RGB (Red, Green, Blue) - The primary colors of light. Computers and
some analog component devices use separate red, green, and blue color
channels to keep the full bandwidth and therefore the highest quality
Radio mic - Transmitter mic or wireless mic. A microphone connected to
a small radio transmitter, used in situations where cables would be
cumbersome or impossible to use. FCC regulations are stringent in the
use of transmitter microphones.
Receiver - Any device capable of demodulating an RF signal, such as a radio, tuner, or television set.
Recorder - Any device that converts an electronic signal to a magnetic pattern in the oxide coating of a magnetic tape.
Reference video signal - A video signal which contains a sync signal or
sync and burst signals, used as a reference for synchronization of
Resolution - The degree to which fine detail can be recorded or
displayed. In film, measured in pairs of light and dark lines per
millimeter. In television, measured in lines per scan. Thus, the
horizontal resolution of a television camera would be measured by the
number of discernible vertical lines that could be displayed across the
width of the screen.
RF (Radio Frequency) - That part of the frequency spectrum in which it
is possible to radiate (transmit) electromagnetic waves. Any part of
the broadcast band, including radio and television.
Roll-off - The gradual reduction of frequencies above or below a
certain point. Filters which roll off the bass frequencies are often
included in unidirectional microphones to compensate for proximity
R—V signal - R (red) signal minus Y (luminance) signal; one of the color difference signals.
Safe area - In television graphics or film shot for television, the
area which is almost certain to be displayed on any television set.
About 80% of the scanned area.
Saticon - A television pickup tube used mostly in industrial television and electronic news gathering.
SECAM (System Electronique pour Couleur avec Mémoire) - Video Format at 625 scan lines, tape runs at 25 frames per second.
SEG (Special Effects Generator) - The device in television used to
switch between and combine various picture sources. Also called a
Sensitivity - The ability of a device, such as a camera or microphone,
to sense intelligible information and convert it into a usable
Servo - An electronic circuit used to control the speed of a motor
which drives a videotape recorder head assembly drum, which must be
controlled with great precision.
Servo lock - In a VTR, to lock (or synchronize) the operation of the servomechanisms to a reference sync signal.
Shutter speed - The length of time for which the shutter stays open.
The higher the shutter speed is, the more clearly a moving object can
Shock mount - A support for a microphone which used rubber of foam
supports to isolate the mic from vibrations which can appear as low
frequency rumble in the audio.
Shotgun microphone - A unidirectional microphone with a narrow pickup pattern.
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) - A
professional association established in the U.S.A. mainly for the
purpose of setting forth motion picture and television engineering
S/N Signal-to-Noise ratio - The relation of the strength of the desired
signal to the accompanying electronic interference, the noise. If S/N
is high, sounds are reproduced with less noise and pictures are
reproduced clearly without snow.
Superimposition - The adding or mixing of two video signals to produce
and image with two or more pictures visible simultaneously. Used when a
keyer is not available to add graphics to video. Sometimes used to
refer to a key.
Sync - Any of the signals used to generate and control a television
picture, but, specifically, the portion of the composite video signal
from zero to minus forty IRE units consisting of vertical and
horizontal timing pulses and equalizing signals to maintain the proper
relationship of the two fields of video making up each frame.
TBC (Time Base Corrector) - A highly specialized device with the
primary function of making the unstable video output of a videotape
recorder conform to the rigid timing of a signal generator, allowing
videotape to be used as a picture source in combination with other
sources driven by the signal generator.
Time code - A digitally encoded signal that is recorded on videotape to
identify each frame of video by hour, minute, second and frame number.
SMPTE time code is applied to NTSC system, and EBU time code to PAL and
SECAM systems. There are two kinds of recorded signal: longitudinal
time code (LTC) and vertical interval time code (VITC). See also LTC
Time code lock - To synchronize the built-in time code generator of video equipment such as a VTR to an external time code.
Titles - Graphic information appearing at the beginning of a program,
generally including the title, author, producer, writer, director, and
Tracking control - The control used to maintain alignment of the video head with the tracks of video information on a tape.
Tuner - The demodulator section of a radio, television set, or videotape recorder.
UHF (Ultra High Frequency) - Radio frequencies from 300 to 3,000 megahertz.
U-matic - The standard format for 3/4 inch videocassette recorders.
This format has a maximum record/play time of one hour and two discrete
User’s bits - A total of 32 bits are provided in time code which you
can use to record such information as date, scene number, or reel
number on videotape.
Vectorscope - A special type of oscilloscope designed to display the
saturation and hue of chroma signals in a polar pattern. This device is
essential in the evaluation of color signals when aligning color
picture sources or matching and timing color sources in a television
VHF (Very High Frequency) - Radio frequencies from 30 to 300 megahertz.
VHS - A half inch videocassette format using the “M” wrap tape path. Not compatible with the BETA format.
Video gain - Amount of amplification for video signals, expressed in decibels (dB).
Viewfinder - A video monitor attached directly to a video camera.
Videocassette - A container holding both the feed and take-up reels
which is inserted into a videotape recorder and threaded automatically.
Volt - The standard unit for measuring the difference of potential between two points in an electronic circuit.
VTR - Videotape recorder.
VITC (Vertical Interval Time Code) - A time code recorded on videotape
in two horizontal lines during each vertical blanking period of a video
signal. Unlike LTC, VITC is recorded in the same tracks as the video
information, so they can be read even while the tape is not moving. See
also Time code and LTC.
Watt - Unit of electrical power equal to one volt across a resistance of one ohm, or one volt at a current of one ampere.
Waveform monitor - A specialized oscilloscope designed to display the
video waveform with great stability and high resolution. Essential in
determining and setting correct levels for the luminance (monochrome)
and sync portions of the composite video signal and useful in
evaluating critical timing relationships.
White balance adjustment - In the light of a particular color
temperature, to adjust the white levels of the R, G, and B channels of
a color video camera so that any white object shot in that light is
reproduced as a truly white image. See also Color temperature.
White shading - When shooting a white object, the upper and lower
portions of the screen may appear magenta or green while the central
portion appears white, depending on the performance of the camera lens.
This is called white shading.
Wind screen - A thin soft foam cover for microphones which reduces the noise made by wind striking the microphone.
Wipe - The transition between television picture sources in which each
picture source is displayed on only a portion of the screen, that
portion being determined by an electronically generated pattern which
can be sized and positioned using a special effects generator.
XLR or Cannon - A three-pin audio connector used with balanced lines in microphone and line level audio applications.
Zebra pattern - In a video camera, striped patterns which appear in the
viewfinder screen to indicate areas of the image where the video level
is higher than a certain value.
Zoom - To gradually change the field of view of a camera lens from wide
to narrow angle (zoom in) or narrow to wide angle (zoom out).
Zoom lens - A lens with a variable focal length.
Zoom ratio - The ratio of the longest focal length to the shortest focal length of a zoom lens.