Translating Sports Television’s Foreign Language From Elvis To Denmark


directorEditor’s note: Michael Narracci is the coordinating director of Red Sox broadcasts on NESN and has spent 14 seasons with the network. This is the sixth installment of his “Director’s Cut,” a behind-the-scenes look at NESN’s Red Sox game coverage.

The Television world is loaded with acronyms and nicknames.  If you were to listen in on a conversation between an engineer, tech manager, TD (See? there I go…) and director you might think they were speaking a foreign language.  Below is a list of words from our secret language.  Make sure you have your secret decoder ring available!

TD – Technical Director

A1 – Audio Mixer (there are also A2’s and A3’s who help the mixer)

Ute – Utility worker

GLG – NESN’s crewing company

GCV – Game Creek Video, NESN’s television truck provider

ELVIS or EVS – A digital server based recorder that provides replay playback

PL – Party Line: It’s how we talk to each other in our intercom system

IFB – Stands for “Interrupt Fold Back”  is a fancy way of saying “It’s how we talk to our talent on air without the audience hearing.”

Talkback – How the announcers talk to the truck without the audience hearing them

DVE – Digital Video Effects: Electronics that manipulate video for special effects

DME – Sony’s version of a DVE

SA – Stage Announce: A loud speaker in the booth that we can use to talk to the booth a.k.a VOG (Voice of God — ya, that’s right)

CG – Character Generator

SOT – Sound on Tape

VO – Voice over

VO/SOT – Voice over followed by Sound on Tape

OTS – Over the shoulder shot

MO – Super Slo-Motion camera/EVS system

A, B, X, Y, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Gold, Silver – Tape machine and EVS nicknames

QKT – I have NO idea what this stands for, but it allows us to send audio over a phone line

I/O – Input/output panel

Demark – An access point on an I/O

PEGAD – A parallel secondary transmission path

BNC – Bayonet Naval Connector: The standard video connector in television

XLR – Audio connector

AES – Digital Audio protocol

ASI- Digital Data Stream

Greenie – A small screwdriver that is a staple in television.  TV greenies are different than some other greenies

Bug – The scorebar

LPS – Little Piece of (expletive): a small, old, outdated, camera used to shoot scoreboards for reference

POV – Point of View camera

VOG – See “SA” above

TBC – Time Base Corrector

Tweaker – See “Greenie” above

AD – Assistant Director: a fancy name for stage manager in some places

SMPTE – Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

LF/RF/C/LFE/LS/RS – The components of a 5.1 audio mix.  Left Front, Right Front, Center channel, Low Frequency Effects, Left Surround, Right Surround

Dolby E – an encoding system that takes encodes all of the components of a 5.1 mix for transmission

1080i – HD format

720p – Another HD format

There was sad news reported earlier this week, as we lost a co-worker and friend. You may have read about the couple that was killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident while walking down Beacon Street in Boston.  The man, Jack Lanzillotti was the manager of Red Sox productions/game operations, and was a guy that I spoke with every night over our intercom during games, coordinating among other things, feeds for pregame ceremonies and postgame walk-off interviews. I was absolutely devastated when I heard the news and literally stood in the parking lot at Coliseum sobbing. Jack was personable, talented, always had a smile on his face and kept his cool whether things were going as planned or not.  I am going to miss seeing him on the fifth floor and working on special ceremonies with him. I will never understand why he and his girlfriend Jessica were taken away from us, but I have resolved to cherish the short time I got to know him and work with him.  May they both rest in peace.



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