Glossary of Film and Electronic Media Terms

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HDTV High-definition television. Includes various digital broadcast television standards of more than 1,000 lines, plus the 720-line interlaced format. A format is generally considered high-definition if it has at least twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of standard definition TV (SDTV).

half-track An audio tape recorder, or recording, that uses one-half the width of the tape for recording an audio signal. The tape can then be reversed and the other half on the tape used during a reverse pass.

hand props Any object on a set which is used or handled by the talent. Also called a property.

hand signals Production information communicated silently by the hands to on-camera talent by a floor director.

hard copy As opposed to soft copy, a copy of text or data printed out on paper.

hard disc recording Digitally recording audio or video on a computer-type disk drive system.

hard disk A high-capacity computer storage disk.

hard light A sharp, focused light which casts harsh shadows.

hard news As opposed to soft news, news stories which center on straight facts and do not emphasize the human interest angles.

hard wired An electronic piece of equipment that is more or less permanently wired to other equipment.

hard-copy prompter A camera prompting device that incorporates a moving paper script. See also soft-copy prompter.

hardwall flats A set piece used for the background of a set, generally composed of a 2 X 2 inch frame covered with a rigid material, such as plywood. See also softwall flats.

hardware The physical components of a computer and its associated equipment.

harmonics Acoustical or electrical frequencies that are multiples of the basic frequency or musical tone.

haze filter A filter that removes ultraviolet light and diminishes haze in a scene.

HDTV High-definition television. Includes various digital broadcast television standards of more than 1,000 lines, plus the 720-line interlaced format. A format is generally considered high-definition if it has at least twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of standard definition TV (SDTV).

head Device that records and plays back video or audio on a magnetic tape.

head-cleaning cassette A cassette loaded with material which cleans the video heads as the cassette is "played." Often the cleaning material is augmented with a cleaning fluid.

head clog A loss of video signal resulting from dirt in the microscopic gap of a video head.

head drum A cylinder, set at an angle in a helical videotape machine, around which videotape is wound. The recording heads are mounted within the head drum.

head end Initial portion of cable television distribution system where signals are collected and initially amplified.

headphones  Earphones. Listening device that fits over the head and covers the ears used to listen to audio sources.

headroom The area between the top of the actor's head the top of the picture frame.

helical scan A video signal recorded a slight angle along the horizontal dimension of a videotape. In contrast to segmented recording, one complete video field or frame is recorded with each pass of a video head.

Hi8 A 8mm videotape format developed by Sony which is of higher quality than the standard 8mm format. Often used as an acquisition format.

high density Videotape or computer disks that pack more magnetic particles per square inch and thus allow a greater concentration of data.

high-key lighting Lighting characterized by minimal shadows and a low key-to-fill ratio.

high-Z High impedance.

highlighting A make-up technique designed to emphasize selected facial features--generally by the subtle application and blending of make-up which is slightly lighter in tonal value than surrounding skin tones.

highlights The brightest parts of a video image.

hiss Audio noise.

HMI light A high-efficiency, discharge-type light source that has the same color temperature as sunlight.

hook A attention-getting incident in a production designed to capture an audience's attention.

horizontal blanking The period in the scanning of the TV picture when the electron beam is momentarily extinguished as it moves from right to left. During this period the beam can return unseen to scan another line.

horizontal resolution The ability of horizontal scanning lines of a video system to reproduce picture detail. This is based primarily on how quickly the system can appropriately respond to changes in image intensity.

horizontal scan rate The speed at which the electronic beam scans across the screen of a CRT. Horizontal scanning rates are typically between 15KHz and 40KHz.

hot Attributed characteristic of a wire carrying an electrical current. The term is also used to signify instrument that is turned on for example, a "hot camera" or "a hot microphone."

hot spot Undesirable concentrations of light on a set or subject matter.

hue Color. Refers to specific color only without the dimensions of brightness or saturation.

hum An intrusive steady sound or tone caused by electrical problems. Often 60- or 120-cycle hum is heard in audio from AC power.

human interest In contrast to hard news, stories in which news value is secondary to an appeal to feelings, emotions or sensations.

house lights Normal, existing overhead work lights in the studio  or theater.

hue Color.  Name of a color; for example, red.

hum bar  Visible bar in video caused by introduction of 60-Hz electrical interference.

hypercardioid A highly directional mic pickup pattern.

hyperband  CATV channels above the basic channels.

Hz; Hertz; cycles per second. A unit of frequency measurement for sound and electromagnetic waves named after Heinrich Hertz.


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