Glossary

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  • (S)VGA (Super) Video Graphics Array is the PC video display standard with a resolution of 640x480 pixels (or  800x600 pixels for SVGA).  It is transmitted over a single cable with a standard 15-pin connector,  carrying RGB signals plus horizontal and vertical synchronisation signals.
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A
  • AAC Advanced Audio Coding - a digital audio encoding standard also known as MPEG-2 Part 7 and MPEG-4 Part 3 (in a modified form)
  • AC3

    Adaptive Transform Coder 3 - Now known as Dolby Digital

  • ADK

    Application Development Kit - allows development of custom software components eg EPG client, portal middleware

  • ANT Fresco

    ANT's Fresco web browser is supported by the AmiNET STBs and is specifically designed for interactive TV and consumer electronic devices.     http://www.antplc.com/products/fresco.htm

  • Amino Channel Manager

     
    The Amino Channel Management Application (or Channel Zapper)  is a simple JavaScript/HTML application written for the Ax3x and later set-top boxes to run in the Opera browser. This solution is intended to replace the simple ‘channel zapper’ program that was bundled with Opera 8 legacy products
    It has the following user features

    • Channel Up/Down: the STB user may use the channel up/down buttons to surf through the channels. 
    • Numeric Selection: the STB user may use numeric keys to select channels. 
    • Closed Captions.
    • Audio Language.

    Up to 999 channels can be listed.

    The html and Javascript files are supplied as a postbuild pack which is available in the downloads section of the support system.  They can either be hosted on the STB by adding the postbuild pack to a standard image and upgrading the STB’s software, or can be installed on a webserver.

    Pre-signed images containing the channel zapper are available for

    If you have an image that you want to customise yourself then the postbuild packs can be downloaded here (requires  a login):

    For full detailed instructions please see null TN050 - channel zapper

    An online version is also available to test out the application functionality.  Simply point an x3x/x4x STB to http://channels.aminocom.com (internet connection required), or for x5x http://channels.aminocom.com/x5x/index.html.  The password is "letmein" (without quotes).

     

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C
  • CA

    Conditional Access technology is used to encrypt digital transmissions (eg TV or radio) in order to control access to digital broadcast services.  This can be for authenticating end users and also to offer security in purchasing and other transactions.  Smart cards and/or PIN numbers are often used by the end user to access services.   There are a number of different CA providers who interoperate with Amino STBs - see http://www.aminocom.com/about-us/partners/

  • Closed Captioning

    Closed captioning allows people to read a transcript of the audio portion of a video transmission as the video is playing.  It aims to describe all significant sounds including non-speech information (for example sound effects).  The term "closed" refers to the fact that not all viewers see captions - only those who actively choose to do so.  This term is mainly used in North America to be distinct from subtitling, which is generally used for language translations only.  In the UK and Ireland subtitling refers to both.

  • Component Video

    Component video is the name given to analogue video information that is transmitted or stored as two or more separate signals eg RGB. In consumer video products, these separate component signals refer to: Luminance (Y) - for Light; and two Chroma (Colour)  signals (Pb - blue) and (Pr - red). HDTV-Component cables and connections are commonly labeled: Y/Pb/Pr.  Currently, component video connections are gradually being superseded by the higher quality digital DVI and HDMI interface.

  • Composite Video

    Composite video uses a single transmission wire to carry combined 3 colour analogue video signals, known as Y, U and V (together known as YUV), along with synchronisation pulses.   It is a composite of three source signals called Y, U and V (together referred to as YUV) along with synchronisation pulses. Y represents the brightness or luminance of the picture and includes synchronising pulses, so that by itself it could be displayed as a monochrome picture. U and V between them carry the colour information. It is usually in a standard format such as NTSC, PAL, or SECAM.  The standard connector is a yellow RCA type plug.

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D
  • DHCP

    Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is used to automatically assign IP addresses in a network, rather than having to manually configure them.

  • DHTML

    Dynamic HTML (DHTML) is the name given to a group of technologies used for creating web pages - namely static HTML, scripting languages (eg javascript) and cascading style sheets (CSS).  Ant Fresco does not support DHTML however both Opera8 and Escape do.

  • DRM

    Digital Rights Management is the generic name given to technologies that allows content owners to protect digital products from copyright infringement.

