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Posted 06 April 2011 | News & Blog   

Home Theater Accessories, Face Plates, Wall Mount Tv Brackets, HDMI Cable, A/V Cable, Installation, Speaker Wire, Home Theater Face Plates, Outlets, VGA Cable, Coaxial,

An interlaced resolution of 1,920 x 1,080

Resolution which equates to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. 1080p monitors are capable of displaying every pixel of the highest-resolution HD broadcasts.

Digital Light Processing (DLP)
A data projection technology used for projecting images from a computer onto a much larger screen. The technology delivers a higher contrast ratio with truer blacks.

Digital Television (DTV)
Generic term that refers to all digital television formats, including high-definition television (HDTV) and standard-definition television (SDTV).

Direct-View (CRT or Tube TVs)
Any television not based on projection technology. Most often refers to standard CRT televisions, as opposed to rear- or front-projection TVs

HD-Ready TV
Used to describe any TV that can display high-definition formats when connected to a separate HDTV tuner or source.

HD Built-In TV
Describes TVs that have built-in HD tuners to receive over-the-air HD broadcasts where available.

HD Built-In Digital Cable Ready
Describes TVs that are just like HD Built-In sets but also have a CableCARD slot so that users can get HD Cable without additional equipment.

High-definition television. A TV signal that offers a much higher resolution and a wider aspect ratio than traditional NTSC (regular broadcast) signals. It can also refer to the actual television sets that pick up these signals.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TV
A television that employs a liquid-crystal display screen rather than a CRT; used in small, personal TVs, portable video equipment, front projectors, and larger flat-panel displays. An LCD projector uses a lamp to shine light through liquid-crystal panels, then through mirrors and lenses to the screen.

An emissive flat-screen technology in which ionized gas is sandwiched between panels of glass that are embedded with wire. These displays are slim (about 4 inches deep) and can be created in sizes as large as 60 inches diagonally; they are generally used in flat-panel TVs.

Rear- Projection (CRT TVs)
TV system where the picture is projected onto the rear of a translucent screen via a series of mirrors and viewed as you would an average television.

A measure used to describe the quality of what a TV monitor can display. A monitor’s resolution refers to the number of pixels in the entire screen.

Widescreen Format
HDTV screens are wider, relative to their height, than traditional TVs, featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio (the ratio refers to the relationship between horizontal and vertical dimensions).


A small PCMCIA-size card available from most digital cable providers nationwide that can provide digital cable service without the need for a set-top cable box. Requires a Digital Cable Ready TV or a component that has a CableCard slot.

Digital Cable
Choose a digital cable provider and sign up for HD programming which includes many local and national channels.

OTA (Over the Air) Broadcasts
Local network broadcast big sporting events and various other programs in HD, though availability varies by geography. All you need is an antenna with your HD Built-in TV or an antenna and an HD set-top box for your HD-Ready TV.

Receive your HD signal via satellite dish and choose a programming package to enjoy 100 percent digital quality television.

Set-Top Box (STB)
External receiver that converts broadcasts (such as analog cable, digital cable, or DTV) for display on a television. HD-ready TVs must be connected to a compatible HDTV tuner set-top box in order to receive digital television programs.


5.1 Surround Sound
5.1 Surround Sound refers to a speaker configuration that replicates movie theater audio with the use of a center channel speaker, left and right front speakers on each side of the television, left and right rear speakers behind the viewer, and a sub-woofer.

Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital is a proprietary technology used for creating and reproducing digital surround sound (also called AC-3, or 5:1). The 5:1 format refers to the way digital sound is recorded on six separate tracks: front left, front right, front center, rear left, and rear right, with an extra track reserved for very low bass. This method mimics the three-dimensional quality of sound in real life.


New TVs need to be optimized for a home viewing environment. Proper calibration creates the most true-to-life HD experience for you, brining out the sharpest edges and most accurate color representation on the screen. In addition. when an HDTV is properly calibrated, its individual pixels expend less energy to fill the screen with images, promoting the longest possible functional life of the set.

HDMI Cables
HDMI cables transfer uncompressed digital audio and video for the highest, crispest image quality. HDMI cables also support two-way communication between components and the HDTV.

Surge Protector
An appliance designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. Surge protectors attempt to regulate the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or shorting to ground voltage above a safe threshold.

Universal Remote
A single remote to control all your home theater gear, automating complex commands for simple, intuitive operation.

