Name Description
Cable Modem A cable modem is used to connect to the internet and is much faster than a dial-up modem. Cable modems can support rates up to 30Mbps.
Cache A cache stores recently-used information in a place where it can be accessed extremely fast. Web browsers like Internet Explorer uses a cache to store the pages, and URLs of recently visited websites on your hard drive. This makes it faster to load the second time you attempt to access that site. Calibrate: To remove unwanted fixed signals (such as thermal current and bias), and to correct signal modifications (such as vignetting) so that the raw image accurately represents the intensity of light incident on the sensor during the exposure.
Calibrate: To remove unwanted fixed signals (such as thermal current and bias), and to correct signal modifications (such as vignetting) so that the raw image accurately represents the intensity of light incident on the sensor during the exposure. 
Card Reader Card reader is the generic term for an input device that reads flash memory cards. It can be a standalone device that connects to a computer via USB or it may be integrated into a computer, printer, or multifunction device. In fact, most multifunction printer/scanner/copiers now have built-in card readers. Most card readers accept multiple memory card formats, including compact flash (CF), secure digital (SD), and Sony's Memory Stick. Some card readers accept various other formats such as XD, SmartMedia, Microdrive, and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards.
Cat5e/6 Category 5 enhanced / 6 cable. A 8-count twisted pair cable for carrying signals. Also known as ethernet or networking cables,
CCD Charged Coupled Device. A light-sensitive solid-state silicon sensor used in digital cameras to record light intensities.
CD CD stands for Compact Disc. Compact Disc refers to both the disc and the digital audio playback format developed by Philips and Sony in which audio is digitally encoded, similar to the way computer data is encoded, into pits on a disc. The encoding system used in the CD format is a mathematical representation of the music that is recorded. The CD was introduced in 1982 and is still in use. However, disc-less methods of listening to music, such as streaming or downloading content from the internet and playing it back on devices, such as the iPod, iPhones, and Android devices, have eclipsed the CD as the primary way of listening to music for most consumers.
CEC Consumer Electronics Control. An HDMI feature enabling control of up to 15 CEC-enabled devices that are connected through HDMI by using one of their remote controls.
CFA Color Filter Array, A CFA image is a monochrome (black and white and grayscale) image containing data from the Bayer array in the CCD or CMOS sensor in the DSLR camera that has not yet been interpolated into color. It presents the data from each individual filter, which has a red, green or blue color filter over it, as a grayscale tone with a brightness value.
Character A character is any letter, number, space, punctuation mark, or symbol that can be typed on a computer. The word "computer," for example, consists of eight characters. The phrase "Hi there." takes up nine characters. Each character requires one byte of space, so "computer" takes up 8 bytes.
Charge In digital imaging, the charge created by electrons generated by photons by the photoelectric effect that are stored in a pixel's potential well.
Chipset A chipset describes the architecture of an integrated circuit. This includes the layout of the circuitry, the components used within the circuit, and the functionality of the circuit board. For example, the chipset of a modem card is much different than the chipset of a computer's CPU.
Clean Install A clean install is an operating system (OS) installation that overwrites all other content on the hard disk. Unlike a typical OS upgrade, a clean install removes the current operating system and user files during the installation process. When a clean install finishes, the hard disk only contains the new operating system, similar to a computer that is used for the first time. Both Windows and Mac OS X allow you to perform a clean install when upgrading your operating system. The installer will give you the choice between a standard upgrade (typically the default option) and a clean installation near the beginning of the installation process. Windows 7 also lets you format and partition your installation disk if you select a clean install. In Mac OS X, you can use the Disk Utility program to format or partition your drive before you perform the clean install. Important: Since a clean install wipes out all data on the primary hard disk, it is crucial to back up your data before performing the installation. While it is wise to make sure you have a recent backup of your data before any OS upgrade, it is extremely important when performing a clean install. Backing up your data to an external hard drive or another computer are both good options. It is also smart to check your backup and make sure it contains all the files you need so you do not accidentally lose any files.
CMS Color Management System, is a way of trying to keep colors consistent across a range of input, display and output devices by the use of software.
Codec The name "codec" is short for "coder-decoder," which is pretty much what a codec does. Most audio and video formats use some sort of compression so that they don't take up a ridiculous amount of disk space. Audio and video files are compressed with a certain codec when they are saved and then decompressed by the codec when they are played back. Common codecs include MPEG and AVI for video files and WAV and AIFF for audio files. Codecs can also be used to compress streaming media (live audio and video) which makes it possible to broadcast a live audio or video clip over a broadband Internet connection.
Color Depth The number of steps or levels of tone that each primary color of the total dynamic range is divided into. In 24-bit color, 8 bits of color depth are assigned to each color channel of red, green and blue is represented by 256 steps. This yields more than 16 million total colors (256 * 256 * 256 = 16,777,216).
Color Gamut A unique range of colors that a device can capture or represent.
Command Prompt A command prompt is used in a text-based or "command-line" interface, such as a Unix terminal or a DOS shell. It is a symbol or series of characters at the beginning of a line that indicates the system is ready to receive input. It other words, it prompts the user for a command.
Composite Video A Composite Video Connection is a connection in which both the Color and B/W portions of the video signal are transferred together. The actual physical connection is referred to as an RCA video connection cable and is usually yellow at the tips. This connection is the oldest and most common video connection that is still in use. It can still find be found on many video source components and display device, including VCRs, camcorders, DVD players, Cable/Satellite boxes, video projectors, and most TVs.
Continuous Power Continuous Power refers to the ability of a receiver or amplifier to output its full power continuously. In other words, just because your receiver/amplifier may be listed as being able to output 100WPC, doesn't mean it can do so for any significant length of time. Always make sure that, when you check for Specifications, that the WPC output is measured in RMS terms. This means that the listed power output is a sustained output at a specific volume level.
Contrast Ratio Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest whites and the blackest blacks that a television or video projector can display. High contrast ratios deliver whiter whites and blacker blacks and a greater degree of gray values in between. If the contrast ratio is low, even if the image is bright, your image will look washed out. Beware of outrageous contrast ratio numbers based on "Dynamic" or "On/Off" numbers. Look for contrast ratio numbers that refer to "Native" or "ANSI" numbers.
Control Panel Control Panel is a feature of the Windows operating system that allows the user to modify system settings and controls. It includes several small applications, or control panels, that can be used to view and change hardware or software settings. Some examples of hardware control panels are Display, Keyboard, and Mouse settings. Software control panels include Date and Time, Power Options, Fonts, and Administrative Tools.
Crosstalk A phenomenon by which a signal transmitted on one circuit or channel creates an undesired effect on another circuit. Generally rare in modern digital wireless phone systems but not entirely eliminated. Stereo crosstalk for example is one of the parameters of audio quality we test when reviewing mobile phones. The crosstalk measurement is made to determine the amount of signal leaking across from one channel to another or - in purely non-technical terms - it measures how good the stereo is.