by the editor to
each edit that is recorded in the EDL.
EVR An obsolete electronic video recording device that
was a miniaturized cassette system played through
a TV set. Introduced in 1970 by CBS, the unit played
a 7" diameter cartridge of 8.75 mm film containing
1 h of programming, through a TV set. The cartridge
was produced by exposing film to a beam of electrons using an electron beam recorder.
excessive AMTEC error Refers to the improper duplication of master tapes. Faulty equipment at the copying plant can cause a pattern of dark horizontal
streaks on prerecorded tapes. The term is often used
in conjunction with the recording of professional 2inch tape.
excitation purity Purity.
exciter modulator The heart of a TV transmitter. Its
outputs are the modulated visual and aural carriers
at low power levels. Exciter modulator includes the
following components:
1. Aural preemphasis circuitry to preemphasize the
high-frequency components in accordance with
FCC requirements.
2. Processing amps to correct deficiencies, for example, improper sync level, in the input visual signal and to provide DC restoration.
3. Visual and aural carrier generators with the frequency tolerances specified by the FCC.
4. Visual and aural modulators.
5. Filters to remove the lower sidebands of the modulated visual carriers and to remove spurious frequency components from both carriers.
6. Linearity correction devices in the visual chain to
compensate for incidental phase modulation and
differential gain. Ideally, these corrections should
be made in both the video and RF domains.
existing-quality television Syn.: distribution-quality
expand Expansion of the picture details within the
zoomed picture area. Syn.: zoom in.
exponential antenna A TV receiving antenna that
has a series of active elements mounted parallel to
each other, with element lengths adjusted so their
ends form two natural logarithmic curves. The antenna gives good gain over the VHF and UHF TV
exposure Process of subjecting a photosensitive surface to light. In photography, exposure results in a
latent image on a photographic emulsion, and ac-
cording to the reciprocity law, exposure is determined
by the product of time and intensity of illumination.
In TV, exposure produces an electronic image, which
is scanned and removed as a signal.
exposure control Manual iris control.
exposure level lock A video camera feature that permits the operator to “lock in” the proper exposure
setting for a predetermined scene before shooting.
This helps to compensate for sudden lighting
changes, such as the camera panning or the subject
moving to where backlight would otherwise affect
the exposure.
exposure meter Device for determining the light flux
incident upon or reflected from a scene to be recorded by TV cameras, the corresponding instruments being known as incident-light meters and
reflected-light meters.
extended-definition television (EDTV) TV that includes improvements to the standard NTSC TV system, which improvements are receiver-compatible
with the NTSC standard, but modify the NTSC emission standards. Such improvements may include (a)
a wider aspect ratio, (b) higher picture definition than
distribution-quality definition but lower than HDTV,
and/or (c) any of the improvements used in improved-definition TV. When EDTV is transmitted in
the 4:3 aspect ratio, it is referred to simply as “EDTV.”
When transmitted in a wider aspect ratio, it is referred to as “EDTV-Wide.”
extended play (EP) The slowest speed on a VHS VCR:
the 6-hour tape speed with T-120 VHS cassettes or
the 8-hour speed with a T-160 cassette. On earlier
models, EP was called SLP, probably for Super Long
Play. The other speeds are Standard Play (SP) and
Long Play (LP).
extended resolution format Refers to such videocassette or camcorder recording systems as Hi8, SVHS and ED Beta that employ special techniques to
enhance the picture quality, thereby producing a
video image with 400 lines of resolution. One popular method, for example, uses an advanced form of
comb filtering to separate signals into groups, which
are then placed into predetermined spaces to prevent crosstalk. In addition, some Hi8 camcorders use
a CCD image sensor capable of generating more
than 400,000 pixels. These extended resolution formats usually require more costly, specially prepared
tapes to capture the additional video information.
extended studio PAL A 625-line video standard that
allows processing of component video quality digital signals by composite PAL equipment. The signal
can be distributed and recorded in a composite digital form using D-2 or D-3 VTRs.
extended VGA See SVGA.
extender A lens accessory that lengthens the barrel
and in so doing reduces the minimum focusing distance of the lens and increases the effective f-stop.
extender lens An accessory lens placed between the
external keying
video camera lens mount and the standard lens to
change the latter’s viewing range. Extender lenses
can be used in conjunction with telephotos and wide
angles to increase their ranges. Other extenders
permit 35-mm lenses normally used with film cameras to operate with video cameras. Extender lenses
can only work with cameras that accept interchangeable lenses.
external keying A keying effect accomplished when
a particular camera is assigned to supply the key
signal through an SEG. Cf. internal keying, in which
any of the cameras can supply the key signal.
external sync input A jack, chiefly found on industrial video recorder decks, designed to allow the unit
to follow the commands of a time base corrector.
The inputs help to synchronize signals so that they
can be controlled and mixed with other signals from
different units.
extra In video production, a player who appears in a
program but has no lines of dialogue except where
mob voices or voices in unison are required.
extra high tension (EHT) British term for the high DC
voltage applied to the second anode in a CRT, ranging from about 4 to 50 kV in various sizes of tubes.
Extravision The first national Videotex service in the
US, started in 1983 by the Columbia Broadcasting
System. It was an over-the-air electronic information service requiring decoders attached to or built
into TV sets. See also Prodigy.
extreme closeup (ECU) See BCU.
eye-controlled camcorder See Hi8 Movieboy E1.
eye-light A small pencil-beam spotlight which, when
directed at subject’s eyes, produces a glitter that
appears natural on the screen.
“eyes of a fly” lens Also fly’s eye lens. Lenticular array,
lenticular raster. Used in 3D-image display systems to
see an object that is moved in the vertical direction.
eye-strain Also eyestrain. A tired or strained condition of the eye muscles, caused by too much use or
an incorrect use of the eyes. In 3D viewing systems,
methods where both images are printed interleaved,
and the viewer is required to focus his eyes beyond
them in order for them to be perceived as a single
3D image, can cause eye-strain.
F 1. CATV midband channel, 150-156 MHz. 2. TV
standard; Luxembourg. Characteristics: 819 lines/
frame, 50 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 25 frames/s,
20,475 lines/s, aspect ratio—4:3, video band—5
MHz, RF band—7 MHz, visual polarity—positive,
sound modulation—A3, pre-emphasis—50 µs,
gamma of picture signal—0.5. 3. Family—see Movie
rating systems.
f Focal length: the relative aperture of a lens, written
as f/ followed by a number.
face Faceplate.
faceplate Front part of a camera tube on which light
is focused to form the image. In a receiver CRT (kinescope), the front of the tube on which the picture
is formed. Also called face.
face time The amount of time that the head of a TV
newscaster or other person is shown on the screen.
face tone Mean light level of a human face properly
lit for TV.
facilities An imprecisely defined word that usually refers to the equipment and services which make up a
telecom system. It can mean offices, factories, and/or
buildings. In TV, facilities are the physical aspects of a
TV station or production company. The term is applied more specifically to technical and production
gear, including distribution amplifiers, camcorders,
character generators, videotape formats, and all other
production and engineering equipment, and is often
expanded to include the station’s transmitter and earth
station installations. The equivalent of facilities in the
CATV industry is plant.
fade 1. Optical effect in which a TV scene gradually
disappears into darkness (fade-out) or appears out
of darkness (fade-in). One way to do a fade is to use
an alpha mixer. 2. Also, decrease in strength of a
received radio signal caused by increased attenuation, refraction of a beam or cancellation due to interference between direct and reflected signals. See
also Fading.
fade duration control A feature designed to adjust
the length of a specific fade. Found chiefly on image enhancers/processors, the fade duration control operates with both audio and video signals.
fade in Syn.: bring up. To increase the strength of a
signal, be it audio or video.
fade in/fade out A video camera editing feature that
allows for smooth transitions between scenes. Fade
in usually refers to going from dark to light while
fade out implies going to dark or black. See Fade
through black.
fade margin The depth of fade, expressed in dB, that
a microwave receiver can tolerate while still maintaining acceptable circuit quality.
fade out Syn.: attenuate. To reduce the strength of a
signal, be it audio or video.
fadeout A gradual and temporary loss of a received
radio or TV signal caused by magnetic storms, atmospheric disturbances, or other conditions along
the transmission path. A blackout is a fadeout that
can last several hours or more at a particular
fader 1. A signal processing device that permits fading to black or from black to full video. It usually
operates with color as well as with black and white
video. In home video the fader is generally employed
during editing from one VCR to another or from a
video camera to a VCR for smoother transitional
scenes. Many video cameras have a built-in automatic fade-in and fade-out feature, making a fader
accessory unnecessary with these models. 2. A sliding pot control with which an audio or video signal
is faded.
fader bar A video switch-control device to dissolve
and fade the picture.
fade through black A technique used in video in
which a picture or image is made to fade to black
before a second picture appears. Fade through black
provides smoother transitions between scenes. Some
video cameras offer this as a built-in feature; in fact,
not only do they permit fade to black, but they can
also go from black to full video. Special effects generators, signal processors and other devices also provide fade through black.
fading Variations in signal strength at a receiver due
to variations in the transmission medium. Destructive interference between two waves traveling by
two different paths to the receiver is the most common cause of fading; this is termed interference fading. Amplitude fading occurs when all transmitted
frequencies are attenuated approximately equally,
fan dipole
resulting in a smaller received signal. Selective fading occurs when some frequencies are more attenuated than others, resulting in a distorted received
fan dipole A dipole antenna built with triangular sheets
of metal instead of rods for the reception of all signals in the UHF TV band. Input impedance is about
300 ohms. The figure-eight radiation pattern can
be changed to a single directional lobe by placing a
wire-screen reflector behind the dipole.
“fantasy” decoder A type of descrambler used for
satellite descrambling. It uses a 94-kHz sine-wave
scrambling plus video inversion. Audio is encoded
on a 15.7-kHz carrier that is 1/6 that of the scrambling sine wave. The 94-kHz sine wave is not an
exact multiple of the scan rate, in general.
Faroudja, Yves California-based French engineer and
experimenter in improved, large-screen video; inventor who contributed to the development of SuperVHS video recording and the 8mm camcorder. He
developed a system of enhancing the present TV
picture that, unlike the proposed HDTV, does not
make current home TV sets obsolete or alter current
broadcasting standards. His method involved doubling the number of lines per picture for more image detail, resulting in a theater-size video image
that almost matched the quality of 35mm film projection. Although his system required the use of additional image processors—at relatively little
cost—present TV sets could still derive some benefits from the system without upgrading.
Faroudja superNTSC system See SuperNTSC system.
fast forward/cue A button to fast-forward wind the
videotape. When this button is pressed during playback, the picture can be scanned at five times
normal speed.
fast packet multiplexing Multiplexing is putting
more than one “conversation” onto one circuit.
You can do this in either of two ways: by splitting
the channels sideways into subchannels of narrower
frequency, called frequency division multiplexing,
or by splitting it by time. Fast packet multiplexing
is a combination of three techniques—multiplexing, packetizing of analog signals, and computer
fast packet switching A recent wide-area-networking technology capable of transmitting data, digitized voice and digitized image information. It makes
use of short, fixed length packets (or cells) that are
all the same size. The underlying switching technology is based on the statistical multiplexing of data
and voice in fixed length cells. Any of these packets
could carry digital voice, data or digital image information. All the packets travel at Level Two of the
OSI model, and routing is performed on the basis of
the Level Two addressing. Fast packet is claimed to
be a very effective way of make best use of available bandwidth. It is claimed to offer the benefits of
conventional multiplexing techniques and circuit
switching techniques because of the way it operates. It is one of the transmission technologies being developed for use with B-ISDN (Broadband ISDN).
The switch used to route packets in a fast packet
network is termed a fast packet switch. Also, fast
packet technology can carry data transmissions that
enter the network using frame relay. For particularly
high speed networking, an implementation of fast
packet switching known as ATM has been developed. See ATM and Fast packet multiplexing.
fast scan See Visual scan.
fast-scan amateur television Fast-scan TV, also referred to simply as amateur TV (ATV), uses a transmission format fully compatible with video
equipment designed for the home consumer market. ATV offers a major advantage over broadcast
TV, though, and that is rooted in our ability to communicate interactively or two ways. ATV people have
been communicating in round table nets for many
years—long before industry discovered the benefits
of interactive video or, as it’s called, “teleconferencing.” To transmit FSTV, all you need is a home-video
type camera, microphone, ATV transmitter and antenna. Depending on your application, a personal
computer terminal or VTR can be used instead of a
camera. To receive, all you need is an antenna, RF
converter (also called a downconverter, it shifts the
received signal to a standard VHF TV channel) and
an unmodified home TV set. Most ATV is performed
in the 420- to 440-MHz and 1240- to 1294-MHz
segments of the 70- and 23-cm bands. Some ATV
activity can be found in the 902-928 MHz band.
fast-scan television See FSTV. See also Fast-scan
amateur television.
+fB See Maximum frequency blue.
-fB See Minimum frequency blue.
f0B See Center frequency blue, SECAM.
fast search See Visual scan.
favor An instruction to a TV camera operator to focus
on a specific person or object, as in “favor (name of
FC 1. Fiber optic connector (developed by NTT). 2.
FCC The Federal Communications Commission, the
regulatory board which sets standards for communication within the US.
FCC zones Zones with rules that govern the separation of broadcasting stations within each zone. There
are three geographic zones. In Zone 1, the minimum
co-channel separation is 170 miles for VHF channels and 155 miles for UHF. In Zone 2, 190/175. In
Zone 3, 220/205.
F connector A threaded barrel-type metal fitting used
by the TV industry to connect coaxial cable to equipment. The F connector is designed basically for RF
signals which transmit both audio and video signals.
An F-barrel connector, with a female thread on both
fiber optics
ends, is used to join together two coaxial cables.
Also known as coaxial connector, F type connector.
FDDI Fiber Distributed Digital Interface. Also Fiber Distributed Data Interface. A set of ANSI protocols for
sending digital data over fiber optic cable. FDDI supports data rates of up to 100 megabits per second.
FDDI-2 A second generation of FDDI networks that
support isochronous channels to enable voice and
video to be transmitted.
FDS Frequency Division Switching. Seldom used for
voice switching. Primarily used for radio and TV
“feather touch” operation Just a light touch of the
machine buttons or remote control unit keys supplies mode command signals to the various circuits,
motors, switches, and solenoids to set up the selected mode.
FEC Forward error correction, technique used in video
FED Field emission display. A new way of making TV
and computer screen displays. FED screens are flat
and potentially cheap. A typical FED screen packs
millions of tiny individual emitters between two ultra-thin glass layers. Each emitter fires electrons simultaneously across a vacuum gap onto a phosphor
coating very much like a CRT’s.
Federal Communications Act: Section 605 The section quoted in reference to receiving Pay TV signals
without permission or without paying for the
“No person not being authorized by the sender
shall intercept any radio communication and divulge
or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such intercepted communication to any person. No person not being
entitled thereto shall receive or assist in receiving
any interstate or foreign communication by radio
and use such communication (or any information
therein contained) for his own benefit or for the
benefit of another not entitled thereto. No person
having received any intercepted radio communication or having become acquainted with the contents,
substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) knowing that such
communication was intercepted, shall divulge or
publish the existence, contents, substance, purport,
effect, or meaning of such communication (or any
part thereof) or use which communication (or any
information therein contained) for his own benefit
or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto.
This section shall not apply to the receiving, divulging, publishing, or utilizing the contents of any radio communication which is broadcast or transmitted
by amateurs or others for the use of the general
public, or which relates to ships in distress.”
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) A US
government agency responsible for the following:
1. The policy governing allocation of radiated emis-
sions (frequencies). 2. Establishing owner eligibility
for commercial radio and TV stations and their licensing. 3. The qualification and licensing of amateur and professional radio and radar operators and
electronic technicians.
feed Broadcasts sent by radio and TV networks to local stations or by a local station or medium to the
headquarters office or other media.
feedback The return of a portion of the output of a
circuit or device to its input. See Video feedback.
feeder cables An element of a tree network cable
operation consisting of the coaxial cables that connect the cable trunk lines to the cable drop lines.
This intermediate portion of the distribution system
carries the electronic signals from large trunk-cable
lines to a specific area or neighborhood of homes.
Sometimes called feeder lines, they are installed underground or strung between telephone poles.
feedline A transmission line, such as a coaxial cable.
feeder lines Feeder cables.
feed horn The component of a satellite TV system
that is attached to the low noise amplifier and faces
the center of the antenna. The feed horn, usually
rectangular or circular in shape, performs various
functions: (1) it captures the signals reflected from
the parabolic or spherical antenna; (2) it shuts out
other, interfering signals; (3) it eliminates noise from
land sources; and (4) it directs the received signal
into the LNA. Also known as feeder horn, feedhorn.
feevee Pay TV, pay cable, subscription TV, or any other
fee-for-viewing service.
FEQ Frequency EQualization. Frequency correction.
ferric oxide tape A magnetic audio- or videotape with a
coating of ferric oxide, a reddish-brown oxide of iron.
Since this chemical occurs naturally as rust (oxidized
iron), tapes and heads must be cleaned regularly.
ferrite A ceramic-structured, magnetic substance
formed by combining iron oxide and other metallic
oxides under high temperatures. The quality of a
videotape depends upon the density of its ferrite
particles. Ferrite was developed in the 1930s by the
FET Field Effect Transistor. Very thin and small devices
used to control pixels in a TFT (Thin Film Transistor)
FF 1. Fast Forward. 2. CATV hyperband channel, 330336 MHz.
FFTD Frame/Field Transfer Device.
FG A frequency generator used in VCR servo circuits
to create FG pulses that related to the speed of the
capstan rotation. See also Capstan servo, Hall-effect IC.
fiber Dielectric waveguide that guides light.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface See FDDI.
Fiber Distributed Digital Interface See FDDI.
fiber optics A technology for transmitting information (voice, video, data) via light waves through hairthin strands of flexible glass. Signals are encoded by
varying some characteristic of the light waves generated by a low-power laser, whose output is sent
through a light-conducting fiber to a receiving device that decodes the signals. Fiber optics is one of
the several new technologies that are revolutionizing the TV industry.
fibre The European, Australian, Canadian and British
spelling. See Fiber.
Fibre Channel A highly reliable, gigabit-per-second
interconnect technology, which allows concurrent
communications among computers and peripherals.
field 1. One half (every other line) of an interlaced TV
picture frame. There are 60 fields per second in
American TV. In twin-interlaced scanning, as used
in most TV systems, two vertical sweeps are needed
to cover all the lines of the picture and each field is
thus a half-picture. If the lines are numbered in sequence from the top to the bottom of the picture,
the scanning agent first covers lines 1,3,5, etc. (this
being known as the odd field) and then returns to
the top of the picture to cover lines 2,4,6, etc. (this
being known as the even field). The field was formerly known as a frame. 2. The area covered by a
lens. 3. A region containing electric or magnetic
lines of force, or both. 4. An operating location for
field blanking In TV, the suppression of the picture
signal during the interval between successive fields.
The field-blanking period occupies 13-21 lines in the
American 525-line system, and 18-22 lines in the
CCIR 625-line system. It contains a group of fieldsync pulses (broad pulses) flanked by groups of
equalizing pulses, and the line-sync pulses continue
throughout the field-blanking period.
field camera A camera that has the camera head and
the camera control unit (CCU) combined into one
unit. Any adjustments needed must be made before shooting begins. See studio camera.
field drive signal Signal used to establish field sync in
studio systems—for example, in non-composite
field emission display (FED) Thin, flat, light-weight
display. In FEDs a tiny CRT sits behind each of the
many pixels in the screen.
field emitter display technology See Synthetic diamond display.
field frequency In TV, the number of vertical sweeps
made by the scanning beam in 1 s. For interlaced
scanning it is equal to the product of the picture
frequency and the number of fields per picture. In
most TV systems the field frequency is approximately
equal to the frequency of the supply mains. In Europe this is 50 Hz, in the US, 60 Hz. Also called field
repetition rate; field rate; Fv.
field identification signal Often called ident signal.
In the SECAM system, different components of the
chrominance information are transmitted on succeeding lines, so that ident signals must be inserted
in the waveform to ensure that the R-Y signal does
not reach the B-Y output, and vice versa.
field interlacing In TV, a process of creating a complete video frame by dividing the picture into two
halves with one containing the odd lines and the
other containing the even lines. This is done to eliminate flicker.
field-neutralizing coil A coil that is placed around
the faceplate of a color TV picture tube. Direct current is sent through this coil to produce a constant
magnetic field that offsets the effect of the earth’s
magnetic field on the electron beams.
field-neutralizing magnet A permanent magnet
mounted near the edge of the faceplate of a color
picture tube to serve the same function as a fieldneutralizing coil. Also called rim magnet.
field of view Also field of vision. A scene seen by
camera. The video camera scans the field of view in
its conventional way, first starting at a point, such
as in the upper left-hand corner of the field of view,
and then scanning horizontally. As it scans horizontally it also moves down slowly, then snaps back and
makes another horizontal scan. This pattern is repeated until the full field of view has been encompassed with nearly horizontal lines (in the
conventional manner). Once the camera has completely scanned the field of view, the scan is then
repeated. In most American and Japanese conventional video cameras, the field of view is scanned 60
Hz in two interlaced fields, giving a frame rate of 30
Hz, two fields constituting one frame.
field period The time required to transmit one TV field,
equal to 1/60 s in the US.
field phasing Action of setting the phase of a picture
frame with respect to a synchronizing source so that,
on genlocking, a frame or picture roll does not
field pickup See Remote.
field producer A person who works outside the headquarters TV studio—in the field—to supervise the
production of programs or segments, as of a news
field rate Field frequency.
field repetition rate Field frequency.
field sawtooth Waveform which rises at a constant
rate and then falls rapidly, at the frequency of field
field scanning A process designed to obtain noiseless
special effects with a VCR. When certain effects such
as slow motion or freeze frame appear on the screen,
they are usually accompanied by video noise in the
form of horizontal noise bars, etc. To minimize or
eliminate this type of interference, some VCR manufacturers have found that by reproducing two fields
instead of one complete picture or frame of a video
signal, the final TV picture is cleaner and steadier. A
picture is composed of one frame of 525 lines or
two fields of 262.5 lines each, one containing the
film island
odd-number lines, the other the even. Although the
field, therefore, contains only half the information,
it is easier to produce an interference-free picture
by using this procedure of field scanning.
field-sequential color television A color TV system
whose individual red, green and blue primary colors
are associated with successive fields. It was the first
broadcast color TV system, approved by the FCC in
1950. It was later changed to the NTSC standard
for color broadcasting.
field strength meter An instrument used in the field
by CATV service technicians to test the signal
strength in various locations where subscribers complain of weak reception.
field suppression Period between successive fields
which is blanked or suppressed to allow the scanning spot to return to the start of the picture. Also
called field blanking.
field sync signal In TV, the signal transmitted at the
end of each field to initiate vertical flyback of the
scanning beam in receivers so keeping field scanning at the receiver in step with that at the transmitter. In most TV systems the field sync signal
consists of one or more pulses (each longer than
the line sync pulse) and so arranged that the continuity of the line sync pulses is not interrupted.
field tilt A form of TV picture distortion, also known
as frame tilt. Normally, reference points on the syncs
of the correct TV waveform bear a constant relation to earth potential, but this relationship may
be destroyed, e.g., by hum or when the signal is
passed through an AC coupling. After the sync signals are removed from the waveform in a sync separator stage, the distortion of the video signal
remains as a gradual brightness increase or decrease
over the frame period, and the result on the waveform is similar to the addition of a frame-shading
signal. The introduction of a line-by-line clamping
circuit removes such effects from the signal, provided that the signal has not been modulated by
them. Usually the response of an amplifier is
checked for field tilt by applying a 50-Hz square
wave to the input. When measured at the output,
a typical response is residual tilt less than 5% of
the output level. Field tilt is sometimes deliberately
introduced in the form of frame shading to remove
spurious shading signals from the output of a camera
field time base 1. The circuits responsible for generating the signals causing vertical deflection of the
scanning beam. 2. The pattern of and points at which
a field changes; 60 Hz is the field time base of the
American TV system; the field time base must be
kept as steady and regular as possible to ensure the
best possible picture. A time base corrector maintains this stability and is part of most professional
editing and recording systems.
field track A diagonal line of information or program-
ming placed down on moving videotape by one
videohead during recording. Since two fields make
up one frame, 60 field tracks comprise the 30 fr/s
required for the NTSC standard.
fifth estate Radio broadcasting and, by extension, TV.
In ancient times, there were four traditional “estates”
in society. The first was the clergy, the second the
nobility, the third the commons, and the fourth, the
public press. To distinguish the new, powerful radio
medium from the printed page, the term fifth estate was coined in the 1930s.
fifty-fifty In film and TV, a shot of two people, each
occupying half of the field of view; more commonly
called a two-shot.
figure of merit A quality factor used to compare dish
gain to system noise and written as G/S, where S is
the system noise in Kelvins and G is the gain of the
dish in dB. Also, a figure used in electronics that compares specific quantities to that of a reference value,
or is used as a comparison between various circuits.
file film Stock footage from the library or file of a TV
station or other source. When used as background
material in a TV newscast, file film generally is identified by a line at the top or bottom of the screen
with the date on which it was originally taken.
filler Fill light.
fill-in light Fill light.
fill light The addition of lighting in shadowy areas
within a scene to help balance the proper brightness and contrast. In studio lighting, light directed
into the shadows to prevent excessive contrast. Also
called filler and fill-in light. See Lighting.
fill signal That signal, or portion of a signal, used in
keying, wiping, or inserting to replace portions of
the primary signal; any video signal used to replace
another video signal in a special effects application.
film A motion picture; the action recorded on film. A
motion picture or TV program that is taped often is
incorrectly called a film.
film camera See Camera categories.
film chain A special motion picture projector combined with a video camera to transfer movies to
film clip A bit of film footage, known familiarly as a
clip, that is often used as an insert in a TV production. The brief film can be introduced into a live studio program to take the viewer outside the studio.
In the early days of TV, all such footage was shot on
16-mm film or sections were physically clipped out
of longer films. Scenes were also cut from theatrical
films. Today, such segments are usually shot on videotape rather than film, and the clips from motion
pictures are also transferred to tape, before they are
used. Although the videos are not cut from the original, the term clip is still used, but without the prefix
film island A slide and film projector group, as in a TV
film pickup
film pickup Transmission of film to a TV station; now
commonly replaced by videotape.
film rundown A list of films, such as a log of films
shown on a TV news program.
film scanner Telecine.
film-to-tape transfer A technique of placing films or
slides onto videotape. The image from a standard
movie projector (or slide projector) is protected onto
a telecine adapter and recorded with a video camera. Sound can be added later with the Audio Dub
mode or the VCR. Another method employs a special sheeting called Polacoat, which is mounted on
a homemade wooden frame and used as a projection screen. As the movie or slide projector image is
projected on the screen, a video camera placed behind the screen records the projected image. One
disadvantage of this procedure is that titles and printing come out reversed. Professional film-to-tape
transfer—converting theatrical releases to the home
video rental market—presents certain problems that
render only a fairly reasonable facsimile of the original film rather than the more desirable true replica.
First, the aspect ratio of the TV screen differs from
that of the theatrical wide-screen, resulting either
in part of the image not appearing on the TV screen
or a further-reduced image if letterboxing is used.
Second, producers of videocassettes may not always
be fortunate enough to obtain the master positive
of the film. Second or third-generation film prints
often suffer in contrast, detail and sharpness. Film
enthusiasts and those who work with film-to-tape
transfer hope that HDTV will solve these problems.
film transfer High-quality motion picture film made
from an original, usually digital, videotape. Also
called tape-to-film transfer.
film transmission In TV, the transmission of a motion
filter (color) Transparent material having the characteristic of absorbing certain wavelengths of light in
the visible spectrum and transmitting others more
or less undiminished. A narrow-cut filter transmits a
limited group of wavelengths only, absorbing all others, and thus gives a pure or saturated color of light,
while a wide-cut filter transmits a much more extensive spectral band and the resultant color of light
is less saturated. Sometimes needed for color and
black and white recording.
filter (electrical) An electrical network that will transmit signals with frequencies within certain designated ranges (pass band) and suppress signals of
other frequencies (attenuation bands). The frequencies that separate the pass and attenuation bands
are the cut-off frequencies, which have the symbols
fc if there is only one cut-off frequency or f1 and f2 if
more than one. Filters are classified according to the
ranges of their pass or attenuation bands as lowpass, high-pass, bandpass and bandstop filters. The
components of a practical filter may be arranged to
give the desired output curve. For example,
Chebyshev and Butterworth filters have a flat response in the pass band whereas Chebyshev filters
have some variation of the residual response in the
pass band but have a more rapid increase of attenuation giving a sharper cutoff profile.
filter factor Numerical factor by which the length of
an exposure must be increased to compensate for
the light absorption of an optical filter through which
the exposure is made.
filter kit A package containing various filters to be
used with a video camera. Video filter kits can range
from 5 to 75 filters. Some special effects filters include a fog filter; a multiple image filter; a prism
filter which distorts the light for surrealistic effects;
a star filter to turn conventional lights into “starry”
images; a sepia filter for an old-fashioned look. There
are also color correction filters. Besides balancing
light sources, these can be used to create particular
moods: an orange filter can add a feeling of warmth
to a scene while a blue filter can create a cool
filter mike A microphone modified to produce sound
effects, such as an echo or the simulated sound of a
voice on a telephone.
filterplexer Device incorporating vestigial sideband
filter and vision and sound combining unit. All TV
transmissions use vestigial sideband transmission for
the vision transmission in order to reduce the large
bandwidth required. To achieve a vestigial sideband
signal, a filter is necessary to remove the unwanted
portions of the lower sideband. This can be done in
the earlier stages of a transmitter, but more usually
after the final output stages.
filter wheel A built-in device, found in most cameras,
that allows you to place one of several filters between the lens of the camera and the beam splitter.
Most cameras are set up to operate with TV studio
lights, which have a color temperature of 3,200 K.
If you go outdoors to shoot, you would change the
filter wheel to compensate for the change of color
final character In videotex, the last character of a management command of presentation protocol control information.
final cut See Keeper.
final mile In satellite communications, the electronic
equipment that connects the downlink to the receiving site. Also called last mile.
finder An optical or electronic device that shows the
field of action covered by a TV camera.
fine chrominance primary The chrominance primary
that is associated with the greater transmission bandwidth in the two-primary US system of color TV. The
fine chrominance primary is the I signal, and has
frequency components up to 1.5 MHz. The coarse
chrominance primary is the Q signal, and has a typical bandwidth of only 0.5 MHz.
flash A/D
fine tuning control A control that makes small
changes in the frequency of the RF oscillator in a TV
tuner, usually with an adjustable capacitor, after
switching to a desired channel.
finished art Material ready to be produced.
finite impulse response filter Also FIR filter. A type
of digital filter. Can be any type, such as lowpass,
highpass or bandpass.
Firewire The original name of IEEE 1394, developed
by Apple Computer.
FIR filter Finite impulse response filter, a type of digital filter. Digital filters in general are much better
than analog filters. Sometimes the only way to design a very high-quality filter is with an FIR—it would
be impossible to design using analog components.
first generation The original recording of a tape segment. The first time the signal is recorded on tape,
that tape is called first generation. Every subsequent
recording of the already recorded segment will be a
generation removed.
first mile In satellite communications, the electronic
equipment that connects the point of origin to the
First National Kidisc An LV interactive videodisc released in 1981 offering multiple games, activities,
puzzles and educational programs in which a child
from 6 to 12 can participate. It was one of the first
to venture into nonlinear programming (NFL’s “How
to Watch Pro Football” was the first interactive videodisc). Produced by Optical Programming Associates, the Kidisc contains 24 chapters, each a
complete unit that can be located quickly on a videodisc player. The disc is designed to make use of
the many special effects of the VDP.
fishbowl A booth in a TV studio for observers, such as
sponsors and VIPs.
fishpole Light pole resembling a fishing rod on which
a microphone is slung, the whole being projected
out over a scene when dialogue is being recorded.
Fishpoles are often used in confined spaces where a
boom would be inconvenient.
fitting An adjustment. A TV fitting is a type of rehearsal, generally of a forthcoming live news event
such as a political convention, in which stand-ins
are used to test camera angles and other technical
five and under A TV role in which a performer has a
maximum of five lines. A larger number requires a
higher payment.
Five-Channel System Early CATV system that used
TV channels 2 through 6. TV stations received on
UHF or on channels 7 to 13 were converted to channels in the band 2 to 6 at the head-end site. At that
time, the early 1950s, five channels were a lot and
subscribers were more tolerant of system outages
and technical problems than they are today.
fix To determine audio or video. A fix is a correction.
fixed focus lens In video, a lens of one size, called a
fixed focal length, usually listed in mm, such as 16mm. The fixed focus lens is often called the “normal” lens if it is in the 16-mm range. Other basic
types of fixed lenses are the wide angle and telephoto. The shorter the local length, the wider the
area the lens encompasses. Most video cameras
come equipped with a zoom lens for more versatility rather than with a fixed focus type that has a
limited angle of view.
fixed satellite service (FSS) A radiocommunication
service between earth stations as specified fixed
points when one or more satellites are used; in some
cases this service includes satellite-to-satellite links,
which may also be effected in the inter-satellite service; the FSS may also include feeder links for other
space radiocommunication services.
FL Filter.
flag Small rectangle of wood or card mounted on a
stand in the studio to keep direct light off the camera lens or shade some part of the set. Also called
French flag.
flagging A defective image characterized by a bent,
pulled or slanted picture at the top of the TV screen.
It is usually a result of too little or too much tape
tension, a problem known as skew error; an old
model TV set; or a tracking control problem resulting from tape that has been stretched. Also caused
by copy protection on commercial videocassette
flagwaving This is the term used to describe a TV
set’s ability to accept unstable playback pictures from
a VCR. All home VCRs have some degree of playback instability before the active picture is scanned.
This can cause a bending or flapping from side to
side of the top inch or so of the screen. This movement is called flagwaving.
flare In an optical or TV image, spurious areas caused
by scattering of light in the camera or picture tube.
Also undesired light arriving at the image plane in
an optical system. This light may be uniformly distributed over the image, resulting in a reduction of
image contrast, or it may be concentrated in specific areas of the image. Usually the result of reflections from surfaces within the optical system. In a
TV tube, flare is light produced by excitation of the
phosphor outside the area in nominal use and falling on that area.
flash 1. In film and TV, a brief disruption of the picture. 2. In videotex, to vary in color at regular intervals. In normal flash the characters are displayed
alternately in the prevailing foreground color and in
the prevailing background color. In inverted flash the
colors are changed on the inverted phase of the
flashing clock. In reduced intensity flash the characters are displayed alternately in the prevailing foreground color and the equivalent color of the next
color table: table A colors adopt table B colors.
flash A/D A fast method for digitizing something. The
signal to be digitized is provided as the source for
one input of a whole bank of comparators. The other
input is tied to a tap of a resistor ladder, with each
comparator tied to its own tap. This way, when the
input voltage is somewhere between the top and
bottom voltages connected to the ladder, the comparators output a thermometer code: a “yes” up to
the input voltage and a “no” above that. The ADC
then takes this string of Yes’s and No’s and converts
them into a binary number which tells where the
Yes’s turned into No’s.
flashback See Channel flashback.
flash cutting In film and TV, the use of a series of very
brief shots.
flashing The blinking on and off of characters, used
to call attention to something on the screen.
flash memory A special type of EEPROM that can be
erased and reprogrammed inside a device. Can be
used as consumer-camcorder medium instead of
moving tape. In 1994 Hitachi demonstrated an early
prototype, which played back full-motion color and
stereo sound. The camcorder provides 30 minutes
of color recording using as the storage device a 400megabit multilayered flash memory about the size
of a sugar cube, uses a single-chip MPEG-1 encoder/
decoder and has an electronic zoom system, further
eliminating moving parts.
flashover Discharge caused by an excessively high
voltage breaking down air or surface insulation.
flash pan See Swish pan.
flat Large flat mobile piece of plywood or other material usually of a standard size in a studio complex.
Basic unit of TV studio set building. A unit of scenery, essentially the same as used in a stage setting.
A movable wall.
flat light Lighting a scene or setting with overall brightness without noticeable modeling or highlights.
flat-square Refers to CRTs that are both full-square
and have relatively flat screen surfaces.
flat television receiver A TV receiver whose pictureforming device is thin enough so the entire receiver
can be hung on the wall like a picture. Experimental
CRTs, and experimental flat panels that use thin-film
integrated-circuit technology based on electroluminescence, ferroelectric ceramics, liquid crystals, or
other optoelectronic techniques have been tried in
an effort to obtain a commercial product. See also
Wall-ready display.
flesh tone corrector Device that restores the original
colors of an image; the human eye is most sensitive
to the color accuracy of skin tones.
flesh tone reference chart See Video test chart.
flicker In TV, unwanted regular variation in the brightness of the reproduced picture. Flicker can be annoying when the field frequency is low and, in fact,
this consideration sets a lower limit to the field frequency that can be used. It was for this reason that
interlaced scanning was adopted because this per-
mits a high field frequency (minimizing flicker) while
allowing a low picture frequency (minimizing bandwidth). Two types of flicker are encountered in TV
systems that employ interlaced scanning. Large-area
flicker occurs at the field rate, 60 fields/s in the NTSC
system and 50 fields/s for PAL. Small-area flicker affects only vertical detail. It occurs at the frame rate,
30 per second for NTSC and 25 for PAL. Large-area
flicker involves the entire image area and is the most
troublesome. The magnitude of the flicker effect
depends on two parameters, the field repetition rate
and the illumination of the retina by the image.
Flicker can be reduced and ultimately made unnoticeable by increasing the field repetition or reducing the retinal illumination.
flickering An effect resulting from copying a projected
movie image with a video camera. Flickering is
caused by the difference in frames-per-second. Silent films travel through the projector at approximately 18 fps, sound movies at 24 fps—both
different from video, which is synchronized at 30
fps. The discrepancy between the two systems causes
flickering. Professional equipment has variable speed
controls, which can remove this problem.
flick pan See Swish pan.
flip In video, digital special effect. There are several
types of flips. In a page flip the picture rotates around
one edge of the screen as if you were turning the
page of a book. Other flips can rotate around a central vertical or horizontal axis. See Flipover.
flip ability Feature found on some laser disc players.
These will play both sides of a videodisc without
having to turn the disc over. This is convenient, especially for CAV discs, which are limited to only 30
minutes per side.
flip card A board or card with a title, name, or message, used on TV or in a show or presentation; also
called cue card.
flip frame Flipover.
flipover Also Flip-over. In film, TV, a transitional optical effect, akin to turning over a page; also called
flip, flip frame, flip wipe, flipover wipe, flopover,
optical flop, or turnaround.
flipover wipe Flipover.
flippers Flaps or binders on a spotlight; commonly
called barn doors.
flip time A videodisc player (with the flip ability) specification that indicates how long the machine takes
to change from side 1 to side 2.
flip wipe Flipover.
floor 1. The sales-display area of a store. 2. The performance area of a studio.
floor manager (FM) The production coordinator in
charge of all floor operations not involving engineering. He or she supervises the erection of sets, placement of props, live sound effects, talent, cueing and
the like. The floor manager is the director’s representative in the TV studio or on the floor.
focal length
floor plan Plan of TV studio with set or sets indicated
on it for use by the director in planning camera positions and actions. It shows the position of set pieces,
objects, talent, cameras, and other production
flopover Flipover.
fluid head tripod A tripod whose camera mount consists of two metal plates. The upper, rotating plate
rests on a bed of fluid, and the movement provided
is very smooth. Necessary for professional pans, tilts
and other camera moves.
flutter 1. In video, an effect with VCRs that is caused
by very brief and rapid tape speed variations. 2. Distortion that occurs in sound reproduction as a result
of undesired speed variations during the recording,
duplicating, or reproducing process. The variations
in speed and hence pitch occur at a much higher
rate than for wow.
flyback In CRTs, the rapid return of the electron beam
to its starting point at the end of each trace. In TV
there is a horizontal flyback at the end of each scanning line and a vertical flyback at the end of each
field. Also called retrace.
flyback power supply A high-voltage power supply
that produces the DC voltage of about 10 to 25 kV
required for the second anode of a CRT in a TV receiver or oscilloscope. The sudden reversal of horizontal deflection-coil current in the horizontal output
transformer during each flyback induces a voltage
pulse that is increased to the required higher value
by autotransformer action, then rectified and filtered.
Also called kickback power supply.
flyback transformer Another name for horizontal
output transformer. The flyback transformer takes
the sweep signal from the horizontal output transistor and builds up the high voltage to be rectified
for the HV of CRT. The flyback provides horizontal
sweep for the yoke circuits.
flying head A device that erases—a flying erase
head—or reproduces—a flying reproduce head—
only one track of a tape instead of the entire tape.
flying-spot scanner An imager that produces a video
signal from an object, such as a film, by scanning
the object with a spot of light, which is then focused on a photocell to produce corresponding electrical signals. The moving (or “flying”) spot of light
is normally produced on the screen of a high-intensity CRT used as a light source. Mechanical scanning of the object has also been employed, using a
single point source of light, with a suitably perforated rotating disc between it and the object.
fly’s eye lens See “Eyes of a fly” lens.
flyway A very small satellite newsgathering (SNG) earth
station. The extremely portable unit can enable a
live satellite feed from previously inaccessible places
within hours.
flywheel circuit Tuned circuit of high Q (figure of merit)
which maintains oscillations for a relatively long pe-
riod analogous to the effect of a rotating flywheel
in a machine.
FM 1. Frequency modulation, frequency modulated;
side-band FM. Descriptive of a signal that has been
impressed onto a radio carrier wave in such a manner that the carrier frequency changes as the original signal does. 2. Floor manager.
FMATV Frequency-modulated amateur TV.
