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A
Amplifier
TV, Radio or satellite Signal amplifier/booster

Analogue
The traditional way of broadcasting television and radio. An analogue signal directly represents the pictures and sound, whereas a digital signal codes the pictures and sound into 'computerised' data.
Analogue radio
FM and AM (medium, long and short wave) radio.
 
Analogue TV
Analogue TV channels broadcast in the UK and received via an aerial are BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five.
 
Aspect ratio
This defines the shape of a TV screen and is the relationship between the width and height of the screen. A traditional TV set has an aspect ratio of 4:3. A widescreen set has an aspect ratio of 16:9, giving a 'letterbox' shape like that of a cinema screen. The programmes on most of the major TV channels are now broadcast in 16:9 format.
 
Attenuator
An electronic device that reduces the power of a signal.
 
Audio description
A spoken commentary on TV that describes what is happening on screen, particularly useful for visually impaired viewers. The commentary fits in between dialogue and describes action sequences, facial expressions, costume, scenery and so on.
 

B
Bandwidth
The range of frequencies used for transmitting a signal (think of it as the amount of space on the airwaves required to carry programmes). Digital broadcasting makes much better use of the bandwidth than analogue.
 
Booster another term for an Amplifier.
 
Broadband
Refers to a system or circuit that can carry signals over a wide range of frequencies or bandwidth. The wider the bandwidth, the more information that can be carried. A broadband internet connection gives you high-speed downloading of video and audio, etc.
 
C
CA
Conditional access: refers to channels that you need a viewing card to be able to watch.
 
Chimney lashing kit
Used to secure an aerial to a chimney
 
Coax
The type of cable which is used to carry the signal a dish or aerial to the receiving equipment.
 
Combiner
Combines two or more aerial leads/signals into one single coaxial cable. E.g. TV/FM  TV/SAT  TV/DAB.
CRT
Cathode ray tube, as in the traditional type of large-bodied TV set.

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D
Dipole
The part of and aerial that the cable conects to.
Downlink
A signal sent down from a satellite to the ground.
DSat, D-SAT
Digital satellite: digital TV received via a satellite dish.
 
DTT
Digital terrestrial television: digital TV that is received via a standard aerial, e.g. as provided in the UK mainly by Freeview.
 
DTV
Digital television.
 
DVB
Digital Video Broadcasting, a worldwide standard for digital TV technology.
 
DVD
Digital versatile disc (originally digital video disc): DVDs give far better picture and sound quality than a video cassette, and can store more than CDs. They can be used in DVD players and recorders and also in computers, though there are different, often incompatible formats.
 
DVI
Digital visual interface: a digital connection for high-quality video, suitable for high-definition TV.
 
DVR
Digital video recorder: more often known as a PVR (personal video recorder), this records TV programmes digitally on to a hard disk (like saving information on a computer).
 
E
Earth Bond
Commonly used to describe an
equipotential bond, this is a requirement to earth a distribution amplifier to certified earth on a communal system and are advisory on larger domestic systems. (not to be confused with a lightning conductor).
Element
Forward of the dipole, these are a series of tuned elements.
 
Encrypted
Scrambled, as in programmes or channels that you need a viewing card to be able to watch.
 
Ensemble
A digital radio term for a single frequency that contains a number of radio channels. See also Multiplex.
 
EPG
Electronic programme guide: software built into a set-top box that gives on-screen listings of what's on TV now and for a number of days or weeks ahead. You can use the EPG to go straight to a programme you want to watch or to select something to record.
 
 
F
F connector
Terminates coaxial cable for insertion to appliance
 
F coupler
Enables 2 f connectors to be joined
 
FM
Stereo analogue radio reception, alternative to DAB, but cannot receive all radio signals.
 
FM aerial
Boosts FM radio reception Available in various sizes the more elements the greater the boost and the more directional.
 
Freesat from BBC / ITV
This is a system using a satellite dish and receiver for freeview no fees payable only your install and box price.
 
Freesat from Sky
This is a freeview system using a sky receiver and a card with a one off payment to Sky. (AKA sky pay once)
 
Free to air (FTA)
A programme or service that you don't need to pay a subscription to receive.
 
Free to view
A programme or service that you don't need to pay a subscription to receive, though you may need a viewing card.
 
Freeview
The main UK digital terrestrial television service, which you receive via an aerial. No subscription is required.
 
