What Is Video Standards Conversion?
The majority of the world uses TV standards that are different and incompatible with the US TV standard (NTSC). Therefore, foreign video recordings cannot be played on US equipment, or even displayed on US standard TV sets. As part of our video duplication services at RMAVP, we also convert foreign video’s (also referred to as Digital Standards Conversion). With our digital standards conversion services, we can make a complex task super easy for you – just send us your master tape and we’ll do the rest!
What is the process?
We’ll take your master video tape and play it on a compatible deck. This signal is then sent to a “Standards Converter” where the video signal is reassembled to the video format that we want to duplicate to. Sounds simple, but is a rather complex process. We can convert your video to or from NTSC, PAL, or SECAM.
Why are there different video standards?
Here’s a little history why - In 1953 the US was the first country to widely implement the first color TV broadcast system based on the NTSC standard (National Television System Committee). Currently, NTSC standard is used in the US and in most countries of the Western Hemisphere as well as Japan and some other countries of Asia. Frame rate (number of times the screen is redrawn in a second) is 29.97frames per second with 525 lines/frame.
Later in the 50’s and early 60’s the PAL standard (Phase Alternating Line) was adopted by most European countries, except for France, which uses the SECAM standard (the French acronym for Sequential Color with Memory). With wider channel bandwidth, these standards allow for better picture quality than NTSC. Both PAL and SECAM have frame rates of 25 frames per second with 625 lines/frame. In addition to different frame rates and line numbers, standard video speed is slower in PAL and SECAM than in NTSC.
Brazil uses a TV broadcast standard called M-PAL, which is a hybrid of NTSC (for luminance information) and PAL (for chrominance information). Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay use N-PAL, which is a modified version of PAL (with narrower bandwidth). MESECAM, which is partially compatible with SECAM, is used by most former Soviet-block countries and by many countries in the Middle East.
The process called standards conversion makes possible to display video in one standard which was broadcast or recorded in a different standard. To accurately output video in the desired standard, the standards converter (also called scan converter) eliminates superfluous frames and lines or “makes up” the “missing” ones. The output represents interpolated frames based on comparison of individual input frames.
List of Countries and associated TV Broadcast Standards
Some TV Stations in Eastern European countries have started broadcasting in the PAL standard, since the Berlin Wall cam down. Therefore, some of the countries listed in the SECAM/MESECAM column may also have PAL broadcasting standard. However, since practically all video players sold in those countries can read both PAL and SECAM/MESECAM video, choosing the right standard isn’t a problem when sending videos for use in these countries.
|Australia||PAL||Gabon||SECAM||Malta||PAL||St. Martin||NTSC + PAL + SECAM|
|Bangladesh||PAL||Greece||SECAM||Monaco||PAL + |
|Brazil||PAL-M||Haiti||NTSC + |
|Canary Islands||PAL||Indonesia||PAL||Panama||NTSC||United Arab |
|Congo||SECAM||Israel||PAL||Poland||PAL + |
|Costa Rica||NTSC||Italy||PAL||Portugal||PAL||Viet Nam||SECAM|
|Cuba||NTSC||Ivory Coast||SECAM||Puerto Rico||NTSC||Virgin Islands (US)||NTSC|
|Czech Republic||PAL + |
|Jordan||PAL||Romania||PAL + |
|Dominican Republic||NTSC||Kuwait||PAL||Saudi Arabia||PAL + |
Since NTSC consumes Tape at a higher rate (2.0 meters/minute) then PAL and SECAM (1.42 meters/minute), blank NTSC tapes allow for longer recording times in PAL/SECAM and blank PAL/SECAM tapes will appear too short when recorded in NTSC. The table below compares recording times in NTSC and PAL/SECAM.