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CEDIA is an acronym or short abbreviated term that stands for Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association.
Home Technology Terms: Glossary for Beginners.
No matter how familiar you may be with the tech world there are always new buzzwords floating around, and it can be really difficult to keep up. So, to give you a helping hand, we have comprised a list of definitions for some of the more common terms you will come into contact with as you learn more about home technology.
Amplified Volume Control System.
This is a single wire solution which is capable of delivering music to multiple rooms by means of a central control box, using a remote device in each room. Most of these control systems deliver line-level audio signal to the room module using twisted pair cable, like Cat5e: Besides controlling the functionality of that zone, the module also amplifies the signal to drive the speakers.
This describes a signal which is analogous (similar) to the original source. Analog technologies in the consumer electronics world are those that use traditional methods of receiving, recording, and/or reproducing communications or content. Cassettes tapes and VCRs are examples of analog technologies.
These are loudspeakers that have been specifically designed for installation in walls, ceilings, and floors, in order to subtly blend in with room décor. The in-ceiling and in-wall speakers of today are capable of a performance previously associated with free standing speakers, but these speakers can be either flush-mounted or well hidden.
Referring to an image, this is the ratio of the width to the height. High definition television uses 16:9 or 1.78:1 ratio, meaning it is almost twice as wide as it is tall; whereas analog and standard definition digital television uses a 4:3 (1.33:1) ratio. And with projection systems an even wider aspect ratio is available, such as 2.35:1, which is similar to the majority of widescreen motion pictures.
ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line).
This is a type of DSL broadband service, but it is known as asymmetric because it is quicker in one direction than it is in the other. The download speed is generally much greater, which enables more efficient access to music, video, and photos.
This refers to telecommunication with a wider bandwidth (it extends into higher frequencies) which means that more data can be carried. Examples of consumer broadband services are DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), fibre-optic networks, and high-speed Internet delivered via cable.
This is a device which enables connection to the Internet, allowing data to be sent and received via a local cable TV provider.
Cat 5 (Category 5) Cable.
Cat 5 Cable is communication cabling comprising four twisted pairs of copper wire which is usually terminated with RJ45 connectors. Over a distance of up to 100 meters, it is capable of up to 100 Mbps. More commonly used for telephone and data, we’re now seeing it being used for the distribution of video and audio signals.
Cat 5e (Category 5 Enhanced) Cable.
By utilising all four wire pairs, this cable supports short-run 1000baseT (1,000 Mbps) networking.
Cat 6 (Category 6) Cable.
This cable supports 10 Gbps up to 55 meters. Different to Cat 5 cable, both Cat 6 and Cat 6a cables are constructed to enable less crosstalk and higher speeds.
Cat 6a (Category 6 Augmented) Cable.
This cable supports 10 Gbps signals up to 100 meters.
There are different types of coax cable used in homes, such as RG6 (satellite, cable, and antenna); and RG59 (video, audio, cameras etc.) Coaxial cable is a type of communication cable consisting of a center conductor and a braided shield.
Cogeneration (Also known as CHP, which stands for Combined Heat and Power).
CHP is one of the more common forms of energy recycling: It is the use of a power station or heat engine to generate both useful heat and electricity simultaneously.
Independent of brightness, this term is used to describe how intense and vivid colors appear in the display. Colors appear washed out when the color saturation is too low, and colors may appear too vivid if the color saturation is too high.
Communication cabling consists of fibre-optic, twisted pair, and coaxial cabling.
Contrast refers to the relationship between the darkest and lightest areas on a picture or display device. A large difference means high contrast and a small difference means low contrast.
Digital refers to technology that is capable of generating, processing, or storing data in terms of two states: on/off (positive and non-positive). Positive is represented or expressed by the number 1, while non-positive is expressed by the number 0. Therefore, data that is either stored or transmitted using digital technology is expressed as a string of 1’s and 0’s. This method provides a variety of advantages for audio and video, such as more information, more channels, lower noise, and higher resolution.
DVR (Digital Video Recorder).
A DVR is a video component containing an integrated hard drive for both recording and time-shifting television programming. A DVR might contain an integrated tuner for receiving Satellite, Over the Air, Cable, and/or HDTV broadcasts. In addition, DVR functionality can be integrated into other devices, such as a television, home computer, or cable/satellite set-top box.
Home Technology Professional (also known as Electronic Systems Contract or Electronic Systems Integrator).
