Please click on a letter below to find a term in our Glossary. Is there a term we’re missing? Please feel free to contact us and let us know!
Access mode – in Content Manager, a setting that allows users to determine which of several logged-in users is the one permitted to modify settings within the program at that time.
Account – in Content Manager and in Windows, a set of privileges associated with a particular user.
ActiveMovie – Microsoft’s graphic driver software, used by the Windows Media Player, for playback of various types of animation formats, which may or may not include sound. ActiveMovie includes support for AVI, most QuickTime, and software MPEG animations; other formats can be added through the ActiveMovie plug-in architecture. (ActiveMovie is not required for support of FLI/FLC and AnimGIF formats.) Scala works with any format for which there is ActiveMovie support installed.
ActiveX – Microsoft’s technology for enhancing interactive control, primarily in Web browsers and other network-oriented interactive software applications.
Ad channels – TV channels dedicated to running advertisements. Ad channels are semi-automated great sources of revenue for local Cable TV companies. Ad channel applications include Real Estate Channels, Cable Personals, Cable Classifieds, Cars Channels, etc.
Advertising displays – any location-based display that carries advertising. Scala specializes in remotely updateable signage, but advertising displays can be anything, including… End Caps, ATM Toppers, Posters, Billboards, Point-of-purchase displays (pop displays), Cardboard displays
Advertising Display Networks – digital signage network displaying third-party ads for brands selling products and services in a given venue.
Air – an option that helps keep underlined text legible. An outline that is the color of the background (“air”, is applied to the letters of underlined text. When the color of the text and the underline is the same, the air keeps the text and underline from blending together.
Alert – in the Content Manager health monitoring system, a status message that is sent to report an error or some other unexpected condition. See also heartbeat.
Animation – a sequence of frames that, when played in order at sufficient speed, presents a smoothly moving image like a film or video. An animation can be digitized video, computer-generated graphics, or a combination.
Animclip – an animation in the FLC or AnimGIF format which has been loaded as a clip. Like clips, animclips can be moved and sized; like animations, their speed and other animation parameters can be controlled. See also movie clip.
AnimGIF – an animation in the GIF format, capable of automatic looping playback. See also GIF.
ASCII – (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) the universal standard for representing text letters, numerals, punctuation marks and control instructions in computer storage and communication.
ATM toppers – video screens built into ATMs (automatic teller machines) which run advertising and other information independent of the ATM.
Attribute – a characteristic of a style that you can modify; for example, the degree of slant in the italic style.
Authoring station – a machine running software, used for authoring and publishing the scripts that are sent to Players.
Authoring system – Software for assembling multimedia applications.
Authoring tools – authoring tools usually refers to computer software that helps multimedia developers create products. Authoring tools are different from computer programming languages in that they are supposed to reduce the amount of programming expertise required in order to be productive. Some authoring tools use visual symbols and icons in flowcharts to make programming easier. Others use a slide show environment.
AVI – AVI is an early Microsoft video file format that stands for Audio Video Interleave.
Back channel – a data pathway through which a Player can send information back to Content Manager.
Background – the graphic image or plain color used as the basis for a screen page in Scala, on which elements are placed.
Backspace – a key that deletes all selected text, if any, or the text character to the left of the cursor.
Bandwidth – The amount of data that is able to be sent over a network, measured in Kilobytes and Megabytes per second (Kbps and Mbps). Modern low bandwidth communications include dial up modems and ISDN, ranging from 56Kbps to 128Kbps, but actual downloading times are closer to 1/10th of this speed. High-speed cable modems, DSL, T-1, and Satellite are much faster, by factors of as little as 10 or even higher than 100.
Baud rate – a measure of the speed of serial communication using a modem or null-modem, roughly equivalent to bits per second.
Bevel – a three-dimensional effect that can be applied to text elements and clips in the application.
Bitmap – a type of font or graphics file that is stored in the form of a pattern of memory bits, each of which specifies the color of a pixel of the stored image. Bitmap file formats include BMP, PCX, PCD, JPG, TIFF, GIF, and IFF.
BMP – BMP is a bitmap file format widely used in Windows PCs that stands for Basic Multilingual Plane.
Boot – To boot your computer simply means to turn it on. It comes from the expression, “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Also see reboot.
Bounding box – the box, represented by the selection frame, that surrounds a multi-line text element. The element’s text lines can be aligned within the bounding box (left/center/right) independently of the alignment of the element as a whole.
Branch – for script execution to jump to a different point in the linear sequence of events, as the result of a Go To or Repeat event.
Broadcast – a type of connection in which Content Manager sends information to many Players all at once, rather than making a separate connection to each Player one at a time.
Broadcast folder – a folder on the Broadcast Server machine in which published files are received for subsequent broadcast transmission.
Broadcast Server – a machine that prepares and transmits broadcast files received from a Content Manager machine. Also may refer to the broadcasting software that runs on this machine, or the Content Manager definition of the machine’s location.
Byte – the basic unit of computer storage, comprising eight bits. Typically, two bytes can store one character of text in any writing system we support (Arabic, Western, Central European, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, and others), and four bytes can store one pixel. In Scala, a Byte is the unit used to express the size of files.
