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Analog-to-digital conversion.
Analog-to-digital converter: A device to convert analog signals to digital.
The recorded copy of a broadcast.
Analog recording
Recording of audio using an electronic signal that varies continuously. The main drawback of analog recording is the introduction of inherent noise to the recorded signal.
Analog transmission
The broadcasting of a signal using an analog recording. Examples of use include radio.
Annoyance factor
Irritating aspect of advertising that can strengthen or weaken messaging.
An application programming interface is a computing interface which defines interactions between multiple software intermediaries.
Artifact (error)
Noticeable loss of video and/or audio fidelity in a broadcast or recording caused by limitations in the technology used. Usually reflects undesirable distortion(s) of the original when digitized.
Stands for Aspect Ratio Conversion. Means changing the original aspect ratio of a HD picture through downconversion to either 16:9 letterbox or 4:3 center cut. Also general term for converting original 4:3 / 14:9 material into 16:9 by zooming in whilst maintaining the aspect ratio, typically to allow the seamless insertion of archive footage into modern 16:9 productions.
Stands for asynchronous serial interface. Means a streaming data format which often carries an MPEG transport stream (MPEG-TS).
Aspect ratio
The ratio between the width and the height of the picture. In NTSC television sets, this is 4:3; in widescreen (ATSC) sets, 16:9. Sometimes it is printed decimally as 1.33:1 for 4:3 and 1.78:1 for 16:9.
A synonym for lower thirds, the graphics on the bottom part of a television screen. An on-screen overlaid graphic, usually giving the name of the speaker, reporter or place in frame. Name derived from Aston Broadcast Systems Ltd., an early manufacturer of character generator (CG) equipment.
A digital asset, in essence, is anything that exists in a binary format and comes with the right to use. Data that do not possess that right are not considered assets.
See EMA avails.
Stands for Ad-based Video on Demand. Unlike SVOD and TVOD services, AVOD is free to consumers. However, much like broadcast television, consumers need to sit through advertisements. Revenue is generated through adverts before, during or after the video.


Typically a point-to-point transmission, usually by satellite, of a feed from a remote location to the studio.
The available space between two given points on the electromagnetic spectrum and, inter alia, the amount of information that can be squeezed into that space.
A production element, usually instrumental music or sound effect played in the background of a spoken commercial, promo or other announcement.
A constant amplitude high frequency signal added to the recording signal to improve the signal to noise ratio and reduce the distortion of an analog tape recording. It works by overcoming magnetic hysteresis.
A short announcement to identify a sponsor at the beginning or end of a production element such as the news or traffic/weather reports.
Black clipping circuit
An analog video control circuit that clips the black level signal from Black Encoded content prior to presentation. Historically used in analog TV broadcasts to prepare the video signal just prior to transmission. The presence of this signal in analog masters of classic Television shows and the lack of this circuit, or an equivalent filter, in digital conversion explains the presence of this encoded data in various content on Netflix, Hulu, and other digital content providers. Failing to leverage this encoded data also explains the poor color reproduction present in some cases.
Black encoded
Refers to analog tv video content in which the video signal of black (7.5 IRE units) has been overlaid on the top or bottom edge of the frame and recorded or merged for broadcast.
An animation or logotype briefly shown after the end of a program or part of a program before the advertising. See also "optical".
An animation shown during the middle of a commercial break to provide relevant graphic information accompanied by backing music, usually only taking up no more than two minutes. On news channels, breakfiller content usually includes news excerpts, weather, stock market indices, current time(s) and/or schedules.
Breaking news
Interruptions of regular or planned programming for recently-occurring events as reported by a news organization or agency.
Aspect ratio
The ratio between the width and the height of the picture. In NTSC television sets, this is 4:3; in widescreen (ATSC) sets, 16:9. Sometimes it is printed decimally as 1.33:1 for 4:3 and 1.78:1 for 16:9.
Broadcaster or television network
A television network or broadcaster is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay television providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small number of terrestrial networks. Many early television networks (such as the BBC, NBC or CBC) evolved from earlier radio networks.
Video used to illustrate a story.
An element that acts as a transition to or from commercial breaks.
Bumper music
A pre-recorded production element containing voice-over and/or music that acts as a transition to or from commercial breaks.


