There is a very large vocabulary of technical and descriptive terms that go with home theater. We've included the terms that you are most likely to encounter. If you are very technically involved you may find some of the more technical terms omitted from our list.
Click on a letter to jump to that section of our glossary.
Macrovision - Copy protection
scheme used to protect DVDs and videotapes from illegal duplication.
Matrix Decoding - A method
of combining audio signals into fewer channels for the purpose
of compression. When the matrixed signal reaches the processor,
it is decoded and restored or enhanced into multichannel
sound, such as surround sound.
Mbps or mb/s - Megabits per second.
A measure of the volume of data transmission or processing.
MHz - Megahertz. 1 MHz is
equal to one million hertz (Hz) or one thousand kilohertz
(kHz). A measurement of signal bandwidth or processing speed.
Moire - A circular pattern
that appears in video when straight lines appear close together.
The lines tend to converge and split apart as they are drawn.
The effect has to do with the nature of the television display
and the relationship of the position of the rendered line
and the scan line.
Monaural or Mono - Monophonic
sound. A method of recording or reproducing sound in which
all sound is blended into a single channel.
Monitor - The term is most
accurately applied to video or television monitor that has
no tuner. In such a case, a monitor must have some source
device connected to it in order to display anything. The
is sometimes applied, less accurately, to a television that
has inputs for devices such as VCR or DVD player.
MP3 - A compressed audio
format commonly used for music downloaded from the internet
or for music stored on memory-based audio players.
MPAA - Motion Picture Association
of America. The organization responsible for assigning film
ratings. G = General audience; PG = Parental guidance suggested;
PG-13 = Parents strongly cautioned; R = Restricted, accompanying
adult required; NC-17 = No one 17 and under admitted; X =
No one 17 and under admitted.
MPEG-2 - Motion Picture
Experts Group technical standard 2. A video compression
standard used in digital broadcasts and other digital
media such as DVDs. It reduces the amount of data transmission
by not having to retransmit data identified as not having
changed from the previous frame.
MTS - Multichannel TV Sound. The stereo audio signal broadcast with television transmissions.