Cabling – the data lines run to connect computer, display, or power sources
Call center – a location staffed by telemarketing, telesales, or technical support staff. Often times, call statistics are calculated and displayed on displays.
Captive Audience Networks – A captive audience network is a digital advertising media network installed where your target audience is assured to remain in place for a period of time. Typical captive audience networks are installed in supermarket queues, gas station pumps, banks, and wherever people gather and wait.
CAT5 – A data and communications cable adopted by the Telecommunications Industry Association and ISO (International Standards Organization); This version of Category 5 uses all four pairs of wires to both send and receive. This version is formally called ANSI/TIA/EIA 568A-5 or simply Category 5e. Category 5e operates at up to 350MHZ.
CD – See compact disc.
Channel – a script that has been published in such a way that when its contents change, the updated material is forwarded to machines running the viewer that have subscribed to the channel.
Character generator – a device for creating text on video. Character generators are often used to make information channels and electronic bulletin boards for TV and Cable.
Choose – to put a menu option into effect, usually by clicking on a button. This is different from selecting, which highlights an object, file, etc. to work with, but does not actually perform the work.
Clip – a predefined graphic image, such as a picture, drawing, symbol, etc., that can be imported and positioned on a Scala background.
Closed circuit television – Traditionally, a private television network broadcasted internally within an organization. Modern narrowcasting solutions work over the Internet, deploying custom video and messaging anywhere in the world.
Codec – a software module responsible for compressing and/or decompressing an encoded media format such as AVI digital video.
Color bar – the horizontal strip at the top of most Design menus, used to assign colors to elements and certain styles. It shows the color chips of the current color set in the User palette, and also includes the Color Set Switcher.
Color chip – shows the color used when the style is applied. The blocks of color on the color bar are also color chips.
Color depth – the number of possible colors in a graphic image, stored as a given number of bits per pixel. A color depth of 8 bits provides 256 colors; 16 bits (also known as “High Color”) provides about 65,000 colors; 24 bits (also known as “True Color”) provides about 16,000,000 colors.
Color set – the set of 16 colors of a palette that are shown at one time in a Design menu color bar. A palette can have many color sets, selectable by the Color Set Switcher.
Color Set Switcher – a special value control to the far right of the color bar in Design menus that allows you to cycle through the color sets in a palette.
Combination icon – a toolbar icon that is divided into two areas. The right-hand side of the icon, containing a downward pointing arrow (d), opens a drop-down list when clicked
Composite video – a standard video signal containing color, brightness, and sync information. VCRs and laser disc players almost always include a composite video output.
Compression – the process of condensing a file, video, or animation using special hardware, software, or both so that it requires less storage space.
Confirmed broadcasting – broadcasting in which there is a back channel through which Players can respond to transmissions with confirmation or error messages. See also back channel.
Connection – a set of communications parameters that can be named and saved for use with different Players.
Content – any files that are played back, including graphics files, sound files, video files, and script files themselves.
Content folder – a folder on the Player machine in which all content files sent to the Player are stored. See also InstalledContent folder.
Control frame – the frame of the Content Manager window, from which you choose which Content Manager screen to work in.
Control panel – in the Sound menu, the collection of buttons and options associated with a specific type of sound event and used to define the details of the command that is applied by the software.
Crawltext – the segment of text that moves through a Text Crawl element box.
Crop – to cover up portions of a graphic image that are not needed by adjusting its top, bottom, and side borders.
Database – the collection of data on accounts, Players, jobs, etc. that collectively define an information network installation and its settings.
Datacasting – Broadcast of digital information over networks to receivers and players. Datacasting is sometimes used as an alternative to traditional video broadcasting, because the receivers and player units can have the “intelligence” to customize their playback programming for the location and intended audience. The system of receivers set up to receive messages from a particular datacast is known as Datacasting Networks, which are a venue for advertisers.
Decompress – the process of expanding a file to its original uncompressed form after it has been compressed.
Default – a value or option that system uses if you do not specify anything.
Deselect – to cancel a selection, usually by clicking outside the selected area or moving the cursor.
Design button – a button that generates a pop-up list of the menus available for designing and composing a page that has a background.
Design icon – a toolbar combination icon that generates a drop-down list of the menus available for designing and composing a page that has a background.
Design menu – a menu providing access to all the text or graphics utilities that can be used when composing a page. The Design menus include: Text to create and manipulate text elements, Clips to import and manipulate clip-art images, Palette to customize the colors in backgrounds, clips, and text, Backgrounds to modify or replace an existing page background, Buttons to create and modify buttons for interactive presentations, Styles to define special settings for text and graphic elements; for example, the length and direction of a shadow, the thickness of an underline, etc. List to examine the relationship in sequence and in time among the elements of the page; for example, when text appears, or a graphic wipes in or out.
Digital Advertising Networks – Ad-based digital signage networks displaying third-party ads from brands selling products and services in a given venue.
Digital display sign – LCD, Plasma, TV or LED screens displaying digital content throughout a digital signage network.
Digital dynamic signage – Digital dynamic signage is a term used to describe the emerging industry where flat panel devices such as plasma screens and liquid crystal displays are used as moving posters, electronic bulletin boards, and the like.
Digital dynamic signs – Digital dynamic signs are flat panel devices, such as gas plasma display panels or liquid crystal displays that are being used in signage applications. That is to say, digital dynamic signs are flat panel TVs being used as signs.
