Television (TV) has come a long way since its inception. With new technology and ever-changing programs, keeping up with the lingo used by those in the industry can be difficult. Here is a glossary of terms to help you out.
These terms are organized alphabetically from A to Z and include commonly used numerical terms (#) associated with television features and functions.
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
4:3: Standard definition aspect ratio for the traditional TV screen. Most older TVs and some current TV broadcasts are in 4:3.
16:9: High definition aspect ratio. This is the ratio for HDTVs and most current TV broadcasts.
The number following “p” or “i” denotes the number of horizontal lines that make up the image, which is displayed progressively (p) or interlaced (i). The letter “p” (progressive) indicates that all the lines are drawn in sequence. The letter “i” (interlaced) means that every other line is drawn first, then the remaining lines.
24p: 24p refers to the number of frames that are displayed per second in a movie. This gives movies that “cinematic” look and all TVs now support 24p content. However, some TVs maintain that look better than others.
8K: 8K is a type of Ultra HDTV that has a resolution of 7680×4320.24p refers to the number of frames that are displayed per second in a movie. This gives movies that “cinematic” look and all TVs now support 24p content. However, some TVs maintain that look better than others.
4K: 4K is a type of Ultra HDTV that has a resolution of 3840×2160.
Active format description (AFD): A code that can be inserted into an HDTV signal that tells the TV what kind of display should be used. This is important because not all TVs are created equal, and some displays show certain types of content better than others.
Aspect ratio: The ratio of the width to the height of a TV screen or image. The most common aspect ratios are 4:3 (the traditional television screen) and 16:9 (widescreen).
ATSC: The Advanced Television Standards Committee is the group that created the digital television standard used in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.
ATSC 3.0: Advanced Television Systems Committee 3.0, also known as NextGen TV, is a new broadcast standard that supports 4K resolution, HDR, and improved audio quality for over-the-air TV signals.
AirPlay 2: A wireless streaming technology by Apple that allows for streaming audio and video content from iOS devices, like iPhones and iPads, to compatible TVs and audio systems.
Analog: Analog television is the traditional type of television that has been used since the early days of broadcast TV. Analog signals are continuous waves that carry the video and audio information.
Audio Return Channel (ARC): An HDMI feature that allows the TV to send audio back to a soundbar or AV receiver. This can simplify your home theater setup by eliminating the need for a separate audio cable.
Advertainment: A portmanteau of “advertisement” and “entertainment,” advertainment is a type of marketing that seeks to engage the viewer while also delivering a sales message. This can take the form of a TV show or movie that has product placement, or it can be a more overt form of advertising such as an infomercial masquerading as a game show.
Adaptive Sync: Adaptive Sync is a technology used in some TVs and monitors to synchronize the refresh rate of the display with the frame rate of the content, such as video games. This helps to eliminate screen tearing, stuttering, and input lag, providing a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. Examples of Adaptive Sync technologies include NVIDIA’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync.
Ambient Mode: A feature on some TVs that displays artwork, photos, or useful information when the TV is not in use, blending the screen into the surrounding décor.
Ambilight: A proprietary Philips technology that projects ambient lighting onto the wall behind the TV, matching the colors of the on-screen content to create a more immersive viewing experience.
Audio Passthrough: A feature that allows a TV to send unprocessed audio signals to an external audio system, like a soundbar or AV receiver, for decoding and playback.
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): A feature that automatically switches the TV to its low-latency Game Mode when it detects a compatible gaming console or PC, providing a more responsive gaming experience.
AllShare: A content sharing feature developed by Samsung that allows users to wirelessly stream and share media between compatible devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and TVs.
Active 3D: A 3D TV technology that uses active shutter glasses to alternately block the view of one eye at a time, in sync with the TV’s frame rate, creating the perception of depth.
Blanking interval: The period of time when the electron beam in a CRT television is turned off. This allows the beam to return to the top of the screen without drawing a picture. This period is also known as the horizontal blanking interval.
Broadcast: Broadcast television is television that is transmitted over the airwaves by a broadcast station.
Beamforming: A feature in some TV sound systems that directs audio signals towards specific areas or listeners, improving sound clarity and focus.
Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be moved from one point to another in a given amount of time. Bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps).
Bitstream: A digital representation of an analog signal.
Blu-ray: Blu-ray is a high-definition optical disc format that can store up to 25GB of data on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc.
Broadband: A high-speed Internet connection. Broadband connections are typically faster than dial-up connections.
Built-in Tuner: A TV component that receives over-the-air broadcast signals, enabling access to local channels without the need for a separate set-top box.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over short distances. In the context of TVs, Bluetooth is often used for connecting wireless audio devices, such as soundbars or headphones, or for pairing remote controls and gaming controllers.
Backlight: The backlight provides illumination for the TV screen. Common types include CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) for older LCD TVs and LED (Light Emitting Diode) for modern LED TVs.
Bezel: The bezel is the frame surrounding the TV screen. Thinner bezels provide a sleeker appearance and larger screen-to-body ratio.
Channel: A channel is a specific frequency range that is used to carry a television signal.
Composite video is a type of video signal that uses one cable to carry the video information. The video signal is combined with the audio signal and sent over a single cable.
Compression: Compression is the process of reducing the size of a digital file. This is done by removing redundant information or by using algorithms to reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored.
Chromecast Built-in: A feature in some TVs that integrates Google’s Chromecast technology, enabling users to cast content from their mobile devices or computers directly to the TV.
CineMotion: A motion processing technology by Sony that improves the display of film-based content by preserving the original 24 frames per second format.
Cable Management: Built-in features or accessories that help organize and hide cables connected to the TV, creating a cleaner setup.
