Glossary of Terms

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A lexicon of terms

A quick reference Alphabetical Listing of some of the more commonly used terms. Feel free to email us with more!

1-Bit Technology

Simplicity lies at the heart of 1-bit technology. Until now, most digital recording formats have relied on Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) to digitalise audio analogue information. PCM multi-bit signals record each quantised sample as an absolute value. To extract the analogue signal for playback the signal then passes through several processes. 1-Bit in converting analogue signals to digital, on the other hand, only records fluctuations between the quantised samples at the ultra high-speed of 2.8224 MHz. Therefore the information of 1-bit does not need any estimated decimation or complement. This simple conversion process modulates analogue signals onto the high frequency (64 fs = 2.8224 MHz) digital signals, removes the signals in the high frequency range by a low-pass filter during D/A conversion and then extracts the original analogue signals without devices and circuits which tend to degrade sound. 1-Bit digital signal is capable of faithfully recording, storing and transmitting the original analogue sound information as it has fewer process to go through.


Analogue sound system for stereo reproduction in TV sets and video recorders


Alternating current

Active format optimisation

Automatic or manual control in Beovision Avant which ensures the optimum reproduction of the TV programme's original format - widescreen (16:9) or standard TV picture format (4:3) in order to fill the screen to the greatest extent

Active Speaker

Loudspeaker in which the amplifier is an integral and essential part of the hi-fi and video system. The idea is often endorsed that each loudspeaker should have its own amplifier which is dedicated to the task alone. In conventional hi-fi systems the amplifier must deliver power to the bass, mid-range and tweeter units. Using active speakers, power loss connecting the amplifier and loudspeaker is minimised

(ABC) Adaptive Bass Control

The Bang & Olufsen patented Adaptive Bass Control (ABC) system is the intelligent solution to a speaker's ability to enable itself to adapt to its room - and acoustic - surroundings.

Adaptive Bass Linearisation

A circuit that ensures a harmonic relationship between sound pressure level and bass reproduction

(ALT) Acoustic Lens Technology

The idea behind Acoustic Lens Technology (ALT) is that the quality of listening and the tonal balance should be the same, regardless of the listening position in the room – static or dynamic. This is made possible by exploiting the unique properties of the ellipse, where the acoustic centre of the driver is placed at the lower focal point of the ellipse. All sound emitted from the driver will converge simultaneously at the upper focal point, as the distance between focal points via the perimeter is the same in all directions.

The result is the creation of a “virtual” treble driver at the upper focal point. Furthermore, the ellipse is rotated to form a three-dimensional structure, the lens, resulting in a uniform distribution of sound in the horizontal plane with 180 degrees of dispersion.

Adaptive Luminance Peaking

A function in Beovision Avant that assesses the quality of the aerial signal and adjusts it dynamically for the optimum picture Ambience.

The result of sound reflections in a confined space being added to the original sound. Ambience may also be created electronically by some digital reverb units. The main difference between ambience and reverberation is that ambience doesn't have the characteristic long delay time of reverberation - the reflections mainly give the sound a sense of space


Receivers and amplifiers with the ambio function were products which, apart from stereo, could also reproduce the ambience or sound information of a room. Ambient information was included on most stereo vinyl recordings but could not be reproduced by a sound system with two loudspeakers or an ordinary stereo amplifier. Bang & Olufsen systems with the ambio function had facilities which electronically subtracted the difference signal (i.e. the difference between left and right channels) which contained ambient information. This information was fed into two extra loudspeakers which were placed as side speakers in a room. Ambiophony was an extension of stereo reproduction and enhanced the sense of realism. It could be used with nearly all stereo programme materials.


Amount of electrical current transferred from one component to another. This specification is often important when considering the loudspeaker interface


Another word for 'level'. Can refer to sound levels or electrical signal levels


Circuitry that uses a continually changing voltage or current to represent a signal. The origin of the term is that the electrical signal can be thought of as being 'analogous' to the original signal


A treatment made to aluminium surfaces of TV and hi-fi units which made a unit more expensive but which also made it more robust and resistant to marks and scratches

Anti-reflective coating

If you often watch television during the day, you’ll be familiar with reflections from carpets and furniture in the screen. The problem was solved with a little help from the optical industry. An ultra-thin coating on the front of the contrast screen bends the incoming light, and prevents about 90% of all the reflections that the viewer sees. Since a coating will always give a residual colour, a blue tone has been chosen, due to the eye’s low sensitivity to this colour range.

