Video Glossary

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Video Glossary2020-10-15T12:51:00-07:00
24 bit color2020-10-15T12:38:56-07:00

Computer graphics system where each pixel can have 256 levels of red, 256 levels of green, and 256 levels of blue simultaneously, allowing each pixel to be any of over 16+ million colors (256x256x256). [12]


Aging industrial videocassette format. Uses 3/4-inch tape in cassettes. [5]


Superior performance version of 3/4U, totally compatible with it. [5]

3-D modeling2020-10-15T12:59:01-07:00

Electronic graphics technique or software that allows one to designate points in three dimensional space, connect those points, cover the resulting wireframe with a selected material, then move or rotate the object, showing it from various angles. Objects can be combined and allowed to reflect or cast shadows upon each other and/or their backgrounds. [12]

3-to-1 rule2020-10-15T13:18:45-07:00

Position mikes at least 3 times farther from each other than they are from the people speaking into them. [10]

8 bit color2020-10-15T12:59:50-07:00

A picture’s colors are selected from a palette of 256 colors in a color lookup table. Only 256 colors are available in a single picture. [12]


Rectangular plug with eight pins and a cable that goes with it used to carry audio, video, and other signals between a monitor/receiver and a videocassette recorder.[2]


Eight millimeter. Nearly 1/4-inch wide tape used in popular lightweight home camcorders. This is also the width of home movie film which is also called 8mm. [5]

A/B/C roll2020-10-15T14:25:50-07:00

An edit employing 3 video players where the image comes from player A, then through some special effect transitions to B, and then to C. [14]

A/B roll2020-10-15T14:23:22-07:00

Technique of placing one scene on one video tape (and VTP) and another scene on another and then rolling (playing) both VTPs together, along with the editing VTR, in order to fade, dissolve or do a special effect using both scenes at once. [14]

A/B switch2020-10-15T14:25:01-07:00

Electrical switch which selects either the signal from cable A or the signal from cable B and feeds the results to a TV, VCR, or other destination. [5]

Above-the-line costs2020-10-15T14:26:15-07:00

Production expenses related only to a particular show. Examples: special talent, writers, travel, charges for special effects. [17]


Alternating Current, which comes from the wall outlet (not DC—Direct Current—which comes from a battery). [5]

AC adaptor2020-10-15T14:26:38-07:00

Device that connects to a wall outlet (AC), and sends power to a device to: charge its batteries, or operate without using battery power. [5]

Access channel2020-10-15T14:27:26-07:00

Cable TV channel set aside for local community use, like town meetings, school sports, local affairs, and news. [4]

Accession number2020-10-15T14:27:45-07:00

Numerical order (1, 2, 3, etc.) assigned to tapes as they are acquired or recorded. [5]

Accessory mount2020-10-15T14:28:08-07:00

Threaded hole on top of camera or camcorder for attaching a light, microphone, or other accessory. [6]


Ability of a high quality lens to not make colored ridges on contrasty objects in the edges of the picture. [7]


Electrical device which requires electric power to operate. TV antenna preamplifiers and amplified TV couplers are active. [3]


Electronic device that requires power to operate and adds something to the signal passing through it. [11]

Active matrix2020-10-15T14:30:38-07:00

A type of liquid crystal that changes quickly, appropriate for LCD panels that also display video. [19]


Audio Director, person who runs the sound. [17]


A connector which allows one type of plug to fit into another type of socket. [2]


An audio device that allows a plug of one type to fit a socket of another type. [10]


A cable or satellite decoder that has a unique identity. The box can descramble a channel for a limited time if a “permission” signal is sent to it, usually through the cable or airwaves after the subscriber pledges to pay the fee. [4]

Adjacent channel interference2020-10-15T14:32:36-07:00

Wavy lines or two TV images simultaneously appear on the TV screen. A problem appears when you’re viewing a weak station while another strong station, one channel number higher or lower, is broadcast nearby or from the same direction as the weak station. [3]


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, a DSL that sends data quickly downstream (to you) but upstream slowly, allocating the digital resources of the twisted pair efficiently for many download-heavy applications. [20]

Advanced vertical2020-10-15T14:33:20-07:00

Special synchronizing signal sent out by a TBC to a VCP to lock the VCP’s video playback to the house (TV system’s) sync. Makes the VCP play almost in synchronization with the studio cameras. [15]

AFC time constant2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

An internal circuit design on a TV set which determines how much it jitters and flagwaves when playing tapes. [5]


Audio Frequency Modulation, a technique used in VHS, SVHS, 8mm and Hi 8 VCRs to record/play hi fi sound, invisibly imbedded in the picture. [5]

AFM or audio frequency modulation2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

Method of recording hi-fi audio on 8mm and hi8 tapes along with the video. The audio is changed to a varying tone whose vibrations are mixed invisibly with the video vibrations. [10]

AGC or automatic gain control2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

Automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of a camera’s picture. [6]

Air mouse2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

Infra-red remote control mouse that allows one to operate a computer from some distance away. [19]


Stair-steppiness of rounded images or letters rendered by computers and character generators. [12]

All-channel antenna2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

Antenna designed to tune in all TV channels. [3]

Alpha channel2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

A signal used in video graphics to cut a hole in an image, a hole that gets filled with another image. [12]

Alpha channel2020-10-15T15:36:24-07:00

External key circuit in a CG or computer graphics device that “cuts out” a piece of a picture leaving space for another (usually text). [12]

Ambiance or ambient lighting2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

Light that partially fills in shadows, mimicking the light that scatters from everything in the real world. Without ambiance lighting, shadows could get too dark. [12]

Ambient color2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

The shaded color of an object showing darker color where light doesn’t hit. [12]


Splitting up the cost of an expensive item over the number of years the item is used. [17]

Amp or ampere2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

A measure of the volume of electrical current. Institutional circuits are usually rated for 20A (amps). Electric wires may get hot as this number is approached. [9]


Electronic device that makes a weak electrical signal stronger. [10]


A signal that varies continuously as opposed to a digital signal made of discrete levels. A device that works with analog signals. [1]


Something that varies in infinite gradations. A light dimmer is analog. Analog circuits suffer noise and distortion. [10]

Analog non-linear editor2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

NLE that doesn’t digitize your tapes and prepare a final edit from the hard drives, but creates an edit decision list from the timeline on your computer screen. The list later drives the VCPs and VCRs to make the edits. [14]

Analog-to-digital (A-to-D) converter2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

A circuit that samples an analog signal and expresses the information as digital data. [5]

Analog VTR2020-10-15T15:22:39-07:00

Video recorder that records the continuously varying video signal onto the tape (as opposed to digital). [5]


Technique or result of creating a series of still images and then playing them quickly in sequence to create motion. [12]


American National Standards Institute, an organization that, among other things, sets the standards for measuring projector brightness. [19]

Antenna booster2020-10-15T15:22:41-07:00

Amplifier, attached to antenna wire, used to strengthen a weak antenna signal. [2]

Antenna joiner2020-10-15T15:22:41-07:00

Electrical device which connects to two or more TV antennas and sends the combined signals to your TV set. [3]

Antenna preamplifier2020-10-15T15:22:41-07:00

An electrical device usually connected near the antenna which makes a weak antenna signal stronger. [3]

Antenna switch2020-10-15T15:22:41-07:00

An electrical switch specially designed for antenna signals.[3]

Antenna switch2020-10-15T15:35:21-07:00

Selects whether a TV’s internal (monopole or rabbit-ear) antenna or external (rooftop) antenna is to be used. [2]


The smoothing out of jagged or stair-steppy edges of electronic graphics or generated characters. [12]

Anti flicker switch or flicker fixer2020-10-15T15:22:41-07:00

Feature on a scan converter that makes fine lines in computer graphics fuzzier so that they don’t flicker when displayed as interlaced video. [19]

Antigravity hangers2020-10-15T15:22:42-07:00

Spring-loaded mechanisms between the lights and the grid to allow the lights to be individually lowered (and stay put at various heights) simply by pulling them down or pushing them up. [9]


Feature in some projectors that distorts the projected image so that it looks rectangular on the screen, even though the projector is at an angle to the screen. [19]

Area light2020-10-15T15:22:42-07:00

Soft diffused light, like from a fluorescent fixture. [12]


Undesirable elements or defects in a video picture, such as dots crawling along the edge of colored graphics, or color rainbows around shirts with stripes or herringbones. [1]


American Society of Composers and Performers-an agency that licenses the use of copyrighted music. [10]


The part of a letter that rises above the main body, like the top of the lowercase “k.” [12]


A universal, standardized code for text and numbers used by computers and word processors. [17]

Aspect ratio2020-10-15T15:22:42-07:00

The shape of a TV screen expressed in height compared to width. Common TV screens have a 4:3 aspect ratio. [12]

Aspherical lens2020-10-15T15:22:42-07:00

Lens formed to a complex shape that provides improved image sharpness, lighter weight, and more accurate color imagery than simple convex and concave lens groups. [7]

Associate producer2020-10-15T15:22:42-07:00

Lower-level production assistant who handles program details; a bookkeeping/clerical position requiring specialization in TV production. [17]


Not synchronized. Running independently without external sync circuits holding the device to the same rhythm as the rest of the studio equipment. [11]

ATA Carnet2020-10-15T15:22:42-07:00

A customs document listing your tools and their origin and destination. It guarantees to a country that they were not bought nor will be sold in that country. [17]


Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a method of grouping data into packets and switching them along a route to their destination quickly. [20]


Audio tape recorder. [10]


Advanced Television Systems Committee, a group formed to study DTV and make recommendations to the FCC. [21]


Small electronic device that reduces the strength of an audio signal. [5]


Advanced Television, a name that replaced HDTV as the specifications evolved, eventually being replaced with DTV. [21]


The sound part of a TV broadcast. Sound, turned into an electrical signal.[1]

Audio-1, audio-22020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Names given to the two audio channels on a 3/4U VCR. Audio-2 is often the main channel. Some home VCRs may have two-channel audio or stereo audio. [5]

Audio director2020-10-15T15:22:44-07:00

Studio crew member who handles the microphone placement, sound mix, and other audio responsibilities before and during the show. [10]

Audio distribution amplifier of ADA2020-10-15T15:22:44-07:00

Electronic device that takes in one audio signal and makes several, each as strong as the original. [15]

Audio dub2020-10-15T15:22:44-07:00

Feature on video recorders which allows you to record new sound (erasing the old sound) on a tape while leaving the picture untouched. [5]


A special switch that routes an audio signal along with the video signal at the press of a single button, like two switches in one. [15]


A switcher feature often found in routing switchers whereby the audio source is automatically switched along with the video source. [11]

Audio head2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Stationary electromagnet inside a VCR which records the sound on the tape or plays it back. Hi Fi VCRs have audio heads that spin with the video heads. [5]

Audio insert2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

An audio dub performed in the midst of an already recorded tape. [14]

Audio level2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

How “loud” a sound signal is. Adjusting the audio level on a recorder determines the recording’s loudness. [5]

Audio level control2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

A volume control. Adjusts sound recording loudness on VCRs. [10]

Audio limiter2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Automatic control on a recorder that reduces volume during a recording if the sound becomes too loud. The audio limiter doesn’t affect the quiet and medium parts of the recording. [5]

Audio meter2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Meter that indicates the loudness of an audio signal. Could also be a string of LEDs that light up like a bar graph. [10]

Audio mixer2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Mixes audio (sound) signals perhaps from several microphones and combines them into one audio signal. [1]

Audio monitor2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Device that allows you to listen to and check on the quality of a sound signal. Also the switch on a VCR that chooses which channel (or both) is fed to your headphones or in some cases to the VCR’s audio output. [10]

Audio patch cord2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Wire with audio plugs on each end for feeding signals between two audio devices. [2]

Audio selector2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Knob on a VCR that selects whether audio track 1 or 2 or a combination of both will be played back (or recorded upon). [14]

Audio splicing tape2020-10-15T15:22:45-07:00

Adhesive tape used to join the ends of audio recording tape during the editing process. [14]


The act of checking on a sound signal but not recording it. Also, a mixer channel that can be listened to or adjusted but is not necessarily recorded. [10]


Process of organizing the materials for an interactive disc and putting them into computer language. [18]

Auto fade2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Control on some cameras which fades the picture to black at the end of a scene or fades up from black at the beginning. [6]

Auto preview2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Mechanism on a switcher/SEG that automatically displays on your preview monitor any effect not being recorded but ready to be shown once selected. [11]

Automatic focus2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Electronic system in some cameras that senses whether the picture is sharp and electrically focuses the lens to correct blurry pictures. [6]

Automatic gain control or AGC2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Electronic circuit that automatically adjusts the loudness of a recording. [10]

Automatic iris2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Camera circuit which senses the amount of light in a scene and opens or closes the lens iris to adapt to it. [6]

Autoscan or multiscan2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Where a multisync monitor or projector can be switched to a selected sweep frequency to match a computer or TV scan rate, an autoscan or multiscan monitor or projector will “sense” the frequency and automatically lock onto it. [19]

Aux send/return2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

An output/input path on mixers that allow a signal to be manipulated by a device outside the mixer. [10]

AV monitor or multimedia monitor2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

TV monitor with audio and video inputs to display picture and sound. [2]


Left/right direction, or east/west when tracking satellites. [20]

Baby boom2020-10-15T15:22:47-07:00

Small boom stand for holding a microphone. [10]

Back focus2020-10-15T15:22:48-07:00

The distance between the lens and the pickup chip; To remain in focus while zooming, the lens’ back focus must be adjusted precisely. Also, the act of adjusting a lens’ back focus. [7]

Background generator2020-10-15T15:22:48-07:00

SEG circuit that adds color to a black background, useful for keying words onto a colored background. [11]


The act of sending a program or newsfeed via satellite from a local area back to the main distribution area for rebroadcasting via satellite. [20]


Light coming from behind a subject. Also a control on a TV camera which improves a backlit picture (keeps it from looking like a silhouette). 6]


Lighting instrument that illuminates the subject from behind, creating a rim of light around the edges of the subject. The back light usually has barn doors for precise control of light’s direction. [9]


Act of moving a video tape backward slightly. Helpful in producing glitchless (clean, smooth) edits. [5]


Move a tape backwards a ways and park it in preparation for an edit; give the tape space for the preroll. [14]

Balanced line2020-10-15T15:22:50-07:00

An audio cable with three wires, two inside a shield. Corresponding connectors have three prongs. [10]


An electrical transformer that properly conditions the electrical power to run HMI lights. [9]


A range of radio frequencies used for a certain type of communications. [20]


A set of related frequencies. UHF (ultrahigh frequency) is one band 470-890 MHz (megahertz).[3]

Band separator/joiner2020-10-15T15:22:50-07:00

Electrical device which separates combined bands (like VHF, UHF, FM) into separate bands (like FM alone) or combines separate bands so the signal can travel on a single cable. [3]


A picture artifact or fault whereby smooth brightness or color gradients appear to be comprised of bands of brightness or color, often the result of too few bits used to represent each sample of a picture. Banding could make a billiard ball look like a sliced onion. [5]