  • DVB

    Digital Video Broadcasting - a set of open standards governing digital video broadcasting including DVB-T (terrestrial), DVB-S (satellite), DVB-C (cable)  and DVB-H (handheld) http://www.dvb.org/

  • DVI

    Digital Visual Interface is a high-bandwidth video connection standard that defines the digital interface between devices such as presentation and display devices (eg PCs and projectors).  It allows a digital to digital connection to be made, that eliminates the conversion to analogue and optimises the picture size and resolution to ensure the highest picture quality.

  • Dolby

    A set of technologies for defining high quality audio which Amino license for use in the AmiNET STBs http://www.dolby.com/

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E
  • EPG

    Electronic Programming Guide - the onscreen channel guide

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H
  • H.264

    The ITU-T standard for digital video encoding which has very high data compression .  It is technically identical to MPEG4 Part 10  (MPEG4/AVC). H.264 encoding can provide DVD-quality video at under 2Mbps

  • HDCP

    High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of digital rights managementdeveloped by Intel to control digital audio and video content as it travels across Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connections.  It uses a form of key authentication to ensure secure transmission, but is not designed to prevent copying or recording of digital content.  HDCP is proprietry and is licensed by Digital Content Protection, LLC.  http://www.digital-cp.com/home

  • HDMI

    High Definition Multimedia Interface is a specification combining high-definition video and multi-channel audio into one digital interface. It has been developed by a group of electronics manufacturers including Philips, Panasonic, Sony,  Hitachi, Philips, Thomson Multimedia and Toshiba http://www.hdmi.org

  • HLS

    HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is an adaptive streaming mechanism.  This means that it is designed to send video over networks of varying and often unknown bandwidths and is therefore a good choice for video on unmanaged or OTT networks.

    For more information See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_Live_Streaming

    HLS is suported on the Amino Ax4x and newer products.

  • High Definition

    High Definition (HD) TV is a digital TV broadcast with higher resolution than the original formats (PAL, NTSC, SECAM).  Advantages include more realistic colouring and 2-5 times the level of detail of standard definition TV (making it better for large screen TVs).

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I
  • IGMP

    Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is a communications protocol used to manage the membership of  multicast groups. IGMP is used by IP hosts and adjacent multicast routers to establish multicast group memberships. It is an integral part of the IP multicast specification, like ICMP for unicast connections.

  • IME An Input Method Editor (also known as Input Method Environment or Input Method Engine) is a program or operating system component that allows computer users to enter complex characters and symbols using a standard western keyboard, for example Chinese, Japanese or Korean character sets.
  • IPTV

    IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) refers to the delivery of a digital television transmission over an IP network infrastructure. IPTV is typically a closed, proprietary TV system similar in approach to those present today on cable services but delivered via IP-based secure channels representing a sharp increase in control of content distribution.

  • Internet TV

    Internet TV is transmitted over the public Internet (in comparison with IPTV which is typically over a closed network). By comparison, the other TV modes - whether cable, DBS or Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) - are managed over dedicated networks. Internet TV is a fledgling industry and is an open evolving framework in which a very large number of small and medium-sized video producers contribute highly innovative niche content alongside with offerings from more traditional channels. Internet TV can show a channel 'live' (like regular TV), or allow the viewer to select a show to watch on demand ("Video-on-Demand"). It will be deeply integrated into the existing Internet user experience and into the mechanisms that users use to access services, discover resources and share experiences in the Internet world.

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K
  • Kasenna Kasenna is a provider of video on demand solutions:  Kasenna LivingRoom is a next-generation IPTV solution that is designed to be "true middleware." LivingRoom is a true service & application delivery platform that provides applications for today's and tomorrow's IPTV services. MediaBase XMP is Kasenna's flagship video delivery software that manages the video content for delivery, turns affordable off-the-shelf Intel/Linux servers from leading server vendors into a high performance video delivery platform. http://www.kasenna.com/
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L
  • libconfig

    libconfig is a command line tool, available on the Amino STBs, to interact with the STB's configuration settings.

    libconfig-get is used to retrieve settings; libconfig-set is used to set them.

