Smart TV Glossary

Confused by the terminology used in the world of Smart TV? Wondering why some manufacturers seem so intent to confuse things further by giving their own names to standard technologies?

We were too. So, we thought we’d create a glossary to make things a little easier.

ACR (Automatic Content Recognition)

A service that uses the same recognition technology used by services like Shazam and TrackID to identify what TV programme or film you are watching. When installed on a smartphone or tablet, it enables your device to recognise what you are watching and present additional content or information relevant to the broadcast. On a Smart TV, it allows the TV to present extra information in a separate window or banner on the television itself.

Connected TV

Another way of referring to Smart TV

DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting)

DVB-T (Terrestrial) is the digital standard used in the United Kingdom and Europe to deliver digital TV via an antenna. DVB-T2 refers to the second generation of digital TV broadcasting that includes high definition broadcasts.

DVB-S (Satellite) is used to deliver digital TV via satellite. Like the above, DVB-S2 includes high definition broadcasting.

DLNA (Digital Network Living Alliance)

A wireless technology that uses Universal Plug and Play to allow devices to discover and control other suitably equipped devices.

Examples:

  • A DLNA compliant television might be able to see and communicate with a mobile phone and show the various folders on the device containing music, photos or video.
  • A DLNA compliant set top box can access media from a network-attached storage device – usually connected to your router – that shares content over a network.

EPG

Electronic Programme Guide; A guide to upcoming broadcasts, usually for around 7 days. Broadcasters often have information further ahead than this, but leave gaps for late changes. To avoid these gaps showing, most EPGs impose the 7/8 day restriction.

Ethernet

A wired connection to your router, enabling your television to get an Internet connection that is unaffected by wireless interference or congestion.

HD (High Definition) 

HD is defined as 720p or 1080p (or 1080i). The number refers to the vertical lines (720= 1280×720 pixels; 1080=1920×1080 pixels). p refers to progressive scan, i refers to interlaced. Most broadcasters use 1080i, while movies on Blu-ray may use 1080p, at 24 frames per second.

Some smaller televisions classed as ‘HD ready’ may have a resolution of 1366×768 pixels, with HD broadcasts scaled down.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

A compact Audio/Video interface that replaced older technologies like SCART or component video (requiring 3 or 5 individual connections for video/audio).

HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) allows for the control of the connected device via the same remote control as the television. For example, connecting a mobile phone to a TV and then changing music track/forwarding video etc from the TV remote instead of using the phone.

Wireless HDTV is a wireless method of transmitting high-definition video, with a recognised standard in development known as ‘WiDi’

Internet TV

Yet another way of referring to Smart TV

Router

A device that offers outputs, either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, to connect multiple devices to your Internet connection.

Second Screen

Using a secondary device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to interact with your television. This could be for things like presenting extra  information about the broadcast (similar to ‘red button’ style services on existing digital broadcasts) or enabling interaction with a show (entering a competition, posting questions to a panel etc).

WiDi

Wireless HD transmission (see HDMI)

Wi-Fi

A way to connect your Smart TV wirelessly to a Wi-Fi router.

Wi-Fi Direct

A new standard that allows two Wi-Fi enabled devices to communicate directly with each other, without needing to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

About author
Involved in tech since 1990, from selling mobile phones and computers, to writing about them for trade and consumer publications, such as Mobile News, What Mobile, Know Your Mobile and Stuff. If writing about mobiles wasn't exciting enough, being paid to watch TV during work hours is the icing on the cake. Jonathan on Google+

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