Electromagnetic “room” for TV channels or computer data on a wire, cable, fibre, or airwave. [4]


The range of frequencies over which a circuit or electronic device can function properly. NTSC bandwidth is 4.2 MHz, meaning the signals can have frequencies ranging between 0 vibrations per second and 4.2 million vibrations per second. [1]

Barn doors2020-10-15T15:22:50-07:00

Metal flaps on a lighting instrument that can be closed or opened to direct the light, and shade areas where light is undesirable. [9]

Barrel connector2020-10-15T15:22:50-07:00

An adapter with a socket at each end which allows two cables to be connected together.[2]

Baseband audio and video2020-10-15T15:22:50-07:00

Composite video and audio, not RF modulated. [15]

Basic level videodisc player2020-10-15T15:22:51-07:00

Like a movie, this videodisc and player can only start at the beginning and play to the end of a program. There is no interactivity. [18]

Basic service2020-10-15T15:22:51-07:00

Inexpensive lineup of local TV channels and access channels. [4]


Low frequency sound. [10]


Bits per second transmitted or received by a modem. [20]

Bayonet mount2020-10-15T15:22:51-07:00

Lens-to-camera connection popular on professional cameras. [7]

Beaded screen2020-10-15T15:22:51-07:00

Projection screen covered with tiny glass beads (looks like white sandpaper); has a gain of 2 or 3. [19]

Below-the-line costs2020-10-15T15:22:51-07:00

Ongoing costs realized whether a production company is doing a show or not. Overhead. Examples: staff engineering and production personnel, equipment amortization, telephone, taxes. [17]


Aging popular professional camcorder format using betamax-like cassettes, recording separate colors at high tape speed for high quality. Expensive. [5]

Betacam SP2020-10-15T15:22:52-07:00

Component VCR format using Betacam cassettes. [13]


Improved version of betacam, downwardly compatible with it, very popular among professionals. [5]


Introduced by Sony, nearly extinct, 1/2-inch consumer videocassette format. [5]

Bezier patch2020-10-15T15:22:53-07:00

Grid upon which flat objects are “pasted”. By stretching or bending the grid, objects will stretch, bend, or morph. [12]


Counting system based on two levels, 0 and 1, used by computers and other digital equipment. [5]


A Binary digit, a 0 or 1, representing a no or a yes answer to a question. A bit is the smallest piece of information a computer understands. [5]


Image stored as pixels mapped across the screen. [12]

Black balance2020-10-15T15:22:53-07:00

Color camera adjustment which makes blacks pure black (not tinted one color or another). [6]

Blacked tape2020-10-15T15:22:53-07:00

A video recording of black, used to prepare a tape for insert editing. [14]


One of the sync signals that determines the size of the black sync bar at the bottom of the TV picture. [11]


Planning out everyone’s position and movement for the show. [17]

Blue gun2020-10-15T15:22:54-07:00

Used with color bar test signals, this calibration switch on a TV monitor activates only the electron guns for the blue phosphors; for adjusting color hue and saturation. [15]

Blue pedestal2020-10-15T15:22:54-07:00

Control on a color camera CCU which adjusts the amount of blue signal the camera makes when it “sees” no blue. Similar controls for red and green may exist. Used in balancing black levels. [15]


Adobe paint tool for softening parts of a picture. Blue softens the unrealistically hard edges of some modified graphics. [12]


Broadcast Music, Inc.-an agency that licenses the use of copyrighted music. [10]


Bitmap format for an image file, capable of handling 16 colors, 256 colors, or True color. BMPs are a subset of Windows DIB format, but do not support image compression. [12]


The most popular industrial connector used for video or sync. Sometimes used for RF. [2]

Boolean operation2020-10-15T15:22:54-07:00

Process of forming an object by intersecting two other 3-D objects. [12]


An arm that sticks out, often with a mike hung on the end. [10]


Camera control which makes it extrasensitive in dim light. [6]


Split screen effect which makes a visible line (of chosen width and color) between the pictures sharing the screen. [11]

Bow tie2020-10-15T15:22:57-07:00

Portable TV antenna which looks like a bow tie, used for UHF stations.[2]


Bits per second, the speed data travels through a wire or device. [20]


A step in a flowchart or CAI program where a choice is made, and the viewer follows one of several alternate routes through the program. [18]

Breakaway or split edit or L-cut2020-10-15T15:22:57-07:00

An edit where the audio and video do not automatically switch together; they are switched in separate operations, perhaps one occurring before the other. [14]


Basic Rate Interface, ISDN phone line with two 64kbps channels and one 16kbps channel. [20]

Bulk tape eraser2020-10-15T15:22:57-07:00

Large electromagnet used for erasing (demagnetizing) an entire reel or cassette of audio or video tape at once. The procedure takes about 4 seconds. [5]

Bump map2020-10-15T15:22:58-07:00

Texture map data describing the instructions for how shadows will be made by the bumpiness of the surface. [12]

Burn in2020-10-15T15:22:58-07:00

A spot, streak, or blemish on the TV screen which remains even when the camera is focused on a new scene. TV screen burn-ins are usually caused by displaying a contrasty object for too long. Aiming the camera at a very bright object like the sun can burn-in the CCD chip. [6]


One of the sync signals to control the hue and color accuracy of TV pictures. [11]


Part of the sync signal controlling the hue and color accuracy of TV pictures. It is a reference signal used by TVs and other video equipment as the benchmark for what all the hues should be. [15]

Burst phase2020-10-15T15:22:58-07:00

Control on a color camera CCU (or other video gear) that adjusts the timing of the burst signal and thus varies the color hues in the picture. [15]


A channel or a group of related buttons on a switcher/SEG. [11]


Computer’s network of circuits to move data from one part of its “brain” to another for processing. [5]

Butterfly or Overhead2020-10-15T15:22:58-07:00

Large sheet of diffusion material usually erected like a tent over the subject to soften light. [9]


Eight bits, usually the number of bits necessary to represent an alpha numeric character like the letter A (which happens to be 01000001). [5]


The chrominance or color part of a video signal. [1]


A range of microwave frequencies between 4 and 8GHz. [20]


C-shaped clamp used to hang lighting instruments from the ceiling grid. [9]


Standardized connection between TV camera lenses and TV cameras, used in industrial cameras. [7]

Cable drive2020-10-15T15:23:00-07:00

Cranks or knobs, mounted on or near the tripod handles, are connected to the lens via cables and remotely control the lens’s zoom and focus. [7]

Cable guards2020-10-15T15:23:00-07:00

Metal shields that sweep cables out of the way so the camera dolly doesn’t roll over them. [6]

Cable length2020-10-15T15:23:00-07:00

CCU control which adjusts the sharpness and strength of signals coming from a camera, matching them to the strengths of other cameras with longer or shorter cables. [6]

Cable modem2020-10-15T15:23:00-07:00

Computer modem connected to cable TV coax, able to transport data at very high speeds (up to 30Mbps). [20]

Cable modem2020-10-15T15:36:00-07:00

Device that connects between your computer and your cable-TV source, able to transmit data quickly to an Internet service provider also on the system. [15]

Cable modem2020-10-15T15:37:22-07:00

Device which converts computer data to a signal that can travel quickly over cable TV wires. [4]

Cable ready2020-10-15T15:23:00-07:00

A modern TV or VCR with a tuner able to pick up the cable TV channels directly without a converter box.[4]

Cam link head2020-10-15T15:23:01-07:00

Heavy-duty camera support to keep the camera from tilting down abruptly when free to move; the camera simply comes to rest in a safe horizontal position. [6]


A VCR and camera in one unit, or as two devices joined together. [5]

Camel’s-hair brush2020-10-15T15:23:01-07:00

Brush of soft camel’s hair, often with bellows in the handle, for blowing dust off lenses. [7]

Camera adapter2020-10-15T15:23:01-07:00

Box of electronics that a portable camera can plug into (instead of directly into a VCR) that powers the camera and distributes the camera’s video and other signals via standardized outputs. [6]


Shiny rotating wheel inside a VCR to draw tape through the machine at the proper speed. [16]


Shiny spinning rod inside the VCR which pinches against the tape and draws it through the mechanism. [5]

Captioning encoder2020-10-15T15:23:01-07:00

Device that changes text data into the codes that go on line 21 of the video signal passing through it, essentially making closed (or open) captioned video. [15]

Captioning service2020-10-15T15:23:01-07:00

Company that encodes closed (or open) captions into your TV production, either live or off-line. [15]


Digitize a stretch of videotape on a non-linear editor, or digitize the first and last image of a scene and store the time codes on an analog non-linear editor. [14]


Constant angular velocity, the half-hour mode of an analog videodisc and player. Special effects are available. [18]


Charge coupled device, a popular type of image sensing pickup chip in TV cameras. [1]


Charge-coupled device, transistorized light sensor on TV cameras. [6]

CCU or camera control unit2020-10-15T15:23:03-07:00

Box of electronic circuits which can remotely adjust the operation of a camera as well as provide power and signals to it. 6]


Compact disc containing digitally recorded sound, or the machine that plays the discs. [10]


Compact Disc Interactive, a disc (or player) able to play interactively, up to 74 minutes of limited motion MPEG-1 compressed audio and video. [18]


Recordable CD. [18]


Compact Disc-Read Only Memory, a CD with data files on it, readable by your computer. [10]

CD-ROM XA2020-10-15T15:23:03-07:00

CD-ROM Extended Architecture, plays music CDs and CD-ROM data on one multisession disc. Discs can be recordable. [18]

Center focus2020-10-15T15:23:03-07:00

Mood-creating lens effect where the outside edges of a picture are blurry and the center is sharp. [8]


Character Generator operator, person who locates titles and text and has it ready to key into the program along with any transitions or movement. [17]

CGMS or Copy Generation Management System2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

Method of making DVDs uncopyable. [18]


On a dimmer, a channel is a set of controls working independently of another set of controls. One channel can be set up for one lighting situation and the second set up for another. Switching channels changes all the lights from one setup to the other. [9]


One section of a level 2 videodisc program, like a chapter of a book. [18]

Chapter stop2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

A code, embedded in the level 1 videodisc flags where each new chapter or section begins. While scanning fast forward, the player will sense the code and will still-frame at this point. This feature speeds the process of locating segments on the disc. [18]

Character generator2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

Electronic device allowing you to type titles onto the TV image. [11]

Character generator2020-10-15T15:34:49-07:00

Electronic device with a typewriter keyboard which electronically displays letters, numbers, and symbols on a TV screen. [4]

Character generator or CG2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

Typewriter keyboard that electronically displays letters, numbers, and symbols on a TV screen. [12]


Letters, numbers, spaces, or punctuation marks which can be printed or displayed on a TV screen. [2]

Charge back2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

Charging studio costs to another division of the same company. No money changes hands, it’s just an accounting procedure. [17]


Miniature electronic circuit consisting of thousands of transistors. A TV camera chip senses the image. [6]

Chroma gain2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

Camera control that boosts the amounts of color in the picture. [15]

Chroma key2020-10-15T15:23:04-07:00

Key effect triggered by the color blue (or some other selected color) rather than black. [11]

Chroma key2020-10-15T15:34:59-07:00

Video effect where blue (or other selected color) parts of a TV picture are replaced with another picture. [9-12.1]

Chrominance or chroma2020-10-15T15:23:06-07:00

The color part of video signal. [1]

Circuit breaker2020-10-15T15:23:06-07:00

An electronic resettable fuse found on TVs and other electronic devices. Pressing the red button resets the fuse.[2]

Circular polarizer2020-10-15T15:23:06-07:00

Polarizing lens attachment designed to work with cameras having mirrors. [7]

Clear, (or in-the-clear)2020-10-15T15:23:06-07:00

Non-scrambled satellite TV programs. [20]


A digitized audio sample. It could be a sound effect or a whole song or speech.


A video and/or audio scene or shot, usually of raw footage. Non-linear editors will digitize the clip so it may be trimmed and added to the timeline. [14]

Clip art2020-10-15T15:23:06-07:00

Professionally made art, stored as computer files and sold or given away on DC-ROMS or over the INTERNET. The art can be used alone, or can dress up newsletters, or could be combined with your own graphic images. [12]

Clip bin2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

A window on the editing screen that displays all the clips that have been digitized. [14]


Sony DVCAM mechanism for marking in/out points of raw footage while it’s in the camera. Thumbnail images and time code numbers may then be quickly downloaded to the non-linear editor, possibly guiding the editor in digitizing only the “good” shots. [14]


Phenomenon where a signal is stronger than the circuits can handle, thus they clip off the excess. In audio, this causes distorted sound, in video it results in a chalky appearance. [15]

Close-up lens attachment2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

A lens element that screws onto your existing lens, allowing it to focus closer than normal. [7]

Closed caption decoder2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

Circuit in a TV set that extracts closed caption data from the video signal and displays it on the screen. [15]

Closed caption submaster tape2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

Copy of your master tape with closed captions encoded into line 21 of the video. [15]

Closed captions2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

Signals invisibly encoded in the picture of some TV shows can be deciphered by a caption decoder and turned into text appearing over the TV image, mostly for the benefit of the hearing impaired.[2]


Describes how the TV viewer mentally fills in the parts of an incomplete picture. [8]


Constant linear velocity, the 1-hour mode of an analog videodisc and player. Special effects are not available. [18]

Co-channel interference2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

Wavy lines or other interference appearing on the TV screen caused when a TV set receives more than one signal at a time on the same channel (i.e., two channel 3s at once). [3]

Coax or coaxial wire2020-10-15T15:23:07-07:00

Stiff, round wire about 1/4 inch in diameter, used to carry video, sync, or RF (antenna) signals.[2]


Coder/decoder, device to convert video and audio into digits transportable via phone lines, then convert the digits back to audio/video for the recipient. Codecs may also employ digital compression. [15]


Coder-Decoder, an electronic device devoted to compressing and decompressing video. [12]

Color background generator2020-10-15T15:23:08-07:00

Device which electronically creates a screenful of a desired color without the help of a camera. Color could be used as background behind character-generated text. [15]

Color bar generator2020-10-15T15:23:08-07:00

Electronic device to create color bars for use as a test signal. [15]

Color bar test chart2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

A carefully prepared poster containing colored bars used for camera testing. [15]

Color bars2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Vertical bars of color used to test cameras and other video equipment. 6]

Color compatible2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

An image that can be viewed easily on black- and-white TVs as well as color ones. [12]

Color corrector2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Electronic device that dissects the colors of a video signal and allows them to be individually adjusted (i.e., the blues could be changed to aquas without changing anything else). [15]

Color difference signals2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Component video signals which represent color parts of the picture. R-Y and B-Y are color difference signals. [1]

Color lookup table2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Image capture software that reduces color space by programming into the video card a selection of (usually 256) colors. These colors are used to recreate the picture. [12]

Color map2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Texture map describing the colors and design print of the surface. [12]

Color space2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

The total number of colors displayable at a time by a computer. [12]

