signal-to-noise [S/N]

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(adj.) Describes the ratio between the strength of an audio or a video signal and the measurable amount of noise, or the undesirable interference, it has picked up in transfer. Higher S/N ratios mean higher-quality signals. Each generation of a tape dub has a lower S/N ratio. Digital media can achieve much higher S/N ratios than analog media can, and degradation does not occur in digital copies.