Glossary

AAC

Advanced Audio Compression coding provides high quality compressed digital music files. Common file extensions are – .m4a .m4b .m4p .m4v .m4r .3gp .mp4 .aac. iTunes native format for audio files.

Active Speaker

All speakers need amplification. Most speakers are passive so they need to be driven by an external amplifier. An active speaker has a built-in amplifier and therefore does not need to be driven by an external one. Many subwoofers designed for home cinema use tend to be active.

Acuity Core

Advanced Virtual Surround Sound creates a surround sound effect by simulating surround channel sounds using only 2 front speakers. The advanced section creates a wider range from left to right.

ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line)

Allows high speed data transfer down existing twisted copper pair wiring which is used for telephone services. The upstream speed is slower than the downstream speed hence the Asymmetric name.

ADSL Distance / Bandwidth table

Up to 18,000 feet 1.544 Mbps
Up to 16,000 feet 2.048 Mbps
Up to 12,000 feet 6.312 Mbps
Up to 9,000 feet 8.448 Mbps

Advanced Contrast Enhancer Function

A Sony function for improving contrast. A contrast ratio of 2000:1 is enhanced to a dynamic contrast ratio of 18000:1 producing better black levels and shadow.

Advanced Artificial Intelligence

Keeps contrast levels high, whilst maintaining focus and detail levels.

Advanced Dynamic Sharpness

Controls sharpness in selected areas.

Advanced Progressive Scan

Instead of the standard field by field interlace method, this system displays all active lines at once as a complete frame resulting in a clear and sharp picture.

Amplifier

Device which receives an input signal in wave form and outputs a magnified signal. (2) Electronic device used to increase signal power or amplitude.

Analogue

A transmission method employing a continuous (rather than pulsed or digital) electrical signal that varies in amplitude or frequency, in response to changes of sound, light, position, etc. Opposite of digital. A way of storing data using electrical signals. An analogue TV tuner uses radio frequencies which are susceptible to interference. Digital components – such as TVs, radios, recorders, video players, etc, use digital signals which are less prone to interference and offer enhanced quality, ease of use and greater versatility.

Anamorphic Widescreen

The process of fitting a widescreen image onto a conventional 4:3 aspect ratio. Watch a wide aspect ratio on a conventional 4:3 TV set and you either get big black bars across the top and bottom or you only get the central part of the image filling the screen.

ANSI

American National Standards Institute, American equivalent of our own BSI. All are members of ISO. ANSI sets standards for a wide range of technical areas, from electrical specifications to communications protocols. You may be familiar with the ANSI character set found on computers.

Aperture

Working much like the pupil of the eye, the movement of the lens’ internal aperture blades closes or opens to adjust the amount of light passing through the lens. The value inscribed on the aperture ring of the lens (F1.4, F2, F2.8, etc.) represents the size of the aperture and is called the ‘aperture value’ or f-stop.’ As this value increases, the aperture narrows, or is ‘closed,’ and as it decreases, the aperture widens, or is “opened.”

Artifacts or digital artifacts

An unwanted effect which distorts digital images – this can include image noise, compression and pixelation.

Aspect Ratio

Describes the shape of a screen: a box that is 16cm wide and 9cm high is therefore 16:9. The shape of the screen (width x height). The vast majority of TVs are now wide-screen with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Older TVs and some portables have an aspect ratio of 4:3. Digital TV is broadcast in a widescreen format.

Audio D/A conversion

CD and DVD players need to convert digital signals into analogue so that we can hear them. A sample rate of 192kHz/24-bit samples 24-bit chunks of digital data 192,000 times.

Audio power output (RMS)

The higher the figure the louder the output (usually) before distortion occurs.

Auto-Format switching

Automatically alters how different broadcasts are displayed on a widescreen TV, showing standard (4:3) broadcasts with black bands on either side so the images aren’t stretched out of proportion. Most widescreen TVs will do this.

AXIS (Advanced Pixel Interpolation System)

AXIS uses pixel interpolation data obtained by differential calculation to precisely process the CCD output. This maximizes the effect of the Quad-Density Pixel Distribution, helping to produce clear, high-contrast images.

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