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Audio Outputs
These are the stereo audio jacks that let you connect your TV to your stereo or home theatre system. Typically there are two types: fixed, and variable. If you connect a TV's fixed output to your A/V receiver, you can raise and lower the TV volume via the receiver's volume control.  If you connect the TV's variable output to your receiver you control the TV volume using the TV's remote.


A/V inputs (composite)
These are the standard RCA jacks that hook up audio and video components to each other, typically yellow (video), black (or white) and red (for your audio left and right input). Composite video connections are not considered to handle the best picture because they mix colour and black & white signals together. Although composite connections provide an adequate quality picture, a better picture quality can be often be achieved using either an S-Video cable (good), 5-jack component video cable (better) or HDMI connector (generally best).


Built-In Tuner
A TV tuner is simply a device which allows you to receive channels of television content. Video displays that lack built-in tuners require some kind of external device that does have one in order to receive television channels. All U.S. PRIMA models larger than 25” feature both built-in NTSC tuners (for channels 2-125) as well as an ATSC tuner to watch newer digital channels. Not all digital channels actually transmit full resolution (HDTV) content. Some ATSC tuners also include QAM capabilities for users on cable systems, allowing additional optional tuners to be connected if necessary.


Cable Card (DCR pod access)
In early 2006 fewer than 85,000 Cable Cards had been produced and only an estimated 48,000 were actually installed and working in U.S. and Canadian homes. There remain significant software and inherent pass-through problems with various cable systems, and the second-generation adoption of “two-way” interactive Cable Card II pods appear far less likely to meet adoption by the industry.


Child Lockout or V-Chip
Both of these systems are designed to help parents limit their child's access to inappropriate TV programs. Child Lockout allows parents to limit access to certain channels from those without the special code.
The V-chip allows parents to select the maturity level of the programming they feel is appropriate for their children based on the TV Rating System. The V-chip reads the transmitted ratings code for all programming and will automatically deny access to programming that exceeds preset ratings limitations.


Comb Filters
The purpose of a comb filter is to separate a composite video signal's luminance (Y) information from its colour (C) information. There are several ways to perform Y/C separation and comb filters are the most common. There are several different types including:

Analogue Comb Filter
Older technology generally found in many low cost CRT (tube) televisions, with limited improvement in sharpness. Sometimes referred to as a “2-line comb” filter.

Digital Comb Filter
It converts colour and black & white picture information to digital information, and does a better job in processing accurate video displays. It provides better picture sharpness with less colour artefacts and shimmer than on analogue comb filter sets.


3-7 Line Digital Comb Filter and 3D Y/C Combs
These types of comb filters offer refinements and more critical processing. They provide the highest resolution (picture sharpness) and virtually eliminate all picture artefacts such as dot crawl and shimmer. Newer models include the latest versions of 3D Y/C processors available, and are combined with more advanced forms of video processing.

Contrast Ratio
This is the difference from the brightest whites to the darkest blacks capable of being displayed. For contrast ratio the greater the difference in ratio means that the display to can show more distinctive colour details to viewers.


Component Video Connectors
The next step up in performance instead of using a basic S-Video connection or composite connections. Component cables and inputs can provide an excellent picture with very high resolution, better colour accuracy, and less colour bleeding. Component Video transmits the video signal in three parts: the luminance (Y), the blue chrominance (Pb), and the red chrominance (Pr). If you plan to use your TV with external devices such as a progressive scan DVD player take advantage of this increased quality by using either Component cables or HDMI. Resolution quality is still dependent on the quality of the source (the equipment which outputs the signal), the quality of the resolution at the source, and whether the data is improved or limited during processing. Component video connectors have either 3 end connectors or 5 end connectors at each end (if you include in your count the Left and Right end connectors used to hook up the audio portion). A set of composite connections has only three (a video, and a left and right audio), usually in red, white (or black) and yellow. Component connections generally provide a significant improvement in quality, particularly with progressive scan DVD players and recorders.

CRT - (Cathode-Ray Tube)
A "picture tube" (CRT) is the vacuum tube which creates images when an electron beam scans across a phosphor-coated screen. While performance can be outstanding in premium CRT televisions, the weight and size of these TV's has greatly been reduced demand by flat-panel models using LCD and plasma technologies.


Digital Focusing
Digital focusing computer-aligned circuitry provides precise and consistent picture performance from the moment the TV is turned on. Digital focusing helps to maximize picture brightness with sharper corner focus, to ensure a detailed picture across the entire screen.


Digital audio output
A connection found on HDTV’s and HDTV tuners for sending the Dolby Digital audio of HDTV broadcasts to an A/V receiver with Dolby Digital decoding.  The two most common types of digital output are coaxial and optical.


