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Maximizing TV Playback

In our little world, there are three dominant standards for TV output: PAL, NTSC and SECAM.

Of the three, I have only seen PAL and NTSC being used by display adaptors. SECAM is a standard, mainly used in limited European countries, and thus ignored by the manufacturers.

The NTSC standard is used by the U.S., Canada and Japan and is one of the older standards in existance (which is the reason it is being replaced by law in the U.S. with the new HDTV standard, and is supposed to be taken off the air in 2008 I believe).

PAL is a slightly newer standard used in most of Europe, the Middle East, Australia and parts of Asia.

Here are some technical specification on both standards:

NTSC:
The NTSC signal is being broadcasted at 60 fields per second. Each frame is composed of two interlaced fields which, displayed in succession, form a single frame. This gives a TV frame rate of about 30 frames per second.
NTSC resolution used in VCD is either 352x240 at 29.97fps or 352x240 at 23.976fps.
NTSC resolution used in DVD is either 720x480 at 29.97fps or 720x480 at 23.976fps.

PAL:
The PAL signal is being broadcasted at 50 fields per second. Each frame is composed of two interlaced fields which, displayed in succession, form a single frame. This gives a TV frame rate of about 25 frames per second.
PAL resolution used in VCD is 352x288 at 25fps.
PAL resolution used in DVD is 720x576 at 25fps.

If you have a TV set supporting PAL-60, you should consider using it over NTSC, as the added resolution really does help, especially with DVD Playback. Otherwise, it's best to stick with the source's video format (viewing PAL DVDs in PAL mode and NTSC DVDs in NTSC mode).




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