This section describes words and acronyms that are used throughout the documentation.

Name (acronym) Description


Delivers five audio channels and 1 Low-frequency Effect (LFE) channel from a 6 channel source.


Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) is used in interactive scenes to move and rotate objects in 3D on a defined grid.


Delivers seven audio channels and one Low-frequency Effect (LFE) channel from an 8 channel source.


Audio Engineering Society (AES). Also known for the digital audio standard frequently called AES/EBU, officially known as AES3, is used for carrying digital audio signals between various devices; hence, the term AES/EBU connectors.


Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a graphics card to a computer's motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics.

Anamorphic widescreen

Anamorphic widescreen is a videographic technique utilizing rectangular (wide) pixels to store a widescreen image to standard 4:3 aspect ratio.

Anti aliasing

Anti-aliasing is the technique of minimizing the distortion artifacts known as aliasing when representing a high-resolution signal at a lower resolution.

Audio codec

An audio codec is a hardware device or a computer program that compresses and decompresses digital audio data according to a given audio file format or streaming audio format.


Audio Video Interleave (AVI) is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology.


Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is a system that defines the firmware interface. The initial function of the BIOS is to identify, test, and initialize system devices, and prepare the machine into a known state.


The BNC (Bayonet Neill Concelman) connector is a very common type of RF connector used for terminating coaxial cable.


The Blue Screen of Death (also known as a stop error or bluescreen) is an error screen displayed by some operating systems, most notably Microsoft Windows, after encountering a critical system error which can cause the system to shut down, to prevent damage.

Configuration file

Holds all configurable settings used by Viz Engine and various integrated applications.

The configuration file can be found under Viz Engine’s installation directory; C:\Program Files\vizrt\viz\.


Composite video (aka CVBS or Composite Video Burst Signal) is the format of an analog television (picture only) signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. It is a composite of the three source signals Y, U and V (YUV) with sync pulses.


Television - Type D-10 Stream Specifications - MPEG-2 4:2:2P @ ML for 525/60 and 625/50. SMPTE D10 (356M)  is a professional video compression format composed of MPEG-2 Video 4:2:2 Intra-frame (I-frame) only and 8 channel AES3 audio streams.


Television - 6.35-mm Type D-12 Component Format - Digital Recording at 100 Mb/s 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 720/60p. Also known as Digital Betacam.


DV-DIF (Digital Video Digital Interface Format) is an interface format for DV, the Digital Video family of related video encodings (DV, DVCAM, and DVCPRO). DV Audio/Video data can be stored as raw DV data stream file (data is written to a file as the data is received over FireWire, file extensions are .dv and .dif) or the DV data can be packed into AVI container files.

Digital Voodoo

Digital Voodoo is a broadcast capture and playback card used for uncompressed Standard Definition 10-bit SDI solution on Macintosh computers.


DirectSound is a software component of the Microsoft DirectX library, that resides on a computer with the Windows operating system. It provides a direct interface between applications and the sound card drivers on Windows. It provides audio data to the sound card, recording and mixing sound; adding effects to sound for example reverb, echo, flange; using hardware controlled buffers for extra speed; positioning sounds in 3D space (3D audio spatialization), capturing sounds from a microphone or other input and controlling capture effects during audio capture.


Digital Video.


DV25 applies a 5:1 compression and a 4:1:1 color space and achieves a fixed data rate of 25Mbps.


DV50 applies a 3.3:1 compression and a 4:2:2 color space and achieves a fixed data rate of 50Mbps.


Sony's DVCAM is a professional variant of the DV standard that uses the same cassettes as DV and MiniDV, but transports the tape 33% faster.


Panasonic’s DVCPRO family is specifically created for electronic news gathering use, with good linear editing capabilities and robustness.


Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video interface standard designed to maximize the visual quality of digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors.


The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national warning system in the United States of America (USA). The official EAS enables the President of the USA to speak to the citizens of the USA within 10 minutes.


European Broadcasting Union. See also AES.


Genlock (Generator Lock) is a common technique where the video output of one source, or a specific reference signal, is used to synchronize other television picture sources together. GenLock type is set in Viz Config’s Video Output section.


A glyph is an element of writing. Glyphs may also be Ligatures, that is, compound characters, or diacritics.


High-definition television or HDTV is a digital television broadcasting system with higher resolution than traditional television systems (standard-definition TV, or SDTV).


I/O is short for Input/Ouput, and is a common term used for hardware connectors.


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.


Institute of Radio Engineers. Is now part of the IEEE.

IRE unit

An IRE unit is used in the measurement of composite video signals.

The range of a video signal is defined to be 1.0 volts peak to peak (p/p) which again is divided into the picture and the synchronization portion of the signal. The picture portion is defined as 0 IRE to 100 IRE. The synch portion is defined as -40 IRE to 0 IRE; hence, the total range of IRE values is 140 units making each IRE unit equivalent to 1/140 volts.

Picture sources are typically set with black somewhere between 7.5 to 10 IRE. The maximum signal brightness is usually set to just below 100 IRE.

A third signal, the burst signal, is present from +20IRE to -20IRE. It is a short sample of the color subcarrier frequency, and is used to control how colors are displayed on screen.




In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes (fundamental unit in a written language) are joined as a single Glyph.


Lip-sync (short for lip synchronization) is a technical term for matching lip movements with voice. The term refers to a technique in movie and broadcast production for synchronization of visual and audio signals.


Linear TimeCode. See also VITC.


MCX connectors are coaxial RF connectors. They use a snap-on interface and usually have a 50 Ohm impedance. They offer broadband capability from direct current (DC) to 6 GHz.


