Like any paperwork that accompanies electronics portable players, listings on eBay and instruction manuals are chock full of jargon. And, as a DVD player retailer it is your job to understand what all the acronyms stand for, and what all the buttons do. But why? You might ask. There are two simple reasons:

1) You don’t want to look like a complete amateur in front of tech savvy shoppers.
2) You will need to be able to explain what everything does in clear simple language for novices who don’t really understand what they’re buying.

So, to help you out we’ve put together a list of almost all of the terms you are likely to come across when selling portable DVDs online.

Media Formats

MPEG 1, 2, 3 & 4: Audio and video compression standards set by the Moving Pictures Export Group. The numerals refer to versions with MPEG 1 being the 1st and MPEG 4 being the latest, MPEG 4 is probably best known as the MP4 format which is used on MP4 players.

MP3: This is perhaps the most well recognized audio format designed by the Moving Pictures Expert Group. It is a standard for audio files compression.

WMA: Windows Media Audio is an audio data compression standard developed by Microsoft but played widely in many MP3 and MP4 players from China wholesale manufacturers. The video version of this format is WMV. DiVX: A compression technique that converts long video sequences into smaller segments without losing too much detail. It uses the MPEG-4 compression standard.

XVID: This open source compression technique competes with DiVX for market share and also compresses video according to the MPEG-4 standard. The difference between the two is DiVX is proprietary while XVID is distributed under Gnu or is free to use.

JPEG: This is format used for photographs and is used by most digital cameras. Having this lets the user playback pictures from the camera on the portable DVD screen.

Disc Formats

CD: The shorter, better known nickname for the Compact Disc Read Only Memory (CD-ROM). A CD is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data which can be read by a computer and a number of other players but cannot be written over.

CD-RW: This is a CD which can be recorded onto and read many times. The CD-RW can also be used to store different formats of content. This is a little like a blank VCR of the computer world.

CD-R: A CD-R (recordable) allows for content to be written once and read many times. This type of disc stores all types of media files – this is a little like a blank VCR that you record onto and then push the tabs out of to stop it from being recorded on again. Short for Video Compact Disc. The VCD is a format for storing video on CDs. The VCD is like a VCR tape in that you cannot skip chapters or view rich data, just fast forward and rewind.

SVCD: The Super Video Compact Disk. While this successor to the VCD was meant to challenge the DVD format it doesn’t have the quality and storage capacity of the DVD and never really took off. DVD: Digital Video Discs. They look like CDs but store six times more data and can display video in chapters.

DVD RW/ DVD+RW/ DVD-RW: Essentially three variations of exactly the same thing. A DVD RW is like a CD RW in that data can be read off them and written on them many times. The + and – and competing standards, though it is generally accepted that + is superior and therefore the industry standard for rewritable disks.

TV Encoders

SECAM: This analog color encoding system was developed in France for broadcast television. You can still find it used in France, parts of Eastern Europe some former French colonies. PAL: Phase Alternating Line is an analog color encoding system used in broadcast television is large parts of the world. DVDs with PAL encoding will only play on players that can decode this signal and PAL and NTSC color encoding systems give security professionals and car reversing camera installers no end of headaches.

NTSC: This analog color encoding system was developed in the USA for broadcast television and quickly earned the nickname Never Twice the Same Color. It is Primarily used in the US, the countries’ bordering it, US territories and parts of South America.

ATSC: The Advanced Television Systems Committee standard defines a digital broadcast standard for the US, Canada, Mexico and one or two other territories.

DVB: The Digital Video Broadcasting standard is (or will be) the industry standard for more than 130 countries. It is used for satellite, terrestrial and digital terrestrial for portables (including mobile broadcasts).

External Ports

AV Out: Audio/Video output point for connecting DVD player to home TV, car system etc. AV In: Audio/Video input point to connect external devices like a video cam/ gaming unit direct to the portable DVD player

VGA Out: Video Graphics Array is a type of port that was first introduced in computers but can be now found in many devices with a separate LCD display.

USB: The Universal Serial Bus is probably the most generic input you will see on computers. With the USB you can hook up a whole host of devices to the DVD Player including mobile phones, laptops, computers, mp3 and MP4 players etc.

SD/MMC/MS Card Reader: Secure Digital/Multimedia Card and Memory Stick are all types of flash memory used in portable electronic devices from MP3/MP4 players, digital cameras, camcorders, mobile phones etc.

HDMI: High-Definition Multimedia Interface is an audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. HDMI connects digital audio/video sources such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, personal computers (PCs), video game consoles (such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360), and AV receivers to compatible digital audio devices, computer monitors, and digital televisions

S-Video: Separate Video is an analog video signal that carries the video data as two separate signals, lumen (luminance) and chroma (color). S-Video is a midpoint between standard definition and High Definition and S-Video carries standard definition video (typically at 480i or 576i resolution), but does not carry audio on the same cable.

Miscellaneous Terms

Aspect Ratio: The aspect ratio is the fractional relation of the width of an image(or screen) compared to its height. The two most common aspect ratios in home video are 4:3 (also known as 4×3, 1.33:1, or standard) and 16:9.

Screen resolution: The screen resolution refers to the number of rows and columns of pixels in the LCD display. A screen with a resolution of 800×600 will have 800 pixels horizontally and 600 pixels vertically in every picture.

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