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DVD Glossary

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Terms from the DVD world explained

Anamorphic - A DVD that has been enhanced for wide screen TV's.

Angles - DVD that has multi-angle viewing, different images or camera angles can be selected through your remote or software player.

Aspect Ratio - This is the shape of the picture on your TV screen measured as the ratio of horizontal to vertical size. A normal TV is around 4:3, Wide screen is around 16:9

BIT - Digital data is stored in bits - 0 or 1's. CD's use 16 bits, DVD-Audio uses 24 bits.

Bit Rate - The speed at which data is transferred into the system.

Commentaries - An Usually a extra feature on some DVD discs the director or star of the film will give a running commentary as the film plays. A very popular feature as it gives the viewer a deeper insight and understanding into what the director was thinking.

Compression - A digital signal is compressed in size so that it can be stored or transmitted. Some formats of digital compression are Dolby Digital, DTS and MPEG.

Digital - A signal represented in the form of BITS (0 and 1's)

DTS - Digital Theater Systems, similar to the Dolby technology DTS locks the sound to the picture so everything runs in sync. Not widely supported at present most are Dolby,Pro-logic.

DVD - A Digital Versatile Disc is the correct initial name but also widely known as Digital Video Disc.

DVD-RAM - Also known as recordable DVD's similar to cd-r's but obviously capable of a lot more capacity. Currently expensive but will be very popular as soon as price comes down.

DVD-ROM - A DVD containing computer data/games.

Flipper - The term used for a disc that has the film split across both sides. Instead of the drive reading the other side you will need to turn it over manually, unless you have a dual-layer unit.

Full Screen - This is the 4:3 aspect ratio which is the size of a normal TV.

Letter Box - A Wide screen film which is shown with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen to keep the Aspect Ratio.

Macrovision - The DVD anti-piracy protection system used on some DVD's. This is supposed to stop you from connecting projectors and similar to the DVD player, and piracy.

MPEG - a common digital compression standard, used for moving images and can be compressed in different ways to determine the image quality.

NTSC - The National Television Standards Committee standard of 525-lines in use by America and Japan .

PAL - Phase Active Line, the standard for the UK , Europe and Australia . 625 video lines but a slower refresh rate.

PCM - this stands for Pulse Code Modulation, this is stereo quality audio, in 12-bit two sets of stereo audio tracks are available for dubbing onto an existing one, and in 16-bit there is only one set of audio available for recording.

Recordable DVD - This may eventually take the place of cd's as a DVD can hold a lot more data, at present the price for dvd writers and media is ridiculously high.

Regional Coding - Coding to attempt to stop you from viewing DVD's from other countries and regions. Most drives are easily unlocked if you want to be able to watch any disc.

Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE) - Another form of region coding.

Regions - The world of DVD has split the world into 6, the regions are R1 - USA/Canada, R2 - Europe/Japan, R3 - Taiwan , Korea , R4 - Australia. More

Scart - a common connector used to connect audio and visual equipment together like you TV, video, console or dvd player. The 21 pins have two audio in and out channels, RGB signals and also other various controls depending on if its a standard or specific cable for a console etc.

Widescreen - Any picture with an aspect ratio wider than the standard 4:3.