1080p is a high-definition video format with resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The “p” stands for progressive scan, which means that each video frame is transmitted as a whole in a single sweep (Whereas, 1080i, the “i” stands for interlaced scans – has twice the frame-rate but half the resolution of a 1080p signal using the same bandwidth. 1080p TVs display video at 60 frames per second, so this format is often referred to as 1080p60. The main advantage of 1080p TVs is that they can display all current high-definition formats without “downconverting,” which sacrifices some picture detail.

The video on high-definition discs (Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD) is encoded at film’s native rate of 24 frames per second, or 1080p24. For compatibility with most current 1080p TVs, high-definition players internally convert the 1080p24 video to 1080p60. At the end of 2006, a few TVs were beginning to appear which could accept the 1080p24 signal directly.

1080i is shorthand name for a category of HDTV video modes. The number 1080 stands for 1080 lines of vertical resolution, while the letter “i” stands for interlaced or non-progressive scan. The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a horizontal resolution of 1920 pixels and a frame resolution of 1920 × 1080 or about 2.07 million pixels. The frame rate in hertz can be either implied by the context or specified after the letter i. The two frame rates in common use are 25 and 30 Hz, with the former (1080i25) generally being used in traditional PAL and SECAM countries.

See aspect ratio, and widescreen.

3-2 Pulldown Processing
Sophisticated video processing common to digital TVs and progressive-scan DVD players is known as 3-2 Pulldown Processing. It corrects for artifacts and distortion that occur when film-based material (at 24 frames per second) is converted to video (30 frames per second), then de-interlaced to create a progressive-scan signal. For a more in-depth explanation, see the DVD Player Glossary.

See aspect ratio.

720p is the shorthand name for a category of HDTV video modes. The number 720 stands for 720 lines of vertical display resolution, while the letter “p” stands for progressive scan or non-interlaced. When broadcast at 60 frames per second, 720p features the highest temporal (motion) resolution possible under the ATSC standard. 720p assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, and a horizontal resolution of 1280 pixels for a total of about 0.92 million pixels. The frame rate (in this case equal to the field rate) can be either implied by the context or specified in hertz after the letter p. The five 720p frame rates in common use are 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60 Hz (or fps).

ALiS (Alternate Lighting of Surfaces) is a type of high-definition plasma panel designed for optimum performance when displaying 1080i material. On a conventional progressive-scan plasma TV, all pixels are illuminated at all times. With an ALiS plasma panel, alternate rows of pixels are illuminated so that half the panel’s pixels are illuminated at any moment (somewhat similar to interlaced-scanning on a CRT-type TV). ALiS panels offer bright, clear picture quality, reduced power consumption, and extended panel life.

Anamorphic Video:
Anamorphic video is the video image that has been “squeezed” to fit a video frame when stored on DVD. These images must be expanded (un-squeezed) by the display device. An increasing number of TVs employ either a screen with 16:9 aspect ratio, or some type of “enhanced-for-widescreen” viewing mode, so that anamorphic and other widescreen material can be viewed in its proper proportions. When anamorphic video is displayed on a typical TV with 4:3 screen size, the images will appear unnaturally tall and narrow.

Unwanted visible effects in the picture created by disturbances in the video transmission or processing. Examples include “dot crawl” or “hanging dots” in analog pictures, or “pixelation” in digital pictures.

Aspect ratio
The ratio of width to height for an image or screen is called aspect ratio. The North American NTSC television uses the standard 4:3 (1.33:1) ratio. More and more direct-view and projection TVs (especially digital TVs) use the wider 16:9 ratio (1.78:1) to better display widescreen material like anamorphic DVDs and HDTV broadcasts. HDTV defines its aspect ratio as 16:9. But the converse is not always true, you should not equate widescreen television with HDTV.

ATSC stands for Advanced Television Standards Committee. It was formed to establish technical standards for the U.S. digital television system.

Audio/video inputs
Using a TV’s direct A/V inputs to connect a DVD player, VCR, camcorder or other video component provides improved picture and sound quality compared to using the everything-on-one-wire RF antenna-style input. (If your TV only has RF-type inputs, that’s reason enough to consider replacing it because DVD players don’t normally have an RF output.)

Rear A/V inputs are used for components you normally leave connected to your TV. Front A/V inputs allow you to quickly and easily connect/disconnect a camcorder, second VCR, or video game console.

Audio Outputs
Audio outputs are the stereo audio jacks that let you connect your TV to your stereo or home theater system. There are two types: fixed, and variable. If you connect a TV’s fixed output to your A/V receiver, you’ll be able to raise and lower the TV volume via the receiver’s volume control. If you connect the TV’s variable output to your receiver, you would control TV volume using the TV’s remote.