As a side benefit, antireflective coating makes black areas in the picture appear pitch black, adding depth and perspective to the general picture performance.


If you placed a grooveless record on a turntable, the stylus would be automatically pulled towards the centre of the record. This phenomenon is called skating. It is unwanted because the 'pull' results in greater exertion of stylus pressure on the inner groove wall. This skating effect must be reduced if high-fidelity standards are to be achieved. On Bang & Olufsen's record-players the anti-skating device is automatic. It is not visible because it is an internally integrated part of the arm rather than an externally fitted device

Aspect Ratio

Ratio of a picture's width to its height. Typical television aspect ratio is 4:3, while widescreen formats provide greater width of the viewing area

Audio Frequency

Signals in the human audio range: nominally 20Hz to 20kHz (although this deteriorates with age)

Audio Aux Link

Perhaps better known as AV connection . Connection between the audio and video systems. The connection is established through a 7-pin Datalink cable

Automatic Cut-off

Maintains the correct colour balance in a TV picture throughout the lifetime of any Bang & Olufsen TV set

Automatic Picture Control

Electronic sensor that records the level of incident light in the room and adjusts the picture so that it is always perfectly adjusted to the lighting conditions

AV system Audio/video system

Integration of audio and video, permitting sound to be transferred from one system to the other


The frequency extremes of a signal. Determines the amount of sound or picture information

Bass and treble

Interior decor and furnishings affect sound reproduction at home. Also, people have subjective opinions about music and tonal balance. Bass and treble controls enable sound adjustments to suit individual tastes

Bass reflex cabinet

Loudspeaker cabinet construction that ensures good bass reproduction by means of a port in the cabinet, tuned for pressure equalisation


Name for a unique system of integrating and distributing sound and picture from a central room to other rooms in the house, connected by means of Beolink products or kits. From a Beolink-equipped room you can activate and enjoy the sound and picture from any source, such as radio, CD, cassette or video tape recorder in the central room


Designation of audio masters, e.g. Beomaster 7000


Common designation of audio products, e.g. BeoSound Ouverture


Common designation of TV sets, e.g. Beovision MX 6000 and Beovision Avant


Bi-directional loudspeaker with zero degrees of phase difference between its front and rear acoustical output

Black Line S

Type of picture tube distinguished by a very contrast-rich picture


that results in defocusing of the picture in areas where the image is bright

Brightness adjustment

Adjustment of picture brightness

Centre Channel Loudspeaker

Single loudspeaker which sits in front or on top of a television screen which reproduces the dialogue of a movie in a surround sound system


In terms of video signal, the portion that carries colour (saturation and hue) information


The ability to interconnect products from different manufacturing periods

Control Box

A box that controls data and signals, for example in Beolink Active

Compact Disc transport

Component which reads the binary information from a compact disc and sends this bitstream into an external device for analogue conversion (commonly used with a digital-to-analogue converter)


Frequency dividing electrical network which splits an incoming audio signal into ranges best suited to a loudspeaker's various drive elements


Colour Transient Improvement. Bang & Olufsen use a proprietary CTI circuit (Wideband CTI) with an improved transition between colours on a screen which eliminates the black and grey streaks often experienced in less successful designs


Duo-binary Coding with Multiplexed Analogue Components. A signal standard for satellite transmission of TV programmes

Daisy Chain

Term used to describe serial electrical connection between devices or modules

Data Compression

A system for reducing the amount of data stored by a digital system. Most audio data compression systems are so-called lossy systems as some of the original signal is discarded based on psychoacoustic principles designed to ensure that only components which cannot be heard are lost

Datalink Cable

7-pin Datalink cable used for Audio Aux Link connection between audio and video systems


Direct current

Decibel (dB)

Used to measure relative differences in level between two electrical voltages, powers or sounds


Separating the original four or more channels from an encoded stereo source.


Electronic system which represents data and signals in the form of codes comprising 1s and 0s

Digital-to-Analogue Converter

The digital-to-analogue converter (popularly known as a D-A converter) accepts an incoming digital bitstream and converts it to an analogue electronic signal (that we can hear through a loudspeaker)

Digital Audio Tape

Digital audio format stored in binary form on a small cassette. Music can be recorded digitally with this format (some restrictions do apply to prevent excessive duplication)


Bi-directional loudspeaker with 180 degrees of phase difference between its front and rear acoustical output

Direct Bitstream Coupling

This is where the digital signal from Super Audio CDs is conveyed directly to the speakers without loss (i.e.. it doesn't go through any filtration process). This is a next-generation system that can reproduce the original sound with limitless fidelity "from booming high-volume passages to soft pianissimos, from the most minute details of the acoustic atmosphere to the "sense of space" where the recording was made."

