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Cable Forum Glossary
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:18   #1
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Cable Forum Glossary

TLAs (Three Letter Abbreviations) are becoming more and more a part of modern life, and IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) (and that of at least one of our Members) their abundance in every day communication only serves to cause confusion. Whilst it could be argued that this type of literary device is little more than a PITA (Pain In The Ass), it is a feature of the current age that is here to stay (and will probably only get worse).

IOT (In Order To) try to remove some of that confusion this article has been created. The intention is to gather together all the acronyms, abbreviations, and technical terms and phrases, that our Members are using and encountering and to try to explain what they are/mean. Hopefully this will enable people to more easily understand the help/advice that they're being given.

So.....how can you help?

Well, if there are any terms/acronyms/abbreviations/etc that you see on Cable Forum that you don't understand then send them to me via PM (Personal Message) (with an indication of the context) and I'll add them to the list and hopefully one of the other Members can provide some information to explain what they are/mean.

If you come across any frequently used terms/acronyms/abbreviations/etc during your time on Cable Forum and you can explain what they are/mean then please 1) check to see if they're already on the list with an explanation, and then 2) either send me a correction/addition to the list via PM and I'll add it in.

I know that there are already (many) other sources of this information out there, but I'm hoping that we can use some of the specialist knowledge/experience that we have here to make this a helpful resource for our Members and the wider Cable community.

As always, feel free to PM me with any suggestions/comments. Alternatively, there's a discussion thread already running HERE which you could also use.

TIA (Thanks In Advance),

Rob M
Cable Forum Team


ADSL : Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line - A method of allowing broadband over a BT telephone line, simultaneous with voice calls. The downloading (incoming) speed is faster than the upload (sending) speed.
ASM : Advanced Spectrum Management - Technology employed by VM to monitor cable network and affect changes to the Upstreams as required. Changes are published by means of UCD
ASP : A programming language of the internet
BSR : Broadband Services Router - a CMTS made by Motorola
CM : Cable Modem
CMTS : Cable Modem Termination System - The device in the VM network that your Cable Modem connects to.
CNR : Carrier to Noise Ratio <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
FEC : Forward Error Correction <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
FTP : File Transfer Protocol - A method of sending and retrieving files from remote computers or servers, often used on the internet.
or HTML : HyperText Markup (Language) The markup language of the internet - this is the set of codes interpreted by your browser (internet Explorer, Firefox, etc) that makes up websites. There are some variations i.e XHTML (eXtensible HTML)
LAN : Local Area Network - a system of connected computers and devices in a room or building
MAC Address : Media Access Control Address - A unique identifier assigned by the manufacturer to a network interface or NIC, allows for the addressing of that specific hardware device on the network [Note: It is possible to 'spoof' MAC Addresses onto different hardware, for this reason it is advisable NEVER to post the MAC Address of your CM on the open forum]
MIBs : Management Information Bases <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
OSR : Optical Services Router <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
Router : A device commonly used between a Wide Area Network (Internet) and Local Area Network. May allow both wired and wireless connections from the LAN. May integrate with or require a separate modem for the Internet connection.
SACM : Stand Alone Cable Modem
SDSL : Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line - A broadband connection with balanced download and upload speeds.
SNMP : Simple Network Management Protocol <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
SNR : Signal to Noise Ratio <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
STB : Set Top Box
STM : Subscriber Traffic Management
UBR: Universal Broadband Router - a CMTS made by Cisco
UCD : Upstream Change Descriptor - used by VM in conjunction with ASM to alter Upstreams within the Cable network to account for network issues such as noise
VPN : Virtual Private Network - a means of connecting two computers over a Wide Area Network or Internet to enable communication direct between them. Often used by home workers to connect to office servers.
WAN : Wide Area Network - a system of connecting separate Local Area Networks, or remote computers, the Internet is the ultimate WAN


CPU : Central Processing Unit - the main chip or "brain" of the computer
Flash : A type of re-writeable non-volatile memory
GPU : Graphics Processing Unit - the a card or chip that outputs the image to the monitor
HD or HDD : Hard Disc (Drive) - The non-volatile (retained when power switched off) storage device for all the data, programs etc.
IDE (Hardware, of drives) : Integrated Data Electronics - A system for connecting hard discs, CD Drives, etc to the computer
LCD : Liquid Crystal Display - The modern flat screen monitor.
Motherboard : The main circuit board in the computer into which everything connects
NIC : Network Interface Card - the circuit board within the PC which handles the networking connections at a hardware level. This card normally presents an Ethernet port into which the consumer can plug their Ethernet or Cat5 cable.
PC : Personal Computer
POST : Power On Self Test, performed by the BIOS. Any errors/conditions are usually communicated to the user by a number of beeps, the number of beeps issued can be used to determine what the fault is.
PSU : Power Supply Unit - the transformer for mains power to other voltages
RAM : Random Access Memory - Chips providing the fast yet volatile (lost when power switched off) working storage area for software in use
RAID : Redundant Array of Independent Discs - Allows a number of hard discs to be connected together each containing the same duplicated information (mirrored) as a backup, and / or splitting the data over multiple drives (striping) to provide faster access.
RISC : Reduced Instruction Set Computer <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
SATA : Serial Advanced Technology Attachment - A system for connecting hard discs, CD Drives to the computer
SCSI : Small Computer System Interface - A system for connecting hard disc to the computer, most often used in servers.
SSD : Solid State Drive - An alternative to the Hard Disc with no moving parts
USB : Universal Serial Bus - A socket allowing connection of external components such as a mouse or camera to the computer
VDU : Visual Display Unit - the computer monitor, generally the older type of deep screen