Big-screen TV
See rear-projection TV.

Measured as “bits per second,” and used to express the rate at which data is transmitted or processed. The higher the bit-rate, the more data that is processed and, typically, the higher the picture resolution the screen offers. Digital video formats typically have bit-rates measured in megabits-per-second (Mbps). (One megabit equals one million bits.) The maximum bit-rate for DVD playback is 10 Mbps; for HDTV it’s 19.4 Mbps.

Black level
Black level describes the appearance of darker portions of a video image. Black is the absence of light, so to create the black portions of an image, a display must be able to shut off as much light as possible. Displays with good black level capability not only produce deeper blacks, but also reveal more details and shading in dark or shadowy scenes.

Screen burn-in can damage displays that rely on a phosphor coating on the screen — plasma TVs, LCD displays and rear-projection CRT-based TVs are the most vulnerable to burn-in, and it’s less likely, but possible with direct-view CRT TVs. Burn-in can occur when a static image such as a video game, stock or news ticker, or station logo remains on-screen for an extended period. Over time, these images can become etched into the phosphor coating, leaving faint but permanent impressions on-screen. In recent years, makers of plasma TVs have refined the panel technology and included anti-burn-in features which substantially reduce the chances of burn-in. Plasma owners can further reduce the risk by properly adjusting the TV’s brightness and contrast settings.

CableCARDTM is a removable security card available from cable TV providers. It allows a TV with a compatible CableCARD slot to receive digital cable programming, including premium and HD channels, without using a separate set-top box. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) began requiring service providers to make CableCARDs available as of July 1, 2004. Contact your local cable provider for details regarding the availability and costs of CableCARD-related services.

Chrominance is the color component of a video signal that includes information about hue (shade) and saturation (intensity).

Comb filter
A comb filter’s task is to remove residual chrominance (color) information from the luminance (brightness) signal. Comb filtering enhances fine detail, cleans up image outlines, and eliminates most extraneous colors. Comb filters are not required and not used with S-video or component video connections since those connections carry the chrominance and luminance information separately. There are 4 types of comb filters found in today’s TVs:
Glass – may also be referred to as an “analog” comb filter.
2-line Digital – compares consecutive scanning lines within one field of video and makes adjustments to reduce cross-color interference.
3-line Digital – compares 3 scanning lines within a field of video. By comparing more picture information, a 3-line filter further reduces color bleeding and dot crawl.
3D Digital – not only analyzes consecutive scanning lines within a field, but also analyzes the preceding and following fields. Results in improved color purity and a more stable video image, and nearly eliminates dot crawl and color bleeding. Also called 3D Y/C.

Component Video
The three-jack component video connection splits the video signal into three parts (one brightness and two color signals). Component video has increased bandwidth for color information, resulting in a more accurate picture with clearer color reproduction and less bleeding. Component video typically provides better picture quality than S-video or composite video), and is recommended when connecting compatible DVD players, satellite receivers, and cable set-top boxes.

The component video connections on most HD-capable TVs can accept video signals up to 1080i, while the inputs on non-HD sets are generally limited to 480p.

Composite Video
A single video signal that contains luminance (brightness) and chrominance (color) information. A composite signal is better than an RF signal, but not as good as S-video or component video. A composite video jack is usually a single RCA-type.

Contrast Ratio
Measures the difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks a display can show. The higher the contrast ratio, the greater the ability of a display to show subtle color details and tolerate ambient room light. Contrast ratio is an important spec for all types of TV display, but especially for front projectors.

CRT (Cathode-Ray Tube)
A CRT (“picture tube”) is a specialized vacuum tube in which images are created when an electron beam scans back and forth across the back side of a phosphor-coated screen. Each time the beam makes a pass across the screen, it lights up a horizontal line of phosphor dots on the inside of the glass tube. By rapidly drawing hundreds of these lines from the top to the bottom of the screen, images are created.

The regular “direct-view” TVs most people grew up watching have a single large picture tube, while CRT-based rear-projection and front-projection TVs use three CRTs: one each for the red, green, and blue primary colors.

De-interlacing (Line-Doubling)
De-interlacing is the process of converting an interlaced-scan video signal (where each frame is split into two sequential fields) to a progressive-scan signal (where each frame remains whole). De-interlacers are found in digital TVs and progressive-scan DVD players. More advanced de-interlacers include a feature called 3-2 pulldown processing. For TVs, de-interlacing is often referred to as “line-doubling” or “upconversion.”