Matrox Dongle Information File (.MDIF) can be generated and sent to Vizrt in order to upgrade the Matrox X.mio video card to a higher class model.

See also how To generate a Matrox Dongle Information File (.MDIF).


Matrox Dongle Upgrade File (.MDUF) is the file, provided by Vizrt, that will upgrade the Matrox X.mio video card to a higher class model.

See also how To upgrade with a Matrox Dongle Upgrade File (.MDUF).


Monaural (often shortened to mono) sound reproduction is single-channel.


Moving Picture Experts Group, is the name of a family of standards used for coding audio-visual information (e.g., movies, video, music) in a digital compressed format.


Material Exchange Format (MXF) is an object-based file format that wraps video, audio, and other bitstreams, optimized for content interchange or archiving by creators and/or distributors, and intended for implementation in devices ranging from cameras and video recorders to computer systems.


National Television System Committee (NTSC) is the analog television system used in the north, mid and to some extend in south America and also in some Asian countries.


Outside Broadcasting is the production of television or radio programmes (typically to cover news and sports events) from a mobile television studio.


MXF Operational Pattern Atom. OP-Atom was designed to address  the needs of non-linear video and audio editing.

Reference: SMPTE 390M-2004  Television – Material Exchange Form at (MXF) – Specialized Operational Pattern “Atom” (Simplified Representation of a Single Item).


Phase Alternating Line, is a color-encoding system used in broadcast television systems in large parts of the world.


PCI Local Bus (usually shortened to PCI), or Conventional PCI, specifies a computer bus for attaching peripheral devices to a computer motherboard.


PCI Express was designed to replace the general-purpose PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) expansion bus, the high-end PCI-X bus and the AGP graphics card interface.


PCI-X (Peripheral Component Interconnect eXtended) is a computer bus and expansion card standard that enhanced the PCI Local Bus for higher bandwidth demanded by servers.


Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal.


Quadraphonic (or quadrophonic) sound – also called 4.0 stereo – uses four channels in which speakers are positioned at the four corners of the listening space, reproducing signals that are (wholly or in part) independent of one another.

Rack unit

A rack unit or U (less commonly, RU) is a unit of measure used to describe the height of equipment intended for mounting in a 19-inch rack or a 23-inch rack (the dimension referring to the width of the rack).


A radio frequency (RF) connector is an electrical connector designed to work at radio frequencies in the multi-megahertz range.


RGB stands for Red Green Blue, and its color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors.


RGBA stands for Red Green Blue Alpha. It uses the RGB color model with extra information, and is normally used as an transparency/opacity channel.

Ring buffer

A circular buffer or ring buffer is a data structure that uses a single, fixed-size buffer as if it were connected end-to-end. This structure lends itself easily to buffering data streams.

Safe Area (aka Action Safe Area)

Depending on how a television set is adjusted, viewers can see a larger area than the Title Area (aka Title Safe Area). The safe area is in Viz Artist shown as a green rectangle in the preview window. This area can be considered a “safe margin” to create a buffer and avoid that elements are butted up against the edge of the screen. However, the area outside the safe area is often used to place graphics (for example tickers that run horizontally across the screen) that butt up against the edges of the screen.


The Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) computer bus has the primary function of transfering data between the motherboard and mass storage devices (such as hard disk drives and optical drives) inside a computer.


Standard-definition television or SDTV refers to television systems that have a resolution that meets standards but not considered either enhanced definition or high definition.


Serial digital interface (SDI) refers to a family of video interfaces standardized by the SMPTE.


Séquentiel couleur à mémoire, French for "Sequential Color with Memory"), is an analog color television system first used in France.


A shader in the field of computer graphics is a set of software instructions, which is used by the graphic resources primarily to perform rendering effects. A shader is a part of the renderer, which is responsible for calculating the color of an object; hence, the Viz Engine renderer has a shader that handles the video input  (normally provided as interlaced YUV images).

To be able to use the YUV images in a CG scene they need to be RGB, and in addition they need to be deinterlaced. All this is done by Viz Engine's shader.

The shader not only takes two, but four input images when it does the color conversion from YUV to RGB and the deinterlacing. As this is a very heavy process it can only be done in SD.


Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.


A sync pulse generator (SPG) is a special type of generator which produces synchronization signals, with a high level of stability and accuracy. These devices are used to provide a master timing source for a video facility.


Stereophonic sound (often shortened to Stereo) is the reproduction of sound, using two or more independent audio channels.


Sub-D, D-subminiature or D-sub is a common type of electrical connector used particularly in computers.

Surround sound

See Quad, 5.1 and 7.1.

Title Area (aka Title Safe Area)

The title area is in Viz Artist shown as a purple rectangular area which is far enough in from the four edges, such that text or graphics show neatly: with a margin and without distortion.

Universal Naming Convention (UNC)

Specifies a common syntax to describe the location of a network resource, such as a shared file, directory, or printer.



Vertical blanking interval (VBI) is the time difference between the last line of one frame or field of a raster display, and the beginning of the next.

Video codec

A video codec is a device or software that enables video compression and/or decompression for digital video.


Vertical Interval TimeCode. See also LTC and VBI.

Writing system

A writing system is a type of symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.


The XLR connector is an electrical connector, and a standard for broadcast audio equipement. The 3-pin XLR3 is used as a balanced audio connector for both analog and digital audio. Note that Viz Engine's Matrox board only supports digital audio.


YUV is a color space typically used as part of a color image pipeline. Y' stands for the luma component (the brightness) and U and V are the chrominance (color) components. The Y'UV color model is used in the NTSC, PAL, and SECAM composite color video standards.