Welcome to our Glossary of Terms for TV terminology. Find definitions for specific terms that can provide a better understanding when trying to troubleshoot TV-related issues. Click on any of the following letters to find the term that you are looking for.
Find definitions for the following terms:
|Definitions for number-related terms and terms beginning with the letters "A" through "E".|
Standard definition aspect ratio.
High definition aspect ratio.
480, 720, 1080
480, 720 and 1080 refer to the number of lines used to create a picture on your TV screen. A regular (standard definition) television signal uses 480 lines, while HDTV uses 720 or 1080 lines to create the picture. The more lines used to create an image, the more detail exists, and the higher the definition of the picture. The number will be followed by a letter “i” or “p” indicating whether the picture format is progressive or interlaced (please refer to respective definitions).
Picture which is transmitted over coaxial cable directly from the wall outlet to the rear of your TV; does not require a Digital Box to be able to receive and display a picture, restricted to Basic channels in areas which have already undergone a Digital Network Upgrade.
A measurement of a television’s width compared to its height (width: height). Regular television (standard definition) is displayed at a 4:3 aspect ratio. High definition television is displayed at a 16:9 aspect ratio.
BlueSky TV combines customized apps, social media features, and traditional video services to deliver a personalized and dynamic TV experience. Includes a voice remote that allows you to search using voice commands to get quicker access to your TV content, apps, Netflix and more. Check out our BlueSky TV Support articles.
See Digital Box.
Synonyms: cable box, converter box, digital cable terminal (DCT), set-top box (STB)
Shaw equipment which receives the digital TV signal coming into your home through a coaxial cable and then outputs the signal to a TV.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
A class of technology used to inhibit unintended uses (e.g. duplication) of content as specified by the original content provider e.g. copyright protection for digital media to prevent duplication and unauthorized redistribution.
Digital Television (DTV)
A system which transmits TV channels digitally, requiring a digital box (cable box) in order to receive the signal and display the picture on your TV, not necessarily high definition but often refers to standard definition TV which is transmitted digitally.
Found on the rear panel of select Digital Boxes, allows you to connect an Expander (external hard drive) to either enable the PVR capabilities of a PVR-ready box or to expand the hard drive already present on PVR boxes for more recording space.
Definitions for terms beginning with the letters "F" through "J".
FreeRange TV is s Shaw service that allows you to watch your Shaw programming through a mobile device, streaming on your desktop/laptop or via our FreeRange TV app. The service is free for all Shaw TV subscribers. Visit our FreeRange TV FAQs for additional information.
Shaw Go WiFi is Shaw's WiFi network of hotspots that allows customers to get online from any of Shaw's 80,000 hotspots across Canada. Access to Shaw Go WiFi is complimentary for all Shaw Internet customers. Visit our Shaw Go WiFi FAQs.
Hard Drive Capacity
Indicates the amount of recording space available on a Digital Box that is capable of recording and storing TV programs; high definition programs allocate space more quickly than that of standard definition (e.g. a hard drive with a capacity of 500GB can store up to 60 hours of HDTV, or 300 hours of standard definition content).
Synonyms: HD Capable Box, High Definition Box
Shaw equipment which receives the digital TV signal coming into your home through a coaxial cable and then outputs the signal to a TV is capable of tuning to HD channels.
HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection)
Encryption used on DVI and HDMI connections (between an HD Digital Box and TV) which prevents the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material.
Provides a picture resolution that is significantly higher than that of standard definition; the signal for HDTV is transmitted digitally with a resolution of either 720p, 1080i or 1080p; requires a high definition digital box (cable box) in order to receive the signal and display the picture on your TV (TV must also be capable of displaying an HD picture in 720p, 1080i or 1080p to view in HD quality); a DVI or HDMI connection between the HD Digital Box and an HDTV is required to view picture in HD. Visit our article on Understanding TV definitions for more information.
Commonly refers to the ports on the rear of your TV which allow you to insert a video or audio cable which comes from the Digital Box.
Divides a picture frame into two separate images, each containing only half of the information. Video for the odd-numbered lines in the complete picture frame is distributed in one frame, with the even numbered lines being distributed in the next frame. The two video fields are displayed fast enough (60 times per second) that it fools the eye into believing it is viewing one complete picture. This is the standard for analog video distribution (e.g. 480i).
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Definitions for terms beginning with the letters "K" through "O".
Picture mode which displays a widescreen format picture on standard definition television which has a 4:3 aspect ratio; consequently this will result in black bars appearing at the top and bottom of the screen (no cropping or shrinking the picture).
Compression standard used for broadcast-quality programming (e.g. over the air, cable, satellite TV, DVD). Supports interlacing and high definition. Shaw’s MPEG-2 Bit Rate is 16 Mbps.
Compression standard used for broadcast-quality programming which supports access to content through multimedia applications (e.g. streaming through the Internet) using a lower bitrate than MPEG-2. Shaw’s MPEG-4 Bit Rate is 7-8 Mbps.
Picture mode which displays the picture in the format that it is being broadcast in (e.g. if the channel is broadcasting the program in 4:3 aspect ratio, the picture will be displayed accordingly, i.e. no stretching or modifying the screen size occurs).
On-Demand refers the ability to access content when you need it or when you require it. Shaw On Demand is an example of video-on-demand content that includes movies or TV programming that can be accessed when you want to view it.
Definitions for terms beginning with the letters "U" through "Z".
Synonyms: Ultra High Frequency
Ultra High Frequencies that are between 300 MHz (wavelength of 1 meter) and 3.0 GHz (wavelength of 10 centimeters), used for television broadcasting.
Synonyms: Very High Frequency
Very High Frequency are frequencies that are between 30 MHz (wavelength 10 m) to 300 MHz (wavelength 1 m), used for radio and television broadcasting.
Video On Demand
A feature of digital cable providers (such as Shaw) that allows you to access movies and television programs when you choose to watch it. Programming that you watch when you want to watch it. See Shaw On Demand for additional information.
Picture mode which is suited to TVs with a 16:9 aspect ratio. In the User Settings or configuration screen on your Digital Box, you would set the TV Type to 16:9 to ensure that the picture is displayed in Widescreen mode.
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Refers to component video, which splits a video signal into three components: Y, Pb and Pr. On a component cable, Y, Pb and Pr is carried on green, blue, and red cable connections, respectively.
Synonyms: Digital Zoom
The ability to resize your TV picture by narrowing the area of focus or "zooming" in on the content.