Jargon buster

Confused about the terms?

Make the digital switchover easy by familiarising yourself with some common terms. Remember - if in doubt, just look for the digital tick to check your equipment is designed to continue working after the digital switchover.


Digital text The display of text not broadcast as part of the programme content, for example a 'What's coming next' message during the closing credits of a TV show.
Digital TV Programmes broadcast in digital form rather than
analogue signal. The UK's TV broadcasts will switch to digital-only between 2008 and 2012.
Digital TV recorder A recording device that uses a hard disk to store
programmes chosen from an Electronic Programme Guide.
DVD recorder A recording device that stores programmes on writable DVDs, including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM.
DVD with hard disk drive recorder A recording device that uses a combination of internal hard disk and removable DVDs to store your programmes. Very flexible and easy to use.
DVD+R/DVD-R Allows you to record to the disc once, then play as many times as you want on most DVD players. If you want to archive recordings, rather than record over them, choose DVD-R or DVD+R discs.
DVD+RW and DVD-RW Allows you to continually re-record onto DVD. +RW discs automatically locate and record onto available blank disc space without wiping existing content, so you can record a series of shows onto one disc.
DVD-RAM discs Can be re-recorded and also allows for live TV pausing. Recordings can only be played back on a DVD-RAM enabled device, which are less common than other formats.
EPG Electronic Programme Guide. An on-screen guide that provides details of current and future programmes.
Fastext When using Teletext, a way to switch quickly between pages of text without waiting for each to display separately.
Freeview The UK's free digital TV service, needing only a Freeview set top box or Freeview-equipped TV/recorder to receive up to 70 channels.
High Definition / HD ready A standard giving a clearer picture, made up of 720 or 1080 lines rather than the 625 common today.
HDMI A standard for cables and connectors that makes sure the higher-quality video and audio are transmitted reliably between your TV and recorder.
PAP Picture and Picture. A technology that allows two TV signals (e.g. two different channels) to be displayed on the same screen at the same time.
PIP Picture in Picture. A technology that allows one channel to be displayed in a small 'window' in the corner of the main picture (which may be another channel).
Plasma A display technology that involves lighting up millions of small dots or 'pixels'. Allows excellent colour reproduction and contrast.
SCART A type of connection and cabling used to carry video and audio signals, normally located on the back of TVs and videos.
LCD Liquid Crystal Display. An energy-efficient display technology originally developed for laptop computers, but now excellent for TVs.


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