Orion Broadband Home of San Diego based cable internet and telephony provider

Glossary

Having trouble figuring out certain terms - or maybe you just want to stay hip with the lingo.
Either way, we can help.

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  • 10Base-T:
    One of the more common types of Ethernet Local Area Networking (LAN) cabling. Specifies 10 Mbps (baseband) carried over twisted pair.
  • 56Kbps:
    Modems=More appropriately called Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) Modems, these modems manipulate the way the telephone system works to send data to an analog "modem" type device at speeds of up to 56,000 bits per second (56Kbps). 56K modems work by using ISDN telephone equipment at one end of the connection to manipulate the PCM codes sent across the telephone network. When these PCM sample codes reach the Codec they are translated into a specific series of voltage changes that a PCM modem knows how to interpret. Data sent out by a 56Kbps modem is subject to the same physical restrictions of any modem, so its top "back channel" speed is 33.6Kbps. 56Kbps modems are built against the ITU-T V.90 or V.92 standards.
  • 802.11:
    The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standard for wireless local area network interoperability.
A
  • AC-3:
    Audio Coding-3. The previous name for Dolby® Digital, the digital audio industry standard for technology that provides six channels of audio. Also referred to as 5.1, Dolby(R) Digital creates a surround sound effect with front left, front right, front center, rear left, rear right, and subwoofer audio signals.
  • Access Point:
    (AP) Wireless access points are specially-configured nodes on wireless local area networks (WLANs). Access points act as a central transmitter and receiver of WLAN radio signals.
  • Ad Hoc Network:
    A wireless network composed only of stations and no access point. Also referred to as an Independent Basic Service Set Network (IBSS Network).
  • Address Book:
    A place to store email contact details for all the people you know. You can share these contacts with other sources, such as a Microsoft Outlook address book or a Palm Desktop device.
  • Address Groups:
    Address groups let you send email to a list of email addresses simultaneously. You can build address groups that include your stored addresses, addresses that you have not stored, other shortcuts, and even other address groups.
  • ADSL:
    Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line. ASDL is a method for moving data over regular phone lines. An ASDL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, and uses the plain twisted pair wiring already carrying phone service to subscriber's homes to transmit video signals and high-speed data to the home. ADSL can also be used to offer other applications, such as Internet service.
  • Aerial Cable:
    A cable physically supported by poles or similar overhead structures.
  • Allowed Domains:
    Specific domains from which you want to receive email messages.
  • Amplifier:
    An electronic device used to increase the strength of a signal.
  • Amplifier Cascade:
    A group of amplifiers and long spans of coaxial cable connected together in a series arrangement, for the purpose of transporting signals over long distances.
  • Analog Signals:
    Signals which are smooth electrical representations of video, voice and data information (rather than pulse signals, like digital).
  • Anamorphic:
    Content that is enhanced for widescreen (16.9) televisions through the inclusion of increased vertical picture information, or a "letterbox". A widescreen television stretches the picture horizontally to match the increased vertical picture information, resulting in a clearer and sharper picture intended to be displayed only on a widescreen TV. Since a standard screen TV must letterbox widescreen images to fit them to the screen, much of the vertical resolution is lost. Widescreen television do not need to letterbox these images, and therefore can offer up to 33% more vertical resolution while viewing the same anamorphic DVD.
  • Anonymous FTP:
    Using the FTP function of the Internet without a secret login ID and password. You just use anonymous as your login and your email address as the password. Often permitted on large systems that share some of their files with outside users who otherwise would not be able to login.
  • Archie:
    An ancient Internet search tool, not used much since way back in the good old days of 1994. It's an archive of filenames maintained at Internet FTP sites.
  • ASCII:
    (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) A data specification that standardizes the representation of 256 basic computer characters, including the English alphabet, numbers and punctuation.
  • Aspect Ratio:
    The ratio of a picture's horizontal resolution, measured in either pixels or lines, to picture's vertical resolution, also measured in either pixels or lines. Aspect ratio is always measured in width to height (e.g., 16:9). Standard screen televisions have an aspect ratio of 4:3. Widescreen television have an aspect ratio of 16:9 and allow for a more panoramic viewing experience.
  • Asynchronous:
    Without regular time relationship; unexpected or unpredictable with respect to the timing of another element or assembly in a system. Asynchronous transmission, also called "start-stop" transmission, employs individually synchronized information characters or words. This is usually accomplished with the use of start and stop elements. The gap between each character is not necessarily of fixed length.
  • ATM:
    (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) This is a special connection-oriented packet-like switching and multiplexing technique (using fixed sized cells), that gives the user high bandwidth and low delay.
  • Attachment:
    A picture, document, program, or any other type of file that accompanies an email message.
  • Authentication:
    The process a station uses to announce its identify to another station. IEEE 802.11 specifies two forms of authentication: open system and shared key.
B
  • Bandwidth:
    The transmission capacity of the lines that carry the Internet's electronic traffic - or how much data you can stuff through a connection. Think of a network as a water pipe - the highter the bandwidth (the larger the diameter of the pipe), the more data, or water, can pass over the network.
  • BCC:
    When composing a message, the email address you enter in the Bcc field receives a copy, but no one else will see that email address in the message. Bcc is short for blind carbon copy.
  • Bit:
    The smallest piece of digital data; bits are represented by either a one or a zero. There are eight bits in a byte. All digital devices use bits to transfer information.
  • Block_Senders:
    The act of deleting or diverting certain email addresses or domains.
