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Georges Valensi (1889-1980) was a French telecommunications engineer who, in 1938, invented and patented a method of transmitting color images so that they could be received on both color and black & white television sets. Rival colour television methods, which had been in development since the 1920s, were incompatible with monochrome televisions.
All current widely deployed colour television standards – NTSC, SÉCAM, PAL and today's digital standards – implement his idea of transmitting a signal composed of separate luminance and chrominance. Because his invention pre-dated the actual introduction of colour television by so long, his patent was exceptionally extended to 1971.