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Car Multimedia Glossary Car Multimedia Glossary

Everyone wants in car multimedia these days, whether it's DVD, MP3, or TV you too can have it in your car! Get up to speed on all the terms with this guide from in-car-stuff.

Active Matrix Display: A type of display where the image is refreshed frequently for a higher resolution. The most common type of active matrix display is TFT.

Aspect ratio: The ratio between the width and height of a screen. Usually either standard (4:3) or widescreen (16:9)

Composite Video: A video signal carried on a single RCA conector in which the brightness and color portions of the signal are combined.

Dashboard Bracket: An adjustable bracket that can be stuck or screwed onto a dashboard or centre console on which a screen can be mounted.

DIN: The standard size of most car stereo units.

Dolby Digital: An output providing 5.1 channel surround sound. Requires a Dolby 5.1 Amplifier or sound processor.

Double DIN: The size of most double height car stereo units, often seen on Japanses import vehicles.

Diversity Antenna: In order to get the best possible signal in a moving vehicle a diversity antenna is required. There are usually either 2 or 4 seperate antennas and the system chooses between the signal coming from each antenna so as to get the best possible reception.

DVD Player: A DVD player plays DVD movies and often VCD, SVCD, CD, and MP3 (on CD or DVD) as well.

FM Modulator: A device that allows you to tune your car radio into the audio signal from a DVD player or TV tuner etc. Can be either hard wired or wireless.

Headphone Transmitter: Some screens have a built in infra red headphone transmitter for use with infra red headphones. The audio output of your DVD player is connected to the screen which transmits the signal via infra red.

Headrest Screen: A screen that comes with a plastic shell for fitting into the rear of a headrest. A hole is cut in the headrest and the plastic shell fitted, the screen then clips into the shell.

Ignition Memory: See Resume.

In Dash Screen: A screen that fits into a standard DIN or double DIN car radio slot. Some in dash screens are designed to completely replace your existing car radio whilst others are intended to be used alongside it.

Infra Red Remote Control: A wireless remote control for changing video inputs, adjusting volume, playing, stopping, fast forwarding DVDs etc. Just like your TV at home.

ISO Connector: A standardised connector for connection of car stereos.

Line Input/Line Output: A low level audio signal for connection between components or from or to an amplifier. Usually using RCA Connectors.

LCD: Liquid Crystal Display, the technology used for flat-panel displays that works by shining light through pixel cells.

Luminance: The brightness of a picture.

Mirror Image: The ability to flip the image horizontally, usefull when using a reversing camera that doesn't have a mirror image output.

Monitor: In a car monitors can be mounted on top of the dashboard, in the dashboard, in the back of a headrest, or on the roof.

Multiregion: A DVD player that can play DVDs from any region/country.

NTSC: The 525 line television standard used in North America, Canada, Japan, South Korea and some other countries.

OSD: On Screen Display, allows easy adjustment of settings by displaying the current setting on screen and allowing selection from menus using a remote control or buttons on the screen.

PAL: The 576 line television standard used in the UK and large parts of the world.

Phono Connector: See RCA Connector

Pixel: A single point in an image, you see a complete image when multiple pixels are put together.

Play Position Memory: See Resume.

Resume: A feature of a DVD player that will remember where you were up to in a film when the player is turned off so that you can carry on from the same place next time.

RCA Connector: Also referred to as a phono connector the RCA connector is a type of electrical connector which is commonly used in the audio/video market. The connector consists of a central male connector, surrounded by a ring.

Rear View Mirror Screen: A rear view mirror with a built in screen behind a special mirror. When the screen is off the mirror works exactly as any other mirror. Turn the screen on and the image appears through the mirror. Ideal for reversing cameras.

Resolution: The quality of an image measured in pixels. A higher resolution offers a clearer picture

Roof Mount Screen: A drop down screen that is fitted to the headlining of the car so that it is viewable from the rear seat.

Sun Visor Screen: A complete replacement sun visor with a built in screen.

TFT Screen: A type of LCD screen that uses thin film transistor (TFT) technology. Each pixel is controlled from 1 to 4 transistors, giving the best resolution of all flat-panel displays.

TV Tuner: A TV tuner receives television broadcasts. Two types are available, an analogue tuner to receive the standard 5 terrestrial channels or a digital tuner to receive the Freeview channels.

Video Splitter: A device to split a single video system into several outputs for connection to multiple screens.


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