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Home Theater Glossary


480i/p, 720p and 1080i/p:
HDTV resolutions


Amplifier :
Any device that changes (usually increases) the amplitude of a signal.


Attenuation :
The reduction in amplitude and intensity of a signal.


Balanced Line Signal :
A transmission line consisting of two conductors of the same type, and equal impedance to to ground and other circuits.


Balun :
A device that joins a balanced line to an unbalanced line; a type of transformer used to convert an unbalanced signal to a balanced signal or vice versa; an impedance matching device that makes CAT5 behave like coax cable. The balun is the optimal choice for balancing signals. They are excellent for wireless and cable transmissions which send unbalanced signals and thus require a balun. These baluns don't require AC power or batteries. It is provided from an external source like a balun rack. The power is tied in by the installer at each end to power the camera.


Bandwidth :
The difference between the upper and lower cutoff frequencies. (Typically measured in hertz)


Bi-Directional Signal Conversion :
Changing of a signal from one class type to another, achieving transfer of power between two sources in either direction.


Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) :
The use of video cameras to transmit signals to a specific, limited set of monitors.


Coaxial :
Coaxial cable is an electrical cable consisting of an inner conductor or several uninsulated conductors tightly twisted together, often surrounded by an insulating spacer, surrounded by an outer cylindrical conducting shield (sheath), and usually surrounded by a final insulating layer (jacket). The term coaxial comes from the inner conductor and the outer shield sharing ("co-") the same axis. It is often used as a high-frequency transmission line to carry a high-frequency or broadband signal but may also be used for frequencies as low as audio frequency. The electromagnetic field carrying the signal exists (ideally) only in the space between the inner and outer conductors. The shielding reduces interference from external electromagnetic fields, although coax cable does radiate energy, shielding does somewhat reduce the possibility of a transmitting device causing undesired interference through transmission line leakage.


Color (Colour) :
The visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, blue, black, etc.


Common-Mode Rejection Ratio (CMRR) :
Measures the tendency of the device to reject input signals common to both input leads. (Measured in positive decibels)


Composite Video Signal :
The format of an analog television (picture only) signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. Often designated by CVBS (Color, Video, Blank and Sync)


Computer Networking :
Engineering discipline concerned with communication between computer systems or devices.


Computer Networking :
Engineering discipline concerned with communication between computer systems or devices.


Decibel (dB) :
A logarithmic unit of measurement that expresses the magnitude of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity) relative to a specified or implied reference level.


Electrical Impedance :
A measure of opposition to a sinusoidal alternating current (AC).


Hertz (Hz) :
International System of Units (SI) base unit of frequency


Insertion Loss :
The decrease in transmitted signal power resulting from the insertion of a device in a transmission line or optical fiber.


Monochrome :
Derived from the Greek words mono (μovo, meaning "only" or "alone") and chroma (χρωμα, meaning "color"). Light of a single wavelength, or a narrow wavelength range.


Return Loss :
Measure of power reflected from imperfections in an electrical or optical communications link.


The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.
The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers, though it has also been used in conventional photography. Before the electronic age, the RGB color model already had a solid theory behind it, based in human perception of colors.
RGB is a device-dependent color space: different devices detect or reproduce a given RGB value differently, since the color elements (such as phosphors or dyes) and their response to the individual R, G, and B levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, or even in the same device over time. Thus an RGB value does not define the same color across devices without some kind of color management. For example, an HTML color in a web page, like #5623AB, can be displayed as quite different colors on different computer monitors; so an RGB value does not by itself give a consistent definition of a color.


Spectroscopy :
The study of the interaction between radiation and matter as a function of wavelength. The use of visible light dispersed according to its wavelength.


Transceiver Box:
A transmitter and receiver housed together in a single unit and having some circuits in common, often for portable or mobile use.


Twisted Pair :
A form of wiring in which two conductors are wound together for the purpose of canceling out the electromagnetic interference (EMI) from external sources. FTP (Foiled Twisted Pair) ; STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) ; UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair)


Video :
The technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.


Voltage Drop :
The amount of voltage loss that occurs through all or part of a circuit due to impedance.


YPbPr :
YPbPr (also referred to as "Y/Pb/Pr", "YPrPb", "PrPbY", "Y/R-Y/B-Y”, “Y(R-Y)(B-Y)”, “Y, R-Y, B-Y”, and "PbPrY" - all are exactly the same thing) is a color space used in video electronics, in particular in reference to component video cables. YPbPr is the analog version of the YCbCr color space; the two are numerically equivalent, but YPbPr is designed for use in analog systems whereas YCbCr is intended for digital video. Being that people often get tongue-tied trying to say YPbPr quickly they are also commonly referred to as "Yipper" cables. YPbPr is commonly called "component video", but this is a misnomer, as there are many other types of component video (the most common is "RGBHV", aka "VGA" / "D-SUB").

YPbPr is converted from the RGB video signal, which is split into three components, Y, Pb, and Pr.

Y carries luma (brightness) information.

Pb carries the difference between blue and luma (B - Y).

Pr carries the difference between red and luma (R - Y).

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