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This article uses British English dialect and spelling.
According to the relevant style guide, this should not be changed without broad consensus.


I added Greece as a PAL country. Although many sources still point it as a SECAM country, it has actually been dual-standard for some time, while today almost all TV stations and TV sets are designed for PAL operation and dual-standard TV sets are becoming rare, but I don't have the exact date of the transition... EpiVictor 10:07, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I added Romania under PAL B/D category. I removed Sardinia because the idea of a list with countries and territories is to list territories, when there is no nation-wide standard (which is not the case for Italy). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 5 January 2005 (UTC)

Gbuteler89: I'm from Paraguay, and from what I heard and have confirmed, Paraguay is actually broadcasting in PAL-B format. This was confirmed by a visit to a local TV station, where consoles read the transmission format was "PALB". I think I should move Paraguay on the list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gbuteler89 (talkcontribs) 00:04, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

It would be best if you could reference it first. Girolamo Savonarola 04:40, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Dear Gbuteler89: Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, inside the TV stations (professional level) they work in PAL-B, but the domestic transmission is made in PAL-N to the home TV sets, through a transcoder in the transmitter. Then the TV system used in these countries is PAL-N. Remember the Americas are the Region 2 of the UIT, and have only 6 MHz per channel. Vmsa (talk) 01:03, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


The statement that PAL has 625 lines per frame is incorrect. Yes, the standard dictates 625 lines but only 576 lines are viewable, the rest being used for information such as sync data and captioning. PAL DVDs are MPEG-2, not PAL standard. The PAL classification merely indicates they have 576 lines at 25fps, and as such aren't 625 lines at all. Defsac 10:05, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

The figure "625" in the statement is derived from the line scan frequency divided by the FRAME frequency ie: 15625/25 = 625. The t.v. set generates 625 lines per frame which would be visible if not for blanking circuits in the set. The statement that PAL has 625 lines per frame is therefore correct. ---- SUPERHETRODYNE

The introduction says "SECAM (which is very similar to PAL...)", while the first sentence under Technical Details says "The basics of PAL and the NTSC system are quite similar; the SECAM system, on the other hand, is quite different from both of the others." This is contradictory and should be made consistent. I don't know enough about the technical details to make a proper correction. --Ghewgill 13:06, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

It stems from the confusion of colour standards and the informal usage of the term "PAL" to describe a 625/50 signal, which is quite widespread but, strictly speaking, wrong. Some authors aren't quite consistent about this. Of couse, SECAM colour encoding - usually! - rides on a 625/25 signal, as PAL does - usually. From this point of view they are "similar". But the actual colour encoding - which is what PAL and SECAM are really about - are completely different. In this respect, PAL is much more similar to NTSC. Someone feels to correct the article accordingly? Regards Anorak2 13:22, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Done. Anorak2 12:51, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


Should any one interested putting something like this?

NTSC: Never Twice Same Color PAL: Perfection At Last

I heard this from an old friend once working in thompson. So it should be related information :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AliUtkuSelen (talkcontribs) 15:52, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

(In the old Commodore Amiga days we said: PAL = pay additional luxury ;-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I don't think it really fits in the short this and the NTSC article, it immidiatly seems as if PAL is unquestionably the best system. 11:20, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Hong Kong and China[edit]

Hong Kong uses "PAL-I" and China uses "PAL-D". I have never heard of "PAL-CN". -Hello World! 16:32, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

It is indeed PAL-I that's used in both Hong Kong and Macau. -Broccoli 22:33, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

Date of Introduction[edit]

The article claims PAL was launched in 1967. BBC Two in the UK started broadcasting monochrome 625-line video in 1964. It later went to full-colour PAL (without breaking the old system). Do the monochrome broadcasts qualify as 'PAL', and shouldn't this be mentioned? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fourohfour (talkcontribs) 22:29, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

No they don't. Monochrome 625/50 is not PAL, the term was unknown before the introduction of colour. Incidentally, the UK and France were latecomers to that standard. Most of mainland Europe has been broadcasting 626/50 since 1950 or thereabout. Anorak2 13:27, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
As a point of interest, PAL colour was under test by the BBC throughout 1965. I believe these tests were made on a 'spare' uhf frequency [which would nowadays be used for BBC-1, or ITV-1]. Colour was not introduced on BBC-2, until it had been fully tested, and technical conditions observed. Also, a b/w transmission is colourless, so can be received on any television set, provided it meets the transmission system [e.g. B/G, I etc.] requirements. (RM21 00:06, 26 June 2006 (UTC))


According to this page: , PAL60 runs at the standard PAL resolution, not at the lower NTSC one. Is this correct, or is this mode specific to the GameCube? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

PAL-60 from regular VCRs or DVD players outputs 525 scan lines at 30 frames/60 half-frames per second, and only converts the colour to PAL at 4.43 MHz. The whole point of this signal is to enable VCRs to play NTSC to PAL TVs, but cheaply. It relies on the fact that most TVs can be persuaded to sync to almost any resolution and frame rate, but they need the colour in their native system anyway. Changing the original resolution before outputting the image would defeat the whole "cheapo" point of PAL-60, as it would involve expensive circuitry. The downside is that you get a non-standard signal that no other device can record. I don't know what the GameCube does (the page appears to be gone), but if it doesn't give a 525/60/PAL signal it's not PAL-60 "as we know it". Anorak2 13:11, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Very few TV tuner cards or video capture cards will support this mode (a small number can although software/driver modification is usually required and the manufacturers specs are usually unclear).

Is there any website listing those which do ? According to this it is possible to determine form the chipset but how does one know (without a LOT of digging) which cards use which chipsets 21:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

en_US vs en_GB[edit]

Both American and British spellings of "color"/"colour" are used. Might as well pick one and stick with it for the entire article. - Shadowhillway 23:35, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy is to attempt to retain consistency with whichever version of English was used first... unfortunately, I can't tell which, because for some reason although the history lists the "earliest" version (circa 2001), there are clearly versions before that (click 'previous revision' on the claimed earliest version). And it's mixed back then.
Fourohfour 09:42, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
How about since PAL is the European/global video standard that British spelling be used? But then should NTSC be spelled out "Never Twice the Same Color" regardless of which article it's in because NTSC is American?
Shadowhillway 20:16, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Your logic seems sound, but I'm sure someone could come up with a good counter-case if they were so inclined. Best stick to policy if someone can figure out how to view the earliest versions of the article; otherwise, consistency is still better than nothing.
Fourohfour 23:50, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
PAL is of European origin. I feel that British or Irish English should be used. --Evice 02:14, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
May as well be consistent; unless someone can show that the first version used US English, I vote we should just go with Commonwealth English then. Fourohfour 11:38, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
What's the difference between British and Irish spelling of "colour"? :> Anorak2 13:28, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
The English spelling of 'colour' is 'c-o-l-o-u-r'. The Irish spelling is 'd-a-t-h' (Gaelic). (talk) 17:28, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Resolution chart[edit]

The chart of resolution and high-def info at the bottom makes no sense to the uninitiated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Spelling; two week deadline[edit]

Unless anyone has any objections, let's settle on a consistent spelling system; this appears to be the earliest version in the list (although for some reason you can select an "older" version, its date is actually later, so this is probably a bug somewhere).