Color temperature2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

The redness or blueness of a scene, the result of the kind of light used to illuminate the scene. Also the name given to the color TV camera control which adapts it to these varied lighting conditions. [6]

Color under2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Electronic technique of lowering frequencies of the color information in a video picture making it easier to record. [13]

Color under2020-10-15T15:35:09-07:00

Video recording method where color is separated from luminance and converted to a lower frequency for inexpensive recording. [5]

Color wheel2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

A chart organizing colors by their hues and values, helpful in determining colors that go well together. [12]


Adding color to something electronically. A matte can be white, black, gray, or colorized; so can wipe borders and backgrounds. [11]

Community antenna2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Large antenna, receiving good reception, feeding its signals to many homes at once. Also called MATV for master antenna TV, often used in apartment buildings where one antenna feeds all apartments.[4]

Compact disc (CD)2020-10-15T15:23:09-07:00

Small shiny disc imbedded with microscopic pits representing digital data which can be read by a laser and converted into sound. [10]


Compress/expand, a technique of squeezing the dynamic range of a wireless microphone, then expanding that range at the receiver end to restore normal sound. [10]


Compression/expanding, a technique used by audio devices such as wireless microphones whereby audio signals are compressed prior to recording or transmission, and expanded back to normal just before use. The technique increases the audio dynamic range. [15]


The ability to play a tape on any same-format machine and get good picture and sound. [5]

Component switcher2020-10-15T15:23:11-07:00

Video switcher which switches and mixes component (i.e., RGB, or Y/U/V, or Y/R-Y/B-Y) video signals. [11]

Component video2020-10-15T15:23:11-07:00

Color video transmitted with the luminance (Y) on one wire and the color signals on other wires, or each color on its own wire. Examples: R,G,B; Y(R-Y)/(B-Y), Y/I/Q, Y/U/V, 4:2:2. [1]

Component video2020-10-15T15:34:25-07:00

Separate color video signals that have not yet been combined into a single video signal. Y/R-Y/B-Y, video is an example of component video signals. [13]

Component video2020-10-15T15:37:05-07:00

Video signals carrying separate colors on separate wires. RGB, Y/l/Q, Y/R-Y/B-Y are component video signals. [5]

Component video recorder2020-10-15T15:23:11-07:00

Professional VCR that records separately the distinct color video signals from a camera, offering a high-quality image. [13]


2-D paint feature allowing you to create multiple layers of work and make transitions including fancy effects from one layer or scene to another. [12]


A picture made of layers or the act of making such a picture. [12]

Composite video2020-10-15T15:23:11-07:00

The combination of three color video signals traveling on one wire. NTSC video is composite video. [5]

Composite video2020-10-15T15:34:34-07:00

Video (picture) signal with the sync (timing) signal combined. Also means color video carried on one wire with the colors combined (encoded) with the brightness constituents of the picture. [1]


Process for storing digital data in a smaller space than it would normally take. A 2:1 compression would squeeze the data into half its original size. [5]


Audio device able to reduce the audio signal when it exceeds a set amount. [10]


Electronic audio device to reduce the range of volumes in an audio signal down to a range easier to record. Creates a “flat” sound where soft and loud passages are about the same volume. [15]

Computer assisted instruction (CAI)2020-10-15T15:23:12-07:00

Lessons presented interactively via computer. [18]

Computer graphics2020-10-15T15:23:12-07:00

The process of electronically creating pictures and perhaps text using a computer. The art can be manipulated and stored digitally, and converted to video signals. [12]

Continuous white balance2020-10-15T15:23:12-07:00

Camera mode which makes moment-by-moment adjustments to the white balance, using what the camera sees in its picture as a guide. [6]

Control head2020-10-15T15:23:12-07:00

Electromagnet in a VTR which records timing pulses on the tape and plays them back. These pulses precisely guide the speed of the tape. [5]


Panasonic-developed bidirectional interface to control camcorders through a 5 pin DIN connector. Similar, but not compatible with, Control-C (LANC). [14]

Control pulses2020-10-15T15:23:12-07:00

Rhythmic signal recorded on a video tape’s control track which guides the VCR during playback. [14]


Simple Sony editing protocol where remote control signals can be sent to VCRs to activate them. [14]

Control track counter2020-10-15T15:23:13-07:00

Time code counter that senses the control track pulses on the tape and converts the data to hours:minutes:seconds:, and sometimes frames. [14]


On a three-tube video projector, focusing and aiming the three colored pictures so that they overlap, producing all colors accurately, without ridges along edges of objects. [19]


The precise overlapping of a color TV’s three primary colored pictures to make one multicolored picture.[2]


Electronic device which translates one channel number (one frequency) into another (another frequency). Often rented from cable TV companies, a converter (or decoder) box connects to your TV and does the tuning instead of your TV tuner. The box usually puts out channel 3, and your TV remains tuned to channel 3.[4]

Copy protected2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

A signal recorded on a video tape renders the tape uncopyable.[2]

Copy stand2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

A device for holding a camera so it can easily be focused on a graphic. [12]

Copyguard, Macrovision2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

Antipiracy techniques employed by prerecorded tape producers to thwart tape copying. [5]

Corner insert2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

A special wipe pattern that stops partway across the screen so that a corner of the TV picture is taken up by part of another camera’s image. [11]

Corner insert2020-10-15T15:34:37-07:00

A wipe effect where one corner of the TV screen shows one camera’s picture while the rest of the screen shows another’s. [6]

CPU or computer chip2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

The heart of a computer, a single circuit chip with millions of transistors programmed to interpret and carry out commands. [12]

Cradle head2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

Heavy-duty camera support to keep the camera stable when it’s free to tilt; i.e., the camera won’t suddenly tilt down. [6]

Crane arm2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

Device for lifting cameras high into the air and aiming them while the camera operator remains on the ground. [6]


To move one line of text sideways across the bottom of your screen, so you read it like a tickertape. [12]


List of participants in a TV production, usually scrolled at the end of the show. 12]


The listing, usually at the show’s end, of the people who participated in making it.

Cross platform2020-10-15T15:23:15-07:00

The ability for software to work on either PC or MacIntosh (or some other type) computers (platforms). [18]


A bleeding of sound from one channel or track to another. [14]

CRT or Cathode Ray Tube2020-10-15T15:23:16-07:00

A vacuum tube with an electron gun at one end and a phosphor screen at the other which glows when struck by electrons from the gun. Computer screens and TV picture tubes are CRTs having the familiar TV screen at one end.[1]

CTL time code2020-10-15T15:23:16-07:00

JVC system of time code separately identifying each frame of VHS or SVHS tape by modifying the tapes control track. [14]


A signal to performers (or crew) telling them to do something. Usually, the director calls out the cue, which is relayed via hand signals by a studio crew member. [8]


In audio, to “set up” a sound effect or music or narration so that it will start immediately when a button is pushed. Also a mixer channel used by the audio person who listens to the sound effect being set up. The cue channel does not get recorded. [10]

Cue card holder2020-10-15T15:23:18-07:00

Person who holds up the cue cards where the talent can read them. [17]

Cue channel2020-10-15T15:23:18-07:00

Extra (usually a third) audio channel, recorded on an extra track on the video tape-used to carry TV technician messages or time code data, such as the SMPTE time code. [14]

Cue inserter2020-10-15T15:23:18-07:00

Device that puts a coded signal on the premaster tape. At the mastering plant, this cue is transformed into a level 1 chapter stop or picture stop. [18]


Switch from one picture to another directly, in the blink of an eye. [11]


The act of “cutting away” (taking a shot of something else) from the main scene for a moment to hide jump cuts. Also the name given to this backup shot, which is generally a long shot of a performer, a host, news reporters, or some other related scene. [14]

Cutting on the action2020-10-15T15:23:18-07:00

Changing shots at the moment some action is taking place. [14]


JVC’s digital video recorder using VHS tape. Not the same as DV or Digital-S. [5]


Very high-quality component video digital recording format. Expensive. [5]


Very high-quality composite video digital recording format. Expensive. [5]


Digital Audio Tape, a cassette with binary data representing stereo audio sound. Also the machine that converts analog audio to digital and records it, as well as plays it back converting the digital data to analog audio. [10]

Data projector2020-10-15T15:23:19-07:00

Device designed to project images from computer workstations displaying 1024768 pixels. [19]

Day-in-the-life documentary2020-10-15T15:23:19-07:00

Video program showing the day-to-day existence of an injured person, intended to show the difficulties of caretaking and to promote the jury’s sympathy. [17]

dB or decibel2020-10-15T15:23:19-07:00

A measure of the strength of one electronic signal compared to another. The higher the dB number, the greater the signal strength. [6]


Direct Broadcast Satellite, high-powered satellite which can broadcast a TV signal strong enough for you to receive with a small dish antenna and about $500 worth of equipment. Unlike some satellites, whose signals are meant primarily for cable TV systems that use big dishes to pull in the signals for subsequent distribution (and sale) to their subscribers, this signal is meant for your direct reception in the home. [20]


A scheme for reducing audio noise in recordings by encoding and decoding. Effect is more pronounced than with Dolby. [10]


Digital Disk Recorder, records digital video (or other data) on a disk and plays it back. [5]

Dead border area2020-10-15T15:23:19-07:00

Blank margin around a graphic that never shows on TV. [12]


Short name for a recorder, sometimes the VCR portion of a dockable camcorder, sometimes a stand-alone VCR. [5]


Reprocessing of a signal to extract the desired part. In audio, a signal is encoded on recording; on playback, it is decoded so that it sounds normal, but noise is reduced. [10]


A transition from one shot to another by defocusing the first shot, editing (or switching cameras), and following with another defocused shot which then comes into focus. [14]


Demagnetize (remove residual magnetism).[2]


The single repeat of a sound after its been made. [10]

Delay line2020-10-15T15:23:21-07:00

Passive electronic device which, when connected to a video or sync cable, delays (retards the timing of) the signal passing through it; used to slow down “early” signals to keep them synchronized. [15]

Demagnetizer (or degausser)2020-10-15T15:23:22-07:00

Electronic device that makes a fluctuating magnetic field. When the probe is brought near a slightly magnetized object (like an audio record head), the device demagnetizes it. [16]

Demodulator or tuner2020-10-15T15:23:22-07:00

Electronic device which changes channel numbers (RF) into video and audio signals. [4]

Depth multiplexing2020-10-15T15:23:22-07:00

Method of recording hi-fi audio on VHS and SVHS tapes along with the video. The audio is recorded deeply and the video shallowly over it. [10]


The span of distance from a lens which appears in focus at one time. Wide depth-of-field means far and near objects in the picture appear sharp. [6]


Removal of laws and restrictions imposed by Congress, the FCC, or some regulatory body. [4]


The part of a letter that drops below the line, like the bottom of the lowercase “p.” [12]


An electronic device (usually rented from a pay-TV company) used to convert scrambled TV signals to viewable ones.[2]

Desk stand2020-10-15T15:23:22-07:00

A small microphone holder that sits on a desk. [10]

Desktop video2020-10-15T15:23:22-07:00

The integration of several video disciplines, (i.e., titles, graphics, switcher, video editing) into one or several computers. Except for the cameras and microphones that gather the original footage, most of the production process can take place on a desktop computer. [12]


Image enhancer control adjusting amount of enhancement the device will make. [15]


Less expensive image enhancer used in the home video field. [15]

Dew indicator2020-10-15T15:23:23-07:00

A light on the VCR apprising you of the fact that the VCR’s insides are damp and the machine will remain shut down until they dry. [5]

Diagonal split screen2020-10-15T15:23:23-07:00

A split screen divided diagonally. [11]


Microsoft Window’s Device Independent Bitmap image file format able to handle true color independent of the computer’s graphics card. When used in 16 or 256 colors, the images can be compressed, but in true color, they can not. [12]

Diffuse color2020-10-15T15:23:23-07:00

The overall solid natural color of an object. [12]


A signal made of two discrete levels, on (or1) and off (or 0), as opposed to signals that vary continuously between high, medium, and low levels. A device that works with digital signals. [1]


Something that is either “on” or “off.” A light switch is digital. On and off can be represented by the digits 1 and 0. Digital equipment copies signals without introducing noise and distortion. [10]

Digital animation recorder2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

Computer card or stand alone device able to record and play back video in real time. [12]

Digital non-linear editor2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

NLE that digitizes the scenes from the VCPs, then performs the edits within the computer, then plays the final program from its hard drives. [14]


JVC’s digital video compression and recording system using SVHS tape. Can also play analog SVHS tapes. [5]

Digital still frame2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

Electronic method of “grabbing” a still picture on a camcorder or from a tape playing on a VCR. [14]

Digital video recorder2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

Advanced, professional VCR that records video as 1s and 0s. Digital video tapes can be copied without generational losses. [13]

Digital videocassette (DVC) recorder2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

A VCR that records and plays back digital data representing a video picture and sound. [5]

Digital VTR2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

Video recorder that converts the video signal to ones and zeroes (digits) and records the numbers. Upon playback, the numbers are converted back to video. [5]

Digital zoom2020-10-15T15:23:25-07:00

An electronic way of blowing up a picture making it look zoomed in. Used to any degree, it shows blockiness: parts of the image turn into little squares. [6]


Electronic device to vary the brightness of lamps connected to its circuits. [9]

Dimmer remote control2020-10-15T15:23:26-07:00

Control panel with sliders to vary each dimmer circuit’s power. The small panel connects via a multiwire cable to the actual large and heavy dimmer circuits. Those circuits feed power to the lighting grid. [9]

DIN connector2020-10-15T15:23:26-07:00

Round, multipin plug or socket. [14]


The measure of a close-up lens attachment’s strength. The larger the number ( +1, +2, +3) diopter, the closer the lens can focus. [7]

DIP switch2020-10-15T15:23:27-07:00

Dual Inline Package switch, a tiny computer switch. [5]


Antenna with two elements. A rabbit ear antenna is a portable dipole. [3]


Method of time base correction used with professional equipment yielding high resolution. [15]

Direct broadcast satellite or DBS2020-10-15T15:23:27-07:00

High-powered orbiting satellite which receives signals from earth and beams them back down, blanketing a part of the country so that they are easily tuned in with a 3-foot dish antenna and a special (usually rented) receiver which feeds up to four channels to your TV set. [4]

Directional microphone2020-10-15T15:23:28-07:00

Microphone that needs to be “aimed” as it is more sensitive in one direction than another. [10]


Person in charge of shooting and editing a show, the actual “builder” of the show. [17]

Dish antenna2020-10-15T15:23:28-07:00

A special, very sensitive bowl-shaped antenna designed to pick up weak signals, like those from satellites. Technically, the dish part is only a reflector which concentrates the waves, and focuses them on a tiny antenna, perhaps at the dish’s center. [20]

Display monitor2020-10-15T15:23:30-07:00

TV monitor designed to make big, bright, pretty pictures for audience consumption. [2]

Dissolve (or lap dissolve)2020-10-15T15:23:30-07:00

TV effect where one picture slowly melts into another. One picture fades to black while another simultaneously fades up from black. [11]


