SAMPLING RATE - The rate at which a digital player or recorder samples, or reads, a digital data signal. CD, DCC and Minidisc have a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz representing 41,000 bits of digital Data is sampled every second. DAT tape uses rates of either 48 kHz or 44.1 kHz, while DAB radio will use 32 kHz. The DAC attached to each particular component will have a processing speed equal to or greater than the sample rate. The faster the sample rate, the more information can be processed every second. DVD has been developed with a sample rate of 96 kHz for increased data processing.  
SATELLITE TELEVISION - Television transmissions broadcast from a terrestrial base station up to an orbiting satellite. The signal is relayed back down to earth and is receiver by a satellite dish positioned on or near your home. The received signal is decoded.  
SCART - The Euro A/V SCART cables are the most common way to connect televisions, DVD players and video recorders and carry both audio and video information. They are bi-directional so information can be sent both ways through the cable.  
SDDS - Sony Dynamic Digital Sound. This is Sony's very own multi-channel digital surround sound format currently only used in cinemas. It uses an 8 channel system for left, left-centre, centre, right-centre, right, rear surround left, rear surround right and sub-woofer.  
SHIELDING - An internal barrier found within electrical hardware that reduces interference between components and allows the highest possible signal quality to be maintained as it passes through the unit. See also Magnetic Shielding.  
SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO - The level of the audio signal in relation to the level of unwanted background noise. Represented as a Decibel (dB) value, a larger the figure means less background noise and a clearer sound.  
SOLID CORE - A type of cable using a single, large strand of cable to carry an electrical signal. Also see Multi-Strand.  
SOUNDFIELD - The audio image created around the listener when hearing a surround soundtrack through multiple speakers. See the Speaker Placement area.  
SOUNDSTAGE - The image created by two or three speakers placed in front of the listening position making the individual sounds appear from different parts of the room rather than from any individual speaker.  
SOUND SHIFT - The movement of sounds from one speaker to another in Home Cinema systems with multiple speakers. The system should be set up so that the sounds move smoothly around the listening position in relation to the action on the screen.  
SPIKES - These are commonly used under speaker units to isolate vibrations. By mounting speakers on spikes, the contact area between the speaker cabinet and the base is very small and vibrations are not transferred easily.  
SPRING CLIPS - A type if socket found on some amplifiers and processors for connecting speaker cables. A small plastic clip is used to hold the cable and is generally too small for thicker speaker cables. They do the job but proper Binding Posts are better.  
STEREO - In hi-fi terms, stereo means two channels of audio heard through two speakers. In the cinema, stereo refers to a two, three or four channel soundtrack, with additional speakers being placed around the theatre to carry the extra tracks.  
SURROUND - The generic term given to systems using rear speakers to create an involving, realistic soundfield all around the listening position.  
SUB-WOOFER - A dedicated low frequency Bass driver used as an addition to a hi-fi or home cinema speaker system to create deep, and possibly wall shaking, bass sounds. Subs can be the cheaper Passive type that requires external amplification, or an Active type that has its own built-in amplifier and requires only a Line Level signal.  
S-VIDEO - A type of connection used for transferring picture information from one component to another. This is currently the highest quality connection used in Home Cinema. It uses a single cable with four pins at each end. Two pins are used to carry brightness (luminance) information while the other two carry colour (chrominance). By separating these properties a high quality picture is produced. S-Video.  
SYNC LOCK - The ability of digital recording decks, such as Minidisc, to synchronise the rate of data transfer from the source component to achieve the best possible recording.