Digital in-store merchandising – Digital in-store merchandising refers the use of digital audio/visual equipment in retail environments to help compete for consumer attention. Increasingly, flat panel display devices, such as plasma screens, liquid crystal display (LCDs), and LED (light emitting diodes) signs are being used to fill all available merchandising “real estate”.
Digital media network – The term digital media network can refer to anything from multiple websites, to multiple television stations being centrally owned and operated. With the reduction in cost of custom controllable player devices, a new breed of digital media network is emerging, known under many different terms. The industry appears to be settling on the term digital signage to describe these new digital media networks, where custom images are digitally delivered to sign-like devices located throughout retail environments, or the enterprise.
Digital media networks – Digital Media Networks consist of output devices such as televisions, computer monitors, plasma display panels, and liquid crystal displays that are networked together and remotely controlled by the Network Operator using a control system such as Scala. A digital media network may be used for advertising, merchandising, delivering news or emergency information, or corporate and community events — depending on the venue. Such networks are appearing in venues such as retail outlets, shopping malls, franchises, office buildings, outdoor billboards, stadiums and sporting arenas.
Digital menu boards – LCD, Plasma, TV or LED screens that take the place of static menu boards in restaurant venues. Content is delivered to the menu board through a central content manager and changes are displayed to the menu dynamically based on the requirements of the venue.
Digital multimedia broadcast – the process of broadcasting multimedia over the Internet, or satellite, to be tuned in by multimedia receivers, or players, capable of playing back the multimedia program. Through a process called multicast, a single broadcast can send programming to thousands of receivers that can play back the content individualized to the location. This is one of the advantages of multimedia broadcasting over traditional video broadcasting.
Digital Out of Home – Refers to digital media used for marketing purposes outside of the home. This excludes TV advertising and radio advertising, but includes digital signage. This is sometimes hyphenated as digital-out-of-home or abbreviated as DOOH.
Digital signage – an industry whereby plasma display panels (PDPs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), computer monitors and normal televisions are used to replace and enhance traditional signs. The advantages of digital signage include the rapid ability to update content, and the ability to deliver the RIGHT messages to the RIGHT audiences at the RIGHT location. Digital signage is helping to merge the industries of advertising networks and point of purchase display merchandising.
Digital signage advertising – an ad-based digital signage network displaying dynamic brand advertising
Digital signage display – refers to the LCD, Plasma, TV or LED screen used in a dynamic digital signage network.
Digital signage network – A digital signage network is a series of interconnected flat panel screens or televisions that are presented similar to traditional signage, but can be controlled from a remote location to deliver dynamically changing content.
Digital signage networks – a grouping and/or network of digital signage.
Digital signage software – an end-to-end software solution for digital signage networks. The software, much like Scala, provides a content creation solution, a content management solution managed from a central location and playback functionality located near the display screens. The software also provides for system maintenance, health checking, advertising affidavit creation and management, automatic scheduling, playlist creation and management, meta tagging and user security.
Digital signage solution – the complete end-to-end digital signage solution available in one software platform.
Digital signage system – see digital signage networks
Digital signs – Plasma display panels (PDPs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), light emitting diode signs (LEDs), or traditional television (CRTs) being used like signage. That is, instead of tuning in a television station, they are showing specially prepared visual images to make them function like signs. This gives the operator of these signs the ability to update them quickly, and to use engaging content.
Digital video – a video that has been digitized so that it can be controlled from a PC and displayed directly on a computer monitor.
DirectShow – Microsoft’s graphic driver software for playback of various types of animation formats, which may or may not include sound. DirectShow (formerly called ActiveMovie) includes support for AVI, most QuickTime, and software MPEG animations.
Dithering – an image-processing technique that makes a digitized or rendered image appear smoother and more natural by simulating additional colors.
DOOH – Abbreviation for digital out of home. See definition for digital out of home.
Draw object – a box, oval, line, or arrow element added to a screen page using a Design Draw menu.
Dynamic digital signage – See dynamic signage.
Dynamic signage – Literally means, moving signs, and now covers two fields. The first is the novelty field of moving kinetic signage, such as billboards with moving parts. The second refers to the increasingly common use of plasma display panels (PDPs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), or other flat screen displays as signs. These signs can display video and other moving images. Dynamic signage is an emerging field, and is still being defined. Often times, the advantage of dynamic signage is lost by the use of mind-numbing repeating loops that quickly lose audience appeal. The true advantage of dynamic signage come in always delivering content that is fresh and relevant to the target audience, which may change by location or time of day. This customized content delivery is cost-prohibitive with traditional video production and animation. Consequently, multimedia software such as Scala is frequently being turned to as a way to produce multimedia messaging more quickly than by any other means.
Dynamic signs – see digital signage.
Dynamic visual messaging – The process of using animated graphic design to communicate to target audiences through signs and public displays.
Electronic billboards – billboards that can be updated electronically. This term covers a wide array of products. Sometimes it is used to refer to television channels run by computers, and sometimes it refers to very large screen video displays actually being used outdoors as billboards. Both are growing trends in advertising.
