Why do we still talk about PAL and NTSC?

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Svein Wisnaes

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Why do we still talk about PAL and NTSC?

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 4:43 pm

This has been lurking in the back of my head for some time now...

In the digital domain, there is no PAL or NTSC. And for those that do not have an analog tech background:

A little simplified, you can say PAL and NTSC is the color coding of the antenna signal, also referred to as RF. It has nothing to do with resolution or framerate.

The best example to illustrate this is Brazil.

Most of my life, I have worked in Europe and thus using 25 fps, but I am also familiar with USA that is using 29.97 fps. And all was bliss as we talked about these two as PAL and NTSC. Until I moved to Brazil.

Here, they used something called PAL-M. I wanted to play a DVD from Norway here and got some strange results. Much like if I tried playing a PAL DVD on NTSC equipment. So as Google is your friend, I did some digging. And this is what I found:

PAL-M has the same resolution and fps as USA. But it uses the PAL color coding. So this just told me a different words what I actually already knew - PAL and NTSC has nothing to do with resolution or framerate. It is just the color coding on an analog signal. And if you are working on a computer or with a digital broadcast, PAL and NTSC (and SECAM as well) does not exist any more.

It is starting to disappear, but as professionals, we should make sure we do not use incorrect terms in our work. I prefer to use the resolution names and fps, like 1080p 50 or 1080p 29.97. That makes it very clear what we are talking about.

What do you think? How do you prefer to communicate?
Regards,

Svein Wisnaes
Oceanwatcher Media - http://www.oceanwatcher.com/
Windows 10 Pro, HP Zbook 15 G2, Ultrastudio Express (Thunderbolt 2)
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Why do we still talk about PAL and NTSC?

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 7:53 pm

When I hear people discuss PAL/NTSC today, I assume they are talking about 25/50 vs 29.97/59.94 franerates, not analog video. Using the old TV standards as regional distinctions, I guess.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Why do we still talk about PAL and NTSC?

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 6:05 pm

Yes, using PAL and NTSC to indicate regions is not completely accurate either. I agree with Sevin, it is time to let analog video terms go the way of analog TV. We need to leave the old analog video/TV terms behind when discussing digital video/TV. The regional difference now is based on the frequency of your power source, 50 or 60Hz, which determines howmyoumshoot under artificial lights that reflect their current frequency. Using Pal to indicate 50Hz or NTSC for 60Hz is also adding to the confusion for new shooters. We should stick to digital terms when discussing digital video, 1080p25, 1080p29.94, etch. It is always better to be specific than use general, misleading terms -- leave that to the politicians!
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Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Svein Wisnaes

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Re: Why do we still talk about PAL and NTSC?

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 1:22 am

Jack Fairley wrote:When I hear people discuss PAL/NTSC today, I assume they are talking about 25/50 vs 29.97/59.94 franerates, not analog video. Using the old TV standards as regional distinctions, I guess.


If you read my whole post, than you would know that what you just assumed here is not correct. In Brazil, they had PAL, but a framerate of 29.97.

Denny - I totally agree. Let us get rid of incorrect labels :-)
Regards,

Svein Wisnaes
Oceanwatcher Media - http://www.oceanwatcher.com/
Windows 10 Pro, HP Zbook 15 G2, Ultrastudio Express (Thunderbolt 2)

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