Broadcasting Terms & Phrases

Here are a list of definitions and terms that we use while broadcasting on the internet.

  • SOT – Sound on Tape. This refers to what people often call a “sound bite”. It’s generally a short (8 second -30 second) moment of a person (generally a medium shot) saying something apt.
  • Butted SOT – This is two or more SOTS butted together, often with a white flash or blur transition or some other conspicuous edit…ie, there is no attempt to hide the edit and, on the contrary, we want to show that time has elapsed between the moments.
  • Tease or TZ – This is a short edited and often effected summary of some upcoming moment or moments generally played prior to a commercial. The purpose of the tease is to hook the viewer into staying on the channel by tantalizing them with impending drama that is to come after the commercial. Teases are used extensively by news programs and reality TV programs.
  • Bump – This is a sort of tease that is played at the start of a program block, generally after the commercial, to bump the viewer back into the action.
  • Beeper – Sound under the verbatim graphics, ie graphics which show the words that are being said on tape. This is generally used during phone interviews, 911 calls or any time you have bad, but relevant, audio.
  • Interview or INTV – This is an edited interview between at least two people using over the shoulder or picture in picture.
  • Big Little – Anytime you have two video feeds on one screen where one of the screens is smaller than the other
  • Cluster Buster – This is a short bump or tease that is played between two commercials, designed to stop people who have Tivos or to otherwise keep people viewing between commercials.
  • VO – VO is video that is edited for the purpose of being shown while somebody is talking. So if two people are talking about the hurricane, the VO would be images of the hurricane. VOS is silent. VON is video with natural sounds played soft enough so that you hear the people talking but the natural sounds are still there.
  • Package or PKG – This is a completed news segment that generally contains a corrispondant’s track or narative, sots from interviews, still strings, graphics and VO which are all edited together in a compelling fashion. It ends with the corrispondent’s sig-out, ie, “This is Eric Wolfram from WPRNY reporting from the Auto Show in New York City”
  • Dounut or DNT – A donut is the package without a sig out. A donut is often used when the correspondent is available live, after the package is aired, so the anchor can ask a question or two for the correspondent to answer or so that continued discussions with the correspondent can occur. In this case, the anchor will provide the live out, for example, “thanks Eric Wolfram for reporting live from the Auto Show in NYC.”
  • Program – A fully edited program block
  • Look Live – A segment of a live program that is taped and edited prior to an event or program, but which is broadcast as if it were happening live.
  • Still String – A series of still photographs edited together with slow cross disolve transitions and moves on the photos — generally slow push in or slow pull out.
  • Promo – a short promotional video of an upcoming show or event.
  • Aircheck — This is recording of exactly how a program aired, including bumps, fonts and commercials.
  • Animation — This is any graphic that is animated.
  • Audio Track — This is the narration of a documentary or news package.
  • ISO — An iso is a medium shot of a single person, typically a pundit,  in isolation. As opposed to split or big little.
  • Master — This is the main wide shot which contains all the action.
  • Presser — Typically a statement given by politicians or police. You’ll see this where there is ample press waiting in front of an empty podium with many microphones on it. The subject walks up and makes a statement.
  • Raw — This is raw unedited footage, which might contain broll, interviews or anything.
  • B-roll or broll — This generally means interesting video footage that is intended to be played over the script, narrative, or interview. It is a term that has origin in the early days of news broadcasting. B-roll as opposed to A-roll. The “A-roll” was film of the corespondent at the location telling the story into the camera. On the other deck, the B deck, there was footage that is apt to the story. So if the story was about a circus in town, the broll might contain things like elephants being unloaded from trucks, people lining up for tickets, kids eating pop-corn, clowns, etc., and the director at the studio would switch the visual broadcast between the a-roll and the b-roll to create a news package on the fly.
  • Ticker — The crawl or flip of text at the bottom of news broadcasts.
  • Bug — a logo or embossed emblem that appears lower right on the screen of news broadcasts.

We have broadcasting experience at WPRNY. If you’re looking for professional internet broadcasting service call 646-519-2451 now

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