  • Bluetooth:
    A new wireless technology being developed by Ericsson Inc., Intel Corp., Nokia Corp. and Toshiba. The technology enables data connections between electronic devices such as desktop computers, wireless phones, electronic organizers and printers in the 2.4 GHz range. Bluetooth would replace cable or infrared connections for such devices.
  • Bookmarks:
    A special feature of the Internet Explorer that enables you to store the location of favorite Web pages in folders for quick future access. This is a powerful and important feature because many Web addresses are difficult to remember. When a Web site is added to your Bookmarks you can give the site any name you choose and then return to it later by reference to that name.
  • BPS:
    Bits-Per-Second. A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. As an example, a 28.8 modem can move data at 28,800 bits per second.
  • Broadband:
    Describes a communications medium capable of transmitting a relatively large amount of data over a given period of time. A communications channel of high bandwidth.
  • Browser:
    A software application (such as Mozilla Firefox or Safari) that lets you browse through information on the World Wide Web.
  • Bundling:
    (Bundled Services) -- Refers to providing multiple services, products, and/or equipment together for one price (as in a "package"). This may include services within one product line, such as basic cable service with premium channels plus a converter at a package price, OR services from multiple product lines, such as Orion Internet and Orion cable service.
C
  • Cable Modem:
    An electronic adapter that permits a personal computer to receive Internet data from the high-speed information resources of a cable television system. Cable modems permit personal computers to receive Internet information at rates of up to hundreds of times faster than typical, consumer market telephone modems. A cable modem attaches to a personal computer through a network interface card (NIC) installed inside the computer. The cable television system's cable brings the information into the cable modem and then the cable modem sends the information into the computer through the NIC.
  • CC:
    When composing a message, the email addresses you enter in the CC field all receive a copy. CC is short for carbon copy.
  • CellSite:
    A fixed location housing an antenna and a combination transmitter and receiver for routing telephone and data information received from wireless telephones.
  • CellularPhoneSystem:
    A group of transmit and receive cell sites which are arranged to route signals received from portable wireless telephones and connect to a Public Switched Network.
  • CentralOffice:
    Telephone company facility where subscribers' lines are joined to switching equipment for connecting other subscribers to each other, locally and long distance. Often referred to as "public exchange."
  • CGI:
    Common Gateway Interface. A programming function used on Web servers that gives Web pages the ability to interact with Web visitors.
  • CHCF:
    (California High Cost Fund) -- All telephone customers in California are paying a percentage of their monthly bill, into the California High Cost Fund. This fund subsidizes the Carrier for lines in designated high cost areas (i.e. mountains, or sparsely populated areas). Although Orion will not benefit from this fund at this time, they are required to submit the number of lines, considered as Primary to the household, to the PUC.
  • Chrominance:
    The color information portion of a video signal that describes an image's color shade and vividness.
  • CLEC:
    (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) -- Telephone companies (i.e. Orion Broadband) that are authorized to provide local telephone service in competition with the Regional Bell Operating Companies (i.e. Pacific Bell, US West, SNET, etc.) or other established independent companies such as GTE.
  • Client / Server:
    Computer technology that separates network-connected computers and their users into two categories: clients and servers. When you access information from a computer on a network, you are a client. The computer that delivers the information is the server. A server stores information and makes it available to any authorized client upon request.
  • CMI:
    (cable microcell integrator) A combination receiver and transmitter which acts as a link between a wireless PCS telephone and the HIC unit at the cable headend.
  • Coaxial Cable:
    A type of cable used for broadband data and cable systems. Coaxial cable plugs into RF input or output jacks. The connectors on the ends of coaxial cables are called F connectors, which are either threaded like a screw or shaped to slide or push on. Also known as "coax." (pronounced coh-axe).
  • Communications Network:
    A system of transmission media used to connect the communications service providers (like Orion) to the end users (like you).
  • Component Video:
    A set of three physical connectors (typically red, green, and blue RCA jacks) that are used to transmit or receive component video signals. Component video signals are high-bandwidth signals that separate the brightness (luminance) and color (chrominance) signals of a video picture for enhanced resolution and color fidelity. The improved color accuracy and reduced color bleeding are especially noticeable on larger-screen TVs.
  • Copy Protection:
    A system for preventing the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted media like movies or music.
  • CPE:
    (Customer Premises Equipment) -- All customer owned telecommunications equipment located on the customer premises, such as telephones.
  • Cross Connection:
    The connection of one wire to another usually by anchoring each wire to a connecting block and then palcing a third wire between them so that an electrical connection is made. This connection is usually made on a "66" block.
  • Customer Self Certification:
    The process by which a new residential telephone customer will certify to its basic service provider whether the new Basic Residential Service telephone line to the residence, is the customer's primary residential telephone service.
  • Cyberspace:
    A term, coined by science fiction author William Gibson, that represents the total universe of all interconnected computers.
D
  • Dial-in:
    An Internet account that can connect any stand-alone computer directly to the Internet. The account is used by having a software application dial-in to an Internet service provider (ISP). The software connects with the ISP and establishes a TCP/IP link to the Internet that enables your software to access Internet information. The computer that accesses a dial-in connection needs either a modem to connect via a regular phone line or a terminal adapter (TA) to connect via an ISDN phone line. These are far, far slower than Orion Broadband's high-speed cable Internet service.
