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Satellite TV and Home Cinema Glossary of Terms

100hz Picture Scan
A 100Hz television scans the picture across the screen twice as fast as a conventional 50Hz set, producing a clearer, less flickering picture. This helps reduce the strain on the veiwer`s eyes which can be caused by watching a conventional 50Hz set for extended periods

50hz Picture Scan
50hz Picture Scanning. Scans the information at 50 cycles per second.

Access Card
Also know as a smart card, is a removable credit card-size plastic card included with each satellite receiver. The access card is registered to the receiver and cannot be used in any other receiver. . It gives the Satellite or Cable company the information necessary to provide the programming to which the owner subscribes, as well as Pay Per View billing.

Ambient light sensor
Will maintain a constant contrast level, even if the lighting in the room changes

Aspect ratio
The ratio of image width to image height.

Audio Alternatives
Standard audio is provided with the video when the receiver is connected to the TV with a standard coax connection. Certain programs allow you to select a different language.

Audio Analog Phono Connections
Line level is the signal level outputted by virtually all domestic audio equipment, usual around 2V it's analogue and so can degrade over distance. Usually a line level signal is connected between equipment using RCA phono connections with white and red (White for left, Red for White) connectors for a stereo signal, the sockets are pictured above Any equipment you see with these connections is usually outputting or inputting a line level signal, except turntables which output at phono level

Audio/Video Jacks
Satellite TV system receivers would normally include three jacks: one for the video and two for the sound - one for the right channel and one for the left. The audio jacks are necessary for stereo sound. R/F connectors (coaxial cable) will not provide stereo from the satellite receiver

Azimuth Alignment
The azimuth is East/West alignment of the dish. The Elevation is the vertical angle of the dish from the horizon. The dish must have an clear, unobstructed view of the satellites and the coordinates vary depending on your location.

Bandwidth
Range of frequencies occupied by a signal or allowed by receiving equipment (basically, what a receiver is capable of receiving). The required bandwidth for a TV channel is 6Mhz.

Blackout Areas
Certain areas of the country where some Network programming is not available due to contractual agreements.

Baseband
The raw satellite TV signal before it is re-modulated to become a signal that is suitable for a TV.

Check Switch
A term used by DISH Network to be sure you have a good signal from the satellites to the Dish 500 and a second dish that may be needed for HDTV or International channels. Selecting the check switch option will start a series of tests. The tests will tell you if you are receiving all the satellites you need.

Beam
A satellite transmission pattern. It may be wide, narrow or spot. This affects the satellites footprint.

Bit
Bit is short for 'binary' digit - the smallest unit of data in digital systems; it can have a value of '1' or '0'. A group of 8-bits compose what is referred to as a byte.

Bluetooth
Bluetooth is the latest in low power radio technology to connect two electronic devices, without the need for cables. This can be achieved up to 10 metres apart without the need for those devices to be in line of sight, as they would have to be with infra-red.

Clarke Belt
Named after its founder Arthur C. Clarke, the Clarke Belt is an orbit used by satellites at a height of 22,250 miles, in which satellites make an orbit in 24 hours, yet remain in a fixed position relative to the earth's surface

Closed Captioning
Is an option that provides text in the broadcast signal for a narrative description of dialogue, action sounds, and other elements of the program. This is great for the hearing impaired.

Coaxial Cable
RG-6 Coaxial cable is required to bring the signal from the dish to the receivers. It also handles the low voltage to power the LNB.

Composite Video Connections
Term used to describe systems that output all colour, sync and black levels down one cable. Avoid using this type of signal at all costs. The SCART connection which is used in Europe can carry a composite signal or a single phono lead. Component, S-Video & RGB are a huge improvements over composite

DBS - Direct Broadcast Satellite
The term used for satellites that broadcast directly to your home satellite dish.

Digital Audio Broadcasting
Standard which describes the method of transmitting digital audio.

Digital comb filter
Clear separation of the combined colour and black and white signals, preventing smudging, vibrating edges and ensuring precise details

Digital Compression
The satellite signal is sent in a compressed digital format to allow more channels and more audio video options.

Downlink
A signal's path from satellite to antenna.

