Video Glossary

The first order of business to put all the pieces of the puzzle together is a quick video definitions lesson.

Bit: a binary digit taking a value of 0 or 1 and the basic unit of measure for digital information storage.

Bitrate: the number of bits processed per unit of time (not distance), quantified as bits per second (bps) or in larger increments kilo bits per second (kbps), mega bits per second (Mbps), giga bits per second (Gbps) or tera bits (Tbps).

Codec: a program which encodes (compresses) a digital stream for transmission, storage and encryption and/or decodes a digital data stream for displaying and editing Compression/Decompression.

CIF (Common Intermediate Format): Defines the resolution in terms of width and height of the video frame and the frame rate. CIF is stated as 352 x 240 pixels in the NTSC format (National Television System Committee - video television standard format used in North America). Other common resolutions are: 2CIF (704 x 240), 4CIF (704 x 480). This should not be confused with Common Image Format, a standard frame size for digital video.

Compression Artifact: the result of a significant data compression
scheme applied to an image, audio, or video which discards some critical data that may be too complex to store in the available data-rate, or may have been incorrectly determined by an algorithm to be of minimal value.

Image: a two-dimensional artifact.

Pixel: (picture element) is the smallest portion of information in an image. Pixels are merely samples of original images.

Resolution: distinct number of pixels in each dimension that "MAY" be displayed. Resolution can be specified as the number of pixel-columns (width) by the number of pixel-rows (height).

Sample: a set of values at a point in time and/or space.

TVL (TV Lines): Method of defining resolution in analog video.

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