FM improvement The potential noise reduction in a
FM signal due to the demodulation process. In a
satellite TV receiver this figure is at most 38.6 dB,
and is attained above the FM threshold. Below this
point, it rapidly drops from 38.6 dB. Above threshold: S/N = CN + 38.6 dB.
FM luminance signal The luminance portion of the
video signal used to control the frequency of an
astable multivibrator in a VCR. The output of this
multivibrator is a FM signal, shifting from 3.4 to 4.4
MHz (VHS) and from 3.5 to 4.8 MHz (Beta). In this
FM conversion, the sync tips are the “at rest frequency” of the 4-MHz carrier and the peak white
video signals are maximum deviation. This FM signal is recorded directly onto the magnetic tape.
Though slightly different FM frequencies are used in
VHS and Beta, frequencies around 4 MHz were selected as the best compromise between head gap
size, writing speed, and bandwidth. During playback,
the FM signal is converted back to a standard video
FM microphone A wireless microphone designed to
transmit its signal through the air and extend the
range between the subject and the video camera.
The signal of an FM mike is picked up by an FM
radio or receiver which is connected to the audio of
a VCR. Because it is wireless, the microphone allows the subject to wander within telephoto range
of the camera and still be recorded.
FM receiver A radio or TV receiver that detects FM
FM signal, VCR See FM luminance signal.
FM threshold An input signal level which is just
enough to enable the demodulator circuits to extract a good picture from the carrier. With test equipment, the static threshold is the point at which S/N
drops more than 1 dB from the straight graph line;
S/N = CN + 38.6 dB. Typically, the FM threshold is 8
dB in a satellite TV.
FMV Full-motion video.
f number A lens rating obtained by dividing the focal
length of the lens by the effective maximum diameter of the lens. The lower the f number, the shorter
the exposure required, or the lower the illumination
needed for satisfactory results with a TV or ordinary
camera. An f number of 3.5, e.g., is usually expressed
as f/3.5.
FO Fiber optics.
focal length 1. Distance between the optical center
of a lens and the image plane, which, in the case of
focal point
the video camera, is the pickup tube’s target area.
The distance is measured in mm and determines the
angle of view of the lens. The smaller the focal
length, the more area that can be viewed at any
given distance. The larger the focal length, the
smaller the field that can be viewed by the lens at
that distance. 2. Distance from the center of the dish
to its focal point.
focal point The point at which all the signals reflected
by a dish join or cross.
focal range A measurement in mm that describes the
parameters of a zoom lens. For example, the average video camera has a zoom lens with a focal range
of from 12.5 to 75 mm. This lens is also referred to
as having a 6:1 zoom ratio.
focus 1. The point of convergence for rays of light or
electrons of a beam that converge to form a minimum-diameter spot. Some picture tubes are constructed internally with self-focusing elements, while
in other TV sets, a focus control varies the voltage
applied to the picture tube focus element. This voltage may vary from 4 to 5.3 kV. 2. To move a lens or
adjust a voltage or current to obtain a focus.
focus control A control that adjusts spot size at the
screen of a CRT to give the sharpest possible image.
focusing 1. The process of controlling convergence or
divergence of the electron paths within one or more
beams to obtain a desired image or current density
distribution in the beam. 2. The process of moving
an optical lens toward or away from a screen or film
to obtain the sharpest possible image of a desired
focusing anode An anode in a CRT that changes the
size of the electron beam at the screen. Varying the
voltage on this anode alters the paths of electrons
in the beam and changes the position at which they
cross or focus.
focus-mask tube Lawrence tube.
focus modulation Variation of the focusing of a cathode ray beam as it is deflected, to compensate for
the difference in distance from the scanning position to the point where the beam strikes the screen
of the CRT or the target of a camera tube.
focus puller Member of a video/film crew who is responsible for controlling focus of the lens while the
camera or talent is moving.
focus servo system System for remote adjustment of
the focus of a TV camera. A small handgrip controls
a feed to the motor, which adjusts the focus movement of the lens mount.
fog filter A lens filter that lends the effect of fog to a
scene in increments of density from .05 to 3.
foldback A type of small loudspeaker commonly used
in a TV studio or on a stage so that performers can
hear music or other sound; also called playback.
folded-dipole antenna A dipole antenna whose outer
ends are folded back and joined together at the center. The impedance is about 300 ohms, as compared
to 70 ohms for a single-wire dipole. It is popular
with TV and FM receivers.
Folding, Interpolating A/Ds This term describes the
unique technology used in Philips’s family of highspeed analog-to-digital converters. Designers are
usually forced to choose between the high performance and high power consumption of bipolar flash
A/Ds or the low performance and low power consumption of CMOS A/Ds. By folding comparator inputs and interpolating the outputs, Philips is able to
realize an A/D with one quarter the circuitry of a
conventional flash converter. That means high performance A/Ds with power consumption as low as
250 mW. In addition to video, these parts are enabling new test and medical imaging applications.
foldover Picture distortion seen as a white line on
either side, top, or bottom of a TV picture. Generally caused by nonlinear operation in either the horizontal or vertical deflection circuits of a receiver.
follow focus The continual adjustment of the lens to
keep an object in focus while either object, camera,
or both are moving.
follow shot See Moving shot.
footcandle Ft-c, fc. A unit which measures the amount
of light on an object emitted from one candle at a
distance of one foot. 100 fc, therefore, would equal
the amount of light 100 candles would cast on an
object from a distance of 1 foot. In video, usually 10
fc are required for a clear black and white picture
and 20 for color. However, black and white cameras
can operate with as little as 1/2 fc. It is the former
unit of illumination, now replaced by lumens per
square foot. The SI (International System of Units)
unit of illumination, the lux, is preferred.
footlambert fL. A unit of luminance. A measurement
of reflected brightness; used to describe light output of projection TV screens. 70 and above is considered very good for these screens. A movie theater
screen has a rating of approximately 15 fL. The SI
(International System of Units) unit of luminance,
the candela per square meter, is preferred.
footprint A signal pattern by a satellite or the area of
the earth that a signal from a satellite can be received from. Each satellite has its own footprint. If a
satellite TV system owner expects good reception
from a particular satellite, he/she has to be in its
forced oscillations Oscillations produced in a circuit
(for example, in vertical or horizontal oscillators of
TV sets) that is acted upon by an external driving
force, such as sync pulses.
foreground color In videotex, the color of the graphics shape that is being displayed in a character cell.
It may be any color from the available color tables
or be transparent. In the latter case the full screen
background color, the cumulative result of all picture elements previously set, or the video picture is
frame-by-frame recording
format As in video recording formats, which are many
and varied. 3/4" U-Matic and 1/2" VHS are two formats commonly used. Some formats are used in
production and broadcasting while others are for
home video use.
format effectors In videotex, control functions that
influence the positioning of text and pictorial images within the defined display area on a presentation device. Characters may be positioned within the
defined display area by means of format effectors
controls, which move the active position, usually in
units of one character position.
form-wound coil A coil that is formed or bent into an
irregular shape, as in a CRT deflection yoke.
forward automatic gain control An AGC system in
which the gain of transistors is reduced by use of
forward control bias. The transistors used for this
application are so designed that their collector characteristics become more crowded at low collector
voltages, thus decreasing gain. Used in TV tuners.
forward compatibility See Compatibility.
forward error correction In DTV and DBS, a correction used to minimize the effects of transmissionchannel errors on the integrity of the received signal.
This helps to eliminate car-ignition and other impulse noise pulses with up to three microseconds
forward prediction A technique used in video compression, specifically compression techniques based
on motion compensation, where a compressed
frame of video is reconstructed by working with the
differences between successive video frames.
fourth utility The non-vendor specific communications premise wiring system used for integrated information distribution (voice, data, video, etc.).
Leviton in Bothel, Washington has trademarked the
term fourth utility. They make a broad range of
premise wiring products.
four-tube color camera An early color camera system using one tube to sense each of the primary
colors (R,G,B) and a fourth to sense black and white
values (luminance). Required more exact adjustment
because four signals had to be coordinated to produce one picture, and was a larger unit than the
later 3-, 2-, and 1-tube color cameras.
fps Also f.p.s. 1. Feet per second. 2. Frames per
fr Frame.
+fR See Maximum frequency red.
-fR See Minimum frequency red.
f0R See Center frequency red, SECAM.
fractal compression A developing technology for
image compression based on principles of fractal geometry. It promises high-resolution and impressive
compression ratios—i.e., substantially reduced storage of images.
fractal geometry The underlying mathematics behind
fractal image compression.
fractional T-1 Refers to any data transmission rate between 56 Kbps (DSO rate) and 1.544 Mbps (megabit/s), which is a full T-1. Fractional T-1 is simply a digital
line that’s not as fast as a T-1. Fractional T-1 is popular
because it’s typically provided by a phone company
(local or long distance) at less money than a full T-1.
Fractional T-1 is typically used for LAN interconnection, video conferencing, high-speed mainframe connection and computer imaging. Fractional T-1 is
typically provided on 4-wire (2-pair) copper circuits.
frame 1. The result of a complete scanning of one
image. In motion video, the image is scanned repeatedly, making a series of frames. In NTSC TV
transmission, a frame consists of two fields, each
consisting of 262.5 lines, one made up of the oddnumber, the other of the even-number lines. 2. A
single complete picture on motion-picture film. For
35-mm film the standard rate of projection is 24
fps. This means that a special projector is required
to convert this to 30 fps for US TV. 3. A group of
data bits in a specific format, with a flag at each
end to indicate the beginning and the end of the
frame. The defined format enables network equipment to recognize the meaning and purpose of specific bits. The groups of bits are sent serially (one
after another). Generally a frame is a logical transmission unit. A frame usually contains its own control information for addressing and error checking.
A frame is the basic data transmission unit employed
in bit-oriented protocols. In this way, a frame is similar
to a block. 4. In videotex, the basic unit of information storage and display, a discrete amount of material that can be accommodated at one time within
the viewing area of a user terminal—generally 24
lines of 40 characters each; also called a page or
frame accurate This refers to the level of accuracy in
video- or audio tape editing. An edit is considered
frame accurate if you can record audio or video material at the exact frame that you specified in your
frame buffer A section of memory used to store an
image to be displayed on-screen as well as parts of
the image that lie outside the limits of the display.
Let’s assume a horizontal resolution of 640 pixels
and 480 scan lines, and we’ll use the RGB color
space. This works out to be: 640 x 480 x 3 = 921,600
bytes or 900 KB. So, 900 KB are needed to store
one frame of video at that resolution. Some systems
have frame buffers that will hold several frames.
frame-by-frame recording An editing feature, found
chiefly on more advanced VCRs, that permits the
user to record specific frames in a range of increments. These may vary from as few as three to as
many as 33 frames at any one time. This feature
introduces animation, frame-by-frame editing and
other sophisticated editing techniques to the home
frame creation
frame creation In videotex, the process of assembling
the elements of a single frame.
frame datum A reference time moment given by the
line datum coincident with the beginning of the first
equalizing pulse (525 lines standard) or with the beginning of the first broad pulse in the vertical sync
group (625 lines standard). Commonly accepted as
a timing reference point for color framing and SCH
determination in 625 lines standard. Syn.: 0v.
frame/field transfer device (FFTD) One of the three
basic architectures for obtaining the video signal in
solid state cameras. In FFTD a set of charge-transfer
devices—the integrated array—is arranged in the
vertical (field) direction and exposed to the optical
image. During the vertical retrace interval of the TV
display system, the charge pattern that has accumulated is clocked at high speed into the storage
area. During the normal horizontal (line) blanking
periods the pattern of charges in the storage area is
moved downwards by one line into the bottom horizontal register and clocked horizontally to the output to form the video signal. Frame transfer
architecture suffers from an inherent problem of
overload of the pixel’s storage units in excessively
bright sections of the image. This results in vertical
smear and blooming, which can be reduced by the
use of frame interline transfer.
frame frequency The number of times per second
that the frame is completely scanned in TV; usually
30 (25) frames per second, or one half the field frequency of 60 (50) Hz. Also called picture frequency.
frame grab To capture a video frame and temporarily
store it for later manipulation by a graphics input
frame grabber 1. A device (e.g., PC board) for capturing a single frame of full-motion video and storing the image in memory. Used to capture and
digitize a single frame of video and store it on a
hard disk. See Video capture board. 2. A device on
a TV set to select still pictures—frames—or blocks
of text from a bank of such materials for cable-TV
frame identification (SECAM) V-identification.
frame interline transfer device (FITD) One of the
three basic architectures for obtaining the video signal in solid state cameras. FITD was developed to
provide the advantages of frame transfer, but with
resistance to smearing and blooming from excessive highlights. The unique feature of FITD is a row
of selection gates between the image and storage
areas. The gates are biased so that charges in excess
of a predetermined level are drained from the system before being tranferred to the storage area.
frame lock A method of stabilizing videotape playback that tries to match an even field to an even
field and an odd field to an odd field of the playback signal to that of the signal coming from the
sync generator. With vertical lock, the system was
trying to match just one vertical sync pulse from the
control track for each vertical sync pulse coming in
from the sync generator. There was no attempt to
match an even field pulse with an even field pulse
or an odd field pulse with an odd field pulse. That’s
what the frame lock circuitry does. It determines
whether the vertical sync pulse coming from the sync
generator is for an odd or an even field. Then it
speeds up or slows down the tape machine until
the pulses off the control track match: odd for odd
and even for even. This makes the tape playback
just a little more precise. We now have the fields
matched, but each field has 262.5 lines, and each
line has a horizontal sync pulse. This leads to the
next level of lock up, horizontal lock. The horizontal
lock circuitry compares the number of incoming horizontal sync pulses with the number of played back
horizontal sync pulses. The VTR then speeds up or
slows down the tape in an attempt to match the
two horizontal pulses. See Lockup.
frame period A time interval equal to the reciprocal
of the frame frequency. In US TV the frame period is
1/30 s.
frame rate The rate at which entire pictures are transmitted. The frame rate of a video source is how fast
the source repaints the screen with a new frame.
For example, with the NTSC system, the screen is
repainted about once every 30th of a second for a
frame rate of about 30 frames per second. For PAL,
the frame rate is 25 frames per second. For computer displays, the frame rate is usually 72-100
frames per second.
frame rate conversion The act of converting one
frame rate to another. One real example that poses
a difficult problem is that the frame rate of NTSC,
30 fr/s, is different from a typical computer’s display,
which may be anywhere from 70 to 75 fr/s.
frame scanning A process used in a VCR to produce
special effects such as slow motion and freeze frame.
For example, a freeze frame is created by stopping
the tape while the video heads continue to reproduce the same frame of a video signal. This technique, however, often produces video noise in the
form of horizontal noise bars along with the picture. To eliminate this type of interference, VCR
manufacturers have come up with various innovations. Some Beta-format machines, for example,
utilize four video heads, one pair for producing special effects, the other set for the tape speeds. Some
VHS machines, on the other hand, use field scanning to produce noiseless special effects.
frame sequential A method of color SSTV transmission which sent complete, sequential frames of red,
then green and blue. Now obsolete.
frame set In videotex, a group of frames in sequential
order identified by a number.
frame-stopping terminal A device that isolates a
single photo or frame of a film for viewing as a still
frequency-modulated amateur television
picture on a TV screen; also called frame grabber
and single-frame terminal.
framestore A digital process designed to hold a video
image in memory. For instance, professionally designed videowalls use semiconductor memory to
store digital video signals. Each TV monitor in a
videowall contains its own framestore, which can
be a separate image or part of a larger image.
frame store Electronic memory used to store an entire picture (called frame).
frame store synchronizer (FSS) A device used to lock
up nonsynchronous video signals to the main
frame/time search A VDP feature that permits the
viewer to shift to any point on a laser videodisc. The
feature is often accompanied by an on-screen display that reveals the exact location on the disc and
length of time it took to reach that point. Some
frame/time search modes offer frame counts with
the CAV format while others provide real-time display with the CLV format.
frame tilt Field tilt.
framing 1. Adjusting a TV picture to a desired position on the screen of the picture tube. 2. In video
reception, the process of adjusting the timing of the
receiver to coincide with the received video sync
framing control A control that adjusts the centering,
width, or height of the image on a TV receiver screen.
free oscillations Oscillations arising in a circuit (for
example, in vertical or horizontal oscillators in TV
sets) under the influence of internal force, such as a
capacitor discharging through a resistor.
freeze 1. The technique often used at the end of a TV
film as a final scene that remains motionless for a
short period. 2. The period of time (1948 to 1952)
during which no new TV stations were licensed.
freeze field A special effect, similar to that of freeze
frame, found on some VCRs. A TV picture consists
of 525 line scans, composing one frame. Each frame
is made up of two fields. Many machines in the
“freeze” position provide a “still” of two fields or
one frame, each video head of a pair recording one
frame. This is known as a freeze frame. Some VCRs,
however, freeze only one field; this tends to present
a clearer, steadier picture with fewer noise bars. The
freeze field is also known as still field.
freeze frame Also still frame. A special effect, found
on VCRs, that locks one frame onto the TV screen.
If the Pause mode (sometimes called Still) is pressed
while the VCR is in Play, the tape “freezes” or becomes motionless and a frame or field appears on
the screen. Because some VCRs do not scan an entire frame, noise bars and jitter often accompany
the frozen image. Digital technology, introduced into
VCRs in 1986, offers noise-free freeze frames. The
technique operates by storing a single frame from
the otherwise moving tape sequence in a comput-
erized memory bank in the form of digital numbers,
which are not affected by video noise. Digital freeze
frame can also work with images from a live broadcast or CATV. Keeping the VCR in the Freeze Frame
mode for long periods of time may damage the video
heads or the tape since the tape is stationary and
pressing against the rotating heads.
freeze frame television The transmission of discrete
video picture frames at a data rate which is too slow
to provide the perception of natural motion, referred
to as “full-motion.” The transmission of the image
is typically performed every 30 s from a processing
unit’s memory where the image is fixed prior to its
transmission. An uncompressed, digitized full-motion video signal is typically transmitted at a rate of
90 Mbps. Freeze frame can be carried on anything
from a simple voice grade phone line operating at
9.6 Kbps or a DDS (Digital Data System) channel at
64 Kbps.
frequency band A specified and continuous range of
frequencies. Different types of transmission require
different frequency bands.
frequency control See Automatic frequency control.
frequency discriminator A discriminator that selects
input signals of constant amplitude and produces
an output voltage proportional to the amount that
the input frequency differs from a fixed frequency.
Frequency discriminators are used in FM systems to
convert the FM signals to AM signals. The design of
frequency discriminators is such that noise due to
amplitude variations in the received signal is almost
completely eliminated.
frequency distortion Syn.: attenuation distortion. See
frequency-division multiplexing 1. The transmission of a single signal, with different information
sent at different frequencies. 2. A form of multiplex
operation in which each user of the system is assigned a different frequency band.
frequency interlace Interlace of interfering signal frequencies with the spectrum of harmonics of scanning frequencies in TV, to minimize the effect of
interfering signals by altering the appearance of their
pattern on successive scans.
frequency interleaving In the composite TV systems,
the technique of choosing the color subcarrier frequency so that the chrominance frequency components of the signal fall between the luminance
frequency components of the signal.
frequency-modulated amateur television (FMATV)
Fast-scan TV. In the US, used above 420 MHz, with
majority of activity found in the 1240-1260 MHz
segment of the 24-cm band. There are two basic
techniques for generating a 24-cm FMATV signal.
One method is to use a varactor to triple the amplified signal from a voltage-controlled 416-433 MHz
oscillator that has been video modulated. The other
approach is to simply amplify the output from a
frequency modulation
video-modulated 24-cm VCO. The operation of the
FMATV receiver is almost identical to that used for
home satellite TV reception except for the lower microwave carrier frequency and lower FM deviation
levels typically used by amateurs operating in the
24-cm band.
frequency modulation (FM) A type of modulation
in which the frequency of the carrier wave is varied above and below its unmodulated value by an
amount proportional to the amplitude of the signal wave and at the frequency of the modulating
signal, the amplitude of the carrier wave remaining constant. FM has several advantages over AM,
the most important being the improved signal-tonoise ratio. Commercial TV and FM radio use this
technique, which is much less sensitive to noise and
frequency modulator An electronic circuit that produces a carrier wave signal on which the audio or
video signal is impressed.
frequency overlap The portion of a 6-MHz TV channel that is common to both the black and white and
chrominance signals in a color TV system. Frequency
overlap is a form of bandsharing. See also Color television.
frequency range The useful range of frequencies over
which a transmission system or device may operate
when combined with different circuits under a variety of operating conditions. In contrast, bandwidth
is a measure of useful frequency range with fixed
circuits and fixed operating conditions. See also TV
channels assignments.
frequency response In video, a term which describes
the capacity of a system to produce detail or resolution in its picture. Technically, video frequency response refers to the number of times electron beams
can turn on and off during one full scan from left to
right on a TV screen. These beams scan the raster,
or face, of the picture tube in an exact amount of
time, shut off and return to the left side of the screen.
This procedure recurs until a complete image appears on screen from top to bottom. The greater
the frequency response, the better the detail in the
picture. Frequency response is expressed as a range;
e.g., 50-9,000 Hz. VCR manufacturers claim a frequency response of up to 12 kHz.
frequency reuse A method that allows two different
TV channels to be broadcast simultaneously on the
same transponder by vertically polarizing one channel and horizontally polarizing the other. Another
method of frequency reuse is to space satellites about
4 degrees apart. A TVRO pointed at one satellite
will not detect any signal from the other satellite,
even if it is operating at the same frequency.
frequency-shift keying (FSK) A form of frequency
modulation in which the modulating wave shifts the
output frequency between predetermined values
corresponding to the frequencies of correlated
sources. When FSK is used for code transmission,
operation of the keyer shifts the carrier frequency
back and forth between two distinct frequencies to
designate mark and space. Used in digital TV transmission; transmission speed: 0.8 bits/Hz.
frequency-synthesis tuner A special feature built into
many cable-ready TV sets designed to receive as
many channels as CATV carries. Unlike the analog
tuning system, the TV receiver with frequency synthesis is pretuned to all the anticipated channels,
disregarding the frequencies without channels. With
the frequency-synthesis tuner, fine tuning is unnecessary but, like many other automatic features which
allow no leeway, the tuner presents difficulties with
channels of minimally different frequencies. Also
known as electronic frequency synthesizing tuner.
frequency translation In re-radiating or distributing
a radio signal (e.g., by a relay station), it is usually
convenient to change frequency in the device so that
the amplified signal from the transmitter does not
feed back into the receiver and so cause instability.
Such devices are often called translators or frequency
frequency translator See Frequency translation.
Fresnel lens Fresnel spot. A specially constructed lens
that produces a softedged concentration of light;
used as a lens in a spotlight lamp housing. In some
3D-image display systems, the Fresnel lens of a fixed
magnification is used in place of the enlarging section, driver, and controller. The Fresnel lens has a
function of a flat convex lens to slightly enlarge the
size of a stereoscopic image. Other devices utilize a
Fresnel lens in front of a CRT display as the substantial part of 3D viewing. Utilizing a Fresnel lens or
lenticular lens between the CRT display and the
viewer is a popular scheme in attempting to present
3D viewing of a TV CRT.
Fresnel zone plate A zone plate pattern (circular or
elliptic) with lowest spatial frequency in the center
and uniform rise of spatial frequency along any radius, so that the spatial frequency is directly proportional to the distance from the center. Syn.: bull’s
eye pattern; circular zone plate.
friction head tripod A tripod whose camera mount
consists of two metal plates, the lower stationary,
the upper rotating; generally does not provide
smooth camera movement: more expensive models
utilize ball bearings to offset this problem.
fringe area The region just beyond the limits reached
by a TV transmitter. Reception in fringe areas usually results in weak and unreliable signals that need
additional boosting from such devices as a high-gain
directional antenna or more sensitive receivers.
fringe time A transitional period of a broadcast schedule, immediately before or after the peak period—
prime time.
fringing In a color display, the effect caused by incorrect superimposition of the R, G, and B images. In-
full field test signal
correct colors appear at the edges of objects in the
image. In a TV set, the convergence alignment would
need adjusting; in projection TV, it would be the convergence controls which require resetting. In video,
excessive chrominance/luminance delay inequality
would cause color fringing.
front end Tuner.
front loading A VCR system to allow loading the videocassette from the front, thus minimizing the space
required for the placement. To load a tape, insert it
into the loading slot (also called dock). When the
cassette has been inserted about midway, it triggers
a leaf switch, telling the VCR that a tape is inserted.
The VCR then latches onto the tape and pulls it all
the way into the cassette lift mechanism (also called
the elevator or basket). After the cartridge is in the
VCR, the cassette-lift mechanism drops down. When
loaded, the reels of the cassette rest over the supply
and take-up spindles inside the VCR. As with the
top-loading units, front-load Beta decks automatically thread the tape immediately after loading. The
tape remains threaded until the cassette is ejected.
Also, a number of front-loading VHS decks use a
half-loading tape system where the tape is threaded
partially around the inside of the deck. This minimizes tape warping.
front porch In a TV signal, the area of the video waveform that sits between the start of horizontal blank
and the leading edge of (start of) horizontal sync.
Its purpose is to provide time for a high video signal
amplitude (i.e., a white object) at the right-hand side
of the picture to drop down to black level and thence
to blanking level before the start of the line-sync
pulse. The duration of the front porch is 1.27 µs in
the standard US TV NTSC-signal.
front projection LCD TV A technology applied to front
projection TV which uses crystal display panels instead of conventional image tubes for projecting a
large screen image. This system offers several advantages over conventional front projection TV. First,
it is more compact and portable. Second, a screen
or TV monitor is not essential since the picture can
be projected onto any wall. Finally, the LCD system
can accommodate special anamorphic lenses that
can convert images into wide-screen pictures similar to those seen on theatrical screens. Some models provide a zoom lens that allows the user to adjust
the size of the image to fit a given wall space or
special screen.
front projection TV A projection TV system in which
light is projected onto a high gain, silver-like screen
and reflected back to the audience. The system contains a TV set/projector, a 1- or 3-lens format and a
special screen which reflects light much like a mirror. The process is similar to that which is used in a
movie theater. Early front projection TV systems were
often cumbersome and difficult to operate. Twopiece systems, for example, required that the pro-
jector be stationed on the floor in the middle of the
room while the projection screen reclined near an opposite wall. Some manufacturers, however, disguise
the projector within a coffee table and the obtrusive
screen is concealed behind curtains. Front projection
LCD TV systems, which use LCD panels instead of
conventional tubes, are more compact, easier to
handle and lighter in weight than those models using image tubes. The rear projection TV system has
virtually captured the entire market for projection TV
systems. Both front and rear systems have certain
drawbacks. Aside from generally costing more than
conventional TV systems, they project an image that
lacks the subtle details and contrast/sharpness, qualities that have become standard in direct TV.
fr/s Frames per second.
FS Frequency synthesis. The frequency synthesis tuning system for a TV set includes a PLL for synthesizing local VHF/UHF oscillator signals. When the RF
input receives standard TV frequency carriers, the
mixer combines them with local oscillator signals to
form IF signals having a picture carrier equal to the
nominal IF picture carrier frequency.
FSK Frequency-shift keying.
FSS Frame store synchronizer.
FST Flat square tube.
f-stop Also stop. A calibrated control that indicates
the amount of light passing through a lens to the
target area. The “f” stands for fixed. All lenses used
on video cameras have f-stops such as f/1.4, f/1.8,
f/2, etc. Numbers are etched on the iris ring on the
front of the lens, denoting the extent to which the
iris is closed or opened. F-stop numbers are the product of a mathematical formula where f is equal to
the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter
of the lens. The f-stop can be changed, depending
on the lighting conditions. The smaller the f number, the greater the amount of light entering the
camera. Most low-light video cameras feature an
f/1.4 lens. F-stop is a linear, theoretical index, not related to the actual amount of light transmitted by
the lens. Actual transmission is measured in “T-stops,”
which are determined on an optical bench.
FSTV Fast-scan TV. Same as common, full-color, motion commercial broadcast TV.
FT-C Footcandle.
F-type connector Also F connector. A low-cost connector used by the TV industry to connect coaxial
cable to equipment. See also Connector.
full-color transform Refers to a special visual effect
that produces a combination of 2-D animation and
3-D space. Full color transform is usually one of many
sophisticated features of a professional/industrial
character generator unit.
Full Field Teletext In this mode, teletext information
is transmitted over, virtually, all available TV lines.
full field test signal Test signal in active parts of all
active lines of the TV frame (as opposite to VITS).
full function wireless remote control
full function wireless remote control See Remote
full load A VCR videotape transport system that wraps
the tape against the video head drum and places
the medium tautly around the appropriate rollers
and capstans. The full-load technique allows for
quicker playing and recording since the tape is in
proper position for either function. In addition, full
load permits the use of Real-Time Counter, a feature that accurately measures tape usage in hours,
minutes and seconds. Full load differs from the halfload method, which slows down the initial playing
and recording procedures. The original Beta machines utilized full load whereas VHS units used Mload, a system that drew tape from the cassette only
in play and record modes.
full-motion video 1. TV transmission where images
are sent and displayed in real-time and motion is
continuous. Cf. Freeze frame. 2. Video reproduction at 30 frames per second for NTSC-original signals or 25 frames per second for PAL- or
SECAM-original signals.
full radiator An ideal radiator and absorber of radiation. Its radiation in any part of the spectrum is the
maximum obtainable from any radiator at the same
temperature. The nearest practical form of full radiator is a cavity with opaque walls maintained at a
constant temperature and with a small opening for
observation. It was formerly known as a black body
full scan NEC’s term for overscan.
full-square This refers to sharply rectangular CRTs; they
come in sizes of 14, 20, 26, and 27 inches.
full tape interchange The capability of a tape recorded on one machine to play back properly on
another unit. Videotapes, especially those recorded
at the slowest speed, occasionally encounter problems when they are played back on other VCRs. The
picture breaks up, rolls, or contains line or noise bars.
Adjusting the tracking control frequently corrects the
anomaly. Tapes recorded at slow speeds tend to be
more sensitive to the slight differences in the posi-
tion of the video heads in other machines. Some
video technicians attribute the inability of a tape to
play accurately on other units to such additional
causes as variations in the tape transport and width
of the video heads of both units.
functional integrated circuit Electronic circuitry that
compensates for discrepancies between otherwise
similar components. Functional integrated circuit, introduced into such video equipment as portable
VCRs, eliminates the need for the conventional adjustable resistors normally employed for this task.
fuzzy Audio or video that is unclear or indistinct.
fuzzy logic 1. A new wrinkle in the ancient science of
controlling processes that involve constantly changing variables. Contrary to its name, fuzzy logic is a
very precise subdiscipline in mathematics. It was invented in the 1960s by University of California at
Berkeley’s Russian-born Iranian computer science
professor Lotfi Zadeh. It enables mathematicians and
engineers to simulate human thinking by quantifying concepts such as hot, cold, very far, pretty close,
quite true, most usually, almost impossible, etc. It
does this by recognizing that measurements are
much more useful when they are characterized in
linguistic terms than when taken to the fourth decimal place. Fuzzy logic reduces a spectrum of numbers into a few categories called membership groups.
Now many consumer goods come with fuzzy logic;
for example, it is used inside camcorders to reduce
the motion of the camera. Fuzzy logic chips are made
by companies such as InfraLogic Inc. of Irvine, CA.
2. In video, a term applied to a camcorder feature
designed to provide better automatic lighting control, especially under difficult conditions. Fuzzy logic
uses a special IC to “read” the light intensity of more
than one area of a scene to be recorded and calculate the average light value. The technique, introduced early in 1990, is said to offer more accuracy
and adjust the lens aperture more quickly.
Fv Frame frequency.
FX 1. Extraneous effects. 2. Film and video special
G 1. Green. 2. CATV midband channel, 156-162 MHz.
3. TV standard: Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy,
Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Yugoslavia. Characteristics: 625 lines/
frame, 50 fields/s, interlace-2:1, 25 fr/s, 15,625 lines/
s, aspect ratio-4:3, video band-5 MHz, RF band-8
MHz, visual polarity-negative, sound modulation-F3,
pre-emphasis-50 µs, deviation-50 kHz, gamma of
picture signal-0.5, used band-UHF. 4. General audience—see Movie rating systems.
gaffer The foreman of a stage crew. In film or TV, the
gaffer is the head electrician.
gaffer’s tape A unique and ubiquitous tape used in
TV and film production. It is 2" wide and made of
vinyl-coated cotton cloth with an adhesive backing
of synthetic rubber-based resin. It is available in 12
colors and has a tensile strength of 50 pounds per
inch. Because of its stubborn strength and versatility, it is used for everything in a TV studio.
gain Video contrast, audio volume. The term used
for contrast in video and volume in audio. Also,
the whiteness or luminance level of an image. Also,
the degree to which a signal is amplified. RF signals are increased by RF amplifiers while video signals are augmented by video distribution amplifiers.
The gain of an antenna or of a low noise amplifier
is usually a manufacturer specification, and is referred to a reference antenna (usually a dipole or
isotropic radiator). In projection TV screens, gain
refers to the measured quantity of light reflected
by a screen compared to that reflected by a white
matte surface. Therefore, a gain of five translates
generally to a screen five times as bright as a flat
white surface.
gain control See Automatic gain control.
gain insurance The idea of having a little more signal
than the minimal acceptable level. In satellite TV, a
slightly larger antenna or a lower-noise LNA gives
some gain insurance.
gain unity A control on some process amplifiers and
refers to a neutral position. For example, if the
chroma gain control knob or dial is positioned at
gain unity, then there is no increase or decrease in
the intensity of the color signal. Gain unity applies
not only to chroma control, but to luminance level
as well. Therefore, if the luminance gain control is
set at gain unity, there is neither gain nor attenuation in the brightness level of the signal.
gain-up A camcorder feature using digital circuitry to
increase sensitivity to light so that the camera can
be used in low-light surroundings measuring only 1
lux. However, gain-up also has its drawbacks: it is
accompanied by an increase in video noise and, often, lag or image retention. Gain-up, which is sometimes used deliberately to create special visual effects,
such as streaking, is accomplished by digitally boosting the brightness of the picture.
gallery In the UK, the production control room overlooking a TV studio.
gallium arsenide Symbol: GaAs. High-mobility semiconductor material used in low-noise microwave devices—e.g., in satellite TV.
galvanometric mirror (GM) In 3D image display apparatus, a device which serves as the vertical scanning system.
game show A radio or TV program in which contestants are asked questions or participate in contests
to win prizes.
games on demand In-store recording and delivery of
video games. A data storage server of the system
contains the games and an encoder that burns them
into a blank cartridge. The prospective renter chooses
his or her game, and it is instantly recorded on the
blank cartridge. The system eliminates the necessity
of storing hundreds or thousands of titles.
gamma 1. Measure of the contrast of an image reproduction process. The characteristics of most displays are nonlinear. A small change in amplitude
when the signal level is small produces a change in
the display brightness level, but the same change
in amplitude at a high level will not produce the
same magnitude of brightness change. This effect,
or actually the difference between what you should
have and what you actually measured, is known as
gamma. High gamma indicates high contrast; low
gamma indicates low contrast. In TV, this characteristic is given by the relation between the luminance increment on the receiver screen and the
luminance increment in the original scene. In general, this relationship is not uniform over the whole
gamma correction
tonal scale and the gamma value or contrast gradient at a given point is of importance. For camera
tubes and similar transmission devices, point
gamma is defined as the instantaneous slope of a
curve relating the logarithms of the incident light
and the resultant output voltage, while for receivers and display devices, it is the instantaneous slope
of a curve relating the logarithms of the input voltage and of the intensity of the resultant light output. 2. The third in a series, such as a gamma
generation. See Genealogy.
gamma correction Process of modifying the linearity
of the amplitude of a video signal in such a way
that deficiencies in the gamma law of an associated
light-sensitive or picture-display device are corrected.
Unless the overall gamma of a system approaches
unity, the gray scale suffers distortion. In black and
white TV the eye is relatively tolerant of errors, but
in color TV the greatest care is necessary to match
gamma laws in the color channels and produce an
overall gamma close to unity. Before being displayed,
linear RGB data must be processed (gamma corrected) to compensate for the nonlinearity of the
gamma corrector, TV camera A typical receiver display tube has a power law relating the light output
to the signal input of between gamma=2 and
gamma=3. It is therefore necessary to provide
complementary gamma correction to the transmitted signal. In practice, an adequate degree of performance can be obtained using a characteristic
with three linear portions each of different gain,
both the gain of each section and the level of the
change-over or break points being adjustable. The
sense of the correction is to stretch the black parts
of the picture, and the degree of correction which
can be tolerated is often governed by the exaggeration of the noise in the dark areas. It is normal
to provide for a gain in the lowest portion of the
characteristic of up to 16 dB above that of the
average slope.
gamma generation See Genealogy.
gap 1. The tiny space in an audio or video head across
which the magnetic field is produced during recording and activated during playback. The head is a Ushaped electromagnet and it is that opening which
the videotape must pass and make contact with for
quality recording and playback. Video head gap size
depends on the speed mode of the VCR. Some VHS
machines have four heads, two with a specific micron size for standard speed and the other pair designed for the slowest speed (EP or SLP). 2. An
interruption in continuity, such as a blank area on a
recorded tape.
gap effect, video heads The most important limitation on the range of video frequencies that can be
recorded and played back. The narrower the gap is,
the higher the frequency will be for maximum out-
put. But a very narrow gap restricts the output at
the low frequencies.
gas panel See Plasma panel.
gas tube See Plasma panel.
gated sync A scrambling method that operates by
upsetting the sync-pulse amplitude in relation to the
video signal. It has the effect of making the picture
tear and roll.
gating Operation of an electronic device acting as a
gate to select a portion of a current signal for examination or storage, or to activate another circuit.
gating pulse Pulse designed to operate a system for a
specified period to enable some other action to take
place during the interval. Employed in color TV transmitters and receivers.
Gaussian filter A low-pass filter used for bandwidth
limitation and pulse shaping as well as to remove
unwanted distortions such as noise, preshoot, overshoot and ringing. Its name derives from the approximation of its amplitude/frequency response to
Gaussian distribution or shape. One application of
the filter concerns the extraction of “spikes” or ringing in video line sync pulses that may be caused by
high frequency components. Another use of the
Gaussian filter is in the field blanking period of TV
signals. The filter usually comes in modular form
for relatively simple insertion into electronic
GCR Ghost cancellation reference signal. A reference
signal on (M) NTSC scan lines 19 and 282 and (B, D,
G, H, I) PAL scan line 318 that allows the removal of
ghosting from TVs. Filtering is employed to process
the transmitted GCR signal and determine how to
filter the entire video signal to remove the ghosting.
ITU-R BT.1124 defines the standard each country
GDI-11 CD-I player; Goldstar. Has two ports: one for a
mic, and one for a pointing device that lets on-screen
images be manipulated. Like other CD-I machines,
it hooks up to a TV and uses interactive educational
and entertainment CD-I discs. Not available in the
gel Short form of “gelatin,” a translucent filter material used with lighting instruments to change the
color, the quality, or the amount of light on a scene
in the theater or in TV or film production. Sometimes called a media, this fade-resistant, cellophanelike material comes in various colors and is mounted
in a frame that is attached to the front of the lighting instrument.
gel cell A gelled lead acid battery (used for powering
portable video equipment).
Gemini A type of combined film and TV camera distinguished from most others of its kind by the fact
that the primary unit is the TV camera.
genealogy In film and TV, a numerical history of duplicates made from the master film or original videotape, the first generation. The first print of
duplicate tape is the second in the genealogy; the
next set of copies is the gamma generation or third
General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB) A special feature, usually built into some industrial/professional
instruments such as color video noise meters, designed to test various signals automatically.
generating element The component that enables the
sound waves entering the head of a microphone to
be used to produce an electronic signal composed
of voltage variations corresponding to the sound
wave; some of the most common generating elements are ribbon, condenser, crystal, and dynamic
generation In videotaping, one copy or duplicate removed from another tape. The original or master
program is known as a first generation. A duplicate
from this master is called a second generation tape,
etc. In video production and postproduction, many
generations may be required, causing concern for
accumulated distortions because of the repeated recording and replay steps.
generation loss The loss of detail or resolution in a
video tape that is duplicated. The master tape is
called a first generation tape. A copy from the master is called the second generation tape. Each generation away from the original or master produces
increased degradation in the image quality.
genlock GENerator LOCKing device. A device (e.g.,
special effects generator) that enables a composite
video machine, such as a TV, to simultaneously accept two signals. A genlock locks one set of signals
while it processes the second set. This enables you
to combine graphics from a computer with video
signals from a second source such as a video camera. Genlock determines the exact moment at which
a video frame begins and allows multiple devices
(video recorders, cameras, etc.) to be used together
with precise timing so that they capture a scene in
genny An electricity generator, particularly a portable
generator on a film or television set.
geostationary orbit A circular satellite orbit that is
35,000 km (22,300 mi) above the equator. The satellite revolves around the earth in exactly the same
time it takes the earth to rotate on its axis; thus the
satellite appears stationary over one location near
the equator. The satellite moves from west to east,
and makes one rotation every 24 h in synchronism
with the earth’s rotation. It is also known as geosynchronous orbit and as Clarke belt.
geosynchronous orbit Geostationary orbit.
GG CATV hyperband channel, 336-342 MHz.
ghost Vision signal received with a delay, as compared
to the direct signal, usually caused by reflection from
aircraft or prominent objects. The result is a fainter
signal (ghost) displaced from the main signal. In the
VHF and UHF wavebands used for TV transmission,
the reflection of signals from tall buildings and other
objects can present a serious problem at a receiver.