  • Dial Arounds:
    Dial-arounds offer consumers the flexibility of making long distance calls by using a long distance provider other than customers' current long distance company with the promise of lower rates. Some companies claim savings of up to 10%-50% off "regular" long distance rates. The discounts are usually gauged against the major phone companies' highest long-distance rates, not the rates discounted in calling plans. Before dialing the area code and number, you dial a special code that begins with "10" then add 5 digits (ex. 10 10 321). With a dial-around, you circumvent, or "dial around", your current long distance company*. The charge for using the dial-around service will usually appear on your regular phone bill. Many times consumers don't know the rate they will be paying before the call is made. Be aware that some dial-arounds have surcharges and minimums. Note: Keep in mind that our customers will not have access to those dial-arounds not open in our switch. These companies must have agreements in place with Orion before the access is granted.
  • Digital:
    Digital refers to a type of signal, which is composed of individual bits, or chunks, of information. An analog signal is a continuous waveform signal. Digital signals are easier to manipulate and store, and have much less distortion than analog signals.
  • Diplex FIlter:
    A device which allows signals to travel in opposite directions at the same time over a single coaxial line.
  • Direct View Display:
    A direct view television uses a cathode ray tube (CRT) to produce picture images on the display screen. Three electron guns at the rear of the television fire beams at the phosphor-coated interior of the display screen. Each gun causes the phosphor to glow red, blue or green, causing a colored dot to appear on the screen. Since direct view displays are phosphor-based, they are susceptible to screen burn.
  • Distribution System:
    A system of amplifiers, coaxial cable and customer taps used to distribute programs and information carried on the trunk system to the customers homes.
  • DNS:
    (Domain Name System)The system by which Internet domain names and addresses are tracked and regulated.
  • Dolby® Digital:
    Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks will provide the most satisfying sound quality for a home theater system. It is referred to as a 5.1 - channel system because it offers five full - bandwidth channels (including true stereo surrounds), plus a "low frequency effects" subwoofer channel.
  • Domain:
    The part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol. For example, in mybuddy@testdomain.com, testdomain.com is the domain.
  • Domain Name:
    A registered name that is given to an Internet address so that the address is easy to remember.
  • Download:
    The act of transferring computer information from a remote computer into your own local computer.
  • Downmixed Audio:
    All DVD players have the ability to take a 5.1 - channel Dolby Digital soundtrack and "downmix" it to two channels; which is sent to a stereo or A / V receiver with Dolby Pro Logic decoding.
  • Downscaling:
    A process by which a program is converted to a lower resolution than its native format for display on a television. The process may also involve a conversion between progressive and interlaced scan formats. Downscaled content is typically less crisp and clear than its native resolution.
  • Draft:
    An email message that has been saved but not yet sent.
  • DTS:
    (Digital Theater Systems) -- DTS is an established multichannel audio format in movie theaters, but is a relative newcomer to home theater. Like Dolby Digital, DTS is a 5.1-channel format.Although DTS - compatible DVD players and receivers are becoming more common, the number and availability of DVD titles with DTS soundtracks is still limited.
  • DTV:
    Television signals that are recorded, broadcast, and processed digitally. Currently, 18 different DTV formats have been specified, including SD and HD formats. DTV broadcasts are sharper than analog broadcast and offer much better noise immunity and resistance to degradation.
  • DVD:
    Originally, DVD stood for Digital Video Disc. In today's market, DVD simply means DVD.
  • DVI:
    Digital Visual Interface. This is a high-bandwidth video connection that carries digitized RGB picture information and can support copy-protection methods. The DVI specification allows for the presentation device and display device to agree on an optimal picture size and resolution to ensure the highest quality picture automatically.
  • DVR:
    A digital video recorder (DVR) is a device that allows you to store television programming on a hard disk drive so that you can access this programming at anytime. The DVR functions like a VCR, except that there is no videotape and it offers more sophisticated recording options and playback features.
E
  • EDTV:
    Enhanced Digial Television signals feature roughly the same resolution as SDTV signals, but utilizes progressive scanning (non-nterlaced) for improved image quality. Since these signals do not offer the additional resolution, they are not considered HDTV. But, because they offer a smoother picture and less flicker than interlaced SDTV signals.
  • Email:
    (Electronic mail) Messages transmitted over the Internet from user to user. email can contain text, but also can carry with it files of any type as attachments.
  • EmailAccount:
    Your email account consists of your email address, the permissions granted to you, your mailbox, and the messages in the mailbox. Also referred to as webmail account.
  • Email Account Name:
    The first part of an email address. For example, in mybuddy@testdomain.com, mybuddy is the account name. Also referred to as webmail account name.
  • Email Address:
    The full address required to send messages to an email account. The email address always consists of an account name, the @ sign, and a domain name. For example, mybuddy@testdomain.com.
  • Encryption:
    The process of changing data into a form that can be read only by the intended receiver. To decipher the message, the receiver of the encrypted data must have the proper decryption key.
  • Exception list:
    Specific email addresses from which you do or do not want to receive messages.
  • Exchange:
    A geographical area in which there is a uniform set of charges for telephone service.
  • External account:
    A previously existing email account that resides outside your WebMail domain. You can set up WebMail to download mail sent to these accounts.
F
  • FAQs:
    (Frequently Asked Questions) Files that are maintained at Internet sites to answer frequently asked questions so that new users can more quickly get oriented to the system. It's good netiquette to read the FAQs first and poor netiquette to ask questions that are answered in a FAQ.
  • Favorites Folder:
    An Internet Explorer feature that lets you store the location of favorite Web pages for quick access. This is a powerful and important feature because many Web addresses are difficult to remember. When you store a Web site in your Favorites Folder, you can give it any name you choose and then return to it by clicking on that name. (See Bookmarks.)
  • Fiber optic "node":
    An electronic device which converts optical light waves into standard television signals for transmission over a coaxial distribution system.