Electronic kiosks – terminals that disseminate information and services to the public through touch-screens and video displays. Electronic kiosks come in all shapes and sizes. They are often built by display companies and customized to individual needs by multimedia developers and value added resellers. They often incorporate card readers, coupon printers, and other devices specific to their application. The use of electronic kiosks as Internet Access Terminals is a growing trend.
Electronic signage – When digital media such as plasma display panels (PDP), liquid crystal displays (LCD) or light emitting diodes (LED) are used to replace traditional signs. Advantages include increased visual arresting power, rapidly updateable, and the ability to construct large digital signage media networks.
Element – anything that can appear on a page of a script, for example, a clip or a text line.
Element Design menus – any of the several Design menus used for working with the properties of the different types of elements in a Designer, such as the Design Text, Design Clip, Design Box, Design Animclip and Design Text Crawl menus.
Element transition – an effect that defines the way one or more elements (text and/or graphics) of a screen page moves onto and/or off the page. See also in transition; out transition; through transition.
Element wipe – see element transition.
ERP – (enterprise resource planning) business software for running every aspect of a company including managing orders, inventory, accounting, and logistics. Well known ERP software providers include BAAN, Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP, collectively known to industry insiders as the “BOPS”. ERP software deployments are usually associated with very large companies such as those in the Fortune 500, but as competition drives technology forward, accounting and industry-specific business management software is entering the ERP market space.
Esc – the Escape key, used to interrupt or stop a presentation that is being run or previewed, and return to the menu.
Evaluate – to look at an expression and return the single numeric, logical, or text value that is its result. For example, the expression ‘1+2+3’ evaluates as 6; ‘8 < 5’ evaluates as FALSE. See also expression.
Event – an action in a script; virtually everything that happens in a script is an event, including text, sounds, wipes, animations, etc.
EX module – (extension module) a software module, which may be available separately, to extend the functionality of Scala; for example, enabling control of a new hardware device. If the function involves an activity that can be controlled by the user, a column is added to the Main menu and a new menu specific to the EX can be opened by clicking on the corresponding button.
Expression – a mathematical or logical statement that a software program can evaluate to arrive at a variable value or TRUE/FALSE condition.
Extension – See file-type extension.
Fade-in – a gradual increase in a setting (such as volume) that begins at a zero point and reaches a specified value in a certain length of time.
Fade-out – a gradual decrease in a setting (such as volume) that begins at a specified value and reaches zero in a certain length of time.
File – a named and saved collection of computer data, such as a script, background, sound effect, animation, or clip.
File format – the structure of a file that defines the way it is stored and used. Generally, a file-type extension to the file name identifies the format. For example, some common bitmap graphics file formats supported by Scala are BMP, GIF, TIF, PCX, and JPG. Common animation formats are AVI, FLI, FLC and MPG. A common audio file format is WAV.
File-type extension – a suffix after a dot (.) followed by three characters, added to a file name to identify the type of file. It is not required by the Windows 95 naming standards, but files saved from a given software program are generally given an extension.
Flat panel signage – Refers to using flat panel electronic display devices, such as plasma display panels (PDPs) or liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in place of traditional signs. Advantages include the ability to update messaging rapidly and to deliver scheduled messaging to targeted audiences.
FLC – See file format.
Flexible frame – a dotted box that appears when you drag the mouse on a background in a Design menu. Used to select several items, the frame expands or contracts as the mouse is moved.
FLI – See file format.
Flow – the sequence of shown pages when you run a script. This can be different from the sequence of the pages in the script itself.
Fly-on – a type of wipe in which an image or text moves onto the screen from a position outside the screen borders.
FPS– See frames per second.
Frame – In an animation, one of the individual images displayed in sequence with others to create the illusion of movement.
Frames per second – the speed at which an animation, film or video is displayed. The frames per second setting for an animation should be at least 12 to create the illusion of movement.
FTP – (File Transfer Protocol) a standard protocol for transferring data over the Internet. To use FTP, FTP software must be set up on both sending and receiving ends of an FTP transmission, and the client (initiator) must have a user name, password and a valid target address on the server.
FTP server – a computer that can receive requests for an FTP link from a client machine, or the software on that machine that allows it to do so. IIS includes FTP server capability. Also called an FTP host. See also IIS.
Gas Pump TV – ad-based digital signage networks located on pump tops in your local gas station
Genlock – a video device that synchronizes two video signals and enables them to be mixed; for example, to overlay a subtitle produced on the computer onto live video.
Graphic handle – a small, solid square placed along the edge of a clip, used to adjust the size or shape of the element.
Graphics – images such as symbols, drawings, diagrams, photographs and clip art.
Group – A collection of pages or elements represented by a single line in the Main menu.
Handles – See graphic handles.
HDTV – (high definition television) the next generation of video content, capable of almost three times the clarity and resolution of standard NTSC broadcasts.
HDTV signage – See digital signage.
Head-end – an installation that is the final point from which video feeds for multiple channels are sent to broadcast or cable television customers. In addition to transmitting equipment, a head-end can contain feeds for various channels.
Health Monitoring – In information technology and multimedia terms, health monitoring refers to checking on the status of computers and networks to see if they are still operating.
Heartbeat – a brief status message sent to the Content Manager machine at regular intervals by a running Player, for health monitoring purposes.