Color Temperature: A setting that adjusts the warmth or coolness of the white balance, affecting the overall color balance of the TV’s image.
CRT: A cathode ray tube (CRT) is a type of display that uses an electron beam to create the image. CRT TVs were the standard for many years, but they have been replaced by LCD and Plasma displays.
Cable television: Cable TV is a system of delivering television programming to consumers via cable instead of over the air or via satellite.
Closed captioning: Closed captioning is a text version of the dialog and sound effects that is displayed on the screen along with the video.
Component video: Component video is a type of analog video signal that uses three separate cables to carry the color information (red, green, and blue) from the source to the TV.
Casting: Casting is the process of wirelessly sending video or audio content from a smartphone, tablet, or computer to a TV or audio system. This feature is supported by many Smart TVs and streaming devices, allowing users to easily share content from their mobile devices on a larger screen or audio system.
Curved Screen: Curved screen TVs feature a display panel that is slightly curved rather than flat. This design is intended to create a more immersive viewing experience by providing a wider field of view and a more consistent image quality at different viewing angles. However, curved screens are not universally preferred and can also result in increased reflections and glare in some situations.
Color Volume: Color volume is a metric that measures a TV’s ability to display colors at varying levels of brightness. TVs with high color volume can produce a wide range of vivid, accurate colors even in bright or dark scenes. This can result in a more realistic and immersive viewing experience.
Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest white and the darkest black that a TV can display. A higher contrast ratio generally results in better picture quality, with deeper blacks and more vibrant colors. There are two main types of contrast ratios: native contrast ratio and dynamic contrast ratio. Native contrast ratio refers to the inherent capabilities of the TV panel, while dynamic contrast ratio involves the use of additional technologies, such as local dimming, to enhance the contrast.
Color Bit Depth: Color bit depth describes the number of bits used to represent color information for each pixel on the screen. Higher bit depths allow for a greater number of distinct colors, resulting in smoother color gradients and reduced color banding. Common color bit depths include 8-bit (16.7 million colors), 10-bit (1.07 billion colors), and 12-bit (68.7 billion colors). HDR content often requires a 10-bit or higher color bit depth for optimal reproduction.
DVR: A digital video recorder (DVR) is a device that records video onto a hard drive or other storage device. DVRs allow you to record TV shows and watch them at your convenience.
Display: A display is a device that shows the video signal. Displays come in many different types, including CRT, LCD, Plasma, and OLED.
Digital TV: Digital television is a type of television that uses digital signals to carry the video and audio information. Digital signals are discrete, meaning they are either on or off.
Digital rights management (DRM): Digital rights management (DRM) is a type of technology that is used to protect digital content. DRM technology can be used to prevent unauthorized copying or distribution of digital content.
Downconversion: Downconversion is the process of converting a high-definition signal to a standard-definition signal. This is often done so that the signal can be displayed on a standard-definition TV.
Dolby Vision: A proprietary HDR format developed by Dolby that provides dynamic metadata for improved color, contrast, and brightness on a scene-by-scene basis.
DLNA Server: A software or device that stores and distributes media content to DLNA-certified devices on a home network for streaming.
DTV: Digital television (DTV) is a type of television that uses digital signals to carry the video and audio information. DTV signals are typically transmitted over the airwaves or through a cable or satellite network.
DVB-T2: Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial 2, a digital terrestrial television broadcast standard that offers improved efficiency, enabling higher quality video and audio transmission over the air.
Digital Rights Management (DRM): Digital rights management is a technology that is used to protect digital content from unauthorized use.
Display device: A display device is a piece of equipment that is used to display video and other information.
Dolby Atmos: Dolby Atmos is an advanced audio technology that provides an immersive, three-dimensional sound experience by adding height channels to the traditional surround sound setup. This creates a more realistic audio environment, making viewers feel like they are in the center of the action.
DTS:X: DTS: X is an immersive audio format similar to Dolby Atmos, which adds height channels and object-based audio to traditional surround sound. This allows for a more dynamic and realistic audio experience in movies, TV shows, and video games.
DLNA: The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is a non-profit organization that establishes guidelines for sharing digital media between devices within a home network. DLNA-certified devices can easily discover and communicate with each other, making it simpler to stream media from one device to another.
Dolby Atmos: An object-based audio format that enables the creation of a more immersive, three-dimensional sound experience by adding height channels to traditional surround sound setups.
Dynamic Range: The difference between the darkest and brightest parts of an image that a TV can display. A wider dynamic range results in better contrast and a more realistic image.
Electronic program guide (EPG): An electronic program guide is a software application that provides schedules for TV programs.
Eco-friendly: A term used to describe products designed to have a minimal environmental impact. This can include everything from the use of recycled materials to energy-efficient features.
Edge Lit: A type of LED backlighting used in some TVs where the LEDs are placed along the edges of the screen, allowing for thinner displays but potentially less uniform brightness distribution.
Editing: The process of selecting, arranging, and altering film or video images.
Educational programming: Television shows that are designed to teach viewers about a particular subject.
Entertainment programming: Television shows that are designed to entertain viewers, typically
Emmy Awards: An annual award ceremony that recognizes excellence in the television industry.
Ethernet: An Ethernet port allows for a wired internet connection, providing a more stable and faster connection than Wi-Fi.
Extended play: A type of recording that is shorter than a standard LP but longer than a single.
Entertainment Tonight: A popular entertainment news program that airs on the CBS television network.
Ebru TV: A Kenyan television network that focuses on Breaking news, Entertainment news, Sports news, Election news, and International news. Ebru is a subsidiary of Samanyolu Broadcasting Company, an international media business with headquarters in the United States and operations in Germany, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. It was founded in Kenya in 2006.
eARC: Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) is a feature found in some HDMI connections that allows for the transmission of high-quality, uncompressed audio between a TV and an audio system, such as a soundbar or AV receiver. eARC ensures better audio synchronization and support for advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Energy Star: Energy Star is a certification program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that promotes energy efficiency in consumer products. TVs with Energy Star certification meet strict guidelines for energy consumption, helping consumers save money on energy bills and reduce their environmental impact.