Dolby Pro-Logic
The most widely used Home Entertainment process. Produces a surrounding sound field with Dolby Surround or Dolby Stereo encoded software. This includes practically all major films from the late seventies and onwards available on VHS videotape, LaserDisc, DVD or from stereo TV. It has 4 perceivable channels of sound all derived from a stereo sound track, (Left Front, Centre, Front Right and Rear Surround) This is achieved by redirecting out of phase information (Normally deliberately encoded in to the stereo tracks) to the rear speakers. Information going to the centre channel (Pro-Logic) processes and mixes all information that is lacking in any stereo content Dolby Pro Logic 2 is the updated version of Pro-Logic that gives stereo surround speaker channels.

Dolby Pro-Logic 2
Pro Logic II decoding reproduces 5.1-channel surround sound from any 2-channel sources: DVD, VHS, television broadcasts, radio, and CDs. Dolby Pro Logic II uses matrix decoding technology that has been dramatically improved over ordinary Pro Logic. With Pro Logic II, for instance, the Surround (Rear) channels are in stereo (only mono with Pro Logic) and playback covers the full frequency range (only up to 7 kHz with Pro Logic). These improvements let you enjoy a wide variety of 2-channel sources with the exciting effects of 5.1- channel surround sound. It's not as good as discrete (Separate independent channel) formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, but it's more involving than ordinary stereo and a much better home cinema experience than Dolby Pro Logic

Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital produces 5 discrete (perfectly separated) sound channels and a dedicated LFE (Low Frequency Effects) subwoofer channel. For this reason it is known as a 5.1 channel system (the .1 indicating the subwoofer channel that has limited frequency for just the low audio frequencies) Dolby Digital has all the benefits of an all digital system in terms of clear sound without distortion and noise. Compared to Dolby Pro Logic, the sonic improvement almost corresponds to stepping up from cassette tape to CD Dolby Digital is used in a variety of video/audio formats world wide including. DVD, Laserdisc, Computer Games, Radio and TV broadcasting. Dolby Digital was originally known as AC-3, this is still the name of the encoding used.

DTS
DTS produces 5 discrete (perfectly separated) sound channels and a dedicated LFE (Low Frequency Effects) subwoofer channel. For this reason it is known as a 5.1 channel system (the .1 indicating the subwoofer channel that has limited frequency for just the low audio frequencies) DTS has all the benefits of an all digital system in terms of clear sound without distortion and noise. DTS is used in a variety of video/audio formats world wide including. DVD, Laserdisc, Computer Games, Radio and TV broadcasting. DTS boasts a higher bitrate than its competing format Dolby Digital and therefore can provide higher sound quality (Due to there being less compression)

DTS-ES
DTS Extended Surround adds a centre-surround channel to the existing 5.1- channel set-up. DTS-ES brings these soundtracks into the home in DTS quality and is the only home format that can deliver all 6.1-channels discretely. All sounds will be heard, whether played back as discrete, matrix or on a 5.1 system. It is is compatible with all DVD-Video players and is accessible through the digital output. The DTS coding system has a "core + extension" structure. The "core" represents the DTS data as has been known since the first home decoders. The "extension" can carry data for future applications or enhancements of any sort. All DTS decoders recognize and use the core data. Basic decoders ignore the extension data, while advanced decoders can make use of it. The extension for DTS-ES Discrete carries the additional 6th channel and is totally independent of the other channels. DTS-ES Matrixed is the mixing of mono content from the two stereo rear speakers into the rear surround channel in a similar way to Dolby Digital EX

DTS-ES Discrete 6.1
A new 6.1 channel surround sound format. The extra channel is intended to drive one or more 'back surround' or centre rear speakers located between the left and right ones. The sixth channel with be 'ignored' by the regular 5.1 DTS decoders, hence the need fir DTS ES Matrix 6.1 This Format like Dolby Digital EX encodes the back surround channel via an analogue matrix, and delivers it via the rear channels

DTS-ES Matrix 6.1
A new 6.1 channel surround sound format. The extra channel is intended to drive one or more 'back surround' or centre rear speakers located between the left and right ones. The sixth channel will be 'ignored' by the regular 5.1 DTS decoders, hence the need fir DTS ES Matrix 6.1 This Format like Dolby Digital EX encodes the back surround channel via an analogue matrix, and delivers it via the rear channels.

