Jargon Buster

Auto Format Switching

Means the TV can detect and select the correct way to display both standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) pictures.


A new media format offering improved picture quality of 1080p and enables the playback of high definition video (HD). If your HD TV is not 1080p compatible the player will revert to 720 resolution.

Brightness cd/m2

The higher the value, the brighter the screen will be - meaning increased visibility when bright light hits the screen.

Contrast Ratio

The difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks on the colour scale. Higher ratio means greater colour definition between the two extremes.


Digital Audio Broadcasting is a system used to broadcast digital radio channels offering superior clarity and greater channel choice.


For TV, digital means that the pictures and sounds are converted into computerised 'bits' of information compressed and then broadcast. Digital TV viewers currently have access to approximately 70 channels including 20 radio stations.


Integral to Surround Sound and Home Cinema Systems. Dolby Virtual Speaker technology offers cinema-style crystal clear sound through the existing speakers on the TV by bouncing soundwaves around the room.


Only allows you to record to the disc once. Playable on most DVD Players. If you want to archive your recordings, rather than record over them, choose DVD-R or DVD+R discs.


Allows you to continually re-record onto DVD. +RW records at the same point the disc is at (like VHS tape). -RW discs automatically locate and record onto available blank disc space.


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.


Electronic Programme Guide. An on-screen guide that provides details of current and future programmes.


A new media format designed for the recording and playback of high-definition video (HD) with improved picture quality of 1080p. If your HD TV is not 1080p compatible the player will revert to 720 resolution.


HDMI delivers crystal-clear, all-digital audio and video via a single cable, meaning less tangled cables behind your TV.


TV that has a higher definition screen with a minimum 720 lines (compared to the standard 625) to display a High Definition broadcast offering much better quality pictures. For even higher definition there are some sets available which display 1080 lines - these are known as 1080p. There are no 1080 broadcasts planned until 2012 but several entertainment products such as PS3, Blu-ray and HD DVD will output this definition.

Image Enhancement

Software that adds an increased level of sharpness to the picture. TV manufacturers tend to use their own individual technology to deliver this feature i.e. Samsung DNIE, LG XD Engine, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera, Philips Pixel Plus.

NICAM Stereo

The digital stereo standard used in the United Kingdom for TV broadcasts. TVs are fitted with NICAM Decoders to decode the broadcast audio signal. Ideal for those satisfied with stereo sound.

PC Input

A connection on the TV that allows it to be used as a computer monitor.

Pixel Resolution

Flat panel sets have a fixed number of pixels on the screen surface. The higher the number of pixels equates to greater picture detail.


A type of connection and cabling used to carry video and audio signals, normally located on the back of TVs and videos.

Twin Tuner

Allows the user to record one digital channel whilst watching another or to record two simultaneously.

Viewing Angle

The Viewing Angle is the maximum side angle from which the viewer can see the screen clearly.

What is digital tv?
Flatscreens: LCD and Plasma
What is HDTV/Blue-ray/HD DVD?
how do i record digital programmes