Glossary of Terms




AC: Alternating current

Ambience: As a general audio term, ambience is the background-sound quality of a listening room, surround processor, and/or recording. The ambience of a recording is what gives it space and a sense of realism. It is the sound of the recording studio itself. The recording engineer often synthetically adds ambience if the recording environment was not enough to do the job naturally.

Amp: Ampere. A measurement of electrical current. This term is also sometimes used as an abbreviation for amplifier.

Amplifier: A device (sometimes called an "amp") for boosting the amplitude of a given electrical signal; ideally, without affecting its quality.

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Back-lit Sign: A 15-watt fluorescent tube lights the sign to attract attention.

Bandwidth: Often used to describe an operating range between two points that are down by a certain amount, usually -3dB.

Bipole: A speaker that radiates in two directions in phase.

Butter Dispenser: Dispenser that allows you to easily pump a hot butter topping onto your popcorn. Easy to clean, the stainless steel insert bowl can be washed with soap and water.

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Chase Lights: Small 7w bulbs that line the perimeter of the marquee. These bulbs are adjustable to pulsate slow or fast.

Compressor: Used to limit the dynamic range of a signal. The output is referenced with a ratio that is implemented above a certain level.

Crossover: A frequency dividing network composed of various filters used to limit bandwidth for each driver in a speaker system.

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DA: Either a digital to analog converter (DAC), or a distribution amp.

DC: Direct current

DD: Dolby Digital. A digital compression format also called AC-3. In home theater use, DD uses up to 5.1 channels of sound consisting of left, center, right, left surround, right surround and a dedicated sub woofer channel.

Diffraction: The deflection of a sound wave by an obstacle in its path. Its wavelength must be short in relation to the size of the obstacle if the effect is to be significant. With loud-speaker playback situations, diffraction effects often manifest themselves as comb-filtering or phase anomalies, most of which are inaudible at normal listening distances.

Digital output: On all DAT decks, as well as some DCC decks and CD, LV, and DVD players, this is the coaxial or fiber-optic output that can pass digital signals to outboard DIA converters or surround processors or other digital recorders. While it may be useful as a way to transfer digital data to another recording device for dubbing purposes or to an AC-3 decoder, connecting a digital output to an outboard converter to improve" ordinary playback sound quality beyond what a typical (even cheap) unit's built-in DIA converter can deliver is pointless and may actually reduce sound quality.

Direct-view television set: A TV that employs a single picture tube that projects the image upon the inner surface of its flared end. The end of the tube is specially treated, faces the viewer, is rectangular in shape, and ranges in diagonal size.

DPL: Dolby Pro Logic. A surround sound 4:2:4 matrix decoding scheme, consisting of left, center, right, and surround.

Dolby Surround Sound: Four-Channel ambience-extraction, derived-center-channel system used in the theaters and home audio-video systems to provide three-dimensional effects.

Doppler distortion: The frequency shift caused when a high-frequency signal is being reproduced by the same speaker driver that is also reproducing a signal at a lower frequency. Doppler (sometimes called FM) distortion may be audible with certain test tones but is rarely heard with musical material.

DSP: Digital Signal Processing/Processor

DTS: Digital Theater Systems. A digital compression format, in home theater use, DTS uses up to 5.1 channels of sound consisting of left, center, right, left surround, right surround and a dedicated sub woofer channel.

DVD: A disc format with storage capacities ranging from 4.7 gigabytes to 17 gigabytes.

Decibel: Used to show a ratio between electrical, acoustical, or other power level.

Dipole: A speaker that radiates in two directions out of phase.

Divx: A version of DVD that requires a special player.

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Gauge: A way of measuring wire thickness. Note 10 gauge wire is much thicker than 16 gauge.

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HDTV: High-Definition Television

Home-theater system: An audio-video system that is high enough in quality to simulate a theatrical experience in the home. While most video components, especially television sets, may be inadequate to achieve near perfection, good results in the audio realm can be had for a reasonable amount of money.

Horn/pusher: For safely dispensing ice into machine; keeping hands free from any moving parts.

HPF: High Pass Filter: A filter that passes frequencies above a certain point and below that point filters them out, relative to a certain rate measured in dBs per octave.

Headroom: Level between average signal levels and maximum peaks without clipping.

Hertz: Units used to measure frequency.

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IM: Intermodulation distortion, a form of distortion.