Direct View Television

Television which uses a cathode ray tube (CRT) to display a picture

[H]Digital Filtering[H] The use of a separate digital filter allows extensive filtering in the digital domain and eliminates the need for high-slope analogue filtration with the attendant problems of ringing and phase distortion


An encode/decode tape noise reduction system that amplifies low level, high frequency signals during recording, then reverses this process during playback. There are several different Dolby systems in use: types B, C and S for domestic and semi-professional machines and types A and SR for professional machines. Recordings made using one of these systems must also be replayed via the same system

Dolby Pro Logic

Name for enhanced system for decoding Dolby Surround Sound. Provides better separation between channels, including surround. Invented by Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Surround Sound

Name for domestic version of Dolby Stereo. By distributing the sound to a number of loudspeakers surrounding the user, it creates a 3-D sonic experience.

Dynamic Bass Equalisation

A system that harmonises sound pressure level and bass reproduction due to the inability of the human ear to register very low bass frequencies

Dynamic Microphone

A type of microphone that works on the electric generator principle, where a diaphragm moves a coil of wire within a magnetic field

Dynamic Range

the difference between the loudest and the softest extremes of a video or audio signal. Measured in decibels (dB)


Ratio of a loudspeaker's acoustical output to a given electrical input. A loudspeaker's sound pressure level is measured in decibels

Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Planar loudspeaker which incorporates a charged transducer suspended between two oppositely charged electrodes


Combining four or more channels in a manner that allows transmission as a stereo signal and later decoding


Bass and treble controls give a smooth adjustment of the tonal balance. Filters produce sharp cut-offs above or below chosen frequencies. Separate HI and LOW filters were found on more expensive models. The LO filter reduced possible rumble from a record player or record. The HI filter could reduce noise from worn records and hiss from weakly-received distant FM or AM stations

FM Stereo

FM reception enables you to achieve several high-fidelity qualities: wide tone range, low distortion, freedom from noise and of course stereo reproduction. Both left and right signals are transmitted in such a way that they are kept separate in your receiver and reproduced separately via the respective left and right loudspeakers. Switching between mono, and stereo, one and two channel sound systems, is automatic. A light indicator may show when you are tuned to a stereo programme

Frequency Response

Measurement of an audible signal's amplitude and phase characteristics relative to a given, absolute level

Ghost image

Fault due to reception conditions resulting in the image being repeated more than once (generally with decreasing strength) to the right of the main image

Hard Disk (Hard Drive)

High capacity computer storage device based on a rotating rigid disk with a magnetic coating onto which data may be recorded


A high definition television standard developed in the United States in the late 1980's and early 1990's. It was developed as a digital system of high bandwidth and high resolution

HX Pro

Headroom Extension system patented by Bang & Olufsen: improves recording quality on magnetic tape (see also Beocord 9000)

Jack (plug or socket)

Commonly-used audio connector. May be mono or stereo (either 3,5mm or 6mm)

Link RoomDesignation of the other rooms in the house in which sound and/or picture are installed

Link Room Kits

Kit specially designed for link rooms e.g. Beolink Active and Beolink Video

Link Room Products

Products specially designed for link rooms e.g. BeoLab 3500


On more sophisticated receivers and amplifiers, a button called LOUDNESS can switch off the above-mentioned frequency correction if an 'objective' linear reproduction is desired

Loudness control A linear reproduction is one in which an amplifier reproduces all the tones of the entire frequency range at the same sound level, when its bass and treble controls are in neutral positions and the volume is on low. When you play a piece of music at low volume the bass and treble tones will be automatically 'lifted' above the mid-ranges. This is because at a certain sound level, the human ear tends to hear the mid-tones as if they were stronger than the deepest and highest tones. In order to compensate, the amplifier has a built-in 'physiological' level control which automatically damps the midranges. This automatic frequency correction which is coupled directly onto the volume control for your convenience, ensures that you hear a correct balance in the sound picture. It provides a 'subjective' as opposed to an 'objective' linearity


In terms f video signal, the portion that carries the brightness (monochrome) information

