Glossary: B


The band or range of frequencies - often expressed in Hertz (Hz) for analogue devices and bits per second (bps) for digital ones - which can be transmitted through a communication system such as a computer or satellite network. Bandwidth is one measure of a system's information-carrying capacity: the wider the bandwidth, the more information that can be carried.


Broadband interactive system

Direct-from-home/office return channel via Ka-band up to 2 Mbit/s, and forward channel via Ku-band. ASTRA's broadband interactive system offers two-way asymmetric multimedia communication via satellite.


Bit Error Rate

Denotes the quality of a received demodulated digital signal. The lower the rate, the better the signal. Example: a BER of 10 -4 means one error in every 10,000 bits.

Binary system

A system of numerical representation which uses only the digits 0 and 1.


The abbreviation for a binary digit.

Bit rate

The transmission speed of digital information: expressed in bits (bps), kilobits (Kbps) or megabits (Mbps) per second.


This CD/DVD lookalike won the high-definition DVD format battle - HD DVD was the loser – and is named after the colour of the laser needed to read the discs. Single layer Blu-ray discs can store up to 25GB of information (dual layer up to 50GB), which makes them ideal for HD films and programming.


The transfer of data to a digibox to upgrade the digibox software for new functions, new EPG design, etc.

Broadband transmission

High-capacity transmission.


A sequence or group of eight bits. 1 byte = 8 bits; 1 Kbyte = 1,024 bytes; 1Mbyte = 1,024 Kbytes; 1Gbyte = 1,024 Mbytes.