High Color – a setting describing graphics that have 16-bit color, providing up to approximately 65,000 colors in the image.
Hit area – the area of an interactive button that responds when the mouse pointer passes over it or clicks on it. This can be a rectangular area surrounding the button, or an irregular area defined by pixels in the button image.
Horizontal scan rate – a figure that describes the speed of the electron beam that creates the scan lines of a video or computer display. The horizontal scan rate for standard NTSC/PAL video is approximately 15 kHz. For VGA displays and above, scan rates of 31.5 kHz or more are used.
Host, FTP – See FTP server.
HTML – (Hypertext Markup Language) HTML is the language used to create Web pages for display in Web Browsers. HTML can be created directly with text editors or Web publishing programs, such as Dream Weaver, or it can be the output of other programs that make dynamic webpages on the fly. When you select “view source” from your Web browser, the code that you are viewing is HTML.
Hz – the abbreviation for hertz, or cycles per second. This is a measurement for frequency. You often hear Hz referred to in a computer’s CPU speed, or a monitor’s refresh rate. The CPUs in Personal Computers just passed from commonly being measured in MHz to being measured in GHz. Monitor refresh rates are most frequently measured in KHz. Khz means kilo-hertz. Kilo means 1,000. So 2 KHz is 2000 hertz. MHz means mega-hertz or 1,000,000 Hz. GHz means giga-hertz or 1,000,000,000 Hz. THz mean tera-Hertz or 1,000,000,000,000 hertz.
Image processing – enhancing and manipulating an image, such as by adjusting its size, resolution, or color palette.
In transition – the way an element moves onto a page. See also element transition; out transition; through transition.
In wipe – see in transition.
Independent element – an element that has an In wipe, so that it wipes in independently of the background. See also passive element.
Index server – a machine accessible to i-play playback machines via HTTP that contains a list of available i-play channels. The index server functions as the central clearinghouse of information on channels that can be subscribed to.
Infinite loop – See loop, infinite.
Information Display Systems – Technology used to display information on screens for communication.
InfoChannel – Scala InfoChannel is the trademarked name of Scala’s older versions of digital signage software.
InstalledContent folder – a folder on the Player for content files that have been placed on the machine by some method other than being sent by Content Manager-being copied from a CD-ROM, or downloaded by a separate application, for example. See also Content folder.
In-Store Digital Media – See digital signage.
Interactive kiosks – usually free-standing information displays that allow users to retrieve information through touch-screens, buttons, and video displays. Interactive kiosks are frequently controlled by computers running software written with multimedia authoring software.
Interactive script – a script in which the viewer controls the direction of the production.
Interlace – a process used to refresh video displays and some computer displays that alternately scans every other horizontal scan line in the display. Interlaced displays often flicker, especially when showing static images containing narrow horizontal lines.
Internal communications – a term referring to communication within a company or supply chain; also used to refer to the policies, departments, and specific technologies. Telephones, faxes, computers, bulletin boards, memos, newsletters, and email are all part of a company’s internal communications.
Interrupt scheduling – a type of scheduling for pages that causes a scheduled page to play at a precise time, interrupting any other script activity currently occurring.
IP address – an address in four-part numerical format that uniquely identifies a computer accessible over a TCP/IP-based LAN or the Internet. For example, 127.0.0.10.
IP Multicast – (Internet Protocol Multicast) IP Multicast is a networking transmission protocol allowing multiple computers to simultaneously receive the same transmission. This is faster than sending packet to each individual computer, and is an efficient way to update many remote locations simultaneously. Each player site is “tuned in” for the packets being sent by the broadcast server. The question then arises, how can each remote site deliver customized content to its localized audience? The answer is in the fact that each player knows where it is, and makes intelligent choices about what parts of the broadcast it needs, if any. IP Multicast is not limited to the Internet and terrestrial connections, but can also be broadcast over Satellite to be received by inexpensive VSAT dishes — often already part of a company’s infrastructure for their WAN. In this way, multimedia networks of unlimited sizes can be created.
ISA – (Industry Standard Architecture) a standard expansion bus for internal devices on the PC platform.
IT – (Information Technology) IT is used to apply to everything having to do with computers, networking, and information systems. The “IT field” means the jobs and industry that surrounds configuring, installing, and keeping computers running. The term MIS (Management and Information Systems) is also frequently used. Most medium to large size companies have an IT or MIS department.
Job – a command or series of to perform maintenance tasks on one or more Players. Jobs typically involve uploading and downloading scripts, log files, and media files.
Job file – a relatively small file that is created by Content Manager and placed in the job folder of each Player targeted by that job. The job file instructs the Player on job tasks it should execute, such as downloading an updated script, deleting a file, instantly.
Kerning – an adjustment of the normal space between certain combinations of characters, to eliminate excess space.
kHz – the abbreviation for kilohertz, or thousands of cycles per second.
Kiosk – an electronic device that provides information (via a display), is interactive in nature (a multimedia combination), and allows for input (via an input device such as a touchscreen or a keyboard). The kiosk is unique from a standard PC as it is created for a specific user and specific purpose and is owned, controlled, and operated by the deployer.
LAN – (local area network) a network of computers sharing a single server or servers in a single location, typically in an office or building. See also WAN.
