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Jargon Buster



A - Z of glossary terms, acronyms & abbreviations


Analogue Historical mode of transmission, uses standard wave to transmit television services
Audio Description

Services that carry an additional audio stream describing what is happening on screen for those who have difficulty seeing.

Broadcasters The people who transmit TV programmes
Common Interface (CI)

Connection on a television or a set-top box which can be used to connect to any other device using the same open standard.

Communal System

Where a signal is distributed through a building (e.g. a block of flats) using a wiring system, sharing the same signal source.

Conditional Access (CA)

Method of blocking access to programming, access only being allowed with the correct codes or card to "unlock" the programming.


Areas that can receive digital television - you can check your DTT coverage using the postcode database

Decoder The tuner in a digital set
D-CAB Digital Cable
D-SAT Digital Satellite

Digital Subscriber Line: a method of delivering TV or broadband, or Video on Demand through telephone wires.


Digital Television Group - has over 100 members. The DTG was formed in 1995 to set technical standards for the implementation of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the UK and now encompasses all Digital TV platforms and convergence issues on a world-wide basis

DTT Digital Terrestrial Television
DTV Digital Television

Digital Video Broadcasting, a European standard for digital television technology


Digital Versatile Disk - digital storage device commonly used for film/video


Recordable DVD, another digital recording device - uses DVD format.


Method of encoding data/broadcasts so that they can only be viewed with the correct Conditional Access codes.

Enhanced TV See Interactive TV

Electronic Programme Guide - "Now and next" information that can be called up on digital television. Extended for a period of weeks on DSAT and DCAB, 7 day EPG due to be

launched on Freeview


High Definition Television is a new technology that will enable viewers to get higher definition television pictures. HDTV has four times as many pixels (dots on the screen) as standard TV broadcasts, meaning a clearer picture and stunning detail on large-screen TVs. An HD-ready TV is not necessarily a digital TV.

Integrated Digital Television - a television with a built-in digital tuner.

Integrated Digital VCR - a video recorder with

a built-in digital tuner.


Integrated Receiver System - A shared reception system, common to flats and hotels, that enables delivery of television and radio services around the same distribution system, from a single wall plug


Services that enable the viewer to interact with the television programme


Independent Television Commission (Ofcom took over responsibility of the ITC in Jan 2004)


Master Antennae TV - a communal aerial system that uses a master aerial to receive the signal before it is distributed.


A bundle of channels delivered in Digital Terrestrial Television by a single signal channel.

PDR (Personal Digital Recorder)
See PVR below.
PVR (Personal Video Recorder)

A video recorder that records programmes on to hard drive. Allows much greater flexibility in recording and playback.


Method of delivery or reception of digital television (e.g. the satellite platform)


Public Service Broadcasters: these include BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, S4C and Teletext

RF Loop

Connection which allows the aerial signal to connect to one device, and then be connected further by another connector - similar to an "aerial out" socket.

RF Modulator

The "aerial out" connector on your TV is an RF modulator.

This puts an output from a TV tuner on to the connection, as opposed to an RF loop which simply allows the signal from the aerial to carry through.


A type of connection and cabling used to carry video signals, usually found on the back of TVs and videos.

Solus Card

Digital Satellite cards that enable viewing of free to view channels.


The electromagnetic spectrum: the set of radio frequencies used to transmit television, radio and other forms of electronic communication.

Set Top Box, occasionally referred to as an adaptor.
Switchover (Digital Switchover)

The process of migrating television equipment from analogue reception to digital reception, in preparation for the switching off of the analogue signal.


"Earthly" - as opposed to satellite. Television services that can be received through a standard aerial.

Video Cassette Recorder

Very-High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, allowing for faster downstream speeds than ADSL enabling video services to be delivered.

Video on Demand

For more terms of reference please visit the Digital UK website glossary.



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Useful Links


DigitalUK Website - opens in a new browser window   Digital Logo Scheme - opens in a new browserwindow  Intellect Website - opens in a new browser window     The Registered Digital Installers Licensing Body - opens in a new window   BBC Website - opens in a new browser window   Ofcom Website - opens in a new browser window   Link to Directgov - widest range of government information and services online - opens in a new browser window Digital TV Consumer Reports/Ricability is an independent consumer research organisation - opens in a new browser window Digital TV Group Website - opens in a new browser window 

Help Scheme for Digital Television Switchover - opens in a new browser window    DCMS website - opens in a new browser window   more links


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