It uses a mix of UK and US spellings. Since the "Wikipedia is American" argument doesn't wash (the contributors are a mix, and Wikipedia's own policy is that the earlier spelling is used- not useful in this case as original article had a mix), let's vote on this once and for all, and have it over by the New Year.


  • UK (commonwealth) spelling. Fourohfour 22:56, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  • PAL is a European system (mostly German actually) but US use NTSC so it should use the UK spelling, consistently. David | Talk 13:52, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Frankly, I don't see why there has to be consistent spelling in the first place. Tolerance dictates that we don't marginalize any type of English. dsandlund 10:53, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely agreed. But what the Americans use doesn't qualify as English as they haven't used that language for over two and a half centuries. (talk) 08:01, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Television resolution[edit]

The diagram at the end of this article suggests that NTSC is 640x480 and PAL is 720x576. I find this to be quite inaccurate. DV is 720x480 for NTSC and 720x576 for PAL. dsandlund 08:28, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually the inclusion of the diagram makes no sense at all in the context of this article. The terms "PAL" and "NTSC" have more than one meaning. One is an informal usage for TV resolutions, but that is not what the text is about, which it clarifies in the first paragraph. This article is about PAL the colour television system independent of resolution questions.
Concerning the diagram, it is not wrong but perhaps misleading as it claims pixel counts for television signals. But analogue TV signals have no pixels. They have horizontal scan lines, but along each line the signal is continuous. So-called "PAL" signals have 625 scan lines, 50 of which are black, leaving 575 lines with picture content (usuually digitised as 576). So-called "NTSC" signals have 525 lines, 45 of which are black, leaving 480 visible. Pixels only come into play when you decide to digitise the signal. The number of columns you choose is arbitrary, as long as they are enough to satisfy the sampling theorem. 720 and 768 columns are values that are often chosen and actually standardises for some digital video formats, but neither is "more correct" than the other. Anorak2 11:13, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I know how the analog systems work. My objection was with the diagram and how it suggests a considerably greater difference in resolution between PAL and NTSC than what is true. Having a diagram as a guide for comparing formats is quite relevant imo, you just need to calculate it in a fair way. dsandlund 02:15, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I vote for Anorak2's explanation about 768x576 and 720x576 to be included in the main article. I've been looking for that all over Wikipedia and I only found it here. (talk) 20:02, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. But I suggest to include that discussion in Broadcast television systems, and move all other discussions of image resolution frm PAL to that article as well. PAL should include a heading which instructs readers that PAL is about colour only, and that image resolution and frame rates are discussed elsewhere, with appropriate links. The confusion of the two subjects is driving me mad. :) Anorak2 (talk) 09:47, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

The confusion arises because NTSC (an analogue system) has a maximum bandwidth of 4 MHz. This compares to at least 5 for PAL. Howerever 525 and 625 line digital video (which are NOT NTSC and PAL use a common 720 pixels digitising system. A higher digitising rate does not mean more bandwidth (which is restriced by the original source) and should not be confused with the bandwidth of NTSC and PAL encoded systems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:16, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The diagram doesn't belong here. PAL is a colour system, it doesn't define resolution at all. Like all analogue colour systems it can be combined with any monochrome television standard, such as 625 or 525 lines; PAL has also been tested with 405 lines. The inclusion of the diagram in this article confuses readers to believe that PAL is about resolution, which is exactly what they shouldn't believe because it's wrong. The diagram is very useful as such, but it belongs on pages who deal with basic television standards where scan lines and bandwidths are discussed, such as Broadcast television systems. Curiously it's missing there. Anorak2 (talk) 09:39, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Quite agree, the diagram should be removed from this article. Also, the article would need a cleanup to remove all that irrelevant talk about lines and frame rate. PAL is a color encoding standard, it does not prescribe anything about lines per frame or frames per second. Jaho (talk) 04:03, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
You encouraged me to do just that. Hope everyone is pleased with the result. Anorak2 (talk) 13:45, 19 January 2008 (UTC)


will a NTSC DVD player work with a PAL television and vice-versa?

In the general case,. An NTSC player outputs an NTSC signal which the PAL TV will not "understand", and vice versa. At best you get a black&white picture, possibly rolling and distorted.
However, since the 1990s most TVs sold in PAL countries are multi-standard to varying degrees. Most will be able to accept NTSC signals as input. Likewhise, DVD players sold in PAL markets are usually multi-standard. With most of these, you can even select what signal format they should output.
The reverse is not necessarily true for TVs and DVD players sold in NTSC markets. Anorak2 12:46, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Since DVD players and modern televisions are normally capable of being interconnected as RGB with Scart plugs, they are neither PAL nor NTSC since no subcarrier is used. Most modern sets can sync to 50 or 60 Hz so there should be no compatibility issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:28, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

compatibility between UK (PAL I ) AND Belgium (Pal B,G,)[edit]


I hope somebody can help me! I am moving from the UK to live in Brussels/Belgium. I am considering buying a TV in the UK to take with me, but have learnt that they may not be compatible. Please can you advise if a PAL-I TV will work fully in Belgium,thanks,Eroonie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:40, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

No, it won't. Unless it's a PAL B/G/I multistandard tv. MrTroy 09:05, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
No it won't, you won't get sound as the audio frequency is in a different place; this is true for both the mono as well as stereo (NICAM) versions. Also Belgium has VHF transmitters which a UK set can't pick up. Incidentally most of Belgium has cable, but there the same is true. There are probably some multi standard sets with an "all Europe" tuner, but if you don't know what to look out for, chances are you'll buy the wrong set.
Incidentally Belgium is migrating to digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) for which you'll need a set-top box; this too is best bought in Belgium, as UK ones might not tune some of the channels (otherwhise they're OK). Anorak2 11:39, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
A few UK set-top boxes may work (but no promises!!) in Europe (B/G is used in most of Belgium, Netherlands, Germany etc.). The box would be able to receive the input OK, but may only be able to convert the sound output if it's multi-standard. Some makes, such as SAGEM are multi-standard, but check before you buy. Also, sell some multi-standard handheld tv's. Better still, get a continental tv/box. (RM21 00:15, 26 June 2006 (UTC))
Although multi standard sets are improving the situation a bit, the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises is still to buy a tv set in the country where it will be used. There is too many factors that play a role to make guarantees: frame/line frequency, color encoding system, color subcarrier frequency, vision polarity, audio modulation system, audio carrier separation, video bandwidth, sideband suppression, VHF/UHF channel layout and spacing, teletext/closed captioning standard, aspect ratio, and more. Even an experienced tv technician makes mistakes with so many factors. Jaho (talk) 03:57, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Speed up vs artifacts[edit]

I changed the "many" to "some" when discussing whether or not movie enthusiasts prefer speed up to artifacts. "Many" introduces a value assessment that is difficult for this encyclopedia to claim. The sources are not entirely encyclopedic and, given that they are both from web sites apparently hosted in PAL countries, they are more likely to share the same criticisms of artifacts. Additionally, to attempt to place further impact on the statement, "movie enthusiast" would have to be defined. This is likewise a difficult task given the wide range of self-described enthusiasts, enthusiasts who refuse to associate with certain others, etc. -user:rasd —Preceding undated comment added 13:19, 17 July 2006 (UTC).

