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Digital Living

Want your home to be a digital wonderland but not sure where to start? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a technical genius. Our guide will take you through all the steps you need to get your devices connected and working.

A guide to the lingo

4K

Used to describe a TV resolution of 4096x2160 pixels. It’s close to, but not the same as, UHD.

Bluetooth

A wireless technology used to “pair” devices. For example, you can connect two phones to transfer data. It’s also useful for connecting compatible wireless keyboards to smartphones, tablets and TVs.

Composite, component, stereo RCA

Connections used for older analogue video signals.

DLNA

An industry standard that allows TVs to communicate with other devices. Often used to connect to DLNA-compliant media servers set up on home computers.

DVR

Digital video recorder, sometimes called a PVR. A technology that used to be only in separate devices like Blu-ray recorders but is now in many new TVs. It means you can record content in a digital format (usually on a USB hard drive or internal memory).

EPG

Electronic programme guide, an on-screen TV guide. It’s available on digital TV services like Freeview and Sky.

Ethernet

Is the old standard for connecting your modem to devices, like your TV. It’s the wired alternative to WiFi. Sometimes referred to as RJ45.

Geoblocking

Is a type of internet restriction where a website restricts content access unless the user is from a selected country.

HDMI

The standard cable for digital media connections. If you want your TV to show a high-definition picture from a device like a Blu-ray player or game console, you’ll need to connect with an HDMI cable.

IP address

Stands for “Internet Protocol”. All devices accessing the internet have an IP address, which lets websites and services know what ISP you’re using and where you’re located.

Malware

Basically any software used with malicious intent. The term encompasses software used to take control of a computer, remove information from a computer, or to gain access to a computer.

Media hub

A small device or set-top box that plugs into your TV and either has built-in apps or can communicate with other devices to stream content.

Media server

A drive of media files, usually kept on a computer, which can be accessed by any connected devices. A program “serves” the files to the devices in a user-friendly way.

Naked Broadband

An internet connection not bundled with a landline.

NFC

Near Field Communication. Touching an NFC-enabled device to another NFC device allows them to immediately communicate. It is commonly used for transferring data between mobile phones and other devices. It is also used for wireless money transfers, ranging from quick public transport touch payment cards to full point-of-sale purchases.

Phishing

A type of scam that tries to get your personal information by sending messages pretending to be from a legitimate source.

Smart TV

A catch-all term for TVs that use the internet to deliver services and content.

Streaming

The difference between streaming and downloading is that streaming works without the entire file needing to be downloaded to your computer.

Toslink

A digital audio connection more commonly referred to as an optical audio cable. It’s not so useful now that HDMI handles both audio and video digitally, but is good if you want to connect a digital music source to a home theatre system.

UHD

Ultra-High Definition. Used to describe a TV resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. It’s close to, but not the same as, 4K.

UFB

Ultra-Fast Broadband. This term is used to describe the new fibre network being rolled out in New Zealand.

USB

The most common connection type. Often used to connect computers with hard drives to transfer files or devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, for charging. Different versions of USB, mini and micro, are used by different devices.

WiFi

A wireless internet connection or network. Curiously, it’s not short for anything – the word is a play on the term Hi-Fi for stereos.

WiFi direct

Similar to Bluetooth. It establishes a direct link between two devices and allows them to exchange data.

VGA and DVI

Older connectors used to connect a computer to your TV or projector (if your computer doesn’t have an HDMI port). VGA only has an analogue signal while DVI can do either.

VPN

A virtual private network. VPNs mask a device’s real IP address with another IP address from a different location in the world. These can hide your identity or help you get around geoblocking.

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