|16x9-enhancement: A method of boosting resolution in
1.78:1 transfers, by horizontally, but not vertically, compressing (discarding
resolution) into 4:3 proportions to fit in the standard DVD image area, and
which requires horizontal expansion by ~33% or vertical contraction by ~25% to
assume proper proportions for viewing. Also known as anamorphic enhancement.
Because they are only compressed horizontally, 16x9-enhanced transfers contain
more image resolution when used with widescreen displays than do standard 4:3
letterboxed images, which compress in both the horizontal and vertical axes.
The resolution gain is 33% if the aspect ratio of the image is 1.78:1 or
greater, but decreases the farther it gets away from this.
|AC-3: Acronym for Audio enCoding 3, a 6-channel audio
system from Dolby Laboratories. See Dolby Digital 5.1.
|Anamorphic: A term used to describe intentional
distortion of an image, especially by unequal scaling or magnification along
perpendicular axes, such as the techniques used by the Panavision filming
process to fit a widescreen image into a 1.37:1 frame and the 16x9-enhancement
for DVD to fit a widescreen image into a 4:3 frame.
|Anamorphic enhancement: See 16x9-enhanced.
|Aspect ratio: In cinema and video, the width-to-height
ratio of a film or video image. Common aspect ratios are 4:3, 1.37:1, 1.66:1,
1.78:1 (16:9), 1.85:1, and 2.35:1. For the first sixty years or so of the
moving image, 4:3 or 1.37:1 was used (standard television uses the former), but
in the early 1950s, "wider" aspect ratios like 1.66:1 became popular for
|Avia: A DVD title containing explanations and
instructions for setting up and calibrating home theater audio and video
|Betamax: Analog videocassette format developed by Sony
in the early 1970s, and marketed from 1975 to 2002.
|Cadence-based deinterlacer: A video deinterlacing
system which uses digital image processing algorithms to combine interlaced
video fields into progressive scan frames. With DVD, can offer superior quality
to flag-based deinterlacing, since DVD flags are sometimes incorrect.
|Co-ax: Short for coaxial, a type of cable where one
conductor is surrounded by another in the form of a mesh. Also used to refer to
a method of transmitting raw audio data from a playback device to a decoder.
|Component inputs: Analog video connection system which
transmits the video stream using three separate signals, one for luminance
(brightness) and two for color. Superior to the other analog connection systems
(RF, composite, and S-Video).
|Composite video: Analog video connection system which
transmits the video stream separately from the audio. An improvement over the
old RF, but inferior to S-Video or component (with laserdisc, since the video
is stored as composite, may be the best choice if the player's comb filter is
inferior to that of the destination device).
|CSS: Content Scrambling System, digital encryption
system used to protect DVD-Video content.
|D-VHS: A digital, high-definition videocassette format
(an extension of the analog VHS) offering the capacity of approximagely four
hours of HD content. Backwardly compatible with the older analog standard.
|DD 2.0: See Dolby Digital 2.0.
|DD 5.1: See Dolby Digital 5.1.
|Digital Theater Systems: Company which develops and
markets multichannel digital audio systems.
|Digital TV: A television where the display screen is
made up discrete picture elements (pixels) which are addressed digitally;
examples are plasma, LCD, and DLP types. This term is often erroneously used to
refer to analog designs capable of HDTV resolutions, such as 16x9 CRT
|Divx: Defunct home video system, a rental variant of
DVD, conceived by a prominent Los Angeles entertainment law firm and developed
by U.S. electronics retailer Circuit City, sold from June 1998 to June 16 of
|DivX: A digital video codec popular with file
downloaders and often confused with Divx, the defunct home video system.
|Dolby Digital: Digital audio coding system from Dolby
Laboratories, which can contain mono, stereo, or multichannel soundtracks,
including Dolby Digital 1.0, Dolby Digital 2.0, or Dolby Digital 5.1.
|Dolby Digital 1.0: Monophonic (single-channel) digital
audio system from Dolby Laboratories.
