Worldwide Video Standards

There are only three television standards in the world: PAL, NTSC, and SECAM. Each has their own attributes and they are not compatible with each other. DVD players as well as VHS players, are pre-made to read-only the TV standard they were created for. This is usually determined by the country the player was purchased in. Some of our equipment can playback other formats for example a VHS video recorder may be designed to record and playback PAL, however it may also be able to playback NTSC footage. We can also use hardware converters to change between the different systems if required. Here’s a brief explanation of the three different television standards and the countries that support them:

  • PAL (Phase Alternating Line) was developed in 1967 by the United Kingdom & Germany. PAL standard utilizes a wider channel bandwidth than NTSC which allows for better picture quality. It’s Parameters are as follows:

    Lines: 525
    Frame rate: 25 Hz
    SD Picture resolution: 720 x 576; 704 x 576; 352 x 576; 352 x 288

    The countries that support PAL are as follows:

    Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liberia, Luxemburg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Rumania, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) is the oldest existing standard, developed in the USA and first used in 1954. It’s parameters are as follows:

    Lines: 625
    Frame rate: 29.97 Hz
    SD Picture resolutions: 720 x 480; 704 x 480; 352 x 480; 352 x 240

    The Countries that support NTSC video are as follows:

    Antilles, Netherlands, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Burma, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Surinam, Taiwan, Tobago, Trinidad, United States of America, Venezuela.
  • SECAM (Squentiel couleurmmoire) was developed in France in 1967. SECAM uses the same bandwidth and resolution (720×576) as PAL but transmits the colour information sequentially.

The countries that support SECAM are as follows:

Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Czechoslovakia, Djibouti, Egypt, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Greece, Guadalupe, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Martinique, Mauritius, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, North Korea, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Syria , Togo, Tunisia, Vietnam, Western Samoa, Zaire.