This page will keep track of all of the terms that I will be using in this blog.

Communication is at the core of this blog, and all communication starts with a common language.

Every profession has its own lexicon, slang, and quirks. Here I will try and demystify the terms from the Theatre (I), Broadcast (B), Information Systems (IS) and Installation (IN) industries. I'll be using these tags to identify the industry that the term comes from.

Terms that are used in descriptions will be identified with Italics.

As I write more "Glossary" articles I will link them to the relevant terms listed below.

This list will continue to grow as more terms come up in the various articles.

Audio-Visual Bridging (IN): A new networking protocol that is being developed in collaboration with leading performing arts technology providers. It promises to optimise bandwidth to allow for high quality video and audio to be transmitted across standard TCP/IP networks.

Bandwidth (IS): This term originated in FM radio transmission as one of the descriptive terms for the waveform itself. If you knew the bandwidth of a waveform, you would be able to tell how much information it was able to carry.
Today the term has been imported into the Information Systems world, where it refers to the amount of information that a given network or piece of equipment.
Can be measured in Bits per second or Bytes per second.

Baud (IS): This is a standard unit that measures "Symbols" per second. In basic terms, a Symbol is equal to a bit. However, in more complex transmission modes (like TETRA) this may vary from 1 bit/second.

Bit (IS): A unit that contains on "State" of a binary system (e.g. "0" or "1"). Bits per second, or "bps", is the usual measure of the Bandwidth of a system.

Broadcast: The act of transmitting a Performance from one location in real-time. These can be live, or delayed. This differs from a Transmission in that a transmission does not necessarily need to be in real-time (e.g. downloading content from a website).

Byte (IS): A "chunk" of data that is made up of 8 bits. This equals 256 states, ranging from 0 to 255. Bytes per second (Bps), is another measure of Bandwidth.

Communication: The act of moving information between two or more parties.

Category Cabling: This is copper cabling that has been produced and installed to a certain standard, or "category". These standards allow equipment manufacturers to design and build equipment that can be used over the same types of cable.
When cabling is installed to these standards you can guarantee a certain Bandwidth, and this can be very helpful when designing equipment or networks. 
The most common Category of cabling is Category 5 (CAT5). This cable has seen widespread use in TCP/IP Networks. However, as bandwidth demands have increased, the demand for faster cabling (such as CAT6, CAT6A and CAT7) has increased.

Downstage (T): A directional term used for stages. It comes from the days when most stages were raked towards the audience. This made it easier for the entire audience to see the stage.
Thus, "Downstage" means towards the front (audience side) of stage.

Information Systems (IS): This is a term that has evolved from "Computing" over the past twenty or so years. The reason for this is that a lot more than computers are now looked after by the original computer technicians; telephones, internet-related equipment, communications equipment, Category Cabling, Fibre Optics etc. Information Systems refers basically to the installation and management of anything computerised.

Installation (IN): In this blog, the term "Installation" is referring to a system that is permanently installed in a venue or vehicle. This will mostly be used when referencing projects.

Internet Protocol (IS): This is the standard protocol for transmitting Packets over networks. Internet Protocol is used in the Internet Layer of the Internet Protocol Suite. It is a set of rules that tells packets how to move through networks based on addresses.

Internet Protocol Address (IS): There are two common types of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses; IP Version 4 (IPv4) and IP Version 6 (IPv6).
The most common is the IPv4 address, which is made up of four bytes. This is usually expressed in the individual bytes, separated with a period (e.g.
However, the number of IP-enabled devices has now exceeded the number of available addresses (4.3 billion), and so IPv6 is becoming more prevalent. IPv6 uses 16 bytes (3.4 x 10^38 addresses).

Internet Protocol Suite (IS):The Internet Protocol Suite is a suite of protocols that define how to create packets and transmit them across networks. It is often referred to as TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) as these are the two main protocols in the suite.

Network (IS): A group of computers (or similar devices) that are able to transmit data between each other. 

Outside Broadcast (B): A broadcast that occurs outside of a studio, e.g. a sporting event or a theatre performance.

Packet (IS): A "chunk" of information that has been formatted to move through a network. The way that the packet moves through the network depends on the protocols used, e.g. the Internet Protocol Suite.

Packet-Based Network (IS): There are a number of ways that information can be moved around a network, however the most prevalent is a Packet Based Network. This type of network breaks down digital information into "chunks" and then transmit them. By doing this the information can be sent only to the parts of the network that require it.
The other type of network that will be discussed in this blog is the Time Division Multiplexing network, which is used in more time-critical environments.

Performance: The act of entertaining a crowd. These crowds may be live (as in a theatre or street Performance) or remote (as in a Television broadcast or a DVD recording).

Project (IN): In this blog I will be referring to "Projects" quite often. This is the whole process of taking an idea through design and development with the aim of completing an installation.

Prompt Side (T): A stage direction. This is the same as Stage Left, and comes from the fact that the Stage Manager is usually situated on Stage Left. It is more common that Stage Left as it removes the confusion between Stage Left and Camera Left.

Subnet (IS): A virtual separation of a single physical network. This is achieved by using the "Subnet Mask" part of the standard IPv4 Address.

Stage Left/Right (T): The terms Stage Left/Right are stage directions given from the point of view of a person standing on the stage and facing the audience. This is the exact opposite of Camera Left/Right.

Theatre (T): In this blog I will be referring to all live performance spaces as Theatres. This includes spaces such as Concert Halls or outdoor amphitheatres.

Time-Division Multiplexing: AKA "TDM" A Networking technique that involves breaking down data from multiple devices and transmitting them at certain times.

Timeslot: The base unit of a Time-Division Multiplexing Network. It refers to a "bucket" on the network that is transmitted at a certain time. If a device wants to put data on the network it must wait for its bucket (timeslot) to arrive and then fill it with data.

TCP/IP Network (IS): A packet-based network based on the Internet Protocol Suite of protocols

Transmission (B): A Transmission is the act of sending a recorded performance to a third party. Examples of this can include sharing content over the internet, or publishing content in a mechanical form like a Blu-ray.

Transmission Control Protocol (IS): Part of the Internet Protocol Suite, this protocol defines how information is transmitted between computers. A TCP packet is able to be traced through the network in order to ensure that it arrives at the destination. This is useful for information that needs to arrive intact, however it takes more time than User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or Time Division Multiplexing (TDM).

Upstage (T): See Downstage for a full description. Upstage refers to the rear of a stage (i.e. away from the audience).

User Datagram Protocol (IS): Part of the TCP/IP Suite of protocols, UDP allows for packets to be transmitted with less information than a TCP packet. This trades off the ability to track the packet through the network for speed. Many professional standards, such as Dante and AVB use UDP for the transmission of audio/video.