Catch-up service
Catch-up services allow TV stations to make their content available to their viewers through VOD platforms after the original television broadcast is over.
A content delivery network, or content distribution network (CDN), is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end users.
Closed captioning
Text version of a program's dialogue overlaid on the screen by an equipped television set for the hearing impaired.
An excessive number of non-program elements (such as commercials) appearing one after another.
A content management system (CMS) is a computer software used to manage the creation and modification of digital content.
A bumper which counts down to the beginning of the following broadcast. Also used for the debut of a new channel.
When an announcement, jingle or graphic overlaps with a fixed point in the schedule (e.g., the news or a time signal), usually due to poor timing.
The percentage of households that can tune into a radio station within the theoretical broadcast radius.
Cross conversion
Changing scan rates for synchronicity within a broadcast plant. Typically done by converting between 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
Cue dot
A small square inserted in the corner of the picture to inform rebroadcasters that an advertisement break is about to happen. In the UK, this appeared exactly one minute before the break and disappeared 55 seconds later.
Cue channel
In the early days of networks a dedicated multi-drop phone line connected all affiliated station engineers to the network Master Control. The system was backed up with teletype too.
Cue tone
Used to prompt insertion of a local TV commercial or radio advertisement by the broadcast automation equipment at the broadcast station or cable headend.


Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) is a digital radio standard for broadcasting digital audio radio services in many countries around the world but not in North America where HD Radio is the standard for digital radio. The DAB standard was initiated as a European research project in the 1980s.
In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is a system that converts a digital signal into an analog signal.
In broadcast programming, dayparting is the practice of dividing the broadcast day into several parts, in which a different type of radio or television program appropriate for that time period is aired. Television programs are most often geared toward a particular demographic, and what the target audience typically engages in at that time.
Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) refers to satellite television (TV) systems in which the subscribers, or end users, receive signals directly from geostationary satellites.
Dead air
The time on-air where there is no audible radio transmission.
Digital rights management
Digital rights management (DRM) is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they've purchased.
Dolby digital
Also Dolby D. The standard for 5.1 channel (surround sound) audio. Six discrete channels are used (Left, Center, Right, Left Rear Surround, Right Rear Surround, and Subwoofer).
Double pumping
Putting out two episodes of a show back-to-back, either to boost ratings in a given slot or to burn off episodes of a cancelled show.
Dropping the light
Lowering the light levels. "Drop the light" is often yelled while shooting when the director wants to continue shooting the action of the scene after the light levels are lowered. It has nothing to do with any physical dropping of a lighting fixture during the scene.
These are excerpts of TV, movies and other audio programs that are used to accentuate programming.
Digital Satellite news gathering: use of digital satellite transmission from remote broadcast locations for the purpose of live television news event coverage.
Direct-to-home (DTH) television and radio programs are distributed by satellite for reception via a dish at the receiver's property.
Download-to-rent (DTR) means the renting of content for a particular period of time, at a fee, likely for a lesser cost than a sell through.
Download-to-own (DTO) content means consumers pay a one-time fee to download a media file for storage on a hard drive.
Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television audiovisual signals using digital encoding, in contrast to the earlier analog television technology which used analog signals. See SDTV, HDTV.
Digital Video Broadcasting is an MPEG-2 based standard of digital transmission and reception. Comes in variants according to the type of broadcast, e.g. DVB-T for terrestrial.


Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR) is a global unique identifier system for a broad array of audio visual objects, including motion pictures, television, and radio programs.
Electronic Sell-Through
Electronic sell-through is a method of media distribution whereby consumers pay a one-time fee to download a media file for storage on a hard drive.
EMA avails
The Entertainment Merchant’s Association (EMA) has defined this format for transfering Avails data from Publishers to Retailers. Avails is an industry term for information about the time, location and business rules relating to offering an asset.
The scrambling of a signal to allow reception via a decoder only by specific viewers, e.g. after the payment of a fee.
Electronic programming guides (EPGs) and interactive programming guides (IPGs) are menu-based systems that provide users of television, radio and other media applications with continuously updated menus that display scheduling information for current and upcoming broadcast programming (most commonly, TV listings).


A loud noise produced when the amplified sound from an output (loudspeaker) is picked up by an input (microphone, phonograph) feeding that loudspeaker. This can be potentially damaging to both the speaker(s) in question, as well as the hearing of the subjected listener. This may also occur when an input is directly patched into an output of the same device, usually due to operator error.
Federal Communications Commission: The regulator of broadcasting and communications in the United States.
Format clock
A format clock is a diagram produced by a program director or a producer to illustrate where each programming element appears in a typical hour.
Stands for frames per second. It is the number of times the television is refreshed in a second of time. As a rule of thumb, this is the same as the local Alternating Current electricity supply – 60 Hz or 50 Hz.
VOD programming offered by a network operator free of charge. FVOD programming includes on-demand advertising and on-demand programming offered as part of a basic VOD package.
A broadcast video feed that is complete with graphics, commercials, interstitials and studio integration. This typically originates from a Master Control Room and is delivered to a distributor or over-the-air (also see backhaul).


A change in signal level, usually expressed in decibels.
Distributing a reference signal to multiple video devices in order to make them operate at the same frequency.
Gigahertz: Thousand million cycles per second. The measurement for satellite frequencies.


Placing a new or poorly-performing program between two established popular programs in order to boost viewing figures.
High-definition television (HDTV) is broadcasting using a line standard of 720 or greater. Prior to World War II, high definition meant a line standard greater than 240 lines.
HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is a protocol that enables effective and responsive live streaming. Turns MP4 videos into small, 10-second, chunks and delivers them to the viewer. The quality can differ from chunk to chunk based on a user’s internet connection at the time the data is sent.


Image liner
A short audio clip played frequently on a radio station between songs and ads to identify the station that is being aired. I.E the stations call letters or positioning statement.
Intelligent OTT
An OTT service that uses artificial intelligence to monitor activity and make suggestions based on watching habits.
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) means the delivery of television content over the internet. Can be used for live TV, catch-up TV or VOD.
Interactive television or (iTV) are systems that allow viewers to interact (e.g. play games, shop for related items or find further information) either two-way, via a telephone line, or one-way, via MHEG graphics.


A produced programming element usually in the form of vocals to accompanying music often produced in-house to identify the show, DJ or the station.


A kilohertz is a thousand cycles per second. kHz is used to measure mediumwave and often shortwave frequencies.


Legal ID
In the US, the station identification consisting of the station call letters followed by the community of license. Given as close as practical to the top of the hour at a natural break in program offerings.
The appearance of black bars at the top and bottom of a picture when 16:9 or 14:9 widescreen material is shown on 4:3 sets. See also pillar box and postage stamp.
Licencing deal
Digital licencing agreement or licencing deal is concluded between content providers and content publishers and contains a specific set of rights and conditions under which the purchased content can be exploited.
Line standard
The number of lines broadcast to make up a television picture. Generally, 525 in NTSC areas and 625 elsewhere.
Linear vs. Non-linear programming
The model of traditional linear television programming is for a schedule of shows to be selected by the broadcaster and then viewed at a set time. In this model, the viewer cannot fast forward through the programming or choose to watch it at a later time. Conversely, non-linear television can be considered to be any method or technology that allows viewers to select what shows they watch and when they watch them.
Any programming which is broadcast immediately as it is being delivered (a live report); performed (a live concert or show); or captured (live news or sports coverage). Requires an unbroken communications chain without any intervening recording or storage technology. Considered the most exciting form of broadcasting, delivered “as it happens”.
A recorded program produced in real time, usually with a studio audience, for later broadcast. Requires precisely timed pauses for insertion of station breaks and commercials at time of broadcast. Typically employed for network broadcast across multiple time zones. Also applies to live broadcasting which is simultaneously recorded for rebroadcast at a later time or date.
A newly introduced audio measurement tool that measure loudness, K-weighted, relative to Full Scale (or LKFS) is a loudness standard designed to enable normalization of audio levels for delivery of broadcast TV and other video. It typically is measured over time and not as immediate peak readings. LKFS is standardized in ITU-R BS.1770.
Lower third
Portion of screen of regular broadcast reserved for textual and static visual content; i.e., news ticker, time, title of segment, title of program, channel bug, etc. Upper third has sometimes been used alongside lower third, as in the case of MSNBC since 2010.


