What is NTSC?
NTSC is an abbreviated term for the National Television System Committee. This organization developed a format to encode analog television in North America. The original committee was founded in 1954 and stayed relevant until television began its digital conversion that we use today. There are three major formats used for analog television around the world. NTSC is used as well as SECAM and PAL. The format for analog television is the same, adhering to strict standards, but slight variations exist across the standard. All countries that use analog television are currently in the process of converting to digital television to meet the ATSC, DVB, ISDB, or DTMB standards for digital television.
NTSC analog television is noted by its uniform lines appearing on the television display. NTSC has 525 total lines, but only 480 lines are visible. The 480 lines give reference to the 480i resolution denotation commonly found in analog televisions.
What Countries Use NTSC Standards?
Each country will adhere to its own television standards for analog broadcasting and production. Usually, NTSC is only found in North America, but some parts of South America, Taiwan, the Philippines, Myanmar, Japan, and South Korea use NTSC. Although common in North America, much of the world used PAL, especially in China, India, and Western Europe. A third standard system for analog television broadcasting is SECAM which was found in France, Russia, and Africa.
What is PAL?
A much more common standard for analog television used worldwide is PAL. The PAL committee holds to an analog standard of 576 visible lines out of a total of 625 lines. To contrast the standard North American 480i resolution, PAL utilizes a 576i resolution. The PAL video uses color information that is reversed within each line. PAL is an abbreviation for Phase Altering Line, which is an automatic procedure that corrects phase errors, creating a steady and visible transmission signal. The result of the phase alteration is a higher-quality image with better resolution. Still, some color integrity is lost in the transition, although the lack of color is difficult to distinguish by the human eye.
What is SECAM?
The last alternative for analog television standardization is SECAM. This system is mostly used in France, Africa, and Russia. The analog program uses a SECAM color-coding system similar to PAL and NTSC. SECAM utilizes the luminance monochrome image and adds the chrominance color applied to the monochrome image. When combined, these two systems create a cohesive signal that is broadcast through video. Countries that currently use SECAM are converting to Digital Video Broadcasting or DVB. The conversation started in the 2000s, and most major television networks have already made the switch.