This glossary is not intended for TV repairmen or anyone else with vast technical understanding of the mechanics of televisions and computers.Instead, it is meant for casual consumers, who are shopping for Smart TVs on this site and lack a technical background to understand all the details and specifications listed under each Smart TV.What is 4K?Or Refresh Rate?You may have looked the terms up on other sites and ended up reading a technical manual that left you more confused than before you started.This glossary attempts to explain some of the more common and not-so-common terms in plain English.
3D – 3-Dimensional.
4K –An UltraHigh Definition (UHD) resolution for TVs – 4K is the next step above current 1080p HD resolution found in most Smart TVs.4K is measured at 3840×2160 pixels or about 8.3 million pixels – 4 times the number of pixels found in 1080p HD TVs.
8K – An UltraHigh Definition (UHD) resolution for TVs – 8K is the step past 4K UHD resolution.8K is measured at 7680×4320 pixels or about 33 million pixels – over 16 times as many pixels as 1080p HD.Still mostly experimental, 8K is truly the future of TV resolution, purportedly blurring the lines between screen and reality.
Apps – Applications.The applications produced by TV manufacturers and third-party programmers that can be downloaded through your Smart TV and allow you to access outside content beyond standard cable or satellite programming.
Aspect Ratio – Stated as a ratio, it is the proportion of a screen image’s width to its height.Examples are 4:3 for standard TV format and 16:9 for widescreen TV format.Think of it is terms of boxes.4:3 would be a stack of boxes that is 4 boxes across and 3 boxes tall.16:9 would be 16 boxes across and 9 boxes tall.
Backlit Display (LED) – Also known as Full Array, this refers to the placement of the LED lights in the TV.Backlit means that the LED lights are placed in rows behind the entire screen.Hence, the display is lighted from the back across the full array of the screen display.
Black Level – Brightness level for the blackest spot of the picture.In other words, how bright or how dark is the black on the screen.(If that sounds like an oxymoron, it isn’t.You’ll just have to trust us on that one.)
Bluetooth – Wireless technology that allows data transfer over close distances.If the Smart TV is Bluetooth enabled, it allows interaction between Smart TV and other Bluetooth enabled devices.
Burn In – Damage to a screen when an image remains on the screen too long and a ghost image remains.Extremely uncommon with the display technology found in Smart TVs.Not really an issue in today’s market.
CMR – Clear Motion Rate is Samsung’s proprietary measurement of an LED’s or LCD’s ability to show rapidly moving images.A higher number should provide clearer action onscreen.This is only found listed under Samsung models.
Contrast Ratio – Measurement of the difference between light and dark colors on the screen.A higher contrast ratio gives a better, sharper picture.
Dimension – Width x Height x Depth of the TV
Display Size/ Diagonal Size – The distance across the TV measured diagonally.This is the most common measure of a TV’s size.For example, a 42 inch TV means the TV is 42 inches across diagonally.
Display Technology – This is the actual technology that composes your TV screen and allows an image to appear either through electrically charged gas cells or light diodes.LED or Plasma are your most common choices in Smart TVs currently.OLED is slowly becoming available also, but only in the very highest-end models, costing many thousands of dollars.
Energy Star Compliant – The Smart TV complies with the international standard for energy efficiency established by the US Department of Energy and EPA.
Ethernet – An Ethernet cable can be used to connect the Smart TV to another electronic device or directly to the internet through a hardline.It is an option to use instead of WiFi (wireless internet) if the Ethernet is available on your model.
FDMI – Flat Display Mounting Interface.
Gesture Control – The remote control system that uses the movement and gestures of your hands to signal the TV without the use of a remote control.A wave of your hand can turn the TV on or off, change the channel or volume, or adjust any settings through the onscreen menu.The TV recognizes your motions through wireless sensors and cameras built into the TV.
HD – High Definition
HDMI – High Definition Multimedia Interface.Basically, this is the set of rules that govern the transfer of HD video, audio, and data to your TV.
HDMI Ports – The input/ output connections in your TV to allow data transfer of HD video and audio between your TV and other devices, such as a Blu-ray player or a computer, using HDMI cables.
Infrared Enabled – The TV can received infrared signals, which are the standard signals used by remote controls to interact with the TV, such as changing channels or turn the TV on and off.
LAN – Local Area Network
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) – The flat panel technology using liquid crystals to replace the dated vacuum tube technology in old TVs.It comes in several varieties: using the older fluorescent lighting and using the newer LED lighting (known as LED LCD or just LED).LED LCD is the nearly universal LCD technology in Smart TVs.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) – The display technology that uses thousands of tiny semiconductor devices to illuminate the flat panel LCD screen.See our article LED or Plasma? for more information.
Local Dimming – The ability to independently dim or brighten local zones of backlighting, thus improving contrast.Only available on certain backlit or sidelit TVs.Not available on Plasma TVs.
Mountable – Able to be hung on the wall
OLED – Organic Light Emitting Diode.This is a newer display technology that is a step past LCDs on the evolutionary path.It uses organic molecules to generate light from electricity and create the picture on the screen.Unlike LCDs, it does not need backlighting, so the OLED TVs can be extremely thin.
OS – Operating System
Plasma – The display technology that illuminates many tiny gas cells in the screen to create the images.Does not require backlighting like LED.Lower priced than LED on average. See our article LED or Plasma? for more information.
Refresh Rate – This is essentially how “fast” your TV is – or how quickly your picture changes.If you have a faster refresh rate, you will have more frames per second displayed.You may see it measured at 60 Hz, 120 Hz, 240 Hz, or more.As the refresh rate increases, the picture and motion appear smoother.
Resolution – In technical terms, it is the number of pixels the TV is capable of displaying at one time.The higher the number of pixels, the more resolution you get.(More resolution is good.)On this site, you will see Smart TVs with HD resolutions of 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.720p equates to roughly 1 million pixels on your TV screen while 1080i and 1080p equates to roughly 2 million pixels on your screen.
Sidelit Display/ Edgelit Display (LED) – This refers to the placement of the LED lights in the TV.Sidelit means that the LED lights are placed around the perimeter (four edges or sides) of the display.Hence, the display is lighted from the side.
S-Video – Separate Video or Super Video is a non-digital standard definition video signal.It is one signal available for standard definition channels.
S-Video Port – The connection into the TV to hook up the S-Video cable.
Swivel – Movable – typically referring to either a movable stand or movable wall mounted arm.
UHD – Ultra High Definition.The successor to current HD, UHD comes in resolutions of 4K and 8K, although there is little content available yet in either.
USB Ports – The number of outlets to plug USB cables into the Smart TV
VESA – Video Electronics Standards Association.The association that develops standards for the manufacture of flat panel TVs.
VESA Mount – A VESA standardized assortment of wall mounting options available on many models to match appropriate TV sizing.
VOD – Video on Demand
WiFi – Wireless Fidelity.It is a signal from your home router that allows your Smart TV’s wireless connection to the internet as well as wireless networking.
WiFi-enabled/ WiFi-capable – This means your Smart TV can connect to a WiFi signal and access the internet wirelessly.
Weight – How heavy your Smart TV is.Straightforward, but important to consider, especially if you plan to hang it on your wall.