Digital Audio Output
A connection found on HDTVs and HDTV tuners for sending the Dolby Digital audio of HDTV broadcasts to an A/V receiver with Dolby Digital decoding. The two most common types of digital output are coaxial and Toslink optical .

D-ILATM (Direct-drive Image Light Amplification)
JVC’s proprietary variation of LCoS projection display technology.

Direct-view TV
A general term for non-projection types of TVs, which include conventional tube TVs and flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs.

DLPTM (Digital Light Processing)
A projection TV technology developed by Texas Instruments, based on their Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) microchip. Each DMD chip has an array of tiny swiveling mirrors which create the image. Depending on the TV’s resolution, the number of mirrors can range from several hundred thousand to over two million. DLP technology is used in both front- and rear-projection displays.

There are two basic types of DLP projector: “single-chip” projectors use a single DMD chip along with a spinning color wheel, while much more expensive “3-chip” projectors dedicate a chip to each primary color: red, green, and blue.

Dolby® Digital
Dolby Digital is a discrete multichannel digital audio format that is the official audio standard for HDTV (and DVD). Dolby Digital is normally associated with 5.1-channel surround sound. Though this channel configuration is common, it is only one of several possible variations — a “Dolby Digital” soundtrack can mean anything from 1 to 5.1 channels.

A term used to describe the format conversion from a higher resolution input signal number to a lower display number, such as 1080i input to 480i display. Some HDTV tuners are able to downconvert digital HDTV signals for display on a regular analog TV.

DTV (Digital Television)
General term for America’s digital broadcast TV standard, which began operation in late 1998, and is scheduled to completely replace the 60-year-old analog NTSC broadcast system by Feb. 17, 2009. DTV comes in three basic types: widescreen, near-film-quality HDTV (High-Definition Television) with Dolby Digital audio, and medium-quality SDTV (Standard-Definition TV).

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)
A multi-pin computer-style connection intended to carry high-resolution video signals from video source components (some HD-capable satellite and cable boxes, and upconverting DVD players) to HD-capable TVs with a compatible connector. Most (but not all) DVI connections use HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) encryption to prevent piracy. In consumer electronics products, DVI connectors are rapidly being replaced by HDMI connectors, which carry both video and audio.

EDTV (Enhanced-Definition Television)
A designation applied to televisions that can not only display signals in 480-line progressive (480p) mode, but which can also accept 480p signals from video sources such as progressive-scan DVD players. 480p picture quality is superior to standard analog TV (480i), but not as sharp as true HDTV (1080i or 720p). EDTVs are generally either plasma or flat-panel LCD models.

Electronic Program Guide (EPG)
Electronic Program Guide provides an on-screen listing of available channels and program data for an extended time period (typically 36 hours or more). Examples of program guides include subscription services like TiVo® and free guides like TV Guide® On Screen.

Energy Star® Compliant
It is a certification for consumer electronics products indicating energy efficiency. Energy Star compliant products must meet stringent standards for power consumption in “standby” mode. (When a component is switched off but still plugged into an AC power source, it continues to draw a small amount of power in standby mode to keep circuits active and ready for quick turn-on.) These are the maximum standby power usage ratings for various TV products as of 12/06.
Digital TVs and monitors: Three watts or less when switched off.
Digital Cable-ready TVs: Three watts or less when switched off (without CableCARD); 15 watts or less when switched off (with CableCARD installed).
TV/DVD combos: Four watts or less when switched off.
The Energy Star program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

In interlaced-scan video, each complete frame is split into 2 sequential fields, each of which contains half the scanning lines of the frame. One field contains the odd scanning lines and the other field the even lines.

Flat-panel TV
Frame is a complete, individual picture in a movie film. In a video signal, a frame contains all of the picture’s scanning lines. The frame rate of a progressive-scan format is twice that of an interlaced-scan format.

Frame is a complete, individual picture in a movie film. In a video signal, a frame contains all of the picture’s scanning lines. The frame rate of a progressive-scan format is twice that of an interlaced-scan format.

Frame rate
Frame rate is the rate at which frames are displayed. The frame rate for movies on film is 24 frames per second (24 fps). In regular NTSC video, the frame rate is 30 fps. The frame rate of a progressive-scan format is twice that of an interlaced-scan format. Example: the frame rate for 480i DVD is 30 fps (or 60 interlaced fields per second); for progressive-scan DVD at 480p, it’s 60 fps.

Front-projection TV
A 2-piece display system consisting of a separate projector (typically placed on a table or ceiling-mounted) and screen. Front-projection systems can display images up to 20 feet across, or larger. The traditional large, expensive CRT-based front projectors have mostly been replaced by compact, lightweight digital projectors using DLP, LCD or LCoS technology. These digital projectors are usually much more affordable, too.