  • Fiber optic "rings":
    Fiber optic cables arranged in a loop configuration from the cable headend and/or optical nodes, to provide for increased reliability by providing an alternate service path if the primary path is disrupted.
  • Fiber optic cables:
    Hair thin strands of ultra-pure glass. Capable of carrying video, voice and data signals over long distances without amplification by using light waves as a "carrier." This provides higher bandwidth and clearer transmission capabilities than traditional coaxial cable.
  • Fiber Optics:
    A technology in which light is used to transmit information from one point to another. Fiber Optics are thin strands of glass through which light beams are transmitted over long distances carrying enormous amounts of data. Modulating light on thin strands of glass produces major benefits in high bandwidth and clear transmission capabilities.
  • Field:
    As it relates to a video image on a television screen, a field, is comprised of one half of the complete picture frame - either all of the odd lines of a frame or all of the even lines. Two fields make up a complete video frame. (See Interlaced Scan)
  • Firewall:
    A combination of hardware and software that protects a local area network (LAN) from Internet hackers. It separates the network into two or more parts and restricts outsiders to the area "outside" the firewall. Private or sensitive information is kept "inside" the firewall.
  • Flames:
    Insulting, enraged Internet messages-the equivalent of schoolyard brawls in cyberspace-that are found most often in newsgroups.
  • Folder:
    A way to classify and store email messages, similar to a filing cabinet. Some folders (such as the Inbox) come with your system. You can create and name others as you need them.
  • Forwarding address:
    An email address to which your messages can be automatically sent.
  • FQDN:
    (Fully Qualified Domain Name) The "official" name assigned to a computer. Organizations register names, such as "apple.com" or "ucla.edu." They then assign unique names to their computers, such as "johndoe16.apple.com" or "bruin.sc.ucla.edu.".
  • Frame:
    As it relates to a video image on a television screen, a frame is comprised of all of the horizontal and vertical pixels (lines) at one time. A complete picture is known as a frame. (See Interlaced Scan, Progressive Scan)
  • From Field:
    The area where you can enter the "from" address.
  • From Name:
    The name associated with the account that sent the message. This can be different from the account name.
  • FTP:
    (File Transfer Protocol) The basic Internet function that enables files to be transferred between computers. You can use it to download files from a remote, host computer, as well as to upload files from your computer to a remote, host computer. (See Anonymous FTP).
G
  • Gateway:
    A host computer that connects a network to other networks. For example, a gateway connects a company's local area network to the Internet.
  • Geostationary Satellite:
    A satellite placed in an obit around the equator, which remains in a fixed position with relation to the earth (i.e. non orbital). Used to relay television and data signals from a fixed location on earth to receive stations over a wide distribution area.
  • GIF:
    (Graphics Interchange Format) A graphics file format that is commonly used on the Internet to provide graphics images in Web pages.
  • Gopher:
    A tool that organized information by means of a hierarchy of menus. Gopher is now buried under mountains of WWW pages - don't bother learning how to use this directly. You sometimes will find a Web link that takes you to a Gopher site, but at that point, if you're using Netscape, its usage will be obvious and will look a great deal like the Web.
  • Graphical Editor:
    An HTML editor that lets you add color, change fonts, and add other cool styles to your messages.
H
  • Hacker:
    Anyone who tries to gain unauthorized access into remote computer systems. Though many hackers work simply for the challenge of cracking a difficult security system, many hackers tap into remote systems for malicious purposes such as theft of secure information, destruction of information, to disable a computer system, or to infect it with a computer virus. (see virus).
  • HDMI:
    High Definition Multimedia Interface. As a pure digital interface with high-bandwidth audio and video capabilities, HDMI provides un-compressed digital signals with just one wire. HDMI connections replace multiple analog connections, which required degrading digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversions.
  • HDTV:
    DTV signals that feature greater vertical and horizontal resolution compared to standard definition (SDTV) signals and are presented in a widescreen (16:9) format. HDTV pictures have twice the color resolution and roughly six times the sharpness of SD images. HDTV is often confused with digital television, but HDTV displays can be either digital or analog. An HDTV display does not have to be digital, and digital TVs are not necessarily high-definition.
  • Horizontal Resolution:
    The number of vertical lines that can be identified across the width of a TV screen, measured by displaying a test pattern. A bigger number is almost always better. DVD is capable of 500 lines of resolution. In comparison, laserdisc maxes out at 425 lines, Super VHS at around 400, and standard VHS at 240 lines.
  • Host:
    A system that includes TCP/IP and runs applications that provide files or services or that shares the system's resources.
  • HTML:
    (Hypertext Markup Language) The basic language that is used to build documents on the World Wide Web. It is written with ASCII-text documents. Those documents are interpreted by Web browsers to display formatted text, color, fonts, graphic images, sound, video clips, to run programs, perform special effects, and to link to other Internet sites.
  • HTTP:
    (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) The protocol (rules) computers use to transfer hypertext documents.
  • Hypertext:
    Text in a document that contains a link to other text. You can click on hypertext to jump to the text designated in the link. Hypertext is used in Windows help programs and CD encyclopedias to jump to related references elsewhere within the same document. Using HTTP, hypertext can link to any Web document in the world.
  • Hz (hertz):
    The SI (international system of units of ) unit of frequency, equal to one cycle per second.
I
  • Icon:
    A small, graphic image on a computer that is used to represent a computer application, data, or a feature of the operating system.
  • Inbound Mail:
    Email messages that you receive.
  • Incremental Billing:
    The time increments (6 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute) used by long distance carriers to figure a subscriber's charge for each call. Increments are also called "minimums" or "rounding."