|Dolby Digital 2.0: Multichannel digital audio system
from Dolby Laboratories, which can contain either Dolby Surround- or Dolby Pro
|Dolby Digital 5.1: A compressed 6-channel surround
sound system, developed by Dolby Laboratories and originally known as AC-3. The
audio is separated into front left, center, front right, rear left, rear right,
and low frequency effects (deep bass only, not full frequency, hence the ".1").
|Dolby Pro Logic: A 4-channel audio system from Dolby
Laboratories, with discrete front, center, and rear channels, and a shared
channel for use by rear left and right.
|Dolby Surround: An early multichannel audio system from
Dolby Laboratories having four speakers and three channels, with the left front
and right front speakers each having their own channels, and a pair of rear
speakers sharing a channel.
|DTS: Acronym which stands for Digital Theater Systems,
a company which produces multichannel audio systems for cinema and home video,
but which is generally used to refer to an lossy 6-channel audio system
commonly used with laserdisc and DVD.
|DVD: 5-inch optical disc format most famous and widely
used for MPEG-2 video (the DVD-Video format). Also has DVD-ROM variant
(computer data storage) and an audio variant. DVD discs can have one or two
data layers per side, and data on one or both sides; thus, there are several
different types of physical DVD media, including DVD-5 (single sided, single
layer), DVD-9 (single sided, two layers), and DVD-18 (two sided, two layers).
|DVD-9: A DVD disc with two data layers on one side,
giving a raw storage capacity of about 7.95 gigabytes (a gigabyte is equivalent
to 1024 megabytes).
|DVD-18: A DVD disc with two data layers on each side,
giving a raw storage capacity of about 15.9 gigabytes.
|DVI: Digial Visual Interface, an interface standard for
connecting both analog and digital monitors. It offers a high bandwidth for
digital data transfer, and can carry digital copy protection, hence its
advocacy by Hollywood studios and certain consumer electronics manufacturers.
|Flag-reading deinterlacer: A DVD deinterlacing system
that uses disc flags in converting interlaced video to progressive.
|Front-projection: A video display based on projection
that that projects its image forward onto a screen, instead of reflecting it
backwards via a mirror.
|FULL-mode lock: Behavior exhibited by widescreen TVs,
where any signal sent to progressive inputs is displayed as 1.78:1; if the
aspect ratio of the image input is anything other than 1.78:1, it is reshaped
to be so. No direct user overriding of this behavior is permitted. This poses a
problem for progressive-scan DVD players that output 4:3 and non-enhanced
letterboxed images, because they will be improperly stretched by the display.
|HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a
DVI-based copy protection scheme for protecting video data as it travels
between the source and the display.
|HDTV: High Definition Television, generally used to
refer to a television system using digital transmission and having higher
resolution than the old analog NTSC, PAL, and SECAM systems currently in use.
In the U.S., the new HDTV system is known as ATSC, and has 18 different picture
formats of varying resolutions and scan rates, with 14 being progressive-scan,
and 4 interlaced.
|HD-ready: A monitor or television capable of displaying
high-definition signals, but not having an integral set-top box for decoding
|Interlaced: A method of displaying video, in which the
odd and even scan lines are displayed separately. This method is used by the
current television standard in North America, NTSC, for legacy purposes (when
it was developed in the 1930s, the available display phosphors did not allow
for a quality progressive-scan image).
|Joe Six-Pack: A person who is unsophisticated in
matters pertaining to home theater.
|Keepcase: A rectangular plastic case for storing DVD
discs, having several different hub designs, including the Amaray, Alpha, and
|Laserdisc: 12-inch analog optical disc format produced
from approximately 1978 to 2000, a niche format which appealed to cinemaphiles
due to its higher video and audio quality, and the fact that many of the
releases were oriented towards collectors (with higher video quality, OAR
formatting, and extra features).
|Layer change: The process whereby a DVD player reading
a dual-layer disc switches from one layer to another; can result in a visible
hesitation or "freezing" of playback.
|Letterboxing: A technique for fitting a rectangular
image into a frame with a lesser width-to-height ratio, by shrinking it until
its horizontal axis fits in the destination without cropping, at the expense of
leaving unused display area area (in the form of bars, usually black, at the
top and bottom of the screen).