Poor quality sound, usually raspy and loud, often caused by too strong an audio signal. [5]


The unfaithful reproduction of sound. For example, turning a portable radio up to full volume often causes distorted sound. [10]


An image rendering technique to make fewer colors look like more colors by placing certain colored dots close to each other. [12]

Diversity Receiver2020-10-15T15:23:31-07:00

Wireless microphone receiver that can “listen” to a signal from the mike using two antennas. It picks the antenna giving the best signal, thus yielding more reliable reception (fewer audio dropouts). [10]

DLP or digital light processing2020-10-15T15:23:31-07:00

Method of projecting a bright image by beaming light onto arrays of microscopic mirrors, some of which reflect light through a lens onto the screen. The angles of the mirrors correspond to the pixels in the original image. [19]

DLT or Digital Linear Tape2020-10-15T15:23:32-07:00

A digital tape in a cassette that stores large amounts of data and can play it quickly. The magnetic stripes go the length of the tape. [18]

DMD or digital micromirror display2020-10-15T15:23:32-07:00

The image reflecting chip at the heart of a DLP projector. [19]


Camera/VCR feature whereby the two can work independently or can be joined into a single unit becoming a camcorder. [6]


The ability to join a camera with a VCR so that the pair become one unit, such as one camcorder. [5]

Dolby AC-32020-10-15T15:23:32-07:00

Method of compressing 5 channels of high quality sound data into 384kbps, for use in DTV and DVDs. [21]


Bottom part of a camera tripod that has wheels. Also the act of moving the camera toward or away from a subject. [6]


(Disk Operating System) Software that controls the computer and manages communications between the programs and the hardware. [12]

Double-faced tape2020-10-15T15:23:32-07:00

Adhesive tape sticky on both sides-good for use between pictures and backings. [12]

Double terminating2020-10-15T15:23:32-07:00

Installing two 75 terminators on a video cable which should only have one (usually by throwing a 75 switch and adding a 75 terminal plug to the socket). [2]


Change a higher frequency signal into a lower frequency. [20]


Receiver of signals from an orbiting satellite. [20]


Send data from the main machine (i.e., a digital camcorder, VCR, or mainframe computer) to a secondary machine (i.e., a personal computer). [5]


To copy data from another, usually bigger source, such as a file server or mainframe computer. You might download to your own computer a picture from a source on the Internet. [12]

Downstream keyer2020-10-15T15:23:34-07:00

A circuit in the switcher/SEG which will key an image (usually a word) over the top of a picture or special effect. This is often the least thing done to the signal before it exits the switcher to be recorded. [11]

Downward compatible2020-10-15T15:23:34-07:00

Improved version of something which is compatible with older versions. SVHS VCRs are downwardly compatible with VHS VCRs because SVHS VCRs can play VHS tapes. The opposite is not true; VHS machines can’t play SVHS tapes – they aren’t upwardly compatible. [5]


Method of moving an object on a computer screen by clicking your mouse on it, moving the mouse, then unclicking the mouse to lock the object in its new place. [14]

Drag control2020-10-15T15:23:34-07:00

Camera head control that resists free motion of the head in a direction. [6]


A circuit or software that provides input to another circuit. To use an Orchid graphics card with Microsoft Windows, you need Orchid drivers to make the card compatible with the software. [12]

Drop frame2020-10-15T15:23:34-07:00

SMPTE time code mode that keeps accurate time of day by skipping 108 frames per hour following a formula. [14]

Drop shadow2020-10-15T15:23:35-07:00

A dark ridge placed on one side of letters making them look three-dimensional as they cast a shadow. The letters become easier to see because of the edging. [12]


A speck or streak of snow on the TV screen seen when a video tape player hits a fleck of dirt or a “bare” spot when the tape is playing. Dust or scratches can also cause a dropout to be recorded on a tape. [5]

Dropout compensator2020-10-15T15:23:35-07:00

Electronic device that hides dropouts by replacing these specks with an adjacent piece of TV picture. Simpler models merely replace dropouts with gray. [15]


Digital Subscriber Line, a digitized telephone line. [20]

DSP (Digital signal processing)2020-10-15T15:23:36-07:00

TV camera design that employs digital controls (menus and numbers) rather than manually turned knobs in order to set up and store the camera’s adjustments. [6]


Digital Satellite System, a satellite using digital rather than analog signals. [20]


Direct To Home, another name for DBS. [20]


Digital Television, TV that is broadcast, recorded, and processed digitally, possibly with extended definition like HDTV. [21]


In audio, to replace an old sound track with a new one, leaving the video unchanged. In video, sometimes means to duplicate a tape. To keep things clear, use the term audio dub to indicate audio only. [10]


To duplicate, as in “please dub this tape.” Also, the name for the copy of a tape, as in “the dub is on the shelf.” Dub cables assist in the process of sending signals from a VCP (video cassette player) to a VCR. Audio dub means to replace the present recorded sound with new sound. [5]

Dub feature2020-10-15T15:23:37-07:00

On better VHS, SVHS, and 3/4U VCRs, especially editors, this is an input or output that allows the VCRs to copy unprocessed color signals directly, yielding a cleaner copy. [13]

Dulling spray2020-10-15T15:23:37-07:00

Aerosol spray used by film and video professionals to reduce shine on objects. [7]

Dulling spray2020-10-15T15:33:57-07:00

Spray-on aerosol that reduces surface shine. [10]

Duplication house2020-10-15T15:23:38-07:00

A company that duplicates videocassettes, usually hundreds at a time. [13]


Digital Video Format where images and sound are recorded as digital data onto 1/4 inch cassettes with very high quality. [5]

DV, DVC2020-10-15T15:23:40-07:00

Digital Video. General term meaning audio and video are converted into ones and zeros for digital recording, transmission, and manipulation. DV also stands for a particular digital VCR format using 4:1:1 sampling, 5:1 compression, and 25 Mbps data rate recorded on a 1/4″ cassette. Format also called DVC – Digital Video Cassette. [5]

DVC PRO2020-10-15T15:23:40-07:00

Panasonic professional format based on DVC but using a wider track and faster tape speed to record more data with less compression than consumer DVC. [5]

DVD or Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc2020-10-15T15:23:40-07:00

Disc that can hold the data of 7 CD-ROMs and play full motion video and audio with good quality. [18]


Digital Video Recorder. A VCR or computer disk recorder that records/plays digits representing audio and video. [5]


Preprogrammed pseudo random motion of particle systems such as snow, rain, fountains, explosions, or flocks of birds. [12]

Dynamic contrast control2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Camera circuit extending its contrast ratio beyond the normal 30:1, allowing very bright and very dark areas to exist in the same picture. [6]

Dynamic noise reducer2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Audio filter that “listens” to the sound and turns off when sounds are loud (thus not “coloring” the sound) and turns on when sounds are soft (when hiss would be most noticeable if left unfiltered). [15]

Dynamic range2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

A ratio comparing the lowest level of sound audible (above the noise of the machine) with the highest level; the range of loudness a device can handle without distorting. Wider dynamic range represents truer sound fidelity. [15]

Dynamic range2020-10-15T15:34:06-07:00

A ratio of the softest to the loudest sound reproducible by a device, expressed in dB. A 90-dB dynamic range is more lifelike than a 70-dB dynamic range. [10]

Dynamic tracking2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Professional VTR feature which allows the tape to be played at various speeds including still frame while making a clear picture. [5]

E to E2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Electrical-to-electrical connection, usually a sample of the signal fed to a recorder and appearing at its output (not the signal from the tape). [5]


The repeat of a sound several times in diminished volume after the sound has ceased. [10]


The repetition of a sound like hello, hello, hello, etc. [15]

Echo chamber2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Device that adds echoes to an audio signal. [15]

ED beta2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Extended definition betamax. Much improved version of betamax, downwardly compatible with it. [5]


A dark (or occasionally white) ridge around letters to make them stand out. [12]

Edit decision list or EDL2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

A refined editing sheet listing each shot to be recorded, the exact time code of edit-in and -out prints for each shot, any effects to be included, their duration, and other details. Often the EDL resides on a computer disk and is the script to drive the editing VCRs during the final edit. [14]

Edit in2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Begin recording new material; the beginning of an edit. [14]

Edit-in point2020-10-15T15:23:43-07:00

The first frame of raw footage video you wish to copy onto the master tape. Also the point on the master tape where you wish to start copying the footage. Both can be described by time code numbers. [14]

Edit out2020-10-15T15:23:41-07:00

Cease recording new material; the end of an edit. [14]

Edit-out point2020-10-15T15:23:43-07:00

The last frame of raw footage video you wish to copy onto the master tape. Also the point on the master tape where you’ll stop copying the footage. [14]

Edited master2020-10-15T15:23:44-07:00

Same as master tape, but created by the editing process. [13]

Editing sheet2020-10-15T15:23:44-07:00

A plan showing which shots will be used to create the edited master. Usually time code numbers and edit-in and out points are included. [14]

Editor controller2020-10-15T15:23:44-07:00

A remote control device that can backspace two or more editing decks, preroll them, and make them perform an edit. [14]


Edit Decision List. [14]

Eff 1 (or effects bus 1)2020-10-15T15:23:44-07:00

A video source can be selected on channel A. Another source can be selected on channel B. A combination of these two can be a special effect which is available through a circuit called the effects bus. There may be several effects set up on several effects busses. Eff 1 is the name given to just one of those effects busses. [11]


Group of related buttons on video SEG/switchers to create special effects. A channel on the switcher which you can dissolve to and from, bringing a special effect onto the screen or taking it away. [11]


How much of a signal is actually used (i.e., turns into audible sound) compared with how much is wasted by the electronics and simply turns into heat. [10]


Electronic field production, producing TV shows outside the studio. Usually involves studio-quality equipment, techniques, and editing. [17]

Egg crate or honeycomb grid2020-10-15T15:23:44-07:00

Metal fins used to direct light from a fluorescent fixture. Sometimes slats, like venetian blinds, sometimes squares, like an ice cube tray control the spread of the light. [9]

EIRP dBw contour map2020-10-15T15:23:44-07:00

Effective Isotropic Radiated Power map used to show how a transmitter’s power is distributed geographically. [20]

Electret condenser2020-10-15T15:23:45-07:00

Type of microphone, usually built into portable TV cameras. Sensitive and inexpensive, they have good sound fidelity. [6]

Electric zoom2020-10-15T15:23:45-07:00

Electric motor on a lens or camera which zooms the lens at the touch of a button. [6]

Electrical-to-optical (E/O) converter2020-10-15T15:23:45-07:00

Device that changes electrical signals to light to go over fiber. [15]

Electronic autofocus2020-10-15T15:23:45-07:00

Circuit that “looks” at a camera’s picture to determine if it is sharp and focuses the lens appropriately. [6]

Electronic image stabilization (EIS2020-10-15T15:23:46-07:00

) Electronic mechanism used in cameras to reduce shakiness in the picture. [6]

Electronic viewfinder2020-10-15T15:23:46-07:00

Tiny TV monitor mounted on a camera showing the image the way the camera sees it. It can also be used to view tapes played back in the field. [6]


Each glass part of the entire lens. [7]


The long probes on a TV antenna.[3]


Up/down direction, or north/south when tracking satellites. [20]


Modification or processing of a signal while it is being recorded, usually to make it less “noisy” during playback when the signal is decoded. [10]


To combine component video signals into a composite video signal. [5]


Combined, as in the merger of Y (luminance) and C(chroma) to make NTSC, one signal. Not “component” video.[1]


Device used to compress picture data. You would send video through an encoder to make MPEG compressed data. [12]


Electronic device to combine M-S audio signals in a way to create stereo. [10]


Electronic news gathering, portable video production for the news. Often quick-and-dirty techniques are used with minimal equipment and crew. [17]


Person who operates the VCRs and watches the waveform and other monitors to maintain technical standards for the signals. [17]

EP or ELP or SLP2020-10-15T15:23:48-07:00

Extra play or extra long play or super long play – the 6-hour speed of a VHS VCR. [5]


A tone adjustment for audio frequencies, often needed to boost high or low tones coming from a phonograph cartridge or microphone, or audio tape head. [10]

Erase head2020-10-15T15:23:48-07:00

Electromagnet inside a VTR upstream from the video head. The erase head demagnetizes the tape prior to the video head recording on it. [5]

Error correction2020-10-15T15:23:48-07:00

Digital method of checking if all the numbers were transmitted or recorded correctly, and if not, resending them or estimating them. [5]

Establishing shot2020-10-15T15:23:48-07:00

An introductory shot showing viewers where the scene takes place. [11]


A single title or transition from one title to another. [12]

Event video2020-10-15T15:23:48-07:00

The recording of a special event, such as a wedding, baptism, dance recital or graduation. [17]

Executive producer2020-10-15T15:23:48-07:00

A business manager for a TV production company; a higher-level authority dealing with policies, corporate posture, and money raising; not generally involved with production details. [17]


Opposite of a compressor, an electronic audio device that extends the range of volumes in an audio signal, making loud parts louder than they actually were. Undoes the effects of a compressor, making compressed audio sound more normal. [15]

Express or direct access tuning2020-10-15T15:23:49-07:00

TV tuner which selects the channel and fine-tunes it after you punch the channel number into a calculator-type keypad. [2]

External key2020-10-15T15:23:49-07:00

Key effect where the dark and light parts of one camera’s image determine which of two other cameras’ pictures will be shown. Also, the absence or presence of a color could be used to determine which parts of two other images would be shown. [11]

External sync2020-10-15T15:23:49-07:00

Electronic pulses, coming from outside the TV camera, which synchronize the camera’s picture with other cameras in the studio so the pictures can be mixed or switched. [6]

Externally locked2020-10-15T15:23:50-07:00

A VCR that “listens” to an outside video signal and tries to coordinate its own signal to match the other’s timing. Such a VCR can synchronize its sync to another source’s sync. [14]

F connector2020-10-15T15:23:50-07:00

A small socket or plug used for RF or TV signals. [3]


TV picture smoothly turns black (fade-out) or black smoothly turns to a TV picture (fade-in). [11]

Fade out2020-10-15T15:23:51-07:00

Make a TV picture smoothly grow black. [5]

Fade up2020-10-15T15:23:51-07:00

Make a TV picture smoothly grow from black to normal. [5]


A slider or handle on a switcher that allows you to fade in or fade out a picture or dissolve from one picture to another. [11]


The rate at which a light’s brightness diminishes with distance. Fluorescent lights have a rapid falloff, a spotlight has very little falloff. [9]

Feed antenna or focal point antenna2020-10-15T15:23:51-07:00

The tiny microwave antenna that collects the signal bounced off the dish. [20]


A loud screech coming from a loudspeaker when sound enters a microphone, gets amplified, and then comes out the speaker only to be picked up again by the microphone and amplified more. [5]

Feedhorn or “Feed”2020-10-15T15:23:51-07:00

Funnel-like apparatus on a dish antenna that holds the actual receiving antenna. [20]