    For more information on how to use the tool and which configuration values can be read and changed see pdf Set‐Top Box Configuration Guide for x3x & x4x STBs

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M
  • MPEG2 MPEG2 is the Moving Picture Experts Group's coding standards for digital video and audio, adopted as standard in 1994.  MPEG2 is capable of compressing the bit rate of standard-definition 4:2:0 video down to about 3-15 Mbit/s. For digital terrestrial television broadcasting of standard-definition video, a bit rate of around 6 Mbit/s is thought to be a good compromise between picture quality and transmission bandwidth efficiency.  For high definition bit rates would be around 16-20Mbit/s.  http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/standards/mpeg-2/mpeg-2.htm
  • MPEG4 MPEG4 is the Moving Picture Experts Group's coding standards for digital video and audio, introduced in 1998.  It provides various standards for video and audio compression, improving efficency over MPEG2.  Additionally support for graphics and scene description have been added.  Not all parts of the specification are supported by devices.  MPEG 4 part 10 (aka H.264) is a popular highly efficient video compression algortithm supported on Aminos latest generation of product.
  • Macrovision

    Macrovision Corporation provide copy protection technology, developed by Macrovision Corporation. http://www.macrovision.com/

  • Management Pages

    The Management Pages are the administration pages on an Amino STB, accessed by pressing alt-m on the IR keyboard.  The default password is leaves.  To confirm the changes the default password is snake.

  • Minerva Minerva is an IP Television player in the North American market, successful in offering complete IP Television headends to broadband network operators. Amino has ported Minerva Networks' iTVManager video services management software to their AmiNET set-top boxes. The iTVManager client module running on the AmiNET enables access through a user interface to a variety of video services, including live television, video-on-demand (VOD), near-VOD, pay-per-view, Internet access and email. The combination of the Minerva middleware and the Amino IP-STB results in an end-to end solution that is ideal for telcos and service providers who want to offer interactive TV services over their broadband IP networks http://www.minervanetworks.com/
  • Multicast Multicast refers to IP Multicast, which is a protocol used to send messages to multiple devices simultaneously  (rather than to one at a time). The IP multicast address specifies the group of receivers and is in the range 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255.   Devices join and leave multicast groups using the IGMP protocol.  Multicast messages are not forwaded accross routers.  Multicast is often used for video broadcasts and Amino has also implemented multicast upgrade functionality in its STBs to provide a scalable secure upgrade system.
  • Multicast Upgrade Multicast Upgrade is the name given to the system that Multicast-aware STBs use for software upgrades. Specifically a Multicast Upgrade is the process of receiving a Multicast Upgrade Image, verifying and writing it to the flash. However, it also generally refers to the entire system including the server side (mcastbootd and DHCP) and Multicast Bootstrap.
  • Myrio Since 1998, Myrio Corporation has been a provider of software, content and integration services that enable broadband operators to offer advanced IPTV services. Myrio's products and professional services enable new video revenue opportunities while allowing operators to leverage their infrastructures. Myrio is proud of its partnership with Amino and its successful efforts to improve the economics and performance of IP set-top box equipment.  http://www.myrio.com
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N
  • NTSC NTSC is the analogue television system in use in Korea, Japan, United States, Canada and certain other places, mostly in the Americas. It is named for the National Television System(s) Committee, the industry-wide standardisation body that created it. It broadcasts 60 half frames per second, at 525  lines of resolution.
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O
  • Opera Opera Software develops a family of browsers supported by the AmiNETSTBs and designed for consumer electronic devices http://www.opera.com/
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P
  • PAL Phase Alternating Line is a colour television encoding standard, developed in Germany and used in broadcast television systems in large parts of the world. Other analogue television systems are SECAM and NTSC.  It broadcasts 50 half frames per second (50 Hz) at  625 lines of resolution and is used throughout Europe and China and well as parts of Africa, South America and the Middle East.  A few countries, notably Brazil, use PAL-M at 60 Hz and 525 lines of resolution.
  • PBL

    The Primary Boot Loader (PBL) is used in the Ax4x and newer Amino boxes.  It runs on boot and is used to check whether there is a main software image present on the box.  If a main image is available the PBL will run it; if not then the PBL will run the Recovery Image

  • PCR

    Program Clock References are the time stamps used in MPEG encoding.  The output of the encoder buffer is time stamped with STC (System Time Clock) references which are known as PCRs if the stamp is at the transport packet level.  They are required to occur at least once every 100ms.   They are used to synchronise the system clocks of the decoder and encoder.

  • PPPoE PPPoE, point-to-point protocol over Ethernet, is a network protocol for encapsulating PPP frames in Ethernet frames. It is used mainly with DSL services. It offers standard PPP features such as authentication, encryption, and compression. Unfortunately it has an MTU lower than that of standard ethernet which can sometimes cause problems with badly configured firewalls.
  • PVR

    A Personal Video Recorder, also known as Digital Video Recorder, is a device which records video using an internal hard drive rather than external storage medium.  The Amino A5XX family of boxes provide PVR functionality.

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Q
  • QoS

    Quality of Service is a general term that refers to the performance attributes of an end-to-end connection, often including jitter, latency or available bandwidth.  It can also be used to apply different treatment to different classes of traffic - for example to prioritise more delay sensitive video packets over web browsing.