ASIC : Application Specific Integrated Circuit <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
ANSI : American National Standards Institute.
BIOS : Basic Input Output System - Tests the Motherboard, peripherals, provides low level access to resources and starts the initial OS load.
C : A programming language
IOS : Internetwork Operating System <Could do with an explanation of what this is/does>
IDE (Software, of programming) : Integrated Development Environment - A piece of software that contains all the usual required components for development and deployment of applications (coding interface, compiler, debugger, etc)
OS : Operating system - The software running the computer (Windows, Linux etc)
PHP : A programming language of the internet
SQL : A database format - often used for large companies or websites
WYSIWYG : What You See Is What You Get - A type of graphical interface (often used in Web authoring applications) that allows the user to create documents/pages on their screen exactly as they wish to see them when published.

Technology General

HD : High Definition.
HDTV : High Definition Television
PVR : Personal Video Recorder - Records video digitally onto a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or other form of storage media. Can be used for time-shifting, and also for pausing or rewinding live TV. Popular PVR set-top boxes (STBs) in the UK include BSkyB's Sky+ and Sky+HD, and Virgin Media's V+. PCs can also be used as PVRs with the correct hardware & software, plus some televisions now have PVR abilities.
DVR : Digital Video Recorder - Same as a PVR (DVR is more used in the USA, while the UK still tends to use the term PVR).
HDMI : High-Definition Multimedia Interface - Audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. Used on devices such as HD Ready TVs, HD video game consoles (such as the Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3), HD set-top boxes (such as Sky+HD & V+), Blu-ray Disc Players, upscaling DVD players, AV receivers, some PC graphics cards. Partially compatible with DVI (although that only carries video).
HDCP : High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection - A type of digital copy protection, used to prevent copying data across an HDMI connection and certain other types of connection. Can also be used on compatible DVI devices. Implemented on things such as Blu-ray Discs and certain HDTV programming, to stop HD copies being made.
DVI : Digital Visual Interface - Video interface used on digital displays such as LCD computer monitors and some early HD Ready TVs. Partially compatible with HDMI. Can support HDCP.

Data Measurements

bit : The smallest unit of data measurement. Computer data is stored in binary format on discs, with data being represented by a series of 1s and 0s. Each 1 or 0 is a bit.
byte : 8 bits
kb or kbit or kilobit : 1,000 bits
kB or kilobyte : Officially 1,000 bytes, although most often (ambiguously) used to denote 1,024 bytes
kibibit : 1,024 bytes
Mb or Mbit or megabit : 1,000,000 bits
MB or megabyte : Officially 1,000,000 bytes, although most often (ambiguously) used to denote
1,048,576 bytes
mibibyte : 1,048,756 bytes
Gb or Gbit or gigabit : 1,000,000,000 bit
GB or gigabyte : Officially 1,000,000,000 bytes, although most often (ambiguously) used to denote 1,073,741,724 byte
gibibyte : 1,073,741,724 bytes


BT : British Telecom
CS : Customer Service
FMC : Fault Management Centre - Virgin Media's digital television and telephony faults department
TSC : Technical Support Centre - Virgin Media's broadband faults department
VM : Virgin Media

Social/Forum Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terms, Etc

Admin (of Cable Forum) : Senior Members of the Cable Forum Team, overall responsibility for running the site. The Cable Forum owners are also Admins of the site.
FAQ : Frequently Asked Question(s)
IMHO : In My Humble Opinion
IOT : In Order To
IIRC : If I Recall (or Remember) Correctly
KISS : Keep It Simple Stupid
LOL : Laughs Out Loud
Mod or Moderator : One of Cable Forum's Team of volunteers, responsible for the day to day running and maintenance of Cable Forum
OP : Original Post (or Poster)
PEBKAC : Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair
PICNIC : Problem In Chair Not In Computer
PITA : Pain In The Ass
PM : Personal (or Private) Message - Cable Forum's internal personal/private messaging system
PSA : Please See Attached
TLA : Three Letter Abbreviation (or Acronym)

Contributors/Thanks :

III, heero_yuy, Hom3r, Kymmy, Matt D, Moldova, RandomJaffa (it was his idea), Rob, Spiderplant, zing
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