Letterbox. One technique for accommodating widescreen programming on a standard
4:3 screen. Letterboxing presents the widescreen picture with black bars across the top
and bottom. Cinema purists love letterboxing because it preserves the director's original
vision. Others are disturbed by a picture that does not fill their 4:3 screen.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). A television display type that uses a viscous liquid and
a mesh of transistors to turn pixels on and off. LCDs are used in both direct-view and
projection television. In both cases, LCDs require a light to generate brightness.
Local channels. DIRECTV broadcasting that beams the signals of CBS, NBC, ABC and
Fox local affiliate stations, plus a PBS national feed into many cities. No need for cable
or a local TV antenna.
Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel. The "0.1" bass channel of surround sound
systems, commonly fed to a subwoofer.
Luminance. The black-and-white component of a video signal, abbreviated Y.
Luminance is combined with the color signal (chrominance) in composite video
connections, but kept apart in S-Video and component connections.
Memory Stick® media playback. A Sony feature that enables you to display JPEG
images (DCF format).* Simply slide the Memory Stick media out of a Sony Cyber-
shot® camera or Handycam® camcorder and into the television's Memory Stick slot!
MID™ circuitry. Sony processing that enables advanced Twin View™ picture-and-
picture, including simultaneous display of SD and HD-originated pictures.
Multi-Channel Super Audio CD playback. The benefits of surround sound come to
music. Super Audio CD supports up to 5.1 channels of full-quality sound.
Noise. Random, unwanted interference with the signal to which you're trying to watch or
listen. In audio, noise takes the form of hiss or static. In video, noise is picture "snow,"
random flecks or specks of unwanted color.
NTSC. The U.S. standard for color TV broadcasting, adopted in the 1950s. NTSC is
now used to refer to other aspects of conventional broadcasting, including the frame rate
of 29.97 interlaced frames per second and the television raster of 525 gross scanning lines
per frame and 480 active scanning lines. NTSC officially stands for National Television
Standards Committee, although frustrated engineers will tell you it stands for "Never The
One Button Record. This feature of DIRECTV receivers lets you record a show from
the program guide at the touch of a button. Uses the receiver's timer and an infrared
"blaster" to automatically start and stop your VCR.
Optical digital output. A method of connecting high-quality digital audio from a source
component to an A/V receiver. Optical outputs use a fiber optic transceiver to convert
pulses of electrical voltage into flashes of laser light. At the far end, the light is
converted back into voltage pulses.
Pan & Scan. One technique for accommodating widescreen programming on a standard
4:3 screen. The system selects out a 4:3 portion of the larger picture and presents only
that portion. To follow the action in the larger picture, a technician must sometimes shift
The Sony Guide to Home Theater