Cutting the Cord - Terminology and Acronyms

Terminology & Acronyms

Cut the Cord: Terms & Acronyms

Cutting the cord:
This phrase usually refers to eliminating or reducing television services from a cable TV subscription and choosing instead to get those items through either a streaming provider or over the air for free. Cutting the cord in a literal sense does not usually happen because in many cases you will still need to have the cord for internet connectivity.

Antenna:
Antenna (singular) Antennae (plural) or Antennas (plural) - this is a device, often made of light metal, that can connect to your television or radio for the purpose of collecting OTA signals being broadcast. Newer types of antennae are also designed to sit on shelves or hang on walls or windows, depending on the type of reception you are needing.

OTA:
An acronym that means Over The Air - this usually refers to free television signals that are broadcast in most metropolitan areas.

Bundle:
In television terms, this is where several channels are packaged together to be sold as one unit for a particular price. In cable TV terms, this also refers to the idea of combining television, internet, and telephone into one packaged product, usually at a better price than you would get for the three individually.

Skinny Bundle:
This term is becoming more common with cord cutting. This refers to a smaller group of TV channels that are packaged together, usually with some type of common interest or theme, and with the intention of offering a lower price to people who want certain channels but don't want to purchase a whole bundle of things that they don't need.

Cable TV:
Television programming provided as a paid subscription service. Various programs are colloected at a central location and then fed through a network of copper cables in a defined area.

Linear TV:
The concept of scheduling items on TV to be watched on certain channels at certain times determined by the broadcaster.

On Demand:
The concept of watching something on TV whenever you want to watch it as opposed to only when it is scheduled to air.

Satellite TV:
Television programming provided as a paid subscription service. Various programs are colloected at a central location and then fed through satellites beamed to a small dish for each subscriber.

Smart TV:
A television that has built in capabilities to connect to the interenet, use apps, and stream television and radio broadcasts.

App:
This is a small standalone application that can be installed on your streaming device, smartphone, tablet, or computer with a specific purpose in mind. For example, you could install an app to watch streaming video from your favorite movie channel, sports network, or even some individual stations, where the app is designed specifically for their use.

Cloud DVR:
This is a type of service offered by some OTT providers where you can save copies of desired episodes. Think of this as the modern day approach to what a VCR used to do. Because it is in the cloud, no tapes or media are necessary, and it can be conveniently accessed in multiple ways.

OTT:
This acronym means Over The Top - referring to a television service that can be used to stream packages of TV programming or movies. Common examples include Hulu, Netflix, DirecTV Now, and Sling TV. These services to some degree mimick the older cable television packages, but they stream over the top of your internet connection, and usually are less costly than a comparable cable TV package of the same channels, in part because less equipment and infrastructure is needed for OTT delivery compared to traditional cable delivery.

Streaming:
The process of transmitting and receiving television or radio boradcasts over the internet.

Bandwidth:
In internet terms, this is the comparison of how much data can flow through a given connection in a specific period of time. Some connections offer more bandwidth than other connections. Think of bandwidth as a pipeline, and think of data as something that flows through that pipeline. The size of the pipeline at some point will limit the amount that can flow through it in a given time period. More bandwidth can equate to a faster internet connection.

Broadband:
High speed internet currently (2017) defined by the FCC as at least 25 megabits per second download speed and 3 megabits per second upload speed.

DSL:
Digital Subscriber Line is a type of internet service available over traditional copper telephone service lines that is faster than

Gigabit per second:
A standard measurement of speed for broadband internet access. The term is referenced by the acronym Gb (that is a captial G and a lower case b). Do not confuse gigabits (speed) with Gigabytes (file size) - they are two different things. When talking about internet speed, gigabits is the correct term. 1 gigabit is equal to 1,000 megabits.

HSI (High Speed Internet):
Another term essentially meaning broadband internet.

Megabits per second:
A standard measurement of speed for broadband internet access. The term is referenced by the acronym Mb (that is a captial M and a lower case b). Do not confuse megabits (speed) with magabytes (file size) - they are two different things. When talking about internet speed, megabits is the correct term. 1,000 megabits is equal to 1 gigabit.