Laserdisc – a video storage medium that can play back high-quality video images and sound from a laser-read optical disc.
LCD – (Liquid Crystal Display) LCDs are thin displays used for TV, computer monitors, wristwatches, digital thermometers, microwaves, digital signage, and countless other technologies — possibly the most common and diverse electronic flat screen technology in use today. LCDs contain two thin transparent surfaces (usually glass), with grooves full of a liquid crystal substance. Thin film transistors (TFTs) on the surface material apply an electric current to the liquid crystals. The current will polarize the crystals, making them twist. This twisting blocks light. When turned off, the liquid crystals go into random alignment and let light pass through.
LCD projection panel – a portable display unit that is placed on top of an overhead projector and connected to a computer so that the computer’s display can be projected onto a large screen.
LED – (light emitting diode) diodes are electronic components that let electricity pass in only one direction. Light emitting diodes are diodes that emit visible light when electricity is applied, similar to a light bulb. When many LEDs are side-by-side, they can create pictures, such as the scrolling red LED signs found everywhere. LED displays are often confused with LCDs (liquid crystal displays), but they are different technologies.
Linked content – content that is referenced by a script when the script is sent to Players. Linked content can be updated at a separate time from normal script content or from an independent source.
List view – in the Main menu, a listing of pages by name, in sequence by page number; in the File menu, an alphabetical listing of sub-folders and files in the current folder. See also Shuffler view.
Location based advertising – the placement of advertisements near an actionable location. In other words, location based advertising deals with strategically placing messaging near where buyer behavior can be most immediately influenced, and converted into a sale. This most often applies in retail settings, such as shopping malls.
Location based media – Refers to any public display media, such as signs, billboards and posters located out of home, usually near where the audience is near the point of purchase decision.
Log file – a text file consisting of time stamped status and error messages, detailing the operational history of a given piece of software.
Loop – (1) In a script, a sequence of events that repeats. (2) A setting determining the number of times a sound or animation should repeat when it runs.
MCI – (Media Control Interface) The standard method of controlling multimedia devices before DirectShow/Windows 95. It is a standard for communicating with devices that support VCR-like operations like play, pause, stop, etc., such as MPEG playback cards. A given device might offer both MCI and DirectShow drivers.
MHz – the abbreviation for megahertz, or millions of cycles per second.
MID – the file-type extension used for MIDI compositions. See also MIDI; file format.
MIDI – (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) a hardware and software standard for electronic musical instruments and related equipment. MIDI also defines the standard file format (.MID) used for MIDI compositions.
Mixer – in the Sound menu, a set of control panels that allow you to adjust the volume and pan settings of all sound sources in a script.
MOV – the file-type extension for digital video files in the QuickTime format. See file format.
Movieclip – a digital video segment in an ActiveMovie-supported format, such as AVI, QuickTime, or MPEG, that has been loaded as a clip. Movieclips are similar to animclips except that they can also have sound associated with them. Movieclips cannot have their frame rate or color palettes adjusted.
MPEG – (Motion Picture Experts Group) a standard used for the compression of digital video and audio sequences. MPEG sacrifices some image quality to achieve very high compression.
MPEG-4 – MPEG-4 is the latest compression standard developed by MPEG, the same group that brought us MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. MPEG-4 brings higher levels of interaction with content, controlled by the content developers. It also brings multimedia to new types of networks, including those employing relatively low bitrates, and mobile ones.
MSF – (minutes, seconds, frames) a way of measuring time on a compact disc (CD), expressed in the format mm:ss:ff, where mm is minutes, ss is seconds and ff is frames.
Multi-tile – A multi-tile divides the source image into several “slices” that are tiled together to produce a final image of the desired size. See also tiling.
Multimedia – the combination of various presentation media such as text, sound, graphics, animation, and video.
Multimedia displays – TVs, plasma display panels, LCDs or other video display device delivering multimedia content, often connected to a computer and touch screen.
Multimedia signs – Multimedia signs are a growing trend in the signage industry, where televisions or flat panel display devices such as plasma screens or liquid crystal displays, are turned into updatable signage. Advantages of multimedia signs include the ability to deliver messaging to targeted audiences depending on schedule or environmental conditions. For example, advertise umbrellas when it’s raining.
Multistyle button – a selector-like button in the Text and Clips menus, used to access a variety of styles that can be applied to text or graphics. See also selector.
Narrowcasting – Narrowcasting in public places is a growing trend in advertising. The concept means delivering highly targeted and customized messages to audiences in public locations at scheduled times. Usually, this is accomplished with a networked multimedia system allowing rapid production, customization, distribution, and playback to multiple locations on display devices such as televisions, plasma display panels, and liquid crystal displays (indoors or outdoors). The advantages of narrowcasting over traditional media include lower production costs, greater flexibility, and more attention-grabbing visuals.
Narrowcasting Networks – Narrowcasting networks are a new type of digital media designed to reach targeted portions of the public. They employ selective broadcasts of media-rich content to a variety of types of “receivers”. These receivers are typically some form of television, computer monitor, or flat screen display such as plasma display panels (PDPs) or liquid crystal displays (LCDs) with a multimedia player attached. They emulate the appearance of signs, billboards, and kiosks, located in prime locations for exposure to your desired demographics. These players can then be selectively updated with scheduled, rapidly produced, and rapidly adapted programming. Narrowcasting networks may display targeted messaging to bus terminals, retail outlets, sports arenas, theaters, outdoor billboards, office buildings, and other public venues. More narrowcast networks are springing up around the world as the cost of deployment decreases, and the ease of maintenance increases.