Gain is the measure of light-reflecting ability of a projection screen. The higher the number, the greater the amount of light reflected back to the viewer(s).

HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection)
HDCP encryption is used with high-resolution signals over DVI and HDMI connections and on D-Theater D-VHS recordings to prevent unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material.

HDMITM (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
Similar to DVI (but using much smaller connectors), the multi-pin HDMI interface transfers uncompressed digital video with HDCP copy protection and multichannel audio. Using an adapter, HDMI is backward-compatible with most current DVI connections.

HDTV (High-Definition Television)
High-definition television (HDTV) is a digital television broadcasting system with a significantly higher resolution than traditional formats (NTSC, SECAM, PAL). All current HDTV broadcasting standards are encompassed within the ATSC and DVB specifications. HDTV has at least twice the linear resolution of standard-definition television (SDTV), thus allowing much more detail to be shown compared with analog television or regular DVD. They include 1080i (1,080 actively interlaced lines), 1080p (1,080 progressively scanned lines), and 720p (720 progressively scanned lines.

Term used to describe TVs which can display digital high-definition TV formats when connected to a separate HDTV tuner. These TVs generally have built-in tuners for receiving regular NTSC broadcasts, but not digital. An HDTV-ready TV may also be referred to as an “HDTV monitor.”

IEEE 1394 (also FireWire, i.LINK®, or DTVLink)
First conceived by Apple Computer (as FireWire®), then developed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), this high-speed 2-way connection allows easy transfer of digital data between consumer electronics gear and computers. Found on some HDTV-capable TVs, tuners, and recorders. Note that some HDTVs equipped with an IEEE 1394 port only permit playback through the connection.

Interlaced Scan
In a television display, interlaced scan refers to the process of re-assembling a picture from a series of video signals. The “standard” NTSC system uses 525 scanning lines to create a picture (frame). The frame/picture is made up of two fields: The first field has 262.5 odd lines (1,3,5…) and the second field has 262.5 even lines (2,4,6…). The odd lines are scanned (drawn on the screen) in 1/60th of a second, and the even lines follow in the next 1/60th of a second. This presents an entire frame/picture of 525 lines in 1/30th of a second.

Analog NTSC video uses interlaced scanning, as do several digital television formats. Formats that include an “i” (1080i, 480i) use interlaced scanning. See also progressive scan.

Keystone Correction
“Keystoning” is a form of video image distortion that occurs with front projectors if the centerline of the projector’s lens is not perpendicular to the screen. Keystoning results in an image which is shaped like a trapezoid rather than a rectangle — the top of the picture is wider than the bottom, or the left side is taller than the right, or vice versa. Most front projectors include “keystone correction” to correct this distortion. Some models have vertical keystone correction, while others include both vertical and horizontal correction. Although keystone correction allows greater mounting flexibility, it is a form of processing which usually has a slight softening and dimming effect on the picture.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
Liquid Crystal Display technology is one of the methods used to create flat-panel TVs. Light isn’t created by the liquid crystals; a light source (bulb) behind the panel shines light through the display. The display consists of two polarizing transparent panels and a liquid crystal solution sandwiched in between. An electric current passed through the liquid causes the crystals to align so that light cannot pass through them. Each crystal acts like a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking the light. The pattern of transparent and dark crystals forms the image.

LCD technology is used in flat-panel, rear-projection, and front-projection TVs.

LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon)
A projection TV display technology that sandwiches a layer of liquid crystal between a cover glass and a highly reflective, mirror-like surface patterned with pixels that sits on top of a silicon chip. These layers form a microdisplay that can be used in rear-projection and front-projection TVs. Manufacturers use different names for their LCoS-based technologies. JVC uses D-ILATM or HD-ILATM , while Sony uses SXRDTM .

Letterboxed Video
Letterboxed video is a method for displaying the entire picture as seen in a movie theater. The resulting image width is much greater than its height. On a TV screen with standard aspect ratio (4:3), letterboxed videos appear with horizontal black bars above and below the image.

Light Output
Measures the amount of light produced by a projection display, and is an especially important spec for front projectors. It is expressed in “lumens” or “ANSI lumens,” with a higher number indicating greater light output.

Lumen is the unit of measure for light output of a projector. Different manufacturers may rate their projectors’ light output differently. “Peak lumens” is measured by illuminating an area of about 10% of the screen size in the center of the display. This measurement ignores the reduction in brightness at the sides and corners of the screen.