  • Inside Wiring:
    Telephone wiring that extends from the Minimal Point of Entry (MPOE), through the walls and baseboard inside a home or business, up to and including the phone jack. By law, responsibility for maintenance of inside wiring has recently been handed to the owner, tenant or landlord, unless a maintenance plan is agreed to. Local phone companies generally charge a modest monthly fee to maintain this wiring or a significantly higher hourly fee to make one-time repairs without a plan.
  • Institutional Networks:
    Private networks that provide intra- and inter-connections for businesses, banks, hospitals, universities, and other institutions.
  • Interactive Services:
    Services based on a digital communication system capable of providing two-way communication between consumers and a variety of product, information and entertainment providers. Examples: Video on Demand, home shopping, distance learning.
  • Interlaced Scan:
    A method of drawing a picture frame on a television screen using two fields. One field is comprised of all of the odd-numbered lines on the screen, and the other field is comprised of all of the even-numbered lines on the screen. An interlaced picture is created by drawing all of the lines in one field first, then drawing all the lines in the other field second.
  • IP:
    (Internet Protocol) The rules that support basic Internet data delivery functions. (See TCP/IP)
  • IP Address:
    An Internet address that is a unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, sometimes called a "dotted quad." For example, 198.204.112.1. Every Internet computer has an IP address. Server computers also are assigned one or more Domain Names that are easier to remember than the dotted quad.
  • IRC:
    (Internet Relay Chat) An Internet tool that lets users join a "chat" channel and exchange messages. IRC is soon going to permit the full-color, live-action video required for video-conferencing.
  • ISDN:
    (Integrated Services Digital Network) -- A public switched network providing end-to-end digital connections for the simultaneous transmission of voice, video, data, and images.
  • ISP:
    (Internet Service Provider) A company, such as Orion High Speed Internet, that is connected directly to the Internet, and which sells connection services to individuals and businesses who want to tap into the Internet.
J
  • Java:
    A programming language that permits Internet sites on the World Wide Web to include computer applications that run on the computers of people who visit the sites. Java programs only work on computers that have Java-capable Web browsers, such as the one we have provided to you. Java is nonspecific as to operating system, which means that one program can run on either Windows or Macintosh computers. Java programs can run games, create animation effects, drive database searches and many other functions.
  • JavaScript:
    A simplified subset of Java that enables Web authors to use Java without needing to know how to program in the full Java language.
  • JPEG:
    (Joint Photographic Experts Group) The name of the committee that designed the photographic image-compression standard. JPEG is optimized for compressing full-color or gray-scale photographic-type, digital images. It doesn't work well on drawn images such as line drawings, and it does not handle black-and-white images or video images.
K
  • Khz (kilohertz):
    A measure of frequency equivalent to one thousand cycles per second.
L
  • LAN:
    (Local Area Network) A communications network that connects all types of data and voice together within a local business office area or building.
  • Letterbox Mode:
    A method of presenting widescreen images on a standard screen television. In order to preserve the aspect ratio of the original video content, the picture is scaled down so that it fits the available width of the television screen. Since the picture will not fill the screen vertically, dark bars are drawn in above and below the picture.
  • Liquid Crystal Display:
    An LCD television or monitor uses liquid crystals that act as shutters within the television screen. An LCD television has thousands of small light sources at the rear of the display. A layer of cells containing the liquid crystals is placed between the light sources and the display screen. When the liquid crystal cells are electrified with current, the crystals align and block any light from shining through, or scatter allowing the light to shine through to the screen. LCD monitors typically only display video signals in a progressive scan format. LCD monitors do not use phosphors and are not susceptible to screen burn.
  • Listserv:
    An Internet application that automatically "serves" mailing lists by sending electronic newsletters to a stored database of Internet user addresses. Most lists let users subscribe and unsubscribe automatically, not requiring anyone at the server location to personally handle the transaction. But for a "reflector" mailing list, the request to join goes to a human being's mailbox who must manually perform the subscribe or unsubscribe transaction.
  • Long Distance Calling:
    Any calls placed between service areas are considered long distance and are carried by a long distance provider, e.g. MCI, AT&T, Orion long distance.
  • Long Distance Reseller:
    Resellers buy big blocks of long-distance time at wholesale prices from the major carriers (usually AT&T, MCI or Sprint), then sell the time to subscribers at discounts of 10-25% off the major carriers rate. The subscriber's calls are still carried over the major carrier's lines.
  • Loop:
    A channel (a line) between a customer's terminal and a central office.
  • Luminance:
    The brightness component of a color video signal which determines the level of picture detail.
M
  • Mail Forwarding:
    Sending received messages to another email address; this can be done manually or automatically.
  • Mail Server:
    A computer that processes email. Mail servers typically have names like pop.testdomain.com or mail.testdomain.com.
  • Mail Server Usage:
    The amount of space the messages in the mail server occupy.
  • Mailbox:
    The virtual area where messages are stored. Each account has its own mailbox.
  • Mailbox Capacity:
    The amount of space a mailbox is allowed to occupy.
  • Mailbox Capacity Warning:
    An email sent to an account that says the mailbox is nearing its capacity. The remedy for this is to delete unneeded messages, especially those with large attachments.
  • Mailing List:
    An email-based discussion group. Sending one message to the mailing list's list server sends mail to all other members of the group. Users join a mailing list by subscribing. Subscribers to a mailing list receive messages from all other members. Users have to unsubscribe from a mailing list to stop receiving messages forwarded from the group's members.
  • MAN:
    (Metropolitan Area Network) -- A communications network that connects individual LANs to form a metropolitan area network.
