Standards Conversion (PAL-NTSC-SECAM)
PAL – Phase Alternating Line
NTSC – National Television System Committee
SECAM – Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire (or Sequential Color with Memory)
PAL, NTSC and SECAM are 3 different video formats used in the world. The different formats use different frame rates and resolution.
The map on the left shows which county uses which standard for Video. Countries using SECAM adopted PAL standard for DVD.
PAL (used in the UK) has a screen size of 720 x 520 lines and plays back video at 25 frames per second.
NTSC (used in the US) has a screen size of 720 x 480 lines and plays back video at 30 frames per second.
In other words a PAL video will play too slow on a US video machine and display a picture too large for the TV. This will result in the video player showing a distorted image on screen or vice versa on a UK video.
It may be possible for PAL player to play an NTSC DVDs as they can upscale the video. NTSC players will not be able to play a PAL DVD though as they can not downscale the video.
If you are retailing DVDs in different counties you will need versions in the format those countries use.
Please Note: Region free DVDs still need to be converted to ensure correct playability in other counties that use a different standard.