Difference Between NTSC and PAL

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Main Difference

The main difference between these two TV display systems is that NTSC is commonly used in North American, Canada and other countries where it delivers a frame rate of 30 frames per second using 525 lines. On the other hand, PAL is commonly used in European and Asian countries where it delivers a frame rate of 25 fps with 625 lines.

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Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionNTSCPAL
DefinitionNTSC is the name of an analog TV system being used in the most of the American areas, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and several other Pacific island territories and nations.PAL is the name of a color video encoding system particularly designed for the analog TV system and is widely used for broadcasting purpose in those countries using broadcasting at 625-line per field in each second.
Video Bandwidth4.2 MHz5.0 MHz
Sound Carrier4.5 MHz5.5 MHz
Channel Bandwidth6 MHz7 to 8 MHz
Vertical Frequency60 Hz50 Hz
Horizontal Frequency15.734 kHz15.614 kHz
Color Subcarrier Frequency/Chrominance Carrier3.579545 MHz4.433618 MHz
Lines/Field525/60625/50
Blanking Setup7.5 IRE0.0 IRE
AbbreviationNational Television Standards CommitteePhase Alternating Line

NTSC

Stands for National Television System Committee, NTSC is the name of an analog TV system being used in the most of the American areas, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and several other Pacific island territories and nations. It was first introduced in 1941 with no provision for color at that time. The second standard of NTSC was adopted in 1953 that for the first time introduced the broadcasting for the color TV and was fully adjustable with a stock of black and white receivers. For four decades it was used by selected countries, however, in 1997, it was internationally adopted by the other countries as well. For the first time after 1997, it was used to replace the several other existing digital standards like ATSC and others. Currently, many countries are using NTSC and continuously switching to this modern digital TV standard. The distinguish characteristic of NTSC is that it transmit almost thirty frames in each second. Each frame is then made up of the approximately 525 individual scan lines. Although it succeeds in replacing various color standards still it is incompatible with the most of the computer video standards that relies on RGB video signals. But there is a solution in the shape of video adapters that convert NTSC signals into computer specified video signals.

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PAL

Stands for Phase Alternating Lane, PAL is the name of a color video encoding system particularly designed for the analog TV system and is widely used for broadcasting purpose in those countries using broadcasting at 625-line per field in each second. The countries that are using PAL are now in the process of moving towards other standards like DTMB, ISDB, and DVB. PAL was for the first time introduced in 1950 with the attention of replacing NTSC because it was facing several weaknesses like color tone shifting and improper transmission conditions in the European areas. To overcome the issues being generated by NTSC, several other alternative standards were devised, and PAL was one of them. It was introduced with the aim of providing a color TV standard for those European countries using picture frequency of fifty fields per second and removing the problems than being generated by the NTSC standard system. Among a lot of differences between NTSC and PAL is that PAL has 576 visible lines as compared to the 480 lines of NTSC that make the PAL a video standard with 20% higher resolution. Moreover, PAL used 50p as compared to the 60p frame rate used by the NTSC. It is now a predominant video standard and system mostly used overseas.

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Key Differences

  • The countries with electricity supply of 60Hz are using NTSC system while countries with electricity supply of 50Hz are using PAL system.
  • NTSC has faster image transferring speed and higher frame rate as compared to the PAL.
  • As PAL has a higher image resolution as compared to the NTSC, so its image quality is better.
  • Picture size and pixel aspect ratio in NTSC discs are 720×480 while it is 720×576 in PAL discs.
  • Frame display rate in NTSC is 30, and it is 25 in PAL.
  • Video conversion from NTSC to PAL is not supported while the conversion is supported from PAL to NTSC.
  • The main countries that support NTSC videos are Antilles, Netherlands, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Burma, Canada, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, etc. The countries that support PAL videos are Algeria, Angola, Australia, Bahrain, Germany, Liberia, Pakistan, Oman, United Kingdom, Turkey, etc.
  • Four picture resolutions of NTSC are 720 x 480; 704 x 480; 352 x 480 and 352 x 240. Whereas four picture resolutions supported by PAL are 720 x 576; 704 x 576; 352 x 576; 352 x 288.
  • NTSC used 525 scan lines of which 486 are active while PAL has 625 scan lines of which 576 are active.
  • NTSC used 29.97 interlaced frames per second with a signal frequency of 60 Hz while PAL runs 25 interlaced frames per second with a signal frequency of 50 Hz.

Video Explanation