Edge-Lit: Edge-lit LED TVs use LEDs placed around the edges of the screen to provide backlighting. While this design allows for thinner and lighter TVs, it can result in less accurate local dimming and poorer contrast compared to Full Array Local Dimming TVs.
FTA: FTA is a type of television service that is delivered free-to-air without a subscription.
FCC: The Federal Communications Commission is a government agency regulating the United States’ broadcasting industry.
Frame: One of the many still images that make up a video signal. These images are displayed in rapid succession to create the illusion of motion.
Filmmaker Mode: A TV setting that aims to display content as close as possible to the creators’ intent, disabling unnecessary processing and preserving the original frame rate, aspect ratio, and color balance.
Full Array Local Dimming (FALD): A type of LED backlighting where LEDs are placed directly behind the screen in a grid pattern, allowing for more precise local dimming and improved contrast.
Freeview: A free digital TV service in the UK and some other countries that provides access to a variety of TV channels and radio stations without a subscription.
Full Array Local Dimming (FALD): Full Array Local Dimming is a type of local dimming technology used in LED TVs. In FALD TVs, the LED backlight is arranged in a grid behind the entire screen, allowing for more precise control over individual zones of brightness and darkness. This results in improved contrast, deeper blacks, and better overall picture quality compared to edge-lit LED TVs.
Frame Rate: The number of individual frames displayed per second (fps) on a TV, affecting the smoothness of motion in video content.
Freesat: A free-to-air satellite TV service in the UK and some other countries that provides access to a variety of TV channels and radio stations without a subscription.
G-rated: A type of content rating that indicates the material is suitable for all audiences.
Gossip Girl: A teen drama television series that aired on the CW from 2007 to 2012.
Gray’s Anatomy: A medical drama television series that has aired on ABC since 2005.
Gilmore Girls: A comedy-drama television series that aired on The WB from 2000 to 2007.
Game Mode: A TV setting that optimizes image and audio settings for gaming, often reducing input lag and disabling unnecessary processing.
Gesture Control: A feature that enables users to control their TV using hand gestures, typically through a built-in camera or a compatible device like a motion-sensing remote.
Google TV: A Smart TV platform developed by Google, offering a user-friendly interface, integration with Google services, and access to a wide range of apps and streaming services.
Ghosting: An image artifact in which a faint duplicate image appears offset from the main image, often caused by signal interference or slow response times in LCD displays.
GUI (Graphical User Interface): A type of user interface that allows users to interact with their TV or other devices using visual elements, such as icons, menus, and buttons, making it more intuitive and user-friendly.
Gain: In the context of television and audio, gain refers to the increase in signal strength, often in relation to an antenna or amplifier.
Geofencing: A feature in some Smart TV platforms that restricts content access based on the viewer’s geographic location, often used for copyright or licensing purposes.
Green Screen: A technique used in television production where a subject is filmed in front of a green (or sometimes blue) screen, which is later replaced with a different background during post-production using chroma key technology.
Gamma: A setting on TVs that adjusts the brightness levels of mid-tones in an image, influencing overall picture contrast and color accuracy.
Globecast: A global content delivery network that provides satellite and fiber distribution services for television and radio broadcasters, enabling international content distribution and reception.
High-definition television (HDTV): A digital television that has a resolution that is significantly higher than that of standard-definition television. HDTVs can display high-definition content, which is often found on Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs.
HbbTV: Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV, a standard that combines traditional broadcast TV with broadband-delivered content, enabling features like catch-up TV, video on demand, and interactive services.
HDMI: HDMI is a type of interface that is used to connect digital devices. HDMI can be used to carry audio and video signals. High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a widely used digital interface that allows for the transmission of high-quality audio and video signals between devices, such as connecting a Blu-ray player, gaming console, or streaming device to a TV.
HDMI 2.1: The latest version of the HDMI standard, supporting higher resolutions, faster refresh rates, and features like eARC, ALLM, and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR
High-definition (HD): High-definition (HD) television is a type of television that has a higher resolution than standard-definition TV. HDTV signals are typically transmitted over the airwaves or through a cable or satellite network.
HbbTV: HbbTV is a type of television service that combines broadcast and on-demand TV with Internet-based services.
HDMI CEC: HDMI Consumer Electronics Control, a feature that allows compatible devices connected via HDMI to be controlled using a single remote, simplifying the user experience.
HDR: HDR is a type of video with a higher dynamic range than standard video. It is a technology that allows for a wider range of colors, contrast, and brightness in video content. HDR-compatible TVs can display this content with more accurate colors and improved visual quality.
HDR10+: An open-standard HDR format that uses dynamic metadata to optimize color, contrast, and brightness on a scene-by-scene basis, similar to Dolby Vision but without licensing fees.
Hotel Mode: The Hotel Mode function is a feature available on Samsung CRT TVs that allows the guest to alter the settings of the TV once the Hotel administrator has fixed it. This function supports two modes – Administrator mode and Guest mode. In Administrator mode, the TV will function as a normal TV. In Guest mode, the TV will be locked to certain preset settings that the Hotel administrator has chosen.
HDCP 2.3: HDCP 2.3 is the most recent version of the copy-protection standard used over HDMI. It’s most important that a TV supports HDCP 2.2, as without it a TV or other HDMI device cannot transmit or display Ultra HD images.
HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a DRM technology used to prevent unauthorized copying of digital audio and video content transmitted over HDMI and DisplayPort connections.
