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Glossary of Terminology


Consumer Electronics Association

Please click here to see the CEA's color-coding standard for consumer equipment.


1 meter = 3.280829 feet or 39.46995 inches

Please click here for a meters to feet conversion table

Digital Video Terminology

  • DVI: Digital Video Interface
  • HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface
  • HDCP: High-definition Digital Content Protection
  • Please click here for more info.

Common Designations for Component Video Cables

  • Component video cable
  • ColorStream DVD video cable (Toshiba)
  • ColorStream HD video cable (Toshiba)
  • Component video cord (Pioneer)

Video Signal Format Designations

  • VGA break-out
  • R/G/B/H/V
  • R G B H V
  • G/B/R/H/V
  • G B R H V
  • R/G/B/S
  • R G B S
  • RGBS
  • R/G/B
  • R G B
  • RGB
  • G/G/R
  • G B R
  • GBR
  • Y/Pr/Pb
  • Y Pr Pb
  • YPrPb
  • Y/Pb/Pr
  • Y Pb Pr
  • YPbPr

Digital Audio Cables

The digital interface was developed by Sony and Philips, hence the designation S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital InterFace).  S/PDIF is defined by IEC 60958, which describes a serial, unidirectional, self-clocking interface for the interconnection of digital audio equipment for consumer and professional applications, using linear PCM coded audio samples.

This interface is often referred to by these acronyms as well:

  • S/PDIF
  • S-PDIF
  • SPdiff
  • Coaxial Digital

Cables for this interface are typically made with coaxial cable, (or coax for short), and terminated with RCA type connectors, although some equipment uses BNC type connectors as well.

To confuse matters, S/PDIF can also refer to an optical interface.  The most popular optical interface used for consumer equipment is known as TOSLink.  This implementation was first developed by Toshiba, who coined it "Toshiba Link", or TOSLink for short.

The AES/EBU interface is used in professional and high-end consumer gear. It typically uses balanced cable instead of coaxial cable, and the connectors are generally of the XLR type.


USB Connectors

USB "A" Connector This drawing illustrates the USB "A" style connector.  This is the type that is typically found on a computer.

USB "B" Connector This drawing shows the USB "B" style connector.  This style is typically found on the equipment end.