The more conservative “ANSI lumens” (American National Standards Institute) specification is made by dividing the screen into 9 blocks, taking a reading in the center of each, and averaging the readings. This number is usually 20-25% lower than the peak lumen measurement.

Luminance is the brightness or black-and-white component of a color video signal. It determines the level of picture detail.

MHz (Megahertz)
Equal to one million Hz. Video signal bandwidth is typically expressed in megahertz.

A general term covering several different technologies used in digital rear-projection and front-projection TVs. These displays produce large images; the “micro” refers to the postage stamp-sized image chips that create the images. Microdisplay types include DLP, LCD, and LCoS.

MPEG-2 is the video compression standard used for digital television, DVD, and small-dish satellite TV. This adaptive, variable bit-rate process is able to allocate more bits for complex scenes involving a lot of motion, while reducing the bits in static scenes. MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group.

MTS (Multichannel Television Sound)
MTS is the method of broadcasting stereo sound over ordinary analog TV channels. MTS reception capability is built into virtually all stereo TVs and HiFi VCRs.

Nits are a measure of brightness for computer and television displays where 1 nit is the equivalent of 1 candela per square meter (cd/m^2). Typically, a higher number equates to a brighter screen.

NTSC stands for National Television System Committee, which established our North American 525-line analog broadcast TV standard about 60 years ago. Although it is referred to as a “525-line” standard, we’re only able to see 480 lines on a TV display. The ATSC digital broadcast standard will eventually replace NTSC.

PAL (Phase Alternating Line), is a color encoding system used in broadcast television systems in large parts of the world. It involves a quadrature amplitude modulated subcarrier carrying the chrominance information added to the luminance video signal to form a composite video baseband signal. The frequency of this subcarrier is typically 4433618.75 Hz (approximately 4.43 MHz) for PAL.

The process of transferring a movie or other source material to videocassette, DVD, or broadcast so that it fits the 4:3 aspect ratio of the NTSC system, as well as most current TVs. This results in a significant amount of lost picture information, particularly in the width of the image.

At the beginning of a movie on videocassette, you’ll usually see a disclaimer about the movie having been “…formatted to fit your TV.” That means it’s been converted to pan-and-scan.

Picture-in-picture (PiP)
There are two types of picture-in-picture: 1-tuner PIP models require that you connect a VCR or other video component to provide the source for your second picture. 2-tuner PiP models have two built-in TV tuners, so you can watch two channels at once using only the TV.

Originally, PiP allowed viewing of multiple channels or sources by creating a small inset image overlaid on the main image. With the shift to widescreen displays, the inset type of PiP is gradually being replaced by “split screen” designs that are sometimes referred to as POP (picture-outside-picture) or PAP (picture-and-picture).

Pixel is short for “picture element.” It is the smallest bit of data in a video image. The smaller the size of the pixels in an image, the greater the resolution.

Pixel Response Time
Response time refers to the amount of time it takes for a single pixel in a video display to switch from active to non-active; it is measured in milliseconds (ms). If a display’s response time is too slow, faint motion trails may be visible following fast-moving onscreen objects. For smooth, accurate playback of high-quality video material, look for a response time of 12 ms or less.

Gas-plasma technology is one of the methods used to create flat-panel TVs. Besides enabling thin, lightweight TVs that can be hung on the wall, plasma offers other advantages. The display consists of two transparent glass panels with a thin layer of pixels sandwiched in between (think of this layer as containing around one million tiny fluorescent bulbs — the pixels). Each pixel is composed of three gas-filled cells or sub-pixels (one each for the red, green and blue primary colors). A grid of tiny electrodes applies an electric current to the individual cells, causing the gas to ionize. This ionized gas (plasma) emits high-frequency UV rays which stimulate the cells’ phosphors, causing them to glow, which creates the TV image.

Progressive scan
Some digital television broadcast formats (720p, 480p), and most DVD players, use a type of video signal known as progressive scan. Instead of splitting each video frame into two sequential fields like standard interlaced NTSC video, progressive-scan video displays the entire frame in a single sweep.

Displaying progressive-scan video requires more bandwidth (there’s twice as much vertical information) and a faster horizontal scan frequency than interlaced video. Progressive-scan picture quality is more film like, with more fine detail and less flicker. For progressive-scan viewing, you’ll need a TV that’s HDTV-ready.

QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation)
QAM is a digital modulation format used for downstream transmission in cable TV systems — commonly used for cable HDTV.