DTS-Neo:6 Cinema
DTS Neo:6 is an advanced matrix decoder. It will take any two-channel source and expand it into five or six channels, depending on the equipment used and speakers connected. Two-channel sources include VHS tapes, broadcast television, stereo CDs and DVDs. DTS Neo:6 provides separate, optimized modes for stereo music materials and matrix surround motion picture soundtracks. DTS Neo:6 also decodes a centre-surround channel from DTS-ES Extended Surround matrix soundtracks. DTS Neo:6 works along the same lines as the rival decoding technology Dolby Pro-Logic 2

DTS-Neo:6 Music
DTS Neo:6 is an advanced matrix decoder. It will take any two-channel source and expand it into five or six channels, depending on the equipment used and speakers connected. Two-channel sources include VHS tapes, broadcast television, stereo CDs and DVDs. DTS Neo:6 provides separate, optimized modes for stereo music materials and matrix surround motion picture soundtracks. DTS Neo:6 also decodes a centre-surround channel from DTS-ES Extended Surround matrix soundtracks. DTS Neo:6 works along the same lines as the rival decoding technology Dolby Pro-Logic 2

DSS
Digital Satellite System

Dual LNB
A dual LNB has two coax connections. You can operate up to two satellite television receivers with a dual LNB.

DVB
The Digital Video Broadcast is the broadcast standard for digital radio and television, using MPEG II compression. DVB is being supported by all European manufacturers and broadcasters.

DVD
Digital Versatile Disk. The most widely known DVD format is currently DVD-Video, the digital version of VHS, and designed for storing full-length movies on a single disc similar in size to a CD. DVD can give earth shaking digital surround sound playback that's unbelievable and has 540 lines of resolution, which makes a crisper, sharper image than VHS, which relies on around 240.

DVD-A
DVD-Audio is a high quality multi channel sound format based around the DVD format and designed in time to replace CD. DVD-Audio discs can have high quality multi channel sound with sampling frequencies up to 192kHz (Standard CD is just 44.1kHz) Most DVD audio discs can be played back in existing DVD players but cannot take advantage of the high quality uncompressed 24bit 192kHz sound quality unless they are "DVD-Audio" compliant. Playback on existing DVD players is in compressed "Dolby Digital" DVD-Audio is a rival format to SACD although many players can now play both formats eliminating the worry over which format will replace CD

DVD RAM
DVD-RAM is a re-recordable recording format for the storage of video and data, it can store 4.7GB (4.38GB in computing terms) Most existing DVD players cannot play DVD-RAM Discs DVD-RAM is an official "DVD-Forum" format and so can bear the familiar DVD logo. DVD-RAM allows for a full range of none linear editing options, similar to minidisc but only playable on the recorder itself or machines that are specified as being able to play DVD-RAM discs DVD-RAM discs can also have a protective caddy to prevent damage and also feature sophisticated error and defect management making it the most robust of the re-recordable DVD formats.

DVD+R/RW
DVD+RW (DVD-ReWritable) is a re-recordable recording format for the storage of video and data, it can store 4.7GB (4.38GB in computing terms) A wide range existing DVD players can play correctly authored and recorded DVD+RW's (Depending on the make and manufacturer of media used) DVD-RW is not an official "DVD-Forum" it was developed by Philips mainly for the purposes of collecting licensing fee's It is a competing format of DVD-RW which offers better through through and developed futures such as the official DVD Video Recording format (VR Mode)

DV-IN/OUT
A commonly used interface for connection of computer, video and audio devices, but with 4 different names!!! Originally used in the consumer market for connecting DV cameras to other devices, like digital video recorders and computers IEEE1394 has now taken on many roles. i.link Advanced Resolution Digital Audio Interface is the new industry standard interface for the secure digital transmission of high-resolution audio from DVD-Audio and SACD sources to devices such as home cinema amplifiers

Electronic Program Guide
The Electronic Program Guide or EPG displays all available programming. You can easily create your own custom guides. With the DP301 you will have to wait a little for the current guide information to download, but with the DP510 PVR or DP721 PVR about 7 days of programming information is stored on the hard disk and updated automatically, so there is no waiting. Check out the Guide Menu system link at the top details.

Elevation
How high a satellite is from the horizon. The angle of elevation refers to the upward tilt of a satellite dish antenna that is required to aim it at the communications satellite, measured in degrees. When the dish is aimed at the horizon, the elevation angle is zero.

Fastext
Use the coloured buttons on your remote control for easy instant access to Teletext pages.

Footprint
Where the signal transmitted from a satellite is able to reach with an acceptable signal.

Free View Digital Video Broadcasting
Free View Digital Channels are subject to broadcast reception. An aerial upgrade may be required

Freeview
A free digital service offering over 30 channels through an integrated digital television or a separate set top box.

