TV Standards

TV Standards


TV standards are encoding standards for the recording and reception of video “Synergy between the video and how we play it”.

The 3 Standards are:

NTSC= National television standards commitee

PAL= Phase Alternating Line

SECAM= Sequential Colour Memory

A TV’s video output is made up of 25 to 30 frames which display every second, each frame is made up of 625 scan lines (525 for NTSC 625 for PAL and SECAM).

NTSC is the TV standard of the Americas, it was created in 1941 as the standards for black and white TV broadcasts.

Strengths: there is less flicker and smoother motion in the video output because of higher frame rates and it produces less noise.

Weakness: the lower number of scan lines means the picture isn’t as clear as PAL and the contrast level poor. Colour levels can fluctuate from frame to frame.

PAL was created for UK broadcasting in 1961.

Strengths: has more scan lines so the pictures have higher picture detail, higher levels of contrast and better colour reproduction than NTSC.

Weakness: lower frame rate means the picture motion can appear to flicker more than 30 frames and colour saturation can vary from frame to frame.

SECAM was created in France in 1967, it is now an unpopular standard.

Strengths: the high number of scan lines means a good quality picture, the colour hues are in constant saturation and it has stable colour reproduction.

Weakness: like PAL there is more motion flicker and Pattern effects seem to crop up on the picture from time to time, there are also many many variants of SECAM from country to country alot of which are incompatible with one another.


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