I agree, as sources for "many" those aren't encyclopedic - you would need a research indicating there are many people believing PAL is better. However, for "some", those are perfectly good sources.
And of course (almost) only people in PAL areas prefer PAL - the complete lack of compatibility prevents people in NTSC countries to playback PAL material. Most PAL equipment, on the other hand, is compatible with NTSC - so the preference of PAL people for PAL isn't based on incompatibility with NTSC. MrTroy 15:45, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your help it's been very useful :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicolas Strappini (talkcontribs) 16:10, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Compatibility Between USA (NTSC) and Turkey(PAL..)[edit]

Somebody help me please! I'm about to buy a new JVC hardrive camcorder in United States,and I want to learn that it works in Turkey which is in Europe and using's written NTSC,as the analog video format on the camcorder..Do I have some problems about that,should I buy it or what I'm going to do??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

No they're completely incompatible. Don't import NTSC equipment into the PAL world or vice versa, you'll have problems either way. Anorak2 10:12, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Of course your camera will WORK in Turkey (or any other country in the world) but anything you record on it may not be viewable on a TV set IN Turkey but will of course be viewable on an NTSC ser when you return to the USA80.229.222.48 19:29, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Using a NTSC Camera in PAL country hooked with composite wires will lead to a black and white picture. Be careful when charging your camera there. You want to convert your plug and limit your charging time. If not you could see smoke. --DuskRider 08:08, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Move list of countries to a separate article?[edit]

I think the "PAL#Countries and territories that use PAL B, G, D or K" section is getting long and cumbersome, and should be moved to a separate article. Ideas? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Intgr (talkcontribs) 00:22, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree... "List of countries and territories that use PAL"... does that sound right? --StuartBrady (Talk) 03:24, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

"Selling the Innovation"[edit]

Hey guys,

I ran accross the article selling the innovation: french and german color tv devices in the 1960s by patrick fridenson [[1]]

that's what it says on the PAL and SECAM: The first movers were Americans, because America represented the largest potential marketf or color TV. They consisted on one side of RCA and on the other of a group of firms working with the TV network CBS. For the sake of production costs and viewers' interests, RCA called for a unified system, which was reached in 1953 by a committee which gathered representatives of some twenty companies and labs and was named NTSC (National Television System Committee). However, this system had many practical drawbacks, and it was soon nicknamed "Never The Same Color". The challengers were the Frencha nd the Germans. They invented ways to correct the color variations of NTSC. The paradox is that although Radio Industrie and Telefunken, the French and German companies which earlier had separately developed black and white TV devices, were now working together on color TV, they finally gave birth to two different devices: the French SECAM (its French nickname was "Supreme Effort Against America") and the German PAL (called by the French "German Provocation").

Is it worth putting that in the articles about PAL and SECAM. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zevnik (talkcontribs) 23:41, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


I was wondering if an illustration of a phase error would improve the article... So I've knocked up two images [2][3], which show normal and alternated phase respectively, with a 20 degree phase error. Any thoughts on these? --StuartBrady (Talk) 03:15, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

How will PAL to NTSC converter correct speed-up?[edit]

Which effect is refered to in the paragraph where it is said that "hardware is also available to correct this effect? Is it about the speed up effect or the telecine judder effect? Either way it should be said more accurately what can be done with that hardware. I don't see how converting signal from PAL to NTSC would fix the speed up effect. It might be that the whole paragraph should be removed. It seems like a misplaced advertisement. 05:20, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

A PAL to NTSC converter cannot correct the speed up after it has been applied. The converted video will show it too. A theoretical hardware solution would be to play the video at 24fps (i.e. non-standard, would require a modified VCR) and apply a realtime frame conversion to 25fps. That would result in a video at proper speed, but probably with some bad judder effects (which is the main reason why it's not done). Tenlab company sells no such thing, just regular standards converters. So IMHO the paragraph should be removed. Anorak2 16:38, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Article Layout[edit]

Just reading through the article, it is all ok until you get to Multisystem PAL support this seems to be out of context, the rest of section 2 needs re-ordering I think --GeorgeShaw 14:04, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Indonesia / Hong Kong / Singapore[edit]

Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore use PAL for broadcasting. However they use NTSC-J for gaming. Maybe, it's worth mentioning--w_tanoto 00:42, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

PAL-N versus PAL-Nc[edit]

I'm Argentine, I've been working at TV stations and I've never seen a station broadcasting in NTSC as the article says. Usually PAL-B/G is used inside the stations and transcoded to PAL-N just before being broadcasted. ¿Why does the article mention NTSC, is it an error? Barcex 21:56, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm Argentine too, and I can confirm that. Besides, what is this story about PAL-Nc being used in Argentina: "the PAL-Nc (combination N) variant is used. The same 625-line system as PAL-G,D,G,H, and I is used with the same 4.43 MHz colorburst frequency. [...] In Paraguay and Uruguay, PAL is used with the standard 625 line system, but again with (very nearly) the NTSC colour subcarrier frequency (3.58 MHz); this variant is called and PAL-N."