This refers to any company specialising in the design, sales, programming, installation and service of low-voltage electronic equipment and systems. An Electronic Systems Integrator could well be a large firm or just one or two people.
EST (Electronic Systems Technician).
This is a person who services, installs and upgrades low-voltage electronic systems in the field.
Ethernet is the most widely used Local Area Network (LAN) technology.
A firewall refers to either a software or hardware security measure designed to block unauthorised users from gaining access to a network or a computer.
This is a device that, regardless of media, allows customers whose equipment is connected to in-home networks to access and use services from any external network.
GUI (Graphic User Interface) .
Refers to the technology used for interfacing with computer software by pointing (with mouse) to graphic images (such as menus, icons, windows) instead of typing text. The end-user of a well-designed GUI will find it very easy to learn and use.
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface).
This refers to an interface standard which uses a single high-bandwidth cable, capable of carrying both video signals and digital audio between devices that are HDMI compliant.
This is an interconnection of electronic products and systems which allows remote control of, and access to, those products and systems; In addition to other content such as data, video, or music.
LCD refers to the video display technology which uses liquid crystal display. Today’s flat panel LCD displays are energy-efficient, lightweight and thin.
LAN (Local Area Network).
LAN refers to a network of personal computers and peripheral devices which have been configured to share information over a short distance. This will usually be within a building or a home.
A media server is a device for storing, organizing, and distributing digital content such as video, audio, and so on, to other electronic devices.
Modem (means modulate/demodulate).
Modems are designed for modulating outgoing digital signals from digital devices, or a computer, to analog signals via a conventional telephone line. The incoming analog signal is demodulated and converted to a digital signal for the digital device.
This is an audio system capable of distributing sound to speakers in multiple rooms. Basically, a multi-room audio setup consists of a source component (receiver) which is connected to speakers in a minimum of two separate rooms.
Network security refers to the monitoring and prevention of unauthorized access, modification, misuse, or denial of a computer network and its resources.
This refers to the power consumed by electronic appliances while they are in standby mode, or switched off.
A plasma TV is a flat-panel display comprised of a special gas which is sandwiched between layers of glass. The gas moves into a plasma state when the gas is electrically charged: phosphors are illuminated and a picture is produced. Plasma displays run hotter than LCD and are heavier. However, they produce accurate black levels and provide a very cinematic image.
RF (Radio Frequency).
Radio frequency waves can be both received and transmitted through walls and other physical barriers: They differ from infrared technology which requires a clear line of sight between the receiver and the transmitter.
A device used for connecting two networks, a router is commonly used in residential applications in order to connect a home network to the Internet.
This refers to the low power mode on electronic devices; devices such as televisions, computers, and remote controlled devices. When compared with leaving a device fully on and idle, standby mode saves a significant amount of electrical consumption. It also means the user is not required to wait for a machine to reboot or to reset programming codes.
A sub-system is any system within a whole house system that accepts commands from, or gives feedback to, that system or another system.
This is content that is continuously received by and presented to a user while being delivered through an IP network by a content provider. Even before the entire file has been transmitted, content can be displayed. Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix are examples of streaming media.
Structured wiring refers to a system of low-voltage wires that has been specifically designed to carry electronic signals throughout a house.
This refers to using a single control system to provide easy control over multiple subsystems in a home. Home automation systems provide control of subsystems such as media systems, locks, lighting, HVAC, security, blinds, and outdoor systems.
Surround sound refers to a multichannel audio system capable of providing a minimum of six audio channels – centre, right, left, surround right, surround left, and low-frequency effect (LFE, or Subwoofer)
Twisted Pair Cabling.
This is cable that has been constructed of twisted wire pairs, with each conductor having its own insulation. Shielded and Un-Shielded are the two basic types of twisted pair cables. For home use, most twisted pair cables like Cat 5 and Cat 6 include four pairs of wires contained within an outer insulating sheath. The majority of home applications use unshielded four-pair cable.
This refers to devices such as LCD touchscreens, keypads and volume controls that assist in controlling a home’s electronic systems. There are many user interfaces available, with some being designed for a counter or tabletop while others are wall mounted. In some cases, mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones can also serve as a user interface.
VoIP (Voice Over IP).
VoIP refers to a voice telephone service delivered via the Internet. Possibly the greatest advantage of Internet telephony and VoIP is that the user avoids the expense of utilizing an ordinary telephone service.
Widescreen refers to any hardware or video software comprising an aspect ratio that is wider than 4:3. When viewing high definition content, the optimum ratio is 16:9.