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Television / Video



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Technology Terms

Alternate Delivery Systems (ADS)
TV households with unwired cable access are referred to as having Alternate Delivery Systems.  The four components of ADS are:

  • Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) – Satellite service delivered directly through the household’s own small (usually 18”) satellite dish.  This is the largest component of ADS.
  • Satellite Master Antenna (SMATV):  Serves housing/apartment complexes and hotels via signals received through satellite and distributed by coaxial cable.
  • Microwave Multi Distribution System (MMDS), “Wireless Cable”:  Distributes signals by microwave.  A home receiver picks up the signal, then distributes via internal wiring.
  • Satellite Dish (C-Band/KU Band), “Big Dish”:  Households receives transmissions from a satellite(s), via a 1- to 3-meter dish.

Basic Cable
Channels received by cable subscribers at no extra charge, usually supported by advertising and small per-subscriber fees paid by cable operators.

Broadband Services
High-speed cable Internet, digital cable and digital services all through a single pipeline.

Cable Television (Cable TV or CATV)
A television distribution system where TV signals are transmitted via cable (insulated wire) -- rather than over the air – to TV sets subscribers in a community or locality.  Cable TV systems are generally called cable systems; the companies that own and operate them are known as cable system operators or cablecasters.

Digital Television (DTV)
Generic term referring to all digital TV formats, including high-definition television (HDTV) and standard-definition television (SDTV).

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
Also known as “personal video recorder (PVR).  A DVR or PVR records broadcasts on a hard disk drive for playback at a later time (known as “time shifting”).  These devices often enable smart programming, in which the device records an entire series or programming defined by keywords, genre or personnel; and offers pause control over “live” broadcasts.

Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)
A television technology that delivers signals directly from a satellite to a home through the use of a small (usually 18”) dish.

Households Using TV (HUT)
The percentage of all TV households in a survey area with one or more sets in use during a specific time period.

Interactive Television
A combination of television with interactive content.  Programming can include richer graphics, one-click access to websited through TV Crossover Links, electronic mail and chats, and online commerce through a back channel.

Interconnect
Two or more cable systems distributing a commercial signal simultaneously, and offering a multiple system buy in which only one contract need be negotiated.  Interconnects can be hard (where systems are directly linked by cable, microwave relays or by satellite and the signal fed to the entire Interconnect by one head-end) or soft (where there is no direct operational connectin between the participating systems).

Over-the-Air (OTA)
Also known as terrestrial television, a wireless broadcast of television using antennas.

Pay Television (Pay TV)
Home television programming for which the viewer pays by the program or by the month.  Also called pay-television, subscription television (STV), or toll-TV. Pay television includes over-the-air transmission (with scrambled signals) and cable transmission (pay cable).

Personal Video Recorder (PVR)
Digital devices that use a hard drive instead of a videotape as the recording medium.  PVRs blend the features of a VCR with the programmability and storage of a computer.

Satellite Station
A station that has agreed to rebroadcast the transmission of another station (generally operating in a larger nearby market) to an area that cannot otherwise be served by that station.

Set-Top Box (STB)
Receivers (so-named because they typically sit atop a television set) that convert and display broadcasts from one frequency or type – analog cable, digital cable, or digital television – to a standard frequency (typically channel 3 or 4) for display on a standard analog TV set.

Standard Definition Television (SDTV)
An alternative method of operation for digital television, offering the opportunity to transmit two to eight standard-quality programs in place of but in the same channel as that used for HDTV.  By employing higher compressin ratios, more programs may be transmitted.

Timeshifting
Timeshifting is the process of recording and storing data for later viewing, listening, or reading. In television, timeshifting can be done with a device called a personal video recorder (PVR) or a computer with a TV tuner card. In older systems, videocassette recorders (VCRs) sometimes have a timeshifting capability.

Third-Screen Viewing
The screen of a mobile device (as opposed to earlier television and computer screens), regarded as a means of transmitting content, advertisements, etc.

Video On-Demand  (VOD)
Allows VCR-type control of broadcast or cable programs, or video and movies offered on a Pay-Per-View basis.

Advertising Terms

Piggyback
The back-to-back scheduling of two or more brand commercials of one advertiser in network or spot positions.

Pod
A cluster of commercials, promos or announcements contained in a television program break.

Road Blocking
The scheduling of a brand’s commercial at approximately the same time on all networks, or on all stations in a given market.

Saturation
The concentration of a heavy amount of advertising in a short period of time in order to attain maximum reach.

Scatter Plan
A scheduling method where an advertiser’s commercials are rotated among a broadly described group of programs and/or time periods.  The advantage is that the advertiser gains a greater net audience (reach); the disadvantage may be that the station may include less attractive spots/commercial units in the schedule.

Wraparound Commercial
A Commercial with noncommercial material wrapped around it, such as a question about a past sports event at the beginning and the answer at the end; sometimes called an insert, as when it is inserted within a movie surrounded by questions about the movie.

For full Television/Video glossaries:
General Terms:  http://www.tvb.org/trends/4757
Multiplatfrm Terms:  http://www.tvb.org/trends/4758