HEVC: High Efficiency Video Coding, a video compression standard that enables efficient streaming and playback of 4K and 8K video content with minimal loss of quality.
Interlaced: Interlaced video is a type of video signal that uses two fields to create a single frame. The first field contains the odd-numbered lines, and the second field contains the even-numbered lines.
ISF Calibration: Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) calibration refers to professional tuning of a TV’s picture settings to achieve optimal image quality based on the viewing environment.
Instant On: A feature that allows a TV to turn on quickly and resume playback from standby mode, reducing the time it takes to start watching content.
Input Labeling: A TV feature that allows users to customize the names of input sources, making it easier to identify and switch between connected devices.
IPS: In-Plane Switching, a type of LCD panel technology that offers wider viewing angles and more accurate colors compared to other panel types like TN and VA.
IPTV: IPTV is a type of television that uses the Internet Protocol to deliver TV programming.
Interference pattern: A type of zigzag line that can be seen on a television screen when two signals are mixed.
Input Lag: Input lag is the delay between an action performed on an input device (e.g., a game controller) and the corresponding response displayed on the TV screen. Lower input lag is preferable for gaming and other interactive content, as it results in a more responsive and immersive experience.
IMAX Enhanced: A certification program for TVs and audio equipment, ensuring compatibility with IMAX Enhanced content for an immersive, high-quality viewing experience.
Integrated Speakers: Built-in audio speakers within a TV, providing a convenient audio solution without the need for external audio systems or soundbars.
Jaggies: The stair-step appearance of diagonal lines and borders in a television image, is caused by the limited resolution of the screen.
Just noticeable difference: The smallest change in a stimulus that can be detected 50% of the time.
Jitter: The unwanted deviation in the timing of a signal.
Jump: A sudden change from one picture to another.
Jambo Kenya: A popular Kenyan morning show airing on Citizen TV, featuring a mix of news updates, lifestyle segments, interviews, and entertainment, aiming to inform and engage the Kenyan audience as they start their day.
Java House: A well-known Kenyan restaurant chain that has appeared in various TV programs, documentaries, and advertisements, reflecting its prominence in Kenyan culture and society.
Jubilee Party: A political party in Kenya that has been featured in numerous news broadcasts, political debates, and documentaries on Kenyan television channels, as it has played a significant role in the country’s politics since its formation in 2016.
Jicho Pevu: A famous investigative journalism TV series in Kenya, produced and hosted by journalist Mohammed Ali, which has exposed various cases of corruption, crime, and human rights abuses, drawing widespread attention and acclaim from the Kenyan audience.
Jikoni: A Kenyan TV cooking show that showcases a variety of local and international dishes, offering step-by-step cooking instructions and tips, as well as highlighting the cultural significance of food in Kenya.
Juacali TV: A television channel in Kenya that focuses on local content, featuring a mix of news, entertainment, and cultural programs aimed at the Kenyan audience, promoting local talent and creativity.
Kinescope: A device that captures a live image on a television screen.
Kill switch: A device that turns off a television set when the signal is lost.
Knob: A control on a television set that is used to adjust the settings.
Kernel: The part of a television picture that contains the actual image information.
Keystone: A distortion of the image that occurs when the television set is not perpendicular to the screen.
KBC Channel 1: A state-owned television channel in Kenya, operated by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). It offers a variety of content, including news, sports, entertainment, and educational programs, both in English and Swahili languages.
KTN Home: A Kenyan television channel owned by the Standard Group, broadcasting a mix of news, entertainment, and local programming in English and Swahili languages, catering to the Kenyan audience.
KTN News: A 24-hour news channel owned by the Standard Group, providing comprehensive news coverage, current affairs programs, and live event broadcasts, aimed at the Kenyan audience.
Kameme TV: A Kenyan television channel that focuses on the Kikuyu community, offering local news, entertainment, and cultural content in the Kikuyu language.
Kass TV: A Kenyan television channel targeting the Kalenjin community, broadcasting news, entertainment, and cultural programs in the Kalenjin language.
Kisumu Freeview: A free-to-air digital terrestrial television service available in Kisumu, Kenya, providing access to multiple local channels without the need for a subscription, only requiring a compatible TV or set-top box with a DVB-T2 tuner.
Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB): A government body responsible for regulating the creation, broadcasting, and distribution of films, television programs, and other forms of content in Kenya, ensuring compliance with national laws and cultural values.
LCD: LCD is a type of display device that uses liquid crystal display technology.
LED: LED is a type of display device that uses light-emitting diode technology.
Luma: The brightness of a television image or video.
Lines: The thin, colored lines that make up a television image.
Low Blue Light: A feature that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by a TV, potentially reducing eye strain and improving sleep quality for viewers.
Lateral: The sides of a television picture
Local Dimming: This is a feature in some LED TVs that allows individual sections of the backlight to be dimmed or brightened independently, resulting in better contrast and deeper blacks in the displayed image.
Latency: Latency, in the context of TVs, refers to the time delay between receiving an input signal and displaying the corresponding image on the screen. Low latency is particularly important for gaming and interactive content, as it results in a more responsive and immersive experience. Latency is often expressed as input lag, which combines the TV’s processing delay and the response time of the display panel.
Light Sensor: A feature in some TVs that detects ambient light levels and adjusts the screen brightness and contrast accordingly, providing a more comfortable viewing experience in various lighting conditions.
LocalCast: A third-party app that allows users to cast local media files, such as photos, videos, and music, from their mobile devices to compatible TVs and displays.
Mirroring: The process of reflecting an image or audio signal in order to create a stereo effect.
Mosaic: A type of interference pattern that is often used in television screens to create the illusion of a larger image.
