NTSC Broadcast Standard

The National Television System Committee or NTSC standard represents the current analog broadcast format used since 1939. An NTSC image includes 525 lines of 720 pixels, interlaced @ 60 fields per second. The NTSC analog signal is broadcast at 60 Hz over the airwaves in the US. The FCC has mandated a change for all broadcast stations to a newer, more efficient DTV broadcast standard, which utilizes digital broadcast streams. The use of the digital formats will reduce the frequency range required to broadcast the same signal in the analog NTSC format, thus saving broadcast bandwidth. Many countries on the American continent used the NTSC standard as well as many Asian countries, including Japan. Most countries around the world use one of three main television broadcast standards. These three main standards are NTSC, PAL and SECAM. However, each standard is incompatible with the other. For example, a video recording made in the UK could not be played on US standard VCR’s or shown on the TV in the United States.

Published: May 29, 2005
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