Return-Path-Data Lexicon: Viewing Versus Tuning

CIMM is taking a proactive role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both its Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with return path data measurement) and Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset terms). These documents form the basis of this column, which offers a common language for RPD nomenclature that can expedite the rollout of the data for its many industry applications.

Because of the unique attributes of the RPD environment, considerable care is taken to correctly define STB activity as it pertains to media consumption. Let’s take for example “tuning” vs “viewing” behavior. The first implies passivity. Just because a set-top box is tuned to a specific network does not mean that there are viewers receiving that content. There are ways to ascertain viewing from tuning streams, such as examining activity from the remote – channel change, trick play and set on or off – but this is still a measurement “work in progress.




See also: Viewing

CIMM DEFINITION  Tuning, as opposed to viewing, is when the set is turned on to a channel or network or other content but it is unclear whether there is anyone watching at the time.

NOTE – Measurement of tuning vs. viewing.


See also: Tuning

CIMM DEFINITION: The duration that a set-top box or household viewer watches a piece of content. Viewing implies that there is a viewer actively viewing through remote or other set-top box activity.

2: Tuning vs. Viewing issue - viewing is reporting of a person. It is a subset of tuning where there may not be anyone watching even though the set is on. (Source: Nielsen)

Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.

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