This is due to the time difference between the arrival at a receiver aerial of the direct signal and the
arrival of a reflection or echo. Assuming that the
direct signal is appreciably the stronger of the two,
the synchronizing circuits of the receiver lock on to
it and disregard the weaker signal. But the video
section of the receiver is unable to ignore the picture information contained in the reflected signal,
with the result that it appears on the screen as a
ghost image. This is displaced to the right of the
primary image by an amount corresponding to the
difference in time taken by the direct and reflected
signals in travelling from transmitter to receiver and
may be anything up to the full picture width. Ghost
images resulting from reflections may be reduced
or even eliminated by using either a more directional
and properly orientated aerial at the receiver or a
device known as an echo equalizer.
ghost canceling A reference signal to allow specially
equipped TV sets to get rid of picture ghosts that
result from poor reception of local stations. Developed by Philips Electronics.
ghost cancellation reference (GCR) A reference signal on (M) NTSC scan lines 19 and 282 and (B, D, G,
H, I) PAL scan line 318 that allows the removal of
ghosting from TVs. Filtering is employed to process
the transmitted GCR signal and determine how to
filter the entire video signal to remove the ghosting.
ITU-R BT.1124 and ETSI ETS 300 732 define the standard each country uses. ATSC A/49 also defines the
standard for NTSC. See Ghost canceling.
GIF Graphics interchange format, a computer graphics file format developed by CompuServe for use in
compressing graphic images, now commonly used
on the Internet. GIF compression is lossless, supports
transparency, but allows a maximum of only 256
Ginsburg, Charles Engineer who, with Ray Dolby, developed the first prototype for the video recorder.
Ampex demonstrated the model in 1956.
glass delay line One of the two kinds of comb filter
systems (the other uses a CCD). The glass delay line
technique is less sophisticated, more economical and
more popular. Both types perform the same functions. They improve detail and resolution in the TV
picture by separating the black and white from the
color information and thereby preventing video
moire or a rainbow effect. However, it is generally
agreed that the CCD filter is more efficient.
glitch 1. An undesired transient voltage spike, occurring on a signal being processed. In a digital-to-analog converter, a glitch can occur at a major carry,
such as when switching from 0111111111 to
1000000000 because there is an interim condition
in which all bits are 0. 2. The term given to any type
of video distortion such as picture break-up, etc.
glitch-free editing
Also, variations of video noise, etc. Glitch usually
occurs each time a VCR stops and starts to record. It
is less prevalent when going from the Pause mode
to record. Some VCRs provide practically glitch-free
editing. In professional video editing, glitch is an unstable, broken picture in the final product. The best
way to avoid glitches in the videotape is to pre-black
all of the videotape stock with a blank video screen.
Professional video studios use a black-burst generator for this purpose. 3. A minor technical problem
arising in electronic equipment.
glitch-free editing In video, any method or procedure that transfers or duplicates selected recorded
segments of tape onto another tape without picture breakup or the familiar “rainbow” effect that
appears where two images are joined. Unlike movie
film, videotape is difficult to edit because each frame
or segment is a diagonal magnetic signal that cannot be seen by the human eye. Precise physical splicing is virtually impossible. Therefore, other methods
have had to be devised to accomplish exact editing.
At first, home VCRs performed the task rather clumsily, adding picture breakup, a rainbow effect, or
more, wherever edits began. Later, some VCR manufacturers introduced improved editing techniques by
backing up the tape a few frames each time the
Pause and Record modes were pressed. This eliminated much of the visual interference. The flying
erase head was another innovation that helped to
produce glitch-free edits. Another, known as synchro edit, synchronizes the start/pause modes of
both the recording and playback machines during
the editing process, thereby eliminating glitches.
Other technological advances for glitch-free editing include the use of electronics, digital memory
and computers.
G-matrix In CCD still video cameras, a circuit to form
the high-resolution green signal from the weighted
differences of the wideband luminance and low resolution R and B signals.
GOP See Group of pictures.
Gorizont The Russian geostationary telecommunications satellite.
go-to A VCR feature that, when activated, can automatically locate any point on a videotape. Go-To
usually operates with either digital tape counters,
which require entering a specific 4-digit number, or
real-time function in which the hours, minutes and
seconds are entered. The latter usually can be activated by using the remote control.
go to black To let the image fade out entirely.
GPIB See General Purpose Interface Bus.
grabber 1. A device for capturing data—for example,
a video digitizer. 2. A computer program that takes
a “snapshot” of the currently displayed screen image by transferring a portion of video memory to a
file on disc. 3. The fixture on the end of a test equipment lead wire with a spring-actuated hook and claw
designed to connect the measuring instrument to a
pin of an IC, socket, transistor, and so forth.
gradation Accuracy with which a process in a TV chain
renders a series of incremental steps of gray scale.
graduated matte Variant of background with a
gradual change from one color to another across
the picture. Syn.: wash.
Grand Alliance 1. Digital HDTV Grand Alliance, a
group that represents the merger of three formerly
competing groups—AT&T and Zenith, General Instruments and MIT, and a group consisting of
Thomson Consumer Electronics, Philips Consumer
Electronics, and the David Sarnoff Research Center—
to collaborate on designing a prototype all-digital
advanced television system. 2. The US Digital HDTV
system. The selected digital video-compression technology is based on international standard MPEG-2.
It includes the use of B-frames, a bi-directional framemotion compensation technique that improves picture quality. A packetized data-transport system
permits most combinations of video, audio, and data
to be transmitted in packets similar to those formed
for advanced telecommunications networks. Known
as the ATSC format.
granularity The density with which a viewing surface
is divided into physical sensors, such as pixels in an
image or grains of emulsion in film.
graphic equalizer See Equalizer.
graphics In video, a technique involving a computer, a
monitor and certain software to create designs,
drawing and other graphics on a TV screen. Through
the use of computer keyboards and video terminals,
the electron beam is guided around the screen to
produce drawings that can be videotaped. Graphics programs are available for different systems. They
can create elaborate graphic designs, abstract art,
random patterns; they can change screen color, form
block letters, create a figure and move it anywhere
on the screen.
graphics decoder An electronic accessory, usually built
into certain CD players, that adds graphics displays
to music. Such machines are known as CD+G (for
graphics) players. The visuals produced by the graphics decoder are still pictures; the system is not capable of producing continuous motion images. See
graticule The pattern imprinted on the face of the
CRT of a color vectorscope for measurement purposes. The graticule consists of a 360-degree circle,
a B-Y horizontal axis line, an R-Y vertical axis line,
two other lines labeled “I” and “Q” axis and little
boxes representing the six colors (blue, red, magenta,
green, cyan and yellow). On some graticules, the
circle is divided into 5-degree segments. Signals from
cameras, VCRs and other pieces of electronic equipment are superimposed over the graticule to help
determine the quality of the color signal and where
any problems may lie. For example, if no “I” signal
gyroscopic time base error
appears, then no red will be visible in the TV image;
if there is no “Q” signal, then no green will show
up on the TV screen.
gray scale A series of achromatic tones with varying
proportions of white and black, to give a full range
of grays between white and black. A gray scale is
usually divided into 10 steps.
gray-scale chart See Video test chart.
gray-scale transfer function A plot of image brightness as a function of scene brightness. It is the TV
equivalent of the H&D (Hurter and Driffield) curves
that specify film density as a function of exposure
for photographic negatives. Because the eye perceives brightness differences in terms of ratios rather
than numerical differences, a logarithmic scale is
used for both scene and image brightness.
grazing A term used by advertisers, producers and others in the TV industry to refer to the practice by viewers of randomly searching through the channels for
an interesting program. This practice has alerted the
networks, TV producers and programmers to seek
new ways to hold the attention of their viewers.
Great Time Machine Quasar’s first (now defunct) VCR,
model VR-1000, which was incompatible with its
two contemporary formats, VHS and Beta. The GTM
was introduced in 1976 and used a cassette format
called VX200. The machine was eventually replaced
in 1978 by Quasar’s second VCR, model VH-5000, a
more conventional VHS machine. The original recorder had one unique feature for its day—its clock/
timer could be set to record more than one event or
program during a 24-hour period.
Green Book The formal standards document for
green gain control An adjustment used in the matrix
of a 3-gun color TV receiver to adjust the intensity
of the green primary signal.
green gun The electron gun whose beams strikes phosphor dots emitting the green primary color in a
3-gun color TV picture.
green restorer The DC restorer for the green channel
of a 3-gun color TV picture tube.
green video voltage The signal voltage output from
the green section of a color TV camera, or the signal
voltage between the receiver matrix and the greengun grid of a 3-gun color TV picture tube.
grid card A tabulated rate card of a radio or TV station with rates for various time periods.
grid log A schedule, as of TV programs, printed in a
set format, such as the charts now used by many
newspapers instead of or in addition to a running
log, or sequential list of programs. In a grid log, the
TV channels appear vertically in the first column,
while their programs are listed horizontally in the
time-period columns.
ground-loop hum Refers to the large horizontal bars
that occasionally roll up or down on the screen image. This video hum appears as a result of differ-
ences in the grounding of house currents from that
of the broadcasting station or TV cable system.
Ground-loop hum is sometimes referred to simply
as hum.
ground station Earth station.
group Several stations or other media, generally under common ownership, such as by Group W, the
Westinghouse radio and TV stations, or affiliated for
shared programming or to provide quantity of group
group of pictures In an MPEG bitstream, the GOP is a
group of frames between successive I frames, the
others being P and/or B frames. In the widest used
application, television transmission, the GOP is typically 12 frames but this can vary; a new sequence
starting with an I frame may be generated if there is
a big change at the input, such as a cut. If desired,
SMPTE time code data can be added to this layer
for the first picture in a GOP.
GSR Ghost-Cancellation Reference.
G/T A figure of merit that describes the capability of a
TVRO system to receive a signal from a satellite. The
ratio (in dB) of the gain of a receiving system to the
noise temperature of the system.
guard band A space between video tracks on the video
tape when in the SP mode to eliminate “crosstalk”
between tracks. Guard band contains no information. The introduction of the azimuth process of electronically printing video tracks diagonally, each with
a different pattern, has largely discontinued the need
for guard bands. 2. A frequency band left empty
between two channels to protect against interference from either channel. See also Broadband.
guard circuit In TV receivers, a device in integrated
vertical deflection circuit with flyback generator.
When there is no deflection current and the flyback
generator is not activated, the guard circuit produces
a DC voltage to blank the picture tube and thus prevent screen damage.
gun killer An adapter that can be inserted between
the socket and base of a color picture tube, to permit turning off independently any one or all of the
three guns (red, green, and blue) in the tube during
repair or adjustment procedures.
guy A rope, cable, or wire—guy wire—to hold or steady
something, such as to support a TV antenna tower.
G-Y matrix A circuit to construct color difference signal
G-Y according to the equation G-Y = -0.51(R-Y) 0.19(B-Y) by means of an addition/subtraction process using color difference signals R-Y and B-Y
(SECAM). The G-Y is composed of -0.27(R-Y) – 0.22
(B-Y) (NTSC).
gyrator delay cell See Luminance delay line in gyrator technique.
gyroscopic time base error Time base error that is
created when a VTR is moved perpendicular to the
plane of the head drum’s rotation. It is a very common occurrence given today’s highly portable video
G-Y signal
equipment. Gyroscopic error occurs because the
spinning head drum in the VTR acts like a gyroscope.
As the VTR is moved against the plane of rotation of
the head drum, the spinning drum resists and slows
down a little. When it slows down, the information
will not be recorded at the proper speed. How much
time base error you might expect on tape playback
depends on all of these factors. It could be less than
a line in a studio machine, or could add up to 20 or
30 lines or more on a field recorder.
G-Y signal The green-minus-luminance color-difference signal used in color TV. It is combined with the
luminance signal in a receiver to give the green colorprimary signal.
H 1. CATV midband channel, 162-168 MHz. 2. TV
standard; Belgium. Characteristics: 625 lines/frame,
50 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 25 fr/s, 15,625 lines/s,
aspect ratio—4:3, video band—5 MHz, RF band—8
MHz, visual polarity—negative, sound modulation—
F3, pre-emphasis—50 µs, deviation—50 kHz,
gamma of picture signal—0.5.
h Hour. Also hr. The plural is hrs.
H0 See H-channel.
H11 See H-channel.
H12 See H-channel.
H.221 A framing recommendation that is part of the
ITU’s H.320 family of video interoperability Recommendations. The Recommendation specifies synchronous operation where the coder and decoder
handshake and agree upon timing. Synchronization
is arranged for individual B channels or bonded 384
Kbps (HO) connections.
H.230 A multiplexing recommendation that is part of
the ITU’s H.320 family of video interoperability recommendations. The recommendation specifies how
individual frames of audiovisual information are to
be multiplexed onto a digital channel.
H.231 A recommendation, formally added to the ITU’s
H.320 family of recommendations in March, 1993,
which specifies the multipoint control unit used to
bridge three or more H.320-compliant codecs together in a multipoint conference.
H.233 A recommendation, part of the ITU’s H.320 family, which specifies the encryption method to be used
for protecting the confidentiality of video data in
H.320-compliant exchanges. Also called H. key.
H.242 Part of the ITU’s H.320 family of video
interoperability recommendations. This recommendation specifies the protocol for establishing an audio session and taking it down after the
communication has terminated.
H.261, H.263 The ITU-T H.261 and H.263 video compression standards were developed to implement
video conferencing over ISDN, LANs, regular phone
lines, etc. H.261 supports video resolutions of 352 x
288 and 176 x 144 at up to 29.97 frames per second. H.263 supports video resolutions of 1408 x
1152, 704 x 576, 352 x 288, 176 x 144, and 128 x
96 at up to 29.97 frames per second.
H.26L Emerging video coding standard for next-generation compression technology. (To be part 10 of
H.320 International standard for video conferencing.
H.324 Videoconferencing standard for public switched
telephone networks.
hacker A slang term for a computer enthusiast. Depending on how it is used, the term can be either
complimentary or derogatory. The pejorative sense
of “hacker” is becoming more prominent largely
because the popular press has coopted the term to
refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access
to systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data. The term is sometimes used in other fields
as well, such as a video hacker.
Hadamard transform A video compression technique.
HAD (Hole Accumulated Diode) sensor A component
of some top-of-the-line professional/industrial video
cameras that increases horizontal resolution and enhances color quality. The special sensor can produce
700 lines of horizontal resolution.
hair-pin Connector encased in a small block of plastic. Used in patch panels.
halation In a CRT, degradation of the image caused
by an area of light surrounding the spot where the
electron beam strikes the screen. This unwanted area
is caused by light from the spot reaching the screen
by reflection at the front and rear surface of the faceplate of the tube. Also called halo.
half-inch format Refers to the most commonly used
tape size for home video. VHS machines use 1/2"
videotape while profession/industrial/institutional
equipment uses other widths such as 3/4" and 1"
tape. Newer, smaller VCRs for home use have introduced 1/4" videotape, particularly with camcorders.
half-lap In film and TV, a split screen in which two
images appear simultaneously on the screen—a sideby-side shot.
half loading system In the FF and REW modes of a
VTR the system keeps the tape half-loaded to allow
a sensor to detect tape movement by reading the
tape’s control track and display the lap time in hours,
minutes and seconds. Also see Front loading.
half-transponder A method of transmitting two TV
signals through a single transponder, by reducing
Hall effect
the deviation and power allocated to each. Half-transponder TV carriers each operate typically 4 dB below single-carrier saturation power.
Hall effect An audio technique that is not affected by
tape speed in the playback mode. Since tape speed
influences the quality of audio reproduction, the slow
speeds of videotape produce far from good sound.
But videotape must use these relatively slow speeds
to accommodate the video signals and to offer reasonable maximum playing time. If a process, such
as the Hall effect, can be developed to be used with
recording as well as playback, audio quality will
greatly improve.
Hall-effect sensor A set of Hall-effect ICs to provide
precise timing of head switching. It is accomplished
by a feedback mechanism provided by the set of
Hall-effect ICs, which are the electronic equivalent
of reed switches. In older Beta and VHS models, coils
and magnets were used instead of Hall-effect
Hall-effect IC A magnetically sensitive integrated circuit that can detect the presence or absence of a
magnetic field. In VCRs, Hall-effect ICs generate two
types of pulses: PG and FG. PG stands for pulse generator; FG stands for frequency generator. The PG
signal, typically at 30 Hz, identifies the position of
the drum as it spins. The rate of the FG signal, most
often 180 Hz, indicates the speed of the video-head
halo 1. An undesirable bright or dark ring surrounding a spot on the fluorescent screen of a TV CRT.
Generally due to overloading or maladjustment of
the camera tube. 2. The black area around a very
intense source of light, as seen by the camera and
monitor. When a match is struck and held in front
of the camera, a halo is visible around the flame; a
halo visible through the viewfinder of a vidicon camera may mean that the light source is bright enough
to burn the target area.
Hamming code In digital transmission, a code so designed that errors in signals can be detected and
corrected. The code has four information bits and
three check bits per character. See Parity check.
Named after R. W. Hamming of Bell Labs.
hammocking The practice of scheduling a weak TV
program between two strong ones—suspended the
way a canvas hammock hangs between two supports. The popular programs are in the tent-pole positions and the weak one is settled in the saddle
handbasher In film and TV, a hand-held lamp, usually
about 800 watts.
hand-held television A small, light-weight, portable
TV unit, usually applying LCD technology and other
electronic refinements to the video portion. Some
manufacturers concentrate on increasing the number of pixels per square inch to ensure accurate color
separation. Others focus on resolution to produce a
clear, sharp image. Sony’s compact Video Walkman
combines an 8mm video recorder with a 3" LCD
color TV.
handshaking An exchange of predetermined signals
for the purpose of control when a connection is established between two data sets.
Handycam The camcorder that integrated the camera and recorder.
hangers Lighting accessories formally known as “antigravity hangers.” They are used to hang lights on
a pipe grid above a TV studio. The devices are accordion-like mechanisms that are counterbalanced with
springs and thus allow the easy raising and lowering of a light to any height.
happy talk A format of TV news programs, featuring
light banter among an ensemble of newscasters.
hard copy Output onto permanent media such as paper or film as opposed to a CRT screen.
hard-edge wipe In film and TV, a wipe (an optical
effect between two succeeding shots) in which the
border between the two images is sharply defined;
the opposite of soft-edge wipe.
hardline A low-loss coaxial cable that has a continuous hard metal shield instead of a conductive braid
around the outer perimeter. This type of cable was
used in the pioneer days of satellite TV. Syn.: Heliax.
hard scrambling An encryption method that uses proprietary, highly secure technology (digital).
hardware In video, equipment such as VCRs, VDPs,
video games, video cameras, portable VCRs, TV sets,
etc. Videotapes, discs and game cartridges are considered software.
harmonic distortion See Distortion.
harmonic related carrier (HRC) Refers to cable-TV
systems having a coherent head end and visual carriers located at multiples of 6 MHz starting at 54
MHz. All visual carriers in the system are phase locked
to a 6-MHz master oscillator. This ensures that all
the carriers are harmonically related to 6 MHz and
no matter what shift occurs to the master oscillator,
all carriers maintain the same relative frequency separation. The second- and third-order intermodulation
products resulting from any two carriers, therefore,
always fall exactly on the visual carrier frequencies,
and their undesirable effects on TV pictures will be
reduced or eliminated. When compared with the
broadcast or standard plan, HRC channels are frequency displaced by –1.25 MHz on all standard and
cable supplementary channels (midband, etc.) except channels 5 and 6, where the displacement is
+0.75 MHz.
harry system In film and TV, a digital animating machine that stacks computerized graphics and other
images on top of each other to create the illusion of
H-channel The packet-switched channel on an ISDN
BRI (Basic Rate Interface) which is designed to carry
user information streams at varying rates, depend-
ing on type: HO—384 Kbps; H11—1,536 Kbps; and
H12—1920 Kbps.
HD-0 A set of formats based partially on the ATSC
Table 3, suggested by The DTV Team as the initial
stage of the digital television rollout. Pixel values
represent full aperture for ITU-R 601.
HD-1 A set of formats partially based on the ATSC
Table 3, suggested by The DTV Team as the second
stage of the digital television rollout. Pixel values represent full aperture for ITU-R 601.
HD-2 A set of formats partially based on the ATSC
Table 3, suggested by The DTV Team as the third
stage of the digital television rollout contingent on
some extreme advances in video compression over
the next five years. Pixel values represent full aperture for ITU-R 601.
HDB-MAC (High-Definition B-MAC) system (also Scientific Atlanta HDB-MAC System) It was a
noncompatible service intended for direct-broadcast
and fixed satellite use. It was based on the B-MAC
service now standardized in Australia and widely
used for business applications of TV. It was closely
related to the D2-MAC system used for DBS service
in Europe. The HDB-MAC signal was transmitted at
525 lines interlaced, permitting simple conversion
to the NTSC service. In the HDTV receiver a fieldstore was used to convert to 525/59.94/1:1/16:9 progressive scan. When so converted the vertical
resolution was 480 lines per picture height for static
areas of the image, 320 lines for moving areas. The
horizontal resolutions were stated to be 950 lines
per picture width for static areas, 320 lines for moving areas. The total number of picture elements for
static images was 950 x 480 = 456.000 per frame.
When the 16:9 aspect ratio was used at the source,
the portion intended for 4:3 displays was under panand-scan control. The line signal frequency modulated the up-link signal on the 24- or 27-MHz
transponder channel. This signal permitted display
at 525 lines sequentially scanned at 16:9 aspect ratio, with a luminance baseband of 18 MHz. Although
not designed for cable service, it was pointed out
that the up-link signal could be accommodated on
two contiguous cable channels. The source baseband was reduced to 10.7 MHz by the spectrum
folding. The source baseband was recovered at the
HDTV receiver by a field-store line doubler that provided 18 MHz of luminance bandwidth and 5 MHz
for chrominance.
HDCAM Sometimes called HD Betacam, this is a means
of recording compressed high-definition video on a
tape format (1/2-inch) that uses the same cassette
shell as Digital Betacam, although with a different
tape formulation. The technology is aimed specifically at the USA and Japanese 1125/60 markets and
supports both 1080 and 1035 active line standards.
Quantization from 10 bits to 8 bits and DCT intraframe compression are used to reduce the data rate.
Four uncompressed audio channels sampled at 48
kHz, 20 bits per sample, are also supported.
HD D5 A compressed recording system developed by
Panasonic that uses compression at about 4:1 to
record HD material on standard D5 cassettes. HD
D5 supports the 1080 and the 1035 interlaced line
standards at both 60 Hz and 59.94 Hz field rates, all
720 progressive line standards and the 1080 progressive line standard at 24, 25 and 30 frame rates.
Four uncompressed audio channels sampled at 40
kHz, 20 bits per sample, are also supported.
HD Digital VCR Conference A group of major manufacturers dedicated to setting standards for HDTV
VCRs. The Conference defined the specs for standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) VCRs.
The SD VCR records at a data rate of 25 megabits
per second. It is used for digital recording of NTSC,
PAL, SECAM and the Grand Alliance HDTV format.
The HD VCR records at 50 megabits per second. It is
intended for recording Japan’s MUSE HDTV satellite
broadcasts, which have a much higher bandwidth
than the Grand Alliance format. Unlike SD decks,
HD decks may use four heads. Although the MUSE
signal is analog, HD decks record it digitally. They
are compatible, so that HD decks will play SD tapes.
HDMAC (High-Definition MAC) A European DBS HDTV
system. It was spawned by Britain’s Independent
Broadcasting Authority. Unlike Japan’s HiVision,
HDMAC has the attraction of being compatible with
existing TV sets—i.e., those in Europe. Employs twice
the line rate of the 625-line MAC system at an aspect ratio of 16:9, interlaced, i.e., 1250/50/2:1/16:9.
The luminance and chrominance basebands are, respectively, 21 MHz and 10.5 MHz. By 3:2 and 3:1
compressions, respectively, a common sampling frequency of 20.5 MHz is achieved and this imposes a
maximum modulation bandwidth of 10.125 MHz.
This is the up-link frequency modulation of the satellite signal, using the 27-MHz bandwidth available
in Europe. Additional information (sound/data/DATV)
is carried by multiplex in the vertical and horizontal
blanking intervals.
HD-NTSC system (also Del Rey HD-NTSC system), Del
Rey Group. It was a single-channel NTSC-compatible HDTV system, operating on the 6-MHz channel
at 59.94 fields per second. This system differed from
conventional practice in two major respects: an aspect ratio of 14:9 and double-trace scanning at the
camera and the HD-NTSC receiver, which spread the
scanning sequence over three frames. The number
of active lines was reduced from the NTSC value of
484 to 414, and the 70 additional blank lines were
disposed above (35 lines) and below (35 lines) the
display. The additional vertical blanking time provided a channel for digital transmission of stereo
HD-SIF High Definition—Common Image Format.
HDTV system. This system has a set of parameter
values which use 1080 active lines, whether the field
rate is 50 Hz or 60 Hz. The same sampling frequencies for interlace (74.25 MHz) and progressive (148.5
MHz) scanning are used in the 50-Hz and 60-Hz versions of the format.
HDS-NA High-Definition System—North America; N.
A. Philips Corporation. A wide-channel 525/59.94/
1:1(NTSC) 1050/59.94/ 2:1(HDTV) system. Aspect
ratios were 4:3 (NTSC), 16:9(HDTV). The HDS-NA
system employed two principal signals. The first, HDMAC, was a satellite-transmitted multiplexed analog component signal from the program origination
point to other transmission media, i.e., terrestrial
broadcast and cable systems. It could also serve in
the direct-broadcast service. The second signal,
named ND-NTSC by Philips, was intended for the
terrestrial and cable services. It comprised the NTSCcompatible 6-MHz channel and an augmentation
channel. The augmentation information was proposed for transmission either in digital or analog
form. Also called Philips HDS-NA.
HDS-NA “6+3” A “6+3” version of the HD-NTSC,
which consisted of an NTSC-compatible 6-MHz
channel and a 3-MHz augmentation channel. The
HD-MAC output contained the following components, which had to be accommodated in the HDNTSC encoder: (1) the line-difference signals for the
central and sidepanel areas of the 16:9 image; (2)
the standard 4.2-MHz luminance signal; (3) the
higher-frequency portion, Y, of the luminance content as separated from the low-frequency portion
in the HD-MAC encoder; (4) the sidepanel I and Q
chrominance signals; (5) the right and left sidepanel
luminance contents of the 16:9 display; and (6) the
digital data and audio signals decoded from the HDMAC transmission. In one version of the “6+3” system, these components were accommodated in the
6-MHz and 3-MHz channels.
HDS-NA “6+4” This high-definition system developed
by Philips Corp. was never introduced commercially.
A more advanced “6+3” by the same company
made it obsolete.
HD-SDTI High Data-Rate Serial Data Transport Interface, defined by SMPTE 348M.
HDTV High-Definition TV. The 1,080-line interlace and
720 and 1,080-line progressive formats in a 16:9
aspect ratio. HDTV thus means a completely new
TV system with substantially high resolution, a wider
aspect ratio, and improved sound. The U.S. FCC has
adopted (1996) the major elements of the ATSC
Digital Television (DTV) Standard, mandating its use
for digital terrestrial television broadcasts in the U.S.
The specific HDTV and SDTV video formats contained
in the ATSC standard were not mandated, but many
of these have been uniformly adopted on a voluntary basis by broadcasters and receiver manufacturers. HDTV is a subset of DTV and work is ongoing to
develop international standards to make HDTV a
reality. In 2002, HDTV equipment is on the market
and some broadcasting has begun. See ATSC, highdefinition television.
HDTV-ready set A 16:9 TV receiver with RGB YPbPr
input, which can accommodate an HDTV decoder.
HD VCR See HD Digital VCR Conference.
HD VTR See High definition VTR.
HE Head End.
head 1. A device which records information on a storage medium, reproduces the information or erases
it. The storage medium may be tape, film or disc and
the information may be in digital form as in dataprocessing equipment or may be in analog form as in
audio and TV (conventional) recording. 2. The top
portion of the tripod to which the camera is attached.
Allows for camera motion. Also called pan head.
head amplifier An audio or video amp incorporated
in a microphone, TV camera or motion picture projector to raise the level of the output signal before it
is sent along a cable. This technique is used as a
means of improving the signal-to-noise ratio.
head crossover See Search-forward (cue), Search-reverse (review).
head cylinder Syn.: head drum.
head drum In VCRs, polished metal cylinder with video
heads. Also called scanner; head cylinder; head wheel.
The video-head drum spins under propulsion from a
direct-drive motor (in some early VCRs, the drum was
operated by an ac or dc servo-controlled motor). This
direct-drive motor contains no brushes, just coils and
magnets. The coils in the motor (usually three) are
switched on and off via a servo circuit.
head drum rotation detector, VCR When any of the
function buttons are pressed, the system control circuit detects the head drum rotation by detecting
the 30 PG pulses. If for any reason the head drum
rotation should stop, the auto-stop circuit is energized.
head drum servo One method, now largely obsolete, of controlling the video tape during playback
so that the video heads contact the tape with the
proper timing (sync) to retrieve the information on
the tape. The control track pulses are used to control the rotation of the video heads. See Capstan
servo, which is the far more common tape control
head drum servo editing An editing method that is
an inferior variation on capstan servo editing. Instead of the tape being slowed down or speeded
up to maintain sync, the speed of the video heads is
varied by the use of the head drum servo controls.
head end (HE) The portion of an SMATV system where
all desired signals are received and processed for
subsequent distribution; the originated point of a
signal in cable TV systems. At the head end, you’ll
often find large, tall TV and dish satellite receiving
heterodyne color process
head override editing Capstan servo editing.
headphone An electroacoustic transducer designed
to be held against an ear by a clamp passing over
the head, for private listening to the audio output
of a communication, radio, or TV receiver or other
source of AF signals. Usually used in pairs, one for
each ear, with the clamping strap holding both in
position. Also called headset and phone.
head position detecting unit In autostereoscopic 3Dimage display systems, a device to detect the head
position of the viewer: it generates a display control
command to the computer when the head position
of the viewer has moved by only the distance between the right and left eyes.
headroom In film, TV, the field of vision between the
top of a performer in a film or TV program and the
top of the motion picture or TV screen. In a closeup, the headroom is diminished.
headset Headphone.
head shot A close-up view of a subject, encompassing the subject from top of head to top of
heads out A reel of tape wound so that the beginning of the program is at the beginning of the tape;
a rewound tape. See Tails out.
head-switching interval A sometimes-visible line on
the TV screen indicating the completed function of
one video head and the start of the second head. If
the line appears on the screen, it can be removed in
one of two ways. The head switch can be set lower
or the vertical size control can be adjusted until the
line disappears from the bottom of the image. Headswitching interval is inherent in home video units.
head-switching noise A line of interference that occasionally appears at the bottom of a picture as a
result of video heads being switched on and off. A
peculiarity chiefly inherent with helical scan VTRs,
such as U-Matic units, head-switching noise occurs
as a result of the different positions that each format records information on tape. Since the problem
is one of recording, not playback, these industrial
recorders can be adjusted to produce invisible headswitching.
head-to-tape contact In video, the extent to which
the magnetic coating surface of the videotape comes
near the surface of the video heads during normal
operations of the VCR. High resolution and minimal
separation loss occur with proper head-to-tape
head unit In microwave transmission, the collection
of apparatus housed in the head or unit fixed to the
receiving or transmitting parabola or aerial.
headwheel The rotating disc on which the video heads
are mounted.
height control The TV receiver control that adjusts
picture height.
heliax A thick low-loss cable used at high frequencies;
also known as hardline.
helical Describes a general type of VCR in which the
tape wraps around the video head cylinder in the
shape of a 3-dimensional spiral, or helix. The video
tracks are recorded as a series of slanted lines.
helical antenna The radiating elements are two helixes, one above the other, wrapped around but separated from a supporting pole. The two are wrapped
in opposite directions, with the result that the vertical components of the radiation from the two halves
cancel each other while the horizontal components
are reinforced. Used in TV transmitting systems.
helical scan Storage method that increases media capacity by laying data out in diagonal strips. Used in
helical scan processor See Processing amplifier.
helical spiral The standard method of scanning videotape (helical scanning), in which the tape moves
from the supply reel in a helical, or spiral, path around
one or more recording or replay heads. In helical
videotape recording systems, the heads are angled
and the tape has a slanting path, so helical scanning also is called slant-track scanning.
helical wind The screwlike configuration of the tape
across the video heads, from the plane of the supply reel, through the plane on which the heads are
rotating, to the plane of the take-up reel.
helium-neon (H-N) laser A component for the optics
of many early-model CDV players instead of the
solid-state laser diodes now in common use.
helper signal See ACTV-1.
hemispheric satellite See Satellite focus.
herringbone See Moire.
herringbone pattern An interference pattern sometimes seen on TV receiver screens, consisting of a horizontal band of closely spaced V- or S-shaped lines.
heterodyne The process of combining two signals of
different frequencies so as to produce an output at
the sum or difference frequency. The process is thus
equivalent to nonlinear additive mixing or multiplicative mixing. The process is extensively used in
sound and TV receivers where the received signal is
combined with the output of the local oscillator to
produce a difference term at the IF. Because the difference frequency is above audibility this type of receiver is known as a supersonic heterodyne,
abbreviated to superheterodyne or superhet.
heterodyne color process A technique that reduces
the color frequency from its normally high requirement of 3.58 MHz to the kHz range. Larger format
video recorders have no problems processing the
high color subcarrier that the color signal needs. The
heterodyne process allows smaller format VCRs, such
as the 1/2-inch type, to accept the reduced color
frequency which is boosted during playback to its
original 3.58 MHz. Larger formats process the full
color signal directly, which is required to meet the
broadcast standards of the FCC, whereas smaller recorders process the color indirectly.
HF High Frequency, 3-30 MHz.
HFC Hybrid fiber coax. A type of network that contains both fiber-optic cables and copper coaxial
cables. The fiber-optic cables carry TV signals from
the head-end office to the neighborhood. The signals are then converted to electrical signals and then
go to coaxial cables to the homes.
HG A term given to high grade or premium quality
videotape. High grade actually refers to the quality
of a ferric-oxide particle used in the production of
this upgraded tape. According to some manufacturers, HG tape provides an improved signal-to-noise
ratio, which translates into a picture with less video
noise, especially at slower tape speeds. In technical
jargon, the gain comes to about 3 dB. HG tapes
offer fewer overall dropouts.
HH CATV hyperband channel, 342-348 MHz.
Hi8 A high-band 8mm video recording format that
generates 400 lines of horizontal resolution, improves signal-to-noise ratio and permits up to 2 hours
of broadcast-quality recording on one compact cassette. The format of these VCRs and camcorders
raises the luminance carrier from 5 to 7 MHz and
expands the frequency deviation from 1.2 to 2 MHz.
Hi8, equivalent in many areas to Super-VHS, features separate S-video luminance and chrominance
inputs and outputs for excellent video quality with
compatible components. The format also offers less
generation loss when making duplicate tapes, improved color accuracy, flying erase heads for glitchfree edits and light-weight compact camcorders.
However, Hi8 tapes cost more, and the format is
incompatible with most existing VCRs.
Hi8 MovieBoy E1 Eye-controlled camcorder, having a
tiny diode that shines IR light on an eye peeping
into the viewfinder; Canon. The pattern of reflections is caught by a sensor and analyzed to determine where the eye is focused. The technology first
controlled the autofocus in Canon’s EOS 5 still
Hi-band A standard recording format for still video
that allows resolutions of up to 500 horizontal TV
lines from the original format of 360 lines. Special
recording heads and processing circuits are used to
improve the luminance frequency response.
H-identification Using the burst signal at the back
porch of the line sync to recognize SECAM signals.
With H-identification, only the normal carrier signal
during the back porch is available for identification.
hi-fi A general term used to denote the capability of
reasonably high fidelity audio playback; an electronic
system for reproducing sound with high fidelity. Hifi VCRs are equipped with separate rotating audio
heads (VHS), or they mix sound and picture in one
signal and record both simultaneously on tape (Beta).
hi-fi tracking meter A VCR feature designed to maximize the tracking of tapes encoded with hi-fi
high band The TV band extending from 174 to 216
MHz, which includes channels 7 to 13.
high-band A description used for some camera pickup
tubes that denotes a very high frequency response.
high-band tape Videotape with superior resolution,
or pictorial clarity, and of better quality than
low-band tape.
high definition The TV equivalent of hi-fi, in which
the reproduced image contains such a large number of accurately reproduced elements that the picture details approximate those of the original scene.
high-definition broadcasting The transmission of a
broadcast signal that has much higher resolution
than the standard NTSC and PAL pictures. MPEG-2
is used to transmit the high-definition signal in the
same bandwidth as a standard NTSC or PAL signal.
high-definition system—North America (HDS-NA).
A DBS HDTV system. Uses a bandwidth compression. In the US this system offers a 1080-line, 59.94field interlaced DBS service in which no time-delay
of the detailed information is involved, so no deterioration of the display of moving objects occurs.
high-definition television (HDTV) A TV format having approximately twice the number of scan lines as
do 525-line NTSC system and 625-line PAL and
SECAM systems (the “conventional systems”) to improve picture resolution and viewing quality. The total
number of luminance picture elements (pixels) in the
image is therefore four times as great, and the wider
screen adds one quarter more. The increased vertical definition is achieved by employing 720 or 1080
lines in the scanning pattern. In 1987, the U.S. FCC
established the Advisory Committee on Advanced
Television Service to advise them on technical and
public policy issues regarding advanced television.
After rounds of intense competitive testing and
evaluation of different systems proposed, the FCC
in 1996 adopted the major elements of the ATSC
Digital Television (DTV) standard. The HDTV video
formats contained in that standard have been uniformly adopted voluntarily by broadcasters and receiver manufacturers. HDTV equipment is currently
on the market and some HDTV broadcasts have commenced. See HDTV, ATSC.
high-definition VTR A professional/industrial VTR that
makes use of a wideband 30-MHz luminance and
15-MHz chrominance recording system. HD VTRs can
record 1080 horizontal lines as produced by HDTV
color video cameras. In addition, the HD tape recorders usually allow multi-generation recordings
with a 56-dB signal-to-noise ratio, provide internal
editing features and a built-in time code reader/
high-density videotape Tape that packs a higher
number of magnetic particles per square inch onto
the coating. Some high density tapes claim 230 million particles per square mm. The greater the particle density, the better the video image.
high-speed search mode
high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) A type of
gallium arsenide field-effect transistor. It is a low
noise semiconductor device for satellite broadcast
receiving amplifier.
high-electron-velocity camera tube Syn.: anodevoltage-stabilized camera tube. See Camera tube;
high end The highest frequency portion of a video or
audio signal; in audible audio signals, the high end
is the treble portion of the signal.
high-end noise Any spurious noise occurring in the
high frequencies of a signal.
high fidelity Fidelity of audio reproduction of such
high quality that listeners hear almost exactly what
they would have heard if they had been present at
the original performance. Also called hi-fi.
high-fidelity video component An electronic unit
or part of a video system which is designed to reproduce a wider range of picture detail than ordinary video equipment. A major determinant in
producing hi-fi video is the frequency range—or
bandwidth—of the component. The wider the bandwidth, the greater the image detail. A better-thanaverage broadcast signal extends over a bandwidth
of 4 million cycles per second, or 4 MHz. Since all
TV receivers reproduce this range of frequencies,
picture resolution often suffers. Indeed, some mediocre TV sets can barely cover a bandwidth of 2
MHz while hi-fi video units come very close to reaching the entire 4 MHz, producing excellent picture
high frequency boost Top boost.
high gain In front projection TV systems, a specially
designed screen that increases perceived brightness.
High gain helps to alleviate one of the drawbacks of
front projection TV, illumination loss.
high gamma See Gamma.
high-gamma tube 1. A TV camera tube whose voltage output increases uniformly with the intensity of
the light on the image. 2. A TV picture tube whose
light intensity on the screen is directly proportional
to the control-grid voltage.
high grade videotape See HG.
high key Style of tonal rendering of a scene which
emphasizes the middle and lighter tones at the expense of the darker ones. Best suited to subjects
that convey a light and cheerful impression. High
key lighting avoids strong shadows and makes use
of plentiful front light.
highlight 1. An area of great brightness on a TV display; a very bright portion of a picture. 2. Area of
excessive brilliance in a scene, which exceeds the
permissible range of lighting contrast.
high-pass filter 1. A filter that transmits all frequencies above a given cutoff frequency and substantially attenuates all others. 2. In video, an electronic
circuit that reduces interference on all channels. The
filter, sometimes written as hi-pass filter, accom-
plishes this by allowing passage of frequency components above a predetermined limited frequency
while rejecting components below that parameter.
high-peaker In a TV camera, a circuit that equalizes
the high-frequency response of a pickup device or
high power amplifier (HPA), satellite TV An amp
used to amplify the uplink signal.
high power satellite Satellite with transponder RF
power in excess of about 100 watts.
high power satellite TV Refers to DBS, which transmits its signals at 12.2 to 12.7 GHz within the KuBand of the electromagnetic spectrum and uses
18-inch antennas. High power satellite TV differs
from conventional satellite TV, which utilizes C-band,
a 3.7–4.2 GHz low-power bandwidth and uses the
large antenna dishes that range from 10 to 15 feet
in a diameter. Channels broadcast by DBS cannot
be received by these large antenna systems. In 2002,
there are two Ku-Band DBS providers, DirecTV and
Dish Network. Both offer more than 200 channels
of digital quality picture and sound.
high priority See Advanced Digital Television.
high-quality film-to-video transfer A very expensive transfer device that produces an outstanding
image. These devices are generally found in the
major production centers, such as New York and
Los Angeles. They will almost never be found in local TV stations. The most common of these highquality devices use a flying spot scanner. That means
that, rather than using a projector, they use a CRT
to illuminate the film. The only lens in the system is
between the CRT and the film. The electron beam
scanning the blank CRT provides the illumination
that is first picked up by the beam splitter and is
then divided into its component colors. This is a much
more efficient way to transfer film to tape and gives
excellent results.
high resolution The display of a larger-than-usual
number of scanning lines, perhaps 1,000 or more.