Motion smoothing: a technique used to reduce the amount of motion blur in an image.
MicroLED: A display technology that uses microscopic LEDs for each pixel, offering high brightness, excellent contrast, and fast response times, similar to OLED displays.
Mosaicking is piecing together a series of smaller images to form a larger image.
Motion Rate: A manufacturer-specific term for the effective refresh rate of a TV, which may include both the panel’s native refresh rate and additional motion processing technologies.
Motion Interpolation: Motion interpolation, also known as frame interpolation or motion smoothing, is a technique used by TVs to reduce motion blur and judder in fast-moving scenes. The TV analyzes consecutive frames of video and generates additional in-between frames, resulting in a higher perceived frame rate. While this can create smoother motion, it may introduce a “soap opera effect,” making content appear unnaturally smooth. This feature can usually be adjusted or disabled in the TV’s settings.
Miracast: A wireless display standard that allows for screen mirroring between compatible devices without requiring an internet connection.
Mini-LED: A display technology that uses smaller LEDs for backlighting in LED TVs, enabling more precise local dimming and improved contrast compared to traditional LED backlights.
MHL: Mobile High-Definition Link, a technology that enables a direct, high-quality connection between a mobile device and a compatible TV or display using a single cable.
Netflix: A streaming service that offers movies, TV shows, and documentaries. It is one of the most popular streaming services, with over 151.5 million subscribers as of 2019. Netflix had approximately 220.67 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the second quarter of 2022.
Nation Media Group: A leading media company in East and Central Africa with operations in television, radio, print, and digital. Its flagship brands include the Nation newspaper, NTV Kenya, QTV, Easy FM, and Radio Jambo. of on-demand service
Nits: Nits, or candelas per square meter (cd/m²), is a unit of luminance that measures how much light a TV can produce. Previously, TVs could output 200 to 300 nits, and standard dynamic range (SDR) content was graded and mastered with 100 nits as the standard. With high dynamic range (HDR), content is mastered with 1,000, 4,000, or 10,000 nits as the standard; so, the more nits an HDR TV can display, the more accurately it can display the highlights in HDR material without having to reduce the brightness of the highlights or clip them.
NanoCell: A display technology by LG that uses nano-particles to filter out unwanted colors, resulting in improved color accuracy and wider color gamut.
NTSC: National Television System Committee, a color television encoding system used primarily in North America, some parts of Central and South America, and some Asian countries. NTSC is not commonly used in Kenya, where the PAL (Phase Alternating Line) system is the standard.
Nairobi Freeview: A free-to-air digital terrestrial television service available in Nairobi, Kenya, offering access to multiple local channels without the need for a subscription, only requiring a compatible TV or set-top box with a DVB-T2 tuner.
Njata TV: A Kenyan television channel that broadcasts local content, including news, entertainment, and cultural programs, catering to the Kenyan audience with a focus on the Kikuyu community.
Noise Reduction: A video processing feature in TVs that helps to reduce visible noise or artifacts in the image, particularly in low-quality or compressed content, such as streamed videos or over-the-air broadcasts, resulting in a cleaner and more detailed picture.
Next-Gen TV: Also known as ATSC 3.0 (Advanced Television Systems Committee), a new digital television broadcasting standard that aims to improve picture and sound quality, as well as offer additional features such as interactivity and targeted advertising. While not yet implemented in Kenya, Next-Gen TV has the potential to enhance the television experience for viewers in the future.
OTT: OTT is a type of television service that is delivered over the Internet without a subscription.
OTA Update: Over-The-Air Update, a process that allows a TV’s firmware to be updated via an internet connection, adding new features or fixing issues without the need for manual intervention.
One Connect Box: A device used with some Samsung TVs that houses all input and output connections, allowing for easier cable management and a cleaner TV setup.
Optical Audio Output: A digital audio output that transmits audio signals over an optical cable, providing a high-quality connection between a TV and an audio system.
OLED: Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) is a type of display technology used in some high-end TVs. OLEDs provide better contrast ratios, faster refresh rates, and wider viewing angles than traditional LED/LCD TVs.
Oscilloscope: A device used to measure and display the waveforms of electrical signals.
Over-the-air antenna: A type of antenna that picks up broadcast signals from over-the-air sources such as TV and radio stations.
Optical scanning: The technique televisions and computer monitors use to produce images by moving a beam of light across the screen.
Pay-per-view (PPV): PPV is a type of service that allows users to purchase and view TV programs on demand.
PVR: Personal Video Recorder, a device or built-in TV feature that allows users to record TV programs onto a hard drive or external storage for later viewing.
Passive 3D: A 3D TV technology that uses polarized glasses to separate the left and right eye images, creating the perception of depth without the need for active shutter glasses or batteries.
PAL: Phase Alternating Line, a television standard that is used in many parts of the world
PDP: Plasma Display Panel, a type of display that uses gas to create images.
Picture-in-Picture (PiP): Picture-in-Picture is a feature that allows users to display two video sources simultaneously on a single screen, with one video appearing as a smaller window within the main video. This can be useful for watching multiple TV programs, sports events, or video feeds at the same time.
Peak Brightness: Peak brightness refers to the maximum luminance a TV can produce, measured in nits. Higher peak brightness can result in better overall picture quality, particularly in well-lit environments or when displaying HDR content. TVs with high peak brightness can produce more vibrant colors, brighter highlights, and better overall contrast.
Panel Type: The panel type refers to the underlying technology used in the TV’s display panel. Common panel types include OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes), VA (Vertical Alignment), and IPS (In-Plane Switching). Each panel type has its strengths and weaknesses, with OLED offering the best contrast and viewing angles, VA providing good contrast with limited viewing angles, and IPS delivering wider viewing angles with lower contrast ratios.