Media Asset Management (MAM) is the process and software used to manage high-volume video and multimedia files. It originated within the film and broadcast industry to accommodate the need to manage large rich media files. As a result, MAM became an essential part of the video production process as it allows you to store and manage your rich media library from a centralized, reliable source.
Master clock
A signal generator that outputs timecode and reference video for genlocking. May output word clock as well.
In the context of a digital media, metadata is any information attached to a digital file, including image, video, audio, graphic and text files.
Million cycles per second. The bandwidth area for FM broadcasts and television.
A mistake by the DJ or production engineer resulting in two audio elements being played at the same time, e.g. an interview and the next song.
Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) means a service that gives users a variety of TV channels, such as Cable or Satellite Tv.


Video only with natural sound: (Television news) Video with natural sound played at full volume intended to be accompanied by a news correspondent reading a news story.
A system which distributes programming to multiple stations simultaneously, or slightly delayed, for the purpose of extending total broadcast coverage beyond the limits of a single radio or television signal.
News ticker / news crawl
Scrolling ticker at the bottom of the display of television content. It is usually reserved for text headlines or numeric statistics (or both) depending upon the focus of the channel.
Nielsen ratings
Survey of US viewers by the AC Nielsen Company to establish the audiences for individual programs and their demographics.
National Television System Committee: An American committee formed to set the line standard and later color standard for broadcasting. Gave its name to the method of color reproduction used in the Americas (except Brazil) and in Japan.


Ofcom / Office of Communications
The regulator of broadcasting and communications in the United Kingdom.
Generically, any on-screen graphic. Specifically, a graphic inserted between a program and an advertisement or between individual advertisements.
Out Of Vision: A stage instruction noting that a character is not seen when speaking. Also, in continuity announcing, the practice of speaking over a caption rather than appearing on screen.
Outside Broadcast. A complete event or programme, or a brief news report, produced and fed back live from the location by an OB vehicle to the broadcaster.
Stands for Open Broadcast Software. A free open-source program that allows creators to record and stream videos. Created by the OBS Project.
OTT, short for “Over the Top,” refers to video content that can be streamed over the internet. This is in contrast to traditional video streaming via cable or satellite. To learn more about the past, present, and future of OTT, click here.
An application that allows users to stream videos via the internet. Typically available on TVs, tablets, mobile phones, gaming consoles, etc. See here for more.
OTT Streaming
Video consumption that takes place over the internet. Includes video viewing via services like Netflix, YouTube, and more. See also: OTT.
OTT Platform
An online portal that allows users to access videos. To learn more about the past, present, and future of OTT, click here.
OTT Infrastructure
The physical and organizational elements needed to operate an OTT service, such as internet connectivity, devices, screens, etc. See also: OTT.