Geostationary
The satellites are in a geosynchronous orbit, 22,300 miles above the equator. This means the satellites stay in the same place and orbit with the earth.

Hard Reset
Is like rebooting your computer. It's used to reset your satellite receiver and let it download any new features. Just turn the receiver off, unplug the power cord and wait a minute or two. When plug the power cord back in and turn the unit back on it will download all the new information.

HDTV
High Definition TV is broadcast on a separate satellite. This requires the 6000 receiver and an 18 inch dish in addition to the Dish 500.

Interactive TV
An interactive television service that lets you use the enclosed remote control to access up-to-the-minute news, sports, financial information, weather, get program trivia, respond to free offers and shop, all while you watch TV.

Integrated Sky Digital
Fully integrated Sky Digital receiver built-in to the TV. Reduces the number of boxes and remote controls.

IRD (Integrated Receiver Decoder)
A satellite TV system receiver with a built-in decoder for unscrambling subscription channels. It is usually called the receiver.

Kbps
Kbps stands for kilobits per second and refers to the speed of a signal transmission.

KU-band
Signal frequency range between 11 and 14 GHz. that is often used with communications satellites.

L-Band
An L-Band is the frequency range from 0.5 to 1.5 GHz. All satellite TV systems use this frequency (950 to 1450 MHz) to carry the satellite signal from the dish to the receiver

LNBF
LNBF stands for Low Noise amplifier, Block Converter, Feed Horn. It's commonly referred to as the LNB and is located out in front of the Dish. The front of the LNB is the feedhorn which catches the high frequency satellite signals reflected from the dish. The high frequency is down converted to a lower frequency and sent to the receiver(s) via RG-6 coax cable.

Midnight Listening Mode
If others are sleeping or studying, trying to enjoy a program quietly shouldn't compromise such sound qualities as surround effects or dialogue clarity. Midnight Listening Mode is the solution. It adjusts subwoofer, rear and centre speaker levels, while enhancing delay and compressing dynamic range, for greater enjoyment of cinema-like sound at low volume.

Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG)
The organization which defined the standards for moving pictures, like movies.

MPEG I/II Compression
Method to compress digital signals. Thanks to compression it is possible to combine several programs into one satellite transponder. MPEG2 is also used to compress video for internet use.

Nicam
NICAM is the digital stereo sound system used in the United Kingdom for normal terrestrial analogue broadcasts developed by the BBC. NICAM is a data compression system for encoding and decoding sound at speed (So as to avoid lip-sync) It works at a 32kHz Sampling frequency and so has a reduced audible frequency range (15Khz) compared to other digital formats such as CD or MPEG audio although it is less compressed at it is transmitted at a bitrate of 704Kbps

Noise Figure
A measure of the performance (noise contribution) of an LNB in decibels; the lower the better.

NTSC
NTSC stands for the National Television Standards Committee, a video standard established by the United States (RCA/NBC) and adopted by numerous other countries.

OTA
Is the common term for a regular TV antenna that receives local television programming broadcast Over The Air.

PAL (Phase Alternative Line) The television system used in most European Countries.

Pay Per View or PPV
A program, like a new non-commercial movie, sporting event or an adult program.

Parental Control
Allows you to set a password to control access to programming based on channel, rating, or content.

Pixelization
Pixelization occurs due to errors in decoding the MPEG bit stream where areas or patches of color appear instead of the higher resolution image. It might be described as the picture "breaking up". The patches of blocks appear and disappear, and can happen anywhere on the screen but usually are "part" of the image "in motion". Pixelization most often occurs during rain fade or if the satellite TV system has too low a signal strength to operate properly.

Pixel Plus
By doubling the number of pixels on a line and increasing by 33% the numbers of lines, Pixel PLus enhances both broadcast signals and DVD or Digital TV input towards near HD resolution and natural details.

Progressive Scan
A superior way of viewing video images compared with the traditional interlaced method. With interlacing, the two fields of each video frame(the odd and even horizontal lines) are shown one after another. With progressive scanning all of the horizontal lines of the frame are displayed in one go. The benefits are lack of 'flicker' and jagged edges typical of interlaced displays like CRT televisions and smoother horizontal resolution. A number of DVD players can output video progressively, although it is not offically available with NTSC material. The signal must be fed to a non-interlaced display such as a plasma screen or LCD or DLP projector. Certain televisions also feature progressive scan (or deinterlacing). Such sets analyse the video signal and insert extra scanning lines to increase the apparent resolution (compare with 100Hz

Pure Flat Screen
Flatscreen improves picure definition and minimises screen reflection. From wherever you sit in the room the picture will not be distorted unlike ordinary screens.