In HDTV, the number of lines is typically 720 or 1080.
Video cameras for home use often have an average
of 240 horizontal lines. The higher the number, the
better the detail, sharpness and definition.
High Resolution Sciences CCF System See CCF
high resolution TV TV with over 720 lines per screen,
about double the resolution of present systems. Also
called HDTV. See HDTV, high-definition television.
high-speed picture search See Visual scan.
high-speed search mode A VCR feature that presents the picture on screen while the tape moves
rapidly to a desired point. This is made possible by
keeping the tape in contact with the video heads
during the fast search. Conventional FF mode disengages the tape from its contact with the video
heads. One shortcoming of this high-speed search
mode is that the fast-moving tape, as it passes over
high-speed shutter
the heads, builds up friction and heat, both of which
may be harmful to the tape and heads. The highspeed function can usually be adjusted from about
5 to 20 times on some machines and from 10 to 30
times on others in the standard playing speed.
high-speed shutter A video camera feature that uses
electronics in the lens shutter to produce slow motion or freeze frame of action scenes without the
usual blurring effect that accompanies subject motion during playback of the tape. The high-speed
electronic shutter allows exposures as fast as 1/
10,000 of a second to “stop” or freeze action. Most
camcorders, however, provide shutter speeds of 1/
1000 or 1/2000 of a second, which should be sufficient for users to capture major sports activities.
high tension High voltage measured in thousands of
high-velocity scanning See Scanning.
high voltage Generally refers to the multithousand
picture tube voltage, but it can be used to mean
any potential of a few hundred volts or more.
high-voltage probe A test instrument that will check
the anode and focus high voltage at the CRT.
hi-pass filter High-pass filter.
HIPPI High-performance parallel interface. A parallel
data channel used in mainframe computers that
supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps.
hiss The continuous audio noise which emanates from
tape playback on the upper end of the frequency
histogram An imaging term. A display plotting the
density of the various colors and/or values in an
HiVision Analog HDTV system; Japan. The system
broadcasts an analog signal, but uses digital
technology everywhere else.
Hi-Z See Impedance.
hold control In a TV receiver, the controls which determine the free-running frequency of the line and
field time bases. The controls are adjusted to bring
the time-base frequencies into the range at which
the time bases will lock at the frequencies of the
line and field synchronizing signals. Hence, the receiver has two hold controls: line or horizontal hold,
field or vertical hold.
hold-down capacitor The hold-down or tuning capacitor is found from collector terminal of horizontal output transistor to common ground. When this
capacitor opens or dries up, the high voltage will
increase, causing HV shut-down in TV chassis.
hold frame A single frame of a moving shot arrested
for as long as required. After the hold frame, the
action is resumed. Also called freeze frame or stop
holdover audience See Inherited audience.
holography system One of the 3D-image display systems that doesn’t need the use of special glasses.
homes passed The number of dwellings that a CATV
provider’s distribution facilities pass by in a given
cable service area, and an expression of the market
potential of the area.
home theater The electronic buzz word of the 1990s.
By linking a large-screen TV to video sources and a
surround-sound system, a cinematic experience can
be created in homes. Other essential components
in the home-theater setup include a VCR, a DVD
player, speakers, amps to power the speakers and a
surround-sound audio/video receiver.
home video A concept of home entertainment in
which a TV set is only one of the components and
over which the viewer has some control. Home video
provides the viewer with (1) controlled viewing (he
or she can slow down, speed up or stop the program with the functions on a VCR or VDP); (2) altered programs (the viewer can edit, dub in a new
audio track, etc.); (3) the capability of storing and
collecting material; and (4) the freedom to watch a
program at any time other than the regularly scheduled one.
home videotex The use of videotex in the home environment. It can be helped by home computers.
Early examples include such applications as TV games
and chess.
hook A recognizable distortion at the top of the TV
picture which bends vertical lines sideways, causing
them to look rather like a hook. Hooking can also
occur at the originating source of the signal owing
to a similar fault, or from phase modulation of the
TV signal.
hook routine In DVI runtime software, a routine intended to be run at specific times during the execution of AVSS.
hopping patch In a telecine (film scanner), to produce an interlaced picture, the raster on the face of
a flying spot tube can be displaced between alternate fields, so that the film frame may be scanned
twice. Since the patch of light on the face of the
tube changes position, it is called a hopping patch.
horizontal blanking During the horizontal blanking
interval, the video signal is at the blank level so as
not to display the electron beam when it sweeps
back from the right to the left side of the CRT screen.
horizontal blanking interval The period of time when
a scanning process is moving from the end of one
horizontal line to the start of the next line.
horizontal blanking pulse The rectangular pulse that
forms the pedestal of the composite TV signal between active horizontal lines. This pulse causes the
beam current of the picture tube to be cut off during retrace. It is also called line-frequency blanking
horizontal centering control The centering control
provided in a TV receiver to shift the position of the
entire image horizontally in either direction on the
horizontal convergence control The control that
hot spot
adjusts the amplitude of the horizontal dynamic convergence voltage in a color TV receiver.
horizontal definition Horizontal resolution.
horizontal deflection oscillator The oscillator that
produces, under control of the horizontal synchronizing signals, the sawtooth voltage waveform that
is amplified to feed the horizontal deflection coils
on the picture tube of a TV receiver. It is also called
horizontal oscillator.
horizontal drive control The control in a TV receiver,
sometimes at the rear of the set, which adjusts the
output of the horizontal oscillator. Also called drive
horizontal flyback Flyback of the electron beam of a
TV picture tube that returns from the end of one
scanning line to the beginning of the next line. It is
also called horizontal retrace and line flyback.
horizontal frequency Line frequency.
horizontal hold control The hold control that changes
the free-running period of the horizontal deflection
oscillator in a TV receiver so that the picture remains
steady in the horizontal direction.
horizontal hum bar A wide stationary or moving strip,
usually occurring in a series, that appears on the TV
screen. These alternating light and dark bars usually
are the result of interference at about 60 Hz or a
harmonic (multiple wave) of 60 Hz.
horizontal image delineation An electronic process
designed to increase picture contrast and detail at
the edges of a TV screen. Horizontal image delineation accomplishes this during the electron beam’s
horizontal scanning across the screen. The signal level
is immediately shortened prior to its reaching a darkto-light boundary and instantaneously increased
before it reaches a light-to-dark border. Horizontal
image delineation, sometimes listed as dynamic picture control or contour control, is similar in some
respects to delay line aperture control.
horizontal linearity control A linearity control that
permits narrowing or expanding the width of the
left-hand half of a TV receiver image to give linearity in the horizontal direction so circular objects appear as true circles.
horizontal line frequency Line frequency.
horizontal lines The TV lines that make up the picture height. The greater the number of lines, the
better the vertical resolution or sharpness and detail. For NTSC, 480-486 lines of active video are always present; for PAL, 576 lines are used. HDTV uses
720 or 1080 active lines.
horizontal lock A method of stabilizing videotape playback that tries to match a horizontal sync pulse of
the playback signal to each horizontal sync pulse
coming from the sync generator. See also Frame lock.
horizontal oscillator Horizontal deflection oscillator.
horizontal output stage The TV receiver stage that
feeds the horizontal deflection coils of the picture
tube through the horizontal output transformer. It
can also include a part of the second-anode power
supply for the picture tube.
horizontal output transformer (H.O.T.) A transformer in a TV receiver that provides the horizontal
deflection voltage, the high voltage for the secondanode power supply of the picture tube, and the
filament voltage for the high-voltage rectifier. It is
also called a flyback transformer and horizontal
sweep transformer.
horizontal polarization Property of electromagnetic
wave in which the plane of polarization of the electric field is horizontal and the magnetic field is vertical. With this polarization, transmitting and receiving
dipole antennas are placed in a horizontal plane.
The US TV system favors horizontal polarization,
whereas the British TV system favors vertical
horizontal resolution The number of individual picture elements or dots that can be distinguished in
a horizontal scanning line of a TV image. They are
determined by observing the wedge of fine vertical lines on a test pattern. Also called horizontal
horizontal retrace Horizontal flyback.
horizontal scan rate This is how fast the scanning
beam in a display or a camera is swept from side to
side. In the NTSC system this rate is 15.734 kHz
(63.556 ms).
horizontal sweep The sweep of the electron beam
from left to right across the screen of a CRT.
horizontal sweep transformer Horizontal output
horizontal sync This is the portion of the video signal
that tells the display where to place the image in
the left-to-right dimension. The horizontal sync pulse
tells the receiving system where the beginning of
the new scan line is.
horizontal synchronizing pulse The 5.08 (4.7 in the
PAL system) microsecond rectangular pulse transmitted at the end of each line in a TV system to
keep the receiver in line-by-line synchronism with
the transmitter. It is called a line synchronizing pulse.
horizontal time base In a CRT, the circuits generating the signals which give horizontal deflection of
the beam. In TV, this is usually termed the line time
base. See also Time base corrector, Time base instability, Time base stability.
H.O.T. Horizontal Output Transformer.
hot-pressed ferrite A video head (core) material: permeability 300-500; resistivity 100,000 ohm/cm. The
use of this material in the VHS recorder helps improve the characteristics of the heads.
hot spot An area of intense heat or light, which produces a washed-out area on the camera pickup tube.
Some lights (such as common incandescent bulbs)
produce uneven floods of light with some areas
brighter (hotter) than others; this results in hot spots
appearing in the TV picture.
house drop
house drop Cable drop.
house sync This is another name for black burst.
howl Positive feedback; in video, the wild swirling effect that results when a camera is pointed into a
monitor displaying the picture that camera is producing; in audio, any high-frequency feedback
caused by a microphone being too near the speaker
reproducing the sound picked up by the mike.
howl round Natural frequency output or howl caused
by a connection leading to a loop with greater than
unity gain—i.e., positive feedback. Term originally
applied to sound and also called acoustic feedback,
but used for video also. When a camera sees its own
picture in a monitor, part of the picture is likely to
go above peak white and out of control, by the effect of positive feedback.
HP 89400 Signal analyzer. The first commercial unit to
characterize advanced-digital-TV signals; HewlettPackard Co. The analyzer down-converts and digitizes input signals to 2.65 GHz. Built-in routines
automatically extract carrier and symbol clock frequencies, synthesize user-specified baseband filtering and display the recovered data and waveforms.
The demodulator can be key-stroke-configured for
the 16-, 32-, 64-, 256-QAM formats employed in
US and European cable systems. Also handled are
the 8VSB (broadcast) and 16VSB (cable) formats proposed by the Grand Alliance. Part of the HP 89400
vector-signal-analyzer family, the AYH option allows
the analyzer to characterize digital RF modulation.
The tool verifies that the high-speed data streams
containing the digital video have been transferred
accurately onto the RF transport carriers.
HPA High Power Amplifier.
HQ High Quality. A technology developed by JVC for
VHS VCRs. It is a collection of video signal-enhancement circuits that operate separately on various parts
of the signal. The HQ circuits are designed to reduce luminance- and chrominance-signal noise (and
thereby reduce “snow” or graininess), and color
patching and streaking, respectively. White-clip level
inadequacies are also reduced with a consequent
improvement in image-edge sharpness. Because different HQ circuits operate during recording and playback, some of the improved quality of HQ-recorded
tapes will show up during playback on non-HQ
machine will also be improved, but to a lesser
hr Hour. Also h.
HRC Harmonic Related Carrier.
hrs Hours.
HSI Hue, Saturation, Intensity. A color space used to
represent images. HSI is based on polar coordinates,
while the RGB color space is based on a 3D Cartesian coordinate system. The intensity, analogous to
luminance, is the vertical axis of the polar system.
The hue is the angle and the saturation is the distance out from the axis. HSI is more intuitive to ma-
nipulate colors as opposed to the RGB space. For
example, in the HSI space, if you want to change
red to pink, you simply decrease the saturation. If
you want to change the color from purple to green,
you adjust the hue. The key thing to remember, as
with all color spaces, is that it is simply a way to
represent a color—nothing more, nothing less.
HSL A computer imaging term. A color model based
on hue, saturation, and luminance. Hue is the attribute that gives a color its name (e.g., red, blue,
yellow, or green). In this model, saturation refers to
the strength, or purity, of the color. If you mix watercolors, saturation would specify how much pigment you added to a given amount of water.
Luminance identifies the brightness of a color. For
example, full luminance yields white, while no luminance yields black. See also HSV.
HSV A computer imaging term. A color model based
on hue, saturation, and value. Hue specifies the color,
as in the HSL model. In this model, saturation specifies the amount of black pigment added to or subtracted from the hue. Value identifies the addition
or subtraction of white pigment from the hue.
HSYNC See horizontal sync.
HT High Tension.
hub The hole in the middle of a reel of magnetic tape,
which fits over the capstan when the reel is mounted
on a tape deck.
hue The “color” of a colored point, as red, green,
yellow, violet. In technical terms, hue refers to the
wavelength of the color. The term is used for the
base color—red, green, yellow, etc. Hue is completely
separate from the intensity or the saturation of the
color. For example, a red hue could look brown at
low saturation, bright red at a higher level of saturation, or pink at a high brightness level. All three
“colors” have the same hue. Also called color phase
or tint.
hue control (for NTSC decoder) An adjustment that
is obtained by changing the phase of the input signal of the burst phase detector with respect to the
chrominance signal applied to the demodulators.
Also called tint control. Sometimes confusingly called
color control.
Huffman coding A popular lossless data compression algorithm that replaces frequently occurring
data strings with shorter codes. Some implementations include tables that predetermine what codes
will be generated for a particular string. Other versions of the algorithm build the code table from the
data stream during processing. Huffman coding is
often used in image compression. In general, it
doesn’t matter what the data is—it could be image
data, audio data, etc. It just so happens that Huffman
coding is one of the techniques used in JPEG, MPEG,
H.261, and H.263 to help with the compression. This
is how it works. First, take a look at the data that
needs to be compressed and create a table that lists
how many times each piece of unique data occurs.
Now assign a very small code word to the piece of
data that occurs most frequently. The next largest
code word is assigned to the piece of data that occurs next most frequently. This continues until all of
the unique pieces of data are assigned unique code
words of varying lengths. The idea is that data that
occurs most frequently is assigned a small code word,
and data that rarely occurs is assigned a long code
word, resulting in space savings.
hum Audio noise in the low frequency range. Hum
can result from the AGC of a VCR or TV. It is simply
picking up and amplifying extraneous sound. Hum
can also stem from faulty “ground” connections,
from defective internal mics on a camera, etc.
hum bar A form of interference seen as dark or light
lines on the screen of a TV receiver due to components at mains frequency (50 or 60 Hz) in the DC
supply circuits. Usually produced by poor smoothing of the high-tension supply and is 50 (60) Hz in
the case of half-wave rectification and 100 (120) Hz
for full wave rectification. Also called video hum.
hum displacement Cyclic positional shift in a CRT
picture display, normally at mains frequency. When
mains-locked, the picture suffers distortion of vertical lines; when unlocked, it acquires a disturbing
humidity eliminator unit A built-in feature found
on some VCRs and videocassette players designed
to keep metal surfaces dry when humidity is high.
Problems arise when the location of a machine is
changed from a cold environment to a warm one.
In this situation, the dew indicator will light and
the machine will not function as a safety precaution. The user must wait for the dew light to go off
before playing or recording. This type of device
helps to prevent damage to the videotape. See Dew
H.V. Home Video.
(H+V)-identification Using the burst signal during the
back porch of the line blanking period and the spe-
cial signals in each field blanking period to recognize SECAM signals.
HVQ Hierarchical Vector Quantization. A method of
video compression introduced by PictureTel in
1988 which reduced the bandwidth necessary to
transmit acceptable color video picture quality to
112 Kbps.
hyperband Those frequencies located immediately
above the superband channels. At 300 to 402 MHz,
the hyperband range covers channels W+1 to W+17
and is reserved for such special services as aero navigation, the Coast Guard, etc. Other ranges include
subband, midband and superband CATV.
hypermedia 1. A way of delivering information that
provides multiple connected pathways through a
body of information. Hypermedia allows the user to
jump easily from one topic to related or supplementary material found in various forms, such as text,
graphics, audio, or video. 2. Nonlinear media, of
which multimedia can be a form. Just as hypertext
is a non-sequential, random-access arrangement of
text, hypermedia is a non-sequential, random-access arrangement of multiple media such as video,
sound, and computer data. 3. Hypermedia is a type
of authoring and playback software through which
you can access multiple layers of multimedia information related to a specific topic. The information
can be in the form of text, graphics, images, audio,
or video. For example, suppose you received a
hypermedia document about the Sun file system.
You could click on a hotspot (such as the words “file
system”) and then read a description. You could then
click an icon to see an illustration of a file structure,
and then click the file icon to see and hear information in a video explaining the file system.
hypertext Also called hypermedia; software that allows users to explore and create their own paths
through written, visual, and audio information. Capabilities include being able to jump from topic to
topic at any time and follow cross-reference easily.
Hypertext is often used for Help files.
I 1. CATV midband channel, 168-174 MHz. 2. TV standard; Hong Kong, South Africa, UK. Characteristics:
625 lines/frame, 50 fields/s, interlace-2:1, 25 fr/s,
15,625 lines/s, aspect ratio-4:3, video band-5.5 MHz,
RF band-8 MHz, visual polarity-negative, sound
modulation-F3, pre-emphasis-50 µs, deviation50 kHz, gamma of picture signal-0.5.
I2C bus A two-line, multi-master bus developed by
Philips to provide cost-effective control of analog and
digital functions among ICs. I2C can simplify the
manufacturing process by enabling complete calibration and test under computer control. Many companies offer a large family of I2C-capable ICs,
including microcontrollers, microprocessors, and audio, video, and telephony Ics.
IARC Internal Anti-Reflective Coating.
IAV In (2+3)D-image display systems, data indicative
of an analog image signal from a TV camera unit.
IBO Integrated Broadcast Operation.
IBM Power Visualization System (PVS) A computer
that merges high-resolution color displays and animation with supercomputer-based simulation. The
parallelized, multiuser visualization supercomputer
permits scientists to gain insights into complex problems by presenting them in 2- or 3-dimensional
visual formats.
I channel The 1.5-MHz-wide channel used in the
American (NTSC) color TV system for transmitting
cyan-orange color information. The signals in this
channel are known as I signals.
icon In desktop computing and editing, a graphic symbol that represents a file, a tool, or a function.
iconoscope The earliest (1923; no longer used) form
of TV camera tube in which the optical image of the
scene to be televised is focused on a photoemissive
target mosaic that is obliquely scanned by a highvelocity electron beam. The mosaic is deposited on
the face of a mica sheet that is backed by a conductive signal plate from which the output of the tube
is taken. When the optical image is focused on the
mosaic, photo-electrons are released from each element in proportion to the light falling on it. Thus, a
positive charge image is built up on the mosaic surface and this grows with time as the capacitance
between element and signal plate is charged. The
charge image is discharged by the scanning beam
and the resulting voltage change is transferred to
the signal plate via the capacitive coupling to the
mosaic. In spite of the charge storage thus achieved,
the tube is not very sensitive and requires high scene
illumination for a satisfactory signal-to-noise ratio.
Moreover, secondary emission from the target as a
result of bombardment by the high-velocity scanning beam results in spurious signals in the tube
output that produce undesirable shading effects in
reproduced images. These effects are minimized by
mixing with the tube output, sawtooth and parabolic
waveforms at line and field frequencies. One example
of an iconoscope is the standard emitron tube.
ideal bunching A theoretical condition in the bunching of electrons in a velocity-modulation tube. All
electrons in a bunch would have the same velocity
and phase, corresponding to an infinitely large
current peak.
I demodulator The demodulator whose chrominance
signal and the color-burst oscillator signal are combined to recover the I signal in a color TV set.
identification frequency blue fId-B = 3,900.000 kHz,
vertical identification (SECAM). It is also the minimum frequency of the color signals.
identification frequency red fId-R = 4,756.000 kHz,
vertical identification (SECAM). It is also the maximum frequency of the color signals.
identification hole In Super-VHS cassette, a hole at
the bottom that functions to place the recorder in
the S-VHS mode. In this manner, it will record and
play S-VHS tapes and will also accept standard VHS
tapes for record or playback.
identification signal Field identification signal.
idiot box Derogatory slang for TV.
idiot card Cue card.
idiot sheet Cue card.
idler A wheel most often used to drive the supply and
take-up tape reel spindles. The idler is powered by a
separate motor (rarely) or driven by a belt connected
to the capstan motor.
IDTV Improved-Definition TV.
IDV In (2+3)D-image display systems, data indicative
of the display of a digital signal from the storage
image compression
IEC 461 Defines the longitudinal (LTC) and vertical interval (VITC) timecode for NTSC and PAL video systems. LTC requires an entire field time to store
timecode information, using a separate track. VITC
uses one scan line each field during the vertical blanking interval.
IEC 60461 Defines the longitudinal (LTC) and vertical
interval (VITC) timecode for NTSC and PAL video systems. LTC requires an entire field time to transfer
timecode information, using a separate track. VITC
uses one scan line each field during the vertical blanking interval. Also see SMPTE 12M.
IEC 60958 Defines a serial digital audio interface for
consumer (SPDIF) and professional applications.
IEC 61834 Defines the DV (originally the “Blue Book”)
standard. Also see SMPTE 314M.
IEC 61880 Defines the widescreen signaling (WSS) information for NTSC video signals. WSS may be
present on lines 20 and 283.
IEC 61883 Defines the methods for transferring data,
audio, DV and MPEG-2 data over IEEE 1394.
IEC 62107 Defines the Super VideoCD standard.
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
IEEE 1394 (FireWire) A low-cost digital interface originated by Apple Computer as a desktop LAN and
developed by the IEEE 1394 working group. Can
transport data at up to 1.6 Gps. One of the solutions to connect digital television devices together
at 400 Mbps. In addition to an architecture that
scales with silicon technology, IEEE 1394 features a
unique isochronous data channel interface. Isochronous data channels provide guaranteed bandwidth
for data transport at a pre-determined rate. This is
especially important for time-critical multimedia data
where just-in-time delivery eliminates the need for
costly buffering.
IEEE scale A waveform monitor scale in keeping with
other IEEE standards and recommendations of video
broadcasters and manufacturers.
IF Intermediate Frequency. Most TV receivers have the
following IFs: 38 MHz (SECAM), 38.9 MHz (PAL),
47.75 MHz (NTSC), 70 MHz (satellite TV)—for a TV
receiver picture channel; 6.5 (SECAM), 5.5 (PAL), 4.5
MHz (NTSC)—for a TV receiver sound channel.
IF amplifier That component of a TV receiver that
strengthens the RF carrier signal fed to it. The signal
is a combination of the audio and video signals that
the IF amplifier increases before it is sent to a video
detector for separation.
IF harmonic interference Interference due to acceptance of harmonics of an IF signal by RF circuits in a
superheterodyne receiver.
I frames One of the three types of frames used in
MPEG coded signals. These contain data to construct
a whole picture as they are composed of information from only one frame (intraframe). The original
information is compressed using DCT. See also B
frames, P frames, MPEG.
IHVT The integrated horizontal or high-voltage output transformer that has HV diodes and capacitors
molded inside the flyback winding area. IHVT transformers may also provide several different voltage
sources for the TV circuits.
II CATV hyperband channel, 348-354 MHz.
iLink Sony’s name for their IEEE 1394 interface.
illegal color Any color that is too saturated for the
limited color range of video. Computer monitors
versus video monitors are capable of showing more
colors at one time. To fit within the required bandwidth for broadcasting, RGB signals that are encoded
into the video signal have a limited range of colors.
For example, highly saturated colors on a computer
screen, such as bright red or green, are considered
illegal colors in video.
illegal video Some colors that exist in the RGB color
space can’t be represented in the video domain.
For example, 100% saturated red in RGB space
(which is the red color on full strength and the blue
and green colors turned off) can’t exist in the NTSC
video signal, due to color bandwidth limitations.
The NTSC encoder must be able to determine that
an illegal color is being generated and stop that
from occurring, since it may cause over-saturation
and blooming.
illuminance A measure of the illumination of a scene—
e.g., a TV studio set—by external light source. Care
should be exercised to avoid confusing luminance
and illuminance. Luminance is a measure of the
brightness of an area of an image.
illuminant C The reference white of color TV. It closely
matches average daylight.
image 1. The scene reproduced by a TV receiver. 2. A
still picture, or one frame of a motion sequence.
image archiving Refers to electronically storing video
images, frames or stills for future reference or use.
image buffer Electronic circuitry capable of modifying a 625-line 50-Hz video signal to the 525-line
60-Hz standard (or the reverse).
image burn A temporary loss of picture in an isolated
area of the TV image caused by bright lights or reflection; also, possible permanent damage to the
video camera tube as a result of excessive exposure
to bright lights such as the sun or studio lighting
units. All cameras using vacuum-type tubes are susceptible to image burn.
image compression Image compression is used to
reduce the amount of memory required to store an
image. For example, an image that has a resolution
of 640 x 480 and is in the RGB color space at 8 bits
per color, requiring 900 KB of storage. If this image
can be compressed at a compression ratio of 20:1,
then the amount of storage required is only 45 KB.
There are several methods of image compression,
but the most popular are JPEG and MPEG. H.261
and H.263 are the video compression standards used
for video conferencing.
image detail
image detail The amount of information and sharpness displayed on a TV screen. With VCRs, image
detail can be measured by its response to a 2-MHz
signal. Some machines may lose as much as 4 dB of
the video signal while other models give up as little
as 0.13 dB at the 2-MHz frequency. Often, image
detail is subjective, although manufacturers keep
coming up with various techniques and electronic
circuitry, including filters and digital video noise reduction systems, to improve it.
image detailer See Image enhancer.
image diagonal Measurement taken across opposite
corners of the optical image formed on the faceplate of a camera or receiver tube.
image dissector An early (invented in 1927 by Philo
Farnsworth, no longer used) TV camera tube that
focuses the scene to be transmitted on a light-sensitive surface; each point emits electrons in proportion to incident light. The resulting broad beam of
electrons is drawn down the tube by a positive anode. Magnetic fields produced by coils keep the electron image in focus as they sweep it in a scanning
motion past an aperture opening into an electron
multiplier. The output voltage of the electron multiplier is proportional at each instant to the brightness of an elemental area of the scene being scanned
in orderly sequence. It is also called a dissector tube.
image enhancement 1. Any improvement of detail,
sharpness, color accuracy or reduction of video noise
in a TV screen picture. Several techniques have been
developed to enhance the screen image, or definition, including HQ circuitry, digital effects, special
comb filters, line-doubling and non-interlaced display. Some processes involve increasing the number
of horizontal lines. Others use special electronic circuitry to reduce video noise. 2. A method of improving color TV pictures by comparing each video
line, element by element, with the preceding and
following lines. Any differences between vertically
aligned elements are added to the middle-line element in the proper phase to enhance picture outlines and contrast.
image enhancer 1. A device that improves the sharpness of a video image by adding dark lines around
the edges of objects and figures in the scene. 2. A
signal processing device designed to restore some
of the detail that is lost when duplicating a video
image. An enhancer operates by increasing or cutting the highest video frequencies. Since this can
also increase noise, the unit often has a Response
control to restrict this interference. Like most processors, the enhancer works only with a video signal, not with RF signals such as those broadcast
directly to the TV receiver. The unit can be connected
between two VCRs as when making a copy of a
tape or between a video camera and a VCR. Some
enhancers have a selector dial that permits a comparison between the enhanced and unenhanced
image. However, the final results of most enhancers
are often subjective. Some VCRs feature a built-in
enhancer, a control dial or knob simply called
image file A file of data that represents an image.
image frequency In superheterodyne reception, a frequency as much above (or below) the oscillator frequency as the wanted signal frequency is below (or
above) it and that is therefore accepted with the
wanted signal by the IF amp so causing interference.
image iconoscope An early form of TV camera tube
consisting of an iconoscope with an image section.
image interference In superheterodyne reception, interference from signals on the image frequency. The
frequency of such interfering signals differs from that
of the wanted signal by twice the intermediate frequency and, to minimize image interference, the signal-frequency circuits of a superheterodyne receiver
are designed to give great attenuation at the image
image isocon A camera tube similar to an image orthicon but responsive to much lower light levels, including near darkness.
image jitter See Jitter.
image lag See Image retention.
image mix A digital camcorder function that creates
a variety of effects by joining live recorded images
with a stored still picture. The combinations made
by the image mix feature produce a series of special
effects, such as simulated dissolves, split-screens or
image orientation For special effects purposes, the
TV image can be rotated about its center.
image orthicon A low-electron velocity orthicon TV
camera tube with an image section and in which
the output signal is obtained from an electron multiplier into which the return scanning beam is directed. An optical image of the scene to be televised
is focused on the photo-cathode, and photo-electrons so released are focused by a combination of
electrostatic and magnetic electron lenses on the
image-section face of the target where they give
rise to secondary emission that is collected by the
nearby positively charged mesh. Thus, a positive
charge image is established on the face of the target. If the tube is directed at a very bright light, causing the target potential to exceed that of the mesh,
the excess secondary electrons are returned to the
target; in this way the mesh keeps the tube stable
for all light inputs. The target is very thin and the
charge image is rapidly transferred to the opposite
face that is scanned by the low-velocity beam. The
beam lands on the target to neutralize the positive
charge image and thus the return scanning beam is
amplitude modulated by the required picture signal. The return beam is directed into the input of a
multi-stage electron multiplier that surrounds the
electron gun. The tube is extremely sensitive and is
image smear
capable of high-quality pictures. It is, however, complex and too bulky (typically 15" long and 3" or
4.5" in diameter) to be used in color cameras where
three or four tubes are necessary. Image orthicon
developed prior to the vidicon, the first really reliable and sensitive camera pickup tube. See Orthicon, Persuader.
image pickup device Image sensor.
image pickup tube Camera tube.
image plane 1. In digital video, display hardware that
has more than one video memory array contributing to the displayed image in real time, each memory
array is called an image plane. See also Bit plane. 2.
The point behind the lens on which the image collected by the lens is cast. 3. The surface of the video
tube target area.
image processing 1. Techniques that manipulate the
pixel values of an image for some particular purpose. Examples are: brightness or contrast correction, color correction, changing shape of the image
(warping). 2. The use of computers and mathematical algorithms to analyze, enhance, and interpret
digitized TV images.
image processor Special circuitry, usually found in
higher-priced TV sets or TV monitor/receivers, designed to retain natural colors while continuously
adjusting the light and dark values of each scene.
The image-processing circuits constantly modify the
dynamic range of the CRT to correspond to the lightto-dark values of consecutive scenes. The image processor is also a general term for one of the many
“black boxes” or devices available that can be connected to a VCR, such as an image stabilizer, image
enhancer and fader. Some of the more recent image or video processors can accommodate both SVHS and Hi8 video signals, offer several audio fade
controls and provide a power distribution amp that
permits the user to duplicate several copies of a videotape simultaneously with little or no loss of signal
imager A device that converts an optical image into
an electrical signal. Imagers were originally vacuum
tubes—image orthicons, vidicons, and plumbicons—
but more recently tubes are being supplanted by
solid-state sensors such as charge-coupled devices
image retention Unwanted lagging or trailing of previous images or pictures. This effect is usually caused
by rapid movements of the subject, quick panning
of the video camera or the quality of the camera
tube. The anomaly often occurs more frequently
during low lighting sequences. The term is often confused with burn or image burn. Also known as image lag or cometing.
image reversal A process of reversing black and white
images (dark-to-light, light-to-dark) and inverting
color images. The conversion of black and white
images is called luminance reversal while that per-
taining to color requires both luminance and chrominance reversal. Some high-priced video cameras are
capable of performing both of these reversal processes by way of a negative/positive image switch.
image scanner A device, supplied with some VCRs,
designed to “read” text or a drawing and then superimpose it over a video image. The scanned image can be copied in different colors and sizes.
image section An electron-optical stage included in
some TV camera tubes to increase sensitivity. The
optical image is focused on the photo-cathode in
the image stage and the liberated photo-electrons
are focused on the target to form a charge image
by secondary emission from the target. The use of
an image section thus separates the functions of
photo-emission (now carried out by the photo-cathode) and secondary emission (carried out by the target). In the iconoscope the target is required to carry
out both functions.
image sensor The image pickup device used in a video
camera to capture the picture. The design may be a
CCD or MOS, both of which have virtually replaced
the conventional image pickup tube. The MOS chip
is a 3/4" square solid-state sensor containing numerous rows of light-sensing cells upon which the
camera lens projects its image. The black and white
and color patterns of the image activate electrical
impulses within each cell that are then generated
into a video signal. Although more costly than standard camera tubes, image sensors are not only
smaller and lighter, but they minimize image burn
and image retention. Some professional camcorder
image sensors are composed of two CCDs—one for
brightness and the other for color. The two signals
are processed separately to produce better resolution and color. Still other, more costly professional/
industrial components feature an image sensor that
utilizes three CCDs, one for each of the primary
image sharpness In video, a subjective measurement
of the amount of detail in a TV screen image. Image
sharpness depends upon such factors as resolution
(picture detail as measured by the number of horizontal lines), contrast (the relationship between the
white and dark portions of an image) and the
amount of video noise (unwanted signal interference) present in the screen image. Many TV sets,
VCRs, monitors and monitor/receivers have a sharpness control feature designed to reduce noise and
minimize contrast. The control, however, does not
basically alter the resolution or number of horizontal lines in the image.
image shift A digital TV or VCR feature that allows
the viewer to exchange the main image and the inset image of the PIP function. Part of the digital effects process, shift permits swapping pictures while
retaining the audio with the main screen image.
image smear Image burn.
image stabilization
image stabilization The elimination of jitter and vertical rolling of the screen picture. Some Super-VHS
camcorders have developed techniques to improve
image stabilization. They include electronic and mechanical improvements. Additional electronic correction circuitry ensures stable pictures at all camera
speeds while changes in the way tape is transported
across the video head drum rectify some types of
image stabilizer A device designed to override some
anti-piracy signals of prerecorded tapes and restore
the stability of the signal to the TV image. The electronic coding, deliberately placed on tapes to prevent their being copied, changes and weakens the
vertical sync signal so that when it is fed into a VCR,
the machine cannot usually lock onto it. The stabilizer, therefore, either re-forms the vertical sync pulses
or corrects any altered horizontal sync pulses. Some
models completely strip the vertical blanking signal
(which contains the anti-copying white pulses) and
then proceed to re-build the sync signals to broadcast standards. Without a stabilizer, the picture often rolls and breaks up. However, most late model
VCRs have advanced circuitry that defeats this signal without the use of this device. Some image stabilizers have different features, such as loop-through
outputs, lock control signal lights and switchable
inputs. Other models, such as the copy-protection
removers, or digital video stabilizers, use digital filters in their process.
image swap A feature, found on TV receivers equipped
with PIP and split screen capability, that allows the
viewer to exchange left and right pictures or main
and inset images.
image transceiver An accessory unit, used in conjunction with still video cameras, that permits color
photos to be transmitted by way of ordinary telephone lines. Some image transceivers accept a still
video floppy disk (VF), that is used in still cameras.
However, the loss of image quality produced by this
procedure limits its usefulness for professional/industrial purposes despite its several conveniences.
image transfer converter Picture standards converter
that displays a picture image at one standard on a
suitable monitor and re-photographs it at another
standard with a TV camera.
image transform Proprietary computerized HQ videotape-to-film transfer system.
image translator A conversion kit or VCR designed
to modify some VHS recorders, using the standard
NTSC, to accept European PAL-recorded 625-line
color tapes. Developed by Instant Replay, the VCR
plays back the North American conventional 525line color tapes as well as PAL and SECAM tapes.
Instant Replay claims that their VHS VCR can play
and record in 16 world standards.
immersion lens In a CRT, an electrostatic electron lens
designed to concentrate the electrons liberated from
the cathode into a beam. Because these electrons
have very low velocities the lens is situated very close
to the cathode, so close in fact that the cathode
may be regarded as immersed in the lens. The lens
usually consists of two plates containing apertures
and that may have cylindrical extensions.
impedance The resistance characteristics of any electronic circuit. The connection of one electronic component to another requires matching their
impedances. Video games, VCRs and other units
must have the same impedance level as the TV set.
Impedance is measured in ohms—a standard unit
of electronic resistance. Video involves only two ratings—75 and 300 ohms. An impedance adapter,
such as a balun or small transformer, is used to convert 300 ohms to 75. Audio units such as speakers,
when working as a set, should have matched impedances, usually 4 or 8 ohms. High and low impedances are expressed as hi-Z and low-Z.
impedance adapter A device that matches up the
output of one unit with the input of another. For
example, to connect the audio from a TV set (one
that has an earphone jack, for instance) to the “aux”
input of a stereo system, one should purchase the
appropriate impedance adapter. This will depend
upon the input of the stereo amplifier. Although the
connection will work without the adapter, the sound
will appear distorted. Also known as matching
impedance matching Back matching.
impedance roller Metal or plastic rollers used in most
VCRs to provide an even and steady flow of tape
through the transport mechanism.
implosion The inward collapse of an evacuated container, such as the glass envelope of a CRT.
improved-definition systems See System
improved-definition TV (IDTV) TV that includes improvements to the standard NTSC TV system, which
improvements remain within the general parameters
of NTSC TV emission standards. These improvements
may be made at the transmitter and/or receiver and
may include enhancements in parameters such as
encoding, digital filtering, scan interpolation, interlaced scan lines, and ghost cancellation. Such improvements must permit the signal to be transmitted
and received in the historical 4:3 aspect ratio. Syn.:
(in CCITT usage) enhanced-quality TV. See Advanced
television, System terminology.
impulse pay-per-view (IPPV) It is a feature of a decoder that allows an authorized subscriber to purchase a one-time scrambled program at will.
impulsive noise Undesired signal on a video system
that consists of a series of pulses
in-betweens Jargon term to designate frames computed by a computer animation workstation or DVE
to fill the time intervals between actual defined or
selected keyframes. In the case of a DVE, trajectory
information superhighway
settings are used to enable the calculation of inbetweens. Syn.: tweens.
in-camera recording system A unit in which the video
camera houses the recording components so that a
separate VCR/VTR becomes unnecessary. See
incandescence The emission of visible light from a substance at a high temperature. The term is also used
to describe the radiation itself. Syn.: luminescence.
increment A small change in the value of a variable.
incremental tuner A TV tuner with its antenna, RF
amp, and RF oscillator tuning coils continuous or in
small sections connected in series. Rotary switches
make connections to the required portions of the
total inductance necessary for a given channel, or
short-circuit all of an inductance except that required
for a given channel.
Indeo® video Originally called DVI (Digital Video Interactive), this is a digital video recording and playing format created by Intel, using a lossy
compression/decompression algorithm. It turns a PC
into a video recorder and player. It uses a card or
special electronics inside a PC to turn the incoming
NTSC analog video into digital signals, which it then
compresses in real time and stores on the computer’s
hard disc. A one-minute small-screen video file is
typically 50 megabytes. But Indeo video reduces this
50 megabytes to a much smaller size. Indeo is similar to motion JPEG. The Indeo algorithm was used
by Microsoft in its Video for Windows, IBM in their
OS/2 and Apple in their QuickTime.
index counter A VCR feature with three or four digits
that rotate with the motion of the tape. The odometer-type mechanical counter, now all but defunct,
helped to locate different portions of tape once the
numbers were noted down. The numbers are arbitrary, representing neither inches nor time, simply
registering rotation. A counter on one machine, in
fact, may not match that of another. VCR owners
whose machines had mechanical index counters
often had to compose their own reference charts,
with a list of numbers and matching times; i.e., every five digits equaled 15 or 30 minutes. Today, virtually all VCRs have electronic counters or read-outs,
many of which measure real time.
index mark Cue mark.
index search A VCR feature that helps the viewer
find the beginning of a program automatically and
quickly. With the index search method, also known
as VISS or VHS Index Search System, an electronic
mark is automatically placed on the videotape each
time the Record mode is activated. Later, the viewer
engages the index search to find the beginning of
each program until the right one is found. Some
machines can mark up to 19 indexes. Index search,
which differs from the more sophisticated intro
search, can be performed manually as well. However, the VISS system performs indexing only during
recording whereas VASS (VHS Address Search System) permits marking scenes during playback. See
also Program start locator.
indirect scanning Scanning in which a narrow beam
of light is moved across the area being televised.