As far as I know Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay use exactly the same PAL-N system, with a 3.58 MHz color subcarrier. Argentina devised the system in the 1970s, and it was adopted by the neighboring countries, unmodified.Daniel_C 18:58, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm British, but I've recently worked on a system with a composite video input that auto-detects the standard being received, and the data sheet for the video decoder chip gives a table of colour sub-carrier frequencies. It specifies that PAL-N has a colour sub-carrier frequency of 4.43361875MHz (the same as PAL B/D/G/H/I) and that PAL-CN has a sub-carrier frequency of 3.58205625 (close to NTSC, but not exactly the same). We tested the system with a video signal generator that can be set to generate various output standards, including PAL-N and PAL-CN, and it appears to agree with those specifications. I've spent hours googling this and many websites give conflicting information about the PAL-N sub-carrier frequency. Is it possible that those sites claiming PAL-N's sub-carrier is at 3.58MHz are confusing PAL-N with PAL-CN (or PAL-Nc, or PAL Combination N, however you want to refer to it)? Philgp (talk) 13:19, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I am being WP:BOLD and I will fix all this PAL-Nc nonsense. The system PAL-N was defined by the Argentine Law 21.895 (30th October 1978). It clearly states 625/50 on a 6MHz channel using 1.25MHz video carrier and 4.5MHz sound subcarrier (actually that was previously defined for B&W TV, being compatible with the 50Hz mains frequency and the 6MHz channels used all over the Americas) and here comes the important thing, a 3.58MHz color subcarrier, compatible with a 6MHz channel. BTW the exact same setup is used for CABLE as well. Now, where does all this PAL-Nc come from? Here [4] you have an ITU document about TV systems however the problem might have originated in a previous one. Page 11 Table 2 shows a comparison between systems and here is the problem... PAL-N is in TWO of these columns, with a little note. In Table 3, instead there is JUST ONE column, with clear and unique values (6MHz channel, 4.5MHz sound, etc). The issue is that the little note from Table 2 (on Page 16) states that "these values apply to combination N/PAL used in Argentina. Only those values are given in this column which are different from the values given in the column..." In other words... to avoid repeating all the values, just the values which are different are shown. That means there is JUST ONE UNIQUE SYSTEM, PAL-N which is truly a combination of N format (a mix of Europe raster on a US 6MHz channel) with PAL color. There is not a system called PAL-Nc different from a PAL-N system. If you want for a second assume that there could be a PAL-N system using a 4.43MHz color subcarrier, then you immediately run in trouble with the 4.5MHz sound subcarrier and the 6MHz channel which are clearly specified by table 3. It simply is impossible. My best guess is that somebody at some point, was reading this document or a similar one, and just did not read the little note on Page 16, nor realized that the system would have been impossible. Hopefully this clarifies the whole subject. --Alchaemist (talk) 03:56, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Just in case I will emphasize one more time. Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, just like the rest of the Americas, use a 6MHz channel plan. Regards! --Alchaemist (talk) 05:34, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Wrong TV format in pixels[edit]

PAL is NOT 720x576, because PAL and NTSC does not got a fixed X-axis resolution. With analog broadcasted PAL you cannot display 360 (720/2) distinct lines because of bandwith limitation.

Hence the image comparing different TV formats is wrong. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:47, 27 March 2007 (UTC).

That's right. PAL is an analogue system which has (at least hirizontally) bandwidth but no pixels. If you're talking about digital 625 line systems THAT IS NOT PAL! 5Mz (the system bandwidth for B and G) would resolve only 260 horizontal lines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

In analogue systems we refer to resolution in 'line pairs', where a line pair consists of a white line/black line pair. The horizontal resolution of the analogue 625 line TV system constrained by a 5MHz bandwidth is approximately 260 line pairs. This would equate to a digital resolution of 520 pixels, but the analogue line pairs can be displayed anywhere along the horizontal plane whereas a similar pattern on a digital system is constrained to the locations of the discrete pixels on both the source signal and the display device (which may or may not not match - and almost certainly won't match if there is an analogue conversion in the path as is usually the case when playing a DVD). (talk) 07:53, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Film to PAL speedup pitch[edit]

Depending on the sound system in use, it also increases the pitch of the soundtrack by 70.67 cent — ⅔ of a semitone, which only the minority of people with absolute pitch will notice.

I can hear the difference and I'm practically tone-deaf... Also the telecine page calls the pitch difference "noticeable". Is there a source for the claim that only people with absolute pitch can notice the change? Msgohan 08:25, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Tagged as needing citation. Acdx 19:06, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
"70.67 cent — ⅔" is incorrect. A 4% increase in frequency will make more of a difference on very low notes, but not so such on high notes. For example, the note A2 has a frequency of 110hz, add 6hz and you're playing the next note up which is a Bb2. However if you add 6hz to an A5 (which is 880hz), then your no where near a Bb5 (which is 932.3hz). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Someone can't do elementary arithmetic. A 4% increase on 110Hz is 114.4 Hz. A 4% increase 880Hz is 915 Hz, which is 0.67 of a semitone in both cases. (talk) 07:54, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to see some detail in the article on the speed difference. I listen to fan-made audio commentaries for movies and TV, and the 4% or so (in my practical experience, it's about 3%) difference is a major point of difficulty and confusion. Sharecrow and RiffTrax have actually created software to keep the commentary in synch with the movie. --Tysto (talk) 11:01, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It's discussed in Broadcast television systems. The speed up has to do with frame rates, thus it applies to all 25 Hz television standards, including some that don't use PAL colour encoding, and excluding some that do. It has nothing to do with PAL per se (even though it's commonly but misleadingly called "PAL speedup"), as PAL does not define frame rates at all. This is why it's not discussed in this page. Anorak2 (talk) 08:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

3:2 Pulldown[edit]

However, some movie enthusiasts prefer PAL speed-up over NTSC's 3:2 pulldown, because the latter results in telecine judder, a visual distortion not present in PAL speed-up video. This is not an issue on modern upconverting DVD players and PCs, as they play back 23.97fps-encoded video at its true frame rate, without 3:2 pulldown.

Surely most PC monitors will be set to 60Hz or higher, which will necessitate the use of repeated frames in the same manner as the pulldown process, only progressively rather than interlaced? Wouldn't this result in exactly the same kind of 'judder' as on an ordinary television? 14:06, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

3:2 pulldown doesn't change the frame rate (24 to 23.97 a minimal difference), it just adapts it to a 60Hz interlaced display, by reducing the repeated frames issue. On progressive displays motion judder can still be present if the frame rate in not set to a multiple of the original (for example 72Hz (24Hz*3)). The pulldown removal only restores the original 24fps progressive signal. Hope this helpsRicnun 14:57, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

right there in the beginning[edit]

picture always lousy? i never heard that... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Can a TV with PAL system be used in a country with NTSC system?[edit]

I have a European 50ïnch LCD TV (manufactured 2005) that I'd like to use in the USA. MY TV system is PAL but this discussion page mentions conflicting data as to whether PAL systems would work in the USA, or not. Look forward to any input. Thank you. Maarten10 21:48, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

No a single standard PAL TV will not work in the USA.
Regarding the conflicting information: A large portion of televisions sold in Europe nowadays are not single standard PAL but multi standard. Many of those will accept NTSC signals, but usually only from the A/V input for watching NTSC DVDs or tapes, but not NTSC off air reception as most of these lack a tuner for standard M.
Besides all of this the mains voltage is different.
Some newer LCD models however are made with a "world tuner" and accept all voltages. If you have one like that it probably works. We can't tell from here if you have one of those, check the manual. Anorak2 05:32, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

20th centuries map... :([edit]

this map is old and now false, Korea is NTSC, continental China as well and Russia is PAL. should be corrected. Paris By Night 11:09, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Huh? South Korea is NTSC, North Korea is SECAM, that is what the map shows. Mainland China is indeed PAL, but the map says so. Russia is SECAM, you're wrong there but the map shows it correctly. Anorak2 10:06, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

