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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

Variable Bit Rate - When a DVD is played the rate that data flows is not fixed. Complex, action and other dynamic scenes will result in higher data rates while still images require a lower data rate.

VBI - See Vertical Blanking Interval.

V-Chip - A chip built into televisions that allows certain objectionable content to be blocked. The chip reads ratings transmitted with television programming and blacks them out at the level preset by the TV's owner.

VCR - Videocassette Recorder. A device for the recording of audio and video onto large cassette tapes. VCRs have the ability to record from OTA, cable, satellite, video cameras and other VCRs. While VCRs sales are declining, the industry hopes to revive sales with an HD model capable of recording and playing high-definition programs.

VCR Plus - A time-shift control system featured in some VCRs to make recording easier.

Vertical Blanking Interval - The interval of time for the scan to return from the end of one frame back to the beginning of the next frame. This is typically measured in scan lines. The NTSC calls for the VBI to be 40 scan lines.

Vertical Resolution - The number of lines or pixels from the top to the bottom of the screen. The larger the number, the better the resolution and the ability to show fine detail. Analog NTSC televisions can display 480 lines interlaced, DTVs can display from 480 lines progressive up to 1080 interlaced.

VHS - Video Home System. The winner of the VHS - Betamax format war for dominance. The standard prescribed the technical requirements for VCR and video tapes.

VHF - Very High Frequency. Radio waves that carry the lower numbered television channels. UHF carries the higher numbered channels.

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