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Glossary of Home Theater Terminology

Glossary of Audio, Video and Home Theater Terms

There is a very large vocabulary of technical and descriptive terms that go with home theater. We've included the terms that you are most likely to encounter. If you are very technically involved you may find some of the more technical terms omitted from our list.

Click on a letter to jump to that section of our glossary.
# - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

HDCP - High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. This copy protection scheme was developed to prevent unauthorized copying of copyrighted material such as music and films. It is used only with digital transmissions, currently DVI and HDMI. A digital source and digital display must both be HDCP enabled for the transmission to take place.

HDMI - High-Definition Multimedia Interface. High bandwidth connection allowing uncompressed transmission of digital video and audio. Successor to DVI; compatible with DVI with the use of an adapter.

HD-DVD - High-Definition Digital Video Disc. DVD format that supports high-definition 1080 lines compared to present DVD of 480p. It was the leading competitor to Blu-Ray in the battle to establish a new standard. Toshiba left Blu-Ray as the winner, when they threw in the towel in March 2008.

HDTV - High-definition television. A subset of the DTV standard called ATSC. The new broadcasting standard replaces the old NTSC analog standard. The HDTV signal is digital, supports vertical resolution up to 1080 lines and a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9.

HDTV monitor - This is the same as HDTV-ready, see above.

HDTV tuner - A channel tuner to tune in high-definition television broadcasts. Also called an ATSC tuner.

Hertz - Hertz is a measurement of frequency. It measures the number of cycles of a wave per second. As it applies to sound frequency 1 hertz is a very deep sound and 20,000 hertz is very high pitched sound.

Horizontal Resolution - The number of dots across the screen varies depending upon the source. Examples of common sources and their horizontal resolution include VHS VCRs - 240 lines, analog TV broadcasts - 330 lines, DVDs - 540 lines and DTV signals range from 640 lines for SDTV to 1,280 lines for 720p HDTV and 1,920 lines for 1080i HDTV.

Hz - see Hertz above.

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