  • Message Blocking:
    Using WebMail to automatically filter messages from undesirable addresses or domains. These messages can be deleted or placed in a designated folder.
  • Message Body:
    The content below the Subject line of a message.
  • Message Filter:
    A message filter processes incoming messages. You can create filters that automatically delete messages, put them into folders, forward them to other email accounts, or send a notification that they have been received.
  • Message Size Limit:
    The maximum allowable email message size, expressed in bytes. You cannot send or receive messages that are larger than the message size limit. Usually, large messages are caused by attachment.
  • MHz (megahertz):
    One million cycles.
  • MIME:
    (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) An Internet standard that lets computer files be attached to email and tells computers how to interpret downloaded files. Files sent by MIME arrive as exact copies of the original so that you can send word processing files, spreadsheets, graphics images and software applications to other users, provided the recipient has a MIME-capable email application├Żmost today are MIME-capable, including the one we provided to you.
  • Mobility:
    Ability to continually move from one location to another.
  • Modem:
    An electronic device that lets computers communicate electronically using regular phone lines. The name is derived from "modulator-demodulator" because of its function in processing data over analog phone lines.
  • MPEG:
    (Moving Picture Experts Group) -- This is the digital video signal compression standard used for DVD. This adaptive, variable bit - rate process allocates more bits for complex scenes when involving a lot of motion, while minimizing the bits in static scenes.
  • Multi - Language Capability:
    DVDs are designed to make it easier for movies to be distributed in multiple languages. A single DVD disc can contain soundtracks in up to 8 different languages. In addition to multilingual dialogue, a DVD also has space for subtitles in up to 32 languages.
  • Multimedia:
    The combination of multiple media elements - often including text, video, sound, still images, and graphics - to offer a rich experience of learning and/or entertainment. The term multimedia popularly refers to the computer-based applications produced on CD-ROM.
N
  • Netiquette:
    Internet etiquette, good netiquette will keep you out of trouble in newsgroups.
  • Network:
    Interface Card (NIC) - A card that is installed inside a personal computer that permits a personal computer to transfer data via a computer network. Commonly used in computers that are linked to office local area networks (LANs), a network interface card is required to connect to a cable modem. Some Macintosh computers and even some Windows computers have the functions of a network interface card built into the basic circuitry of the computer.
  • Network Architecture:
    A set of design principles, including the organization of functions and description of data formats and procedures, used as the basis for design and implementation of a user-application network, such as a Orion cable system.
  • Newsgroup:
    An electronic, community bulletin board that enables Internet users all over the world to post and read messages that are public to other users of the group. There are more than 30,000 public newsgroups and thousands of private newsgroups collecting tens of gigabytes of data daily. No one knows the actual count of current newsgroups because it changes so rapidly as new ones are added and older ones are dropped.
  • NNRP:
    (Network News Reading Protocol) An Internet protocol that handles the transfer of Usenet articles and information between a news server and news clients-like your newsreader.
  • NNTP:
    (Network News Transfer Protocol) An Internet protocol that handles the transfer of Usenet newsgroups between news servers.
  • Node:
    (1) A point where one or more functional units interconnect transmission lines. (2) A physical device that allows for the transmission of data within a network. (3) An endpoint of a link or a junction common for two or more links in a network (that is, host processors, communications controllers, cluster controllers, and terminals).
  • Non-Directory:
    Listed=If you choose_a_non=directory listed status for your account, your name, number, and address made available through Directory Assistance (411) but not printed in the telephone or street address directories (phone books).
  • Non-Publish:
    If you choose a non-publish status for your account, your telephone number will not be printed in the local directory (phone book) nor will it be given out by Directory Assistance operators (411).
  • Notification:
    An email the system sends to notify you that something happened, such as the receipt of a message.
O
  • Optical Connections:
    When using optical component video or audio connections, signals are transmitted as pulses of light through a cable housing a slender bundle of glass or plastic fibers.
  • Outbound Email:
    Email that you send.
  • Outputs:
    The optical and / or coaxial digital outputs on a TV or media player's back panel. Outputs are used to send various types of data to compatible components.
P
  • Packet:
    The unit of data that is routed between an origin and a destination on the Internet or any other packet-switched network.
  • Parental Lockout (DVD):
    Some DVD movies have variable ratings capability called parental lockout. According to the movie rating level you select, your DVD player will skip over certain scenes, playing the version that you choose from those available on the disc. To prevent your settings from being changed, you can select your own personal identification number.
  • PCS:
    (Personal Communications System) -- A broad range of wireless and wired services that enable communications between persons in widely diverse locations. Also known as personal communications services.
  • Pillarbox Mode:
    A method of presenting standard screen images on a widescreen television In order to preserve the aspect ratio of the original content, the picture is scaled so that it fits the available height of the television screen. Since the picture will not fill the screen horizontally, dark bars are drawn in to the left and right of the picture. Pillarbox presentation is also referred to as Curtained or Sidebarred modes.
  • Pixel:
    The term pixel comes from the phrase picture element and is equivalent to a dot on a screen. High-Definition pictures are comprised of many more horizontal and vertical colored dots than standard definition pictures. In the DTV world, pixels are broadcast as either square-shaped or rectangular-shaped pieces of the total pictures.
  • Plasma Display:
    A plasma television uses hundreds of thousands of tiny cells embedded in the screen to produce a picture. Each cell represents a pixel, and each cell is comprised of three subcells. The three subcells are filled with plasma gas that glows either red, blue, or green (depending on the phosphor coating) whenever it is electrically excited. The colored light emitted by the three RGB subcells combine to forma single colored pixel on the screen. Since plasma displays use phosphor, they are susceptible to screen burn.