Fiber optics2020-10-15T15:23:51-07:00

Technique of converting a signal (such as audio or video) to a light beam and sending it down a hair-thin strand of glass. Light beams can travel several miles without amplification. The signal is then converted from light back to an electrical signal. [15]

Fiber (or fibre) optic2020-10-15T15:23:51-07:00

Glass fiber, able to transmit light waves long distances, enables signals, coded into the light beam, to carry computer data or TV channels. [4]


The TV picture created in one-sixtieth of a second by scanning an electron gun over every other line in the picture. In the United States there are 262-1/2 odd-numbered lines in a field, followed by 262-1/2 more even-numbered lines making the next field one-sixtieth of a second later. The two fields together make a frame, a complete TV picture. [1]

Field dominance2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

A determination of which field (the odd or the even) is used first when a videodisc player creates a still frame from two video fields. [18]

Field one dominance2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

Attribute of a still frame using the odd field as the first of two fields which comprise the whole picture frame. [18]

Field two dominance2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

Attribute of a videodisc still frame which uses the even field first, and then the following odd field to create a still frame. [18]

File extension2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

Last part of a computer file name that comes after the dot. BMP is the file extension for the file MYFILE. BMP and tells us that this file is a bitmap (a digitally coded image). [12]

Fill light2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

Soft broad light whose main purpose is to fill in (reduce the blackness of) shadows created by the key light. [9]

Film chain or Telecine2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

Device to project film into a TV camera. [15]

Film splicer2020-10-15T15:23:52-07:00

Mechanical device for clamping and neatly cutting and holding film steady for gluing. [14]


A lens attachment to eliminate glare or certain colors or modify the image in some way. [7]


Electronic graphics name for a special effect, like ripples added to a picture. [12]


In audio, an electronic device to trap a certain frequency of sound, letting others pass through. [15]


Small electrical device which can remove a certain frequency (i.e., a certain channel) from a signal. Some filters can remove many frequencies, leaving just the desired ones. Also called a trap. Audio filters remove certain tones from a sound signal. [3]

Filter factor2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

A number describing how much light a filter absorbs. A filter factor of 2 requires you to open your iris 2 stops to compensate for it. [7]

Filter holder2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

Small carrier to clip onto a lens and accept slide-in filters. [7]

Fine cut2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

Final edited master, prepared with painstaking care using the best editing equipment available. Fine cut is generally produced in an on-line editing session. [14]

Finger slate2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

A slate made by holding one or more fingers in front of the camera at the beginning of a take. [14]

Firewire or IEEE P13942020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

Standard for transmitting compressed video data used by DV format digital videocassette recorders. [5]

Fish eye lens2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

Very wide angle lens with a bulging glass outer element. [7]

Fish pole2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

A portable boom in the form of a pole with a mike at the end. [10]

Fixed focus2020-10-15T15:23:55-07:00

Lens which cannot change focus from near to far. [6]

Fixed pattern noise2020-10-15T15:23:56-07:00

Non-moving specks or grain visible when the camera lens is capped, or pans across dark scenes. [6]


Easily movable flap used with lights for casting shadows and controlling light. [9]


The sideways pulling and fluttering seen at the top of a TV picture caused by a skew misadjustment or some other tape tension error. [5]


A bright spot, streak, or geometric pattern seen in the picture, caused by light streaming directly into a lens and reflecting off its internal glass elements. [7]


Shallow, lightweight, standing scenery used as background or to simulate walls of a room. [12]

Flatshade or quickshade2020-10-15T15:23:56-07:00

Simple flat surface applied to wireframes to give them substance and realism. Flat surfaces stretched between wireframe lines render quickly. [12]


A large .FLI or .FLC file holding many image files for sequential playback to create an animation. [12]


Broadly focused light that covers a large area evenly. [9]

Floor manager2020-10-15T15:23:59-07:00

Studio crew member who assists by handling cables or relaying director’s cues and commands. [8]

Floor plan2020-10-15T15:23:59-07:00

A sketch, seen from above, showing where objects, walls, doors, cameras, etc., are to be positioned on the studio floor. [17]

Floor stand2020-10-15T15:23:59-07:00

Microphone holder that stands on the floor and reaches up to shoulder height. [10]


A diagram, mapping out the events, actions, and branches a program can take. [18]

Fluid head2020-10-15T15:23:59-07:00

Camera support that dampens the tilting and panning movement of the camera, smoothing out jerky movements. [6]

Flying erase head2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

A spinning head residing upstream of the video recording head that can erase video tape a split second before the video record head records a new picture. [14]

FM synthesizer2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

Inexpensive musical device that electronically simulates familiar sounds by combining internally generated wave patterns. [10]

FMV or Full Motion Video2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

Video that proceeds at 60 fields-per-second, filling the whole TV screen (as opposed to a reduced size and frame rate). [18]

Foam core2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

Stiff mounting board made of plastic foam sandwiched between paper. [12]

Focal length2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

The distance between the optical center of a lens and the surface where the image is focused when the lens is focused on infinity. The apparent magnification or angle of view of a lens. [7]

Focal plane shutter2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

A pair of curtains inside a photographic camera. One opens to let light reach the film, followed by the other one closing to complete the exposure. [13]

Focus shift2020-10-15T15:24:00-07:00

Also called “pull focus”; the act of changing focus to sharpen objects at different distances from the camera to center attention on them. [8]

Fog filter2020-10-15T15:24:01-07:00

Lens filter that makes the image look foggy. [7]


Audio mixing system to allow sound effects, music, etc., to be mixed, amplified, and sent to the studio for performers to hear, as well as being recorded, mixed with the sounds of their microphones. [10]

Follow focus2020-10-15T15:24:01-07:00

Continually adjusting a lens’s focus to maintain a sharp picture of the subject moving closer to or away from the camera. [8]


Style and shape of lettering. [12]


A measure of illumination, the level of brightness found 1 foot from a candle; about 10 lux. [6]


Geographic area where a satellite aims its signal. [20]


The way the tapes, cassettes, and video recorders and players are designed so that one machine can play another machine’s tapes. Machines of the same format should be able to play each other’s tapes. [5]

Forward kinemation2020-10-15T15:24:01-07:00

3-D animation feature that calculates how connected objects will move at the end of a nearby part that is moved. [12]

Fractional T12020-10-15T15:24:04-07:00

T1 telephone service rented in 64kbps increments. [20]


A complete TV picture lasting one-thirtieth of a second, composed of two fields or 525 scanning lines (in the United States). [1]

Frame accurate2020-10-15T15:24:04-07:00

Edit or editing device that identifies a specific frame of video tape. “Perfect” accuracy when editing. [14]

Frame advance2020-10-15T15:24:05-07:00

VCR feature allowing the tape to be moved forward one video picture at a time. [5]

Frame store2020-10-15T15:24:05-07:00

Electronic device able to store a video picture (a frame) electronically and perhaps manipulate it. [15]

Frame synchronizer2020-10-15T15:24:05-07:00

Electronic device that delays the signal from an asynchronous video source (a common VCR, for instance) making its signal match up with another video source, so that both video signals can be mixed. [11]

Frame synchronizer2020-10-15T15:32:29-07:00

Electronic device to synchronize two independent video signals so they can be mixed. [15]


One can separate an animation file, like Quicktime, into its individual frames so that each image file may be modified one by one. The framestack is the separated series of addressable frames. [12]


Contract between a municipality and a cable company whereby the company has rights to market cable TV services to the population for a specified number of years. In return, the cable company promises to provide a certain level of service.[4]


The number of times a signal or sound vibrates each second, usually expressed as cycles per second or hertz (Hz).[2]

Frequency modulated or FM2020-10-15T15:24:07-07:00

A video or audio signal combined with a high frequency signal that changes its frequency to track every vibration of the original signal, essentially coding two signals into one. [18]

Frequency response2020-10-15T15:24:07-07:00

The ability of a device to pick up high tones (high audio frequencies) as well as low tones equally well. For audio, the perfect frequency response would be 20Hz-20KHz, the full range of human hearing. [10]


Lighting instrument with a circularly ribbed glass lens to focus the light. [9]

Friction head2020-10-15T15:24:07-07:00

Inexpensive tripod head with locks to impede unwanted camera movement. [6]

Front loading2020-10-15T15:24:07-07:00

Cassette goes into a slot in the front of the VCR instead of into a trapdoor or pop-up mechanism atop the VCR. [5]

Front projection2020-10-15T15:24:08-07:00

Process of projecting an image onto the front of a white screen or wall. Viewers are on the same side of the screen as the projector. [19]


Fiber To The Curb, a cable TV or phone connection that brings wide bandwidth fiber optics to your home or business. [20]

Full field color bars2020-10-15T15:24:08-07:00

Color bars that run from the top of the screen to the bottom. [15]

Full page or feature film format2020-10-15T15:24:08-07:00

Script format with dialogue in the center of the page and detailed description of action and shots also in the center. [17]

Fuzzy logic2020-10-15T15:24:08-07:00

Autofocus technology that increases focusing accuracy by rotating the lens by tiny amounts, not noticeable to the eye. [6]


Effects, a special effect such as text keyed over a picture. [17]


A projection screen’s reflectivity. The higher the gain number, the brighter the picture, because more light is reflected back toward the projector (but less light is reflected to the sides). [19]


Amplification of a circuit. [15]


Camera adjustment which controls the strength of the camera’s video signal, altering contrast and brightness of the picture. [6]


Audio device that permits audio to pass through or mutes it electronically, depending on some criteria such as how loud the sound is. [10]

Gated mixer2020-10-15T15:24:10-07:00

Audio mixer that senses when someone is speaking into one mike and shuts down the other mikes to reduce noise and echo. [15]


Colored material that looks like cellophane and can be placed in front of a lamp to color the light. Usually the flimsy gel material is held in a frame which fits the fixture’s scrim holder. [9]


Ability of a camera or other TV device to receive an external video signal and synchronize its own video signal to it, so the two videos can be neatly switched or mixed. [6]


Electronic device which, when fed a video signal, will manufacture synchronized sync signals so that (1) its picture will synchronize with the source’s video signal or (2) its sync signals will help other devices (like cameras) synchronize themselves with the source’s video signal. [11]

Geosynchronous or geostationary satellite2020-10-15T15:24:10-07:00

A satellite (usually for domestic communications or TV) whos position is constant relative to a point on the earth. An orbit of 22,300 miles above the equator causes the satellite to circle the earth at the same speed the earth rotates. [20]

Ghost eliminator2020-10-15T15:24:10-07:00

Electrical device to remove double images (ghosts) from a TV picture.[3]


Graphics Interchange Format, a popular bitmap format for storing image files with palettes of 2 to 256 colors. There are variations for animation sequences and for text. [12]

Gigahertz (GHz)2020-10-15T15:24:10-07:00

One billion Hertz (Hz) or one billion cycles per second. Domestic satellites transmit at frequencies above 3.7GHz. [20]


2-D graphic effect where a selected object appears to glow. [12]


Patterned cutout used to cast a shadow with a design on a surface, like tree branches or venetian blinds. Works like a cookie, but without a special projector. [9]

GPI trigger2020-10-15T15:24:10-07:00

General Purpose Interface, a standardized input to a device (often a switcher) that causes the device to execute a preplanned maneuver when a signal from another device (often an editor) tells it to. [11]

Gradient background2020-10-15T15:24:11-07:00

A background that goes smoothly from light to dark, or one color to another, typically used behind titles. [12]

Graduated filter2020-10-15T15:24:11-07:00

Lens filter that’s part clear and part colored or dark, making perhaps 1/2 of the picture dark. [7]

Graphic equalizer2020-10-15T15:24:11-07:00

Electronic audio device that cuts or boosts particular sound frequencies passing through it. [10]

Graphics accelerator card2020-10-15T15:24:11-07:00

Graphic card that performs high speed rendering and video manipulations, relieving your slower standard graphics card of these duties. [12]

Graphics card2020-10-15T15:24:13-07:00

Computer circuit that holds the data for images sent to the screen and determines the resolution of the display. [12]

Graphics projector2020-10-15T15:24:13-07:00

Device designed to project images from graphics workstations displaying 12801024 images. [19]

Graphics tablet2020-10-15T15:24:13-07:00

Flat surface connected to an electronic pen or sliding puck similar to a mouse, connected to a computer allowing you to “draw” images electronically. [12]

Gray scale2020-10-15T15:24:13-07:00

A standard of 10 steps from black to white used to measure contrast ratios. To be visible on TV, objects must be at least 1 gray scale step different in brightness from their backgrounds. [12]

Ground lifter2020-10-15T15:24:13-07:00

Balanced line adapter that passes the audio signal but has the ground wire discontinuous. By not passing the ground signal it stops hum from getting into the audio wires. [10]


A combination of signals from a mixer. Several inputs, assigned to a group, are all controlled together and go to that group’s output in the mixer. The left channel, for instance, is a group in a stereo mixer. [10]


(Graphical User Interface) Software that presents the computer user with a screen with icons and menus that are simple, intuitive, and visually appealing. [12]

Gyroscopic error2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

Sideways bending or breakup of the TV picture as it plays back, caused by movement of a VCR while it was recording the picture. [5]


Gyro stabilized zoom lens used with professional cameras to steady pictures. [6]

Hard drive2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

Spinning magnetic disk generally inside a computer. The hard drive stores and retrieves data and computer programs. [12]

Hard light2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

Light that makes sharp shadows, like from a bare bulb. [9]


Special low-loss wire used principally by cable TV companies for long cable runs. [15]


High Speed Digital Subscriber Line, a DSL with 750kbps two-way service over two twisted pair. [20]

HDTV (High-Definition Television)2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

Proposed method of displaying sharper, wider TV pictures than the present NTSC system. Pictures would be shaped into a 16:9 aspect ratio, composed of 1,125 scanning lines, each line having 1,920 pixels. [21]


Top part of a camera tripod that holds the camera. [6]

Head-cleaning cassette2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

A cassette loaded with a ribbon of material (it could be cloth) which cleans the video heads as the cassette is played. [16]

Head drum2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

Shiny cylinder inside a VCR to hold the spinning video heads. [16]

Head end2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

The place where the cable TV company sends its signals from. This is not necessarily where its offices are or where its studio is. It is the center where the signals start their journey down the web of wires to homes. [4]

Head switching noise2020-10-15T15:24:14-07:00

A small horizontal discontinuity at the bottom of the TV picture (usually off the screen) caused when each spinning video head leaves the tape and the twin head takes over. [5]


Muff-type earphones to fit over your head. Also the socket into which such phones are plugged, either on a VCR, mixer, or other audio device. [10]

Helical scan2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

The method of recording a video signal diagonally across the tape by winding the tape in a spiral around a rotating drum with video heads on it. [5]


Method of time base correction used with common and color-under VCRs, yielding medium resolution pictures. Also, the type of VCR using the color-under recording method. [15]

Hi band VTR2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

Video recorder capable of recording full-fidelity color signals (as opposed to color under signals). [5]


Ability of some VCRs to record high fidelity or true-to-life sound. VHS and 8mm hi-fi VCRs record stereo sound with almost “perfect” sound quality. [5]