Impedence: A complex reaction of resistance to AC in an electrical circuit.

Interlaced scan: The process of imaging a television picture by having the numerous scan lines that form the picture laid down at two intervals, with each positioned adjacent to the other. Done correctly, it allows for a sharper picture at any given transmission bandwidth.

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LCD: Liquid Crystal Display. Instead of cathode ray tube (CRT) displays or CRT projection tubes, some television sets employ the LCD, which is cooler running, lighter in weight, and smaller in size. Some very small sets have direct-view displays. A few others are front-projection models that focus light through several LCD panels, with the resultant image projected to an external screen.

LD: Laser Disc

LED: Light Emitting Diode. Often used as an indicator on A/V components

Letterboxing: Video reproduction of a film that places the entire, uncropped picture on the TV screen-eliminating the pan-and-scan problems that result when a wide format is cropped to fit a 4:3-ratio (or even, in the case of extremely wide originals, a 16:9-ratio) screen. The term letterbox is supposed to have been derived by someone's impression of the view looking out through the mail slot in their door or local mailbox. It describes a view that is wide but not very tall. Letterbox is not a format, just a phrase that describes the visual appearance of the picture on the screen.

LFE: Low Frequency Effects. LFE refers to the dedicated subwoofer channel in 5.1 formats. It carries the lowest few octaves.

Light Serving Compartment: highlights freshly shaved ice for increased impulse sales.

LPF: Low Pass Filter. A filter that passes frequencies below a certain point and above that point filters them out, relative to a certain rate measured in dBs per octave.

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Octave: An exact ratio of 2 to 1 regarding frequencies. Some examples are 200 Hz-400 Hz, 550 Hz-1100 Hz.

Ohm: Unit of measure for resistance in an electrical circuit.

Old Maid Drawer: Conveniently built into the base of the popper is a stainless steel drawer to collect the unpopped kernels (commonly called “old maids”).The small holes in the bottom tray are just the right size to allow the old maids to fall through while keeping the fully popped corn in the serving cabinet

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Pink noise: White noise that has been run through a pinking filter. Pink noise, is noise that has equal energy in each octave.

Presentation Lamp: The inside of the cabinet is illuminated by a 50 w R20 lamp. This miniature flood lamp is ideal for highlighting the popped corn for added impulse sales. The lamp also provides light for added safety and convenience for the machine’s operator.

Progressive scan: The process of imaging a picture by having the numerous scan lines that form it laid down continuously, eliminating artifacts that result from interlacing. Commonly used in computer monitors and high-definition television sets.

Push-pull woofer system: A bass loudspeaker that makes use of two woofer drivers mounted in the same cabinet but facing in opposite directions. Wired out of phase from each other, this mounting technique allows the two to move in and out together, reducing even-order distortion products. The system is used in both full-range systems and subwoofers.

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RMS: Route Mean Square. A way of measuring average power levels.

Roll Top Bubble: the revolutionary design of this bubble top allows the cooking chamber to be completely covered from dust, insects or airborne particles while not in use. The unique roll-top provides easy one hand access to the production compartment. It slips on to the spun aluminum bowl without tools.

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SPL: Sound Pressure Level. Measured in dB's

SDDS: Sony Dynamic Digital Sound. A competing format with DD and DTS in the theater market. It uses up to 7.1 channels of sound consisting of left, left center, center, right center, right, and a dedicated subwoofer channel.

S-Video: A video transmission format that uses separate luminance (black and white information) and chrominance (color information) signals.

Shaver Head Assembly: The shave head assembly has two, high grade stainless steel blades that are adjustable and easy to replace.

Slanted Drain Deck: Removable, food grade plastic tray drains moisture away from the ice and extends shelf life.

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THD: Total Harmonic Distortion.

THX: A licensing program run by Lucas Film.

Tinted High-Impact Polycarbonate Side Panels: Safe, easy to clean and tinted blue to shade the ice from quick melt down. Also improves the appearance of the ice.

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VE: Video Essentials, a calibration disc for both video and audio settings. It can be found on both LD and DVD.

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White noise: Noise that has equal energy at each frequency.

Warming deck: Since heat rises, bottom heating is preferable over heat lamps that heat only the top layer of popcorn. This bottom heating element provides the optimum amount of heat to keep your popped corn continually warmed to the ideal serving temperature.

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