Dictionary of TV words

Scanning lines of TV

We will explain scanning lines with the use of the picture here. In a television the picture on the TV screen gets 'painted' on the screen, by scanning, line by line, from top to bottom of the screen.

How a TV picture is painted on the screen by an electron beam

An electron beam 'paints' the image on the screen by moving from left to right starting from the top left hand corner (1). When it reaches the other end of the screen the beam offs and quickly moves back to the left side (2) and at the same time going down a little bit. It repeats this process till it finally reaches the bottom right hand corner. Now the beam has painted one frame of the TV picture on the TV screen. The electron beam offs and then moves back up and repeats the process (3). The number of scanning lines of TV depends on the resolution of the TV picture and the beam has to paint about 30 full frames on the screen per second. So one complete frame is scanned by the beam in 1/30 of a second. As the beam paints each line from left to right, the intensity and characteristics of the beam is changed to create different shades of colors across the screen.

The number of scanning lines of TV depends on the horizontal resolution of the TV picture. There are 3 standard TV horizontal resolutions for the number of horizontal lines making up the TV image. In the old CRT TV it was 480 lines. The HD Ready and the ordinary DVD players have 720 lines. HDTV and Blu-Ray DVD players have 1080 lines.

Scan type Progressive vs interlaced

TV transmission companies, in order to reduce the Bandwidth required to transmit TV pictures, devised a method by which each frame of a picture is split into 2. The odd lines starting from the top, that is line 1, line 3, line 5, etc are made into one frame. Similarly the even lines 2, 4, 6, 8, etc are made into the second frame. This means that the TV transmitting station only has to transmit half the picture information or data at a time, even though they have to transmit twice the number of pictures in a second, but the info in each frame is less and thus the bandwidth required for transmission is less. This method of transmitting is called 'Interlaced Scanning'. Thus the 'i' after the horizontal line numbers means that it is an interlaced signal like 1080i. Progressive Scan on the other hand transmits the complete picture at the same time. The 'p' after the horizontal line numbers means that it is a progressive signal like 1080p.


SCART stands for 'Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs' which in English translates into 'Radio and Television Receiver Manufacturers' Association', is a French-originated standard for a 21-pin audio-video connector. It is also known as Péritel in France and as 21-pin Euro-SCART. In America it is sometimes known as the EIA Multiport interface. In Europe, SCART is the most common method of connecting audio-video equipment rather than the RCA phono plug.

SDTV full form

The full form of SDTV abbreviation is 'Standard-Definition Television' and normally refers to the 4:3 format pictures with a resolution of 480 lines.

Smart Interaction, Samsung gesture control TV

Smart Interaction is a Samsung coined term to mean the collection new features that have been introduced by them on some of their higher end TVs. Samsung gesture control TV for example enables you to move the cursor arrow around on your TV screen and select options just by the movements of your hand.

Soundbar, What is Soundbar

Soundbars with a flatscreen TV gives a big picture with great sound

The aim of Flat screen TV manufacturers is to make their TVs as slim as possible. So they have no place in the TV to have good speakers or to put sound amplifiers. So all flat screen TVs suffer from poor sound quality or their sound is not clearly audible. The standard sound output of large flat screen TVs are 10 Watts into 2 channels to give a total sound output of 20 Watts. For these huge TVs this sound is not at all sufficient. An external HiFi multichannel sound amplifier with multichannel 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system is recommended to have full enjoyment of the widescreen TV picture. Instead of the complicated amplifier and multi-speakers, a new sound system known as ‘Soundbars’ which projects sound in different directions to achieve 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound from a single speaker placed in front of the TV is now available. The picture on the left shows how the sound beams from a soundbar placed just under the large screen picture is reflected of the wall to give 5.1 surround sound effect with just one sound bar. Each sound bar has many small directional speakers pointing in different directions to reflect the beams of sound from the appropriate walls. Yamaha's sound bar has an automatic system to point the beam in the correct direction for the room it is set up in.

Yamaha Japan revolutionized sound systems for flats screen TVs with their invention of Soundbars and the best TV Soundbars are still made by Yamaha Audio. Yamaha still makes the best Soundbar for TV and, understandably, they are more expensive than competing brands.....For more on Sound bars visit our dedicated page on www.WhatTVs.Com

SPDIF: what is SPDIF connection

SPDIF stands for 'Sony Philips Digital Interface'. The SPDIF connection is also known as IEC 60958 connection. SPDIF can also be written as S/PDIF or S-PDIF. SPDIF is a Digital Audio connection found at the back of most home entertainment equipments like DVD, STB, etc. They are usually of two types - coaxial 75 ohm RCA plug connection and the 'Toslink', the optical digital connection. These are single wire connection from the output of DVDs or STBs to the Amplifier or TV. They are high quality connections to transfer audio signals digitally over short distances for surround sound prograammes such as DTS, Dolby Digital and the newest Dolby ATMOS


STB stands for Set-top box or the decoders for satellite TV or cable TV.

Smart TV

Smart TV is an integration of the internet on the TV. Thus the TV becomes the one screen on which you can browse the internet, see Youtube videos directly and connect to social network sites like Facebook and Google+. You can also watch Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) directly on to your TV screen. The possibilities are endless when your TV can be connected to the internet directly on your home WiFi.


This 4-pin one hole or socket connector which provides a good picture by transmitting the chrominance and luminance portions of a video signal separately. It is the next best connection to hook up video after the HDMI and Component video cables.

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