Hi-fi audio track2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

High quality sound recorded physically beneath the video vibrations as they are magnetized into diagonal tracks on the tape. [10]

Hi Z2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

High impedance, not terminated: not 75. An input ready to loop a signal to somewhere else. [2]

Hi Z2020-10-15T15:32:37-07:00

In audio, an input or output having 1000 or more ohms of impedance (resistance to signal flow). [10]


Much improved version of 8mm, downwardly compatible with it. [5]

Hidden line wireframe2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

More complex, more realistic wireframe where wireframe lines disappear if part of the object they’re forming is in front of them. [12]

High Band2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

High-resolution (over 400 lines) VCR format. [5]

High-gain screen2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

Rigid, curved, foil-covered projection screen with a gain of 5 or more which yields a bright projection image, even in a well-lit room. [19]

High level or hi level2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

Strong audio signal typically sent from an aux out or a line out of a device. [5]

High-pass filter2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

An antenna filter which allows normal TV channel frequencies to go to the TV set but stops INTERFERENCE from lower frequencies. [3]

High Speed duplicator2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

Device able to duplicate a tape in under a minute. [13]

High speed shutter2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

An electronic circuit in a video camera that allows the CCD chip to “see” for a very brief amount of time during each 1/60 second. Like in a film camera, the fast shutter speed reduces motion blur. [6]

HMI light2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

Halogen metal iodide lighting instrument. Very efficient and uses minimal power, but requires a heavy ballast. Gives off light with 5500°K color temperature. [9]

Horizontal linearity2020-10-15T15:24:16-07:00

TV adjustment which controls how a TV reproduces shapes without stretching or distorting them in the horizontal direction.[2]

Horizontal phase or H phase2020-10-15T15:24:17-07:00

Control on a camera’s timing circuits which adjusts the picture sideways to line up with other cameras’ pictures. [6]

Horizontal size or width control2020-10-15T15:24:17-07:00

TV set control which makes the picture skinny or fat. [2]

Horizontal sync2020-10-15T15:24:17-07:00

The part of a sync signal which aims the TV’s electron gun left and right. This holds the picture from jittering or straying sideways. [1]

Host adapter2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Computer circuit that controls the hard drive and processes data going onto or from the drive. [5]

Hot switching2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Inserting a new battery and then removing a failing battery while a device continues to run. [16]

House lights2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

General overhead work lights used in the studio during rehearsals and between productions. [9]


Identity or name of a color. Blue is a hue. [12]

Hum bar2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Hum is usually 60-Hz (60 cycles per second) electrical interference from power lines. When seen on a TV screen, this interference creates a soft dark bar across the screen. [2]

Hybrid Fiber/Coax or HFC2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Cable TV or phone system infrastructure that uses optical fiber for the high traffic trunk lines and cheaper coax wire between nodes and the homes/businesses.


Cable TV channels 37-62. [4]

Hypercardioid microphone2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Very unidirectional and slightly cardioid microphone. [10]

I encoder2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Electronic circuit in a camera that mixes colors into a single color video signal. Responsible for certain colors. [15]

Illumination model or materials model2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Way of describing the computational complexity of a graphic. Solid colors are simple, reflections and refractions are complex and slow your renders. [12]


Part of a 3-D graphics package that renders the final image. [12]

Image capture board2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Circuit in a computer that digitizes video signals, converting them into data the computer can store, manipulate, or display on its screen. [2]

Image enhancer2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Electronic device that crispens a TV picture (making it look sharper although it isn’t really) by exaggerating the boundaries of parts of the image. [15]

Image intensifier2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

Electronic device that brightens the image fed to a TV camera used in military and surveillance. [9]


Measured in ohms (), it is an electrical property of a circuit involving its resistance to electrical current. Devices and cables of the same impedance can work together. Those of differing impedances have difficulty. [3]

Impedance matching transformer2020-10-15T15:24:19-07:00

A small adapter which allows a cable with one impedance to connect to an input, output. or cable of another impedance. For TV antenna signals these transform 75 to 300 and vice versa. Also called a balun.[3]


Copy the data from another computer file into the file you’re working on, effectively adding a picture to your picture. [12]

In-camera editing2020-10-15T15:24:20-07:00

Recording scenes chronologically, one after another in the camcorder with the intention that all the shots will be used; a final tape emerges from the camcorder. [14]

In-line amplifier2020-10-15T15:24:20-07:00

An amplifier inserted between two wires to boost the signal through them, getting its operating power through the same wires from a distant power supply. [15]


Subdivision of a song or track on a CD allowing you to play a particular stanza or phrase. [10]

Index counter2020-10-15T15:24:21-07:00

A mechanical indicator on older VCRs like the mileage meter on a car which changes numbers as the tape moves through the machine. It is handy for locating events on a tape or estimating the length of a production. [5]

Index search, index record2020-10-15T15:24:21-07:00

System for recording a trigger pulse invisibly on the tape so that when the tape is played in fast forward or rewind, it will stop when it reaches the marked spot. [5]


Light so red that it’s invisible to human eyes. When used in autofocus cameras, it reflects off a subject to sense the distance to the subject in order to focus the lens. [6]

Infrared receiver2020-10-15T15:24:21-07:00

Device to convert an infrared light beam into electrical signals. [15]

Infrared transmitter2020-10-15T15:24:21-07:00

Electronic device to convert electronic signals, such as audio and video, to infrared (invisible to the eye) light beams. Beams travel through air and can be converted back to electrical signals by an infrared receiver. [15]

Input selector2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Switch determining which input (which source) a VCR will “listen” to. [5]

Insert edit2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Feature allowing A VTR to record a new segment in the middle of a program, erasing what it’s replacing. [5]

Insert edit2020-10-15T15:32:57-07:00

The recording of a new video segment amidst old, prerecorded video-unlike assemble edit, which places each new segment at the tail of the last segment. [14]

Insertion loss2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

A decrease in signal strength when a device is connected into a circuit. Accessories with low insertion losses are desirable to preserve signal strength. [3]

Instant video confidence2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Feature on some VTRs which allows them to play back the picture hundredths of a second after it is recorded while the VTR is still recording it. Handy for assuring the video heads are not clogged. [5]


International satellite, one serving several countries. [20]

Interactive cable2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Cable TV that not only sends shows and/or computer data to your home but receives signals from you such as a fire/burglar alarm, orders to purchase goods, and computer signals (i.e. Internet).[4]


The ability of a machine to react to the responses of its user. An interactive videodisc system may ask the viewer a question, wait for a response, and then display a certain sequence keyed to that response. [18]


An earphone/microphone headset that allows the director in the control room to speak with the camera operators in the TV studio. [6]


Editing together several separate events or interviews to tell one story, make one statement, or answer one question using pieces from each. [17]


Unwanted signals which “leak into” your wires or devices and compete with your desired picture and sound, often causing grain, snow, or diagonal or wavy lines on a TV picture. [3]

Interframe compression2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Digital reduction which compresses data within a series of frames as well as in each frame. MPEG is an example. [12]

Interlace scan2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Method of making a TV picture by drawing the odd numbered lines on the screen with one sweep, then filling in between with the next sweep of even numbered lines. The process is repeated approximately every 1/30 second. [2]

Internally locked2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

A VCR that plays a tape independently, with its sync timed to its own internal clock. [14]

Internet service provider or ISP2020-10-15T15:24:22-07:00

Company that connects to the Internet through their fast phone lines, and provides you access to the Internet, perhaps via phone link, between your computer and theirs. They may also provide other services such as e-mail and worldwideweb (WWW) pages. [20]

Interpolator or universal format converter2020-10-15T15:24:24-07:00

A device to change one kind of DTV format into another. [21]

Interrupted feedback2020-10-15T15:24:24-07:00

Intercom system that feeds the program’s sound (music and voices) to the talent’s ear, but can be interrupted with a private announcement directly from the control room perhaps a command from the director. [10]

Intraframe compression2020-10-15T15:24:24-07:00

Data-reducing compression within a single picture or within each picture individually in a series. Example: JPEG and MJPEG. [12]

Inverse kinemation2020-10-15T15:24:24-07:00

3-D animation feature that calculates how connected objects, such as parts of a body, will bend at the joints and follow as the farthest part is moved. [12]


A device which changes DC electricity (from a battery) into AC electricity (from your wall outlet). [6]


Integrated Receiver Descrambler, a satellite receiver with a descrambler built in. [20]


Institute of Radio Engineers, is a measure of video level or “whiteness” and is marked off in units of 10 on waveform monitors. A 20 IRE level represents a dark part of a TV picture and 80 IRE, a light part. [15]


Integrated Receiver Transcoder, another name for an IRD, often a digital model. [20]


Integrated Services Digital Network, a souped-up telephone line that handles digital signals. [20]


Instructional Television Fixed Service-a method of broadcasting TV programs throughout school systems via low-power high-frequency transmitters. [15]


International Telecommunications Union, a standards-setting body for videoconferencing. [20]


To move a video tape forward or back a very short distance (one or two frames) in search for the “perfect” place to edit. [14]


A multiposition lever on a studio switcher that positions special effects anywhere on the TV screen. [11]

Jump cut2020-10-15T15:24:25-07:00

An edit from one scene to a very similar scene, causing the picture to “jump” from one position to another. Such edits should be hidden by video inserts of related scenes (cutaways). [14]


Editing together opposites, like opposing views or conflicting responses to a question. [17]

Key light2020-10-15T15:24:25-07:00

Brightest and main source of lighting for a subject, creating the primary shadows. [9]

Key (or luminance key)2020-10-15T15:24:25-07:00

Special effect where the dark parts of one camera’s picture are replaced with parts from another camera’s picture. [11]

Key sensitivity2020-10-15T15:24:25-07:00

Control on a switcher/SEG that determines how dark something has to be before it disappears and is replaced by another camera’s picture. In chroma keys, it determines how much color something needs before it is replaced by another camera’s picture. [11]


A distorted view of an object (usually a graphic) caused by aiming a camera at it from an angle; the nearer part of the graphic appears larger than the farther part. A square could take on a trapezoidal “keystone” shape. [12]


Projection phenomenon where a projector is aimed at an angle to a screen forming a trapezoidal image. [19]


One thousand cycles (vibrations) per second, represented by 1 KHz, which is near the sound frequencies of speech. [4]


3-D animation feature allowing you to move one part of a flexible, jointed object, and have the other parts follow naturally. [12]

Kiss black2020-10-15T15:24:27-07:00

Fade to black followed immediately by a fade up on a new picture. [11]


A range of microwave frequencies between 12.5 and 18GHz. [20]

Kukaloris or cookie2020-10-15T15:24:27-07:00

A metal pattern which, when inserted in a pattern spotlight, projects a design. [9]


Local Application Network Control, a Sony-developed system for controlling VCRs (mostly 8mm Hi8 camcorders) over a two-way communications link. [14]


Adobe paint tool for selecting parts of a picture. [12]


Part of a computer image, separate from the other parts, which can be changed independently from them, like changing the background behind a cartoon figure. [12]

LCD panel or computer display panel2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

LCD device which when placed on an overhead projector can project computer data. [19]

LCD projector2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

Projector (with built in light source as opposed to the LCD panel that used an overhead projector for light) using a liquid crystal mosaic to create the image. [19]

LCD viewfinder2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

Liquid Crystal Display, a color TV monitor made of a flat panel rather than a CRT. Usually folds out from a camcorder or is imbedded in it. [6]

Lead-acid or Gel-cell2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

Battery designed like a miniature car battery, only with gelatin inside rather than liquid. Less expensive than NiCd; used in camcorders. [5]


Unrecorded space (from 10 seconds to 3 minutes) at the beginning of a tape, often used to protect the actual program from threading damage. Also unrecordable plastic tape attached to the beginnings of cassette rolls. [5]

Leaf shutter2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

A flap inside a photographic camera that moves aside for a moment to let light enter and then snaps closed. [13]


Light emitting diode, a tiny lamp that can blink very quickly, uses little power, and lasts a long time. Often used as an indicator on equipment. [10]

Legal colors2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

Colors that reproduce correctly in NTSC video. Some computer generated colors are called “illegal” in that they are out of the range of what common TVs can display. [12]

Legal video2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

Video production, editing, and display as it relates to the law and the courtroom. [17]

Lens format2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

Describes the size of the lens’s focused image. It should match the size of the camera’s pickup chip. [7]

Lens shade2020-10-15T15:24:28-07:00

A funnel-shaped visor that attaches to the outside of a lens shading it from lights and the sun. [7]


Gray, metallic-looking projection screen with tiny vertical grooves (looks like smooth corduroy) to distribute most reflected light straight back and to the sides (where the audience sits) and reflects very little on the ceiling and floor. [19]

Level 1/2/3 videodisc player2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

A combination level 1, level 2, level 3 videodisc player. [18]

Level 1 videodisc player2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Often a consumer model player with features such as freeze frame, picture stop, chapter stop, scan, and two-channel audio but without the computer memory or the ability to select on its own which sequences to show. [18]

Level 2 videodisc player2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

An educational/industrial videodisc player, usually with all the level 1 capabilities plus a small computer built in. Computer programs (instructions) coded in the audio track of the disc are loaded into this computer when you start the disc playing, telling the player which sequences to play as a result of viewer responses. [18]

Level 3 videodisc player2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Videodisc player linked to an external computer. The computer program, perhaps from a floppy diskette, controls the sequences the videodisc player will play. The computer may also display graphics and questions of its own. The disc serves mostly as a storehouse of still and moving pictures and sound. [18]

Level 4 videodisc player2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Videodisc player with computer, able to read a large computer program from the disc, and thereafter runs like a level 3 player. [18]

Light meter2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Electronic device that measures the brightness of a light (incident light) or the brightness of a scene (reflected light) and gives a readout in footcandles or lux. [9]

Light pen2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Pen-shaped device connected to a computer that the viewer points or touches to a TV screen in response to computer questions rather than typing the answers on the computer’s keyboard. [18]

Light valve projector2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Expensive, professional projector that creates bright images by bouncing light off a reflective surface inside. The reflective surface changes its reflectivity based on video or computer images presented to it. [19]

Lighting grid2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Framework of pipes connected to the studio ceiling from which lights are hung. [9]

Lighting plot2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

A drawing to show where the lights are to be aimed. May also include fixture numbers and circuit numbers and show prop and performer positions. [9]

Lighting ratio2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

A comparison between the brightest part of a subject and the darkest. If the brightest white in a performer’s shirt measured 60 fc (footcandles) and his black hair measured 2 fc, then the lighting ratio would be 60 2 = 30. [9]

Lightning arrester2020-10-15T15:24:30-07:00

Device which clips onto an antenna or cable TV cables, and connects to a grounded wire. It is designed to divert the shock of a lightning bolt so that the current doesn’t damage your equipment.[3]


Electronic audio device that automatically reduces the volume of loud audio signals but doesn’t change the normal or weak signals. [10]


An external auxiliary input often used for a video signal. Can also be the final video or audio output signal from a device. [2]