Parental Controls: Features that allow parents to restrict access to certain content, channels, or apps on the TV based on ratings or a password.
QLED: Quantum Light Emitting Diode, a display technology developed by Samsung that uses quantum dots to enhance color accuracy, brightness, and energy efficiency in LED TVs.
Quantization: The process of dividing a continuous signal into discrete, measurable units.
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM): A type of modulation that encodes digital data by modulating two carrier signals with different amplitudes and frequencies.
QAM64: A type of digital modulation that uses 64 discrete phases.
Quantum Dot: Quantum Dot technology is used in some high-end LED TVs to enhance color performance. Quantum Dots are tiny particles that emit specific colors when illuminated, allowing for a wider color gamut and more accurate color reproduction.
QLED: Quantum Light Emitting Diode is a display technology that uses quantum dots to enhance color performance and brightness in LED TVs.
RF: RF is a type of modulation that is used to encode analog information on a carrier wave.
RF Input: A coaxial input on a TV that connects to an antenna or cable source for receiving over-the-air broadcast signals or unencrypted cable channels.
RGBW: A display technology that adds a white subpixel to the traditional red, green, and blue subpixels in an LCD panel, aiming to improve brightness and energy efficiency.
Reflection: The bouncing of a signal off a surface.
Resolution: The clarity of an image on a screen.
Redundancy: The repetition of data to ensure accuracy.
Refresh Rate: Measured in Hertz (Hz), the refresh rate refers to the number of times a TV updates the image on the screen per second. A higher refresh rate, such as 120 Hz, can provide smoother motion and reduced motion blur in fast-moving scenes.
Response Time: Measured in milliseconds (ms), response time refers to the time it takes for a pixel to change from one color to another. A lower response time indicates a faster transition, reducing motion blur and ghosting in fast-moving scenes.
Roku TV: A Smart TV platform based on the Roku streaming devices, offering a user-friendly interface and a wide range of apps and streaming services.
Remote App: A mobile app that allows users to control their TV using their smartphone or tablet, providing an alternative to the physical remote control
Standard-definition television (SDTV): A digital television that has a resolution that is lower than that of high-definition television. SDTVs are the most common type of television, and most content is still broadcast in standard definition.
SCART: A European analog video and audio connection standard, primarily used in older TVs and devices, that has been largely replaced by HDMI.
Streaming: Streaming is a type of media delivery that allows users to watch video and listen to audio in real time without downloading the entire file first.
Satellite television: Satellite TV is a type of television that uses satellites to deliver TV programming.
SDTV: SDTV is a type of digital television that uses standard-definition signals.
Streaming Stick: A compact device that connects to a TV’s HDMI port, enabling streaming of content from various apps and services.
Set-top box: A set-top box is a device used to receive and decode television signals.
Smart TV: A smart TV is a type of television that has built-in Internet and networking capabilities. It comes with various pre-installed apps, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu. These TVs allow users to access streaming content, social media, and other online services directly from the TV without additional devices.
Solid-state drive (SSD): An SSD is a type of storage device that uses flash memory to store data.
S/PDIF: Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format, a digital audio output that transmits audio signals over a coaxial or optical cable, providing a high-quality connection between a TV and an audio system.
Screen Burn-In: A permanent image retention issue that can occur on OLED TVs and some older display technologies, caused by displaying static images or content with high contrast for extended periods.
Screen Mirroring: Screen mirroring is a feature that allows users to display the screen of their smartphone, tablet, or computer on a TV screen. This can be useful for sharing photos, videos, or presentations with a larger audience.
Smart Remote: A remote control with advanced features such as voice control, touchpad, or motion sensors, designed to simplify navigation and control of a Smart TV and its connected devices
Sleep Timer: A feature that automatically turns off the TV after a specified time, helping save energy and extend the TV’s lifespan.
Top-of-the-line: The most expensive and highest quality television on the market.
Tuner: A device in a television that allows it to receive signals from a cable or satellite provider.
TV: An abbreviation for “television.”
Tint: A type of interference pattern that can be seen on a television screen when two signals are mixed. It is caused by the difference in the phase of the two signals.
Trailing edge: The edge of a television image that is trailing, or appears to be moving backwards.
Trembling lines: A type of interference pattern that can be seen on a television screen when two signals are mixed. It is caused by the difference in the amplitude of the two signals.
THX Certified: A certification program by THX that guarantees a TV meets strict performance standards for image and sound quality, ensuring an optimal home theater experience.
Tizen: A Smart TV platform developed by Samsung, offering a user-friendly interface, integration with Samsung services, and access to a wide range of apps and streaming services.
Teletext: An early form of text-based information service transmitted alongside TV signals, providing news, weather, and other updates through a simple on-screen interface, primarily used in Europe before the widespread adoption of the internet.
Temporal Noise Reduction: A video processing technique that reduces noise and artifacts in a video by analyzing and comparing multiple consecutive frames to identify and remove inconsistencies.
Three-Dimensional (3D) TV: A type of TV that can display stereoscopic 3D content, creating the illusion of depth by presenting slightly different images to each eye, typically requiring the use of compatible 3D glasses.
TrueMotion: An LG-specific motion interpolation technology that aims to reduce motion blur and judder in fast-moving scenes by generating and inserting additional frames between the original frames.
Twin Tuner: A feature in some TVs that includes two separate tuners, allowing users to watch or record two different TV channels simultaneously, or to use picture-in-picture functionality.
Two-Way Audio: A feature in some TVs and connected devices that allows for both audio input and output, enabling voice communication with other users or devices, such as video calls or voice commands.
Terrestrial TV: A form of television broadcasting that uses over-the-air signals transmitted by ground-based antennas, as opposed to cable or satellite TV systems.