 
 
G
Galvanised
Hot dipped treatment for steel to prevent rusting.
 
Ghosting
Repeat images on analogue TV sets, caused by a reflected signal.
 
Grid aerial
A TV aerial with 2 or more dipoles and a grid reflector.
 
Grouped aerial
A TV aerial that will receive a segment of UHF (terrestrial TV) channels
 
 
H
Hard disk (or hard drive)
An electronic storage device used to store large amounts of digital information. Computers have a hard disk inside, and so do personal/digital video recorders (PVRs or DVRs). You can store many hours of TV programmes on a PVR's hard disk.
 
HD
High definition: HD TV has up to four times as many pixels (dots on the screen) as standard-definition TV. The pixels make up the lines on a screen – standard screens have 625 lines, HD screens have 720 or 1080 lines. This gives a clearer, sharper picture with much more detail. HD TV also has better quality sound.
 
HDR
Term used to describe a High Definition Recorder or Hard Drive Recorder by some manufacturers usually built into satellite receiver or Freeview box.
 
HDMI
High-definition multimedia interface: a digital connection using a single cable for high-quality video and audio.
 
HDTV
High Definition Television is a new technology that will enable viewers to get higher definition television pictures. HDTV has four times as many pixels (dots on the screen) as standard TV broadcasts, meaning a clearer picture and stunning detail on large-screen TVs. An HD-ready TV is not necessarily a digital TV. Make sure that it carries the digital ‘tick’ logo, or get a digital box, to ensure that you are set for digital.
 
 
High-gain aerial
Multi-element aerial that utilises 13 elements, or more.
 
 
 
I
IDTV (or iDTV)
Integrated digital television: a TV set with a built-in digital TV receiver that can get digital terrestrial TV without a separate set-top box.
 
Interactive TV
Extra services that let you get extra information about programmes, watch alternative news stories and sports coverage, and join in quizzes and voting. You access interactive features via the red button on the remote control.
 
 
L
Lashing kit
Used to secure an aerial or satellite dish to a chimney
 

LCD
Liquid crystal display: a technology that displays a picture on a flat-panel screen. It is particularly suitable for large-size TV screens.
 
LNB – Quad
LOW NOISE BLOCK this is a dish mounted device, which converts satellite signals to send the reception through to multiple (2 – 4) receiver boxes via the Coaxial cable.
 
LNB – Quattro
LOW NOISE BLOCK This is a dish mounted device, which converts satellite signals to send the satellite reception through to multiple switches the onto multiple receivers.
 
LNB – Solo
LOW NOISE BLOCK This is a dish mounted device, which converts satellite signals to send the reception through to a single input satellite receiver via the Coaxial cable.
 
Loft mount
Internal aerial mounting various types.
 
Letterbox
The way that a widescreen picture (16:9 ratio) can be displayed on a standard TV screen (4:3 ratio) with black bands at the top and bottom.
 
 
M
Magic eye Device
This allows the Sky remote control to change channels from another location.
 
Multiplex (abbreviated to MUX)
A single broadcast frequency that contains a number of different digital TV or radio channels. In the UK, six multiplexes carry all the digital terrestrial TV channels and radio networks available on Freeview and Top Up TV. For DAB digital radio, there are two national radio multiplexes (also called ensembles) and a number of local ones.
 
Multiroom
Used to describe a system that distributes signals to more than one room within a property can be used to describe satellite or simply an aerial that feeds more than one location.

N
Nicam
Stands for Near Instantaneously Companded Audio Multiplex: a stereo system developed in the 1980s by the BBC for analogue TV.
NTSC
American and Japanese broadcast standard.
 
 
O
Omni
a multi directional aerial used for FM and DAB radio reception.
 
Outlet plate
This plate is flush to the mount patris or back box set in the wall.
 
 
P
PAL
Broadcast standard used in Britain, Australia and some other countries
 
PDC
Programme delivery control:
 
Phone jack
A small transmitting device and receiver which is often used when a telephone point is required in a position that hard wiring a cable is not an available option.

Pixel
Picture element: a single dot on a TV screen (or computer screen or digital photograph). Thousands of pixels make up the picture, and the more pixels the better the picture. High-definition TV has up to four times as many pixels as standard-definition TV.
 
