Video Glossary A-C

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Video Glossary A-C2020-10-15T13:06:09-07:00
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]

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]

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