Video Glossary D-G

Home/Video Glossary/Video Glossary D-G
Video Glossary D-G2020-10-15T13:06:46-07:00

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]

Go to Top