An older connection (prior to the wider and more recent use of HDMI) which provides an uncompressed, encrypted, high-band width digital HD signal to the television. No longer used on newer models, it has been replaced with HDMI connectors for better performance and simplicity.


Edge Correction
Delivers a cleaner image by sharpening the edges of objects in a digital picture.

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) 
Like the older DVI connection it typically replaces, an HDMI connection allows for the uncompressed data transfer of video between HDMI-enabled consumer electronics devices. A key difference between HDMI and DVI is that HDMI transfers the video and audio signal. DVI only carries the video signal. Newer models feature dual (two separate) HDMI connections. This allows the use of both a HDMI connection to an external digital tuner (such as a digital cable set top box or satellite receiver), plus the expansion for high-definition disc players and recorders (such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc hardware), and other HD devices. According to the HDMI’s official Web site, the advantages of HDMI are:

1) The highest quality video seen and audio heard.
2) Fewer cables mean less mess and provide a confusion-free connection.
3) Automatically configures remote controls of devices connected by HDMI.
4) Automatically adjusts video content to most effective format.
5) HDMI is compatible with DVI, which means it will allow connection to PCs.


LCD - Liquid Crystal Display
L CDs first became popular in the early 1970s. Today, they can be found in a variety of digital devices, including calculators, watches, flat panel and some rear projection TVs. As the name implies, they use a gas-like substance known as Liquid Crystals to create a display.


LCD televisions do not produce their own light, so a light source behind the display is also necessary; this is accomplished by using several light sources and a "diffuser plate" to help distribute the light evenly. This backlight must be powerful, as polarized glass and liquid crystal materials absorb typically from 35%-55% of the light that passes through their layers.


Menu Languages
For multilingual households, this allows on-screen operating menus to appear in different languages. All North American PRIMA models display in English, Spanish, and French.


MTS (Multi-channel Television Sound)
The means in which stereo sound is broadcast “over-the-air” to analogue TV channels. Various processors exist to provide stereo reception. SAP is the secondary audio program often associated with listening to channels individually, such as English or Spanish as optional language channels.


NTSC is short for National Television Standards Committee. An NTSC tuner refers to a standard analogue TV, which displays in 480i, typically for channels 2-69, and added cable channel content. It cannot receive newer digital “over-the-air” transmissions unless it is also combined with an ATSC HDTV tuner.


In a fluorescent light bulb, an electric current excites gas in a glass tube causing the release of ultraviolet photons. These photons hit the phosphor coating inside of a fluorescent tube, and this phosphor creates visible light.  Plasma displays use a technology similar in concept to a fluorescent light bulb.
Plasma is a highly ionized gas-like substance that acts as a conductor of electricity. A plasma display is made of plasma-filled chambers, which are layered between two wired glass panels.  Images are displayed when an electric current excites the plasma, causing ultraviolet light that strikes the phosphors on the back of the display to highlight appropriate colours. Unlike LCD displays there is no back light source because plasma units produce their own light.


Picture-in-Picture (PIP)
This technology provides a small picture of another channel (or sometimes the image from another external video device) in the corner of your TV's screen.  You may also have the option of watching split-screen programming, or having multiple programs shown in several boxes on the screen.


PixelWorks DNX (Digital Natural Expression) 
A trademark technology, Pixelworks is a leading provider of advanced IC’s which process and optimize video in several models of the new Prima 2006 product line including LCD 37”, 42”, and 47” models with 1080p (progressive scan) performance.
This processing improves pixel response rates and virtually eliminates jagged edges and other image artefacts. Scaling and colour processing enhancements are also provided.


Progressive scan
Some digital television broadcast formats (720p, 480p), and some higher-end DVD players (usually 480p), use a type of video signal known as progressive scan. Instead of splitting each video frame into two sequential fields like standard interlaced NTSC video (480i), progressive-scan video displays the entire frame in a single sweep.  So, where standard NTSC video displays 30 frames (60 fields) per second, progressive scan displays 60 full frames per second.
Displaying progressive-scan video requires more bandwidth (there's twice as much vertical information) and a faster horizontal scan frequency than interlaced video. Progressive-scan picture quality is more film like, with more fine detail and less flicker. For progressive-scan viewing, you'll need a TV that's ED (Extended Definition) or HD (High Definition) capable.


A processing method which is a combination of several new video enhancement technologies that provide “next generation” performance for digital progressive scan displays. Natural looking colour tones and razor sharp details are highlighted through this video process, including dynamic edge enhancements throughout the screen.