Network administrator – an information technology professional responsible for setting up, maintaining, and securing a computer network. Network administrators often work in, or run, the IT department of a company.
Network operator – a company that manages and maintains a large computer network. Network operator often refers to an advertising network operator, which is a company owning and operating a large number of remote location-based multimedia players delivering targeted messaging to high traffic locales.
Newscasting – sending news out over the Internet, either point-to-point, or with multicast for client computers to receive and display.
NTSC – (National Television Standards Committee) the color video and broadcasting standard used mainly in North America and Japan. NTSC screen resolution is 525 lines and its refresh rate is 60 Hz.
Out of home advertising – refers to that portion of advertising delivered in locations other than the home. Primary examples include billboards, movie theaters, and gas stations.
Out wipe – see out transition.
Out-of-Home Media Networks – Out-of-Home Media Networks are like private television channels run by companies, organizations, and advertisers without having to have a complete television studio. For example, a growing number of companies are finding it viable to install small pilot programs where they push rapidly produced content, such as news, weather, and stock quotes, mixing in advertising. As the pilots prove successful in driving consumer behavior, the network can be expanded from dozens of screens, to hundreds or thousands, located throughout a country or region. Such out-of-home media networks are sometimes also referred to as location-based media, or location-based advertising, because they appeal to the target audience at or close to the point of purchase, such as shopping malls, retail chains, or franchise operations.
OOH – Abbreviation for Out of Home. Typically used referring to out of home advertising or media networks.
Out transition – the way an element moves off a page. See also element transition; in transition; through transition.
Outernet – a term used to describe out-of-home electronic display networks.
Overlay – a feature of most video cards that allows particularly smooth digital video playback without overloading the computer’s CPU.
P.O.P. – (point-of-purchase) the term point-of-purchase usually refers to the industry concerned with customer behavior at the location of the purchase decision. POP is considered one of the most important aspects of advertising and merchandising. It is believed that the most critical time to influence buyer behavior is when they have money in hand.
Page transition – an effect that defines the way a page moves onto and/or off a screen.
Page wipe – see page transition.
PAL – (Phase Alternating Line) the color video and broadcasting standard used mainly in Western Europe and South America. PAL screen resolution is 625 lines and its refresh rate is 50 Hz.
Passive element – an element that has no In wipe, and is already on the page when the page wipes in. See also independent element.
Pattern matching – use of wildcards * and ? as part of a filename specification, to select multiple files with similar names.
PCI – (Peripheral Connect Interface) an advanced expansion-bus standard for internal peripheral devices, used most commonly by high performance graphics adapters.
PDP – (Plasma Display Panels) PDPs, also known as gas plasma displays or plasma screens, are flat screen display devices that are used for television, computer monitors, and dynamic signage. They consist of two layers of glass surrounding cells of xenon and neon glass. Surrounding electrodes switch the cells on and off, causing them to emit light and create the picture. This emitted light makes PDPs have an appealing vibrancy that competes with Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs), the technology of traditional televisions.
PEG channel – (Public, Education, or Government Channel) PEG is a commonly used acronym by the local television industry to describe publicly funded access stations. These may be run by municipalities, school districts, or volunteers.
Periodic scheduling – a type of scheduling that defines ranges of time within which events are allowed to play.
Permissions – Attributes that may be associated with a folder to restrict the types of access that different users have to it.
Pipe – a software/hardware construct that moves data from one location to another.
Plasma – Just as solids, liquids and gases are states of matter, plasma is a state of matter. Specifically, plasma is ionized gas. That is, gas that has been given an electrical charge by being stripped of electrons. Such ionized gas is the most abundant observable form of matter in the universe, being a main ingredient in stars and nebulous. And as if we’re not already seeing enough of the stuff, it’s also what goes inside those flat panel displays called “plasmas” that are popping up all around us. Why? Because when you apply an electromagnetic field to plasma, it glows, making for a nice, vibrant TV screen, computer monitor, or digital signage.
Plasma display panels – Plasma display panels are components in the current generation of flat panel televisions, computer monitors, and digital signage. They consist of a material called “plasma”, which is an electrically charged noble gas (usually argon, xenon, or neon) sandwiched in millions of compartments between 2 panes of transistor-covered glass. An electrical charge is applied to the gas to make it glow red, green, or blue. This is similar both to how neon signs work (the application of an electrical charge to a noble gas), and how cathode ray tube (CRT) works, in illuminating cells red, green or blue to create an image.
PNG – the file-type extension for images in the PNG (pronounced “ping”) format. PNG is a relatively new and advanced format, featuring both compression and extensibility.
Polling interval – the length of time that may elapse before a Player checks for a certain condition, such as whether a job has been delivered to its job folder, or whether its script has been updated.
Port, IP – a numerically designated access point for messages of a particular type in TCP/IP network communications.
Public IP multicast displays – a device capable of receiving an IP multicast transmission and displaying the contents, often used to update large numbers of visual display devices including digital signage.
