Tech Glossary


Display & Video

Aspect Ratio – Describes the proportional relationship between an images width and height. The most commonly used Aspect Ratio was 4:3, however with advances in technology 16:9 is now becoming the standard.

Comfort Monitor – Is a monitor that is located at the front of a stage, repeating what is displayed on projection screens or other monitors for presenters / keynote speakers.

Component – Is an analogue video signal which is very rarely used.

DVI – Is a digital video signal, mostly replaced by HDMI.

HDMI – Is a digital video signal very widely used.

Lumen – Is the brightness of a projector (most common desktop projectors are 3000 lumen).

Screen Resolution – Is the clarity of the text and images display on a screen for example 1920 x 1080 (HD)

VGA – Is an analogue video signal which is becoming phased out.

Viewing Angle – Refers to the angle in which an image is viable.

Audio & PA

DI Box – A device which connects laptops / MP3 players to balanced inputs (low-impedance) of an audio mixer.

Hand Held Microphone – (Often referred to as a roving microphone) is a microphone which is held in a hand, often used for Q&A sessions.

Lapel / Lavalier Microphone – A small microphone which can be clipped to clothing to pick up speech from keynote speakers / presenters.

Line Array – Is a speaker system which is made up of a number of identical loudspeakers mounted in a line; ideal for large events.

Stage Monitor – A special kind of speak (usually wedge shaped) which delivers audio to the stage area only.

Wireless Microphone – Is a microphone system which doesn’t utilise wires and can be placed anywhere.

Lighting & Effects

Art-Net – A lighting communication / control protocol.

DMX – A lighting communication / control protocol.

Follow Spot – A Profile type fixture, but much bright with more control options, often manoeuvred by a technician to spot light a presenter or act.

Fresnel – A lighting fixture which produces an event light with soft edges.

Gobo – A small metal cut-out or metal etched onto glass disc which when used in a gobo holder defines the light projector a particular pattern.

LED – Light-Emitting Diode – almost commonplace; a compact, low energy light source with very low power consumption.

Moving Head – Often refer to as intelligent lighting fixtures – these units are able to move the light beam in several directions, change colour and shape.

PAR Can – Parabolic Aluminized Reflector Light – traditional PAR Cans used a filament lamp which had an integral reflector. Modern PAR Can’s now utilise LED sources.

Profile – A lighting fixture which produces a clearly defined spot of light (hard-edged or soft-edged), they also use shutters to shape the spot of light.

Up-Lighter – Generally a PAR Can which has a floor stand to allow the fixture to be positioned so the light shines up a wall or an object.

Wash Light – A simple lighting fixture with no lens and cannot be manipulated.

Graphics & Design

CAD – Computer-Aided Design – Refers to the use of computers to aid in the creation, modification or analysis of a design.

Vector Graphics – Is a type of image format. Often used for large-format prints.


Deflection – Is a term used to calculate the distance an object has changed when under load.

Flying – Refers to when a piece of equipment or structure is hung.

Rigging Point – Is a certified fixed point where a lighting rig can be flown from.

Slings – Can either be metal or material – used for ‘flying’ truss systems.

Truss – A metal structure which is generally made from an alloy mix and is used to hand lighting fixtures from.


CEE Form Connector – A connector which can be IP Rated and used with high currents or when connections require protection from environmental hazards.

Power Distro – Refers to the managed distribution of power from either one power source or many.

Soccapex – A 19 pin electrical connector allowing for 6 channels of power to be transported via one multicable.

Staging & Sets

Brace – A stage set element which is used to support upright pieces of theatrical scenery or stage sets.

Flat – A piece of theatrical scenery which can be painted or covered and positioned on a stage to give a backdrop or an appearance of a particular setting.


XLR – A low voltage electrical connector most often used with audio, video and lighting equipment.