It is very true many publications of television standards are out of date, North Korea uses PAL D & K, and South Korea uses NTSC M ( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Is Byelorus PAL of SECAM?-- (talk) 14:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Russia was still SECAM last time I was there (August 2009). (talk) 07:23, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Byelourus is Belarus along with Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan still broadcasts in SECAM D/K and use playback in PAL. North Korea and Vietnam protect their PAL D/K broadcasts with SECAM D. So they don't get programs from elsewhere. Both use playback in PAL/NTSC. --DuskRider 08:17, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

PAL to PAL-M?[edit]

Is it possible to convert PAL to PAL-M? I have a DVD player (PAL system) that plays back DVDs (PAL) in black and white on a PAL-M TV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes it's possible, but probably not economical. You need a standards converter, for example out of this range:
As you can see the prices are rather steep. Possibly some cheaper PAL->PAL-M converters are available locally in Brazil (where I assume you are), but that is just a guess.
However, any such solution will probably cost more than a DVD player which converts PAL to NTSC (many of the cheap Chinese units can do it) which many TVs sold in Brazil can probably display, failing that you can get a NTSC->PAL-M converter on top (which is going to be much cheaper than a PAL->PAL-M unit). Or you can get a television capable of displaying European PAL natively. Anorak2 21:13, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Pal speedup removeal[edit]

Ok, what joker removed the explanation for PAL speedup (in itself stupid) and left the redirects in place? --IceHunter (talk) 18:57, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Me, when I removed all references to frame rate and scan raster from this page. I didn't know this redirect existed, fixed it now. Anorak2 (talk) 10:40, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


What would happen if I tried to play a PAL tape on an NTSC VCR? --Ryanasaurus0077 (talk) 00:00, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

The tape would play too fast, and the head drum would not synch with the PAL frame rate. The result would be a completely carbled picture which (if you can see anything at all) would play too fast. Anorak2 (talk) 10:28, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

PAL Colourimetry incorrect?[edit]

It looks as if colorimetry info on this page is out of date, or incorrect:

The page says the following:

  • PAL and NTSC have slightly divergent colour spaces, but the colour decoder differences here are ignored.;
  • PAL supports SMPTE 498.3 while NTSC is compliant with EBU Recommendation 14.
  • I assume the second bullet still refers to colourimetric info.
  • I cannot find the relevant standards.
  • There is no section on Colourimetry, there should be, to match the Serial Digital Interface article

See the following for basic references to colourimetry in consumer broadcast: broadcasting_colorimetry_standards (Also available in Wayback machine, without images) RobMosys (talk) 12:50, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

"Hanover bars"[edit]

Care to add any picture displaying "Hanover bars"? I've only ever hear them mentioned by Americans and consider them a myth, actually. Or do you actually mean dot crawl or its complimentary effect where improper isolation of cheap composite cables results in crosstalk from the luma to the chroma wire (while dotcrawl is the other way around)? After googling for hours, I've found this technical diagram at least, but it didn't tell me much either. -- (talk) 17:26, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Hanover bars can only be seen on simple PAL decoders, not delay line ones. Even then it can only be seen if you are close to the screen. The effect is like a Venetian blind, with horizontal bars of differing colours, each band one line high. In studio centres monitors were always set to simple PAL so that phase errors could be spotted by the presence of Hanover bars.. Viewers at home, however were always watching in delayed PAL so there was no chance of them ever seeing Hanover bars.Wmck (talk) 09:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Composite cables don't have separate luma and chroma lines. Crosstalk between luma and chroma (dot crawl and rainbows) is caused by the fact that luma and chroma are on the same wire and that their frequencies overlap.Totsugeki (talk) 16:55, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


What broadcast standard does Lebanon use, wikipedia says PAL, but most other sources including World Radio TV Handbook 2008 say they use SECAM.

Anyone able to confirm?

Cheers —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Probably migrated from SECAM to PAL some time ago. In any case it is B/G. VHS tapes should be MESECAM (i.e. not French SECAM), but better yet PAL. Anorak2 (talk) 10:46, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

the netherlands[edit]

the netherland is still pal, we haven't switched to DVB-T and it isn't ever going to happen except for wireless but excluding cable which is still 100% analog even on DVB-C it's still available analog Markthemac (talk) 22:33, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

The list is only about over the air broadcasts. What cable systems do within their own realm is a proprietary decision of the cable operator and irrelevant to this page.
which is still 100% analog even on DVB-C Huh? That makes no sense. DVB-C is digital by definition. Anorak2 (talk) 10:50, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Animation Question[edit]

Hi I was wondering if you could help me with a question please :-) Is it best to watch animation in NTSC or Pal, does it look flickier when in the NTSC format or in the pal format? I mean the flickiness is quite important with animation, does NTSC or Pal loose some frames? Thank you very much for your time :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicolas Strappini (talkcontribs) 14:19, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

In general it's best to view a film in the television system it was originally produced in. Then you see the original frames in their original sequence. Conversely, a film converted from NTSC to PAL or vice versa, either loses some frames or gets "made up" frames added, respectively.

A film originally made for movie theaters is better viewed in PAL because there is no frame rate conversion, just an unnoticeable speedup.

The above is true for all films or video recordings, including but not limited to animation.

Then again, many cheaply produced animations only have an effective frame rate of only 12 fps, which is such a low quality far below the frame rates of any television system, that it hardly matters. Anorak2 (talk) 17:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you very much for such a detailed response Anorak :-) So if I was to view an animation with the NTSC format on DVD, it's best to set my dvd player to NTSC than to Pal? Or should I buy the same film but in the British Pal format, but it would just be sped up? Cheers :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicolas Strappini (talkcontribs) 14:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

No you should view the DVD in the format it is recorded in. If you can help it, you can also make sure to buy the "right" format to begin with.
Meaning: A film originally produced for television should be bought as an NTSC version if it is a US or Japan production, and in PAL if it is a European production. If you buy "the other" format (i.e. a PAL DVD of an American production or an NTSC DVD of a European production), the production company have "spoilt" the frame sequence already in the conversion process, which you cannot undo on your end.
Movies produced for cinemas, not television, are more likely to contain the original frame sequence on a PAL DVD. Anorak2 (talk) 15:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Article could do with more pictures[edit]

I'd like to see some picture examples of the types of distortions mentioned in the article especially in the PAL vs. NTSC and PAL vs. SECAM sections as I've never seen an NTSC or SECAM broadcast and can't visualise very well what these distortions might look like. (talk) 16:23, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Good idea, but difficult to create. I have an tv standards converter and could try to create screenshots with exaggerated NTSC or SECAM defects, but I'll have to find the time. :) Anorak2 (talk) 10:51, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Frame rate & Resolution[edit]

