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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 - Also called Firewire or IEEE 1384. A high-speed data transfer technology. It is often used with video and digital cameras to transfer data.

Impedance - In a direct current (DC) circuit it is synonymous with resistance. In an alternating current (AC) circuit, it is the interaction of inductive and capacitive forces as well as resistance.

Indexing - With audio and video recorders, the ability to mark a point on a tape or disc for later access. With CD and DVD players an indexing function does not allow the user to mark a point but instead mark predefined indexes on specially encoded discs.

Infrared - The part of the electromagnetic spectrum just below the frequency range of visible light. Most remote controls use infrared light for signaling.

Integrated Amplifier - Typically a tuner, preamp and power amplifier combined into one unit. Sometimes called a receiver. If it includes video inputs and/or surround sound decoders, it is also referred to a Home Theater receiver.

Interconnects - Generic term for any cable or connector used to connect audio and video equipment.

Interlaced Scan - The process of painting the image onto the TV screen in two passes. On the first pass the even number horizontal lines are painted. On the second pass, the odd number lines are painted. This happens fast enough that your mind blurs the two passes into one image. Compare to progressive scan in which the entire image is created, line by line, in one single scan.

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