International Video Standards

International Video Standards

International Video Standards

VE Associations supports the duplication and replication of virtually every international standard. There are 3 main video standards used around the world: NTSC (National Television System Committee), PAL (Phase Alternating Line), and SECAM (Séquentiel Couleur à Mémoire — Sequential Color with Memory). When video tape was invented, different manufacturers developed different methods to translate the video signal from the player to the TV. The NTSC standardization was first approved for color TVs in the US in 1953. Other standards were developed shortly thereafter and adopted in other parts of the world. 

NTSC (National Television System Committee) is the video standard used in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, and some South American countries. The video signal, which allows for manual adjustment of hue, consists of 525 lines of resolution and electronically cycles at the rate of 60 Hertz.

PAL (Phase Alternation by Line) is widely used in Europe, except in France. The signal consists of 625 lines of resolution and electronically cycles at a rate of 50 Hertz. This method does not allow for the manual adjustment of hue but automatically averages the hue signal between the original signal and the reversed mirror image.

SECAM (Séquentiel Couleur à Mémoire) is found in France, Russia, and the Middle East. It is very similar to PAL in that it consists of 625 lines of resolution and electronically cycles at the rate of 50 Hertz; the only difference is the way the color is processed.

Although most of the world is dominated by these 3 variations, there are also a few minor standards. Since the reunification of Germany, some Eastern European countries have started broadcasting in PAL, while maintaining the SECAM/MESECAM standards. In these countries, practically all VCRs sold can read both PAL and SECAM/MESECAM tapes.

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