QAM Tuner
A QAM tuner allows cable subscribers to tune in unscrambled cable channels without a separate set-top box, including high-definition channels if they are offered by the cable service provider.

Rainbow Effect
A visual artifact associated with single-chip DLP-based rear- and front-projection displays. Fortunately, only a few people see these momentary flashes of color, and fewer still find these “rainbows” to be distracting. For those unlucky few, rainbows typically occur when the viewer’s eyes dart away from the screen. Rainbows result from DLP’s use of a color wheel, which causes the three primary colors — red, green, and blue — to be projected sequentially, rather than continuously. The latest DLP-based displays incorporate improved color-wheel technology, which minimizes this effect.

Rear-projection TV
Typically referred to as “big-screen” TVs, these large-cabinet TVs generally have built-in screens measuring at least 40″. Up until a few years ago, all rear-projection TVs used three CRTs to create images. Using CRTs resulted in cabinets that were relatively heavy and bulky — nearly always designed as floorstanding TVs. Newer digital microdisplay rear-projection technologies, like DLP, LCD, and LCoS, make possible the more compact, lightweight “tabletop” big-screen TVs.

The sharpness of a video image, signal or display, generally described either in terms of “lines of resolution,” or pixels. The resolution you see depends on two factors: the resolution of your display and the resolution of the video signal. Since video images are always rectangle-shaped, there is both horizontal resolution and vertical resolution to consider.
Vertical resolution: The number of horizontal lines (or pixels) that can be resolved from the top of an image to the bottom. (Think of hundreds of horizontal lines or dots stacked on top of one another.) The vertical resolution of the analog NTSC TV standard is 525 lines. But, some lines are used to carry other data like closed-captioning text, test signals, etc., so we end up with about 480 lines in the final image, regardless of the source. So, all of the typical NTSC sources — VHS VCRs, cable and over-the-air broadcast TV (analog), non-HD digital satellite TV, DVD players, camcorders, etc. — have vertical resolution of 480 lines. DTV (Digital Television) signals have vertical resolution that ranges from 480 lines for SDTV, to 720 or 1080 lines for true HDTV.
Horizontal resolution: The number of vertical lines (or pixels) that can be resolved from one side of an image to the other. Horizontal resolution is a trickier concept, because while the vertical resolution of all analog (NTSC) video sources is the same (480 lines), the horizontal resolution varies according to the source. Some examples for typical sources: VHS VCRs (240 lines), analog TV broadcasts (330 lines), non-HDTV digital satellite TV (up to 380 lines), and DVD players (540 lines). DTV signals have horizontal resolution that ranges from 640 lines for SDTV, to 1280 lines (for 720p HDTV) or 1920 lines (for 1080i HDTV).

RF (radio frequency) Jack
Sometimes referred to as a “75-ohm coaxial” connection, this kind of jack is commonly used for bringing signals from antennas and other sources outside the home to components with some type of tuner, such as cable boxes, HDTV tuners, VCRs, satellite receivers, TVs, etc. A 75-ohm coaxial cable can carry video and stereo audio information simultaneously. However, as a way of making a video connection between components, RF is inferior to composite, S-video, and component video. RF cable connectors (often called “F-type” connectors) either screw onto the 75-ohm jack, or just push on to connect.

There are different types of coaxial cable. Standard coaxial cable is stamped “RG-59″; higher-quality “RG-6″ cable features better shielding, and exhibits less high-frequency loss over longer runs. (For connecting DBS satellite systems, it’s essential to use RG-6 cable to correctly pass the entirety of the digital signal.)

Scaler is the circuitry that converts a video signal to a resolution other than its original format. Scaling can involve upconversion or downconversion, and may also include a conversion between progressive- and interlaced-scan formats. A scaler can be built into a TV, HDTV tuner, or DVD player, or may be a standalone component.

SDTV (Standard-Definition Television)
A digital television format that is similar to current standards in picture resolution and aspect ratio. The picture and sound will be clearer than NTSC, and its digital nature will allow more than one program to be broadcast over the same bandwidth at the same time. Typical SDTV resolution is 480i or 480p.

SECAM, also written SÉCAM (Séquentiel couleur à mémoire, French for “Sequential Color with Memory”), is an analog color television system first used in France. SECAM is a compatible standard, which means that monochrome television receivers predating its introduction are still able to show the programs, although only in black and white. The SECAM system, uses a frequency modulation scheme on its color subcarrier.

