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Telecommunications Glossary

block-error ratethe ratio of the number of blocks incorrectly received to the total number of blocks sent.
basic rate interface - brithe basic subscriber loop for one or two users, which delivers two 64 kpbs b channels and one 16 kbps d channel over a standard twisted pair loop. each circuit-switched b channel can transmit voice or...
base band distribution systemsusually used when the viewing areas are close together, and when tv monitors are used for viewing. the base band audio/video output from the satellite receivers is fed directly into the monitor. this ...
backbone microwave systema series of directional microwave paths carrying common information to be relayed between remote points. the backbone microwave system is engineered to allow the insertion of signals, the dropping off...
automatic number identification - anithe automatic identification of a calling station, usually for automatic message accounting. also used in pay-per-view automated telephone order entry to identify a customer for billing and program au...
authoring systemcomputer software that allows one to develop the framework for an interactive multimedia presentation. authoring software enables the use of multiple data types as well as the controls needed to play-...
aural cableservices providing fm-only original programming to cable systems on a lease basis.
audio-subcarrierfrequency which transmits audio for an accompanying video signal or independent audio (such as a radio program). audio is sent along with the video signal, but on a different frequency.
audiographicteleconference system which uses narrow band telecommunications channels (telephone lines or subcarriers); transmits audio and graphics. graphics can be transmitted by facsimile transceivers (transmit...
audio teleconferencingtwo-way electronic voice communication between two or more groups, or three or more individuals, who are in separate locations.
audio response unitdevice that provides a spoken response to digital inquiries from a telephone or other device. the response is composed from a prerecorded vocabulary of words and can be transmitted over telecommunicat...
basic receiverslowest cost; limited (or manual) channel tuning capability; may use fixed antennas.
batched communicationthe sending of a large body of data from one station to another station network, without intervening responses from the receiving unit.
bbs - bulletin board system/servicethe bbs is an area within a network where users can post information for public display, in much the same way one posts information on a regular bulletin board. most networks dedicate a bulletin board...
block downconverter - bdclocated at the antenna. the multi-conversion process of converting the entire band to an intermediate frequency (4 ghz to 1 ghz) for transmission to multiple receivers, where the next conversion takes...
blanking signala specified series of blanking pulses.
blanking (picture)the portion of the composite video signal whose instantaneous amplitude makes the vertical and horizontal retrace invisible.
bit streama continuous string of bit positions occurring serially in time.
bit densitya measure of the number of bits received per unit of length or area.
bisdn - broadband isdnis expected to offer dedicated circuits, switched circuits and packet services at rates of 155 mbps and above.bisdn is currently in the conceptual stage, and the term refers to a family of services be...
binary filesthose containing information that is not represented in the file by ascii characters. these may be graphics, formatted files, or even executable programs. in order to send these files, special up- and...
bidirectional flowa pathway allocating two-way data or communication exchange; flow in either direction represented on the same flow line in a flowchart.
bicycle tapesthe process whereby video tape material is distributed by sending or bicycling the tape after presentation to the next site for its scheduled presentation.
beyond the horizon regionthat physical region beyond the optical horizon with which line-of- sight radio communications is not normally possible, but can occur if atmospheric conditions are such to cause beam bending or forwa...
audio responsea form of output that uses verbal replies to inquiries. the computer is programmed to seek answers to inquiries made on a time-shared on-line system and then to utilize a special audio response unit w...
audio presentationoften overlooked, but just as important as the video (perhaps more so) is the sound portion of the program. without the audio, nothing is understood while a video failure could be tolerated if the sou...
audio bridgean audio bridge connects the telephones at remote sites, equalizes the noise distortion and background noise for a live audio teleconference.
adsl - asymmetric digital subscriber loopadsl uses a regular phone line (twisted pair) without a dial tone (a dry pair) to allow transfer speeds of up to 7mb downstream with slower speeds going back up (faster than a t1). the telcos are usin...
adpcm - adaptive differential pulse code modulationa method of compressing audio data by recording the differences between successive digital samples rather than full value of the samples. there are many different types of adpcm standards; this refers...
ad hocteleconferencing technology and sites assembled for an event; equipment may be rented or permanently installed; sites are not always part of the network.
active satellitea satellite that transmits a signal, in contrast to a passive satellite that only reflects a signal. the signal received by the active satellite is usually amplified and translated to a different freq...
acoustic modema modulator-demodulator unit that converts data signals to telephone tones and back again.
acoustic echo return loss enhancement - aerlethe maximum echo cancellation provided by the acoustic canceller. typical figures will vary from 6 to 18 db. the larger the number the better. it is important to note whether the figure is quoted with...
acoustic echo return loss - aerlthe minimum loss experienced by a sound in traveling from the loudspeaker to the microphone in a conference room. it is expressed in db or decibels. a 0 db loss corresponds to a perfectly reflective r...
acoustic echo cancellerall speakerphones have some form of adaptive echo canceller that produces a synthetic replica of the potential echo to subtract from the transmit audio. most units have a center clipping echo suppress...
acoustic couplera device that allows a conventional telephone handset to feed its signal into a modem, as opposed to direct couplers, which feed the modulated/demodulated signal directly into the phone line.
accunet switched digital serviceshigh-speed dial-up digital data services offered by at&t for full duplex digital transmission at speeds of 56, 64, 384 and 1536 kbps. uses include data, voice and video services.
affiliate networkgroup with their own satellite receive equipment; routinely receive same programming.
aftraamerican federation of television and radio artists. a union for artists who perform on broadcast media, including tape.
america online - aolcommercial information service with a graphical interface.
atv - advanced televisionan agglomeration of techniques, based largely on digital signal processing and transmission, that permits far more program material to be carried through channels than existing analog systems can mana...
atm - asynchronous transfer modeatm switching protocol can handle all types of traffic - voice, data, image, and video.
asynchronous communicationtakes place in different time frames and accessed at the user`s convenience. synchronous communication takes place in the same time frame such as a live teleconference.
archival1) a medium that is readable and/or writable for an extended period.
2) long-lasting. in processing, those procedures that help insure stability of the image. also, storage materials that will not ...

applications programa computer program dedicated to a specific purpose or task. applications programs which produce discernible results and can sometimes be machine-independent, are distinct from systems programs, which ...
application softwarein computers, programs used to interact with and accomplish work for the user. application software is usually written in a higher computer language such as basic, cobol, fortran or pascal, and may be...
antenna powerthe product of the square of the broadcast antenna current and the antenna resistance where the current is measured.
ansi - american national standards instituteansi is one of these terminal emulation methods. although most popular on pc-based bulletin-board systems, it can also be found on some internet sites. to use it properly, you will first have to turn ...
animationa video, film, and computer production technique utilizing cartoon-type artwork to create the illusion of movement.
analog-to-digital - a/d conversionthe conversion of an analog signal into a digital equivalent. an a/d converter samples or measures an input voltage and outputs a digitally encoded number corresponding to that voltage.