Transcoding: The process of converting video or audio files from one format or codec to another, often to reduce file size or to ensure compatibility with specific devices or streaming platforms.
USB: USB is a type of interface that is used to connect devices to computers.
Ultra HDTV: Ultra HDTV is a type of television that uses ultra-high-definition signals.
Ultraviolet radiation: Electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light.
USB-C: A versatile and reversible USB port that can transmit data, video, and power, simplifying connections between a TV and compatible devices.
Uniformity: The degree to which the various parts of an image are equally bright or dark.
Upscaling: Upscaling is the process of converting a lower-resolution video signal to a higher-resolution format. For example, upscaling a 1080p video to fit a 4K display. Most modern TVs include built-in upscaling capabilities, which can improve the image quality of lower-resolution content.
USB Port: A USB port allows for connecting external storage devices to the TV, enabling media playback or recording, as well as firmware updates.
UHD: Ultra High Definition, a resolution standard that includes 4K (3840×2160) and 8K (7680×4320), offering increased image detail and clarity compared to Full HD (1920×1080).
UPnP: Universal Plug and Play, a set of networking protocols that enables devices on a network to easily discover and communicate with each other, often used for media streaming and sharing between TVs and other connected devices.
ULED: Ultra LED, a term used by some TV manufacturers (notably Hisense) to describe their high-end LED TV models, which typically feature advanced backlighting, local dimming, and wide color gamut technologies.
Ultra Short Throw Projector: A type of projector designed to be placed very close to the projection surface, typically within a few inches or feet, allowing for large screen sizes in small spaces without the need for a long projection distance.
Unicast: A type of network communication where data is transmitted from one source to a single destination, often used in streaming services to deliver personalized content to individual users.
UHF: Ultra High Frequency, a range of radio frequencies used for TV broadcasting, typically offering more channels and better signal quality than lower frequency bands like VHF (Very High Frequency).
Underscan: A display setting that intentionally reduces the size of the image on the screen, leaving a black border around the edge, often used to eliminate overscan issues or to ensure that all content is visible on older TVs.
User Interface (UI): The visual design and layout of a TV’s on-screen menus and controls, which allows users to navigate and interact with the various features and settings of the device. A well-designed UI should be intuitive, responsive, and visually appealing.
Upmixing: An audio processing technique that converts stereo or multi-channel audio signals into a different audio format, often to simulate surround sound or to utilize additional speakers in a home theater system.
Video on demand (VoD): VoD is a type of service that allows users to purchase and view TV programs on demand.
Video game console: A video game console is a type of computer that is designed to play video games.
VESA: VESA Mount is the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has established a set of standardized mounting patterns for attaching TVs to wall mounts or stands. VESA mount compatibility ensures that your TV can be easily mounted using widely available mounting solutions.
VP9: An open-source video compression standard developed by Google, designed for efficient streaming and playback of high-resolution video content on the web.
V-Chip: A feature in TVs that allows parents to block specific TV programs based on their content ratings, helping control what children can watch.
Voice Control: Many modern TVs and streaming devices include built-in voice control functionality, allowing users to control their devices using voice commands. This can include changing channels, adjusting volume, searching for content, and accessing apps. Voice control is typically enabled through integration with digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Viewing Angle: Viewing angle refers to the maximum angle at which a TV can be viewed without significant loss of image quality. TVs with wider viewing angles maintain more consistent color, contrast, and brightness as the viewer moves off-center, making them better suited for group viewing or large rooms. OLED TVs generally offer the widest viewing angles, followed by IPS panel LED TVs.
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Variable Refresh Rate is a feature that allows a TV to dynamically adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate of the content being displayed. This helps to eliminate screen tearing, stuttering, and input lag, providing a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. VRR technologies include Adaptive Sync (e.g., NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync), which require compatible hardware, and HDMI Forum VRR, which is part of the HDMI 2.1 specification.
Voice Control: A feature that allows users to control their TV using voice commands, typically through a built-in microphone or a compatible device like a smart speaker or remote.
Vertical Resolution: The number of horizontal lines or pixels that make up the height of a TV or video image. Higher vertical resolution typically results in better image quality and detail.
VGA: Video Graphics Array, an analog video connector and standard used primarily in older computers and monitors, providing lower resolutions compared to modern digital connectors like HDMI or DisplayPort.
Virtual Surround Sound: An audio processing technology that simulates the immersive experience of multi-channel surround sound using only two speakers, such as those built into a TV or a soundbar.
Vivid Mode: A picture setting found in some TVs that boosts color saturation, contrast, and brightness, often resulting in an artificially enhanced image that may not accurately represent the original content.
Vizio SmartCast: A Smart TV platform developed by Vizio, offering an intuitive interface, integration with Vizio services, and access to various streaming apps and services through the built-in Chromecast functionality.
VBR: Variable Bit Rate, a method of encoding digital video or audio where the bit rate dynamically adjusts based on the complexity of the content, resulting in more efficient compression and better overall quality.
Video Calibration: The process of adjusting a TV’s settings, such as brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness, to achieve the most accurate and natural-looking image possible, often guided by professional calibration tools or reference materials.
Video Processor: The component in a TV responsible for processing and scaling video signals, as well as applying various image enhancement technologies like noise reduction, motion interpolation, and color management. Higher-quality video processors can provide better overall image quality and performance.
Widescreen: Widescreen is a type of aspect ratio that is wider than the standard 4:3 aspect ratio.
Warping: The distortion of an image on a television screen that is caused by the interference patterns created when two signals are mixed.
White level: The level of brightness on a television screen that is set to black.
Widescreen: A type of television screen that is wider than it is high.
WebOS: A Smart TV platform developed by LG, offering a user-friendly interface, integration with LG services, and access to a wide range of apps and streaming services.
