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What is NTSC and PAL?

NTSC

NTSC is a color TV standard developed in the U.S. in 1953 by the National Television System Committee. NTSC uses a Frame consisting of 486 horizontal lines in the Active Area and a Framerate of 29.97fps. The frame is interlaced, meaning it's composed of two individual fields (pictures) with a Fieldrate of 59.94fps.

The term NTSC may also be used to describe any video, including digital video, formatted for playback on a NTSC TV. This generally includes any Standard Definition (SD) video with a vertical Resolution of up to 480 Pixels and a horizontal Resolution no greater than 720, which also has a Framerate of 29.97fps. NTSC is sometimes referred to as 525/60, in reference to the total number of lines (including lines not in the Active Area) and approximate Fieldrate. Digital formats include only 480 of NTSC's 486 visible Scanlines due to the need to guarantee mod16 Resolution, meaning its divisible evenly by 16.

Geography

NTSC is used in United States, Canada, Japan, in most of the American continent countries and in various Asian countries. NTSC content can also be viewed on the majority of PAL TVs sold in recent years are also capable of displaying NTSC video, generally in a format known as PAL 60. This involves resizing the image to fill the larger number of Scanlines on a PAL TV (625 - 576 visible) and converting the color encoding to the YUV standard used by PAL TVs. The framerate remains at 29.97fps.

PAL

The PAL (Phase Alternating Line) TV standard was introduced in the early 1960's in Europe. It has better Resolution than NTSC, having 576 lines in the Active Area of the Frame. The Framerate, however, is slightly lower at 25fps.

The term PAL may also be used to describe any video, including digital video, formatted for playback on a PAL TV. This generally includes any Standard Definition (SD) video with a vertical Resolution of up to 576 Pixels and a horizontal resolution no greater than 720, which also has a Framerate of 25fps. PAL may also be called 625/50, in reference to the total number of lines (including lines not in the Active Area) and fieldrate.

Geography

PAL is used in most of the western European countries (except France), Australia, some countries of Africa, some countries of South America and in some Asian countries. Because the PAL signal is very close to the SECAM format used in France and some eastern European countries, SECAM viewers generally use PAL equipment (like DVD players) modified to convert the output to use SECAM's unique color encoding.

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