NTSC and PAL- Which Should You Choose?


Key Points:

  • If you are going to set up a surveillance system, NTSC/PAL cameras/receivers will work anywhere… as long as they are paired with cameras/receivers that use the same format(NTSC/PAL).
  • But you can not put a NTSC camera with a PAL receiver, and vice versa.
  • If you’re trying to pick up TV signals on a car DVD player or TV set which operates on a different color format with your country’s format, then it won’t work.
  • Some product has PAL / NTSC auto switching:  Most digital TVs, Some Car DVD Player…
  • PAL and NTSC rear-view cameras for car DVD players are not affected by color formats. Usually a NTSC reversing camera with a PAL car DVD player will work.

What’s the Difference Between NTSC and PAL?

If you’ve ever tried to watch a video from Europe on your American TV, you may have found that the images are scrambled and the sound quality is very poor. This is caused by differing broadcast formats used around the world. Basically, unless the same format is being used between two mediums, such as between a camcorder and a television, the result will be unwatchable. Therefore, it’s important to match up the corresponding formats when you are purchasing a movie or video device, such as car dvd players, digital camcorders, or security cameras.

The format used by the United States is called NTSC, or National Television Standards Committee, while Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia use PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line.

Below you will find a diagram showing which format is accepted throughout the world.

Difference Between PAL and NTSC
It may be difficult for most people to notice the difference between NTSC and PAL, here are the technical details of each respective format:
-PAL televisions produce 25 frames per second while those of NTSC produce 30 frames per second.
-PAL signal is sent out at 50 fields per second while NTSC is at 60 fields per second.
-PAL has better picture resolution than NTSC

What’s the Point of Having Different Broadcast Formats?

The reason for the difference in broadcasting formats is due to the electrical power systems used in their respective countries. Power stations in the United States generate power at 60Hz, so for technical reasons it is necessary to send out the television signal at 60 fields per second, which to the human eye appear to be 30 full frames per second.

Since Europe uses a 50Hz power supply, the PAL signal is sent out at 50 fields per second, or 25 alternating lines. When NTSC video is converted to PAL, 5 frames are added per second. Likewise, when PAL media is to be made playable, 5 frames per second must be removed, or else the motion will appear too slow.

And if things weren’t complicated enough, there is one more format: SECAM, (Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire or Sequential Colour with Memory), which was implemented as a PAL alternative by France. Due to Cold War machinations, it was later adopted by East Germany.

The main cause for the incompatibility between formats is difference in electrical power systems used. The power grids of the United States operate at a frequency of 60Hz, whereas in Europe, their power frequency is 50Hz. The new color codes (PAL and SECAM) were created not only to fix the frequency issue, but they also addressed a flaw in the NTSC design: in areas with weak signal transmissions, the hue of the image was adversely affected. Thanks to this fix, television viewers in PAL and SECAM zones do not suffer this issue.

List of Countries and Their Supported Formats
For a more precise list of countries and their specific formats, please check the table below to read about each country’s specific format:

Country Video Format
Abu Dhabi

Afghanistan

Albania

Algeria

American Samoa

Andorra

Angola

Antigua

Antilles (Dutch)

Argentina

Aruba

Ascension Island

Australia

Austria

Azores

Azerbaijan

PAL

PAL/SECAM

PAL

PAL

NTSC

SECAM/PAL

PAL

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

NTSC

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM

Bahamas

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Barbados

Barbuda

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bermuda

Bolivia

Bosnia Herzegovinia

Botswana

Brazil

British Virgin Islands

Brunei

Bulgaria

Burkina Faso

Burma

Burundi

NTSC

PAL

PAL

NTSC

NTSC

SECAM

PAL

NTSC

SECAM

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

PAL

PAL M

NTSC

PAL

SECAM

SECAM

NTSC

SECAM

Cambodia (Kampuchea)

