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DVD Terminology

DVD Technology Made Easy

A glossary of DVD terminology to better help you understand all that technical jargon you come across while shopping for a DVD player, a DVD recorder or DVD-related item смотрите на этой странице.

16:9 (Widescreen)
Video can be stored on a DVD in 4:3 format (standard TV shape) or 16:9 (widescreen). The width-to-height ratio of standard televisions is 4 to 3. New widescreen televisions, specifically those designed for HDTV, have a ratio of 16 to 9. The screen is more rectangular and much wider than a standard TV screen. Some DVD titles are now available in widescreen format.

4:3 (Pan and Scan)
This is the ratio of the width to height of standard television screens and some other displays. When viewing DVD titles meant for widescreen (16:9) playback the sides of the image may be chopped off (Pan & Scan). However this can be avoided using a Letterbox playback mode.

This is the digital form of multiple channel audio data (e.g., 5.1-channel) before it is decoded into its various channels.

This is the smallest division on DVD-Video and is roughly equivalent to a track.

A setting that increases the average volume of Dolby Digital audio when playing a DVD.

Dolby Digital (5.1 channel, formerly called AC-3)
This is a method of coding digital signals developed by Dolby Laboratories, Inc. that gives movie theater ambience to a DVD video player's audio output when connected to a processor/decoder or amplifier with Dolby Digital 5.1ch or Optical (Toslink) input jacks. A large amount of audio information can be recorded on one disc using this method and most DVD-Video discs now contain Dolby Digital soundtracks. However, it does require a decoder, either in the player or in an external receiver to fully broadcast the surround/separate audio channels.

Dolby Pro Logic
A surround system where a 4-channel audio track is recorded as 2 channels and then is restored to 4 channels for play. The surround channel is monaural and can reproduce up to 7 kHz.

DTS (Digital Theater Systems)
Digital Theater Systems Digital Surround is a DVD audio encoding format similar to Dolby Digital. It requires a decoder, either in the player or in an external receiver. Developed by Digital Theater Systems, Inc. it is also used in many movie theaters around the world. Six audio channels are used to create accurate sound field positioning and realistic sound.

Dynamic range
Dynamic range is the difference between the lowest level of sound that can be heard above the noise of the equipment and the highest level of sound before distortion occurs.

One frame is made up of 2 fields. A regular television shows these fields one after the other to create frames.

Frames are the still pictures that go together to make a moving picture. There are about 30 frames shown each second.

Frame still and field still
A still is shown when you pause a moving picture. A frame still is made up of 2 alternating fields, so the picture may appear blurred, but overall quality is high. A field still is not blurred, but it has only half the information of a frame still so picture quality is lower.

This is a set of tracks on DVD-Audio.

Interlaced Scan

A video scanning system in which alternating lines are transmitted, so that half a picture is displayed each time the scanning beam moves down the screen. An interlaced frame is made of two fields.

MPEG 2, the video compression standard adopted for use with DVD-Video, codes frames using these 3 picture types.
I: Intra coded picture (I-picture) This is the standard picture and is a complete picture in itself. This means it has the best picture quality and is the best to use when adjusting the picture.
P: Predictive coded picture (P-picture) This picture is calculated based on past I or P-pictures.
B: Bidirectionally-predictive coded picture (B-picture) This picture is calculated by comparing past and future I and P-pictures so it has the lowest volume of information.

Letterbox (LBX)
A video playback mode that shows black bars at the top and bottom of the image to allow playing of widescreen (16:9) DVD movie without cutting off any sides of the image on a standard 4:3 TV or display. This is achieved by reducing the overall image scale/size and thus height producing the familiar black bars at the top and bottom of the TV screen.

Linear PCM (pulse code modulation)
PCM is the usual digital method used for audio playback of music CDs. DVDs have a greater volume so they use Linear PCM, which has a higher sampling rate. Compressed PCM signals are called packed PCM (PPCM).

A standard 1/8" jack/plug connector that is commonly used for connecting and transmitting signal to headphones or other audio components.

Optical or Digital Optical (Toslink)
A cable-interconnect standard using a fiber-optic cable (sometimes called Toslink) that was developed to cleanly transmit full surround sound audio data to a DTS or Dolby 5.1 home theater system receiver capable of decoding the data and separating it into individual channels with minimal signal loss, distortion and interference.

Pan and Scan
Pan and scan means the thinner TV "window" is panned and zoomed across the wider movie picture, chopping off the sides. Letterbox viewing mode will prevent the sides from being cut off. Most movies that you see on TV use pan and scan.

Parental level
Setting that makes it possible to control the types of scenes that can be played by the DVD video player. This setting helps to keep children from viewing adult material.

Playback control (PBC)
This method of controlling disc play is included on version 2.0 Video CDs (VCD). You are able to interact with the disc through menus. Using these menus to play Video CDs is called "menu play" in these operating instructions.

Progressive Scan
A video scanning system that displays all lines of a frame in one pass. Contrast with interlaced scan.

RCA (cable/connector)
A common, standard connection method used to transmit analog audio and video signals between devices. Commonly used on most receivers, televisions, satellite receivers, VCR's, game console systems and speakers.

Region number
A number identifying a geographic region of compatibility for a DVD.

A round (DIN) style cable connector/port used to digitally transmit video signal. Commonly found on some higher end television monitors, DVD players, satellite receivers, and video editing cards. It provides superior sound and picture quality than RCA connections.

Super Picture Logic
A video playback technology developed by Sharp that enhances the fine detail of the video image and outlines of the objects.

This is the largest division on DVD-Video.

This is the smallest division on DVD-Audio, Video CDs, and CDs. The equivalent of approximately one song.

View Angle
Some DVDs have recordings from multiple angles, so you can select a view angle when playing the disc.

Virtual Surround Sound (V.S.S.) / QSurround
Provides rich surround sound by down-mixing Dolby Digital 5.1 channel and Dolby Surround (Pro Logic) to 2-channel audio (L/R).

DVD movie titles and new widescreen televisions have a widescreen ratio of 16 to 9. Some DVD titles are now available in a separate widescreen format.


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