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Glossary

Definitions of DTV, HDTV & 3DTV Terms

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Term Definition

Datacasting Also known as "enhanced TV," this is digital programming that provides additional features to viewers (with program material or non-program-related resources) such as the ability to download data (video, audio, text, graphics, maps, services, etc.) to specially equipped computers, cache boxes, set-top boxes, or DTV receivers.
DBS Digital Broadcast Satellite. TV programming delivered via high-powered satellite. Signals are transmitted to a small dish (usually 18-24 inches across) mounted outdoors.
DCR Digital Cable Ready TV. Also referred to as "Plug-and-Play," this is a DTV or other device for digital cable customers that plugs directly into the cable jack and does not require a separate set-top box to view analog and unscrambled digital cable. Used with a CableCARD, it can receive scrambled programming such as premium services.
Decoder A device or program that translates encoded data into its original format i.e., it decodes the data.
Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Also referred to as a "converter box" or a "digital converter box," this is a stand-alone device that receives, decodes, and converts over-the-air digital programming into analog. When connected to an analog television, it permits digital programming to be displayed in analog.
Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program To help defray some of the cost for consumers who are transitioning to DTV, the Government established the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. The NTIA, a part of the Department of Commerce, administers this program.
Digital Describes a new, more efficient method of storing, processing and transmitting information through the use of computer code. Digital can also refer to the circuitry in which data-carrying signals are restricted to one of two voltage levels, corresponding to logic 1 or 0.
Digital Cable A service provided by many cable providers, digital cable offers viewers more channels. Contrary to what many consumers believe, digital cable is not the same thing as HDTV or DTV; rather, digital cable simply offers cable subscribers the option of paying for more services.
Digital Channel
(Pre-Transition)
A communications path that handles only digital signals. All voice and video signals have to be converted from analog to digital in order to be carried over a digital channel. In regard to the DTV Transition, this is the digital channel number used before the transition was completed.
Digital Channel
(Post Transition)
A communications path that handles only digital signals. All voice and video signals have to be converted from analog to digital in order to be carried over a digital channel. In regard to the DTV Transition, this is the corresponding digital channel number used after the channel has transitioned.
Digital Monitor Digital monitors are TV sets that can display a digital signal, but lack an integrated tuner (unlike an integrated digital TV set), and thus cannot receive a digital broadcast signal without an additional set-top box.
Digital Signal A signal that takes on only two values off or on typically represented by "0" or "1." Digital signals require less power but typically more bandwidth than analog, and copies of digital signals can be made exactly like the original.
Digital Tuner A digital tuner serves as the decoder required to receive and display digital broadcasts. It can be included inside a TV set or in a set-top box.
DMA Designated Market Area. A term used by Nielsen Media Research to identify an exclusive geographic area of counties in which the home market television stations hold a dominance of total hours viewed. There are 210 DMA in the U.S.
Dolby Digital A form of multi-channel digital sound, it provides efficient encoding and noise reduction for high-quality surround sound technology used in movie theaters and upscale home theater systems that enhances audio. Home theater components with this technology work in conjunction with a "5.1-speaker" system (five speakers plus a low-frequency subwoofer) to produce true-to-life audio that draws the listener into the onscreen action.
Downconvert A process by which a high-resolution signal is reduced to a lower resolution for display. Usually, extra lines are simply ignored when drawing the lower resolution image; however, more sophisticated methods are sometimes used.
DTG Digital TV Group (UK) Defines the standards for TV broadcasts in the UK, including the new 3D standard.
DTV Digital Television. An advanced broadcasting technology that uses radio frequency (RF) to transmit computer code and display it as pictures and sound. DTV is the umbrella term encompassing HDTV and several other applications, including SDTV, datacasting, multicasting and interactivity. See About DTV
DVI Digital Video Interface. A high-quality digital connector. Similar to HDMI and sometimes with HDCP, DVI can digitally transmit uncompressed, high-definition video, preserving perfect picture quality. Unlike HDMI or Firewire, DVI requires a separate audio connection.
DVR Digital Video Recorder. A device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive or other memory medium within a device. The term includes stand-alone set-top boxes, Portable Media Players (PMP) and software for personal computers, which enables video capture and playback to and from disk.