pay-per-view (PPV)
A type of Video on Demand service where users pay per video. See also: TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand)
Permitted Broadcast (PB) means all transmissions of a title that are for free. See rerun.
Pink and Green Flashing (PGF) is the erroneous effect of pink and green flashing on a video signal usually caused by a disturbance to the SDI input/output of broadcast equipment.
Public information film (PIF) is a government-produced commercial, usually shown for free, giving safety information or advice.
The appearance of blank bars on either side of the picture when 4:3 material is shown on a 16:9 widescreen television set.
A one-off episode of a proposed series, usually in extended form, to gauge audience reaction. If successful, the rest of the series is made and the pilot becomes the first episode.
The transmission of radio or TV channels from the broadcaster into broadcast networks that deliver content to the audience.
Positioning statement
A radio station's mission statement or vision statement. A one to two sentence statement that conveys what you do for whom, to uniquely solve an urgent need. These are usually aired during Image Liners.
Postage stamp
The appearance of a black border all around the picture, usually in error, when 4:3 material is converted to 16:9 and then back to 4:3 before broadcast.
Potentiometer: A control for attenuating the level of a signal. Also used as a verb, as in "pot up" (increase volume, typically but not always from nothing) or "pot down" (lower volume, sometimes to nothing).
Production element
A Production Element is a piece of audio that is used in the final audio mix. This may include commercials, music, sound effects, audio effects (e.g. echo) station id or program signatures or announcements.
The person who performs or manages the day to day business operations of a station. Also the person responsible for an individual program – a radio producer or a television producer.
An announcement (either recorded or live) used to promote the station's image or other event.
Proxy file
Proxy Video is a form of metadata. It consists of highly compressed, very low resolution video (with sound) that mirrors a high resolution original master digital recording.
A public service announcement or PSA is intended to change the public interest, by raising awareness of an issue, affecting public attitudes, and potentially stimulating action.
Premium (PVOD) is the temporary rental of titles selected by the consumer (TVOD) at a higher price point. The higher price point is often because the title has skipped a theatrical release.
A personal video recorder (PVR) is an interactive TV recording device, in essence a sophisticated set-top box with recording capability (although it is not necessarily kept on top of the television set).


Sound reproduction utilizing four speakers. Now superseded by Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.


Control panel where several television cameras are matched together by operator(s) for exposure, colour balance and black level.
An intro to a piece of music.
A story read by a presenter entirely on-camera (as opposed to a voice-over).
A rerun or repeat is a rebroadcast of an episode of a radio or television program. There are two types of reruns – those that occur during a hiatus, and those that occur when a program is syndicated.
Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) is a service to help transmit audio and video from Adobe’s Flash Players to servers.
A timed outline of a program.


Set-top box
A device that enables digital video to be viewed.
SDK / Software Development Kit
A set of tools designed to help develop tools for a specific platform or coding language.
SB / simulcast
Simulcast (a portmanteau of simultaneous broadcast) is the broadcasting of programs or events across more than one medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at exactly the same time (that is, simultaneously).
Where a permanent mark is burnt into the mask of the TV screen due to prolonged display. Common with sets tuned to one channel for promotional purposes or on ordinary sets from DOGs inserted by broadcasters. Also known as Phosphor burn-in.
Standard-definition television is a television system which uses a resolution that is not considered to be either high or enhanced definition. SDTV and high-definition television are the two categories of display formats for digital television transmissions.
Smart TV
An internet-ready TV, able to download OTT video apps and stream without a set-top box.
Smart TV Platform
The software that enables a Smart TV to function, including Roku, iOS, Android TV and Fire TV.
A small portion (usually one or two sentences) of an audio recording (often an interview) used to illustrate a news story in the words of the interviewee (c.f. a quotation from a politician).
In the United States, the practice of a company funding the making of a program in order to entertain an audience and sell a product. In the UK, an advertisement inserted between the end-of-part caption and the breakbumper.
Spot advertising
A commercial or commercials run in the middle of or between programs, sold separately from the program (as opposed to sponsors' messages).
Server side ad insertion (SSAI) (also known as “dynamic ad insertion” or “ad stitching”) is a method of stitching ads into a video stream automatically from an outside server.
Stop set
The place where commercials are played during a typical broadcast hour. There may be several scattered throughout a typical 60 minute period. Stop set length can vary much between local stations and even network programming.
A visual and/or musical punctuation that signals a break between two sections of a program.
Text version of a program's dialogue, overlaid on the screen either at broadcast or at reception (often via Teletext or Closed Captioning) for the hearing impaired or for when a speaker is unclear or speaking in a foreign language.
Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) is a video/audio on demand service that uses a subscription model that requires users to pay a monthly fee to access a bundled set of content.
A period, usually in February, May, July and November, where the ACNielsen Company undertakes audience measurement to record the Nielsen ratings of all shows in all markets with all demographics. This allows networks and local stations to spot surprise hits and unexpected failures. It is also a time when a successful network will try pilot episodes of new shows, whilst a failing network will often put existing successful programs in place of poorly performing shows to boost average ratings.