Indirect scanning was employed in early TV, which
was heavily dependent on mechanics. It is currently
used in flying-spot scanning of films where the light
transmitted by each illuminated elemental area is
picked up in turn by one or more phototubes.
industrial VCR A video cassette recorder (VCR) that is
externally similar to a home VCR, but is different in
many ways. An industrial machine, whether a 3/4"
U-Matic model or a 1/2" Beta or VHS deck, usually
has a rectangular multi-pin jack for use with a TV
monitor. The machine often plays at only one speed
(the fastest) to retain high image resolution. It has
special features such as random access and automatic transition editing. Many of these features, with
modifications, eventually find their way into home
VCRs. The costlier industrial machines are more sturdily built for heavier duty and are used more in business and institutional environments than in homes.
infill In TV, to change tone or color, a common procedure done electronically.
infinity An indefinitely large number or an unbounded
space. In photography, objects at a few hundred feet
are considered to be at infinity; in TV, the camera
setting for infinity may be at 74 feet.
infomercial A video segment or program purporting
to be informational/newsy and educational, but, in
fact, the segment is a commercial paid for by the
company whose products and/or services are featured.
information provider An organization that provides
information for storage on a view database. Typically, information providers are companies that rent
space on the public utility system that can be called
up by videotex subscribers and for which a charge is
made by the organization running the videotex service. After deduction of operating costs, the resulting revenue is passed on to the information providers
information superhighway A vague concept that
Senator Al Gore may have created in the early 1990s,
that gained great popularity when he became vice
president, and the Clinton/Gore administration
started pushing the term. It can refer to a gigantic
Internet reaching everybody in North America or the
entire world. It can just as easily mean a combination 500-channel interactive cable TV system with
full video on demand to every household in North
America. Somewhere in all this is the idea that easy
access to large amounts of information will enrich
our lives immeasurably. Who’s going to get first access to it all, what the precise technical details will
be, and who’s going to pay for it are, naturally, minor details to be worked out.
infotainment A combination of information and entertainment, such as that provided by some of the
videotex and CATV services.
infrared See IR.
infrared remote control On video cameras, a feature
that starts and stops the camera recording and controls the zoom lens. This allows the camera user to
set up his equipment and operate it from a limited
distance without his direct presence affecting the
subject. This is a useful feature in capturing shots of
animals in the field or children at home or in a studio, subjects that sometimes appear shy before a
camera. Also used on most other consumer devices,
such as TVs, DVD players, etc., to allow remote control of their operation.
infrared sensor An element on TV receivers and VCRs
and other equipment that permits wireless remote
control to operate various functions from a limited
distance. This feature is sometimes called remote
control receiver.
infrared transmitter See Remote control, Remote
control panel.
inherited audience The segment of the audience of
a radio or TV program that stays tuned and is carried over to the next program; also called holdover
audience. The inheriting program thus benefits from
the preceding program.
in-house system A videotex system operated by a
single information provider (IP) on which to display
his own text, data, and images. (Nothing prevents
the IP from also renting space on his in-house system.) An in-house system can be supported in one
location or, in long haul, by leased or public telephone lines.
injection laser Another name for a semiconductor or
diode laser.
injection locking Low-cost technique for phase-locking a cavity or resonator oscillator to a crystal source,
to improve its frequency stability.
INL Integral nonlinearity.
inlay 1. Mortise-keyed insert; static matte insert. An
insertion effect in which the fill signal is static and
of a predetermined shape. Cf. overlay. 2. Keying
mode when a key signal of the mixer (e.g., a diamond-shaped wipe pattern) comes from a source
other than the video that will eventually fill the hole.
The key source, in this case, may be either internal
or external. Syn.: zonal mixing.
in-line coaxial amplifier An amp to boost the signal
when it must pass long distance to a remote TV or
VCR. It can be placed anywhere in the system and is
powered in a similar fashion to mast-mount amps.
in-line color picture tube Precision-in-line color picture tube.
in-line electron guns An arrangement of three electron guns in a horizontal line. Used in color picture
tubes that have a slot mask in front of vertical color
phosphor stripes. In the Sony Trinitron tube, a single
gun produces three similarly positioned electron
in-line switching The special circuitry in VCRs that
automatically disconnects the tuner signal during the
copying process. This entails duplicating by means
of audio/video cables hooked up to the VCR.
INMARSAT INternational MARitime SATellite organization. Uses Marisat, MARECS, and Intelsat V MCS
in-phase In NTSC video, refers to being at 0 degrees
with respect to the color subcarrier.
input level For ADCs, the input level is the voltage
range required of the input for proper operation of
the part. For example, if the required input level for
an 8-bit ADC is 0 to 10 V, then an input voltage
level of 0 V is assigned the code 0 and an input
voltage level of 10 V is assigned the code 255.
in-room video A TV service in hotel guest rooms, including pay-per-view movies and free programming.
insert A general term used in special effects in which
a secondary signal is introduced into an already existing, primary image. The insert can be made to
appear in any portion of the TV screen. Accomplished
by keying, wiping or crossfeeding.
insert edit The insertion of a segment into an already
recorded series of segments on a videotape; the inserted segment replaces one that must be the same
length. Insert edits demand that the segment be cut
in precisely, since already recorded information exists following the insert edit on the original tape.
insertion loss Signal loss caused by such items as
cables, connectors, baluns and splitters that connect
to or pass through the RF switcher. Insertion loss is
expressed in dB. The lower the dB number, the better the signal. Insertion loss is usually corrected by
adding an amplifier.
insertion signal In TV, a signal inserted into one of
the line periods during the field blanking period. The
signal is not seen on the screens of viewers’ receivers and is used by the transmitting authority to transmit information such as the source of program or
control data. The signal is also used for test purposes to give information on the performance of
the TV links.
insert set Detail set.
insert stage Small studio for minor tabletop or closeup
instant-on switch A switch that applies a reduced
filament voltage to all tubes in a TV set continuously, so the picture appears almost instantaneously
after the set is turned on. The switch inserts a voltage-reducing choke in series with the primary of the
power transformer and opens the high-voltage secondary winding, to reduce filament voltage to about
half the normal value.
instant record One-touch recording.
instant replay A repetition of the action in a televised
football game or other type of program, achieved
intensity modulation
with a slow-motion video disk recorder or ordinary
video recorder. The replay can show the action previously picked up or action from one or more other
instant review A feature found on some video cameras that permits the operator to inspect a portion
of the previously recorded material. For example,
some cameras with instant review automatically rewind the tape 3" while others have a review button
on the handgrip. In the latter case, the last few
moments of the recording are played back in the
viewfinder, first in reverse, then in forward; finally,
the VCR is returned to Record/Pause position. Many
cameras without this feature permit reviewing what
has been shot, but these models use different approaches. In some, the Camera/VCR switch must first
be set. This shifts the recorder from Record to Play
mode. The Search function is then utilized (in reverse) to rewind the tape. The Play/Pause control is
then pressed to activate tape playback through the
electronic viewfinder.
instant viewing The ability to produce on a TV screen
any “frame” of a videodisc by using the random
access feature of an LV VDP. Since the LaserVision
system provides a contactless or laser beam stylus,
one frame or revolution can be played continuously,
offering a steady freeze frame. A typical disc contains as many as 54,000 pictures on each side, with
each image having its own designated number. By
pressing the numbered keypad, the viewer can locate any one of these frames or pictures. Instant
viewing is possible, however, only in the standard
play mode (CAV) or 30-minutes-per-side and not in
long-play (CLV) or 60-minutes-per-side.
Institute of Electrical and Engineers (IEEE) A nonprofit, technical professional association tasked with
overseeing consensus standards development in the
areas of electrical equipment, electronics, telecommunications and other areas.
insurance In TV, the technique of framing a scene
wider than needed, to allow for movement.
integral nonlinearity (INL) A measure of the deviation of the analog-to-digital converter transfer function from the ideal.
integral photography system One of the 3D-image
display systems that doesn’t require special glasses.
integrated broadcast operation Refers to a fully automated, digital TV station. As a result of rapid advances in digital technology and electronics in
general, major manufacturers of professional/industrial audio and video equipment, including Sony and
Chyron, have developed an array of sophisticated
units. These include graphics and effects devices,
editors and complete digital multi-effects systems.
integrated messaging Also called unified messaging. It is one of many benefits of running telephony
via a local area network. Voice, fax, electronic mail,
image and video are all on one screen.
integrated receiver/descrambler (IRD) An enhanced
satellite receiver that applies advanced technology
to improve video and audio quality as well as to
decode scrambled channels. IRDs, with built-in
VideoCipher II circuitry, are capable of unscrambling
a high percentage of the coded channels that TV
satellite system owners receive. About 57 of the more
than 200 available satellite channels are scrambled.
Subscribers who want to receive these channels can
register for those they prefer. The IRD then automatically opens the signals that have been purchased. Some of these IRD units include additional
features, such as menu-based on-screen controls,
digital sound, programmable tuners and video noise
integrating array See Solid-state camera.
intelligence Data, information, or messages that are
to be transmitted.
intelligence signal Any signal that conveys information, such as code, facsimile diagrams and photographs, music, TV scenes, and spoken words.
intelligent agent Software that has been taught
something of the user’s desires or preferences and
acts on their behalf to do things. It might, for example, search through incoming material on networks (e-mail and news) and find material of interest.
It might also monitor TV viewing habits, accept general instructions about preferences and then, on its
own, browse through huge databases of available
videos and make recommendations about programs
of possible interest.
intelligent interface A sophisticated microprocessorbased controller of VTRs and ATRs and switchers.
intelligent phone A “vision of the future” for phone
networks, including: Selecting entertainment on demand (movies, music, video); recording customized
news and sports programming; enrolling and participating in education programs from the convenience of subscribers’ living rooms; finding
up-to-the-minute medical, legal and encyclopedic
INTELSAT INternational TELecommunications SATellite.
A satellite network under international control for
global communication by more than 80 countries.
The system requires stationary satellites over the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans and highly directional antennas at earth stations.
intensify To increase the brilliance of an image on the
screen of a CRT.
intensity This is the same thing as brightness.
intensity control Brightness control.
intensity modulation Variation of the density of an
electron beam in accordance with the instantaneous
value of the modulating signal. An obvious example
of intensity modulation occurs in the reproduction
of TV images by a picture tube in which the electron-beam density is controlled by the video signal
so as to produce the variations of light intensity on
intensity signal
the screen necessary to make up the picture. Also
called Z-axis modulation.
intensity signal Luminance signal.
interactive CATV A two-way cable system from which
subscribers can receive and send signals, probably
by punching buttons on their cable TV’s remote control, which may look more like a computer keyboard
than a traditional CATV handheld remote signaling
interactive multimedia An electronic system through
which an individual can retrieve data from various
media. It is also referred to as interactive video.
interactive television A combination of television
with interactive content and enhancements. Interactive television blends traditional TV-watching with
the interactivity of a personal computer. Programming can include richer graphics, one-click access
to Web sites through TV Crossover Links, electronic
mail and chats, and online commerce through a
back channel.
interactive video A video system, typically computerbased, that permits the user to communicate with
the video system to select material to be viewed and
the method of viewing.
interactive videodisc (IV) A prerecorded LaserVision
disc divided into chapters and/or frames for easy reference. The disc uses two audio channels and permits viewer participation in basic games. The player
can locate chapters (segments of a program such as
musical numbers) for perusal. IVs allow the user to
rapidly locate a single frame (one picture such as a
page of a book or catalogue or a painting or photograph). The two audio channels can present different sound tracks, such as a foreign language and a
translation for home study or alternate narration.
“How to Watch Pro Football,” produced by NFL
Films, was the first IV presented for home viewing.
It contained 15 chapters, individual frame material,
diagrams and a fast-paced football game. IVs have
not become widely used due to the advent of multimedia CDROMs used with personal computers,
which do a similar job.
interactivity Control by the user, but in a much more
significant sense than control of a TV set, that consists primarily of selection from a limited number of
predetermined choices (channels). This is a satisfactory mode for entertainment, but it becomes seriously limiting if trying to use the TV for other
purposes such as teaching, training, or selling.
Interactivity is the ability of a user (or a computer) to
control the presentation by a multimedia system, not
only for material selection, but for the way in which
material is presented.
intercarrier beat An interference pattern that appears
on TV pictures when 4.5-MHz beat frequency of an
intercarrier sound system gets through the video amp
to the video input circuit of the picture tube.
intercarrier buzz See Buzz.
intercarrier interference Refers to the buzzing noise
that is sometimes heard when white titles appear
on the TV screen. Intercarrier interference results
when TV cable company amplifiers are incorrectly
adjusted. Channels 2 to 13 (the low band channels)
tend to be affected more than others.
intercarrier reception In a TV receiver, a method of
sound reception in which the FM sound signal is
derived from the vision detector or a post-detector
stage as an FM signal on a carrier frequency equal
to the difference between the vision and sound carrier frequencies. The method has the advantage that
the center frequency of the sound signal is unaffected by drift of the local oscillator.
intercarrier sound system A TV receiver arrangement
in which the TV picture carrier and the associated
sound carrier are amplified together by the video IF
amp and passed through the second detector, to
give the conventional video signal plus a FM sound
signal whose center frequency is 4.5-MHz difference
between the two carrier frequencies. The new 4.5MHz sound signal is then separated from the video
signal for further amplification before going to the
FM detector stage.
Intercast A method developed by Intel for transmitting web pages during the vertical blanking interval
of a video signal. It is based on NABTS for (M) NTSC
interchangeability A term used to describe how well
a particular VCR can play back a tape recorded on
another VCR of the same type.
intercom line Usually the audio connection between
the video director and the members of the crew.
intercutting A production technique in which a cut is
made from a scene (long shot) to a detail of that
scene (close-up) to clarify or emphasize a point.
interface 1. A device that allows devices to communicate with each other. For example, an interactive
interface translates the language of a computer into
signals a videodisc player can interpret. 2. To connect two or more components to each other so that
the signal from one is supplied to the other(s). Feeding a signal between units that run on different standards is the most frequent form of interfacing, as in
connecting a 1/2" helical scan VTR to a 2"
Quadraplex machine.
interference 1. In radio or TV reception, any unwanted
signal, natural or manmade, that adversely affects
reception of the wanted signal. Natural interference
signals can arise from lightning flashes, and
manmade interference from signals on nearby frequency channels or image channels, from electrical
equipment and from car ignition systems (TV signals frequently suffer serious interference from motor-vehicle ignition systems). Interference signals can
be picked up on the receiving antenna or can reach
the receiver via the supply mains. Some reduction in
interference may be possible by using a directive an-
internal anti-reflective coating
tenna, by siting the antenna in an “electrically-quiet”
spot, or by the use of RF filters in the receiver mains
supply. The best method is to prevent the radiation
of interfering signals by fitting suppressors to the
offending equipment. 2. In optics, the effects observed when two sources of light of the same frequency are superimposed. Areas where the two
waves are in phase are illuminated more brightly than
those where the waves are in phase opposition and
thus one of the most familiar effects is the formation of interference bands or rings.
interference fading See Fading.
interference suppressor A device designed to reduce
or eliminate distortion of a TV picture usually caused
by household appliances. A suppressor is installed
into the wall socket and has apertures for 3-prong
or 2-prong plugs.
interfield cut Cutting or switching from one source
to another during the vertical or field sync period.
With random switching a good deal of picture disturbance is obtained, but in an interfield cut, the
signal to cut is stored and a switch is made electrically or by relay only during the blanking interval.
This gives no video disturbance, but if the syncs are
too badly damaged and are not properly restored in
the interfield cut, frame roll may be obtained on a
flywheel sync receiver. Also called cut in blanking.
inter-frame coding Coding over a sequence of frames.
Used in MPEG systems. The quality of a compression system doesn’t just depend on the compression ratio but on the type of compression used.
Inter-frame coding allows higher compression factors by virtue of the fact that movement between
successive images is normally relatively small and
hence coding efficiency increases.
inter-frame encoding A way of video compression
that transmits only changed information between
successive frames. This saves bandwidth.
interlace In scanning, the technique of using more
than one vertical scan to reproduce a complete image. In TV, 2:1 interlace is used, giving two vertical
scans (fields) per frame; one field scans odd lines,
and one field scans the even lines of the frame.
interlacing Regular TV signals are interlaced. In the
US there are 525 scanning lines on the regular TV
screen, the NTSC standard. Interlaced means the signal refreshes every second line 60 times a second
and then jumps to the top and refreshes the other
set of lines also 60 times a second. Non-interlaced
signals, used in the computer industry and HDTV,
means each line on the entire screen is refreshed X
times, depending on what the video card is outputting to the color monitor. The more the monitor is
refreshed, the better and more stable it looks—the
less perceived flicker. For example, text on an NTSC
US TV set tends to flicker. It doesn’t on a non-interlaced monitor. Typical non-interlaced computer
monitors refresh at 60 to 72 times a second, but
good ones refresh at higher rates. Progressive HDTV
refreshes at 50 or 60 times a second. Generally, anything over 70 Hz is considered to be flicker-free and
therefore preferred, when affordable.
interleaved projection optical system A 4-millionpixel, 110" projection display system that creates
“virtual presence” effects in applications such as
videoconferencing; NTT, Japan. The resolution
achieved by the system, according to company officials, is four times that of current high-definition TV
standards. The high resolution is attained by an interleaved projection technique that places four pixels in the same area that would normally be occupied
by one. The four pixels are shifted slightly in position with respect to one another and then interleaved
to deliver a fourfold improvement in both resolution and brightness over conventional HDTV displays.
interleaved projection See Interleaved projection
optical system.
interleaving A term used to indicate that the harmonics of the chrominance signal lie between the
harmonics of the luminance portion of the video
signal as it is viewed on a spectrum analyzer. This
indicates that the color information of a video signal does not interfere with, although it is broadcast
at the same time as, the luminance information. Signals that have this interleaving property are not
readily seen on a TV screen because of their virtual
cancellation characteristics.
interline transfer device (ITD) One of the three basic
architectures for obtaining the video signal in solidstate cameras. In ITD the storage arrays are arranged
alternately with the photosensitive arrays and are
connected to them by a transfer gate. During the
vertical retrace period the information is transferred
horizontally from the photosensitive electrodes to
the storage electrodes by means of the transfer gates
and then read out line by line in a similar manner to
the FFTD.
interlock To run sound and picture together in perfect
sync from separate film and/or tape transports.
interlock wire See AC interlock.
intermediate character In videotex, a character used
preceding a final character to increase the number
of possible management commands.
intermediate frequency (IF) A middle range frequency
generated after downconversion in any electronic
circuitry including a TV set. The majority of all signal
amplification, processing and filtering in a receiver
occurs in the IF range.
intermodulation Distortion and unwanted signal energy caused by signals being transmitted in other
channels. Intermodulation is one of several forms
of degradation that affect NTSC picture quality.
intermodulation distortion Syn.: combination-tone
distortion. See Distortion.
internal anti-reflective coating (IARC) A process developed for use with projection TV systems, designed
internal keying
to increase brightness, resolution and contrast, three
acknowledged problem areas inherent to conventional projection TV.
internal keying A method of keying in which the key
signal can be sent through the SEG from any one of
the cameras already in use. See External keying.
International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR)
An international organization concerned with the
establishment of radio and TV broadcasting standards throughout the world.
International Tape Association See International
Tape/Disc Association.
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) An
organization that designates locations for satellites.
With the increase of communications satellites, some
order was required to prevent them from interfering
with each other or, worse, colliding. The positions
extend from 150 degrees to 70 degrees west longitude. It also sets many standards for transmission.
interocular separation Distance between the right
and left eyes (between the pupils).
interpolation A video technique used in motion compensation where a current frame of video is reconstructed by using the differences between it and past
and future frames. This technique is also known as
forward and backward prediction. Interpolation is
also used to correct errors in video and audio by
using the nearby “good” data.
intervalometer A special timing device attached to a
camera for automatic single-frame exposure in animation (time-lapse) photography. It releases the camera shutter at predetermined intervals to condense
large portions of time into smaller ones. For example,
hours of cloud movements can be recorded to play
back with a running time of a few seconds, thus
dramatically speeding up the motion. With limitations, the accessory can be used in time-lapse video
when connected to a home video camera. Keeping
a portable VCR in Pause mode for an extended
length of time may cause damage to the tape or
video heads. When this function is built into a camera, it is usually referred to as an interval timer.
interval related carrier (IRC) Refers to cable-TV channels on frequencies starting at 55.25 MHz with increments of 6 MHz (6N + 1.25 MHz). These channels
are the same as standard frequencies except for
channels between 67.25 and 91.25 MHz.
interval timer A built-in video camera feature
designed for time-lapse or animation effects. See
intra-field coding Coding contained within one field.
intra-frame encoding Coding contained within one
intro search A VCR feature that automatically locates
all indexed material on a prerecorded videotape and
plays back the opening portion of each section for a
few seconds in fast motion. Intro search helps a
viewer quickly find a selection on a tape that he or
she is looking for. This feature, sometimes referred
to as Intro Scan, differs from index search, which
simply locates the beginning of programs that have
been automatically marked electronically each time
the Record button is pressed.
inverse transform See Transformation.
inverted image A condition occurring when a small
TV set is employed in a budget projection TV system and no mirror is used. The special lens that
projects the image onto the screen also creates an
inverted image. This can be corrected in one of two
ways: A service person can reverse the vertical connection wires on the yoke of the TV picture tube,
or he or she can add a picture tube inversion switch
that permits either a normal or inverted picture for
projection use.
inverter Circuitry to convert DC to AC; see DC-to-AC
invert operation In videotex, a display of characters
such that foreground and background colors appear
to have been exchanged. If flash is applied, the polarity of the flashing clock also is inverted.
ion burn An area of reduced luminosity on the screen
of a CRT caused by partial destruction of the phosphor by bombardment by heavy negative ions that
are liberated from the cathode or are formed by ionization of the residual gas. The area is usually at the
center of the screen because the heavy ions are not
deflected to the same extent as electrons by the deflecting fields.
ion trap Method of avoiding ion burn of the screen of
a CRT. In one method the electron gun is aimed at
the neck of the tube and an external permanent
magnet is used to deflect the electron beam to the
axis of the tube. Heavy negative ions liberated from
the cathode or by ionization of the residual gas that
are responsible for ion burn are deflected to a smaller
extent than the electrons and continue to bombard
the tube neck. The use of an aluminized screen has
now rendered the use of ion traps unnecessary.
IP Internet Protocol. See TCP/IP.
IPPV Impulse Pay-Per-View.
ips Inches per second; the customary unit of measurement of tape speed on an audio or video tape
IR Infrared. The band of electromagnetic wavelengths
between the extreme of the visible part of the spectrum (about 0.75 µm) and the shortest microwaves
(about 100 µm). This portion of the electromagnetic
spectrum is used for fiber-optical transmission and
also for short-haul through-the-air data transmission.
IRC Interval Related Carrier.
IRD, satellite TV Integrated Receiver/Decoder. A device (set-top box) that not only receives the signals,
but also deciphers them into a viewable picture.
IRE Institute of Radio Engineers. A system of measurement used in audio and video. Besides representing
the professional organization, IRE is a term used for
measuring such items as frequencies and video lines.
For example, white balance (the amount of color
that can be viewed on a neutral object) is measured
in IRE. The lower the IRE number, the better the white
balance. The figure of 0 IRE indicates perfect white
balance, a goal all TV manufacturers aim at but seldom attain. IRE plays an important role in waveform
monitors, or oscilloscopes, professional instruments
that feature switchable on/off IRE filters.
IRE units A relative scale for measurement of analog
video signal levels where blanking level is 0 IRE units
and peak white level is 100 IRE units. (IRE is an acronym for Institute of Radio Engineers, one of the forerunners of today’s worldwide electrical engineer’s
professional society, the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers.) See Measuring the video.
iris Means of controlling the amount of light that is
allowed to pass through an optical system. It is an
adjustable set of metal leaves over the aperture of a
lens, used to control the amount of light passing
through the lens. Iris openings are measured in fstops. Also called Iris diaphragm; diaphragm.
iris control button A feature that closes down the
iris or aperture of the lens to protect the sensitive
video camera tube when the camera is not in operation. Camera tubes that are exposed to overly
bright light or sun develop a “burn” that may become permanent.
iris diaphragm Iris.
iris in To begin a scene in a TV program by opening
the camera from a completely closed position, so
that the scene appears within an expanding circle.
The opposite is iris out. See also Circle in and Circle
iris out See Iris in.
iris wipe Printing effect providing a transition from
one scene to another at the boundary of an enlarging or diminishing circle. When using a TV flying
spot system, the generation of a circular wipe can
be accomplished by means of a simple mechanical
iris similar to that used in a camera lens. Electronic
generation is usually by a combined line and field
parabolic waveform switching signal.
iron oxide A particle combined with other metallic
oxides and ferrite to form a coating on magnetic
ISDB Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting. Japan’s
transmission specification for digital broadcasting.
ISDB uses a transmission scheme called BST-OFDM
that ensures the flexible use of transmission capacity and service expandability in addition to the benefits of OFDM. Since OFDM uses a large number of
carriers that are digitally modulated, it provides sufficient transmission quality under multipath interference. The basic approach of BST-OFDM is that a
transmitting signal consists of the required number
of narrow-band OFDM blocks called BST-segments,
each with a bandwidth of 100 kHz.
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network. An international communications standard for sending voice,
video, and data over telephone lines. ISDN requires
special metal wires and supports data transfer rates
of 64,000 bps. The original version of ISDN employs
baseband transmission. B-ISDN uses broadband
transmission and can support transmission rates of
1,500,000 bps. B-ISDN requires fiber optic cables
(has not been widely implemented).
I signal In NTSC video, I is one of the two color difference signals, I and Q. The letter I stands for in-phase.
I signal consists of +0.74(R-Y) and -0.27(B-Y), where
Y is the luminance signal, R is the red camera signal,
and B is the blue camera signal. I signal has a bandwidth of 0 to 1.5 MHz. It represents the colors ranging from reddish orange to cyan. Modern systems
use U and V instead of I and Q.
ISMA Abbreviation for the Internet Streaming Media
Alliance. ISMA is a group of industry leaders in content management, distribution infrastructure and
media streaming working together to promote open
standards for developing end-to-end media streaming solutions. The ISMA specification defines the
exact features of the MPEG-4 standard that have to
be implemented on the server, client and intermediate components to ensure interoperability between
the entire streaming workflow. Similarly, it also defines the exact features and the selected formats of
the RTP, RTSP, and SDP standards that have to be
The ISMA v1.0 specification defines two hierarchical profiles. Profile 0 is aimed to stream audio/
video content on wireless and narrowband networks
to low-complexity devices, such as cell phones or
PDAs, that have limited viewing and audio capabilities. Profile 1 is aimed to stream content over broadband-quality networks to provide the end user with
a richer viewing experience. Profile 1 is targeted to
more powerful devices, such as set-top boxes and
personal computers.
ISO 1. International Standards Organization. An international agency responsible for developing standards
for information exchange. Has a function similar to
that of ANSI in the US. 2. Slang for isolated. For example, a TV camera may be isolated (iso’d) from others being used in a production (an ISO camera) so
that its tape can be used as a backup or replacement.
ISO camera See ISO.
isochronous Data transmission where timing is derived from the signal carrying the data. No timing or
clock lead is provided at the customer interface. In
isochronous data transmission, data has no embedded timing—send it slower and it is still valid, just
late. Voice and video are intimately tied to timing.
Send voice slower and it sounds very different.
IsoENET Networking standard for multimedia applications from Santa Clara, Calif.-based National Semiconductor Corp. IsoEnet is an interface between local
and wide area networks and has one 10-Mbit
Ethernet channel for digital data, plus 96 ISDN-B
channels for voice and video. The normal Ethernet
data channel is not impacted by the added service.
The system dedicates an additional 6 Mbits to isochronous services, enabling it to handle high-quality
video traffic. The isochronous channels are divided
into 64-Kb/s segments to match ISDN WAN standards.
isolation The absence of interference in video components. Isolation is measured in dB. The higher the
number, the better the isolation. For example, a video
switcher should provide approximately 40 dB of isolation. If the number falls lower than this, interference as well as image degradation are likely to occur.
In devices like switchers, isolation refers to the ability of the unit to block signal leakage and interference from disturbing the different signals. Again,
the higher the dB number, the better the isolation.
isolation transformer A transformer inserted into a
circuit to separate one section of the circuit from
undesired influences of other sections. It is usually
made with a 1:1 ratio of primary turns to secondary
turns to eliminate a direct connection without changing voltages. The isolation transformer is used to
prevent blowing fuses and chassis damage when
connecting test equipment to the AC TV chassis.
The TV chassis that works directly from the power
line, without power transformer, may have a hot
chassis and should be protected with the isolation
transformer. Besides isolation of the power line, the
transformer may have adjustable taps to raise or
lower the power line. Raising and lowering the
power line in the AC TV chassis may be required to
service chassis or high-voltage shut-down. Slowly
raising the power line may prevent damaging another horizontal output transistor. See also Isolator.
isolator A device designed to prevent electrical interference between units in a video system. The isolator accomplishes this by filtering the line current.
The isolator eliminates such problems as hum,
crosstalk and voltage differences. Some units permit hooking up any three components to its AC outlets. More sophisticated models, called isolation
transformers, offer additional features and uses, such
as ensuring signal transmission with more than 120
dB attenuation of interference and applying it to ultra-wide bandwidths and broadcast or remote TV
iso reels Multiple reels of tape on which the same
subject has been recorded simultaneously by different VTRs through different cameras (iso for equal).
ISO standards Standards published by the International Standards Organization, the body coordinating the work of various national associations.
They include a number of standards in the field of
motion pictures and TV.
isotropic The property possessed by a hypothetical
omni-directional point-source antenna, the reference
for antenna gain measurement.
ITCA International Teleconferencing Association, a professional association organized to promote the use
of teleconferencing (audio and videoconferencing).
Located in Washington, DC.
ITFS Instructional Television Fixed Service. Group of TV
channels in the UHF frequency range set aside for
educational use.
ITU International Telecommunications Union, a broadcast standards committee that replaced the CCIR.
ITV Industrial TV
-IWQ A waveform used in NTSC color-bar pattern: black
with 40 IEEE units chroma at -I phase, 100% W
(white), black with 40 IEEE units chroma at Q phase.
J CATV superband channel, 216-222 MHz.
jack 1. The opening or receptacle on a VCR, TV monitor or other component that accepts a male plug.
Features like audio-in and video-out on VCRs and
other equipment are also referred to as audio and
video jacks while the cables with matching connectors are called audio and video plugs. The terms
“jacks” and “plugs” are often used interchangeably. 2. Male cable connector, or plug, as in phono,
mini, phone plug.
jacket The protective and insulating housing of a cable.
jaggies Professional jargon for spatial aliasing on nearhorizontal lines in a TV picture. Caused by lack of
pre-filtering. Syn.: stair-stepping.
jam See Salad.
jam sync The ability of a SMPTE time code generator
to feed or “jam” a particular time code address from
the time code generator to a master VTR. Jam sync
is used when editing material from more than one
video tape into a single master, so that the master
tape will have continuous, unbroken time code.
Java A general-purpose programming language developed by Sun Microsystems and best known for
its widespread use on the World Wide Web. Unlike
other software, programs written in Java can run on
any platform type (including set-top boxes), as long
as they contain a Java Virtual Machine.
JBIG Joint Bi-level Image Experts Group. Losslessly compresses binary (one bit per pixel) images. The intent
of JBIG is to replace the group 3 and 4 fax algorithms.
JBIG can be used on grey-scale or color images by
applying the algorithm one bit-plane at a time.
jeep To convert a TV receiver into a TV monitor or
monitor/receiver by rewiring the internal circuitry and
adding input and output jacks for video and audio.
jenny A portable electric generator, as used in film
and TV.
jerkiness Term to describe temporal aliasing. An artifact due to deficiency of temporal filtering, for example in the process of linear standards conversion
(as opposed to motion compensated standards conversion). It is for this reason that 4-field converters
have less judder than 2-field converters. Syn.: judder.
jitter Short-term variations in the characteristics (such
as frequency, amplitude, etc.) of a signal. General
term for sudden irregular departures from the ideal
value of a parameter such as the phase, amplitude
or pulse duration of a signal. In TV signals jitter can
cause errors in synchronizing and these can lead to
erratic movements in the displayed picture.
JJ CATV hyperband channel, 354-360 MHz.
jog/shuttle control A wheel-and-dial combination,
usually found on the front of more costly VCRs, designed to move the video picture one frame at a
time and assist in a manual bi-directional search for
a particular segment. Used chiefly for editing, the
jog/shuttle control, or jog dial shuttle ring as it is
sometimes called, allows the user to turn the outer
ring for moving the tape from slow motion to search
speeds. The inner jog wheel or dial moves the tape
frame by frame, helping the user to choose the exact edit point. Some VCR models provide a single
control to accomplish both tasks. The feature on
these machines does not work as fast or accurately
as that of the two-part design. Some VDPs have a
similar jog dial shuttle ring. Located on the remote
control, the ring allows the user to view a program
on the disc forward or backward and at a variety of
speeds, from one frame at a time to 10 times standard play speed.
Joint Photographic Experts Group standard (JPEG)
A standard adopted by the International Standards
Organization (ISO) for compressing still images with
little or no data loss. It can be used for moving images only if it treats each field or frame as a separate entity.
joy stick In video games, a lever which controls the
movements of the game action on the TV screen. In
relation to a VTR, a joy stick regulates a special effect
on the screen or tape movement during editing.
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group. A still image
compression system that reduces the size of a digital image file by using an intraframe compression
scheme, where redundant information (that is, most
of the blue colors in a blue sky) is thrown away. When
used in conjunction with hardware, JPEG can compress and decompress images fast enough to display 30-frames-per-second video. This is why JPEG
is used as the main compression algorithm on most
nonlinear editing systems.
JPEG++ Storm Technology’s proprietary extension of
the JPEG algorithm. It lets users determine the degree of compression that the foreground and background of an image receive; for example, in a
portrait, you could compress the face in the foreground only slightly, while you could compress it in
the background to a much higher degree.
judder See Jerkiness.
jukebox A piece of hardware that holds storage media, such as optical discs or cartridge tapes. Jukeboxes are typically designed to hold as few as five
and as many as 120 devices. Like old-fashioned
record playing jukeboxes, media is moved by a robot-like device from the storage slot to the drive
reading it. This lets the user share one drive among
several cartridges or discs. Video jukebox can contain everything broadcast on TV, etc. See Oracle
Media Server.
Jumbotron A giant presentation TV unit that measures 23.5 x 32 feet and is used for outdoor display. Developed by the Sony Corporation, the
jumbotron is used to screen travelogues, commercials, public service announcements (PCAs), videos,
and headline news to thousands of passersby from
buildings in New York’s Times Square and in Tokyo
and other cities.
jump cut An undesirable cut in TV and film production that occurs when a director or editor makes an
abrupt transition from one camera angle or scene
to another. The effect is to make it look like the picture has “jumped” from one shot to another.
jumping out The process of removing individual frames
from a film or a video tape.
junction box A connector accessory with two wired
female connectors and designed so that two male
plugs can be joined together. The junction box is most
often used by professionals. See also Spider box.
Jungle Multipin, multifunction chip, e.g., Y/C Jungle
CX20193 IC in Sony 19" TV.
JVC A Japanese electronics firm (Victor Company of
Japan) that introduced the first VHS system portable
VCR in 1978. The HR 4100 was a one-speed VCR,
which could record for up to three hours on a battery charge as well as on house current. With its
built-in RF adapter it could also record and play back
through a conventional TV receiver. Including battery pack, it weighed 21 pounds. See also
K 1. Short for kilo or kilobyte. In decimal systems, kilo
stands for 1,000, but in binary systems, a kilo is 1,024
(2 to the 10th power). Technically, therefore, a kilobyte is 1,024 bytes, but it is often used loosely as a
synonym for 1,000 bytes. For example, a computer
that has 256K main memory can store approximately
256,000 bytes (or characters) in memory at one time.
To distinguish between a decimal K (1,000) and a
binary K (1,024), the IEEE has suggested following
the convention of using a small k for a decimal kilo
and a capital K for a binary kilo, but this convention
is by no means strictly followed. 2. When used to
describe memory chips, K stands for kilobit (1,024
bits). This is equivalent to 128 bytes. Most memory
chips come in increments of either 256 kilobits (64K
bytes) or 1 megabit (256K bytes). 3. Abbreviation
for kelvin (plural kelvins); here K is used without the
degree sign and is separated by a space from the
temperature value, as in 273.16 K. 4. Unofficial abbreviation for kilohm; here the k follows the value,
with no space between, as in 10k. 5. CATV
superband channel, 222-228 MHz. 6. TV standard.
Characteristics: see D, except used band—K uses
UHF. 6. Abbreviation for black. 7. Frequency band
18-27 GHz.
Ka-band 27-40 GHz.
karaoke A multimedia entertainment and educational
system invented in Japan for night club entertainment. The basic system consists of a microphone
and audio system, source of background music (typically CDs or CD-ROMs), and closed-circuit TV. Patrons can sing or perform to recorded music, and
the composite performance can be recorded on videotape. It is also used for educational and training
K-band The range of frequencies from 11 to 36
GHz used by radio and TV stations for satellite
keeper In film and TV, a segment of film or tape that is
to be retained and is likely to be used, or kept, in
the final cut (edited version).
Kell factor In TV, a factor expressing the ratio of horizontal to vertical definition. Suppose each of the n
lines of a TV picture is made up of alternate black
and white elements. If these elements are assumed
to be square—equivalent to regarding horizontal
definition as equal to vertical definition—then there
are 4n/3 elements in each line, the aspect ratio being 4:3. The lowest video frequency that will enable
such a row of elements to be resolved is one in which
one half-cycle represents a white element and the
other half-cycle a black element. This is the upper
video-frequency limit for the system and it gives values appreciably higher than are used in practice. The
lower practical values are justified by the assumption that the horizontal definition need only be, say,
0.7 times the vertical definition: in other words they
are based on a Kell factor of 0.7.
Kelvin A term used in video lighting to measure color
temperature of a given light source, usually with a
degree symbol. For example, an ordinary household
light bulb of 100 W is rated 2900 degrees K, stage
lighting is based around 3200, sunlight is approximately 5800, while high-overcast, bright days are
close to 6000 degrees K. If Kelvin temperatures are
changed in a scene, the whites must be re-balanced
(camera’s white balance control button) for accurate rendition of color. The lower the Kelvin, the
warmer the light color.
Kerr cell A light modulator consisting of a liquid cell
containing two parallel plane electrodes and situated between crossed polaroids. Normally no light
emerges because the polaroids are crossed. Signals
applied between the electrodes cause the plane of
polarization of the light to rotate (Kerr effect) so allowing light to pass. Used in projection-type TV receivers to modulate a beam of light or serve as a
high-speed camera shutter. Also called electro-optical shutter.
Kerr effects Two effects in which the optical properties of transparent material are affected by electric
or magnetic fields. The electro-optical effect is the
effect whereby the direction of polarization of planepolarized light through a refractive medium is rotated by an electric field applied perpendicularly to
the direction of propagation of the light. The Kerr
cell utilizes this effect. Pockel’s effect is the Kerr effect when it occurs in a piezoelectric material.
Pockel’s effect can be used for measurement of distance by a mekometer. Such an instrument can
measure distance to an accuracy of 0.05 mm in 50
m. The magneto-optical effect occurs when planepolarized light is reflected from a highly polished
pole face of a strong electromagnet. Slight elliptical
polarization of the light beam is produced.
key A special effect whereby the signal from one video
source cuts a hole into another video source. A feature on some video switchers, which permits creating electronically the illusion of placing one image
over another without getting rid of the second image. There are four basic types of keys: external key,
chroma key, matte key, and self key, each capable
of providing a different special effect. For example,
a chroma key substitutes a particular color with an
image from a different source. A matte key, on the
other hand, consists of only one color for keying.
keyed automatic frequency control An AFC method
employed in the frequency modulator for MUSE signals. This method is as follows: The input MUSE signal takes the specified mid-level every 1/60 second.
At that time, the frequency of the modulated output signal takes the center frequency (140 MHz).
keyed rainbow generator A rainbow generator that
has facilities for generating 3.58-MHz colorburst
pulses, for making crossover adjustments and for
general color TV receiver troubleshooting.
keyed insert Keying.
keyframe A set of parameters defining a point in a
transition, such as a DVE effect. For example, a
keyframe may define a picture size, position and
rotation. Any digital effect must have a minimum of
two keyframes, start and finish, although more complex moves will use more, even as many as 100. Increasingly, more parameters are becoming
“keyframeable,” meaning they can be programmed
to transition between two or more states.
keying 1. Keyed insert, inlay insert. In a video system,
the process of inserting one picture into another
picture under spatial control of another signal, called
keying signal. 2. In digital TV transmission, the forming of the signal by modulating a carrier between
discrete values of some characteristic. See FSK, QAM,
keying signal Signal that actuates an electronic switch
in the production of special effects. It can be generated electronically, or obtained from a video signal
by passing the signal through a special effects
key light In video, the main light source of a scene,
which emphasizes the important objects in that
scene. The key light is usually located near the video
camera and above the subject to minimize shadows. This light works best in conjunction with fill
lights, etc. The key light can work with available light,
the latter acting as the fill. See Lighting.
keypad 1. That portion of a remote control designed
to operate specific functions of a VCR, TV set or
VDP. See Numeric keypad. 2. A limited keyboard with
one or a few buttons or keys, used, for example, to
make selections from a videotex system.
keystone distortion 1. In TV, geometric distortion of
the image causing a rectangle to be reproduced as
a trapezium or keystone. The effect can be caused
by interaction between line-scanning and field-scanning circuits but occurred in the early days of TV as
a result of oblique scanning of the target by the electron beam in iconoscope tubes. It was necessary to
introduce correction to obtain an accurately rectangular image. 2. Camera-tube distortion evident
because the length of a horizontal scan line is linearly related to its vertical displacement. It occurs
when the electron beam in the camera tube scans
the image plate at an acute angle. A system that
has keystone distortion distorts a rectangular pattern into a trapezoidal pattern. The distortion is normally corrected by special transmitter circuits.
keystoning An effect which results in a narrower or
wider projected image at the top of the screen than
at the bottom. This is caused when the slide or movie
projector is not properly aligned with the screen. In
those movie houses where keystoning occurs, the
sides of the screen are usually darkened to conceal
the effect. Keystoning is also a problem in projection TV systems using mirrors.
kickback power supply Flyback power supply.
kicker 1. On a TV or broadcast, an inconsequential,
humorous, or even zany final item; also called zipper. 2. A light to the side or rear of a subject; also
called kicker light, kick light, stringer light, cross backlight, or side backlight.
kideo Home video for children.
kidvid Refers to TV and video aimed at children.
kilroy The defective framing of a TV picture in which
the lower portion of the heads of performers or others is cut off. The origin is a cartoon character in the
World War II made famous by the motto scribbled
on thousands of walls, “Kilroy was here.”
kinescope 1. Picture tube in a TV receiver (US). 2. An
early and imperfect video storage and reproduction
technique (before the introduction of videotape) in
which a film of a TV program is made by placing a
movie camera in front of a TV screen displaying that
program. In Britain, called a telerecording.
kinnie A name often applied to the picture tube.
kk CATV hyperband channel, 360-366. See TV
channel assignments.
klieg light A powerful, wide-angle carbon arc lamp used
in motion-picture, theatrical, and TV production; pronounced “kleeg” and sometimes misspelled Kleig.
klystrode A hybrid tube that employs both a control grid and velocity modulation. This has extended the use of the klystron principle into VHF
TV transmitters.
klystron An electron tube in which the electron beam
is velocity modulated to generate or amplify microwaves. The electron beam from the cathode passes
between the grids of a cavity resonator known as a
buncher. The input signal is applied to this resonator and the resulting potentials between the grids
cause velocity modulation of the beam. Bunching
occurs in the drift space, and the bunches, in passing through the catcher grids, induce an amplified
output signal in the catcher resonator. The beam is
finally collected at the anode (or collector). Used in
TV transmitters. See Applegate diagram.
knee In the graphical representation of a tonal reproduction process, such as photography or TV, a point
or region of inflection on the characteristic curve,
where the slope representing the rate of change alters, usually from a higher to a lower value.
koch resistance The resistance of a photocell when
light is incident on the active surface of the tube.