Line doubler2020-10-15T15:24:31-07:00

Device that doubles the scan lines that makes a picture, essentially placing lines between lines, improving the look of video when shown on computer-like devices such as computer projectors. [19]

Line or program monitor2020-10-15T15:24:31-07:00

TV monitor that shows the final signal being broadcast or sent to the VTRs. [11]

Line quadrupler2020-10-15T15:24:31-07:00

Device that quadruples the scan lines in a picture, making video look better when shown on high resolution computer projectors. [19]

Linear audio track2020-10-15T15:24:31-07:00

A stripe of magnetic vibrations along the edge of a video tape that contains the audio signal, laid down by a stationary record/play head. [10]

Linear key2020-10-15T15:24:31-07:00

Key effect where the amount of a color (or brightness) determines how much of another camera’s image will be visible, creating a natural-looking key effect. [11]

Linear (or normal) audio track2020-10-15T15:24:31-07:00

Audio recording made in a line along the edge of a video tape (as opposed to hi fi sound imbedded in the video tracks on the tape). [5]

Linear screw rod2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Inexpensive satellite aiming actuator moved by a long threaded bar. [20]

Lip Sync2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Synchronization between the performers’ audible words and the movement of their lips. [14]

Liquid crystal light valve (LCLV) projector2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Expensive, professional projector that uses amorphous (not dots of) LCD material to sense a dim CRT image and make a surface reflective. Light from a bright projection lamp reflects off the surface to make the projected image. [19]

Lithium ion2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Ultra small battery for camcorders. [5]


Low Noise Amplifier used to boost the dish antenna’s signal. Satellite signals are so weak they have to be amplified (multiplied) 100,000 times. Special circuits with premium grade transistors are needed to allow the signal to be amplified so much without adding appreciable visual “noise” to the signal. [20]

LNB or LNC2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Low Noise Blockconverter or Low Noise Converter, an LNA with a circuit built-in that lowers the microwave frequencies, making them pass easily through common coax wire to your satellite receiver. [20]

Lo Z2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

In audio, any input of 500 ohms impedance or less. [10]


Symbol or trademark representing a specific company, or organization, or TV station. [12]

Loop antenna2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Circular portable UHF antenna.[2]

Loop or bridge2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

An electrical connection which allows most of the signal to enter one socket and continue out an adjacent socket to be used elsewhere. [2]

Loop through2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

The act of sending a signal to and through a device (using a bridged input) and then on to another device. [2]


Compression method that discards data and degrades the image quality. High degrees of compression are possible. [12]


Compression method that discards some data, to some degree damaging the signal it represents. [5]

Low contrast filter2020-10-15T15:24:33-07:00

Lens filter that reduces contrast by making shadows lighter. [7]

Low cut filter2020-10-15T15:24:34-07:00

An audio circuit, often built into mixers and mikes, that reduces low tones from a sound signal. [10]

Low level or microphone level2020-10-15T15:24:34-07:00

Weak audio signal, as from a microphone. [5]

Low light level camera2020-10-15T15:24:34-07:00

TV camera designed to “see” with very little light – used in military and surveillance. [9]

Low-pass filter2020-10-15T15:24:34-07:00

Filter placed between a radio transmitter and its antenna to reduce the harmonics from being broadcast. The harmonics interfere with people’s TV reception.[3]


Long play – The 4-hour speed of a VHS VCR. [5]


Low-Power Television-the technique of broadcasting local programming through a very low-power, inexpensive VHF TV transmitter. Limited signal range keeps LPTV stations from interfering with distant TV stations using the same channel frequency. [15]

LTC or Linear Time Code2020-10-15T15:24:36-07:00

Time code recorded in a linear stripe along the tape, perhaps on a longitudinal audio track. [14]


A measurement of a source’s light brightness. Lumens per square foot equals foot-candles. [19]


The black-and-white (brightness only) part of a video signal. [1]


A measure of illumination, the amount of light needed to make a 1-volt video signal. [6]


A measure of the brightness of an object in a scene. Cameras need a certain degree of scene brightness in order to register a picture. 10 lux equals about 1 footcandle, another measure of brightness. [9]


Laservision. A videodisc read by a laser, the light of which reflects off microscopic pits in the disc. Not the same as CED videodiscs. which use a groove. [18]

M-S stereo miking2020-10-15T15:24:36-07:00

Mike setup for stereo using a bidirectional and a cardioid mike close together, and an encoder to manipulate the signals into stereo. [10]

Macro lens2020-10-15T15:24:36-07:00

A lens that can be focused on a very close (sometimes touching) object. [7]


Popular anti-copy signal recorded on a video tape to make it playable but not copyable. [13]

Maintenance contract (or service contract)2020-10-15T15:24:36-07:00

An agreement with an outside repair company to keep your equipment in good working order for a fixed yearly charge (plus parts, usually). [16]


A pointer on the timeline to show what part of it is playing. As the show plays, the marker moves. It can be quickly positioned to play a short segment of a show, perhaps previewing a simple transition. [14]


A cardboard cutout used to frame a picture with a smooth border or cover unwanted parts of a picture or other background. [12]

Masking tape2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

Paper adhesive tape used for holding things temporarily because it tears easily and removes easily. [12]

Master audio control2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

Mixer knob that adjusts, up or down in volume, all mixer inputs at once. Useful for fading out all mikes and sounds together. [10]

Master dimming control2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

A single slider on a dimmer that dims all the lights at once. [9]

Master disc2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

A specially made original videodisc from which distribution copies are reproduced. [18]

Master fade2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

A fade lever that always fades the picture out to black or a chosen color. [11]

Master recorder2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

In the tape copying process, the VCR that plays the tape that the slaves copy. Also called the VCP, videocassette player. [13]

Master tape2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

The original copy of the finished version of a tape. Could be original footage of a “live” show, or could be a program edited together from other tapes. The master is the best-quality copy of this program in existence. [13]

Mastering plant2020-10-15T15:24:37-07:00

A company that converts a video tape or other media into a master videodisc and makes copies of it. [18]

Match frame edit2020-10-15T15:24:39-07:00

An edit in which a scene is edited onto itself so exactly that there is no apparent interruption in the scene. [14]

Matched shots2020-10-15T15:24:39-07:00

Similar-looking views of a subject from two cameras at the same time. [11]


Data that creates a surface with color and design, like wallpaper, wood grain, or marble, that can be wrapped around a wireframe to make it solid. [12]

Material editor2020-10-15T15:24:39-07:00

Part of a 3-D graphics package that makes the surfaces that cover the wireframes made in modler. [12]

Material shade2020-10-15T15:24:39-07:00

Smoothshade with the actual material (i.e., wood) and color stretched over the wireframe. [12]


A special kind of key effect where light parts of a picture are removed and replaced with a chosen color. [11]

Matte box2020-10-15T15:24:39-07:00

Container that holds lens filters in slots and attaches to the front of the camera lens. [7]

Matte screen2020-10-15T15:24:40-07:00

A nonglossy smooth white projection screen. Like a white sheet, it reflects light equally in all directions. [19]

Measured spacing2020-10-15T15:24:40-07:00

Typography where the space between letters is always the same. Manual typewriters use measured spacing. [12]


One million cycles (vibrations) per second, represented by 1 MHz, which is near the frequency of video signals[4]


An attribute of nicad batteries whereby they “forget” how long they should be able to provide power if they haven’t been worked hard enough. Frequent short duty cycles will eventually make them able to perform only shallow discharges before they need recharging. [16]


On a VCR’s index counter, this button tells the machine to stop rewinding when it reaches 000 on the counter. Helpful in noting and locating spots on a tape. [5]


A list of choices, possible answers to a question, or a table of contents. The option selected is the one the player goes to next. [18]

Metal halide2020-10-15T15:24:40-07:00

Bright projection bulb with long life. Like HMI lights, these lamps require a ballast. [19]


Short for microphone input, a highly sensitive, low-level audio input. [6]


Tiny lenses embossed onto the CCD chip to concentrate light onto the light sensing surfaces and increase the chip’s sensitivity to light. [6]


An extremely high band of radio/TV frequencies used with satellites to relay TV signals. On earth, used to transmit TV signals in beams about 5-10 miles long between mobile TV vans and the broadcasting station or between cable TV companies. [4]


Extremely high-frequency radio waves, about 1 billion vibrations per second (1GHz, one gigahertz), used to transmit video, audio, RF, telephone, and computer data over long distances. [15]

Microwave receiver2020-10-15T15:24:40-07:00

Circuit which converts microwaves to video and audio. It works much like a TV tuner or demodulator, except at higher frequencies. [20]

Microwave receiver2020-10-15T15:33:09-07:00

Device for picking up microwaves and converting them into an electrical signal such as video and audio. [15]

Microwave relay2020-10-15T15:24:42-07:00

Device that receives microwaves, boosts them, and beams them out in another direction. [15]

Microwave transmitter2020-10-15T15:24:42-07:00

Device to convert video and audio signals into microwaves for broadcasting to a receiver which can convert the signals back. [15]


High-frequency signals, around a gigahertz which, among other things, can carry TV signals. [20]


Cable TV channels 14-22.[4]

MIDI or .mdi2020-10-15T15:24:42-07:00

Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a standardized way of sending digital instructions between audio devices and musical instruments, telling them, for instance, what notes to play. [10]


Middle frequencies of sound, about 40-12,000 Hz. [10]


Professional camcorder format using VHS-like cassettes, recording separate colors at high tape speed for high quality. [5]


One of the ways of going from one TV picture to another (as opposed to wipe and key). Mix is often the name on the button that tells the fader levers to dissolve rather than wipe or key from one picture to the next. [11]


Switch on a two-channel or stereo VCR which allows both channels to be mixed and heard together. [5]


Multichannel multipoint distribution service, another name for wireless cable system. [4]


Multichannel multipoint Distribution System, a wireless cable system that delivers data. [20]


Minimum operating distance, the closest a lens can focus normally. [7]

Mode selector2020-10-15T15:24:43-07:00

Knob or button on an editing VCR that sets the VCR into the insert edit, assemble edit, video insert, or audio insert mode. [14]

Modeling light2020-10-15T15:24:43-07:00

Light aimed at the subject from behind and to the side, creating a white rim of light to add dimension. [9]


Modulator-demodulator, a device that turns digital data into tones that can travel over phone wires, as well as convert tones back to digits to be used by a computer. [20]


Part of a 3-D graphics package that builds the 3-D object in space. [12]


RF generator. Combines audio and video into a channel number. [2]

Modulator or RF generator2020-10-15T15:24:43-07:00

Electronic device which combines audio and video signals, coding them into RF, a TV channel number.[1]


Video artifact seen in NTSC pictures along the edges of brightly colored objects, text, and graphics. Moire looks like crawling dots or saw-teeth. [1]


Single-channel audio. Opposite of stereo. [5]


A TV set which has no tuner and usually has no speaker (as opposed to a TV receiver, which has both). Such a TV displays video signals but not RF signals. Any device used to observe or hear the quality of a signal (i.e., audio monitor).[2]

Monitor analyzer2020-10-15T15:24:47-07:00

A deep blue lens used for viewing color bars on a color monitor while adjusting the TV’s color hue to obtain proper colors. [15]

Monitor speakers2020-10-15T15:24:47-07:00

Loudspeakers with excellent fidelity used to evaluate audio in the control room. [10]


Black and white (as opposed to color). [6]


Black and white (not color). [1]


One-legged tripod. [6]


2-D or 3-D graphic effect that gradually stretches one image into another while simultaneously dissolving from one image to the other. Thus the object changes shape while also changing color and surface character. [12]


Digital effect where an image (or part of it) is broken into tiny tiles or colored squares. [11]

Mosaic filter2020-10-15T15:24:47-07:00

An array of tiny colored lenses that cover a CCD chip used in one-chip color cameras. The lenses allow different pixels in the chip to sense different colors of light. [6]


Main circuitry of the computer, holding the CPU, the main brain of the computer, plus slots for memory and additional boards, such as a graphics board. [12]

Motion JPEG or MJPEG2020-10-15T15:24:47-07:00

JPEG compression performed on each video frame in real time (30 frames per second). Motion JPEG is used in nonlinear editors. [12]


Device for viewing and comparing several reels of film at a time while selecting segments to splice into an edited master film. [14]

MTF or Modulation Transfer Function2020-10-15T15:24:47-07:00

Ability of a lens to reproduce contrast, especially at high focal lengths. [7]


Multichannel television sound, a technique of broadcasting stereo audio on TV. [10]


Multichannel television sound, technique for stereo TV broadcasting. [5]


Audio, video, text, graphics, and other information delivered by computer. [10]

Multiple system operator2020-10-15T15:24:47-07:00

Large cable company that owns and operates many little cable companies in various municipalities. [4]


Mirror device that selects one (of several) projector’s image and shines it at the TV camera. [15]


Mirrored device that selects which one of several projectors shines its image into a TV camera for transferring film to video. [12]

Multipoint videoconference2020-10-15T15:24:48-07:00

Videoconference between three or more locations or individuals. [20]

Multiscan (or multisync) monitor2020-10-15T15:24:50-07:00

Computer monitor capable of working with different horizontal and vertical scan rates to make the image. [2]


Several events, perhaps recorded at different times, residing on a disc, accessible by computer. [18]

Munsel color chip-chart2020-10-15T15:24:50-07:00

A particular brand of color bar test chart. [15]

Music under2020-10-15T15:24:50-07:00

Music volume is reduced into the background so that narration or something else gets the audience’s attention. [10]


A control which cuts out the sound but leaves everything else going.[2]


Billionth of a second, a number used to describe the sharpness of a character generated letter. Professional quality CGs have 35 nanosecond or lower numbers specifying their sharpness. [12]


Group of computers communicating together via wire or optical fiber, sharing data, perhaps collectively rendering an image. [12]


Group of TV broadcasters or cable TV companies wired together to share signals from each other. [4]

Neutral density filter2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

A gray glass lens attachment that diminishes light coming through the lens, thus reducing picture brightness. [7]

NFM or near field monitor2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Small speaker designed to be positioned near the listener. [10-30.2]

NiCd or Nicad2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

NIckel CADmium. Lightweight, high-power battery for camcorders. [5]


Non-Linear Editor. [14]


Unwanted interference that creeps into your signal. Audio noise could be hum or hiss. Video noise could be snow, graininess, or streaks in the picture. [10]

Noise bars2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Bands of snowy hash across the TV screen usually evident in still and scan modes and when mistracking occurs. [5]

Noise-canceling microphone2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Microphone that is used close to the mouth, and rejects surrounding noise. [10]

Noise reduction system2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Electronic device that attempts to reduce electronic noise when something gets recorded and/or played back. [10]

Noise temperature2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Rating in degrees Kelvin for how “quiet” (doesn’t make spurious signals) a satellite signal amplifier is; the lower the temperature, the better. [20]

Non-drop frame2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

SMPTE time code mode that continuously counts frames, skipping no numbers. [14]