  • PNG:
    (Portable Network Graphics) A new standard for Internet graphic images that is planned as a replacement for the GTE format. PNG has similar characteristics to GTE, with improved network performance.
  • PoP:
    (Point of Presence) A site that has an array of telecommunications equipment: Modems, digital, leased lines and Internet routers. An Internet access provider may operate several regional PoPs to provide Internet connections within local phone service areas. An alternative is for access providers to employ virtual PoPs (virtual Points of Presence) in conjunction with third party provider.
  • POP:
    (Post Office Protocol) An Internet protocol that enables a single user to read email from a mail server.
  • Post:
    An article in a newsgroup. "Posting" is the act of sending a "post" to the newsgroup so that other subscribers can read the article.
  • Postage Stamp:
    A term used to describe the scenario in which a picture displayed on a television screen is framed on all four sides by black bars. The picture appears to be letterboxed and pillar boxed simultaneously, resulting in a very small picture being displayed in the center of the television screen. A postage stamp display can occur in certain conditions when video is converted from one format and aspect ratio to another.
  • Progressive Scan:
    A method of drawing a picture frame on television screen in its entirety without drawing two separate fields. The picture is drawn from left to right and top to bottom in one scan without skipping any lines. This method reduces the flicker of the picture on the television screen and results in smoother motion on the screen.
  • Projection Display:
    A projection television uses an internal video projector (either LCD or CRT) to create a small version of the picture image, which is then magnified and projected onto a large viewing screen. Projection displays are used to create very large screens, but their sharpness and clarity can be very adversely affected by the viewer's position relative to the screen. Since the video source inside a projection television uses phosphors, the video source itself is susceptible to screen burn.
  • Protocols:
    Computer rules that provide uniform specifications so that computer hardware and operating systems can communicate. It's similar to the way that mail, in countries around the world, is addressed in the same basic format so that postal workers know where to find the recipient's address, the sender's return address and the postage stamp. Regardless of the underlying language, the basic "protocols" remain the same.
  • PSN:
    Public Switched Network. An integrated network that controls the routing of telephone and data signals from the local exchange to long distance carriers.
Q
R
  • Read:
    A category you can assign to email messages that you have not seen or processed. By default, all new messages are unread.
  • Region Codes (DVD):
    DVD standards include codes which limit playback to a specified geographical region. These codes were created to prevent viewing because theater and home video releases of movies do not occur simultaneously worldwide. Discs may contain codes for more than one region, or may not have codes at all, which allows them to be played on any player in any country. The region code for USA / Canada is 1.
  • Reply Separator:
    In a reply to an email message, the reply separator distinguishes the original message from your reply by placing a set of characters between the two messages.
  • Resolution:
    The measure of a television picture's sharpness and clarity related to the amount of picture information in the signal. DTV resolution is typically measured in terms of horizontal and vertical pixels.
  • RF Radio Frequency:
    Any frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave propagation. When an RF current is supplied to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is created that is able to propagate through space. Many wireless technologies are based on RF field propagation.
  • Router:
    A network device that enables the network to reroute data it receives that are intended for other networks. The network with the router receives data and sends it on its way exactly as received.
S
  • Screen Burn:
    Screen burn is a condition that can arise when significant portions of a television screen are not used to display active video for prolonged durations of time. This can occur when 4:3 pictures are constantly presented on a 16:9 television screen, or 16:9 pictures are constantly presented on a 4:3 television screen. The pixels in the dark sidebars are not exercised and wear less rapidly, so that when the full display is finally utilized, there are noticeable differences in the brightness and clarity of the unexercised pixels. In addition, bright images that remain stationary on any screen that uses phosphor technology to generate the image can become burned into the screen, resulting in an annoying ghost image that remains permanently on the screen.
  • Screen Option:
    There are two screen options available when playing a DVD; standard and widescreen. Standard is formatted to fit a regular direct - view TV (4:3 aspect ratio). Widescreen is ideal for the projection systems capable of displaying an image with 16:9 aspect ratio. Movies that are only available in widescreen can also be viewed on a standard TV, but you'll probably see horizontal black bars above and below the image. On the data - free center area of each disc, it should indicate which version is on which side.
  • SDTV:
    DTV signals that feature vertical and horizontal resolutions comparable to current NTSC analog television signals, typically using a standard 4:3 aspect ratio. SD programs are drawn using interlaced scan methods. For the most part, all HDTV monitors are capable of supporting an interlaced SDTV (480i) signal, some also support 480P.
  • Search Engine:
    A Web service that permits access to and searching of a computer-generated index of Web pages. A search engine lets you enter keywords and then finds and displays a list of all pages that contain the keywords that you entered.
  • Server:
    A computer that stores information and then sends its stored information across a network. Servers deliver information upon request from a client, (see "client/server" entry) who is attached to the network.
  • Service Set Identifier:
    (SSID) An identifier attached to packets sent over the wireless LAN that functions as a 'password' for joining a particular wireless network. All computers and access points within the same wireless network must use the same SSID or their packets will be ignored.
  • Shared Key Authentication:
    A type of authentication that assumes each station has received a secret shared key through a secure channel independent from an 802.11 network. Stations authenticate through shared knowledge of the secret key. Use of Shared Key authentication requires implementation of the 802.11 Wireless Equivalent Privacy algorithm.
  • Signal to Noise Ratio:
    A S / N ratio measures the cleanliness of the content portion of the video signal in relation to the noise in the signal. Digital video formats like DVD and satellite TV are extremely clean and are often rated to deliver S / N ration or 65. Comparatively, VHS tapes have measures in the low 50s.
