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Glossary of Movies Terms

Find yourself a bit puzzled by some of the language you've found in our movie listings? Here are some of the terms, abbreviations and vocabulary that are commonly used by movie sellers to describe the items they have for sale.

Other Glossaries

Books Glossary | Music Glossary

TERMS:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B

Beta — a discontinued format of video tape, similar to VHS but smaller. Beta tapes can only be played in Beta players and cannot be played in a standard VHS player.

Blu-ray DVD — a type of DVD that holds over 5 times the data of a standard DVD, offering a high-definition image and improved audio. Blu-ray DVDs can only be played in Blu-ray DVD players and cannot be played in a standard DVD player.

D

dd or Dolby digital — A digital multichannel audio format that adds stereo rear channels and a bass channel to basic Dolby surround.

ds or Dolby surround — A digital multichannel audio format. Basic Dolby surround is recorded and plays back with left/right stereo, center and mono rear channels.

dts or digital theater sound — A digital multichannel audio format that enhances Dolby digital through special audio mixing techniques.

DVD — DVD once stood for digital video disc or digital versatile disc, but now it just stands for DVD—the next generation of optical disc storage technology.

dVHS — A version of the VHS video format developed to record and playback digital broadcasts at the same quality as the original digital transmission.

F

film reel — A movie recorded and edited on film and displayed via a reel-to-reel film projector.

H

HD-DVD — a type of DVD that holds about 3 times the data of a standard DVD, offering a high-definition image and improved audio.  HD-DVDs can only be played in HD-DVD players and cannot be played in a standard DVD player.

L

laser disc — The industry-wide term for consumer laser video produced on a 12-inch disc. Quality is generally considered to be twice that of VHS. These discs are generally highly collectible.

N

NPAL or PAL — A VHS encoding format used for videotapes to be played in Europe (but not France), Scandinavia, Australia, and India. Some VCRs are now sold that can play both NTSC and PAL tapes.

NTSC — A VHS encoding format used for videotapes to be played in Canada, United States, Japan and parts of South America.

O

oar or original aspect ratio — The proportion of image display height to width in which a film is released. Significant because some studios or production companies will reduce a film's image quality and aspect ratios for DVD or VHS release, sometimes altering the original vision of the movie's director.

oop — Out of print.

overscan — The portion of the movie blocked by the edges of your TV screen.

P

pixelation — A description of the circumstance under which the pixels (the smallest graphic elements) in a digital picture or video become scrambled and thus visible to the viewer.

R

region coding — DVDs are recorded and encoded for use in only one of six designated world regions. This system was developed to enable motion picture companies to release movies at different times in different regions.

DVDs

Region 1

Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, United States and U.S. territories

Region 2

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, European Union, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic), Malta, Moldova, Principality of Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (including the Channel Islands) Vatican City State, and Yemen

Region 3

Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, and Taiwan

Region 4

Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Oceania, and South America (except French Guiana)

Region 5

The rest of Africa, Former Soviet Union, the Indian subcontinent, Mongolia, North Korea, and and Seychelles

Region 6

Mainland China

All Region, Region-free or Region 0

Indicates that the DVD has no region restrictions and is playable in all regions.


Blu-Ray DVDs

Region A or 1

North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia

Region B or 2

Europe, Greenland, French territories, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand

Region C or 3

India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mainland China, Pakistan, Russia, Central and South Asia

S

SECAM — A VHS encoding format used for videotapes to be played in in Eastern Europe and France.

SVHS — Super VHS, a video cassette format that records and plays back at higher quality than standard VHS.

T

THX — A sound quality assurance rating and system originally developed by George Lucas.

U

UMD or Universal Media Disc — a disc medium for use with the PlayStation Portable. It can play music, movies or games. UMD discs cannot be played in a standard CD or DVD player.

VHS — A video cassette format that originally stood for video home system.

V

vcd or video compact disc — A digital movie compressed onto a writeable or rewriteable CD. Video CDs will not play on most DVD players.

VHS — A video cassette format that originally stood for video home system.

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