Cover image for Dictionary of television and audiovisual terminology
Dictionary of television and audiovisual terminology
Moshkovitz, Moshe, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [1998]

Physical Description:
vii, 175 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK6634 .M67 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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With television programming being broadcast worldwide in real time, the industry needs a common professional language. Constantly changing technology, however, has resulted in continuously changing terminology, sometimes leaving even the most knowledgeable broadcasters with a lack of understanding. In this dictionary over 1,500 terms and acronyms, both modern and classical, are presented. The definitions are designed to be straightforward and jargon-free (except where defining jargon), permitting ease of use to readers from a variety of fields. Ample cross-references are provided.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Television has a language that is often so specific and idiosyncratic that general dictionaries prove insufficient. This book began when Moshkovitz was teaching a college-level technology course and decided to compile a list of some common terms. That list eventually grew into the more than 1,500 words and phrases defined here, "the terms used by professionals in everyday work and professional publications of the television and telecommunications industry worldwide." Terms related to both video and audio are included. The dictionary is arranged in strict alphabetical order with acronyms filed as words and numbers filed as spelled. The definitions are clear and often have examples or descriptive information. The terms included span the breadth of the field: characteristics (hue, hum), individual roles (gaffer), equipment (delay distribution amplifier), devices (edit controller, standards converter), technologies (DVD), and many acronyms (B-Y, EOT, MIDI). Not all the terms are technical; there are definitions for jingle, promo, and superstation. There are also some terms from electronics and computer science. Although most definitions are brief, some, such as lens and studio, take up nearly a page. Camera (video) is more than two pages in length. The type font, page layout, and paper assist in lightening the dense nature of longer definitions. Recommended for libraries with television/audiovisual collections and for those that collect subject-specific dictionaries.

Choice Review

Moshkovitz's brief dictionary encompasses terms from "ampere" to "Zworykin" (the latter developed the Iconoscope, a light-sensitive picture pickup tube). According to the preface, the vocabulary consists of "the terms used by professionals in everyday work and professional publications of the television and telecommunications industry world-wide." Many of the terms can be easily found in other sources, and the selection of terms seems somewhat hit or miss; although "Macintosh" is defined as a computer marketed by Apple, almost no mention is made of terms related to PC platforms. "PC" is defined, but "Intel," "Pentium," and many other PC-specific terms related to television and telecommunications are ignored. Some terms are incorrectly spelled, e.g., "Digital Video Disk" (the accepted spelling is "disc") and "Video Disk" (accepted spelling, "Videodisc"). This text might have limited use for individuals just beginning to learn about the television or telecommunications industries, but most textbooks with glossaries would cover all the terms it lists. J. M. King; University of Georgia