Main Room

Designation of the room in which the audio and/or video systems are placed. There are two kinds of main rooms:


audio and video systems placed in the same room


audio and video systems placed in separate rooms

Main Room Products

Products which serve as driver in a Beolink system e.g. Beovision and BeoSound

Master Control Link

Master Control Link is the name of the former connection between main room and link room

Master Link (ML)

ML is the connection between the products in the main room and those in the link room but it is also the connection between the audio system and the video system

Master Link Driver

BeoSound and Beovision with Master Link socket. One of these products is always required in a Master Link setup

Master Link Product

All products with a Master Link socket


Drive element in a loudspeaker responsible for reproducing the mid-band of an audible signal, typically operating anywhere between 350 Hz and 3 kHz. Also refers to those specific frequencies as well

Moving Magnet Cartridge

Phono cartridge which produces a signal by moving a small permanent magnet (in response to a stylus' motion in a record groove) between a fixed coil assembly

Multi-Layer Coating

High quality surface treatment of glass surface to reduce reflections

Multi-region DVD

The ability of a DVD player to play DVD discs purchased from other countries.


Near Instantaneous Compounded Audio Multiplex. Digital stereo system for TV, standardised for use throughout most of Europe


Video standard primarily broadcast the United States and Japan which produces 525 lines of video per frame at a rate of 30 frames per second

NTSC/PAL decoder

A switch that allows reproduction of signals in the American and European standards

One-way Remote Control

A remote control terminal that operates the products by transmitting a command to them without requiring an answer (e.g. BL 1000 and Beo4). BL 5000 and BL 7000 are two-way remote control terminals which require an answer from the product being operated

Option Programming

Option programming is executed via a Bang & Olufsen terminal and with the products concerned in stand-by. Upon completed option programming, the products "know" what kind of environment they are placed in, and they can then be operated and function optimally


A condition where a rapidly increasing or decreasing signal 'shoots' past the original level


European television standard developed in Germany which broadcasts 625 lines per frame, at a rate of 25 frames per second

Phono Plug

Hi-Fi connector developed by RCA and used extensively on semi-pro, unbalanced recording equipment

Phono Preamplifier

The amplification stage into which the output of a record deck is fed. This device is often part of a preamplifier, though not always

Pick-up cartridge

Of all the components of a record player, the greatest demands are placed on the smallest unit in the complete system - the pick-up cartridge. The smaller and more compliant the stylus unit, the better and more precisely it traces the groove modulations, transforming them into electrical signals. The pressure which the diamond stylus exerts on the record is not more than 1-2 grams. It is therefore obvious that if the pick-up is to give of its best, the rest of the record-player should be of an equally exacting standard

Picture-in-picture (PIP)

Makes it possible to monitor another programme or video source by means of a small picture inserted in any corner of the screen you choose. Available as an accessory


The Power Link connection is used to connect BeoLab active speakers. The signal is a volume-adjusted line level signal and both left and right signals are carried in one cable, with data signals for a BeoLab status display. This means that it is no longer the socket on the Beomaster that decides whether it is the left or right channel. Instead a switch on the BeoLab loudspeaker has to be set to the correct position. Power Link is very flexible with regard to connections. A pair of loudspeakers can be connected the usual way, with one cable to each loudspeaker, a BUS system can be applied where the signal is looped through one of the loudspeakers and then on to the next, or both methods may be combined if more than one pair of speakers needs to be connected. No matter which method is used, the correct setting of the L - R switch on the loudspeaker is essential. Up to 10 pairs and 100 metres of Power Link cable is recommended


Control centre of an audio/video system. Source component switching is done here, as well as volume and balance control. This component generally has some degree of signal amplification associated with it.

Pressure Chamber Loudspeaker

Closed loudspeaker cabinet, in contest to, a bass reflex cabinet

Product Configuration Guide (PCG)

A PC-based tool in which it is possible to compose the setup you want and which provides answers to any questions concerning compatibility, setups, options, terminals, special conditions and much more.