I've edited the line in the intro paragraph stating that this page discusses only the color encoding aspect of PAL, as this is clearly not the case anymore, and it would not make much sense to defer discussion of all other core aspects of the PAL system to other pages on more general topics. Like the NTSC article, which gives a broad overview of all aspects of the analog encoding system, the PAL page should be where visitors can find all information regarding the PAL specification, including frame rate and resolution. -- (talk) 01:39, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Unlike NTSC, the term PAL only refers to a colour encoding system. It has nothing to do with frame rate, lines or resolution. Indeed PAL is not cofined to 625 line/50 field systems. Brazil uses PAL colour on their 525 line/60 field system. (talk) 07:48, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

PAL resolution is 288*480 pixels?[edit]

So PAL resolution is 313*480, either 288*480 pixels is my best guess. How do you think? From article: The vertical timings are:

Parameter Value
Vertical lines 313 (625 total)
Vertical lines visible 288 (576 total)
Vertical sync polarity Negative (burst)
Vertical frequency 50 Hz
Sync pulse length (F) 0.576 ms (burst)[1]
Active video (H) 18.4 ms

AND THIS TABLE FROM ARTICLE IS I GUESS ABOUT HORIZONTAL lines: This table illustrates the differences:

Lines/Fields 625/50 625/50 625/50 525/60 625/50 625/50 625/50
Video Bandwidth 5.0 MHz 5.0 MHz 5.5 MHz 4.2 MHz 6.0 MHz 5.0 MHz 4.2 MHz
Sound Carrier 5.5 MHz 5.5 MHz 6.0 MHz 4.5 MHz 6.5 MHz 5.5 MHz 4.5 MHz
Channel Bandwidth 7 MHz 8 MHz 8 MHz 6 MHz 8 MHz 6 MHz 6 MHz
Active lines 576 576 576 480 576 576 576

So biggest possible PAL resolution my best shot is 313*576 and it is 313 pixels fits in horizontal and 576 pixels of vertical like monitor 1024*768 or 640*480 first number means horizontal pixels number. Also too very possible that PAL TV resolution is 320*480 pixels. Count yourself if you like (3 colors is 1 pixel). So my guess is that half vertical lines Playstation1 and Wii skiping (to put into television signal, but rendering somthing like 640*480) or vertical lines (say 320 such lines jumping by one line (or by one color) to right after 1 Hz, because 50 Hz total and 25 frames, so 25 frames can be showen twice and maybe after first frame second is pushed by 1 line to right and this maybe a little bit expands resolution closer to original say 640*480) are pushed by one line to right to expand say 320*480 resolution quality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:35, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

PAL has no resolution at all, so the question is meaningless. PAL is a colour standard. It defines how colour is transmitted on top of a black&white television signal. Resolution never comes into it. The same is true for SECAM and NTSC.
The basics of analogue television standards are defined in the page "Broadast Television Systems". I suggest you read up on the basics there. Any the scanline/framerate combinations listed there can be used with any of the three colour standards.
Note that analogue television has no "pixels". It is rastered only horizontally, but not vertically. So it has lines, but not "columns". Along each line the signal is continuous.
Anorak2 (talk) 15:50, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

What do you talking about? Everything have resolution and TV screen also have resolution don't matter What PAL is. So here how it is: PAL resolution is 288\times 352 (288 horizontal pixels and 352 vertical pixels) ( ) compared to computer monitor resolution 1024\times 768 or 1600\times 1200 and NTSC resolution is slightly smaller: 240\times 352, but has 60 Hz frequency. It can be hard to believe, that TV resolution is so small, but there is some method to improve image quality even with such small resolution as vertical lines shifting to right or left after each frame. So 50 Hz (fields) don't work in way that each of 25 fps is repeated twice in 50 Hz period. Each second frame is shifted by vertical line into some side. TV have 288 red vertical lines, 288 green vertical lines, 288 blue vertical lines. And also have 352 (but from my approximate calculations on TV screen it can be up to 480) horizontal lines. Only question how much can be horizontal lines, maybe they are not splited physicaly-verticaly and can be divided (into more pixels), but PAL signal still have resolution and it probably like in reference 352 and not like I guessing 480 maximum. Vertical lines I calculate about 300, calculate 3 color RGB lines like one line (of course I don't calculate all, just 50 and then multiply by 5 or so), so 288 is very good answer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:26, 24 February 2010 (UTC) To be honest, I vertical lines calculate 300-350 (maybe because though them must be more than 288, somthing like 320) and horizontal lines I calculate on TV screen about 450-500, but them was little harder to calculate (because vertical lines are sharp and just each red line enough to count, and horizontal lines are almost fused with each over). So if 1 pixel caring 1 red pixel, 1 green pixel and 1 blue pixel then 640*480 is 307200 pixels (like them count everywhere), but total pixels including colored in such max resolution 640*480 monitor is 3 times more: 307200*3=921600=~1 MPixel. And on TV screen need to count in this way: (288*3)*352=304128 pixels including "color" pixels and normal pixels amount is just 288*352=101376=~0.1 MPixel or most optimisticly 320*480=153600 pixels. So Wii and TV have more than 2 times less pixels than 640*480 resolution. And I actualy don't know for what it need 288*2=576 pixels for like I read "Actually the frame rate it is only 25 Hz - the field rate is 50 Hz and interlaced to reduce flicke" ( ). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 24 February 2010 (UTC) And here about interlacing and it apears horizontal lines are odd and then even after each frame: . In normal resolution terms wide*height (like 800*600) TV PAL resolution is 288*352 and also maybe can be 288*480 and also maybe maybe 288*720 for some DVD players connected to OLD classic Televisors of 1990-2005 production. But in time about 1995-2000 (very classic time, when all TV resolutions should be the same, except NTSC vs PAL difference ofcourse) translated programs resolution I guess was 288*352 or less likely about 288*480 or 320*480 and Playstation1 resolution is 288*480 or 320*240 or 320*480 on 1995-2000 production PAL TV is my best guesses. Such felling like somebody hiding real TV resolution like we living in kinda some simulation like in movie Matrix or like God create TV and hiding details.