PVR
A Personal Video Recorder PVR satellite receiver) has a built in hard drive for digital recording of satellite television programs; these come with a typical 35-hour recording capability and two internal satellite TV system receivers. Dual tuners allow the user to record one program while watching another or record two programs at the same time.

Receiver for Satellite
The receiver is the box in the house connected to your TV and other equipment, like a sound system. It receives the signal from the LNB on the dish and allows you to view programming. All receivers come with a universal remote control that will control your satellite programming, TV and other components.

RDS
Data piggybacked on analogue FM radio allowing RDS tuners to display the names of stations. Used in most car stereos the feature is also useful in the home to let you know which station you are listening to

RF Loop Through
Allows the tv signal to be input and then distributed out again.

R/F Coax Connectors Also called R/F connectors. The R/F connectors are attached to the end of coax cable to allow you to connect the cable to the receiver, LNB and other devices. The copper center conductor in the cable should be cut about flush with the R/F connector. The connectors outside should be protected with coax seal, silicone grease to keep the moisture out.

RG59 Coax
Is a low cost coaxial cable used in many homes prewired for cable. It can be used to connect the output of a receiver to other rooms, but it shouldn't be used to connect the LNB to a receiver.

RG6 Coax
Is a high grade coax cable that should be used to connect the LNB to the receiver and where ever possible. The center conductor is larger in diameter, which is needed to carry the DC voltage from the receiver to power the LNB.

S-Video (Super Video)
Better quality TV's generally have an S-Video input jack. All the new Dish Network receivers have an S-Video output. This will provide the highest quality picture.

Satellite Dish:
The dish is parabolic reflector and serves as a passive amplifier - the first and most important stage of amplification. The signal from the satellite that hits the dish is reflected to LNB at the focal point, about 12 inches in front of the dish. The Dish 500 is an elliptically shaped parabola that picks up two satellites at the same time.

Solar Outage
Solar outages occur when a satellite dish is looking at a satellite, and the sun passes behind the satellite and within the field of view of the dish antenna. Solar outages occur during the spring and fall as the sun moves up and down the sky during the equinox. The outages only last a few minutes for a few days a year.

Splitter
A splitter is a passive device (one with no active electronic components) which distributes a television signal carried on a cable in two or more paths and sends it to a number of receivers simultaneously.

Spot Beam
Is a satellite transmissions that is focused on a specific area within the footprint of the satellite. Spot beams are used to control the local Networks so they can only be received within a few hundred miles of your home.

Sub Woofer Terminal
Allows connection of an external sub-woofer to be connected to enrich bass response.

S-Video Jack
Some televisions have an input for a S-Video cable. This is better than audio/video jacks or R/F connectors. It is for the video, not the sound. All DirecTV and Dish Network receivers have s-video output.

TFT (Thin Film Transistor)
LCD technology where each pixel has its own transistor switch. This results in sharper looking colours

Threshold
The measure of sensitivity of a satellite TV system receiver measured in decibels (dB).

THX
Set of minimum technical standards established to improve the reproduction of movie soundtracks in theaters and homes

Transponder
Is the equivalent to a satellite channel. The satellite receives, amplifies, and transmits a signal back to earth on various transponders.

Virtual Dolby
Dolby Virtual Speaker technology is a proprietary process that makes it possible to enjoy natural, realistic surround sound using just two stereo speakers. It transforms such activities as TV watching, movie viewing, and music listening into a thrilling surround sound experience without the added expense and complexity of a traditional surround system

UHF Remote
Ultra High Frequency remote control that allows you to control the receiver from another room.

Videoplus
A fast and easy way of setting up the video to record a TV programme. Simply type in the number next to the programme in the TV guide and the rest is done for you. Video Plus deluxe brings together VideoPlus and Satellite control - allows for easy Video Plus recording of satellite channels once initial set-up has been completed.

Widescreen
Term given to picture displays with a wider aspect ratio than PAL/NTSC 4:3. Digital HDTV is 16:9 widescreen. Most motion pictures have a widescreen aspect ratio, often wider than 16:9.