The field of audio and visual production is among the most exciting of the electrical industries. Like many jobs, it has its own language. There are some familiar sounding terms like “bus” and terms the general population has heard before, such as Megahertz and circuit, but which lack more than a basic comprehension in the minds of the general public.
Much of the terminology is learned on the job or in school. Some of the most obscure and misunderstood terms are here, a quick reference for the AV technician and layman alike. Once the true meaning is inserted in the vocabulary, an individual may find themselves using it around those who have little idea what it means.
Traditionally, when a person thinks of an artifact, they get an image of ancient Greek objects being hoisted out of the ground. In the AV world however, artifact refers to disturbances which affect the signal quality. This term was created by the Stanford Media Preservation Lab as a way to unify the terminology surrounding this phenomena.
Both conductive and nonconductive materials are used in the AV field. It is of little surprise when the conductive materials take on a charge. It is much more surprising when a NONconductive material takes on a charge. Referred to as capacitance, charges occurring in nonconductive materials can distort an electrical signal, be it audio or visual. This happens when a charge is separated due to opposite surfaces of the nonconductor being maintained at a difference of potential.
Not to be confused with a CODEX, a CODEC is a device that convert analog signals into digital form. It is an acronym for a coder/decoder. When this information is transmitted, its compressed in order to conserve the bandwidth. It is not the format in which the information is stored. It is instead a program which can read and write the files.
Many people prefer to work with some sort of ambient noise. In the non-technological world, it may be radio, TV, or even natural sounds. While it is good in this scenario, for an AV technician, it is background noise which is not intended. It mat distract from the intentional audio. This is why music is recorded in a booth, to prevent the accumulation of this ambient noise.
There are specific types of wiring used, these were covered more in depth in the article on Cable Job terminology. For the sake of this article, one should know that CAT5 and CAT 6 are the most pertinent to this field. CAT 5 is unshielded and for connecting hardware. CAT6 is backward compatible with CAT5, 5e, and 3, but CAT6 has stricter noise specifications.
With the advancements in IT (Internet Technology) streaming video and audio has increased in popularity. The ability to send images and audio, in the form of streaming video and/or audio, is something that was not feasible in the early days of the internet. Instead of downloading a file, a user can watch it as the file is transferred. These files are compressed and take a lot of bandwidth to function properly.
The list could go on for page after page. As previously stated, AV technicians are one of those positions which speak a language only they truly understand. This is necessary, because as technology evolves, new terminology must be created to describe the indescribable.