  • Signature File:
    A customizable ASCII text file, maintained within email programs, that contains a few lines of text for your signature. The programs automatically attach the file to your messages so you don't have to repeatedly type a closing.
  • Smart House:
    A house whose security, temperature, and other internal and external systems are monitored and maintained by a central computer system.
  • SMTP:
    (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) The simple, classic protocol used to handle the Internet's email functions.
  • Soft Dial Tone:
    Some cable companies are required to leave "Soft Dial Tone" on all non-pay disconnects. Line is left active with the ability to only dial 911 for emergency purposes. Other types of calls cannot be placed.
  • Spam:
    Anything that nobody wants. Applies primarily to commercial messages posted across a large number of Internet Newsgroups, especially when the ad contains nothing of specific interest to the posted Newsgroup.
  • SSL:
    (Secure Sockets Layer) The Web-based security technology that encrypts computer data to maintain privacy. SSL enables Web merchants to accept credit card numbers without risk that your card number will be picked up by a computer hacker.
  • STS:
    (Shared Tenant Services) -- A system for providing a combined "package" of voice, video and data services to multiple dwelling units.
T
  • TCP / IP:
    (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) The basic protocols that enable computer communications around the globe via the Internet. Co-created by Vinton G. Cerf, former president of the Internet Society, and Robert E. Kahn.
  • Telecommunications:
    A general term used to describe the various means of communicating information over a distance.
  • Telephony:
    The working or use of telephones. In telecommunication, telephony encompasses the general use of equipment to provide voice communication over distances, specifically by connecting telephones to each other.
  • Telnet:
    An Internet protocol that lets you connect your PC as a remote workstation to a host computer anywhere in the world and to use that computer as if you were logged on locally.
  • Toll Call:
    A call to any location outside the local service area that requires you to pay long-dsitance rates.
  • Twisted Pair:
    Two insulated copper wires twisted around each other to reduce induction (interference) from one wire to another. Twisted pair is the normal cabling from a telephone company central office to a home or business. Twisted pair wiring has very limited bandwidth capabilities, allowing only one conversation to occur at a time.
  • Two-Way System:
    A system of filters, cables and amplifiers which will permit electronic signals to travel in two directions at the same time.
U
  • Underground Cable:
    A cable buried underground.
  • UNIX:
    The computer operating system that was used to write most of the programs and protocols that built the Internet. You won't need to use UNIX unless you want to. The name was created by the language's programmers to indicate that UNIX was one of the Multics (an experimental MIT operating system).
  • Upscaling:
    A process by which a program is converted to a higher resolution than its native format. The process may also involve a conversion between progressive and interlaced scan formats. Upscaled content can look fuzzy or distorted compared to its native resolution.
  • URL:
    (Uniform Resource Locator) This is the equivalent of having the phone number of a place you want to call. You will constantly use URLs with your Internet software to identify the protocol, host name and file name of Internet resources you want-such as www.orioncable.com or www.orionbroadband.com.
  • Usenet:
    Another name for Internet newsgroups. A distributed bulletin board system running on news servers.
  • UWCC:
    Universal Wireless Communications Consortium. An industry group supporting IS-136 time division multiple access and IS-41 wireless intelligent network technology.
V
  • Virus:
    A computer program that can automatically jump from one computer to install itself on another computer. Viruses are harmful because they generally damage any computer on which they're installed. The damage can be anything from simply displaying a message, to deleting files, to totally wiping out all data on the computer. There are many computer programs on the market that will monitor your computer for the presence of a computer virus and either alert you when a virus is detected or eliminate the virus from your system.
W
  • WAN:
    (Wide Area Network) -- A communications network that connects individual LANs and MANs from various cities.
  • Webmail Account:
    Your webmail account consists of your email address, the permissions granted to you, your mailbox, and the messages in the mailbox. Also referred to as email account.
  • Webmail Account Name:
    The first part of an email address. For example, in mybuddy@testdomain.com, mybuddy is the account name. Also referred to as email account name.
  • Wi-Fi:
    (Wireless Fidelity) A term referring to any type of 802.11 network, whether 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a, dual-band, etc.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access:
    (WPA) An industry-supported, pre-standard version of 802.11i utilizing the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), which fixes the problems of WEP, including using dynamic keys.
  • Widescreen:
    Widescreen is a term equally applied to both television sets and video programs. A widescreen television has a picture screen that is roughly 1.78 times wider than it is high. Widescreen video programs can vary in their aspect ratio, but the pictures are typically at eat 1.5 times wider than they are high. Motion pictures shown at the theater my feature video that is 2.35 times wider than it is high. Often referred to as Panavision and CinemaScope.
  • Wired Equivalent Privacy:
    (WEP) An optional IEEE 802.11 function that offers frame transmission privacy similar to a wired network. The Wired Equivalent Privacy generates secret shared encryption keys that both source and destination stations can use to alter frame bits to avoid disclosure to eavesdroppers.
  • World Wide Web:
    (WWW) (W3) (the Web) An Internet client-server distributed information and retrieval system based upon the hypertext transfer protocol (http) that transfers hypertext documents across a varied array of computer systems. The Web was created by the CERN High-Energy Physics Laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland in 1991. CERN boosted the Web into international prominence on the Internet.
X
Y
  • YPbPr:
    YPbPr represents component video connections, where luminance (Y) is represented by a green jack, separate from the color components blue (Pb) and red (Pr). Most high-definition sets today support this format. These colors should not be confused as RGB output.
Z

 

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