Kodak still-picture process A hybrid technique of
traditional and electronic photography. It uses the
traditional photographic method but also permits
pictures to be manipulated and viewed electronically. The system is called Photo CD; developed by
Kodak and Philips. A consumer receives 35-mm
negatives and prints from the photo finisher in the
traditional manner. However, the images can also
be converted to digital data and recorded on a CD
and then played back on a TV screen by using a
special player. Each disc can contain as many as 100
pictures from either slides or negatives. Photo CD is
now targeted towards professionals, and the Picture CD is targeted towards consumers.
KoyCrypt A scrambling system by Hi Tech Xtravision.
A VideoCrypt clone, it is claimed to be harder to
hack than the original. Not used by broadcasters
because of copyright issues.
k rating Method of stating the subjective effect of
linear amplitude and phase distortions on a TV signal. Sine-squared pulse and bar signals and fieldfrequency square wave signals are passed through
the system. The output waveforms are compared
with special oscilloscope graticules marked with limits for various k ratings, and the k rating of the system is stated as the largest value found—i.e., the
worst rating.
kroma glass Colored mirrored glass that reflects and
transmits light. It is used in video and photography
for special effects.
ktp/shg blue laser A laser that reads a high-density
optical disc at room temperature; Pioneer Electronic
Corp., Tokyo. Previous attempts have only been successful at low temperatures. Development of a
room-temperature, solid-state, blue laser was a key
to optical disc systems capable of recording multiple hours of high-resolution video on a CD-sized
Ku-band Frequencies in the 12-18 GHz range. It is used
by radio and TV stations for satellite transmission.
Ku-band satellite Communication satellite that contains transponders on frequencies in the Ku-band
from 11.7 to 12.2 GHz. Signals of these frequencies
can be received by relatively small TVRO dishes, thus
making DBS services possible. Ku-band transmission
is sensitive to atmospheric changes, however, and
satellites using that band cover only a small portion
of the US, in contrast to C-band satellites, which
cover most of the country.
Ku-track TV news truck, a mobile unit for satellite transmission. The vehicle is sometimes called a 12-14
truck or 12-14 unit, after the GHz range.
L 1. CATV superband channel, 228-234 MHz. 2. TV
standard; France, Korea. Characteristics: 625 lines/
frame, 50 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 25 fr/s, 15,625
lines/s, aspect ratio—4:3, video band—6 MHz, RF
band—8 MHz, visual polarity—positive, sound
modulation—F3, gamma of picture signal—0.5.
LAC Live Action Camera.
LADT Local Area Data Transport.
lag 1. In photocells and camera tubes, the time that
elapses between a change in light input and the corresponding change in electrical output. Lag in camera tubes tends to produce blurred images of objects
that move rapidly across the field of view. Keeping
lag to an acceptable level is one of the difficulties
in the design of photoconductive targets. 2. The
temporary retaining of the electrically charged image of a TV camera tube. See also Image retention. 3. Time constant of many phosphors and
targets in TV sufficient to cause smear and persistence on a moving object. 4. In photoconductive
tubes, the rate of decay of the video signal when
illumination is changed abruptly or cut off. See also
Photoconductive lag.
lambert (L) A CGS unit of luminance or brightness,
defined as brightness of a perfectly diffusing surface, when the total flux radiated is 1 lumen per
square cm. The SI unit of luminance, the candela
per square meter, is preferred.
LAN Local Area Network.
lands In optical recording, refers to the areas of the
data tracks which are between the pits. These are
typically the areas not touched by the recording laser beam during mastering.
lap dissolve A film and video transition and special
effect in which one scene is faded out while the
next scene is faded in, both occurring simultaneously.
lapel mike A small microphone clipped to a lapel,
necktie, shirt, or elsewhere, or worn hanging around
the neck; also called lavaliere, lavaliere microphone.
large-area flicker See Flicker.
large screen TV Images bigger than those that can be
formed on a directly viewed CRT. See also Projection television.
laser Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of
Radiation. A device for light amplification which re-
lies for its action on the radiation emitted by certain
atoms when transitions occur between discrete energy levels. In practice, positive feedback is usually
applied to the amplifiers (by use of mirrors at the
input and the output) to make them oscillate. They
then become generators of coherent light in the form
of a narrow and sharply defined beam of good spectral purity and frequency stability. The four basic types
of laser are gas, liquid, semiconductor, and solid.
Laser technology has been successfully applied to
such video equipment as VDPs and projection systems. Lasers are also used in CATV in combination
with fiber optics technology.
laser-based projection system An experimental projection TV system that features a low dispersion of
the beam so that focus is not greatly affected by the
angle of the screen. First demonstrated in 1988 at a
National Association of Broadcasters convention, the
laser-based system, despite some interesting advantages over conventional systems, has suffered several setbacks—chiefly financial.
laser beam That part of an optical disc player or system that carries the video signal without making
physical contact with the disc. Using only a beam of
light, the laser beam stores more video information
on the disc than can be packed onto videotape. This
results in a clear, more detailed screen image. Since
the laser beam head or arm never touches the
laserdisc, the disc is virtually free from deterioration.
In addition, the sound from VDP equals that produced by a CD system.
laser communication Optical communication based
on a laser beam that is modulated for voice, video,
or data communication over information bandwidths
up to 1 GHz.
laserdisc In video, prerecorded software that resembles
a long-playing record and is used in conjunction with
a videodisc player. Unlike videocassettes that can
both record and play back, laserdiscs can only play
back prerecorded programs. Laserdiscs are read by
a laser beam that never makes physical contact with
the disc, thereby preserving the disc from wear and
tear almost indefinitely. CAV laserdiscs, which offer
special effects, have a maximum playing time of 30
minutes while CLV discs contain 60 minutes of pro-
gramming. LV discs come in two sizes, 8 and 12
inches, both using analog video and analog/digital
laserdisc player See CLV, Double-side videodisc player,
Laserdisc, LV videodisc system, Videodisc player.
laser-lock With an LV videodisc player, a malfunction
in which the laser arbitrarily locks into a single frame.
This may sometimes be caused by fingerprints on
the disc.
laser optical media Any hard plastic disc of information that has been recorded and can be read by a
laser light beam. Discs include a variety of types: the
3- and 5-inch CD, CD-I, 5-inch CD-ROM, 5-inch CD-V,
DVD, 5-inch CD-Write Once, 5-inch DVI and 8- and
12-inch LV (laser videodisc).
laser projector Source of a laser beam. Used in 3D TV
camera systems; it emits a very narrow beam of light
or other radiant energy along a path in accordance
with information received from a raster scan
laser TV image A TV image displayed by laser beam.
The system, developed by Schneider Rundfunkwerke
AG (Germany), uses a giant rear-screen projector
containing a laser. The laser beam is deflected by a
scanner that separates picture information into R,
G, B constituents, with no need for a CRT. Due to
the highly focused laser light, the resulting picture
is bright and comparable to images viewed on conventional TVs, yet the screen requires no depth, just
Laser VideoDisc (LV) An optical videodisc, made by
Philips of Holland.
LaserVision (LV) Electronic optical machine introduced
in 1978 and containing a low-power laser that reflects off the surface of the videodisc and creates
electronic signals that can be seen on a TV screen.
See also CAV, CLV.
last channel function Last memory function.
last memory function A feature, sometimes found
on videodisc or CD video players, that resumes playing a disc at the same point at which the machine
was shut off. This function is sometimes listed as
last channel memory.
last telecast (LTC) A term used at a TV station to indicate the last program of the broadcast day.
latency The factor of data access time due to disk
rotation. The faster a disk spins the quicker it will be
at the position where the required data can begin
to be read. As disk diameters have decreased, rotational speeds have tended to increase, but there is
still much variation. Modern 3-1/2-inch drives typically have spindle speeds of between 3,600 and
7,200 revolutions per minute, so one revolution is
completed in 16 or 8 milliseconds (ms) respectively.
This is represented in the disk specification as average latency of 8 or 4 ms.
latent image A stored image, as in the form of charges
on a mosaic of small capacitances. In video, an im-
age stored in the charged capacitance in an iconoscope. In photography, the latent image remains on
the exposed film, invisible to the naked eye, until it
is processed or developed.
laugh track The audio component of a TV situation
comedy or other program on which audience laughter is inserted, from tape cassettes with various types
of actual or artificial laughter.
lav Lavaliere microphone.
lavaliere microphone (LAV) A miniature condensertype microphone which is designed to pin or clip on
the clothing of the subject being interviewed and
videotaped. The lavaliere microphone is omnidirectional. This unobstructed mic is inexpensive, provides
good fidelity and rejects echoes and other incidental surrounding noises. It is very popular for talk
shows and interviews and is named after Madame
de La Valliere, a onetime mistress of Louis XIV, who
always wore a jewel suspended on a chain above
her bosom. Also called lapel mike.
Lawrence tube Color display tube, named after the
American physicist who first suggested the principle of operation; also known as chromatron, focus-mask and post-deflection focus tubes. It is an
attempt to reduce the complexity of color TV receivers, by removing the need for static and dynamic
layered embedded encoding The process of compressing data in layers so successive layers provide
more information and thus higher quality reconstruction of the original. That is, a single stream of data
can supply a range of compression and, thus, in the
case of video, a scalable range of video resolution
and picture quality. This is particularly useful for a
multicast where a single stream is sent out and
people are connecting over varying bandwidths. The
low bandwidth connection can take just the lower
layers while the high-bandwidth connection can take
all of the layers for the highest quality.
layering In music or sound production, the technique
of combining many sound generators to create a
richer sound.
LCD Liquid Crystal Display. An alphanumeric display
using liquid crystal sealed between two pieces of
glass. The display is divided into hundreds or thousands of individual dots, which are charged or not
charged, reflecting or not reflecting external light
to form characters, letters and numbers. LCD displays have certain advantages. They use little electricity and react reasonably quickly, though not nearly
as quickly as a glass CRT. They are reasonably legible. They require external light to reflect their information to the user. The so-called “supertwist” LCDs
are more readable. In active matrix displays, the circuit board contains individual transistors for each
pixel, or dot on the screen: the crystals can shift
quickly, resulting in a higher quality image and ability to display full-motion video.
LCD counter
LCD counter In video, a feature employing liquid crystal display for digital readouts on more recent VCR
timers. LCD provides dark digits against a light background, in contrast to LED, which features red or
green digits against a dark background.
LCD digital scanner programming system A device
of some VCRs for simple and accurate timer recording. The basic elements of the system are LCD digital scanner and programming sheet. LCD digital
scanner programming procedure:
1. Trace the digital scanner across the bar codes.
2. Confirm the scanned programming information
on the built-in LCD.
3. Transmit the programming information.
4. Double-check programming information on the
multi-function display.
LCD panel A VCR remote control panel using an LCD
to program in recording information, which is then
transmitted to the VCR. Normally, with recent VCR
models, such information as program number, day
of week, start time, stop time, channel and recording speed has to be programmed on screen using
the TV set. Remote controls with LCD displays bypass this step; programming can be done away from
the TV set without the set having to be turned on,
and the data sent to the recorder by way of a transmit button on the remote panel.
LCD projection TV A large-screen TV system that uses
liquid display panels from 1 to 3" thick. The LCD
projection TV is much lighter than conventional CRTbased projection systems—thus more portable. In
addition, it offers screen sizes from 35 to 120" with
about 350 lines of horizontal resolution. The light
source of the LCD projector is projected through a
matrix of tiny, semiconductor shutters, whose positions determine the light value of that pixel. Some
advanced models feature a single beam unit, a relatively light 30-pound projector, exceptionally bright
picture quality and improved definition. LCD video
projectors usually do not provide any audio circuitry
or tuner; these components must be supplied by
the user.
LCD status panel A video camera feature that is designed to inform the user about the position of various camera operations. The LCD status panel is
usually built into the camera body.
LCD television The use of LCD panels instead of conventional image tubes in TV sets. LCD TV, although
not presently available in all its varieties, promises
certain advantages over the ordinary CRT in every
TV set—it is lighter, thinner and uses less power.
However, LCDs need their own light source. LCDs,
essential for the much-touted flat-panel wall TV, are
also currently employed in front and rear projection
TV systems. The first LCD TV appeared early in 1981
in an experimental model by Toshiba and featured a
2" black and white image. See LCD projection TV.
LDS Local distribution service station, a fixed cable tele-
vision relay service (CARS) station used within a cable
television system or systems for the transmission of
television signals and related audio signals, signals
of standard and FM broadcast station, signals of instructional television fixed stations, and cablecasting
from a local transmission point to one or more receiving points, from which the communications are
distributed to the public.
LDTV Low Definition TV (e.g., VHS).
lead-acid battery A less expensive battery than the
nickel cadmium type. The lead-acid battery has to
charge overnight whereas the NiCad can be charged
in less than 2 hours. Found in portable video
leader 1. The blank segment found at the beginning
of a videotape. A leader is used to feed the magnetic tape through the tape mechanism and secure
it onto the roll. 2. A short piece of film or videotape
that is placed on the front of a videotape recording
or film used in TV. The practice was originally developed and encouraged by the SMPTE for film and
today both film and videotape leaders are known
more formally as society leader or SMPTE leader. The
film leader consists of some 30 s of film that contains 15 or 20 s of black blank film (for threading
the projector) and 10 s of timing numerals. In addition to the timing function, an SMPTE leader on a
videotape provides electronic test signals to allow
technicians to adjust the settings on the VTR before
a full playback or dubbing operation. It is 45 s in
lead-in Refers to the antenna cable that is connected
to the TV receiver. Also called down-lead.
leading ghost A ghost displaced to the left of the
image on a TV receiver screen.
leading/lagging chrominance effect A technical aberration in a TV picture. This effect occurs when the
chrominance portion of the video signal leads or lags
behind the luminance signal. The result is an undesired effect in which the colors appear to the left (leading) or to the right (lagging) of the image.
lead-in insulator A tubular insulator inserted into a
hole drilled through a wall, through which the leadin wire can be brought into a building.
leakage current test, VCR A test to determine if any
part of the AC line has come in contact with metal
cabinet or base. It is a safety check to prevent a potential shock hazard. A volt-ohmmeter is needed to
perform the test. With the VCR unplugged, short
the two flat prongs on the end of the AC cord with
a jumper wire. Connect one test lead from the meter
to the jumper on the AC cord. Connect the other
test lead to any and all bare (not painted) metal parts
of the deck. For a typical VCR, the meter should
read about 50 kohm to 100 kohm—if you get any
reading at all. Not all exposed metal parts of the
VCR will return a high value. Touching the center
conductor of one of the audio output connectors
could yield a very low resistance, say from 1 kohm
to 50 kohm.
leapfrogging The technique of bringing in distant signals on a CATV system.
leddicon A camera tube with a photoconductive target of lead oxide.
legend Titles or information keyed, or superimposed,
on a TV picture.
leko See Lekolite.
lekolite An ellipsoidal spotlight with individual pushshutters for focusing the light, used in TV to create
background effects and also used in film and theater. Commonly called leko, it is made by Strand
Lighting, Compton, California.
lens 1. (a) A piece of glass, or other transparent substance, with two curved surfaces, or one plane and
one curved, regularly bringing together or spreading rays of light passing through it: a lens or combination of lenses is used in optical instruments to form
an image. (b) A combination of two or more such
pieces. 2. Any of various devices used to focus microwaves, electrons, or sound waves. 3. An arrangement of CRT-electrodes that produces an electric field
that focuses electrons into a beam. 4. A series of
optical elements, contained within a video camera,
which collect and focus light. Several lenses may be
attached to a lens turret, or revolving mount. There
are two major types of lenses found on video cameras: the fixed focal length and the zoom. The latter
is the more popular and more expensive. It has variable focal lengths. For example, it can be used as a
wide angle, normal or telephoto lens with a simple
adjustment or can zoom in or out during the recording of a subject or scene. The zoom lens often
has a macro feature, which allows the lens to focus
on objects as close as an inch or two from the lens
barrel. Another feature of a lens is its maximum
opening or aperture. The larger the opening, the
more light it admits; also, the more expensive the
lens. Lens openings are calibrated in f-stops, such
as f/11, f/16, etc. Earlier camera models had a fixed
or stationary lens. Many of today’s cameras have
lenses that are interchangeable through the use of
a standard C-mount. However, the zoom lens has
eliminated the need for changing lenses, at least for
most home video users. Sometimes “lenses” may
consist of simply an open optical aperture, e.g. in
some 3D TV camera systems, using laser projectors
and laser sensors. 5. Anat. A transparent, biconvex
body situated between the iris and the vitreous humor of the eye: it focuses upon the retina light rays
entering the pupil.
lens clearing brush A very fine brush specially made
for cleaning a lens.
lens line A teleprompting system that shows one line
at a time at the center of the TV camera lens, visible
to the performance but not televised.
lens mount The assembly on the front of the camera
to which the lens is attached. See also C-mount,
Universal lens mount.
lens paper A paper specially made for cleaning lenses.
lens speed Parameter defining the ability of a particular lens to collect light and work at different
light levels; usually expressed by its lowest f-stop
lens stabilization A unique video camera feature that
produces a relatively stable picture by physically adjusting the lens assembly to compensate for camera
movement. This is accomplished by the use of sensing devices that scan horizontal and vertical movement. A tiny computer receives these signals and
sends them to two miniaturized motors that control
the horizontal and vertical motion of the lens,
thereby correcting much of the camera movement.
Not all cameras offer this feature that provides a
steadier image than that usually produced by the
conventional video camera. Also known as auto
image stabilization.
lens turret Sometimes called rack. See Lens.
lenticular lens See Fresnel lens.
lenticular system One of the 3D-image display systems which doesn’t need to use special glasses.
letter box See MIT-CC system.
letterboxing Refers to the wide aspect ratio or dimensions of theatrical films and their presentation
on conventional TV screens. Some telecasts, determined not to cut parts of the original film, present
the entire wide-screen view, resulting in black borders on the top and bottom of the TV screen. Sometimes TV stations add a decorative bezel to these
unattractive black borders. The term stems from the
shape of the slot in mailboxes.
level 1. In video, a specified position on an amplitude
scale applied to a signal waveform, such as reference white level and reference black level in a standard TV signal. 2. The strength of the audio signal,
usually designated in dB. MIC level designates a lowimpedance line on VCR, suited for a mike input. LINE
level, AUX, and AUDIO IN designate a high-impedance line suited for audio mixers, tape recorders, or
other VCRs.
level-dependent gain Variation of gain of an amp
with variation of input signal level.
level-dependent phase Variation of phase shift
through an amp with variation of input signal level.
lhc Left-hand circular (polarization).
lift 1. In a TV, a pedestal of adjustable height. 2. Control associated with each picture-generated apparatus such as a camera, telecine machine, etc., whereby
the operator can lift the picture signal bodily up or
down in potential with respect to blanking level and
so set the darker tones of the picture for optimum
contrast in relation to black. This is achieved by altering the DC level of that portion of the generated
video waveform containing the picture signal without affecting the blanking level, and is most conve-
niently carried out by modifying the DC conditions
associated with the blanking pulse insertion circuit.
Because the lift control operates equally on all signal levels comprising the picture information, any
adjustment of this control usually needs to be accompanied by an adjustment of picture amplitude
to establish the highlights of the picture in relation
to peak white level. 3. The process of increasing the
number of subscribers at a CATV system. 4. A portion of a radio or TV commercial for use as a shorter,
separate commercial. For example, to save on production costs, a 30-second commercial can be produced with a 10-second lift within it, for use as a
separate 10-second identification.
light Technically, light is electromagnetic radiation visible to the human eye. The term is also applied to
electromagnetic radiation with properties similar to
visible light, including the invisible near-infrared
“light” (or more technically correct, radiation) that
carries signals in most fiber optic communication
systems. Light consists of electromagnetic waves
ordinarily applied to those having a wave length of
from .000075 cm (the red ray) to .000038 cm (the
violet ray).
light application bar During its TV transmission, a
film frame may be illuminated for only a part of each
field scanning interval; whether or not this matters
depends on the amount of storage, or memory, in
the telecine pick-up tube. The ratio of illuminated
to unilluminated time is called the light application
ratio or time, and is often expressed in angular degrees, 360 degrees representing lit frame. If the film
projection rate is not synchronized to the TV picture
frequency, and if there is insufficient storage in the
telecine, it is possible for a horizontal black bar to
float up or down the TV picture. This light application bar is caused by the film frame not being illuminated during part of the active TV field scanning
light application time Time during which light is allowed to fall on a frame of film in a vidicon type of
film scanner.
light biasing A technique employed in some video
cameras using a saticon tube to compensate for
image retention. The saticon, claiming improved picture resolution over the vidicon tube, tends to suffer from lag when the camera pans. Light biasing
attempts to correct this by directing a light at the
back of the sensitive faceplate.
Lightgate® Service A BellSouth optical fiber-based
private line service that allows high-volume customers integrated voice, data and video transmission.
Lightgate Service is the equivalent of 672 voice or
data, private line or dial up circuits.
lighting In video, any available, natural or artificial
illumination. Standard indoor lighting includes a base
light, a key light, a fill light, a back light and an eye
light. The base light, usually located over the sub-
ject, provides general illumination to the scene area,
assuring that the scene is bright enough not to cause
any video noise. The key light is the brightest and is
aimed at the subject. It may be a spotlight or a floodlight. It accentuates the subject, casting a definite
shadow. It is usually positioned 45 degrees from the
camera and higher than the subject. The fill light,
often the same as the base light, is soft and lights
up the dark areas of the scene. It is not as bright as
the key light. The back light, usually a rear spotlight, provides definition when aimed at the subject. It separates the subject from the background.
The eye light is a tiny spotlight which, when aimed
at the subject’s eyes, causes highlights in them,
making them appear more lifelike.
lighting arrester (LA) A commercial protective device
designed to reduce the danger of damage to TV
and related units caused by lighting. The accessory
provides a bypass directly to the ground for lighting
discharges that reach the antenna. LAs are usually
installed in conjunction with outdoor antennas
mounted on the roofs of homes.
lighting plot A diagram showing the position of all
lighting instruments in the TV production.
lighting ratio The brightness level of the fill-light compared to the brightness level of the key-light, or the
shadowy areas compared to the brightly lit areas;
measured as a ratio determined by the f-stop of the
lens; a 1:2 ratio means that key is 1 f-stop brighter
than fill; 1:3, a stop and a half; and 1:4, 2 stops.
lighting supervisor Controls and adjusts the lighting
in a TV studio. He/she assists the designers in drawing up the lighting plan for a production (i.e., a plan
showing the type and position of the lamps) and
oversees their setting by the studio electricians. He
sets the brightness to an approximately correct value
using a lightmeter and his monitor. The final adjustments of brightness are done during rehearsal.
light level meter An indicator on some video cameras that indicates whether the subject has too little
or too much light.
lightness of the color See Variables of perceived color.
light spot scanner Flying spot scanner.
light-transfer characteristics Relationship between
light input and voltage output.
light valve projection system A projection TV system that operates by scanning a beam of electrons
across reflectors or mirrors coated with an oil film.
The electrons distort the surface of the oil, thereby
altering how the light reacts when it reflects off the
mirrors. The result of this action determines whether
the light reaches the screen directly or is transmitted through a diffraction grating.
limited-play videocassette A type of videocassette
that can be rented and watched for a limited number of times before automatically erasing itself. It
has a built-in counter that notes how many times it
has been viewed and an internal magnet that erases
linear scan
the tape after 25 screenings. The consumer must
pay for each viewing in a PPV type of strategy for
home video. When the tape is returned, the counter
shows if the tape has been played more than once,
and thus if any further charge is due.
limiter Clipper, peak limiter. A circuit that limits the
amplitude of its output signal to some predetermined
threshold level. It can act on positive or negative
swings or on both.
limiting resolution In video, the measurement of the
resolution as determined by the maximum number
of lines per picture height as registered on a test
chart. The limiting resolution of a TV picture is one
of its fundamental properties.
line 1. The path covered by the electron beam of a TV
picture tube in one sweep from left to right across
the screen. 2. Transmission line. 3. Trace. 4. See
Time base error. 5. In film and TV, the area on a set
within which action occurs; also called action line,
imaginary line, or axis of action. The camera generally is supposed to focus on the action and not cross
the line. To down the line is to transmit a radio or TV
program to a station for internal use prior to broadcast.
line amplifier In CATV, refers to amps inserted in the
cable at intervals to compensate for its attenuation.
Their specifications are a key element in determining the performance of the system. Each amp includes an equalizer that compensates for the increase
in cable attenuation with frequency.
linear actuator A TVRO antenna positioner. It consists of a motor, a set of reduction gears and a sliding jack driven by either a reciprocating ball or an
acme screw. The motor is generally mounted onto
the polar mount and one end of the jackscrew is
secured to the dish. The jackscrew can be mounted
on either side of the antenna. This is determined by
the geographic location of the satellite system. When
most satellites are in the western portion of the sky,
the jack is attached to the right rear of the antenna
as viewed from behind and vice versa.
linear audio A method of placing the sound track on
videotape. Linear audio may be mono or stereo.
Another method of recording sound on videotape
is diagonal recording—placing the audio track along
with the diagonal video track for better quality. See
Linear stereo.
linear editing Refers to a restrictive process of editing
tape by recording predetermined scenes in sequence
on another tape. This meant that after the second
tape was completed, any additional editing required
a third tape, and another generation loss of detail.
This method has been replaced by nonlinear editing,
in which information about different sequences is
stored in memory until the final tape is made. If additional changes are required, another tape can be produced without any generation loss by referring to the
stored memory rather than the edited tape.
linearity 1. In TV, usually refers to the geometric accuracy of scanning. However, linearity is also sometimes used to refer to the accuracy of gray scale
reproduction (linearity of the amplitude transfer characteristic), but it is less confusing to use the word
“gamma” for the gray scale characteristic. 2. A testing procedure that measures the ability of a video
source to reproduce a series of gray in a uniform
(linear) pattern. The more linear the pattern of
shades, which range from black to white, the better
the source’s ability to reproduce the original picture.
3. Linearity refers to the horizontal and vertical controls that affect the “size” of TV image. For example,
the picture is enlarged so that it fills the screen without exhibiting lines above or below the image. 4. In
A/D (Analog to Digital) or D/A (Digital to Analog),
linearity measures the precision with which the digital output/input tracks the analog input/output. Linearity is typically measured by making the ADC or
DAC attempt to generate a linearly increasing signal. The actual output is compared to the ideal the
output. The difference is a measure of the linearity.
The smaller the number, the better. Linearity is typically specified as a range or percentage of LSBs (Least
Significant Bits).
linearity chart See Video test chart.
linearity control A TV receiver control that varies the
amount of correction applied to the sawtooth scanning wave to provide the desired linear scanning of
lines; lines appear straight, and round objects appear as true circles. Separate linearity controls,
known as the horizontal linearity and the vertical
linearity controls, are usually provided for the horizontal and vertical sweep oscillators. It is also called
distribution control.
linear matrix transformation The process of transformation of a group of n signals by combining the
signals through addition or subtraction. It can be
used, for example, to convert RGB into YUV. See
also Luminance/chrominance principle.
linear play Playback of a recorded sequence from start
to finish without interactivity.
linear program Program material on tape or disc that
the viewer plays through from beginning to end.
Linear programming, such as films, plays, etc., is
usually contrasted with interactive TV or interactive
videodisc in which segments of a program are encoded with a signal for easy access.
linear quantization Audio sampling format used in
digital audio processors. Usually 14 or 16 bits.
linear recording Magnetic recording that uses biasing to restrict operation to the linear portion of the
demagnetization curve. It is required for recording
analog data, sound signals, and video signals.
linear scan A sweep of the electron beam in a CRT in
which the beam scans the screen with constant velocity, usually by application of a sawtooth waveform to the deflection plates or coils.
linear stereo
linear stereo The use of conventional, low-quality
mono audio tracks, located near the edge of the
tape, for the stereo audio signal. Linear stereo splits
the audio track into two, separating the pair with a
narrow guard band. In contrast to linear stereo, or
linear track stereo as it is sometimes called, the superior Beta or VHS Hi-Fi technique records the audio signal along with the diagonal video signal tracks
for better sound reproduction.
linear time-base oscillator A relaxation oscillator that
is used to generate a sawtooth waveform for use as
a time base.
linear time counter A device to calculate tape run
time in VTRs. Since the counter works by detecting
a control signal, accurate time display is maintained
even through FF or REW operations. See Real-time
linear time readout (LTR) Real-time counter.
line-balanced converter Balun.
linebeat See Meshbeat.
line blanking Refers to the period of time that the
scanning dot or spot takes to return from the end
of one line scan to the beginning of the next. The
dot moves from left to right as it scans each of 525
lines, which form the NTSC standard. As it moves
from right to left, the video camera emits no signal.
This line blanking, or horizontal blanking as it is often called (since the scanning dot moves in a horizontal direction), permits only the left-to-right
scanned information to be traced for a clear video
image. The line-blanking period in the NTSC 525line system is 10.8 µs, and in the PAL 625-line system 12 µs.
line count The number of active scanning lines actually used to carry the video picture signal; always
less than total number of lines.
line datum A reference time moment at the midlevel crossing point of the leading edge of the line
sync pulse. This is the default timing reference in
the TV environment (as opposed to the active line
start which is commonly used in computing environments). Syn.: 0 h; line start [moment]; time
line dicing A scrambling technique, whereby lines are
broken into pieces and sent to TV sets in random
line diffuser An oscillator within a TV monitor or receiver that produces small vertical oscillations of the
spot on the screen to make the line structure of the
image less noticeable at short viewing distances.
line doubling An image enhancement technique, used
in video recording and applied to broadcasting, that
improves picture quality. When projected, the image almost equals that of 35mm film projection.
Developed by French engineer Yves Faroudja, who
calls this technique Super-NTSC, the line doubling
system was intended to be a strong competitor of
HDTV. The former does not make present TV receiv-
ers obsolete, whereas the latter does. The line doubling process, which doubles the number of active
line scans on the screen, results in an image of higher
density and greater stability.
line drive pulse The signal generated to control the
horizontal blanking circuits.
line filter In video, an electronic component, containing one or more inductors and capacitors, that
is placed between a transmitter or receiver and
the power line to prevent noise signals and other
line flyback Horizontal flyback.
line frequency In TV, the number of horizontal sweeps
made by the scanning beam in 1 s. It is equal to the
product of the number of lines per picture and the
picture frequency. In a twin-interlaced system such
as used by most TV services the picture frequency is
one half the field frequency. For example, in the PAL
625-line system there are 50 fields per second and
thus the line frequency is 625 x 50/2 = 15.625 kHz;
in the NTSC 525-line system there are 59.94 fields
per second and thus the line frequency is 525 x
59.94/2 = 15.734 kHz.
line-frequency blanking pulse Horizontal blanking
line input terminals The audio/video input and output jacks, usually found on the rear of VCRs, that
are used for copying and editing. The direct line input terminals are preferred for these operations over
the antenna connections, which may produce grain
and color changes to the copied or edited videotape.
line interlace Interlaced scanning.
line level impedance A low impedance signal of 600
ohms. Line matching transformers are used for
matching the impedances of various components,
such as a microphone to the input of a mixer.
line-locked clock A design that ensures that there is
always a constant number of video samples per scan
line, even if the timing of the line changes.
line microphone A directional mic with an acoustical
transmission line in front of the transducer, often
with a pole at least 2 feet long. Commonly used in
film and TV studios, it sometimes is called a shotgun microphone.
line pairs A measure of resolution often used in film
and print media. In TV, lines are used instead, creating confusion when comparing film and video.
line scan The rapid movement of the electron beam
across the TV screen of the CRT. Different TV broadcasting systems have different numbers of line scans
per picture frame. The NTSC (American) standard
requires one frame of 525 lines (actually two fields
of 262.5 lines each). These line scans are not to be
confused with the lines of horizontal resolution.
line-scan pickup device A type of solid-state video
pickup device which electronically scans only in one
direction. Scanning in the other direction is accom-
plished mechanically by relative motion between the
pickup device and the image.
line-sequential color television A color TV system
in which each of the video signals (R,G, and B) is
transmitted in turn for the duration of one entire
scanning line. Used in SSTV.
line shuffling 1. A TV scrambling technique in which
individual lines are sent in random order. 2. See
Bandwidth reduction (EUREKA-95 HDMAC system).
line start [moment] A reference time moment at the
mid-level crossing point of the leading edge of the
line sync pulse. This is the default timing reference
in the TV environment (as opposed to the active line
start which is commonly used in computing environments). Syn.: 0 h; line datum; time datum.
line store A memory buffer used to hold one line of
video. If the horizontal resolution of the screen is
640 pixels and RGB is used as the color space, the
line store would have to be 640 locations long by 3
bytes wide. This amounts to one location for each
pixel and each color plane. Line stores are typically
used in filtering algorithms. For example, a comb
filter is made up of two or more line stores. The
DCT used in the JPEG and MPEG compression algorithms could use eight line stores since processing is
done on blocks of 8x8 pixels.
line sync signal In TV, the signal transmitted at the
end of each scanning line to initiate horizontal
flyback of the scanning beam in receivers, so keeping the scanning at the receiver in step with that at
the transmitter. In most TV systems the signal consists of a single pulse from blanking level to sync
level, the leading edge of which locks the receiver
line time base. Also called horizontal synchronizing
line tilt A TV picture distortion. Comparable with field
tilt, line tilt is a gradual increase or decrease in the
DC component over the course of the line waveform, owing to AC coupling or the addition of hum
or other spurious low-frequency signals. Usually the
amplitude is less than that caused by frame tilt, as
there is less time for the line waveform to take up
the new potential. The effect can be reduced by
passing the signal through a keyed, or line-by-line
clamping circuit, thus restoring the beginning of each
line to the same potential with respect to earth. The
visual effect is that of a gradual increase or decrease
in brightness from left to right of the viewed TV
line time base 1. The circuits responsible for generating the signals causing horizontal deflection of the
scanning beam. In modern TV receivers the line output stage generates, in addition to the line scanning current, a direct voltage to boost the supply to
the output stage, the heater supply for the picture
tube, the EHT supply for the picture tube and possibly a low-voltage supply for early stages in the receiver. 2. The control of the horizontal deflection of
the scanning spot so that it starts to scan each new
line at exactly the right moment.
lining In videotex, a display of alphanumeric characters with an underline that is considered to be part
of the shape of the characters. Mosaic characters
and line drawing characters are displayed in separated fonts.
lip sync Lip synchronization.
lip synchronization A technique used in TV and film
production, that matches the voices of performers
speaking or singing with their lip movements. Also
called lip sync. See also Mime.
liquid crystal An organic compound that has a liquid
phase and a molecular structure similar to that of a
solid crystal. The liquid is normally transparent, but
it becomes translucent (almost opaque) in localized
areas in which the alignment of the molecules is
distributed by applying an electric field with shaped
electrodes. Liquid crystals have three phases: nematic, smectic, and cholesteric; the nematic phase, in
which the elongated molecules are lined up in one
direction but are not in layers, is most commonly
used in LCDs.
liquid crystal display See LCD.
live 1. Broadcast directly at the time of production,
instead of from recorded or filmed program material. 2. Syn.: alive. See Dead.
live camera See Camera categories.
live chassis A radio, TV, or other chassis that has a
direct chassis connection to one side of the AC line.
For safety, a live chassis must be completely enclosed
by an insulating cabinet.
live-streaming Streaming media that is broadcast realtime to many people at a set time.
LL CATV hyperband channel, 366-372 MHz. See TV
channel assignments.
LNA Low Noise Amplifier. In satellite TV, a device that
receives and amplifies the weak satellite signal reflected by an antenna via a feedhorn. C-band LNAs
typically have their noise characteristics quoted as
noise temperatures rated in degrees Kelvin. K-band
LNA noise characteristics are usually expressed as a
noise figure in dB.
LNB Low Noise Block downconverter. In satellite TV, a
low noise microwave amp and converter which
downconverts a block or range of frequencies at
once to an IF range, typically 950 to 1450 MHz or
950 to 1750 MHz.
LNC Low Noise Converter. In satellite TV, an LNA and a
conventional downconverter housed in one weatherproof box. This device converts one channel at a
time. Channel selection is controlled by the satellite
receiver. The typical IF for LNCs is 70 MHz.
LO 1. Local Oscillator. 2. Local Origination.
load 1. To place a reel, disc, cartridge, or some other
type of recording media into a machine that extracts
the stored data or the audio or video content. 2. To
place a termination across a video or audio line.
local area data transport
local area data transport (LADT) An electronic network for data delivery among videotex systems.
local area network (LAN) A network designed to provide facilities for inter-user communication within a
single geographical location. Contrasted with wide
area network (WAN).
local color The normal or true color of an object, in
ordinary daylight.
local origination (LO) One of the main attractions of
CATV systems is locally originated programming.
These channels can only be obtained by cable subscribers and not from any system satellite or otherwise. Earlier cable systems usually designated one
channel containing programming from a cable
operator’s own studio facility. That was simply known
as local origination and programs consisted of local
interest subjects. Later cable operators added alphanumeric channels containing printed messages of
community interest and/or classified ads.
local oscillator (LO) The oscillator in a superheterodyne receiver; its output is mixed with the incoming
modulated RF carrier signal in the mixer to give the
lower frequency needed to produce the IF
local pickup A condition in a TV receiver or a VCR in
which the internal tuner substitutes as an antenna,
producing ghosts on the TV screen. Good shielding
of the tuner minimizes local pickup. VCRs are usually free from this anomaly.
location An actual setting, as distinct from a studio,
used for a film or TV show. The location manager is
the person who finds sites for shooting outside the
studio, with the assistance of location scouts, and
who then makes arrangements for the use of these
location manager A member of a film or TV production staff in charge of the logistics of a shooting
outside the studio. The location manager sometimes
also serves as a location scout.
location scout In film and TV, a member of the production staff who finds off-studio sites and arranges
for accommodations, permits, and other arrangements prior to the shooting.
lockbox A device that allows cable subscribers to block
out reception of a particular channel at any given
time. It is installed at the back of a TV set and contains a trap that can be activated by a key. Such a
box protects those who do not want to receive what
they consider to be objectionable, obscene, or indecent programming.
locked When a phase lock loop (PLL) is accurately producing horizontal syncs that are precisely lined up
with the horizontal syncs of the incoming video
source, the PLL is said to be “locked.” When a PLL is
locked, the PLL is stable and there is minimum jitter
in the generated sample clock.
locked-oscillator quadrature-grid FM detector An
FM detector that functions as a directly driven
quadrature-grid detector for strong signals and as a
locked-oscillator detector for relatively weak signals.
Some TV sets include it.
locking The process by which an oscillator can be synchronized at the frequency of a signal applied to it.
locking up The brief period when a videocassette
wobbles as it starts to play, before it is stabilized
and runs smoothly.
lockup The more precise we can make the VTR’s playback speed, the less time base error will be created.
When the machine gets up to full speed and everything is as stable as it is going to get, we say the
machine is “locked up.” There are several degrees
of lockup (capstan lock, vertical lock or capstan servo,
frame lock, horizontal lock) and each additional step
adds a little more stability.
log A written record of radio and TV station operating
data, required by law.
logarithmic amplifier Used in 3D TV systems to form
the depth video signal.
logging The initial stage in video editing in which all
raw footage is listed by time code location, shot
duration, and the quality of the scene.
long form A TV station with a format of mostly movies
and other long programs.
Longitudinal Videotape Recording (LVR) A pioneer
reel-to-reel videotape format; Bing Crosby Enterprises, 1951. It operated on the principle of recording electrical signals on narrow magnetic tape, which
moved rapidly over stationary recording heads. The
tape had to move 100 ips over the heads, however,
and the resulting black and white image had poor
resolution and produced jitter. The LVR-type of recording/playback was bypassed for professional use
by the quadruplex (quad) videotape recording
system in 1956.
Longitudinal Time Code (LTC) SMPTE/ANSI time code
format that is recorded into an audio track or separate track (such as the cue or address track) on a
videotape. Time codes are digital addresses that distinguish each frame, thus permitting access to it.
LTCs are written longitudinally, as opposed to video
information and some audio information, which are
recorded diagonally. See SMPTE/ANSI frame coding.
longitudinal video recording See LVR video recording system.
long lens A high focal length lens with a long barrel;
performs function similar to the telephoto lens without the advantage of that lens’ shorter barrel.
long shot A camera angle of view taken at a distance
and including a great deal of the scene area.
long take A film or TV camera shot maintained for an
extended period.
look-up table (LUT) Same as color table.
loop A closed path or circuit over which a signal can
circulate, as in a feedback control system. See PLL.
