Ntsc video standard

January 12th, 2010 - Posted by Catalin in General discussion

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The short term of National Television Systems Committee – is the standard used in the US for the analog television services and was first announced in 1953.

In the next period analog television encoding systems like PAL or SECAM have been developed as alternative options. (standards capable of pushing SD signals).

With this standard 30 frames per second are transmitted and each frame is based on the interlacing process. (the frames is composed by mixing two different fields). You can read more about interlacing techniques here. The number of scanning lines is 525 for each frame (a frame may contain up to 16 million colors).

The difference with the PAL system is that using this one you can transmit 25 frames per second and each frame has 625 scanning lines.

So here is the explanation: even if the PAL standard have a better resolution than NTSC the last one is able to update the video image better (it does 30 fps vs 25 fps on PAL). So even if the resolution is a bit scratchy in NTSC mode the more frecquently screen updates offer better rendering for the video displayed.

NTSC is not compliable with PC’s video standards because these are using RGB (red, green,blue) color model but there is a solution here. Having a video adapter may solve the problem: the NTSC signal is converted into a PC compatible video signal. Also NTSC can be converted to PAL and PAL to NTSC each time the resolution lines needing to be up or down converted.

NTSC is also used in countries like Chile, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia or Philippines.

Here is a world coverage map for a detailed view:

I will keep you posted with additional explanations about PAL and SECAM in the future posts. Meanwhile you may ask your questions or post your feedback here.

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