Wallpaper Mode: A feature on some OLED TVs that displays static images or artwork with minimal energy consumption, taking advantage of the self-emitting pixels
White balance: A setting on a television that adjusts the colors so that they appear white.
Wide Color Gamut (WCG): Wide Color Gamut refers to a TV’s ability to display a broader range of colors compared to standard TVs. This results in more vibrant and lifelike images on-screen. HDR TVs often support WCG, enhancing the overall visual experience.
Widevine: A digital rights management (DRM) technology used by many streaming services to protect their content from unauthorized copying and distribution.
Wi-Fi Direct: A wireless technology that enables compatible devices to connect directly to each other without the need for a Wi-Fi network, simplifying the process of streaming or sharing content.
Wide Color Gamut (WCG): A display feature that allows a TV to reproduce a larger range of colors, resulting in more vibrant and accurate images, often associated with HDR content.
WiDi: Intel Wireless Display, a technology that enables users to wirelessly stream content from compatible devices, such as laptops, to a TV or display with a WiDi receiver.
Wall Mount: A mounting solution for TVs that attaches the display to a wall, freeing up floor space and providing a clean, modern look.
Watt (W): A unit of power used to measure the energy consumption of electronic devices, including TVs and audio equipment.
WebRTC: Web Real-Time Communication, an open-source technology that enables real-time communication, such as video and audio streaming, between web browsers and devices without the need for plugins or additional software.
Whitelist: A list of approved devices, apps, or services that are allowed to access or connect to a specific network or device, such as a Smart TV.
Wide Viewing Angle: A display characteristic that allows for minimal color and contrast shifts when viewed from different angles, providing a consistent image quality for viewers seated at various positions.
WPS: Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a method that simplifies the process of connecting devices to a Wi-Fi network by using a push-button or PIN-based authentication system.
WUXGA: Wide Ultra Extended Graphics Array, a display resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, which is commonly used in computer monitors and some projectors, offering a 16:10 aspect ratio.
X-axis: The first axis in three-dimensional space, perpendicular to the y and z axes.
X-ray: A type of radiation that can be used to see through objects.
X-ray vision: The ability to see through objects using x-rays.
X-Motion Clarity: A motion processing technology by Sony that aims to reduce motion blur and judder while maintaining image brightness and detail
Xfinity Stream: A streaming service offered by Comcast for its Xfinity cable subscribers, providing access to live TV, on-demand content, and cloud DVR recordings on compatible devices.
Xbox Game Pass: A subscription service by Microsoft that provides access to a large library of games for Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, with some titles also available for streaming on compatible devices.
XDR: Extended Dynamic Range, a term used by some TV manufacturers to describe technologies that enhance the contrast and brightness capabilities of a display, similar to HDR.
Xfinity Flex: A streaming device and service offered by Comcast for its Xfinity internet subscribers, providing access to popular streaming apps and services, as well as personalized content recommendations.
Xumo: A free, ad-supported streaming service that offers a variety of live and on-demand channels, including news, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle content.
YCbCr: A digital video color space used in TV and video systems, where the image is represented using one luma (brightness) channel and two chroma (color difference) channels, allowing for more efficient compression.
YouTube TV: A subscription-based streaming service by Google that provides live TV, on-demand content, and cloud DVR features, offering access to a variety of channels, including local and national networks.
YPbPr: Also known as component video, an analog video color space used in older TVs and video devices, where the image is represented using one luma (brightness) channel and two chroma (color difference) channels.
YUV: A color space used in video systems that encodes color information separately from brightness information, allowing for more efficient compression and better image quality.
Yamaha MusicCast: A multi-room audio system developed by Yamaha that can be integrated with compatible TVs, soundbars, and other audio devices, allowing for wireless streaming and control of music throughout the home.
YCC: Y’CbCr Color Compression, a color encoding scheme used in digital video formats to represent color information in a more efficient manner, facilitating improved image quality and reduced file size.
Yellow Subpixel: A subpixel present in some TV display technologies that adds a yellow subpixel to the traditional red, green, and blue subpixels, aiming to enhance color accuracy and overall image quality.
Yield Rate: A term used in TV manufacturing to describe the percentage of panels produced that meet the required quality standards, with higher yield rates typically associated with more advanced or mature manufacturing processes.
YouView: A hybrid digital TV platform available in the UK that combines Freeview channels with on-demand content from various broadcasters and streaming services, providing a seamless user experience through a unified interface.
Y-cable: A type of cable used in audio and video systems that splits a single input or output into two separate connections, allowing for greater flexibility in connecting devices.
Zapping: The act of quickly changing the channel on a television.
Zoom: The act of making an image on a television screen appear larger or smaller.
Zipper noise: The sound heard when changing channels on a television
Zone: a specific area on a television screen where an image or advertisement is placed
Z-axis: The third axis in three-dimensional space, perpendicular to the x and y axes.
Zigzag lines: A type of interference pattern that can be seen on a television screen when two signals are mixed.
Zigbee: A wireless communication standard used in some Smart TVs and devices, enabling the control of smart home devices and integration with home automation systems.
Z-Wave: A wireless communication protocol used for home automation, which can be integrated into some Smart TVs to control connected devices such as lights, thermostats, and security systems.
Zero Bezel Design: A term used to describe TVs with minimal or no visible bezels around the screen, creating a sleek and modern appearance that enhances the immersive viewing experience.
Zone Dimming: Another term for local dimming, a technology used in LED TVs that controls the brightness of individual zones of the backlight, improving contrast and black levels.
Zoom Mode: A TV setting that allows users to adjust the aspect ratio or size of the displayed image, helping to eliminate black bars or fill the screen with content that has a different aspect ratio than the TV.
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