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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

W/CH - Watts per channel. The output of an audio amplifier is typically rated in watts per channel.

White Level - More commonly called contrast. The proper setting for contrast is 12 to 20 foot lumens. If you don't have a meter handy, then turn the contrast way down and then back up to the point where white appears white. Most TVs are shipped with the contrast set too high.

Widescreen - Refers to a film or program whose picture has a aspect ratio wider than 4:3, typically movies made since the 1950's and HDTV are in widescreen formats.

Windowbox - A picture that has black bars to the left and right of the image. This typically occurs when a 4:3 program is displayed on a widescreen television.

Woofer - An individual speaker driver designed to handle the low frequency bass range. Compare to a subwoofer

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