Rear-Projection TV
Typically referred to as "big-screen" TVs, these large-cabinet TVs generally have built-in screens measuring at least 40". Up until a few years ago, all rear-projection TVs used three CRT’s to create images. Using CRTs resulted in cabinets that were relatively heavy and bulky - nearly always designed as floor standing TVs. Some newer rear projection technologies (like DLP and LCoS) have reduced depth on these sets (down to typical depths between 7” and 18”), but none are flat-panel thin like flat panel LCD and plasma models.


Response Time
Commonly these numbers accompany advertisements, brochures, user manuals, etc. regarding LCD monitors. This number represents image response time and is articulated in terms milliseconds (ms), such as 8ms, 12ms, 16ms, 24ms and so on. Response time is the screen’s signal reaction speed, or the time it takes for a liquid crystal panel to go from total white to total black and then back again. A 16ms LCD monitor corresponds to 63 images per second, while 12ms is equivalent to 83 images a second. The bottom line is that quicker response times translate to smoother and more fluid images.  So, the next time you notice an advertisement shouting to the world that a lightning quick 16ms response time, which is actually a fairly nice standard - remember that a product that sports a 12ms response provides a further upgrade in image smoothness and fluidity.


The sharpness of a video image is generally described as "lines of resolution" or pixels. This resolution depends on two factors: the resolution of your display and the resolution of the video signal. Since video images are always rectangle-shaped, there is both colour resolution to consider. U
nfortunately there is no uniform “standard” that has been accepted for this measurement from one manufacturer to another. Generally it comes down to a subjective decision on what constitutes viewing a pixel. A more conservative manufacturer may test based on a virtually square pixel with little deformation. Another may count a pixel when it has virtually become a line without width. Thus one manufacturer could claim a higher resolution and in fact have a more distorted and less sharp picture. For this reason we caution the comparing of resolution figures without knowing whether tests were conducted using equally conservative methods. 


Vertical resolution: The number of horizontal lines (or pixels) that can be resolved from the top of an image to the bottom. (Think of hundreds of horizontal lines or dots stacked on top of one another.) Additionally there is Horizontal resolution: The number of vertical lines (or pixels) that can be resolved from one side of an image to the other. Horizontal resolution is a trickier concept, because while the vertical resolution of all analogue (NTSC) video sources is the same, the horizontal resolution varies according to the source. A typical televisions VHS VCR reproduces in a range from about 230-280 lines of horizontal resolution, while a DVD player typically ranges from 400-480. HD-DV camcorder output ranges typically from near 700-740 lines of horizontal resolution and some professional models can now exceed 760. There are few consumer playback sources beyond hard disc drives or the newest HD content discs which offer resolution much beyond these levels, though processing continues to improve as 720p and 1080p playback devices and video displays expand.


RF Jacks
These are the coaxial, screw-on connections that cable and satellite TV signals travel through. Some TVs have dual RF Inputs to allow switching via remote control between two signal sources (e.g. antenna and cable or antenna and satellite).


Scaling is the process of converting a video signal to a resolution other than its original. Scaling involves either “up conversion” or “down conversion”, and may also include a conversion between progressive - and interlaced-scan formats such as 720p to 1080i. Scaler processors are typically part of the video processing chipsets, though you can also purchase “outboard” external devices designed for critical “manual control” segmentations. With the latest chipsets found in 2006-2007 HDTV flat panel models however the visual differences in sophistication offered by external devices are disappearing for home and even many pro-application uses.


See Child Lock-out

Viewing Angles

Refers to the angle from which you can still view the picture on the screen. TVs with wide viewing angles mean that you don't need to be positioned directly in front of the set to see the ideal picture your TV is capable of.


Watts Per Channel
Typically numbers given by a manufacturer to express available audio power output. Unfortunately for consumers there is no agreement among all leading manufacturers of televisions for a common standard of measurement or even distortion level while rating TV audio. It is quite common to see wattage specifications that are based on exceedingly high distortion levels (10.0% is not uncommon among major TV manufacturers versus 0.1% among many audio manufacturers).


Short for Wide SXGA, WSXGA is a resolution that supports 1600 by 900 pixels or 1600 x 1024 pixels.


Short for Wide Ultra Extended Graphics Array, WUXGA has a resolution of 1920 horizontal pixels by 1200 vertical pixels.


Short for Wide XGA, WXGA is a video resolution that supports a maximum resolution of 1366 horizontal pixels by 768 vertical pixels.


Short for Extended Graphics Array, XGA was introduced in 1990 and is IBM’s upgrade to the VGA video standard. XGA supports a maximum resolution of 1024 horizontal pixels by 768 vertical pixels.


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