It apears that in televisor screen center vertical lines have bigger destiny than on left and right edges and destiny increasing going to center of screen. Horizontal lines have equal destiny everywhere and precisly I calculate 340-365 horizontal lines, which is just fine with theoretical 352 pixel height of resolution. And Vertical lines are about 400-420 red, 400-420 green and 400-420 blue. Why such strange resolution of wide about 410 pixel, I can only guess. Maybe when TV-tube ray shooting first horizontal line first pixel is RGB, then second pixel is GBR, then third pixel BRG, then again 4-th pixel RGB, then 5-th GBR and then 6-th BRG, so six pixels in horizontal line rendered, but physical pixels only 2 rendered and I don't know if it can somehow improve resolution or image quality, but seems, that it little bit can. So with interlacing of horizontal lines there can be resolution of about from 410*352 to 410*702 and maybe even bigger like 410*960 or with vertical lines manipulation resolution maybe can grew up to 640*480 or 640*720. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I think you are confused about some concepts, but I can't tell why or how precicely, so I repeat some of the misunderstandings I see, make of it what you wish:
1. PAL does not define resolution, it defines colour. Any phrase that begins "PAL resolution is ..." is meaningless. Please read up on analogue broadcast standards in Broadast Television Systems.
2. Analogue television signals do not have pixels, only scan lines. So the XXX in your "XXX by YYY" figures is always meaningless regardless. The YYY part might mean something, because scan lines do exist and are fixed. but in any case it should never be labelled "PAL" because of point 1.
3. The only relevant standards in the analogue era used to be:
  • 625 scan lines, 576 of which with picture content, at 25 frames or 50 fields per second (standards B, G, D, K, I, L)
  • 525 scan lines, 480 of which with picture content, at 30 frames or 60 fields per second (standard M, only)
Therefore, the only figures you may meaningfully associate with conventional television are XXX * 576 and XXX * 480.
Any of the figures XXX * 352, XXX * 702, XXX * 960, XXX * 240 which you mention, wherever they may come from, do not and never have existed with analogue television, neither "PAL" or otherwhise.
I repeat: Analogue television does not define "pixels". Pixels only come into play when you decide to digitize the signal, but the sampling rate at which you do that is - to an extent - arbitrary. Therefore you can use a wide range of possible values for the XXX figure. Anything upwards from approx 400 pixels per scan line is suitable for broadcast quality television. The YYY figure however is fixed, 576 or 480 depending on standard.
Anorak2 (talk) 17:25, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. One small detail, though: analogue 625 has 575 active lines, not 576. The field blanking interval is 25 lines long. (At the end of the second field it blanks from the middle of line 623 until the middle of line 23.) Digital 625 has 576 active lines. --Harumphy (talk) 08:35, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Wrong. Most analogue 625 has 576 active lines (The UK system-I has 582). Every analogue TV system with the exception of the French 819 line system has a different field blanking interval for the odd and even fields. For 625 line it alternates betwenn 25 and 24 lines. (talk) 13:51, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've found the definitive primary source on this as far as the UK is concerned: Specification of Television Standards for 625-line System I Transmissions. (Published jointly by BBC/IBA in January 1971.) It's reproduced in IBA Technical Review No. 2, which I have in front of me. It confirms that the field blanking interval is indeed 25 lines (plus line blanking) as shown on Alan Pemberton's site [5], specifically here: [6] and that there are 575 active lines (2 x 287.5 = 575). UK broadcasters are required to comply with this spec as a condition of their analogue transmission licences.[7] 576 only came in with digital. Your CCIR document got it wrong. Now, unless you can come up with better sources than mine, please pack it in with this 582 nonsense.--Harumphy (talk) 09:08, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

There are different ways of looking at it. A 625 line analogue signal has a total of 575 lines. This consists of 574 full lines plus two half lines. So there are 574 FULL lines, 575 TOTAL lines and 576 LINES WITH PICTURE INFORMATION. In digital these half lines become full lines, but should be blanked back to half lines when converted to analogue. The 582 lines does not refer to active picture lines, but to extra lines required for test signals, time code, teletext and widescreen switching etc. which appear above the picture. They do not contain picture information but could be counted as "active" since they are not at black level and can be seen on an underscanned monitor or TV receiver.Wmck (talk) 09:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

The CCIR are the international governing body as far as TV standards are concerned. Just had a look at the analogue video broadcast by the BBC on BBC1. It has 582 lines that has video information on them. Regardless of anything else, the BBC are broadcasting on System-I that is compliant with the CCIR specifications for that system. (talk) 13:06, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
The CCIR no longer even exists. It's ITU-R now and has been for many years. That aside, on BBC1, which were the first and last numbered lines of active picture content in each of the two fields?--Harumphy (talk) 13:53, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
There is a flaw in that argument. You could not possibly have looked at the current day analogue broadcasts and found video on 582 lines. The analogue is a rebroadcast of the digital TV transmissions which only have 576 pixels of information in the vertical plane. I B Wright (talk) 08:01, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Correct. But I did it when an old analogue sourced programme was being aired (quite common at this time of the year). In this case, the analogue video is fed direct to the analogue transmitter and converted for digital transmission rather than being converted to digital and then converted back. 582 lines have video information in this case (talk) 14:41, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I have numerous reference works and specifications that I have gathered over the 40 odd years that I have been involved with TV and video systems including from the ITU, BBC, IBA as well as the now defunct CCIT and numerous other sources. They all specify the System-I as having a vertical blanking interval of 21h/22H. That makes 582 active lines. I can recall that when I was involved in the design of the original Philips N1500 VCR video recorder, it was required to operate with both 576 and 582 active lines flawlessly (a trivial task as it was only necessary to handle the extra 6 lines as black fields). That was the early 1970's.
And incidentally, those same works specify the other PAL broadcast systems as having a blanking interval of 24H/25H making 576 active lines. I have no idea where you got your nonsense about 575 active lines from, though I don't have the work that you cited above (and I believe you made it up - the link you provided does not link to the document that you claim nor does it give any information on TV standards. The other link is a self published site from an enthusiastic amateur and is wrong). The only interlaced video systems to have an odd number of active lines are the 405 line system (377) and the 819 line system (737), the latter having an unusually long blanking interval of 40H for both odd and even fields. AFAIAA, modern analogue is still specified as 582 active lines, but 6 of them carry no video information (being derived from 576i digital), so the difference is entirely academic. I B Wright (talk) 08:01, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Also worth pointing out that the Alan Pemberton site refered to above is also full of many other errors. Fortunately, as you note that it is a self published site, it is an unacceptable source of material for Wikipedia. (talk) 14:41, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Replying to the above points, starting again without the indents:

