Definitions of PAL

Definitions of PAL

PAL system formats

According to abbreviationfinder, the PAL color system is commonly used with a video format of 625 lines per frame (a frame is a complete image, made up of two interlaced fields) and a screen refresh rate of 25 frames per second, interlaced, as is the case with example in the PAL- B, G, H, I and N variants. Some Eastern European countries that abandoned the SECAM system now use PAL D or K, adaptations to keep some technical aspects of SECAM in PAL.

In Brazil, a 525-line, 29.97-frame-per-second version of PAL, PAL M, is used, very close to NTSC on the color subcarrier frequency (3.575611 MHz). The Brazilian telecommunications regulator, Anatel, decided in the early 1970s to use its own standard to prevent the importation of color receivers and allow compatibility with monochrome receivers. On the other hand, the NTSC tests carried out in that country in the 1960s had been very disappointing due to the loss of color quality when the signal was distributed over long distances. Almost all other countries that use the black and white M standard use NTSC as the color system. InArgentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, PAL is used with the standard 625-line system, although with the color subcarrier frequency (3.582056 MHz) very close to that of NTSC. These variants are called PAL-N and PAL-CN. When television began in Argentina, the receiving and transmitting equipment, from the United States, had to be adjusted in its vertical scanning parameters to adapt to the 50Hz frequency of the electricity service (625 lines per image and 25 images per second), but maintaining the other radiofrequency parameters: channel scheme, bandwidth, image and sound carrier separation, etc. Thus, the N standards were born by derivation of the M standards. When color television began in that country (May 1, 1980), to maintain these same parameters and allow reception on monochrome televisions, it was decided to use the PAL system. with norm no.

Commonly in some Latin American countries, video equipment manufacturers present tri-standard receivers that can be used in any country of the American continent, where NTSC-M, PAL-M and PAL-N are the standards used. In Europe, newer PAL television receivers can display signals from all of these systems, except in some cases PAL-M and PAL-N. Most can also receive SECAM signals from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, except typically France, except on equipment from French manufacturers. Many can even display signals in NTSC-M standard in baseband.input only through its video inputs for signals from a VCR or video game console.

When the video is transmitted in baseband, most of the differences between the PAL variants are no longer significant, except for vertical resolution and frame refresh rate. In this context, referring to the PAL system implies referring to systems with 625 horizontal lines at 25 frames per second, interlaced, with the color coded according to each of the existing variants.

Digital PAL

The PAL system is analog. There was an attempt to make equipment that would digitize the PAL signal in the 1980s, but it was not commercially successful and they are now a rarity. In digital devices, such as digital television, modern game consoles , computers, etc., color component systems are used where the signals R, G and B or Y (luminance), RY and BY (difference color). In these cases, only the number of lines 625 / 525 and the frame rate 25 / 30 are taken into account. Systems based on the MPEG-2 standard, such as DVD, deserve special mention.and satellite television, cable television, or digital terrestrial television (DTT); but it is another television system that has practically nothing to do with PAL.

Comparison of resolutions between PAL and NTSC

In PAL, also known as 576i, a scanning system of 625 total lines and 576 active lines is used, since 49 lines are used for blanking. In NTSC, also known as 480i, a scanning system of 525 total lines and 480 active lines (those that are restored on the screen) is used, since 45 lines, which are not visible, are used for erasing. Because the brain can resolve less information than actually exists, we can speak of the “usage ratio” or ” Kell factor “, which is defined as the ratio of subjective resolution to objective resolution. The Kell factor for interlaced systems like PAL and NTSC is 0.7 (for progressive systems it is 0.9). So, both in PAL and NTSC we have to:

Subjective Resolution / Objective Resolution = 0.7

The objective resolution of PAL is 576 lines, while that of NTSC is 480 lines. In this way, in PAL we have a subjective resolution of 403.2 lines; while in NTSC 336 lines are perceived. Therefore, PAL offers a subjective and objective resolution of 20% higher than NTSC.

Geographic distribution of PAL formats

Countries and territories that use PAL B/G or PAL D/K

in Europe

Albania, Germany, Ascension Island, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Republic of Ireland, Faroe Islands, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City

in asia

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, PRC, Cyprus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Palestinian Territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank), Turkey and Yemen.

in africa

Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland,Tanzania, Tristan da Cunha, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

in Oceania

Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

Countries and territories using PAL-I

Hong Kong, Falkland Islands, Macau, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Angola.

Countries and territories using PAL-M

Brazil (NTSC & PAL-M) and Laos (SECAM & PAL-M).

Countries and territories using PAL-NC or PAL-N

Argentina (PAL-NC), Paraguay and Uruguay (PAL-N)

Countries and territories that use NTSC

Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, and the rest of the countries not named above.


Current televisions are Pal and NTSC simultaneously.

Before you had to buy a TV in one format or another, logically if you bought it in Spain this would surely be PAL format, later the manufacturers realized that it was not very profitable for them to manufacture two types of TV of the same model, one in PAL and another in NTSC, so they finally decided to implement both technologies in the same model to be able to use a switch that the user or technician decides between PAL and NTSC, later this selection is made automatically by the TV, that is, the switch and she is able to know what kind of signal she is receiving and adapt to it.

Definitions of PAL

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