See also Processor loop.
loop filter A filter used in a PLL design to smooth out
low power television
tiny bumps in the output of the phase comparator
that might drive the loop out of lock. The loop filter
helps to determine how well the loop locks, how
long it takes to lock and how easy it is to knock the
loop out of lock.
loop-through connection, satellite TV A connection to enable a satellite receiver to accept a video
source other than the output of its own demodulator. The alternative video source is then routed to
the satellite TV receiver’s demodulator. It is also possible to route the audio in this fashion. The source
selection is determined by pin 8 on the SCART connector. The voltage on this connector is high, 12
Vdc, when the descrambler is in operation. When it
is low, the receiver selects internal video. For Sakura
receiver, the reverse of the normal situation applies.
For decoder video to be selected, pin 8 must be low.
Many of the recent descramblers have provisions for
such receivers. In cases where there is no provision
for such reverse switching, a separate lead must be
loop-through jack A feature found in TV monitors
that permits several monitors and VCRs to be hooked
up to the same signal source. A panel switch on the
rear of the monitor selects either high input impedance or 75-ohm impedance. The first is used when
the set transmits its signal to other units while the
75-ohm setting is used when the monitor is the final set in the series. Some more expensive industrial-model character generators offer this feature.
lo-pass filter Low-pass filter.
lossless A term used with image compression. Lossless
image compression means the decompressed image is exactly the same as the original image.
lossy A method of image compression, such as JPEG,
in which some image information is lost each time
the file is compressed.
louma A crane, with a camera mounted on it, that
can be controlled from a distance (with a TV camera
and a monitor to enable the camera operator to see
what the mounted camera is filming); also called
Loume crane. The device was developed in France
in the 1970s by Jean-Marie Lavalou and Alain
Masseron; the name comes from syllables in their
last names, lou and ma.
low-angle shot A shot in which the camera points
upward toward the subject.
low band The band that includes TV channels 2 to 6,
extending from 54 to 88 MHz.
low-band tape Videotape with inferior resolution to
that of high-band tape.
low-electron-velocity camera tube Syn.: cathodevoltage-stabilized camera tube. See Camera tube;
Image orthicon; Vidicon.
Lowell light A small, lightweight, portable lighting
unit made by the Lowell Company.
lower sideband See Carrier wave.
lower third The bottom third of the TV screen, on
which identifications and other captions generally
are displayed.
lower-third Ids Names, titles, and station logos, used
on TV news programs and talk shows to identify
on-air personalities, their guests, programs, and stations.
lower-third super Refers to text superimposed on the
lower third of the video screen, the most common
place for titles.
low gamma See Gamma.
low-level lighting A scene illuminated with under 50
ft-c of light; often results in a poor signature-to-noise
ratio and/or poor constant ratio in the
recorded picture.
low light lag A blurring, image-retention effect, which
occurs when a vidicon tube is operating in insufficient light.
low light sensitivity A video camera feature that helps
to produce clear, detailed images. The lux rating affects the low light sensitivity of a camera. The lower
the number, the less light that is needed. Advanced
video cameras with high-speed shutters require low
lux numbers or low light sensitivity to ensure good
screen pictures.
low noise amplifier (LNA) The component of a satellite TV system that is mounted inside the feeder horn
assembly of an antenna and is designed to amplify
the signal it receives from the dish before it reaches
the satellite receiver. The effectiveness of an LNA is
measured by how much gain it gives to the incoming signal and by its noise-temperature rating. Although the antenna itself increases the signal sent
to it, the LNA should boost it more by 50 dB of gain.
A lower noise-temperature rating means less noise;
some amplifiers provide a number of 120 degrees,
which is considered good.
low noise block (downconverter) A device to amplify
and downconvert microwaves from the parabolic
antenna to the UHF band (in satellite receivers).
low-pass filter 1. A filter that transmits alternating
currents below a given cutoff frequency and substantially attenuates all other currents. 2. A device
often employed on two-way cable systems to restrict the flow of high frequency information while
permitting the passage of low frequency information. Also written as lo-pass filter. See Filter.
low power satellite Satellite with transponder RF
power below about 30 W.
low power satellite TV Refers to satellite TV systems
which broadcast within the 4-6 GHz C-band. To receive this low power signal, the earth station, or receiving base, requires a large dish (a parabolic or
spherical antenna) usually 10 to 15 feet in diameter.
low power television (LPTV) A system of broadcasting that permits thousands of local stations to broadcast within a radius of 10 to 20 miles. LPTV is
accomplished by limiting VHF stations to 10 W of
power output and UHF stations to 1,000 W. These
channels are subject to fewer regulations than conventional ones and in part serve local communities,
minority groups, colleges, etc. Basically a line-of-sight
medium (the flatter the terrain, the larger the radius
of the low power signal), LPTV was given a boost in
March of 1982 when the FCC approved a set of final
rules governing the 4,000 anticipated new stations.
lows The deeper sound tones, such as bass, or the less
assertive colors, such as whitish-gray.
low-velocity scanning See Scanning.
low-z See Impedance.
loyalty index A measure of the frequency of
listenership or viewing of a radio or TV station.
LP-speed The middle speed (Long Play) of a three-speed
VHS format VCR. With a standard T-120 videocassette, LP records and plays back for four hours. The
other two speeds are SP (Standard Play), which records
for 2 hours and EP (Extended Play) or SLP (Super Long
Play), which provides up to six hours of recording time.
Some machines no longer record in the LP mode but
do offer it in playback only. These VCRs, usually containing four heads, optimize two for SP speed and
the remaining two heads for EP mode.
LPTV Low power television.
L-R signal See Multichannel television sound.
L+R signal See Multichannel television sound.
LSB Least significant bit. The bit that has the least value
in a binary number or data byte. In written form,
this is typically the right-most bit.
LTC Longitudinal Time Code.
LTR Linear Time Readout.
luma The brightness signal in a video transmission.
lumen (lm) Unit of luminous flux. Quantity of light
emitted per second in unit solid angle, by a uniform
point source of light of 1 candle intensity. Used
chiefly in reference to the light output of front projection TV systems. For instance, front projection TVs
whose light output measures 300 lm or better are
considered excellent. Rear projection TV uses the
term “peak brightness level” instead of “light output” and it is measured in footlamberts, the number based on a surface that emits one lm per square
luminaire A floodlight fixture, including the lamp, reflector, support, housing, and cable.
luminance In an image, refers to the brightness values of all the points in the image. A luminance-only
reproduction is a black-and-white representation of
the image. Luminance is important in judging projection TV systems, TV receivers, etc.
luminance carrier Picture carrier.
luminance channel A path intended primarily for the
luminance signal in a color TV system.
luminance/chrominance principle This principle says
that any color signal may be broken into two parts—
luminance, which is a monochrome video signal that
controls only brightness or (luminance) of the image, and chrominance, which contains only the col-
oring information for the image. However, because
a tri-stimulus color system requires three independent signals for complete representation of all colors, the chrominance signal is actually two signals
— called color differences. Luminance and chrominance are just one of the many possible combinations of three signals which could be used to transmit
color information. They are obtained by a linear
matrix transformation of the RGB signals created in
the camera. The matrix transformation simply means
that each of the luminance and chrominance signals is an additive (sometimes with negative coefficients) combination of the original RGB signals. In a
linear transmission system there are an infinity of
possible matrix transformations that might be used;
the correct inverse transformation must be used
when RGB signals are recovered to display on a color
luminance delay line in gyrator technique An IC
which substitutes the conventional Y-delay line in
older color TV receivers. It is consists of gyrator delay cells. Some cells are switchable to vary delay
luminance flicker Flicker that results from fluctuation
of luminance only.
luminance key A key whereby the hole being cut is
determined by brightness of the video source.
luminance noise Refers to a type of video interference which influences both black and white and
color signals. Luminance noise is listed as a number
in specification sheets of components and in test
reports. It differs from chrominance noise, which
affects only color.
luminance noise reduction A special electronic circuit designed to reduce unwanted noise or interference in the brightness signals, thereby producing
brighter whites and more intense blacks. Luminance
noise reduction usually is part of the circuitry of many
video processing chips.
luminance reversal See Image reversal.
luminance signal The color TV signal that has exclusive control of the luminance of the picture. For SDTV,
it is made up of 0.299 red, 0.587 green, and 0.114
blue and is capable of producing a complete black
and white picture. It is also called the Y signal.
luminant A light source.
luminary A lighting source or instrument, including
the bulb and other parts.
luminescence The emission of electromagnetic radiation from a substance due to a nonthermal process.
luminescent panel Display device. A flat luminescent
surface is divided into a multitude of individual cells,
which become the pixels. Each cell emits light as
the result of electrical or optical excitation.
luminophore Syn.: phosphor.
luminocity of the color See Variables of perceived
LUT Look-up table.
lux (x) A measurement of light used in relation to the
sensitivity of video cameras. 1 footcandle (fc) equals
10 lux. Thus the sensitivity (the minimum amount
of light needed to produce a usable image) of a camera may be rated at 50 lux (5 fc). The lower the lux
number, the lower the lighting conditions the camera can handle. Lux is the measurement recommended by the International System of Standards.
LV 1. Laser-optical disc system. The Magnavox video
disc. 2. LaserVision. An optical videodisc, made by
Philips, of Holland.
LVR Longitudinal Video Recording.
LVR video recording system A now-defunct video
recording system which passed tape at a high speed
over a fixed recording/playback head. Introduced in
1979 by Toshiba and BASF, the Longitudinal Video
Recording (LVR) process played 220 parallel tracks
of audio and video signals on tape that was magnetized along its length, hence its name. Because of
its stationary head design, the machine was less
costly. It accommodated 1/2-inch tape in a special
cartridge. The LVR system, the first attempt at video
recording, was simply an accelerated version of an
audio recorder.
LV videodisc system (LaserVision) One of two major
types of machines that play back records containing
pictures as well as sound on a standard TV receiver.
The LaserVision player uses a highly reflective
grooveless disc which is “read” by a small laser beam.
In its standard speed (30 minutes per side) the player
provides such various sophisticated functions as random access to chapters and frames, freeze frame,
visual scan, etc. Because the system employs a laser,
the disc is virtually indestructable. The laser tracks
from the inside of the disc to the outside, but never
makes contact with the surface of the disc. The LV
player has two speed modes: CAV, which is its standard speed (30 minutes), and CLV with an extended
play of one hour.
lx Abbreviation for lux.
M 1. Magenta (also m). 2. CATV superband channel,
234-240 MHz. 3. TV standard; Brazil, Canada, Chile,
Columbia, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands
Antilles, Panama, Peru, Philippines, US. Characteristics: 525 lines/frame, 60 fields/s, interlace—2:1, 30
fr/s, 15,750 lines/s, aspect ratio—4:3, video band—
4.2 MHz, RF band—6 MHz, visual polarity—negative, sound modulation—F3, pre-emphasis—75 µs,
deviation—25 kHz, gamma of picture signal—0.45.
4. Recording method—see M format. 5. Mature—
see Movie rating systems.
MII component system A professional/industrial
1/2" tape-recording format that provides full NTSC
bandwidth. Features include 90-minute recording
time, field color playback, a built-in digital time base
corrector, time-code reader/generators, four audio
channels, composite and component video inputs
and outputs, and several advanced editing capabilities. The MII VTR can be integrated with other formats, including S-VHS, 1", U-Matic, Beta and
Beta-SP. Working in conjunction with a professional
digital video camera, the MII system permits the
1/2" cassette recorded in the field to be loaded directly into a studio recorder for studio-level results
that compete favorably with the 1" C format.
MAC (A-, B-, C-, D-, E-, F-) Multiplexed Analog Components color system, where the video signal is divided into three components: luminance signal, R-Y
signal and B-Y signal, which are compressed for sequential relay over one TV scan line.
MacBeth color checker A color rendition chart used
by film and broadcast engineers to help determine
the color accuracy of film and video images. It has
become the industry standard for checking color
accuracy in film, video, and graphics.
macroblock In the typical picture representation used
by MPEG, a macroblock consists of four 8 x 8 blocks
of luminance data (arranged in a 16 x 16 sample
array) and two 8 x 8 blocks of color difference data
(assuming 4:2:0 format), which correspond to the
area covered by the 16 x 16 section luminance component of the picture. The macroblock is the basic
unit used for motion-compensated prediction.
macro close-up A mode that is used for close-up shots
of small objects or photos.
macro focus Extremely close focus—e.g., 4 mm from
the front lens of a video camera.
macro lens A magnifying lens designed to focus very
close to the subject. Macro lenses are particularly helpful in nature work and hobbies involving stamps, coins,
models, etc. The lens for close-up focusing is found
on most video cameras. Most macro lenses also serve
as a normal lens when not in the macro mode.
macro mode An alternate function of a dual-purpose
lens that can take extreme close-ups of different tiny
macro video The use of extreme close-ups with the
macro part of a video camera’s zoom lens. Standard
on most new quality video cameras, the macro feature permits focusing as close as an inch or two from
the subject which fills the TV screen. Macro shooting provides a very narrow depth of field (that which
is in focus in front of and behind the subject) so that
focusing becomes extremely critical. Also, any slight
movement becomes highly visible on the screen.
Therefore, a good tripod is recommended. If a camera is not equipped with a macro lens or the zoom
feature (which disengages in the macro position) is
desired, the video camera user may add a special
series of close-up lenses. These are measured in diopters, such as +1, +2, etc. Kits are available with
various diopter lenses.
Macrovision A system designed to prevent casual
copying of prerecorded tapes and DVDs in the home.
The concept of the Macrovision anticopy process is
relatively simple. Electrical pulses of specific strength
and duration are added during selected portions of
the video signal. The Macrovision pulses are placed
in the vertical blanking interval (VBI) and designed
to upset the AGC in a recording VCR.
made-for Referring to a production created for a specific medium, such as a made-for-TV movie or a
made-for-home-video movie.
mag Short for magnetic, referring specially to cards,
tapes, disks, or any recording and storage medium—
e.g., mag card or mag track.
magenta (M or m) A red-blue color obtained by mixing equal intensities of R and B light. It is also the
correct name for the subtractive primary color usually called “red.”
magic hour A time of day, particularly dawn or dusk,
that is the ideal period to photograph a scene on a
TV remote or on a film location. There is little need
to adjust the lighting or camera f-stops at that time
because the color temperature is nearly perfect for
the conditions of the shoot. It is the brief period
when sunlight produces a special quality—magical,
surrealistic, poetic.
magnetic coercivity Coercivity.
magnetic deflection Deflection of an electron beam
by a magnetic field, as in a TV picture tube.
magnetic focusing Focusing an electron beam
through the action of a magnetic field.
magnetic head The electromagnet for reading, recording, or erasing signals on a magnetic disc or
magnetic lens A lens that has an arrangement of electromagnets or permanent magnets to produce magnetic fields that focus a beam of charged particles.
magnetic recording Capturing audio and video frequencies by magnetizing areas of tape that can be
played back by moving them past a head where the
magnetized areas are reconverted into electrical
magnetic tape The medium used for recording and
playback on tape recorders. The most popular width
of consumer tape is 1/4" while industrial tape may
be 1/2", 3/4", 1" or 2".
magnetic tape developer A special chemical solution applied to the control track edge of video tape
to make control pulses visible to the eye and thereby
allow precise cutting of the tape between pulses;
necessary for physical tape editing.
magneto-optical effect See Kerr effects.
magnification change command In 3D-image display systems, an instruction that provides for control of a special driver so that the image can be
stereoscopically observed from a position of the designated distance.
main title Title which gives the name of a TV program.
makeup The command “makeup!” on a television
set is a request to apply cosmetics, generally a
touchup of powder by the makeup department
(headed by the makeup artist).
MAMA The Media Asset Management Association.
MAMA serves as an advanced user group and independent international industry consortium, created
by and for media producers, content publishers, technology providers, and value-chain partners to develop
open content and metadata exchange protocols for
digital media creation and asset management.
MAN Metropolitan Area Network. High speed intracity data network. Typically extends as far as 50 km,
operates at speeds from 1 Mbit/s to 200 Mbps and
provides an integrated set of services for real-time
data, voice and image transmission. Two standards
are involved with MANs: IEEE 802.3 and ANSI
management command In videotex, a parameter
value P followed by a command identifier C that
represent a presentation level management action,
such as a change from one data syntax to another.
manual editing Editing that is completely done by a
person without using an electronic editing
manual focus A video camera function that allows
the user to override the autofocus feature. Manual
focus provides several uses. Camera owners may
prefer this mode as a means of extending battery
life, which is affected by continuous use of autofocus
and other automated features. In addition, manual
focus permits the user to add individual creativity to
his or her work by producing special effects, such as
out-of-focus fades or scene transitions.
manual interval time lapse mode A video camera
feature that permits the camera user to add animation effects. The operator accomplishes this by pressing the pause mode, then slightly moving the object
that is being recorded, and finally pressing the record
button. The process is repeated until the entire cycle
of desired movement has been completed. Many
video cameras provide an automatic time lapse
manual iris control A video camera function that
permits the user to manually control the amount of
light that enters the camera lens. Manual iris control is sometimes described as exposure control.
manual white balance A video camera function that
permits the user to control the way the camera views
different colors. This is important in maintaining
correct color when various light sources produce
changes in the color mix, or color temperature.
marker generator An RF generator that injects one
or more frequency-identifying pips on the pattern
produced by a sweep generator on a cathode-ray
oscilloscope screen. It is used for adjusting response
curves of tuned circuits, as when aligning FM and
TV receivers.
marker pip An identifying mark on a CRT display.
markers In videotex, flags in a memory to show where
attribute controls have been set. They are associated with the leading edge of the character
Martin A family of amateur SSTV transmission modes
developed by Martin Emmerson, G3OQD, in
mash See Multi-stage noise shaping.
mask In video, refers to the device mounted in front
of a TV picture tube to limit the viewing area of the
screen. The mask is sometimes referred to as a frame.
masking A term employed in the Dynamic Noise Reduction system referring to the capability of a program to conceal its background noise. DNR utilizes
a special dynamic filter which eliminates high frequencies (mostly in the form of hiss or noise) whenever the signal is not strong enough to cover the
mass media
hiss. But when the signal does “mask” or cover this
noise, the filter permits the high frequencies to pass
mass media Forms of communication that reach large
audiences, such as newspapers, magazines, radio,
and TV, in contrast to newsletters or other media
that are more specialized. Media is the plural of
master 1. In video, an original recording on disc or tape
from which copies may be made. See also Slave. 2.
In I2C-bus system, the device which initiates a transfer, generates clock signals and terminates a transfer.
master-antenna television (MATV) An antenna system that consists of an antenna array capable of
receiving available broadcast signals and amplifying
them as required for distribution over coaxial cables
to a number of individual TV receivers that are normally within a single home, apartment, hotel, motel, or other other building.
master brightness control A variable resistor that
simultaneously adjusts the grid bias on all guns of a
3-gun color picture tube.
master control operator (MCO) Operator of the controls that switch inputs from studios, videotape reproducers, telecines, etc., to one or more outputs.
He/she not only has to switch the signals correctly,
but must maintain levels of picture and sound, and
also the quality of sync pulses, black/peak-white
level, etc. In some set-ups, the switching function is
taken away to a separate presentation control or is
automated, leaving the MCOs with a supervisory
function. These operators have roughly the same
knowledge and skills as camera control operators,
who do a very similar job.
master gain control 1. A variable resistor or potentiometer on a stereo amp that controls the gain of
both audio channels simultaneously. 2. A control in
a radio, TV, or recording studio that changes the
overall audio output level without affecting the mixer
controls that determine the balance of the microphones and other sound sources. It can fade out or
fade in the sound volume.
mastering In optical recording, the original optical
recording process.
master monitor High-quality monitor equipped with
such facilities as picture focus, internal and external
sync, and horizontal and vertical scanning controls.
master picture monitor A precision monitor placed
at a key point in the control system and providing
the operator with his main source of information.
Generally the monitor can be switched to several
points in the circuit to check the functioning of the
apparatus. Both picture and waveform monitors are
used in this role.
master VCR The VCR deck or machine which plays
the tape during the duplicating process onto one or
more slave machines (or VCRs doing the
master volume control An audio term, most often
used with mixers and amps to denote the final overall volume control of signal level.
match cut A quick transition, or cut, from one film or
TV camera to another, or a smooth transition from
one shot to another, with the action appearing to
continue seamlessly.
match dissolve (MD) A film and TV technique in which
a shot fades, or dissolves, into another of similar
form or action, often to suggest the passage of time.
matching transformer A transformer used between
unequal impedances for matching purposes, to give
maximum transfer of energy. In video, a circuit that
changes the impedance of a TV signal, often from
75 ohms to 300 ohms and vice versa. See also Impedance adapter, Balun.
matrix 1. The section of a color video encoder that
transforms the R,G, and B camera signals into colordifference signals and combines them with the
chrominance subcarrier. It is also called a color coder,
color encoder, or encoder. 2. The section of a color
video decoder that joins the color-difference (NTSC
— I,Q; PAL — V,U; SECAM — R-Y,B-Y) and Y signals
and converts them into R,G, and B signals needed
to drive the color picture tube. It is also called a color
decoder or decoder.
matrixing 1. The process of performing a code conversion with a matrix, as in converting color video
signal components from one form to another. 2. The
conversion of a master videotape into a glass laser
videodisc master. A heavy-duty laser beam etches
microscopic pits into the surface of the disc, which
is then used as a master to produce the videodisc
matrix surround A surround-sound system similar to,
but not as sophisticated as, Dolby Surround.
matrix transformation In analog color video, the
process of converting the color signals from one tristimulus format to another, as, for example, RGB to
matrix wipe A special effect designed to tessellate a
video image. A mix/effects switcher is used to produce this effect as well as to change the picture in
each square in a seemingly random pattern.
Matsushita A Japanese company that is one of the
world’s largest manufacturers of industrial and consumer electric and electronic products. It produces
some of the most familiar audio and video gear under the brand names Technics, Quasar, Panasonic,
and JVC.
matte A film term sometimes used in video production work to denote a keyed effect, an insert of video
signal information keyed from one source into a
second video signal.
matte key A luminance key where the hole created
by the key is filled with artificially created color from
the switcher. For example, using a matte key, the
hole in camera 1 could be filled with blue, even if
medium power satellite TV
the original key source was black and white. The
hole can also be filled with a third source — video
from a third camera, for example.
mature audience In film and TV, an audience for which
sexual, violent, or other adult material is considered
MATV Master-Antenna Television, or private cable. See
also SMATV.
maximum frequency blue +fB = 4 480.000 kHz
maximum frequency red +f R = 4 686.000 kHz
maximum usable luminance This measures, in
footlamberts, the amount of brightness a TV monitor can produce before picture distortion, or “blooming,” appears. Direct-view sets typically measure
between 75 and 100 footlamberts. Because of their
size, projection sets usually need to exceed 100
footlamberts for a good picture.
Mbone Multicast backbone, a virtual network made
up of portions of the Internet in which multicasting
has been enabled. The Mbone originated from IEFT,
in which live audio and video were transmitted
around the world. The Mbone is a network of hosts
connected to the Internet communicating through
IP multicast protocols, multicast-enabled routers, and
the point-to-point tunnels that interconnect them.
MCA/Disney vs. Sony lawsuit The famous case in
which Universal City and Walt Disney filed suit in
1976, charging that Sony and others, by selling
VCRs, damaged the studios financially and infringed
upon copyright laws. The first major decision concerning this case occurred on October 1, 1979, ruling in favor of Sony. Then, in October of 1981, an
appellate court reversed the decision in favor of the
plaintiffs. The Supreme Court heard the case and in
1984 overruled the reversal and ruled in favor of
Sony. The suit has many ramifications for studios,
equipment and tape manufacturers as well as the
general public.
MCT algorithm A compression algorithm introduced
in 1986 by PictureTel. MCT reduced the bandwidth
necessary to transmit acceptable picture quality from
768 to 224 Kbps making two-way videoconferencing convenient and economical at relatively
low data rates (for those times).
MCU Multipoint Control Unit. A PBX-like device for
switching and conferencing video calls, announced
by AT&T on 22 March, 1993.
MD Match Dissolve.
MDS Multipoint Distribution Service.
mean picture level The mean (d.c.) level of the video
measuring the video NTSC video is commonly measured by a system designed by the IRE (Institute of
Radio Engineers). In this system, a 1-Vpp video signal is divided into 140 IRE units. The 140 IRE units
are broken down into 40 units of horizontal blank-
ing, and 100 units of picture information above the
horizontal blanking level. In a properly setup NTSC
receiver, the video output should look as follows:
The horizontal sync extends from -40 IRE to 0 IRE.
The color burst extends equally above and below
the 0 reference blanking line +20 and -20 IRE. The
white level is at 100 IRE. This signal level equals 1Vpp into a 75-ohm load. In PAL and SECAM systems, the corresponding levels are 0.3 V sync and
0.7 V white level.
mechanical laser projector A projector using vibrating or rotating mirror assemblies. Used in 3D TV systems; to synchronize the rotational rate of each of
the mirrors, the horizontal scan voltage and the vertical scan voltage from the raster scan generator of
the TV camera are input to the laser projector.
mechanical television The primary technique used
in TV experimentation until the 1930s. It was first
developed in the 1800s. Based on the principle used
in the Nipkow disc. The images produced by mechanical television systems usually only contained
30 to 60 scanning lines and were therefore dim and
blurred. In the 1930s, a hybrid mechanical-electronic
system and later an all-electronic system replaced
mechanical television.
mecomete See Kerr effects.
media It is the plural of medium, though increasingly
the popular usage is only of the collective noun. 1.
In the context of telecommunications, media is most
often the conduit or link that carries transmissions.
Cable and home video are often referred to as the
“electronic media.” Transport media include copper wire, radio waves and fiber. Media such as broadcast TV that are designed to reach the maximum
number of people are called mass media. When
more than one medium is used to simultaneously
reach an audience, the term multimedia is used.
2. Gel.
media engine The CPU or DSP processor that coordinates all of the video and audio activities in a multimedia platform. The media engine is used to
coordinate the audio with the video, control multiple inputs, and control the compression and decompression hardware. The media engine is most
likely not the host CPU—for example, not the 80486
processor on the PC motherboard.
media server A new term for a file server on a local
area network that contains files with voice, images,
pictures, video, etc. In short, a media server is a repository for media of all types.
medium See Media.
medium-close shot (MCS) A picture or scene with
the camera between a position close to the subject
(close shot) and a middle position (medium shot).
medium power satellite Satellite with transponder
RF power in the region of 30 to 100 W.
medium power satellite TV Refers to a bandwidth
of 11.7-12.2 GHz and requires a 4-foot wide an-
medium shot
tenna. Although this system is less costly than lowpower satellite TV, it is severely limited as to the number of channels it can handle (currently, about four).
Medium power satellite TV is similar to direct broadcast satellite that uses a different bandwidth and a
smaller-diameter antenna.
medium shot Camera angle of view between closeup and long shot; a view of the head and shoulders
of a subject, as opposed to head only (close-up) or
full body (long shot).
megabyte (Mbyte) One million bytes (actually
1,048,576); one thousand kilobytes.
membrane keyboard A keyboard constructed of two
thin plastic sheets (called membranes) that are
coated with a circuit made of electrically conductive
ink. The keyboard is sensitive to touch. It is an economical, flat type used in several early microcomputers. Today, such keyboards are also used on TVs
and VCRs.
memory In video, a digital VCR feature that permits
the viewer to lock in a still picture from a TV broadcast. In addition, the picture, which usually appears
in a corner of the TV screen, can be stored in memory
until the VCR power is turned off. This feature is
sometimes listed as TV memory or TV memo.
memory backup Refers to the capability of a VCR,
TV, or other equipment, to retain its programmed
instructions and other timer functions in the event
of a power failure. The first technique manufacturers employed for this purpose was a built-in nickel
cadmium battery that lasted a relatively long time
(several hours), covering the length of most electrical outages. The battery has been replaced by a
smaller and less costly super capacitor, a device that
can store an electrical charge powerful enough to
keep a VCR timer active long enough to cover some
power failures. However, the average capacitor has
only enough storage to last from about 5 s to approximately 30 minutes. For those users who intend
to be away from home for long periods of time and
want a stronger assurance that their machine will
record an important program, an external accessory,
known as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit,
is available. This item comes in several models, depending upon the number of watts. Many DVD players and TVs now use flash memory to retain settings,
eliminating the need for UPS devices.
memory bank A VCR feature designed to permanently
store such programming information as day, time,
channel and an identifying code, all of which can
be recalled later for future scheduling without reentering each item separately. The short code may
consist of a few recognizable letters, such as “six”
for Sixty Minutes. This will help the user to recall the
data when he or she wants to repeat the recording
process at a future date.
memory controlled effects A special feature usually
built into a professional production switcher and de-
signed to store dozens of complete set-ups. In addition, the memory controlled effects remembers transitions previously put into production.
memory pause Refers to a videodisc player that has
the capability of stopping a program at an exact point
and then continuing to play the disc from that same
point. This feature is helpful to those viewers who
are often interrupted by telephone calls and other
similar disturbances.
memory rewind A feature on some older-model VCRs,
which, when pressed, stops the tape during Rewind
or FF when the index counter reaches 000 (or 0000
on some machines). Memory rewind works in conjunction with the tape counter and is useful in locating a pre-selected portion of the tape for replay.
This feature is different from electronic program indexing.
menu A feature, usually found on consumer equipment, that displays on screen a vast choice of operating options that the viewer activates by way of
the remote control. There are programming menus
to make it easier for the user to set the time, day
and channel of programs to be recorded. Setup
menus help the new owner of a TV set make the
proper wire and cable connections. Other menus
include audio functions, such as adjusting bass and
treble, and video functions, such as controlling sharpness, contrast and color.
MESECAM A technique of recording SECAM video.
Instead of dividing the FM color subcarrier by four
and then multiplying back up on playback, MESECAM
uses the same heterodyne conversion as PAL.
meshbeat A TV distortion of wavy lines; also called
linebeat or moire.
metadata (side information) Informational data
about the data itself. Typically information about the
audio and video data included in the signal’s data
metal-backed screen Aluminized screen.
metal evaporative tape See Vapor deposition.
metallized screen Aluminized screen.
metal oxide semiconductor chip See MOS.
metal-particle tape A high-grade videotape composed of needle-like metal particles and a roughly
textured base to hold the particles. The tape, which
differs from standard tape that uses metal oxide instead of metal particles, reportedly is free of dropouts while producing a higher frequency response
than other high-grade tapes. By replacing the oxide
with metal, manufacturers have more than doubled
the strength of the magnetic field.
metamorphosing animation A special effect that
creates changing shapes and color for specific needs.
The technique is particularly useful for TV meteorologists who preprogram much of their weather
animation. By incorporating metamorphosing animation, they can show the movements both of numbers and storm fronts across the TV screen.
microphone mixing
metering system Refers to the technique used by a
video camera or camcorder to measure the light
necessary for the proper exposure of a scene or subject. One simple system produces a simple value,
with the emphasis placed on the center portion of a
given scene. Another, sometimes referred to as the
two-field metering system, takes one reading of the
entire field and another reading of the central zone,
thereby assuring a correct exposure.
metropolitan area network (MAN) A loosely defined
term generally understood to describe a broadband
network covering an area larger than a local area
network (LAN). It typically interconnects two or more
LANs, may operate at a higher speed, may cross administrative boundaries, and may use multiple access methods. It may carry data, voice, video and
mezzanine compression Contribution level quality
encoded high-definition television signals. Typically
split into two levels: High Level at approximately 140
Mbps and Low Level at approximately 39 Mbps (for
high definition within the studio, 270Mbps is being
considered). These levels of compression are necessary for signal routing and are easily re-encoded
without additional compression artifacts (concatenation) to allow for picture manipulation after decoding. DS3 at 44.736 will be used in both terrestrial
and satellite program distribution.
M format A recording method that is now considered
obsolete. It was used for professional ENG and EFP
production. Like the Betacam format, the two M
format types could record for 20 minutes in the field.
The units used regular VHS videocassettes but normally required separate playback/editing devices in
the studio. The videocassettes could not be played
back on regular VHS format units.
MH Modified Huffman data compression method.
MHEG Multi- and Hypermedia coding Experts Group.
A standardized language for the description of interactive multimedia applications. It is currently applied to multimedia presentations and as a kind of
multimedia successor to teletext in Digital Video
Broadcasting. Since MHEG is already supported in
these applications, it can be expected that a large
number of such broadcast services will become available. MHEG standardizes a multimedia information
interchange format called “Coded Representation
of Multimedia and Hypermedia Information Objects”
(ISO/IEC 13522).
MHP See Multimedia Home Platform.
mic Microphone.
microchannel plate A plate that consists of extremely
small cylinder-shaped electron multipliers mounted
side by side, to provide high image intensification
factors. Applications include night-viewing binoculars, telescopes, and TV camera tubes.
micro-monitor A small TV monitor with a 1.5" screen
and 1" speaker designed to be used in the field.
The micro-monitor also permits the viewing of a tape
while recording.
microphone (mic) Also called mike (slang). A device
used with video cameras, portable VCRs and home
models to record sound onto videotape. A microphone converts sound to electrical energy. Microphones have different response patterns. Some basic
types are the omnidirectional, bidirectional, directional and cardioid. There are also microphones for
different purposes such as the lavalier, boom, etc.
Other types are the condenser and dynamic microphones. All microphones have some degree of coloration, which alters its flat response. Basically, the
less the coloration, the better the microphone.
microphone boom An overhead extension arm that
supports a microphone within range of the sound to
be picked up but outside the range of a TV camera.
microphone combiner Microphone mixer.
microphone frequency response The measurement
of the amount of coloration in a microphone. Since
virtually all VCRs have a response that is less than
that of hi-fi quality, it is easier to match a microphone to the machine. Many recorders register an
audio frequency response of up to 9 through 12,000
Hz. Therefore, a microphone with a range of 80 to
12,000 Hz will provide a smooth response.
microphone impedance The resistance a microphone
offers to the sound signal it is picking up. Each microphone has its own impedance, which must be
matched to the input impedance of the VCR or other
similar unit. This is a relatively simple task involving
a matching transformer, available at most electronic
stores. The addition of this accessory will assure that
the microphone will operate at its peak frequency
microphone jack A receptacle or opening that permits the connection of a microphone plug to the
video camera or VCR. There are only three kinds of
basic microphone jacks: the RCA phono jack, the
1/4" jack and the most frequently used with home
video components, the 1/8" mini-jack. Appropriate
adapters are readily available for connecting any
microphone jack with any other unit.
microphone mixer An accessory that accepts several
microphones and controls the volume of each microphone separately. They are usually limited to four
inputs and offer some degree of portability. The
microphone mixer permits the use of only one microphone when required, even while three other
microphones are connected to the console. The other
major purpose of the mixer is to blend the sounds
of several microphones into one signal while balancing the output of each in relation to the others.
There are active and passive mixers.
microphone mixing A video camera feature that can
combine the sound track of the tape with an external source. The process can occur either during recording or editing.
microphone pickup response
microphone pickup response Polar response.
microphone shadow In film, TV, a shadow of a microphone visible to the camera; also called mike
microphone splitter An accessory designed to split a
single microphone line into multiple outputs. The
microphone splitter allows the divided microphone
level signals to feed various microphone inputs on
such components as VCRs (both VCR/VTR formats),
audio recorders, monitors, speakers, etc. This device provides proper isolation between outputs. The
number of outputs depends on the particular splitter. There are basic units described as 1x3 microphone splitters, which split one line into three
outputs, while more complex models can divide each
of four microphone lines into three outputs. There
are also more sophisticated types such as the microphone splitter/combiner which splits and/or mixes
microphone signals in a variety of combinations.
Microphone splitters and splitter/combiners can be
either passive or active. Active units provide a gain
of +/-6dB maximum and are designed for use with
equipment which does not have its own output
transformer. Passive splitters are usually of low impedance to match that of the microphone inputs
while active ones are of line level.
microphonics Interference in the form of a series of
horizontal lines on a TV screen caused by extreme
surges from loudspeakers, applause or certain musical instruments. These loud bursts affect the picture tube in the video camera but cause no
permanent damage to the equipment. This effect
can be avoided or minimized by keeping the video
camera out of direct range of these instruments and
not standing too close to the loudspeakers.
microreflection In video, one of several forms of degradation that affects NTSC picture quality.
Microreflections are caused by waves that strike a
medium of different characteristics and are then returned to the original medium.
microsegmenting The process of configuring Ethernet
and other LANs with a single workstation per segment. The objective is to remove contention from
Ethernet segments. With each segment having access to a full 10 Mbps of Ethernet bandwidth, users
can do things involving significant bandwidth, such
as imaging, video and multimedia.
microwave A very high frequency range (1-100 GHz)
in which the transmitted wave lengths are extremely
small (30-0.3 cm). Some people say microwave refers to frequencies between 890 MHz and 20 GHz.
Microwave is a common form of transmitting telephone, fax, video and data conversations used by
common carriers as well as by private networks. Its
lower portion, between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz, contains
the band of satellite channels. Other segments of the
band are allocated to amateur radio operators, police
radar, telephone companies, etc. DBS systems operate
in the 12-GHz range of the microwave band. Microwave signals only travel in straight lines. In terrestrial
microwave systems, they’re typically good for 30 miles,
at which point you need another repeater tower.
microwave interference In satellite TV, interference
from generators, transformers and other like devices,
usually installed by utility companies in the vicinity
of a parabolic antenna. If these objects fall in the
line of view between the antenna and the transmitting satellite, they can adversely affect reception. The
owner of a satellite TV system can obtain an FCC
license that will assure him or her of interferencefree reception.
microwave relay An electronic system of point-topoint communication. The technology allows for the
interconnection of radio, TV, and cable systems. Because they operate through the air at high frequencies, all microwave systems are licensed by the FCC.
A signal, focused into a narrow beam, can travel
some 30 miles without a great deal of attenuation.
In a point-to-point relay system, towers with amps
and small receiving and retransmitting antennas are
set up and the signal passes from tower to tower.
This type of relay system made transcontinental TV
possible in 1951. Microwave relay systems are now
used to transmit signals from a news site back to
the studio or from a studio to a transmitting tower
and antenna for rebroadcast. When a microwave
relay system is used to connect the studio to the
transmitter site, it is called a studio-transmitter link
(STL). A microwave relay system used by cable systems to pick up stations that are too far away for
off-the-air reception is licensed by the FCC as a Community Antenna Relay Service (CARS).
microwave transmission A method used by some
pay TV systems to transmit over-the-air, point-topoint video signals. The encoded programs are
beamed to subscribers who are equipped with decoders. Besides microwave, pay TV can also transmit programs by way of telephone wires and cable.
midband cable tv Channels that occupy frequencies
not used for TV broadcasting. Midband channels,
like superband CATV channels, are channels A
through I. Channels A-I are called midband because
they fall between channels 6 and 7 (which is the
lower end of what is known as the high band). There
are also subband channels which fall below channel 2: these are used for special transmissions. See
also TV channel assignments.
middle break A station identification in the middle of
a radio or TV program.
mid-range switcher A video switching device, falling
somewhere between a low-cost consumer switcher
and an expensive professional/industrial digital or
production switcher. Mid-range switchers may provide up to eight primary inputs, black and color backgrounds, all-linear keying, and a variety of wipe
MIT-CC system
mid-side principle A technique employed in stereo
microphones (especially single-point stereo microphones) in which a single internal component “listens” to both its right and left while another element
picks up information from a forward position. Many
recording patterns are possible by electronically mixing the various combinations of outputs of the two
components. This technique is also known as the
MS principle.
mike Slang for microphone.
mike shadow See Microphone shadow.
mil 1/1,000 inch. The mil is used in measuring the
thickness of a videotape.
Miller integrator An integrator that contains an active device, such as a transistor, in order to improve
the linearity of the output from a pulse generator.
Miller integrators are used particularly with sawtooth
pulse generators, such as those used to generate a
time base.
Miller sweep generator See Time base.
mime The representation of an action without using
words, as by a mimic, mime, or pantomimist. In film
and TV post-production, miming is the synchronization of sound and action, as in lip-sync.
miming See Mime.
minicable system A small CATV system, such as
SMATV, a system within a building that receives its
signal from a satellite; also spelled mini-cable.
minicam A small, self-contained portable TV camera,
for videotaping on-site news events. When linked to
a mobile transmission unit (minicam van), the minicam
can provide live coverage at relatively low cost. It has
tremendously changed TV news programs at all types
of stations. See also Creepy peepy, Shaky cam.
mini-enhancer A device designed to improve the video
signal of portable VCRs, video cameras, etc. The
mini-enhancer attaches between camera and recorder and is meant to be used in the field. It is also
useful when camera extension cables are used. The
accessory usually contains a bypass switch that allows a comparison of enhanced and unenhanced
mini-jack A phone jack or plug used in the audio inputs and outputs of Beta VCR. The 1/8" jack is
smaller than the more popular RCA jack generally
used in the VHS format. Sony uses the RCA-type in
its video input and output together with the minijack in its audio lines. The size of the jacks becomes
important when copying tapes from one machine
to another and using the audio/video rather than
the RF connections.
minimicrowave In TV, referring to the transmission
of a video signal from a nonstudio site—such as a
news event—to a mobile unit or a transmitter on a
nearby roof. The transmitter then sends the signal
directly to the station or possibly to one or more
intermediate points, such as atop a tall building or
other high point.
minimum frequency blue -f B 4,020.000 kHz
minimum frequency red -fR 4,126.250 kHz (SECAM).
minimum illumination The least amount of light
necessary to produce a viewable (not necessary vivid)
picture with a camcorder. Minimum illumination is
expressed in lux—the lower, the better. Very sensitive camcorders measure 3 lux or below, though the
average is still about 7 lux.
minimum sampling frequency See Pulse modulation.
mini plug Similar to a phone plug in design but much
smaller; a plug introduced by Japanese electronic
firms for use on miniaturized pieces of equipment.