RDS - Radio Data System:

allows various kinds of information to be superimposed on an FM radio carrier; for example, station naming

RGB Scan Velocity Modulation

A circuit in Beovision Avant that fine-tunes the electron beam in the picture tube to increase the sharpness of the picture on the screen; it also works under extreme lighting conditions

Rear Channel Loudspeaker

Loudspeaker pair which sits beside or behind the listener in a surround sound system. These speakers reproduce ambient information as well as soundtrack special effects


Either (i) an amplifier with built-in tuner (as in Beomaster 6000) or (ii) an IR receiver built into video, audio and link products. The products can be operated by means of a one-way remote control terminal, e.g. Beolink 1000 and Beo4

Ribbon Microphone

A microphone where the sound capturing element is a thin metal ribbon suspended in a magnetic filed. When sound causes the ribbon to vibrate, a small electrical current is generated within the ribbon


Rumble is as the word says: a low, irritating rumbling noise - like faraway thunder. It comes either from the record or the mechanical transmission of the record-player. It is measured in dB: the higher the figure, the better. The turntable and the pick-up arm on a Bang & Olufsen record-player were elastically suspended in order to reduce rumble

Scanning Rate

Number of lines produced by a television per second, as it scans its picture onto a screen. Measured in Hz

SCART/21-pin AV Cable

Standard connection between a TV set and a video tape recorder. The

cable is specified for transferring RGB signals


Protecting components from electromagnetic or other form of radiation

Signal-to-noise Ratio

The ratio of maximum signal level to the residual noise, expressed in dBs


A device under the control of a master device


Two-channel system feeding left and right loudspeakers


Woofer large enough to produce frequencies from 20 or 30 Hz to 80 or 100 Hz, typically housed in its own enclosure

Tangential arm

When cutting a record, the cutter-head moves in a straight line towards the centre of the record. It is only natural to use the same principle in play-back. However manufacturers have declined because of the difficulties inherent in mechanical methods and, of course the price involved. Until now, all have been satisfied to let the arm trace an are across the record's radius. Bang & Olufsen's tangential arm solves this problem. A servomotor moves the entire pick-up arm across the record in a straight line towards the centre. Skating is eliminated as there is no 'pull' towards the centre of the record. An anti-skating device is therefore unnecessary

Test Tone

Steady, fixed level tone recorded onto a multi-track or stereo recording to act as a reference when matching levels


Set of minimum technical standards established to improve the reproduction of movie soundtracks in cinemas and homes - developed by George Lucas of 'Star Wars' fame


Drive unit in a loudspeaker responsible for reproducing the higher frequencies of an audible signal, typically active above 3 kHz


Vacuum tube amplification component, also known as a tube


A concept that synthesizes the technology used in Bang & Olufsen TV sets to translate picture quality into viewing comfort. VisionClear is a simple name for a list of advanced electronics which the viewer experiences, but hardly notices, simply because they work. You could say that they transform picture quality into viewing comfort. The concept includes the following elements: contrast screen, Automatic Picture Control, Automatic Cut-off, Wideband CTI and Adaptive Luminance Peaking (and RGB Scan Velocity Modulation on Beovision Avant). Thanks to Automatic Picture Control and the antireflective contrast screen, any adverse effects of incident light are effectively suppressed.

Dynamic Luminance Peaking gives more accentuated rendition of small details and increased sharpness. Colour Transient Improvement (CTI) gives the colours sharper edges, which is especially noticeable when figures in complementary colours are placed next to each other (sports programmes). Scan Velocity Modulation optimises the electron beam to improve the transition from black to white. Auto Cut-Off Control ensures brilliant stability of the picture throughout the lifetime of the TV

VU Meter

Meter designed to interpret signal levels in roughly the same way as the human ear, which responds more closely to the average levels of sounds rather than to the peak levels


Unit of electrical power

White Noise

A random signal with an energy distribution that produces the same amount of noise power per Hz

Wideband CTI

Improved Bang & Olufsen version of CTI


Any video software or hardware which has an aspect ratio wider than 4:3 (which is the typical television ratio). Wide screen formats are meant to reproduce the original aspect ratio of a movie as viewed in a cinema. The most commonly-used movie picture format since the 1950s. Gives an ideal format to the human field of vision


Drive element in a loudspeaker responsible for reproducing the lower (and sometimes midband) portion of an audio signal, ideally operating from 1 kHz down, depending on its size

Wow and Flutter

A vinyl record should rotate at a correct and constant speed. Meeting these demands is not just a question of how strong the motor is or how much the turntable weighs. It is of great importance that the various components are matched to give the optimum solution. Wow and flutter is the name given to unwanted variations in the tone level or frequency of the reproduced sound. It is easily heard on difficult piano pieces as an irritating 'fluttering' vibration of an otherwise pure tone. It is measured in percentage terms: the lower the figure, the better

Created: 12th January 2007
Modified: 20th February 2007

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