The Digital Signage Insider

Digital Signage Terms Glossary

Published on: 2004-06-28

Though I've mentioned Lief Larson's new D3 Magazine site before, I just stumbled across his digital signage term glossary the other day. Since then we have referred a number of people to that page to get a quick education on our business lingo. I'd also like to add a few additional terms that come up in conversation fairly often but don't get coverage on his page... yet.

Day Parting - Splitting a one-day period into smaller time segments, typically to aid in scheduling content. For example, a digital sign placed in a supermarket might show advertisements for coffee and cereal from 7am - 11am, then show lunch specials from 11:01am - 2:00pm, popular dinner items from 2:01pm to 7:00pm, and then closing or late-night specials from 7:01pm until store close.

DivX - An MPEG-4 compliant video codec from DivXNetworks, Inc. Movies compressed with DivX achieve near-DVD picture quality but compress to much smaller file sizes than DVD video, which is stored in MPEG-2 format.

Flash - An interactive media format designed by Macromedia, Inc.. Flash movies can contain any combination of vector animations, still images, full motion video clips, and interactive segments.

MPEG-1 - An older audio/video standard proposed by the Moving Pictures Expert Group. MPEG-1 video quality is often compared to VHS video, and runs at a resolution of 352x240 for NTSC or 352x288 for PAL formats. It has a maximum bitrate of about 1.5 Mbps (1500 Kbps).

MPEG-2 - A video compression format and audio/video container object standardized by the Moving Pictures Expert Group. MPEG-2 is the format that DVD video is stored in, and is optimized for the highest possible video quality. Consequently, MPEG-2 video can take up a large amount of hard disk space: DVD-quality video is often compressed to 4-6 Mbps (30-45 MB per minute of video), and HD video can be twice or three times that.

RDF - A World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard for cataloging metadata for various resources on the web. From the W3C site: "RDF provides a common framework for expressing this information so it can be exchanged between applications without loss of meaning."

RSS - Known as both "Really Simple Syndication" or "RDF Site Summary," this technology enables automated systems like web crawlers, spiders, and weblog (blog) tools to make automatic summaries of content and distribute them to other sites on the web.

Sorenson - Sorenson Media produces a number of video compression algorithms and codecs used to compress video while preserving image quality. The most popular of these are the so-called Sorenson 1 (SQV1) and Sorenson 3 (SQV3) codecs used by Apple's QuickTime video format.

VOB - An acronym for Video OBject. A VOB is a file which contains the multiplexed video (typically MPEG-2) and audio (typically AC-3) data on a DVD.

XviD - A new extremely high quality, open-source implementation of an MPEG-4 codec (website here). Although new, most independent codec comparisons show it to be one of the highest quality (if not the highest quality) codecs available today.



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