Set-top Box (STB)
Also called converter boxes, these receivers convert broadcasts (either analog cable, digital cable, or HDTV) for display on a television. HDTV-ready TVs (those without a built-in HDTV tuner) must be connected to a compatible HDTV tuner set-top box in order to receive digital television programs.

Found on nearly all of the TVs Dell sells and many notebooks, this 4-pin connector usually provides a sharp, clear picture by transmitting the chrominance and luminance portions of a video signal separately. The signals can then be processed separately, reducing interference. Direct S-Video connections generally outperform composite connections when hooking up video components like DVD players, DBS receivers, and S-VHS and Hi8 recorders and camcorders.

SXRDTM — Silicon X-tal (Crystal) Reflective Display
Sony’s variation of LCoS projection display technology.

Tube TV
See CRT.

The term used to describe the conversion of a lower apparent resolution to a higher one. This process increases the number of pixels and/or frame rate and/or scanning format used to represent an image by interpolating existing pixels to create new ones at closer spacing. As an example, Sony TVs with Digital Reality Creation® can upconvert 480i video sources to 960i. It is often referred to as “line-doubling.”

For the past several years, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has required that TVs include “V-Chip” technology to block the display of television programs based on their rating. All sets with screens 13 inches or larger manufactured after January 1, 2000 must include the V-Chip. Broadcasters are required to encode an electronic signal in TV programs indicating the level of violence, language, and sexual content. Parents can program the TV with a rating so that when the V-Chip reads a show’s signal, it will prevent it from displaying if it is above the rating.

The rating system, known as “TV Parental Guidelines,” was established by the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable Television Association and the Motion Picture Association of America. These ratings display on the TV screen for the first 15 seconds of rated programs.

Viewing Angle
Viewing angle is the measure of video display’s maximum usable viewing range from the center of the screen, with 180° being the theoretical maximum. Most often, the horizontal (side to side) viewing angle is listed, but sometimes both horizontal and vertical viewing angles are provided. For most home theaters, horizontal viewing angle is more critical.

When used to describe a TV, widescreen generally refers to an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is the optimum ratio for viewing anamorphic DVDs and HDTV broadcasts.

Like interlacing, wobulation shows half the picture at a time, but displays the two halves so rapidly that our eyes combine the two parts into one. A 1080p DLP TV can display images with 1920 x 1080 pixels, yet its DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) image chip has 960 x 1080 mirrors. Half the image is displayed, then a separate pivoting reflective panel called an “actuator” shifts the display a half pixel’s width to the side. This all happens fast enough to generate 60 full frames per second, for a clean progressive-scan image. Texas Instruments, developer of DLP display technology, employs wobulation in some of its image chips used in rear-projection TVs. Texas Instruments calls this technique SmoothPictureTM , and it is also often referred to as “pixel-shifting.”

Texas: Harris County

Alief 77411

Barker 77413

Bellaire 77401 77402

Cypress 77410 77429 77433

Houston 77001 77002 77003 77004 77005 77006 77007 77008 77009 77010 77011 77012 77014 77016 77017 77018 77019 77020 77021 77022 77023 77024 77025 77026 77027 77028 77029 77030 77031 77032 77033 77035 77036 77037 77038 77039 77040 77041 77042 77043 77045 77046 77047 77048 77050 77051 77052 77054 77055 77056 77057 77060 77061 77063 77064 77065 77066 77067 77068 77069 77070 77071 77072 77073 77074 77076 77077 77078 77079 77080 77081 77082 77083 77084 77085 77086 77087 77088 77090 77091 77092 77093 77094 77095 77096 77097 77098 77099 77201 77202 77203 77204 77205 77206 77207 77208 77210 77212 77213 77215 77217 77218 77219 77220 77221 77222 77223 77224 77225 77226 77227 77228 77229 77230 77231 77233 77235 77236 77237 77238 77240 77241 77242 77243 77244 77245 77246 77247 77248 77249 77250 77251 77252 77253 77254 77255 77256 77257 77260 77261 77262 77263 77265 77266 77267 77268 77269 77270 77271 77272 77273 77274 77275 77276 77277 77278 77279 77280 77282 77284 77285 77286 77287 77288 77290 77291 77292 77293 77294 77296 77297 77299

Katy 77449 77450 77491 77492 77493
Katy 77449 77450 77491 77492 77493

North Houston 77315

Spring 77373 77379 77383 77388 77389 77391

Texas: Montgomery County

Conroe 77384 77385

Spring 77380 77381 77382 77386 77387 77393

Texas: Fort Bend County

Katy 77494

Missouri City 77489

Stafford 77477 77497

Sugar Land 77478 77487 77496 77498
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