Plasma
A technology that displays a TV picture on a flat-panel screen by using gases behind the glass. It is particularly suitable for large-size screens.
 
Platform
In broadcasting, a system for delivering TV and radio services. For example, digital TV is delivered mainly on terrestrial, satellite, cable and broadband platforms.
 
Polarity
UHF signal is transmitted on either horizontal or vertical polarities, satellite signal is transmitted in both horizontal and vertical polarities.
 
PPV
Pay-per-view: an individual programme or series that you pay to receive.
 
Pre-amplifier
The signal booster is installed directly on the aerial, with a power supply unit usually next to the TV which is required.
 
PSU
Power Supply Unit This converts the mains voltage to 12v, and is used to energise the pre-amplifier via the down lead
 
PVR
Personal video recorder; also known as a DVR (digital video recorder). It records TV programmes digitally on to a hard disk (like saving information on a computer), instead of on video tape or DVD. It has an electronic programme guide built in, and allows you to pause and 'rewind' a programme while you are watching it.
 

R
RDS
Radio Data System: found in many car radios, RDS automatically selects the strongest FM signal available for the station you want to receive, so that you don't need to retune when you are moving around. It can also detect and switch to travel bulletins broadcast by BBC local radio stations.
 
Receiver
Equipment that receives and decodes signals from a transmitter so that you can see and/or hear TV or radio broadcasts. TV sets (both analogue and digital), digital TV set-top boxes, and radio sets are all examples of receivers.
 
Red button – If you have Digital TV (cable, Sky or Freeview) then a red dot appears on the screen if the programme has additional, interactive content about it. Hit the red button on your remote control to access it.

Relay
A low-power transmitter that receives signals from a main transmitter and retransmits them to a localised area.
 
RF
Radio frequency: an RF connector is used to feed a TV signal from an aerial to a TV, set-top box, video recorder, etc.
 
RF loop
Where RF connectors are used to feed a TV signal from an aerial to a set-top box, then out again to a TV and/or a video or DVD recorder.
 
RS232 Interface
This is used for downloading software updates from your PC. This can also be done over the satellites via the installation menu
 
S
Scan
When you first plug in a TV set-top box or a DAB digital radio, it does a scan (either automatically or at the press of a button) to find all the available channels.
 

Scart
A Scart lead has a large, rectangular, 21-pin plug at each end. It is a way to connect equipment such as TVs, video recorders, DVD players and set-top boxes.

 

SD
Standard Definition, used to describe a standard definition receiver as apposed to a HD High definition receiver..

 

 
SECAM
Broadcast standard used in France and some other countries.
 
Sky
Skydigital satellite system providing access to hundreds of digital channels and a vast range of pay to view movies, interactive services and radio stations
 
Sky+
Sky digital with recording facilities. enables the viewer to control what they watch by pausing, rewinding and replaying live TV! You can also record and watch 2 channels at the same time
 
Sky HD
Sky HD brings a new home viewing experience, providing images in much greater detail and vibrant colours, complete with full recording facilities as Sky+. HD Compatible TV & Subscription required to take full advantage of a Sky HD system
 
Sky Free Sat
Sky digital system providing access to a range of Free To Air channels, no monthly subscription required.
 
Smart card
Also called a viewing card: a plastic card inserted into a slot in a set-top box or TV that decodes signals and allows you to receive digital services.
 
SMATV
 
Satellite Master Aerial TV: Sky/UHF reception distribution system.
 
Splliter
An item used to divide signal from one to several outputs
STB
Set-top box used to describe digital decoder or satellite receiver.
 
 
T
Terrestrial TV
Television that is broadcast from transmitters on the ground and received via an aerial. See also DTT.
 
 
U
Uplink
A signal sent up to a satellite from the ground
.
 
 
V
Viewing card
A plastic card inserted into a slot in a set-top box or TV that decodes signals and allows you to receive digital services.
 
VOD
Video on demand.
 
 
W
Webcasting
Broadcasting via the internet.
 
Wide Band
A term used to describe a TV aerial that cover transmitions from bands 21-68
 
Widescreen
TV pictures with an aspect ratio of 16:9 that gives shape like that of a cinema screen. The programmes on most of the major TV channels are now in widescreen format.
 
Wi-fi
Short for 'wireless fidelity', wi-fi is a technology that lets you connect to the internet and share computer files without cables.

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