Access Channels: Cable channels made available to community members, either for free or lease basis. Cable operators aren’t allowed editorial control on these channels, except to refuse programming with obscene or indecent content.
Access Corporation: Corporations within a municipality created to operating that municipality’s access channel(s).
AC / Alternating Current: Electric current that constantly switches its direction giving a definite plus and minus wave form at fixed intervals.
Amplifier: A device that increases amplitude of electrical signals. Cable systems use amplifiers to restore the amplitude of television signals.
Analog: Signals sent as electromagnetic waves.
Bandwidth: This term has several definitions. First, it refers to range of viable frequencies a cable television systems may carry. It also is used as a measure of the information-carrying capacity of a communication channel. Lastly, bandwidth refers to the speed at which data can be transferred.
Black Box: A cable television descrambler capable of receiving, converting, and decoding scrambled signals without proper authorization. Black boxes are illegal.
Blackout: The non-broadcast of a live event imposed by the event’s sponsor(s).
Broadband: Used to denote evolving digital technologies that provide consumers with a single-switched facility offering access to voice, video, video-on-demand, high-speed data, and interactive information delivery.
Basic Service Tier (BST): Lowest level of cable service available, and the only currently regulated rates.
Coaxial Cable: Cables with a conducting outer metal tube insulated from a central conducting core. They transmit electronic signals.
Community antenna TV (CATV): Cable television.
Descrambler: Electronic circuits that restores an intentionally scrambled video signal to its original standard form. This technology is legal if the device is authorized by the cable operator, but it is illegal to perpetrate cable theft.
Designated Market Area (DMA): Nielsen Media Research established standards to determine the market area for a broadcast station.
Digital Cable Terminal (DCT): Devices that receive analog and digital signals and convert them to analog, then transmit analog signals to the TV.
Digital Cable TV: Cable company service which adds channels to current programming including pay-per-view, music, etc.
Digital: Represents the amplitude and frequence of analog with codes consisting of ones and zeros. Digital technology allows for compression so that more channels can be carried. Cable operators who use digital technology often offer digital cable television, high-speed data, and digital telephone services.
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS): Satellite service which can be received using an antenna on the subscriber’s premises.
Frequency: Varying physical quantities that produce varying degrees of tone and pitch in a voice signal.
Ghost: Weak images of received pictures, offset either to the left or right of the primary image, usually caused by signal path reflections.
High Definition Television (HDTV): Extremely high quality television signal with picture resolution nearly equal to that of film.
Hertz: (Abbr. H) A term used as an indication of frequency.
Input/Output (I/O): Transmitting data between peripherals unit and more centrally located equipment.
LAN: Local Area Network.
License Amendment: Changes in the terms and conditions of an existing license.
License or Franchise Renewal: Renews the authorization to operate a cable system.
License or Franchise: Authorizes the construction or operation of a cable system.
MegaHertz (MHz): One million cycles per second.
Must Carry: Channels the cable operator is required to provide on the basic service tier in that area.
Obscenity and Indecency: The Supreme Court set forth a test used to determine whether individual programming constitutes obscene or indecent speech. More information may be found on a fact sheet at the FCC’s website.
Overbuild: When a competing cable operator builds a cable network system in an area already serviced by a cable operator.
Parental Control: Allows parents to lock-out selected services.
Parental Lock Capability: Some televisions allow users to block access to channels.
Pay-Per-View (PPV): Users are charged a price for individual programs requested, typically a movie or special event.
Premium Channels: Channels not included in a cable operator’s regular service tiers such as HBO or Showtime.
Scrambler: Device used to alter a signal so that it can’t be viewed on a normal TV unless another electronic device is attached to the subscriber’s set to unscramble the picture.
Snow: Heavy random noise.
Static: Electrical discharges in the atmosphere such as lightning, corona, etc.
Subscribers: Customers who pay fees for cable television service.
Transponder: Combination receiver and transmitter on a satellite that relays signals transmitted to it back to earth on a different frequency.
Tuner: Used to select one signal from a number of signals in a given frequency range.
TV Guide Interactive: A program of convenient options offered in menu format on the TV screen.
V-Chip: Built-in system allows users to screen out programs they do not want household members to watch.
Video On Demand: Offers movies and events to be viewed immediately after selection.
Volt: Unit of electromotive force. It is the difference of potential required to make a current of one ampere flow through resistance of one ohm.