Tape sync
An interview conducted by phone and recorded in both locations, with the two recordings to be mixed later.
To be announced (TBA), to be confirmed or continued (TBC), to be determined or decided or declared (TBD), and other variations, are placeholder terms used to indicate that although something is scheduled or expected to happen, a particular aspect of that remains to be arranged or confirmed.
Electronic information inserted into the unused parts of a television signal and decodable by an equipped television set.
The appearance of large non-congruent blocks on a video display when a digitally generated broadcast (i.e., image) was received by the monitor in an incomplete form. Tiling also occurs when the video signal has degraded or been partially interrupted as it was received by the monitor.
A physical part of a satellite that broadcasts the signal. In colloquial use, the satellite equivalent of the "channel" a television station is broadcast on (e.g. "broadcasting from Transponder 2C of the satellite").
Stands for Transactional Video-on-Demand. Allows you to watch videos on a pay-per-video basis.
Transmission (TX) is a specific audiovisual program transmitted to viewers using digital or analog encoding.


Ultra high frequency – Frequencies between 300 MHz (wavelength 1 meter) and 3.0 GHz (wavelength 10 centimeters), used for television broadcasting.
Typically used to increase scan lines on SD video so content can be viewed or processed in a higher resolution environment. Quality is not improved, but scan lines are added to permit a suitable viewing experience in a higher resolution environment.


VBI / vertical blanking interval
The blank area out of sight at the top and bottom of a television picture that allows the raster gun to reset. The space created is often used for Teletext and other services.
Very high frequency – Frequencies from 30 MHz (wavelength 10 m) to 300 MHz (wavelength 1 m), used for radio and television broadcasting.
Vertical Interval Time Code: pronounced vit-see. A non-visible (as opposed to BITC) timecode integrated within the video signal, readable by editing and playback equipment to ensure synchronisation.
Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (VMVPD) is a service that provides access to multiple live television channels via the internet.
Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (vMVPD) is service that provides multiple tv channels through the internet without supplying its own data transport (i.e. coax cable, fiber, satellite).
VO / voice over
  • Recorded voice announcer played as off-screen narration in drama or advertising.
  • Video without commentary intended to be aired along with a news correspondent reading the news story.
Stands for Video-On-Demand. Refers to any video that can be accessed at the user’s convenience, and isn’t restricted by program schedule.
View-Through Rate (VTR) is the percentage of people who view an entire video or past a predetermined point in the video, usually measured for an advert’s performance.
video tape recorder
A method of recording television pictures by electromagnetic pulses on a sensitised plastic strip.
VTT Caption Format
Video Text Tracks (VTT) is a method of closed captioning that syncs the video’s speed with the text’s speed using time stamps. See also: Closed Captioning and Subtitles.


The practice of swapping callsigns between two or more radio/TV stations.
A large carpeted wedge used to display items for shooting.
A common practice of displaying a company's logo during a television broadcast, typically a translucent image in the right hand bottom corner. (See also Bug and DOG)
In broadcasting, the watershed is the time of day after which programming aimed towards mature or adult audiences is permitted.
See format clock.
Wheel series, wheel show, wheel format or umbrella series
Television series in which two or more regular programs are rotated in the same time slot, some times with an umbrella title.