As those of us who either make, buy or rent videos and DVDs know, there are three standard television formats--NTSC, PAL and SECAM. These can be a real problem (!), and I decided to create a section devoted to any issues regarding regions, formats, and anything else related to the subject. This was my field of study, and I just love technical stuff like this.
I'll start with some background information on each format:
NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) format: Probably the least common worldwide, this is used in countries such as the US, Canada, Mexico, many South American countries, and Japan.
PAL(Phase Alternating Line) format: Used all over Europe, some of Africa, some of the Middle East and Australia in many types: PAL, PAL-M, PAL-B.G.,PAL-D/K and PAL-I.
PAL is the most common television system around.
SECAM (Sequentiel couleur avec memoire)format: This is the TV format used in France, parts of the Middle East such as Iraq, and most former colonies of France.Its variations are: SECAM-B.G., SECAM D/K, SECAM-K1 and SECAM-L. It has the highest resolution of all three systems because of its "sequencing."
For a complete list of countries and their television formats, go to:
These standards apply to VHS tapes, all camcorder tapes, and DVDs, which although they are compressed in MPEG format, still require standards because of the decompression. VCD (video compact disc) is actually a very raw form of MPEG video,much like you would find on the Internet but much higher quality, and does not require standards conversion. You can play any VCD from anywhere on ANY television, provided that you have a VCD-compatible DVD player or just a basic VCD player. These can also be played on computers.
Well, this is my standards starter. Any questions? Enjoy your Tintin videos, DVDs, VCDs and also learn how they work!