Most digital oscilloscope have some measurement options besides just displaying the signal. These include "RMS value", "Mean Value" and the like.

Is the "mean voltage" value of a signal shown in an oscilloscope "average value" or "dc offset" of that signal?

What is the meaning of these measurements? How Do I use them? When do they even make sense?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What oscilloscope are you using? \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    Jan 10, 2013 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ "tektronix tds 1002b". it is a digital oscilloscope. when i measure a from an amplifier signal peak to peak value is shown too high even the mean is very low. is mean the average value or dc offset? and why there is no rms value(maybe i couldn't find it)? \$\endgroup\$
    – user16307
    Jan 10, 2013 at 20:46
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Mathematically, "average value" and "dc offset" are the same thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Jan 10, 2013 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


According to the manual, the "Mean" measurement type calculates "the arithmetic mean voltage over the entire record". That is essentially equivalent to the DC offset, provided your record length is significantly longer than the period of any frequency you'd consider "DC".


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