|LFE: Low Frequency Effects, a low-frequency channel in
audio (deep bass), such as the ".1" channel in Dolby Digital 5.1.
|Macrovision: Content-protection company, which markets
a form of analog content protection commonly used with pre-recorded tapes and
|MAR: Modified Aspect Ratio, the modification of a video
image to something other than that envisioned by the director. Usually done to
enable it to fit a television screen without letterboxing.
|OAR: Original Aspect Ratio, the aspect ratio originally
intended for a film, TV program, or other moving image work.
|Optical connection: A digital transmission system based
on light rather than electrical pulses and transmitted via fiber optics, such
as Toslink. In home theater, used to transmit raw digital audio bitstreams from
the playback device to the receiver.
|Open matte: A presentation of a matted widescreen film
(originally intended to be displayed with portions of the top and bottom of the
image matted off) with the matting bars removed. Open matte presentation is a
common MAR technique.
|PAL: Phase Alternating Line, a television standard
popular widely used outside of North America and Japan, with a 625 lines of
vertical resolution at 50 frames (half-images) per second.
|Pan&scan: A MAR technique in which a narrower,
changing "window" into a "wider" image is maintained; as the image is being
cropped, the intent is to keep the post pertitent part of it visible.
|PCM: Pulse Code Modulation, an uncompressed digital
audio format; used by CD-Audio, amongst others.
|Pillarboxing: A technique for fitting a rectangular
image into a frame with a greater width-to-height ratio, by shrinking it until
its vertical axis fits in the destination without cropping, at the expense of
leaving screen area unused (in the form of bars, usually black, at the sides of
|Progressive scan: A video display where an entire frame
is drawn in a single sweep, instead of as fields consisting of either odd or
even scan lines, as with the interlaced NTSC system. This results in greatly
reduced flickering and artifacting, and a more film-like image overall.
|Rear-projection: Video display that projects its image
backwards, using a mirror, onto a screen in the front of the set.
|RSDL: Reverse Spiral Dual Layer, a DVD with dual
storage layers, and which the information for the second layer starts on the
innermost portion of the data area.
|Set-top box: A device used to convert HDTV signals into
video signals usable by the display. Often standalone, but sometimes built into
|Satellite speakers: Speakers used in surround-sound
systems that are intended to be placed around a center channel speaker, as a
part of a technique to recreate "three-dimensional" immersive sound; they tend
to be smaller than the center speaker, and often contain audio to the left,
right, and behind of the center channel.
|Scaler: A device used to change the resolution of video
images, as in upscaling, and converting non-16x9-enhanced video images for
proper display on 16x9, or widescreen, sets.
|S-Video: Analog video connection system where the video
stream is transmitted separately, and is further broken up into chrominance
(color) and luminance (brightness) signals. An improvement over RF and
composite (except in certain situations with laserdisc), but inferior to
|Super-35: A filming process which uses a 1.6:1 rather
than a 1.37:1 frame (the extra horizontal area is obtained by overlaying image
over the area normally occupied by audio tracks); one benefit is that it allows
for 4:3 MAR video versions with less cropping than that required with
anamorphic processes like Panavision.
|Subwoofer: A large speaker used for low frequency
effects (deep bass) in surround-sound systems.
|Toslink: An optical cable standard for transmitting
digital data; commonly used to transmit raw digital audio data from from
playback devices to decoders.
|Vertical squeeze: A technique used by some 4:3
televisions to accomodate 16x9-enhanced images without having to discard
resolution, through displaying the scan lines closer together.
|VHS: Analog videocassette standard developed by JVC and
first marketed in the mid-1970s; for over 20 years, the dominant home video
format until recently displaced by DVD.
|Video processor: A device used to format and enhance
video signals, especially through upconversion and scaling.
|Widescreen TV: A television display having an image
aspect ratio of 1.78:1; does not necessarily have a large screen.
|Windowboxing: Occurs when an image is in a frame with
greater dimensions, thus leaving unused display area on all four sides of the
image (in the form of bars, usually black).