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PAL vs NTSC & You!

Basically if you live in the UK, Eire or Europe, then you should choose PAL to ensure compatability across all your equipment. If you live in the US, Canada Or Japan, you should choose NTSC. MST3UK provides DVD's in either format and there is no real perciptible difference. Technically speaking NTSC is slightly better at 29.9 frames per second to PAL's 25, but you really shouldn't worry about it! 

The National Television System(s) Committee, the industry-wide standardization body created the NTSC system. It is an analog television system used in Korea, Japan, US, Canada and certain other places. An analog television system is one which encodes signals (both picture and sound ) by varying the amplitude and/or frequency of the signal. The NTSC system for television uses a type of video signal called the composite video signal in which the signals e.g. red, green, and blue signals for picture and sometimes audio signals are all mixed together. The NTSC standard is incompatible with most computer video standards, which generally use RGB video signals.
   
The NTSC system uses 29.97 interlaced frames of video per second. Each frame contains 525 lines and can contain 16 million different colors. The NTSC system interlaces its scanlines, drawing odd-numbered scanlines in odd-numbered fields and even-numbered scan lines in even-numbered fields. This yields a nearly flicker free image at approximately 59.94 Hz per second refresh frequency.

PAL is short for phase-alternating line, phase alternation by line or phase alternation line ,is a type of colour encoding system used in many parts of the world. PAL was developed by Walter Bruch in Germany and was first introduced in 1967. PAL delivers 625 lines at 50 half-frames per second as compared to 525/60Hz in NTSC. The PAL colour system is usually used with a video format that has 625 lines per frame and a refresh rate of 50 interlaced fields per second (or 25 full frames per second). This refresh rate of 50Hz is used because Europe has a AC power standard of 50Hz.Flicker is more likely to be noticed when using these standards. The name PAL is used where the phase of part of the colour information that exist in the video signal is reversed in each line. This reversion automatically corrects the phase error that occurs in the transmission of the signal by cancelling them out.
   
Both NTSC and PAL systems are incompatible with each other. So tapes that are recorded in NTSC cannot be viewed in PAL systems and vice versa. But there exists procedures by which they can be converted and viewed. Without standard conversion, it is impossible to view a video program that is recorded in a country with in US to be viewed in Europe without first converting it.

NTSC 525/60
Lines/Field
Horizontal Frequency 15.734 kHz
Vertical Frequency 60 Hz

PAL
Line/Field 625/50
Horizontal Freq. 15.625 kHz
Vertical Freq. 50 Hz

PAL M
Line/Field 525/60
Horizontal Freq. 15.750 kHz
Vertical Freq. 60 Hz 

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