CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
A continuous waveform, such as that used in vinyl records, broadcast television, or AM/FM radio. For example, when someone speaks into a microphone, that person's analog sound vibrations are converted into analog electrical signals, which are reproduced as analog sound by a speaker. Digital sound, on the other hand, samples analog waves, converting points on the analog wave into X-Y points that are stored in a binary file. Analog cell phones use an analog signaling method to convey information. The sound quality of these mobile phones is not as sharp as that of digital phones, but service coverage is currently broader. Analog technologies are also used in CRT television and computer displays. These displays accept signals in analog format.
Can't find your term here? Have a question about the glossary? E-mail us.