Push software – software that pushes news and information from a broadcast server to a player client. Push technology can be used to deliver vital information to screens without the player asking.
Quick-access button – in the File menu, a button that leads directly to a specific folder, eliminating the need to navigate step-by-step to the folder.
RAS – (remote access service) a service provided by Windows Dial-Up Networking to establish a network connection with another computer via modem.
Remapping – automatically rearranging and/or adjusting the color palettes of images so that they share colors, with the least possible distortion of the images’ intended appearance.
Retail digital signage – digital signage networks located in the myriad of retail venues
Return value – the value that results as the output of a function or the evaluation of an expression.
Root – a particular folder chosen as the base reference point, relative to which all other paths within a web server or FTP server are defined.
SaaS – (typically pronounced ‘sass’) stands for Software as a Service. SaaS is a model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet. By eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer’s own computer, SaaS alleviates the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support.
Sampling precision – the degree of accuracy of the scale used to measure the fluctuations in amplitude of a sound that is being digitized. Measured in bits, an 8-bit sample can store one of 256 different amplitude levels, while a 16-bit sample has 256 times greater accuracy.
Sampling rate – the number of samples taken per second when digitizing sound. The quality of the digital reproduction improves as the number of samples taken per second increases.
SECAM – (Séquentiel couleur à mémoire) the video and broadcasting standard used in France, Eastern Europe, Russia, and most of Asia and Africa. SECAM has the same screen resolution of 625 lines and 50-Hz refresh rate as PAL.
Self-running script – also referred to as a continuous script; a script designed to run continuously; for example, to demonstrate a product or service, or provide information without interruption.
Sequencer – a hardware device or computer software that is used to compose a musical score, transcribe it into a MIDI file and play or record the result using MIDI instruments.
Special event – an event that is not associated with a file. Special events can be added like pages in the Main menu, or like elements in the List menu. They are used to control a device or an element, for example, changing the volume of a sound.
Store and forward – a networking term referring to when information is stored at routing points before its ultimate destination. Store and forward can be used to reduce the load on the original server. Players can retrieve their data from other players instead of the original broadcast site.
Sysadmin – (System Administrator) employee responsible for a company’s computer network, also sometimes called a network administrator. A system administrator’s duties may include configuring the company’s firewall, acquiring and installing hardware, setting up email addresses and keeping the printers working.
TAPI – a standard for PCs that allows applications to easily use serial devices (such as modems) that have already been configured in Windows.
TCP/IP – a networking protocol designed for flexible, high-speed communications, used for LANs and the Internet.
Through transition – the way an element moves on and immediately off a page. See also element transition; in transition; out transition.
Through wipe – see through transition.
Timeout – a time limit for an operation. If the timeout period expires before the operation completes successfully, some default or alternative action is taken.
Topology – physical and logical layout of a networked system
Touch screen – also called a touch-sensitive screen, a computer monitor attachment that can sense the location at which a viewer touches the screen to respond to a question or prompt in a script.
Traffic – Data being transferred over a network. Downloading text and graphics represent low-bandwidth traffic while streaming video is higher.
Transition – the way an element moves on a page or a page moves on a screen. See also element transition; page transition; in transition; out transition; through transition.
TWAIN – a standard developed to allow imaging devices such as scanners and digital cameras to communicate with PCs.
UNC – (Universal Naming Convention) a standard format for paths referring to locations directly accessible on a local area network
URL – (Universal Resource Locator) a string of text that specifies the location of an object accessible through the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), typically a World Wide Web address, as of a home page or i-play channel. A Web URL begins with “http://”.
VAR – (value-added reseller) a person or company that sells, services, configures, and/or trains clients to use an advanced product. Application software installations are often set up and maintained for their customers by VARs.
Versionation – the process of inserting a serial number into a file name or folder name to indicate the order in which successively newer versions of a file with the same base name have been received on the Player.
VSAT – (Very Small Aperture Terminal) VSATs are those little satellite dishes that you see used for PrimeStar and DirectTV among other things. In addition to tuning in satellite TV, they can be used to receive data such as IP multicasting. Many companies create a wide area computer networks (WAN) infrastructure.
WAN – (wide area network) a network of computers sharing servers in multiple locations, such as the different offices of a large company. See also LAN.
WiFi – (Wireless Fidelity) a local area network (LAN) that communicates via radio waves on the 802.11 standard instead of wires.
Wildcard – a special character that can be used for pattern-matching in specifying the names of files to work with.
WinScript – WinScript, also known as WSH Script, is uncompiled program code written to be executed by the Windows Script Host.
Wipe – see transition.
XML – (Extensible Markup Language) XML is a standard data format used for text files and information in computer memory that allows easy data processing and exchange between different applications.
XSL – (Extensible Stylesheet Language) XSL was the original proposal to allow formatting of XML files for display. It has since diverged into XSL FO and XSLT. They each derive from XSL, but use different parser programs and achieve slightly different goals. XSL FO, which stands for XSL formatting objects, is most often used for outputting PDF files with extreme formatting and pagination control. XSLT, which stands for XSL transformations, is most often used to convert one XML data structure into another.
XSLT – (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) XSLT is a standard subset language of XML designed to allow one XM