TV and video jargon cheat sheet

04 September 2015 ( 27 April 2017 )

Confused by the terms used in film and TV? Our cheat sheet will help you make sense of all that technology language.

Common terms: 

Blu-ray / Blu-ray disc (BD)

An optical disc format that delivers high definition video and data and can store large amounts of data on DVD sized discs.

Cloud storage

Many services refer to storing or accessing your collection of films or TV shows ‘in the cloud’. There are all different types of cloud storage systems, but most commonly it means that you are accessing your content from servers in a data centre, rather than downloading the file to save to your hard drive.

Read more about the cloud

Digital HD – also known as a digital copy or digital download

Digital HD allows you to buy and keep films and TV shows to watch online. It can be streamed or downloaded giving you high-definition quality across multiple devices including TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops and games consoles.

Is your broadband fast enough to do everything you want to online? If not, switching could be a lot easier than you think with Saga's free broadband switching service. Get the best deals from Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and more - find out more today...


Copying or transferring files, such as a film or TV show, from another computer, server or the internet to your own computer or storage device. 

HD / High Definition

HD stands for High Definition which is the current standard for TV picture resolution, delivering sharper pictures for the best quality experience. You may hear the term 1080p which means the screen resolution by the number of pixels, or lines displayed on the TV. Full HD screen resolution, sometimes referred to as 1080p, is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

Smart TV / Connected TV

A TV or set-top box with integrated internet which means you can browse the internet and access various apps, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, through your TV. Most TVs are now ‘smart’ but you will need an internet connection (home broadband) to get your smart TV online.

5 ways to improve your TV sound


Streaming lets you watch films or TV shows over the internet instantly, without the need to download or store the video file to your device.

Video-on-Demand (VOD), also known as catch-up

Interactive TV technology that allows you to watch or listen to video or audio content when you choose to, rather than at a set time. Catch up TV services like BBC iPlayer, ITVPlayer and 4OD fall into this category.

Get up to speed with Catch Up TV

Other terms you might have heard of:

4k / Ultra HD

4k resolution, also called Ultra HD, is the next generation of television screen resolution. A 4k TV picture is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels – four times the detail of HD. There is so much detail and depth to the picture that it can almost look 3D, but without the need for special glasses.


A peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol commonly used for the illegal sharing of digital files.

Saga Home Insurance provides cover that goes beyond what you might expect. For more information and to get a quote click here.

Digital locker

A digital locker or cyberlocker is an online file or digital media storage service. Files stored include films, videos, music, games and other media and can often be shared with other household members. 


When an internet user either sends or receives digital content with other internet users. This is illegal if the rightsholder hasn’t given permission for the content to be shared.


High density optical disc format for domestic use. Used to carry high definition audio and video and interactive content.

How do you watch TV? Read our guide to the different types of service available.

HD Ready

A term used for televisions and other devices which are compatible with HD standards. It produces 720 lines of information across the screen (or 720p), which is less than full HD at 1080p.


Stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. You may find you need a HDMI cable to connect your digital TV, Blu-ray or DVD player to another device such as a laptop, games console, or Freeview box.


A method of exchanging digital content directly from one or more computers to another without using a central server. This can be illegal if the rightsholder hasn’t given permission for the content to be shared.

Compiled with thanks to Find Any Film.

...Previous article

Ten things your Sky remote control can do
Next article...

What is Netflix?

Try 12 issues of Saga Magazine for just £12

Subscribe today for just £12 for 12 issues...

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.