IRE (unit)

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Diagram of composite video field with IRE measurements

An IRE is a unit used in the measurement of composite video signals. Its name is derived from the initials of the Institute of Radio Engineers.[1]

A value of 100 IRE was originally defined to be the range from black to white in a video signal. A value of 0 IRE corresponds to the voltage value of the signal during the blanking period. The sync pulse is normally 40 IRE below this 0 IRE value, so the total range covered from peak to trough of an all white signal would be 140 IRE.

The reason IRE is a relative measurement (percent) is because a video signal may be any amplitude. This unit is used in the ITU-R BT.470 which defines PAL, NTSC and SECAM.[2]


  1. ^ Robin & Poulin; Michael Robin; Michel Poulin (2000). Digital television fundamentals: design and installation of video and audio systems. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 17. ISBN 0-07-135581-2. 
  2. ^ "BT.470 : Conventional analogue television systems". International Telecommunications Union. Retrieved 28 August 2012.