Jargon Buster

Getting to know the lingo

Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common terms used in relation to watching film and TV at home.


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.  Your Blu-ray™ discs will look totally awesome on a 4k TV!


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

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.


Casting allows you to mirror content on your mobile device to your internet connected TV, so you can enjoy the same content from your mobile but on the big screen.

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.

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.

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.


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


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.

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.


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.


Stands for High Dynamic Range – technology used to produce brighter and sharper images on screen, giving more detail in darker areas of the picture.

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.


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.

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.


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)

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.

VOD can also be used to describe renting content for a limited period.


Let’s you access your films and TV shows from a digital locker, so you can watch content anywhere on your favourite devices. Look for Blu-rays or DVDs with the UV symbol, register for an account and redeem your code to access content on the go. You can link your UltraViolet account to a range of digital services, some of which mean you can share your films and TV shows with friends and family to unlock more choice.