  • As we're all sticklers for accuracy here, please be careful with names of official bodies. There used to be CCITT and CCIR - never "CCIT". Their successors are ITU-T and ITU-R.
  • I'm only mentioning Alan Pemberton's site because it shows online the same field-blanking timing diagrams that I saw in IBA Tech. Review No.2, which AFAIK isn't available online. I agree we should not cite Pemberton as a source.
  • Fortunately, a similar timing diagram on page 8 of EBU Tech 3267 shows the same thing. The field blanking interval for analogue is 25+25 lines, giving 575 active lines. (Lines 623 and 23 each have half a line of active picture content - the other half of these lines forms part of the field blanking interval.) The FBI for digital is 25+24, giving 576 active lines.
  • Remember the FBI doesn't begin at the beginning of line 1. It begins 2½ lines earlier, halfway through line 623.
  • I too have a decades-old collection of official bumf, and spent several years in the 1970s as a BBC employee staring at waveform monitors for a living. I never came across any hint of 582 active lines ever being used anywhere. However, neither your bumf+experience nor mine are valid WP sources. Can you cite any source (preferably online) that supports 582 other than the 1970 CCIR plenary?
  • You mentioned looking at a BBC1 analogue waveform and counting 582 lines. I asked you for the first and last numbered lines of active picture content in each of the two fields. You never responded to that, and without that information it's impossible to get to the bottom of this.--Harumphy (talk) 10:23, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Here's another source showing the same timing diagram as EBU Tech 3267: BBC RD 1973/12. Look at Figure 1(a), captioned "Allocation of lines during field-blanking for System I". It shows the same two 25-line blanking intervals. Thus we have two authoritative sources - one EBU and one BBC - both showing that analogue PAL has 575 active lines.--Harumphy (talk) 10:21, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I think everything is bullshit. Televisor resolution must be 400*300 pixels. And it is very good for televisor screen ratio 4:3. Monitor have same ratio 4:3, like 640/480=4:3=1.3(3), 800:600=4:3, 1024/768=4:3, 1280/1024=5:4, 1600/1200=4:3, 2048*1536=4:3. Only very strange thing is with monitors of resolution 1280*1024, they physical screen resolution is 4:3 and they showing correct image, but indeed kinda "virtual-digital" resolution ratio is 5:4, thats why I will never buy display with resolution 1280*1024 and ratio 5:4=1.25. And now most LCD have resolution 16:10 and 16:9, like 1440/900=16:10=1.6, 1680/1050=16:10, 1920:1200=16:10, 2560:1600=16:10=1.6, 1920/1080=16:9=1.7(7) and surprise, I bet didn't expected this, 1366/768=1.778645833=~16:9? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)


However, owing to their FM nature, the colour signal remains present, although at reduced amplitude, even in monochrome portions of the image, thus being subject to stronger cross colour.

I can't figure out what this means. (talk) 00:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Simple. When you change the amplitude of a composite NTSC or PAL video signal, you change the level of both the luminance and the chroma AM subcarrier modulation -- they automatically "track". When you change the amplitude of a composite SECAM video signal, you change the level of the chroma FM subcarrier -- but not the level of the subcarrier's chroma modulation. The luminance rises or falls, but the chroma level doesn't. Right? WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 13:26, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Hardly NPOV[edit]

I'm currently involved in one of those NTSC-vs-PAL arguments that pop up in electronics groups. Looking at this article, I find it biased towards PAL (which I consider inferior to NTSC), with a lot of material I consider downright wrong. For example, the writer claims that PAL was developed at Telefunken, when it was actually the original NTSC proposal. (I have printed proof of that.) He also doesn't explain any distinction between static and non-linear phase correction, nor does he explain in detail how these corrections work. This article leaves too many unanswered questions. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 13:26, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

You know what to do. Cite your printed literature! Fix the article - that explanation of the consequences of FM for chroma is a good observation to make in the article, for example. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Correct name?[edit]

The introduction expands the acronym as Phase Alternate Line, whereas in the text it is described as Phase Alternating Line. I checked some EBU documents, and they seem to mostly use "Phase Alternation Line" as the expansion, although a couple have "Phase Alternation by Line" instead. At the very least the article should be consistent. (talk) 01:42, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

You are correct. 'Alternating' seems the most common expansion: Article corrected. (talk) 18:29, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
As with many acronyms it seems there are different interpretations of what the letters stand for - examples below. I don't believe the article should state one interpretation categorically unless some definitive source can be linked to. That's not to say that the text should not use a consistent term but the definition should not say there is just one interpretation if there is more than one. Here are the examples taken from reasonably good sources: "Phase Alternate Line" ( "Phase Alternation Line" ( Ablonus (talk) 17:37, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

PAL-N: I believe the bandwidth and sound separation are wrong for PAL/N. It should be 4.5 MHz.[edit]

All printed and web references I could find for PAL/N, as well as ITU documentation point out that PAL/N has a 4.5 MHz sound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Correct. PAL-N is indeed 6MHz channel with 4.5MHz sound. Regards! --Alchaemist (talk) 05:30, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

PAL vs SECAM misconception removal[edit]

I have removed this section as there were many things wrong with it (it was mostly uncited original research, and very much not npov). If it is to be reinstated it needs to be rewritten, context and sources need to be provided regarding the dispute (sounds very esoteric, but if sources are provided i find it interesting to keep), and references for the technical material are needed. (talk) 15:47, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

When did Lithunia stop using PAL?[edit]

According to the table "Countries and territories that once used PAL" Lithuania switched to DVB-T on 29 October 2012. That's in the future! Should it be 2011? or is that the intended date in which case it shouldn't be in the table yet.Rpt0 (talk) 11:22, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I have removed the "prose" tag from the list of countries etc.[edit]

Someone (probably someone who patrols Wikipedia adding tagging similar looking "bugs" on many pages in a hurry) added the "please rewrite this list as prose" template tag to the list of countries using the system. Given the very nature of this information, a list is the most readable, most understandable, most easily editable (this list needs to be updated a lot due to DVB-T conversion of countries) way to present this information.

I have thus removed that tag as and replaced it by a comment advising future patrols not to mark this particular list for conversion to prose. 2001:16D8:DD73:0:AD74:C2E4:6865:13EA (talk) 18:05, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Article spans several topics[edit]

May I please point out (without being pointlessly flamed) that this article (which should be dealing with the PAL analogue colour-TV encoding system) currently gets itself heavily bogged down into discussions of different broadcast standards that happen to use PAL (System B/G, System I etc). It therefore also gets bogged down with debates about things like numbers of scan lines and frame-rates - none of which have anything directly to do with PAL as a system.

The NTSC article also suffers from these issues, though to a lesser extent because there are (or were) fewer television systems using NTSC.

I note that there are already some articles on CCIR television systems, System B for instance, though not all CCIR-specified television systems have their own pages. This ought to be fixed. Additionally, there's little coherence in how those system-specific pages are named or written. System A for instance is documented under 405-line television system.

A proper article on PAL could dispense with all the existing arguments about the frequency of the colour subcarrier, the line rate or the frame rate. All of that belongs in the broadcast-system specific pages. The PAL article certainly should list the broadcast systems that have ever been used with PAL and maybe in which countries - and that can include the UK's System A even though it was never adopted for real. Test transmissions were made using that combination.

It's an interesting question where discussions about colorimetry belong. I suspect it ought to be dealt with in the "broadcast system" pages because the PAL system itself is independent of such details. It *is* the case that colour-difference equations used with European PAL are the same as those in NTSC despite the fact that the assumed colour primaries are different. But is this true of all PAL implementations?

Issues such as dot-crawl, Hanover bars and delay-lines should certainly be in a PAL article. The mathematical relationship between colour subcarrier frequency, line-scan frequency, frame rate and sound subcarrier frequency should be in a PAL article (since it all influences dot-crawl), but the actual chosen values for all of those values should be in the pages on the relevant CCIR standard.

I can offer to do some of this, but it's going to be a big job. I reckon Wikipedia would benefit from it though. Comments please? Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:46, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
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