Non-linear editing2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Assembling video sequences that are randomly accessible, typically digitized onto a hard drive. The process is much like word processing in that items can be moved, deleted, copied, or changed electronically before being printed or copied to video tape. [12]

Non-linear editor or NLE2020-10-15T15:24:51-07:00

Computerized video editor that permits scenes to be selected and rearranged on the computer’s screen before being assembled (by the NLE) on the master tape. [14]


Compression scheme that reduces redundant data that will never be missed, thus retaining full picture quality while reducing the file size by a moderate amount. [12]


Video (picture) signal without sync combined. [1]

Nondestructive editing2020-10-15T15:24:53-07:00

Computerized audio editing whereby the playlist changes as you edit and delete sounds, the original sound files remain undamaged. [10]

Normal-through or normaled2020-10-15T15:24:53-07:00

In a patch bay, the top socket is automatically connected to the socket directly beneath when no patch cable is plugged into either. The signal “normally” travels through from one to the other. [10]


National Television Standards Committee. United States organization that developed the NTSC video standards which ensure that all TV signals in the United States are compatible. [5]

NTSC video2020-10-15T15:24:53-07:00

National Television Standards Committee method used in the United States for electronically creating a color TV signal. The color and brightness aspects of the image travel together on the same wire. [1]


On-board camera light. [9]

Object based modler2020-10-15T15:24:53-07:00

Modler using spheres, cubes, and other shapes to form objects. Solid models are resolution-independent; round edges stay round as you zoom in on them. [12]

Oblique angle2020-10-15T15:24:53-07:00

Camera angle that shows the front and a side, or maybe two sides of an object. Oblique angle shots convey more dimensionality than face-on shots. [8]

Off-line editing2020-10-15T15:24:53-07:00

Making a “practice edit” using inexpensive video equipment. Result is a lower-quality “draft” copy used for decision making and to create a list of edits to be performed later on-line. [14]


A measure of electrical resistance or impedance. Things must have the same impedance to be electrically compatible with each other. In video, 75 ohms (75) is standard for cables, inputs, and outputs.[2]


The symbol for ohm is . TV antenna wires are generally 300, 75, or 72. Ohm is an electrical property of the wire indicating its resistance to certain signals passing through it.[3]

Omnidirectional light2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

Light that travels in all directions, like from the sun or a bare light bulb. [12]

On-line editing2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

Editing a video tape with the highest-quality VTRs and editor controllers. Process results in final edited master but costs more than off-line editing. [14]

One-chip camera2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

One image pickup chip senses all the colors plus black-and-white aspects of a TV picture. [6]

Optical disk recorder2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

Device that records analog video onto a plastic disk, like a laser video disc. [12]

Optical scan conversion2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

Aiming a TV camera at a TV screen and recording the result, useful for copying the picture from a nonstandard or troublesome tape. [13]

Optical-sight viewfinder2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

Inexpensive, simple lens scope, gun-sight or cross hairs used to help aim a TV camera. [6]

Optical-to-electrical (O/E) converter2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

Device that changes light from a fiber to electrical signals. [15]

Optical zoom ratio2020-10-15T15:24:54-07:00

The actual zoom ratio (smallest focal length divided into the largest focal length of the lens) of the physical lens without any digital enhancement from the camera. [7]

Output selector2020-10-15T15:24:56-07:00

Switch determining which of several signals will be fed to a VCR’s output for viewing. [5]


A shot which for some reason (i.e., a flubbed line) you don’t plan to use in the final production. [14]


Recording sound on one audio track and then recording a related sound on another track. Each track may have its unique sound recorded or may be a mixture made from the playback of an already-recorded track plus the new sound. [10]


Using too much video signal when making an RF signal, which results in buzzing from the TV speaker when white lettering appears on the screen. [2]


A TV picture blown up too big on the screen, causing the edges of the picture to be cut off and hidden from view. [2]


Public address, an amplifier generally used with a microphone by speechmakers who wish to be heard by a crowd or in several rooms at one time. [10]

Paint or 2-D paint2020-10-15T15:24:57-07:00

Electronic graphics technique or software that allows you to draw flat images on the computer screen, like drawing on a piece of paper. The images can be colored, warped, rotated, resized, and manipulated in various ways, then stored electronically. [12]


Phase alternate line – a European video standard incompatible with the U.S. NTSC system. [5]


Some graphics adapters can keep track of a limited number of colors, not all that are presented to it. The palette is the small selection of colors that the graphics adapter uses to approximate the original picture. [12]


Tiny camcorder that fits in the palm of your hand. [6]

Pan pot2020-10-15T15:24:57-07:00

Pot (short for potentiometer or volume control) that adjusts whether a signal will go to the left channel or the right, or be shared between the two by a selected amount. [10]


Shape of a reflector dish that focuses incoming signals on a tiny point (making the signals stronger there). [20]

Parabolic microphone2020-10-15T15:24:57-07:00

Attached to a small bowl-shaped reflector, the microphone picks up weak or distant sounds. [10]


How the positions of objects change relative to one another as you move by them. If your camera looks at a subject from one position and you look at the subject from another, the two of you will see slightly different pictures. [6]


A way of sending computer data over several wires at once. Printers usually use multiwire parallel connections with computers. [14]

Parallel cutting2020-10-15T15:24:58-07:00

Editing raw footage so that similar or parallel actions are seen one after another, making it look like “everybody’s doing it.” [17]

Parametric equalizer2020-10-15T15:24:58-07:00

A tunable equalizer on which you can select a particular frequency or band of frequencies to boost or cut, perhaps to remove much of an unwanted sound from a recording. [15]

Parametric equalizer2020-10-15T15:31:11-07:00

Audio device that adjusts to reduce or boost a selected range of frequencies. [10]


A device that does not use electrical power to operate, and does not add anything to a signal passing through it. [11]


Electrical device which doesn’t need electrical power (i.e., batteries or power from the wall outlet) to operate. [3]

Passive matrix2020-10-15T15:24:59-07:00

Inexpensive liquid crystal used in LCD panels that show static pictures and data. [19]

Patch bay2020-10-15T15:24:59-07:00

In audio, several rows of sockets connected to the inputs and outputs of various audio devices. Plugging a patch cable into a pair of sockets connects them so that the signal can travel from one device to the other. [10]

Patch bay2020-10-15T15:30:30-07:00

Like a telephone switchboard, a console of sockets leading to the studio lights and another set of sockets leading to the dimmer circuits. Connecting the two via patch cords allows various dimmers to activate various lights. [9]

Patch bay2020-10-15T15:36:54-07:00

Several rows of sockets connected to the inputs and outputs of various devices. Plugging a patch cable into a pair of sockets connects them so that the signal can travel from one device to the other. [15]

Patch cable2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

This special heavy-duty lighting cable plugs into the patch bay to carry current from the dimmer circuit to the grid circuit and studio lamp. [9]

Patch cord2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

A short cable that connects the output of one device to the input of another. [10]

Patch cord2020-10-15T15:30:42-07:00

Used with a patch bay. The patch cord is a cable with plugs that connect to sockets in the patch bay to carry signals from one device to another. [15]


An aluminum cutout that fits into a pattern spotlight to create the shapes projected by the light. [9]

Pattern spotlight2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

Lighting instrument that accepts aluminum cutouts to project patterns such as venetian blinds, leaves, or other figures on the background. [9]

Pause edit2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

Editing of a video tape while recording by pressing the pause button between takes.[14]


Cable or broadcast television for which you pay to see each show, usually by activating a descrambler which makes the programs visible on your TV. Pay-per-view usually consists of movies and sports without commercials.[4]

PCI bus2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

Peripheral Component Interchange bus which can pipe data between computer components at 132 MBps. [5]

PCI bus2020-10-15T15:30:38-07:00

Peripheral Component Interconnect, a very fast pathway for data traveling from one board to another in the computer. PCI video cards require little configuration (plug-and-play) in order to work. [12]


Pulse Code Modulation, a second method of recording hi fi sound with 8mm and Hi 8 VCRs. Unlike AFM, PCM audio can be edited without affecting the picture. [5]

PCM or pulse code modulation2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

Method of recording digital high fidelity sound on 8mm and hi8 tapes. The spinning video head places the PCM signal at the end of each diagonal video track. [10]

Peak clamping2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

Electronically limiting the maximum video signal level to a certain strength, like 100 IRE. [15]

Peak hold2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

On LED signal level meters, the top LED illuminated in the bar graph will stay “on” for a few moments to show the peak loudness of a sound even after it goes away. [10]

Peak level indicator2020-10-15T15:25:00-07:00

Tiny light often built into mixers and audio recorders that blinks when sound volume is too loud. [10]


Electronic control on a camera which adjusts the brightness of the picture. Proper adjustment yields blacks which are the right darkness. [6]


The elevation control on a camera tripod. “Pedestal up” means raise the camera higher. [6]

Per diem2020-10-15T15:25:02-07:00

An additional daily living expense payment made to employees working away from home. [17]

Phantom power2020-10-15T15:25:02-07:00

Power fed from a mixer’s mike input to run a condenser microphone. [10]


The timing of when electrical or sound vibrations reach a place, like an input or a microphone. When IN PHASE, the vibrations strengthen each other, making a strong signal. OUT-OF-PHASE signals cancel each other out, weakening the result. Electrical and sound signals need to be kept IN PHASE. [10]

Phase reversal2020-10-15T15:25:02-07:00

Undesirable situation where one audio signal has its vibrations going the opposite to another audio signal so that when combined the result is weak and tinny sounding. [10]

Phono or RCA plug2020-10-15T15:25:02-07:00

Small connector used to carry audio signals and, in home video equipment, video signals and sometimes RF signals. [2]


Light bulb, available at photo stores, that can screw into normal lamp sockets but gives off proper color temperature for TV or film work. [9]

Photographic tape2020-10-15T15:25:02-07:00

Colored adhesive tape (usually black) used for framing pictures. [12]


A measure of a line’s width. A pica equals 1/6 inch. [12]


An individual temporarily hired to perform a specific task. Often a free-lance camera operator brought in for a single show. [17]

Pickup chip2020-10-15T15:25:02-07:00

The light-sensitive part of a TV camera which “sees” the picture and turns it into video signals. [1]

Pickup pattern2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

The areas in which a microphone picks up the best sound. Also a diagram depicting a microphone’s sensitivity in different directions. [10]

Pickup tube2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

Vacuum tube light sensor on an older TV camera. Plumbicon, saticon, and vidicon are three types. [6]


Picture ICON, a thumbnail image of the first frame (or a representative frame) of a clip. [14]

Picture-in-a-picture (PIP)2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

Digital effect where one picture is squeezed smaller and placed over another. [11]

Picture stop2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

A coded instruction on a level 1 videodisc telling the player to freeze-frame when it comes to a particular picture. Works while the machine is in the play mode. [18]

Piezo autofocus2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

Electronic autofocus method that focuses by maximizing contrast in the picture. [6]

Pinch roller2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

Rubber wheel near the capstan that pinches the tape against the capstan, so it can grip the tape as it pulls it through the mechanism. [16]

PIP, or Picture In A Picture2020-10-15T15:25:03-07:00

TV set feature allowing you to view two channels simultaneously on one TV screen. [4]


Building or using a device to descramble satellite TV (or other broadcast programming) without paying the subscription fee. [20]


Duplicating copyrighted tapes without permission. [13]


Picture elements, tiny dots that make up the picture. In a camera, pixels represent the tiny light-sensitive transistors that store the image. [6]

PL259 or UHF connector2020-10-15T15:25:04-07:00

A male industrial plug used for video and sometimes RF. Goes into SO259 socket. Rarely used today. [2]


The marker on an audio editing screen that shows where in the timeline you are playing the sound. The playhead moves across the events in the timeline, playing clips as it comes to them. [10]


The list of clips to be played in order on the timeline. [10]

Plug and play2020-10-15T15:25:04-07:00

Ability of a card to operate in a computer automatically without you having to throw DIP switches and run setup software to configure the card to work in your system. [12]


Part of a color bar test signal used for adjusting TV monitor brightness. [15]

Pneumatic studio pedestal2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Heavy duty studio camera pedestal and dolly that allow the camera to be raised and lowered smoothly with ease. [6]


A measure of the height of lettering. 72 points equals one inch. [12]

Point-to-point videoconference2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Videoconference between two locations or individuals. [20]

Polar mount2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Satellite dish support that is oriented along the earth’s axis to ease the tracking of geosynchronous satellites. [20]


An orientation imparted to electromagnetic waves, such as vertical, horizontal, circular left-handed (like a corkscrew spiraling counterclockwise), and circular right-handed. Antennas must be oriented the same way as the signal to be sensitive to it. [20]

Polarizing filter2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Like Polaroid sunglasses, these lens attachments cut out glare and reflections. [7]

Polygon based modler2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Modler using user-selected dots connected by the web of the wireframe to form objects. Round objects are made of tiny straight lines; zooming in on one will reveal these facets. [12]

Positioner arm or actuator2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Motorized aiming mechanism for a satellite dish. [20]

Post production house2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

Video service company that edits your tapes, perhaps adding video and audio effects. [14]

Post Production switcher2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

A switcher/SEG with automated features designed to be controlled by computer, editor-controller, or manually, often using menus to select functions. [11]


Visual effect of reducing a picture’s varied brightness levels down to just one or two, giving it a flat poster-like or cartoon-like look. [11]


Also called a pot, it is a volume control on a mixer or other audio device. [10]


Plain Old Telephone Service, the analog telephone line that goes to most homes. [20]

Power line antenna2020-10-15T15:25:05-07:00

TV antenna connection which uses house wiring as the antenna. [3]

Power line filter2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

Removes unwanted signals, electrical pulses (“spikes”), and other interference mixed in with your power from your wall outlet.[3]

Power supply2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

Circuit in electronic equipment which converts household electricity to the kind of power (correct voltage and frequency) the equipment needs in order to run. [2]


The video tape sent to the mastering facility and transformed into videodiscs. Also, the act of making such a tape. [18]

Premastering software2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

Computer software that helps you properly record a CD-ROM. [18]

Premium channel2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

Cable channel that is unavailable to the basic service viewers unless an additional monthly fee is paid. [4]

Preread or read-before-write2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

DVR ability to play what’s on the tape at the same time it’s recording new material on the tape a moment later. [5]


Begin a tape playing so it is up to speed and its signals are stable before the VCR switches to record. [14]

Presentational set2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

Background and furniture that is abstract in design. Most news and talk show sets are presentational. [12]


on multichannel dimmers, the dimmers can be set up (preset) for one lighting arrangement on one channel, and then the channel is turned off, essentially “storing” the lighting setup for use later when the channel is reactivated. [9]

Pressure zone microphone2020-10-15T15:25:07-07:00

Microphone mounted on a flat plate that senses sound reflected from the plate. [10]


Record time code on a tape while blacking it, before recording or editing the actual audio and video on it. [14]


A channel on a switcher/SEG that sends out to your preview monitor a view of an effect so that you can adjust or perfect the effect before using it. Like audition in audio. [11]