Cameroon

Canada

Canary Islands

Cape Verde

Caymen Islands

Central African Republic

Chad

Chile

China, Peoples Republic

Christmas Island

Columbia

Congo, Peoples Republic

Cook Island

Corsica

Costa Rica

Croatia

Cuba

Curacao

Cyprus

Cyprus, Turkish

Czech Republic

SECAM

PAL

NTSC

PAL

PAL

PAL/NTSC

SECAM

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

PAL

NTSC

SECAM

PAL

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

PAL

SECAM/PAL

Dahomey

Denmark

Diego Garcia

Djibouti

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Dubai

SECAM

PAL

NTSC

SECAM

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

Easter Island

Ecuador

Egypt

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Estonia

Ethiopia

PAL

NTSC

SECAM/PAL

NTSC

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

Falkland Islands

Faro Islands

Fiji

Finland

France

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM

Gabon

Galopagos Island

Gambia

Gaza & West Bank

Georgia

Germany

Ghana

Gibraltor

Greece

Greenland

Grenada

Guadeloupe

Guam

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Guyana, French

Guyana Republic

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

PAL

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM/PAL

NTSC/PAL

NTSC

SECAM

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

PAL

SECAM

NTSC

Haiti

Holland

Honduras

Hong Kong

Hungary

NTSC

PAL

NTSC

PAL

SECAM/PAL

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Ivory Coast

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM

Jamaica

Japan

Johnston Islands

Jordan

NTSC

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

Kampuchea

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Korea, North

Korea, South

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

SECAM

SECAM

PAL

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

SECAM

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Leeward Islands

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

PAL

PAL/SECAM

PAL

NTSC

PAL

PAL

SECAM

PAL

PAL/SECAM

PAL/SECAM

Macau

Macedonia

Madagascar

Madeira

Malawi

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali

Mariana Islands

Malta

Marshall Islands

Martinique

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mexico

Micronesia

Midway Islands

Monaco

Montenegro

Mongolia

Montserrat

Morocco

Mozambique

Myanmar

PAL

PAL

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

NTSC

SECAM

SECAM

SECAM

NTSC

NTSC

NTSC

SECAM/PAL

PAL

SECAM

NTSC

SECAM

PAL

NTSC

Namibia

Nepal

Netherlands

New Caledonia

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

Norfolk Island

Norway

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM

PAL

NTSC

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

Okinawa

Oman

NTSC

PAL

Pakistan

Palau

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Polynesia

Portugal

Puerto Rico

PAL

NTSC

NTSC

PAL

PAL

NTSC

NTSC

SECAM/PAL

SECAM

PAL

NTSC

Qatar PAL
Reunion

Romania

Russia

Rwanda

SECAM

SECAM/PAL

SECAM

SECAM

Samoa

Sardinia

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Singapore

SLovakia, Republic

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

Somalia

South Africa

Spain

Sri Lanka

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Pierre

St. Vincent

Sudan

Surinam

Swaziland

Sweden

Switzerland

Syria

NTSC

PAL

SECAM/PAL

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

NTSC

NTSC

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

NTSC

PAL

PAL

PAL

SECAM/PAL

Tahiti

Tajikistan

Taiwan

Tanzania

Thailand

Togo

Tonga

Trinidad & Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Turks & Caicos Islands

SECAM

SECAM

NTSC

PAL

PAL

SECAM

Tonga

NTSC

SECAM

PAL

SECAM

?

Ukraine

Uganda

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

Uruguay

United States of America

Uzbekistan

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL

PAL

NTSC

SECAM

Vanuatu

Vatican

Venezuela

Vietnam

Virgin Islands

PAL

PAL

NTSC

NTSC/SECAM

NTSC

Wallis Island SECAM
Yemen

Yugoslavia

PAL

PAL

Zaire

Zambia

Zanzibar

Zimbabwe

SECAM

PAL

PAL

PAL


Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/support/public_html/wp-content/themes/fusion/comments.php on line 59