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R
  • RF

    RF stands for Radio Frequency: the name given to frequencies within a particular range of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Television signals are modulated onto RF signals and are then demodulated by the television's tuner. VCRs and DBS receivers often include channel 3 or 4 modulators, allowing the output signal to be tuned by the television on those channels. Also, laser discs used an RF signal for modulating Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks on some movies. This requires an RF demodulator (usually referred to as an AC3-RF demodulator) before or in the surround processor to decode the signal.

  • RGB

    RGB is a type of component video signal. It uses 3 separate RCA cables to carry each of the red, green and blue colour components. 

  • RTP

    Realtime Transport Protocol is a UDP protocol used for streaming audio and video data.

  • RTSP

    The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), published in 1998, is an application layer protocol used by systems streaming audio, video and 3D animation over the Internet.  A request for a video stream has a similar format to an http request (ie rtsp:// instead of http://).  It allows client software to remotely control a server streaming audio and video, issuing functions such as play, fast forward, rewind and pause. It is often used to control the RTP transport protocol. 

  • Recovery Image

    The Recovery Image (RI) is used on Ax4x and newer boxes.  It is used during the boot up process when no main software image is stored on the box and is responsible for downloading and installing the new software image.

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S
  • S-Video S-video is an analogue video signal carrying two signals - one for brightness and one for colour.  It generally uses a 4 pin mini-DIN connector with a 75 Ohm impedance although it has been added to the SCART standard and may now be transferred via a SCART connection.
  • S/PDIF Digital Audio Port

    Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format is a protocol for carrying digital audio signals.  It is a consumer version of the standard known as AES/EBU with  small differences in the protocol and requiring cheaper hardware.  The electrical standard uses co-axial cabling and an RCA type connector, while the optical standard uses optical fibre and a TOSLINK connector.

  • SCART

    SCART (from Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs) is a French-originated standard and associated 21-pin connector for connecting audio-visual equipment together (also known as Péritel or Euroconnector).  It is widely used in Europe however is far less common throughout the rest of the world.  SCART was designed to make it easy to connect different video devices together.  In essence, it gathers together various common analogue signal-types, including composite, S-video and RGB, into a single connector.  It is not designed to carry digital signals.  It also allows a connected device to bring a connected television set in and out of standby an/or switch it into video mode.

  • SDK

    Software Development Kit - allows development of custom applications for the STB

  • Smart Card

    A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit(s) card (ICC) is a pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits. Some are memory cards containing only non-volatile memory storage components (and perhaps some specific security logic) and some are microprocessor cards containing memory and microprocessor components.  Smart cards can be used with set top boxes as part of the conditional access system .

  • Standard Definition Standard-definition television or SDTV refers to television systems that have a lower resolution than HDTV systems. The term is usually used in reference to digital television, in particular when broadcasting at the same (or similar) resolution as analogue systems.  SDTV can be broadcast in 704 pixels × 480 lines with 16:9 aspect ratio (40:33 rectangular pixel), 704 pixels × 480 lines with 4:3 aspect ratio (10:11 rectangular pixel) or 640 pixels × 480 lines with 4:3 ratio (and square pixels). The refresh rate can be any of 24, 30 or 60 pictures per second.  Digital SDTV in 4:3 aspect ratio has the same appearance as the regular analogue TV (NTSC, PAL, SECAM) minus the ghosting, snowy images and static noises. However, if the reception is poor, you may encounter various other artifacts such as blockiness and stuttering.
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T
  • TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is a very simple file transfer protocol, with the functionality of a very basic form of FTP.  It is a UDP protocal and as it is so simple, it is easy to implement in a very small amount of memory.  Amino STBs use either TFTP or multicast to upgrade their software.
  • Trick Play Trick Play is the name given to the ability to carry out functions such as pause, rewind and fast forward on video streams.
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U
  • UDP User Datagram Protocol is a connection-less protocol that runs on top of IP Networks.  UDP is described as unreliable as it provides no flow control or error recovery, however it is very good for cases where it is more important to move data quickly, with the least amount of overhead. Therefore it's commonly used for audio and video streams.
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V
  • VBI

    Vertical Blanking Interval is the portion of the video signal between the last line of one frame and the beginning of the next which is present in analogue television.  It is required to allow for the time it takes the electron gun in the television's cathode ray tube to move back up to the top.  This interval can be used to carry information other than audio/video such as teletext and closed captioning.

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