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Removable Media - Glossary

AGC
(Automatic Gain Control). A circuit which automatically adjusts the input gain of a device, in order to provide a safe and consistent signal level. AGCs can be handy features, but professional applications often require manual gain control for optimum results.

Amperage
The amount of electrical current transferred from one component to another.

Anamorphic Lens
A special type of wide-angle lens which stretches the width of the image but not the height, creating a widescreen aspect ratio.

Archive media
The media to which an archive file is written. Archive media can be removable tape or magneto-optical cartridges in a library. In addition, archive media can be a mount point on another system.

Bandpass Filter
A circuit which allows a certain band of frequencies to pass.  

Bandwidth
A range of frequencies.

Biscuit
Square/rectangular metal part which screws to the bottom of the camera plate, and allows the plate to attach to the head. The biscuit comes as part of the head's package, whereas the plate comes with the camera. The biscuit is the "interface" between the two, and is designed to attach to any plate, and fit into a corresponding slot on the head. When the head's quick-release mechanism is activated, the biscuit, plate and camera are all released as one.

Bluetooth
A wireless data transfer system which allows devices to communicate with each other over short distances, e.g. phones, laptops, etc.

Blu-ray
A high-definition DVD format supported by a group of manufacturers led by Sony.

Broadband
A general term to describe an internet connection faster than 56K. Broadband usually means 512K or greater.

Burn
The process of recording information to an optical disk (CD or DVD).

Camcorder
A single unit consisting of a video camera and recording unit.

CD
Compact Disc. Optical storage device, capable of storing around 600-700MB of data.

CRT
Cathode Ray Tube.

D Series Tape Formats
A series of broadcast digital formats, designated D1, D2, etc. Dx is basically a replacement for 1-inch formats. D2 and D3 combine chrominance and luminance information, whereas D1 and D5 store them separately (and are therefore higher quality).

DAT
Digital Audio Tape.

Data Rate
The amount of data which is transferred in one second. In a video file, this means the amount of data the file must transfer to be viewed at normal speed.

Decibel (dB)
Logarithmic measurement of signal strength. 1/10 of a Bel.

Driver
A piece of software which enables a piece of hardware to work with a computer. Usually supplied with the hardware, but can often be downloaded from the vendor's website.

DV
Digital Video.

DVCAM
Digital tape format from Sony.

DVD
(Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc). An optical disc format which provides sufficient storage space and access speeds to playback entire movies.

DVD Authoring
The process of taking video footage, adding chapter stops, menus, and encoding the footage into MPEG files ready to be burned.

DVD Burning
Taking the authored DVD files and physically writing them to a disk.

Equalization
The process of adjusting selected ranges of audio frequencies in order to correct or enhance the characteristics of a signal.

Frame Rate
The number of video or film frames displayed each second (frames per second; fps). PAL frame rate is 25 fps, NTSC is 30 fps and film is 24 fps.

HD DVD
A high-definition DVD format supported by a group of manufacturers led by Toshiba.

Hi8
An analog video format introduced by Sony in 1989.

Indeo
A digital video compression format.

Infra-red
Frequencies beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, i.e. frequencies with longer wavelengths than red light. Perceived by humans as heat. Commonly used for remote-control devices.

Lens
A structure made of transparent glass or other material, with at least one curved surface, which causes the light rays passing through it to converge or diverge in a controlled fashion.

Luminance
Measure of brightness.

M, MII
Professional tape formats from Panasonic. The MII format was introduced a few years later to compete with Beta SP. MII uses a different sized cassette.

Media
Tape, floppy or optical disk cartridges.

Media Recycling
The process of recycling or reusing archive media with few active files.

Morph
Computer-assisted process in which an image (or video) is gradually transformed (morphosed) into another.

QuickTime
A digital media format originally developed for the Apple Computer range, but is now also available for other platforms.

Removable media file
A special type of user file that can be accessed directly from where it resides on a removable media cartridge, such as magnetic tape or optical disk cartridge. Also used for writing archive and stage file data.

Rule of Thirds
A technique in camera framing where the frame is divided into imaginary sections to create reference points.

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