Minitel French name for videotex. Commonly called
mini-VCR Refers to 1/4"-size videotape in a compact
cassette which operates inside a smaller than usual
portable VCR. The first such mini-VCR was
Technicolor’s model 212 which weighed 7 pounds,
measured 10" square and 3" deep and used a cassette just slightly larger than an audiocassette. The
mini-VCR format is incompatible with others such
as Beta and VHS in terms of videocassettes. But the
machine can be connected to any model for duplicating tapes and can be hooked up with any camera and other components as long as the proper
cables are obtained.
mini video An alternate VCR format using 1/4" tape.
The 8-mm video system is designed mainly for a onepiece video camera/recorder with 1- or 2-hour maximum recording time. The advantages of mini video
include lighter equipment, smaller components and
relatively less expensive tape.
mips Million instructions per second.
mired MIcro-Reciprocal-Degree. Unit used for the
measurement of color temperature, corresponding
to the value in the degrees Kelvin divided into
1 million.
mirror-backed screen Aluminized screen.
mirror reflection Direct reflection.
misalignment A condition in which one of the primary colors in video (R,G,B) appears on the side of a
subject, as if that particular color is “bleeding” or
not registering properly. Misalignment, sometimes
referred to as misregistration, is the result of improper
convergence—the inability of electron beams to
strike the face of the picture tube precisely. With a
video camera, the problem stems from a faulty
camera pickup tube.
miscellaneous common carrier A communications
common carrier (typically one using microwave)
which is not offering switched service to the public
or to companies. A miscellaneous common carrier
usually provides video and radio leased line transmission services to TV and radio networks.
misregistration See Misalignment.
mistracking See Tracking, Tracking control.
MIT-CC (Channel-Compatible) system A proposed
MIT channel-compatible system
single-channel noncompatible simulcast HDTV system. It employed double-sideband quadraturemodulation of a carrier in the center of the 6-MHz
channel. This signal was not intended for NTSC receivers, i.e., the system is noncompatible. The preferred originating signal was produced by a camera
operating at 16:9 aspect ratio and 1200 lines, progressively scanned. The preferred frame rates were
either 60 or 72 fr/s, these being multiples of a basic
picture repetition rate of 12 per second. This signal
source, feeding the NTSC-compatible simulcast
channel, would produce a display of the letter-box
type, with blank bars above and below the 16:9 area
displayed on the 4:3 conventional display. The RGB
output of the camera was scanned at resolutions of
240 pixels per picture height, 400 pixels per picture
width, scanned progressively at 12 fr/s. The luminance resolution for stationary portions of the images was 762 x 1200 at 12 frames per second and
508 x 800 at 36 fr/s. The chrominance resolutions
for static portions were 400 pixels per picture width,
254 elements for portions in motion. The analog
output of the camera was digitized in a transmitter
converter operating at 8.4 or 12 Mbytes/s. The MITCC receiver had a display of 1200 lines, 16:9 aspect
ratio. The MIT-CC system was initially designed for
distribution over 6-MHz cable channels, but it could
be transmitted on the DBS service, and on terrestrial 6-MHz channels.
MIT channel-compatible system See MIT-CC system.
MIT-RC (Receiver-Compatible) system, Schreiber A
single-channel NTSC-compatible proposed advanced
TV system, occupying the standard 6-MHz channel,
with a transmitted signal of 525 lines, 59.94-Hz field
rate, interlaced 2:1 with 16:9 aspect ratio. The display on a conventional receiver had 60 blank lines
above and below the 16:9 outline, minus those hidden by overscan. The chrominance information was
transmitted at 14.985 fr/s, half the NTSC rate. The
extra time of the blank lines and the frames free of
chrominance were used to carry ancillary information sufficient to produce a 1050-line luminance display with a resolution of 535 lines horizontally and
600 lines vertically for a stationary image. This was
reduced to 315 and 360 lines, respectively, for objects in motion. The chrominance resolutions were
180 (I), 130 (Q), lines (stationary), and 180 (I), 65
(Q), lines (in motion), respectively. The RC system
was designed to be used cooperatively with a simulcast channel-compatible (CC) system (MIT-CC).
MIT receiver-compatible system See MIT-RC system.
MITV Microsoft Interactive TV. Blends TV with elements
of the Internet for a more interactive viewing experience. Microsoft TV is an open software platform
technology sold to other network operators and
broadcasters globally.
mix The superimposition of one image over another.
With the use of a mixer/fader device, the image of
one source can increase or decrease on the screen
by the movement of a simple control. A mix differs
from an effect that keeps the entire image even
during superimposition.
mixed highs The high-frequency signal components
that are intended to be reproduced achromatically
(without color) in a color TV picture.
mixed mode An imprecise term that suggests that
one digital bit stream can carry voice, data, fax and
video signals.
mixed syncs A synchronizing signal consisting of line
sync pulses and field sync pulses but containing no
other information.
mix/effects switcher A multi-buttoned, box-like electronic console used by professionals to create a variety of special video effects. The instrument can
produce a number of preset patterns, including
wipes, keys and digital effects. Each row of buttons
is called a “bus.”
mixer 1. A device that has two or more inputs, usually
adjustable, and a common output. It combines separate audio or video signals linearly in desired proportions, to produce an output signal. 2. The stage
in a superheterodyne receiver where the incoming
modulated RF signal is combined with the signal of
a local RF oscillator to produce a modulated IF signal. The mixer and oscillator together form the converter. See also Microphone mixer.
M-load The loading system used by VHS VCRs and
first invented by Sony. The machine wraps the tape
around the head drum in an “M” design, hence the
name. To do this, 13" of tape are removed from the
cassette, in contrast to the Beta system in which
24" are taken out. Two twist pins angle the tape to
its path around the video head drum. Each time the
VCR enters the Stop mode, the tape is loaded back
into the cassette.
M-loop The shape in which videotape is laced around
the heads in a VHS VCR.
MM CATV hyperband channel, 372-378 MHz.
MMCD Multimedia CD.
MMCD-R/E A recordable version of MMCD (R/E for
record/erase) using phase-change recording technology, with magneto-optical recording as an optional
MMDS Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service.
mobile unit A truck or other vehicle equipped with
TV studio equipment for TV pickups at remote locations. Picture and sound signals are usually sent back
to the main transmitter by microwave transmitter
on the truck.
mode A type of ham radio communications; examples
are FM, SSTV and packet radio (a computer-to-computer communications mode in which information
is broken into short bursts).
modem Modulator/demodulator, a device that transforms a typical two-level computer signal into a form
suitable for transmission over a telephone line. Also
does the reverse—it transforms an encoded signal
on a telephone line into a two-level computer
mode switch A feature on some VCRs for selecting
Mono, Stereo or SAP broadcast mode. Some TV receivers have these modes on the remote control unit.
modified horizontal sweep signal Nonlinear sawtooth signal (H’) as is usual horizontal scan signal
(H). See Depth matrix.
modified NTSC See CCF system.
modular chassis A TV chassis that is made up entirely
of separate modules for each circuit in the TV set.
modulation 1. In general, the alteration or modification of any electronic parameter by another. The reverse process is demodulation, by which an output
wave is obtained having the characteristics of the
original modulating wave or signal. Intermodulation
is the modulation of the components of a complex
wave by each other in a nonlinear system, producing waves having frequencies, among others, equal
to the sums and differences of those of the components of the original wave. In NTSC and PAL TV, the
picture portion of the program is AM, and the sound
portion is FM. 2. A technique that adds audio or
video signals to a preselected carrier signal.
modulation index The ratio of the frequency deviation to the frequency of the modulating wave in a
FM system when a sinusoidal modulating wave is
modulation transfer function (MTF) The curve that
expresses the luminance contrast between black and
white lines on a graphic-alphanumeric display screen
as the number of lines increases. See Depth of modulation chart. See also Aperture response.
modulator A miniature transmitter whose circuitry carries the raw audio and video signals from microphones and video cameras and puts them in a
designated bandwidth channel or range of frequencies. TV modulators register the video and audio signals into separate carriers. A demodulator, or tuner,
then strips the video signal from its carrier to reproduce the original video signal.
moire 1. In TV, a wavelike distortion, an effect caused
by the combination of excessively high frequency
signals. Mixing of these signals causes a visible low
frequency that looks a bit like French watered silk,
after which it is named. For example, a moire effect
can be caused by beats between a pattern in the
original scene (say a checked suit) and the line structure of the reproduced picture. Moire or “colorcrawl” can occur if the color-burst signal is present
during a black and white transmission. Also called
meshbeat, linebeat, herringbone, or crawling dot
pattern. 2. A tremulous spectrum of color caused
during editing when a VCR is backspaced and the
beginning of a new scene is superimposed over the
end of another scene. The wavy, satin-like optical
effect occurs when converging lines in the picture
are nearly parallel to the scanning lines. Video moire,
sometimes called a rainbow effect, occurs also when
the VCR is in Record mode and Pause is pressed.
Recent machines have introduced special circuitry
that all but eliminates moire caused by the record/
pause functions.
Mole technology A seamless MPEG-2 concatenation
technology developed by the ATLANTIC project (BBC
[U.K.], Centro Studi e Laboratori telecomunicazione
[Italy], Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications [France], Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de
Lausanne [Switzerland], Electrocraft [U.K.],
Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen [Germany], Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e
Computadores [Portugal], Snell & Wilcox [U.K.]) in
which an MPEG-2 bit stream enters a Mole-equipped
decoder, and the decoder not only decodes the
video, but the information on how that video was
first encoded (motion vectors and coding mode decisions). This “side information” or “metadata” in
an information bus is synchronized to the video and
sent to the Mole-equipped encoder. The encoder
looks at the metadata and knows exactly how to
encode the video. The video is encoded in exactly
the same way (so theoretically it has only been encoded once) and maintains quality.
mom-and-pop store A small, family-operated shop.
In CATV and other fields, a small, single-ownership
local system.
monaural Monophonic.
monitor 1. A TV set minus receiving circuitry. Monitors have no VHF/UHF tuners, IF amps or video detectors. Some monitors do not have any audio
system. A monitor is used basically to directly display the composite video signal from a camera, VTR,
or SEG. Often more costly than a TV receiver, the
monitor, with its more advanced and sophisticated
circuitry, produces a superior picture. It also contains
audio/video input jacks as well as other features such
as picture focus, internal and external sync and horizontal and vertical scanning. The major advantage
of the monitor over the TV set is that the composite
video signal travels directly to the audio amps. These
direct processes retain the original quality of the signals. A monitor differs from a monitor/receiver. One
of the more recent developments in monitors is the
auto-setup monitor that can line itself up automatically. 2. An instrument that measures continuously
or at intervals a condition which must be kept within
prescribed limits, such as the image picked up by a
microphone at a radio or TV studio, a variable quantity in an automatic process control system, the transmission in a communication channel or band, or the
position of an aircraft in flight. 3. A person who
watches a monitor. 4. A high-quality CRT used to
display video signals (requires an outboard tuner in
order to receive TV signals). 5. To record, verify, or
monitor analyzer
check a radio or TV program, or to supervise, verify,
or check any operation, such as an event, sales campaign, or computer program.
monitor analyzer A device, introduced in 1978 to
the home video field, which helped adjust the brightness and color of a TV set. The plastic monitor analyzer, which came with a ready-reference chart, sold
for about $25 and worked only with color bar test
patterns on the TV screen.
monitor camcorder, Sharp Combination of
camcorder with video monitor for quick viewing of
“rushes,” prerecorded cassettes, or even TV (with
an optional tuner). Sharp’s success inspired somewhat similar models by Sony, Fuji Photo, JVC, and
monitoring Using a monitor. In broadcasting, checking a sound or TV program for technical quality. High
grade equipment is used for reproducing sound programs and for displaying TV pictures while they are
being recorded or transmitted so that any technical
faults are detected and can be put right at the earliest opportunity.
monitor/receiver A monitor with a built-in TV tuner;
a component that looks like a conventional TV set
but has direct audio and video inputs as well as additional features usually not found on TV receivers.
Like all monitors, these sets accept direct hook-ups
of VCRs, VDPs, video games, etc. By avoiding RF
inputs, the monitor/receiver can retain the original
signal strength. More expensive than ordinary TV
receivers, monitor/receivers are often sold by audio/
video dealers rather than conventional retail stores.
monitor/receiver reference tape A specially prepared
videocassette of the tape containing miscellaneous
video test patterns for the proper adjustment of
monitor/receivers. Often as short as 10 minutes, the
tape features tests for convergence, flesh tones, color
bars, gray scale, etc. The reference tape permits adjusting equipment for color purity, alignment, tint,
brightness, contrast, chrominance, etc. Also known
as setup tape.
monitor speaker Refers to a small built-in video camera speaker that permits the user to check the soundtrack. The monitor speaker eliminates the need for
monochromatic Consisting of one color or wavelength. Although light in practice is never perfectly
monochromatic, it can have a narrow region of the
monochrome In TV, a system in which the transmitted information is confined to the luminance of the
scene. No color information is transmitted. A monochrome system is therefore a black and white system. The term is unfortunate because monochrome
means literally light of a single wavelength whereas
white light contains a range of wavelengths. The
term “black-and-white” is correct.
monopod In video, a one-legged support for a video
camera. It is a temporary or limited alternative to a
video tripod. Although monopods are less costly,
lighter in weight and easier to carry than tripods,
they require continuous handling to maintain
monoscope An electron tube containing a target on
which a pattern or photograph is printed and which,
by scanning the target by an electron beam, generates a picture signal corresponding to the printed
image. The tube is generally a high-velocity type and
the pattern is printed in a pigment that modifies the
secondary-emission ratio of the target. Such tubes
are useful in TV services because they can replace a
complete camera channel when a stationary pattern is to be transmitted.
monotonic A term that is used to describe ADCs and
DACs. An ADC or DAC is said to be monotonic if
for every increase in input signal, the output increases
also. The output should not decrease.
Montreux International Television Symposium &
Technical Exhibition (TV Montreux) A bi-annual
international conference for the television broadcast
Moore’s Law A prediction for the rate of development of modern electronics. It has been expressed
in a number of ways but in general states that the
density of information storable in silicon roughly
doubles every year. Or, the performance of silicon
will double every eighteen months. For more than
two decades this prediction has held true. Named
after Gordon E. Moore, physicist, co-founder and
chairman emeritus of Intel Corporation.
mopic Military word for motion picture.
MOPS Millions of operations per second. Refers to a
processor’s performance. In the case of DVI technology, more MOPS translates to better video
MOS A metal oxide semiconductor chip that replaces
the conventional saticon and vidicon camera tube.
While the horizontal resolution of the MOS chip
doesn’t match other HQ cameras, the advantages
of this technology include a lighter and smaller camera, no waiting for tube warmup, less power consumption and no image burn or drag. Hitachi, with
its model VK-CIOOO, was the first company to feature a camera using the MOS image sensor.
mosaic 1. Short for photomosaic. In a camera tube,
an electrode consisting of a very large number of
individually insulated, photo-emissive globules on
which the optical image is focused. Photo electrons
released from the globules in accordance with the
amount of light falling on them leave a charge image on the mosaic surface. See Iconoscope. 2. A
special-effects feature that breaks up a video image
into hundreds of little squares or rectangles. The effect is often used in commercial broadcasting to hide
the face of witnesses during interviews and hearings or to prevent nudity from appearing on TV
moving shot
screens. This feature is usually found on certain digitally equipped units such as editing consoles.
mosaic electrode The light-sensitive electrode of a
TV camera tube on which the image is formed.
MOS image sensor Solid-state device used in place
of a video tube.
motion adaptive A design that senses motion in order to alter the way it functions, for the purpose of
avoiding or reducing some motion-related artifacts.
motion adaptive interpolation circuit An advanced
electronic technique used in large-screen Improved
Definition TV to improve deinterlacing quality or
comb filtering. Motion adaptive comb filters, first
utilize inter-line and inter-field information and then
process it by applying two separate types of digital
memory buffers.
motion analysis camera A professional/industrial video
camera designed for stop-motion videotaping. Used
for industrial, medical, laboratory and military applications, the cameras usually contain a variable speed
shutter with speeds capable of from 1/500 to 1/
10,000 of a second. Motion analysis cameras perform such highly technical tasks as color spectral analysis, spray-flow study, high-speed microscopy,
speeding-bullet analysis, etc. Many models are compatible with Beta, VHS, 3/4" and 1" formats.
motion blur 1. Generally, motion blur is an effect
caused by integration. Put more simply, it is normally
caused by the image being composed from a sum
of the latest image plus a smaller portion of the previous sum and so on. The result of this is that moving objects leave a trail behind them, giving rise to a
blurred appearance. Such an artifact is normally associated with two-field standards conversion or tube
cameras. 2. As a digital video effect, the above artifact may be generated deliberately.
motion compensation 1. A video compression technique that makes use of the redundancy between
adjacent frames of motion video. 2. Scheme of video
signal processing (e.g., standards conversion), involving the use of motion vectors to skew the filtering
axis (e.g., the interpolation axis) by correspondingly
shifting parts of the source TV fields.
motion detection Operation of video signal processing aimed to produce an output indicating the pixels or groups of pixels which belong to moving
objects as opposed to static portions of the picture.
Syn.: motion recognition.
motion detector See MUSE-6 system.
motion estimation A calculation to figure out where
an object has moved to from one video field or frame
to the other; operation of video signal processing
designed to produce a motion vector signal. Motion estimation is an integral part of MPEG.
Motion JPEG JPEG compression or decompression is
applied real-time to video at up to 50 or 60 fields
per second. Each field or frame of video is individually processed.
motion portrayal Ability of TV system or device to
reproduce the moving objects in a TV picture without visible artifacts.
motion processor, HDMAC. See Bandwidth reduction,
motion recognition See Motion detection.
motion resolution Resolution when there is a movement in the TV picture, for example, when the camera is zooming or panning. Syn.: dynamic resolution.
motion vector A two-component signal showing the
magnitude and direction of moving object displacement over a given time interval—for example, between two TV fields. Usually represented in Cartesian
coordinates, but could equally well be represented
in polar notation.
motion video Video which displays real motion. It is
accomplished by displaying a sequence of images
(frames) rapidly enough that the eye sees the image
as a continuously moving picture.
mousey See Mousy.
mousy Also mousey. Pale in color, weak.
MOV The file extension used by MooV format video
files on Windows. These MOV files are generated
with Apple Computer’s QuickTime and played on
Windows systems via QuickTime for Windows.
movie A film, a moving picture, shown in a movie
theater, on TV, or elsewhere.
movie of the week (MOW) A theatrical film or a
made-for-TV film shown weekly on TV.
movieola See Moviola.
movie rating systems Organized procedures for classifying motion pictures according to content. The
ratings (according to the MPAA — Motion Picture
Association of America) are: G (General audience—
all are admitted); PG (Parental Guidance suggested—
some material may not be suitable for children);
PG-13 (Parental Guidance suggested—no one under 13 admitted); R (Restricted—youth under 17
must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian); and X—no one under 17 admitted. The ratings
are often published in TV and cable program guides
and are usually placed on videocassette boxes and
on advertising and POP (point of purchase) displays.
Another rating system has been developed by the
Film Advisory Board (FAB), a Los-Angeles-based
group of producers and interested citizens. Its system has been adopted by those who believe the
MPAA ratings do not go far enough in describing a
film. The FAB has six major designations: C—Children through age 7; F—Family; M—Mature; VM—
Very Mature; EM—Extremely Mature; and
AO—Adults 18 and Older. In addition the FABprinted labels on cassettes boxes add descriptions
such as “frontal nudity,” “extreme language,” “substance abuse,” “violence,” and “erotica.”
moving dots See Cross-luminance.
moving matte insert Overlay.
moving shot A filming or videotaping technique in
which the camera follows the action; also called
action shot, follow shot, or running shot.
Moviola The trade name for an upright film-editing
machine that reproduces film in miniature. The generic spelling for this type of machine—which also
reproduces sound—is movieola. Though once ubiquitous in film-editing rooms, the Moviola has been
replaced by flatbed editing machines, or horizontal
tables, and also by videotape editing processes.
mozaic Alternate spelling of mosaic.
MPEG Motion Picture Experts Group. A moving image
compression standard that can compress video better than JPEG and still maintain a high image quality. MPEG uses an interframe compression scheme,
where only one frame every half second is fully recorded; only the changes between frames are then
noted. MPEG is designed to be a distribution format and is not designed for use in video editing
MPEG++ See Advanced digital television.
MPEG-1 Standard for compressing TV pictures into
digital code which runs at up to 1.5 megabits/s. Used
in video CD players. MPEG-1 was a transitional specification to be replaced by MPEG-2.
MPEG-2 Digital video compression standard using similar coding techniques (as MPEG-1) to handle data
rates of between 4 and 8 megabits/s. MPEG-2 extends the MPEG-1 standard to cover a wider range
of applications. This standard, established by the
ISO’s Motion Picture Experts Group, is currently favored for international use in pay-TV, domestic digital video recording, video mail, digital video editing
and computer-based video. Used in VCRs and, since
1994, in DVD players, digital cable, satellite, and
over-the-air (OTA) standards.
MPEG-3 MPEG-3 was originally targeted for HDTV applications. This was incorporated into MPEG-2.
MPEG-4 Object-based audiovisual coding. This standard is expected to serve as an enabling technology
for the convergence of broadcast and interactivity.
Previous MPEG standards had an obvious application; MPEG-1 was for video CDs and MPEG-2 for
digital TVs. There is interest in using MPEG-4 for
digital cable and satellite applications since it uses
about one-half the bit rate of MPEG-2 for similar
video quality. See MSDL.
MPEG 4:2:2 Also referred to as Studio MPEG, Professional MPEG and [email protected] Sony’s Betacam SX is
based on MPEG 4:2:2. See MPEG-2.
MPEG-7 MPEG-7 standardizes the description of multimedia material (referred to as metadata), such as
still pictures, audio, and video, regardless if locally
stored, in a remote database, or broadcast. Examples
are finding a scene in a movie, finding a song in a
database, or selecting a broadcast channel. The
searcher for an image can use a sketch or a general
description. Music can be found using a “query by
humming” format.
MPEG-21 The Motion Picture Experts Group’s attempt
to get a handle on the overall topic of content delivery. By defining a Multimedia Framework from the
viewpoint of the consumer, they hope to understand
how various components relate to each other and
where gaps in the infrastructure might benefit from
new standards.
MPEG IMX Sony’s trademark for a family of devices,
such as DVTRs, that are I frame-only 50 Mbps MPEG2 streams using Betacam style cassettes. Plays Digital Betacam, Betacam SX, Betacam SP, Betacam, and,
MPEG IMX, outputting 50 Mbps MPEG I-frame on
SDTI-CP regardless of the tape being played. It can
also handle other (lower) input and output data
rates, but the recordings are 50 Mbps I-frame in any
MPEG splicing The ability to cut into an MPEG bit
stream for switching and editing, regardless of type
of frames (I, B, P).
MPX 1. Multiplex. 2. Jacks on TVs and VCRs that allow connection of an optional MTS adapter.
MRFA Broadband RF amp for TV applications in the
470- to 860-MHz range; Motorola, Phoenix, Arizona.
The amp module is specified at 26.5 V with an output power of 25 W minimum at 1-dB compression
and a 10.5-dB minimum small signal gain. However,
it can operate at 28 V.
MSB Most significant bit, or the bit that has the most
value in a binary number or data byte. In written
form, this is the bit on the left.
MSD Multistandard color decoder.
MSDL MPEG-4 Syntactic Descriptive Language. The
language of the MPEG-4 standard. A set of tools
used in the MSDL includes not just motion compensation but contour representation and other techniques that allow scalable bit rates and hierarchical
decoding and display of objects.
MSO The abbreviation for Multiple System Operator
(also Multi-Station Operator) or CATV owner. Larger
cable companies like Teleprompter, Warner Amex
and ATC actually own and control many cable systems. Cf. SSO.
MS Principle Mid-Side Principle.
MSPS Megasample per second.
MTF Modulation transfer function.
MTS Multichannel Television Sound. Implemented EIA
standard for stereo TV reception in the US comprised
of a decoding system developed by Zenith and DBX
noise reduction. MTS-equipped TVs and VCRs receive both stereo TV broadcasts and second audio
programs (SAP), which feature an additional audio
track for simultaneous second-language translations.
MTS decoder That part of a VCR or stereo TV receiver
that produces stereo separation, measured in dB. In
addition, the quality of a decoder depends on its
S/N ratio and frequency response. Because they are
difficult to align at the factory, many MTS decoders
leave something to be desired in stereo separation.
Separate units, sometimes called MTS/SAP decoders, are available for TV sets and monitor/receivers
not equipped to receive stereo broadcasts.
mult box An electrical device that combines and regulates the flow of electricity and distributes a regulated or consistent audio feed. It is used by radio
and TV crews, particularly at events with considerable equipment tapping into the speaker’s lectern
or other site.
Multi- and Hypermedia Coding Experts Group
(MHEG) A standardized language for the description of interactive multimedia applications. As for
WWW services, a protocol is needed for embedding
the MHEG applications into a DVB or DAB
datastream. For DVB, the Digital Storage Media
Command Control (DSM-CC) protocol is used.
multi-brand remote control Multi-purpose remote
multiburst A test pattern for testing horizontal resolution of a video system. It consists of sets of vertical
lines with closer and closer spacing.
multi-burst chart See Video test chart.
multiburst waveform—NTSC VITS This portion of
the VITS, usually transmitted on line 17, field 1 in
the vertical blanking interval, is composed of a series of six equal amplitude bursts covering a range
of frequencies at typically 0.5, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, 3.58
and 4.2 MHz. If signal amplitude varies across the
frequency spectrum, this will be seen in the height
of the bursts. A burst of peak white, known as the
“white flag,” is also transmitted as a white reference level.
multicam 1. The use of two or more cameras simultaneously to shoot a scene from more than one angle.
2. An early method of recording TV shows. Three
film cameras were positioned in the studio and shot
the show from different angles. They could be turned
off or on at will but in many cases were simply kept
running for the entire show. The resulting films were
then edited, using three moviola machines. The quality of the finished film was vastly superior to the
kinescope process.
Multicast 1. Data flow from single source to multiple
destinations; a multicast may be distinguished from
a broadcast in that the number of destinations may
be limited. 2. A term often used incorrectly to describe digital television program multiplexing.
multichannel multipoint distribution service
(MMDS), CATV See Auxiliary Radio Services. MMDS
is allocated 48 MHz (eight amplitude-modulated TV
channels), from 2596 to 2644 MHz, to transmit TV
programs and data to customer-selected locations. It
is used for the distribution of TV programs in sparsely
populated areas where cable is uneconomical.
multichannel television sound (MTS) A system to
transmit stereo, bilingual, and voice/data signals. The
MTS system is compatible with current transmissions
and mono receivers. The L+R portion or main chan-
nel of the MTS signal is identical to the current mono
signal. The L+R signal has 75 ms pre-emphasis and
deviates the aural carrier 25 kHz. The next component of the MTS signal is the 15.734-kHz stereo pilot carrier. The pilot carrier deviates the aural carrier
5 kHz and is used in the receiver to detect the L-R
stereo sub-channel. The L-R sub-channel is an AM
modulated double side band suppressed carrier signal and deviates the aural carrier 50 kHz. The SAP
subcarrier is an FM-modulated, 10-kHz deviated signal centered at 78.670 kHz. The SAP subcarrier deviates the aural carrier 15 kHz. Both the L-R and SAP
audio signals are DBX-encoded to reduce buzz and
multidimensional autofocus A camcorder feature
that provides uninterrupted focus from lens surface
to infinity. This does away with the necessity for the
conventional macro setting for extreme close-ups.
multi-eye system An autostereoscopic 3D-image system based on the number of observers. See doubleeye system.
multiformat In video, a VCR that can play back videotapes recorded in foreign countries that have different broadcast signals from those in the US. Usually,
such machines, which compensate for American and
foreign differences in the number of scan lines and
house-current cycles, can process signals from PAL
or SECAM tapes.
multiframe edit viewer A method of showing a series of frames in sequence. The unit displays fixed
multiple images, which can then be considered as
edit points according to their sequence. The major
benefit of multi-frame edit viewing is its doing away
with the need to continually move the tape.
multifunction display Whenever an operation button is pressed, the activated function is immediately
indicated on this easy-to-see display. It shows at a
glance in what operation mode the VTR is
multigrab A very common budget digital video effect
where the image is merely frozen for a determined
period and then instantly updated at the beginning
of the next period. Live images may sometimes be
used in-between freezes. Syn.: skip-field; strobe; stroboscope.
multigun tube A CRT containing more than one electron gun. Color TV receivers use M-GTs, as do multiple-presentation oscilloscopes.
multilevel chroma bar Test signal in a form of color
subcarrier modulated by staircase signal—i.e., the
chroma amplitude rises in discrete steps along the
TV line. This signal is usually on a gray level pedestal. Syn.: chrominance staircase.
multimaster In I2C-bus systems, more than one master can attempt to control the bus at the same time
without corrupting the message.
multimedia The combination of multiple forms of
media in the communication of information. Multi-
Multimedia CD
media enables people to communicate using integrated media: audio, video, text, graphics, fax, and
telephony. Multimedia communication formats vary,
but they usually include voice communications
(vocoding, speech recognition, speaker verification
and text-to-speech), audio processing (music synthesis, CD-ROMs), data communications, image processing and telecommunications using LANs, MANs
and WANs in ISDN and POTS networks. Two hot
multimedia buzzwords are convergence, which tells
you that TV sets, cable services, and telephones are
getting more like PCs and vice versa, and nonlinear
editing, which means that you’ll no longer have to
edit materials in their traditional a/b roll order.
Multimedia CD (MMCD) DVD system; Sony/Philips.
multimedia computer A product that combines PC
with digital video and audio.
multimedia kit A collection of items, such as filmstrips, posters, and videotapes, in one package, used
in schools and elsewhere.
multipass encoding True multipass encoding is currently available only for WM8 and MPEG-2. An encoder supporting multipass will, in a first pass,
analyze the video stream to be encoded and write
down a log about everything it encounters. Let’s
assume we have a short clip that starts out in a dialog scene where we have few cuts and the camera
remains static. Then it leads over to a karate fight
with lots of fast cuts and a lot of action (people flying through the air, kicking, punching, etc.). In regular CBR, encoding every second gets more or less
bitrate (it’s hard to stay 100% CBR but that’s a detail) whereas in multipass VBR mode the encoder
will use the bitrate according to his knowledge about
the video stream, i.e. the dialog part gets the available bitrate and the fighting scene gets allotted more
bitrate. The more passes, the more refined the bitrate
distribution will be. In single pass VBR, the encoder
has to base his decisions on where to use how much
bitrate solely on the knowledge of the stuff it previously has encoded.
multipath Multipath transmission.
multipath reception Reception in which the transmitter signals arrive at a receiving antenna over two
or more paths, one direct and the others reflected
from buildings or other obstacles. One result is ghosts
in the TV picture.
multipath transmission The propagation phenomenon that results in signals reaching a receiving antenna by two or more paths, causing distortion in
radio and ghost images in TV. At least one of the
paths involves reflection from some object. It is also
called multipath. Also multipath interference.
multi-pin connector A component with a predetermined number of metal pins attached between a
video camera and a VCR. Each pin is assigned a special function—e.g., audio output, video ground,
video signal input, etc. Early Beta recorders first used
a 10-pin connector but soon switched to and presently use a 14-pin system while VHS adopted the
10-pin configuration. Akai, although a VHS system,
developed its own 7-pin connector. Not only are
these systems incompatible, but all the pin functions
of one 10-pin VHS camera connector do not necessarily match a VHS recorder. (Beta 14-pin connectors are standardized.) Some VCR manufacturers and
independent companies sell adapters that permit
attaching 14-pin connectors of Beta cameras to VHS
recorders, which of course accept only 10-pin
multiple-effects generator An editing unit for postproduction work that provides an array of professional functions. The machine features a
special-effects generator for fades and wipes in dozens of patterns, a colorizer, an audio/video processor, a color processor and a genlock/power supply.
The last item permits the user to dissolve from one
video source to another.
multiple-player video game system A process using telephone lines or CATV systems to permit 2 to
10 players to participate in one video game.
multiplex To transmit two or more signals simultaneously on a single wire, bus, or channel. See also
Stereo adaptable.
Multiplexed Analog Component (MAC) European
analog standard for HDTV.
multiplexed TV signal In 3D-image display systems,
picture/sound information + identification data. The
multiplexed TV signal received by antenna is separated into an analog picture/sound signal and a data
signal by a separating circuit.
multiplexer (MUX, MXR) 1. Electronic equipment that
allows two or more signals to pass over one communications circuit. That “circuit” may be a phone line,
a microwave circuit, or a through-the-air TV signal.
That circuit may be analog or digital. There are many
multiplexing techniques to accommodate both. 2. A
multimedia device which permits dissolving or cutting from films to slides or any combination of these.
Utilizing various lenses, prisms, beam splitters and
mirrors, the multiplexer can handle many input
sources simultaneously. 3. An optical system allowing a number of film and slide projectors to feed video
information into the same TV camera.
multiplexing The combining of two or more independent signals into one transmission channel.
multiplex output A TV or monitor/receiver connector that permits adding a special audio adapter unit
for receiving stereo TV programs.
multiplier Electron multiplier.
multiplier focus See Persuader.
multipoint distribution service (MDS), CATV The
utilization of a microwave system of over-the-air, lineof-sight broadcasting of video programs over a single
channel. MDS is allocated 10 MHz of spectrum
space, from 2150 to 2160 MHz. It is a point-to-
multipoint service authorized to transmit singlechannel video and data signals to customer-selected
locations within a metropolitan area. Subscribers use
specially equipped receivers to pick up MDS programs. This system differs from that of CATV or subscription TV. CATV uses coaxial cable while STV
makes use of conventional VHF and UHF channels.
MDS also differs from other microwave systems in
that it transmits weaker signals in all different directions. The service is regulated by the FCC. See
Auxiliary Radio Services.
multipurpose remote control A preprogrammed
remote control pad that can “communicate” with a
large variety of VCRs, DVD players, cable converter
boxes and TV sets. Unlike other advanced remote
controls, such as universal remotes, these multibrand units, as they are sometimes called, cannot
be “taught” the codes of other machines. Instead,
they have been preprogrammed to work with many
multipurpose zoom lens A video camera lens that
offers several sophisticated features along with the
conventional zoom function. Multi-purpose zoom
lens provides automation for previously manual functions. For example, focus memory maintains the
sharpness of the subject as it moves toward or away
from the camera. Other features may include zoom
memory, autofocus macro and auto framing.
multiscreen digital freeze A digital VCR feature that
allows the viewer to fill the TV screen with several
stationary images simultaneously. Bringing up this
feature on the TV set does not affect the audio portion of the broadcast.
multistage LNA Three or more transistor amp stages
placed end to end (cascaded) so that the gain contribution of each will add up to total gain of approximately 50 dB. In most LNAs, the first stage
(closest to the antenna feed probe) has the best noise
characteristics needed to minimize the noise propagated along through the remaining stages.
multistage noise shaping An enhancement built into
some audio clips that transfers unwanted noise into
inaudible portions of the frequency spectrum. This
is accomplished by a digital-to-analog conversion
process, sometimes referred to by its acronym,
multistandard color decoder A circuit to automatically select the standard of the received signal and
decode it.
multistandard switchable encoder A feature generally found on a high-priced professional video camera designed with special outputs to accommodate
other formats, such as Beta, S-VHS and MII.
multistandard TV A digitally equipped TV receiver
capable of handling any video standard. Some of
the lower-end NTSC/PAL TV sets have reduced all of
the complex, sophisticated electronic circuitry to one
multistrobe A digital VCR feature that continually and
successively updates a series of strobes or still pictures generated on the TV screen by the strobe function.
multitap A device used in cable systems to select portions of the signal from the feeder cables to serve
more than one subscriber from a single location. This
electronic component is usually mounted at a telephone pole location and can provide service to two,
four, or eight subscribers. It taps signals from the
feeder cable that are then sent to each subscriber’s
home by cable drop lines.
multivision A system designed to feature simultaneously more than one image on the TV screen. Early
experiments in the 1960s with multivision TV made
no impact on the public. Sony offered a model with
three black and white 9" picture tubes placed side
by side; RCA followed with a 25" color set and three
10" black and white tubes in one cabinet. The concept was dropped until 1979, when Sharp introduced dualvision, a TV set which presented a second,
smaller black and white image within its regular picture. In 1980 Sharp introduced a model in which
nine different color channels could be viewed simultaneously, rotated or placed into Freeze Frame.
See PIP.
municipal cable TV A CATV station owned by a local
government. Fewer than three dozen exist of the
more than 4,000 cable systems in the US. MCATV
differs from CATV cooperatives, which are subscriber-owned.
Munsell (also Munsel) chroma See Chroma.
Munsell color chip chart A video test chart used to
check the color-producing ability of a video camera.
Used more frequently by professionals, the Munsell
chart contains specially prepared strips of color similar to the familiar color bar signal that is generated
electronically. The chart can be used in conjunction
with a color vectorscope. The user first points the
camera at the vectorscope, then aims it at the chart,
noting any differences.
Munsell color scale A set of charts used in color TV
to verify hue, brilliance, and chroma.
Munsell value The dimension, in the Munsell system
of object-color specification, that indicates the apparent luminous transmittance or reflectance of the
object on a scale which has approximately equal
perceptual steps under the usual conditions of
MUSE Multiple Sub-Nyquist Sampling Encoding. The
Japanese bandwidth compression system to accommodate HDTV transmission within an existing satellite channel. This system was an adaptation of the
NHK HDTV system for the DBS service in the 12GHz band. It is known that the wide base bandwidth of the 1125-line NHK system (more than 20
MHz) cannot be accommodated by the satellite transponders unless the signal is compressed. The MUSE
system reduced the total video baseband requirement to 8.15 MHz, suitable for the DBS service. This
conversion retained the full detail of the 1125-line
image, but only when the scene was stationary.
When motion occurred, the definition was reduced
by about 50%. If a moving object appeared against
a stationary background, this loss was often not too
evident. But if the whole scene was in motion, as
when the camera moves (“pans”) to follow action,
the whole image suffered a 50% loss of detail.
MUSE-6 Also NHK MUSE-6. A single-channel NTSCcompatible EDTV system (6-MHz band). The MUSE6 signal originated at the NHK standard of 1125
lines, interlaced 2:1 at 60 fields. For NTSC compatibility, the 60-Hz rate was transcoded to 59.94 Hz,
and this rate was maintained throughout the remainder of the MUSE-6 system to the display. The parent
MUSE system used time compression over three
fields to reduce the baseband to 8.15 MHz. Since
this exceeded the bandwidth available in the NTSC
channel, an intermediate change of scanning from
the total 1125 lines to 750 lines was encoded at the
transmitter and reverse decoded at the receiver. The
display on conventional receivers offered a 16:9 aspect ratio centered on the 4:3 frame, with 345 active lines. As in the parent system, the time
compression used in MUSE-6 introduced a 2:1 loss
in the horizontal resolution of moving objects. To
control the transcoding when motion was present,
a motion detector based on comparison of three
successive fields generated a signal that disabled the
high-frequency processing of moving objects. The
motion detector was also used to control the 1125to 750-line converter and the 60- to 59.94-Hz field
converter. The sound signal was digitized at 32 Kb/
s in 15-bit words, with redundant bits to bring the
data rate to 585 Kb/s. After compression, the digital audio was inserted in the video waveform after
the color burst. Overscan in conventional receivers
was assumed to hide any evidence of the sound burst
during active scanning. One stereo-pair sound channel was offered at 15 kHz upper limit. The receiver
decoding was the inverse of the transmitter encoding, with the exception of the field-rate conversion,
which was omitted since the MUSE-6 display operated at 59.94 fields. The display therefore offered
only 999 frames for each 1000 frames scanned by
the camera, and one frame in 1000 was discarded
in the transmitter processing. This “frame-cut” operation took place under the control of the motion
detector when there was a switch between cameras or when the scene was stationary or slowly mov-
ing. The omission of the frame was then not evident to the viewer. The MUSE-6 system was designed
to operate as a part of the MUSE-9 system.
MUSE-9 Also NHK MUSE-9. A wide-channel NTSCcompatible system. Two channel arrangements were
proposed, the first with the 6-MHz and 3-MHz contiguous, the second with the two channels separate. In common with all the MUSE systems, the
MUSE-9 system signal originated in the 1125/60/
2:1 format (SMPTE 240M standard). In the MUSE-6
system, two audio channels of baseband 15 kHz
were digitized at 32 Kb/s in 15-bit words that were
compressed to an 8-bit pulse train. This is the
A-MODE of sound transmission. The MUSE-9 augmentation channel provided two additional sound
channels at a wider baseband of 20 kHz, sampled
at 48 Kb/s into 16-bit words. This is the B-MODE.
The augmentation channel transmitted the higher
frequencies, so that two channels of B-MODE quality were available in the MUSE-9 receiver, or four
channels of A-MODE quality. The MUSE-9 receiver
display operated at the same rates as the MUSE-6
receiver (1125/59.94/2:1), with the additional moving-area horizontal resolution.
music cues Directions that indicate the volume, level,
starting and stopping time, and other changes for
music used in films or TV. Music down is an instruction to reduce the volume; music fade, to reduce it
slowly until inaudible; music in, to start; music in
and under, to start and then reduce (also called music
up and under); music out, to stop; and music up
and out, to increase and then stop.
music/voice switch A tone control feature on some
TV monitor/receivers. The music/voice switch is designed to provide the full frequency range of the
audio system in the Music mode. When the switch
is placed in the Voice or Speech position, the bass
and treble responses are modified to minimize hiss
and sharpen voices.
muting circuit An electronic feature built into virtually all VCRs to minimize instability or noise in the
video signal. Some old