Worldwide Video Standards

There are a lot of TV broadcast standards in the world, but there are only 5 video standards: NTSC, PAL, SECAM, PAL-M and MESECAM. If you've heard of NTSC 4.43 and NTSC 3.58, or PAL D/K, PAL I, PAL B/G and PAL-N, forget about them when we discuss VHS formats. All these parameters should be taken into account when we connect a VCR up to a TV set, but anyway they are not "recorded" on a VHS.

These 5 standards could be subdivided into two incompatible groups: one group includes NTSC and PAL-M, and another group includes PAL, SECAM and MESECAM. Speaking about the incompatibility, they usually mention a frame rate difference (30 frames per second in the first group and 25 in the second one), but often forget about a tape speed (about 1.5 times higher for the first group), while it's the main reason of the incompatibility. If you try to play a VHS on a VCR from the other group, you'll see nothing. If you play a VHS on an other standard VCR, but being of the same group, the picture will be black and white in most cases, but at least it'll be sharp and watchable.

So, people from countries marked pink should buy NTSC videos,
while those from countries marked blue should buy PAL videos.

If you've got a multi-system VCR and TV set, you could watch both NTSC and PAL videos.

It's just a brief introduction in video standards. If you want to re-record videos for sale or trade, you should learn more about the subject.

 

AfghanistanSECAM / PAL
AlbaniaPAL
AlgeriaPAL
AndorraPAL
AngolaPAL
ArgentinaPAL-N
ArmeniaSECAM
ArubaNTSC
AustrailiaPAL
AustriaPAL
AzerbaijanSECAM
AzoresPAL
BahamasNTSC
BahrainPAL
BangladeshPAL
BarbadosNTSC
BelgiumPAL
BelizeNTSC
BeninSECAM
Bermuda IslandNTSC
BolivaNTSC
BosniaPAL
BotswanaPAL
BrazilPAL-M
BruneiPAL
BulgariaSECAM
Burkina FasoSECAM
BurmaNTSC
BurundiSECAM
ByelarusSECAM
CambodiaNTSC
CameroonPAL
CanadaNTSC
Canary IslandPAL
Cayman IslandNTSC
Central African RepublicSECAM
ChadSECAM
ChileNTSC
ChinaPAL
ColumbiaNTSC
CongoSECAM
Costa RicaNTSC
CretePAL
CroatiaPAL
CubaNTSC
CyprusPAL
Czech RepublicPAL
DenmarkPAL
DjiboutiSECAM
DominicaNTSC
EcuadorNTSC
EgyptPAL
El SalvadorNTSC
Equatorial GuineaPAL
EstoniaSECAM / PAL
EthiopiaPAL
Falkland IslandsPAL
FijiPAL
FinlandPAL
FranceSECAM
GabonSECAM
GambiaPAL
GeorgiaSECAM
GermanyPAL
GhanaPAL
GilbraltarPAL
GreeceSECAM / PAL
GreenlandPAL
GrenadaNTSC
GuadeloupeSECAM
GuamNTSC
GuatemalaNTSC
GuineaPAL
Guyana (French)SECAM
GuyanaNTSC
HaitiNTSC
HondurasNTSC
Hong KongPAL
HungaryPAL
IcelandPAL
IndiaPAL
IndonesiaPAL
IranSECAM
IraqSECAM
IrelandPAL
IsraelPAL
ItalyPAL
Ivory CoastSECAM
JamaicaNTSC
JapanNTSC
JordanPAL
KazakhstanSECAM
KenyaPAL
Korea (North)SECAM
Korea (South)NTSC
KuwaitPAL
KyrgyzstanSECAM
LaosPAL
LatviaSECAM / PAL
LebanonSECAM
LesothoPAL

LiberiaPAL
LibyaSECAM
LithuaniaSECAM / PAL
LuxembourgSECAM / PAL
MacaoPAL
MacedoniaPAL
MadagascarSECAM
MadeiraPAL
MalawiPAL
MalaysiaPAL
MaldivesPAL
MaliSECAM
MaltaPAL
MartiniqueSECAM
MauritaniaSECAM
MauritiusSECAM
MexicoNTSC
MoldavaSECAM
MonacoSECAM / PAL
MongoliaSECAM
MontserratNTSC
MoroccoSECAM
MozambiquePAL
MyanmarNTSC
NamibiaPAL
NepalPAL
NetherlandsPAL
New CaledoniaSECAM
New ZealandPAL
NicaraguaNTSC
NigerSECAM
NigeriaPAL
Norfolk IslandPAL
NorwayPAL
OkinawaNTSC
OmanPAL
PakistanPAL
PanamaNTSC
Papua New GuineaPAL
ParaguayPAL-N
PeruNTSC
PhilippinesNTSC
PolandSECAM / PAL
Polynesia (French)SECAM
PortugalPAL
Puerto RicoNTSC
QatarPAL
ReunionSECAM
RomaniaPAL
RussiaSECAM
São TomePAL
Saudi ArabiaSECAM / PAL
SenegalSECAM
Seychelles IslandPAL
Sierra LeonePAL
SingaporePAL
SlovakiaSECAM / PAL
SloveniaPAL
SomaliaPAL
South AfricaPAL
SpainPAL
Sri LankaPAL
St. GrenadinesNTSC
St. LuciaNTSC
St. MarinoPAL
St. VincentNTSC
SudanPAL
SurinamNTSC
SwazilandPAL
SwedenPAL
SwitzerlandPAL
SyriaSECAM
TahitiSECAM
TaiwanNTSC
TajikistanSECAM
TanzaniaPAL
ThailandPAL
TogoSECAM
TongaNTSC
Trinadad / TabagoNTSC
TunisiaSECAM
TurkeyPAL
TurkmenistanSECAM
UgandaPAL
UkraineSECAM
United Arab EmiratesPAL
United KingdomPAL
United States Of AmericaNTSC
UruguayPAL-N
UzbekistanSECAM
VenezuelaNTSC
VietnamPAL
Virgin Ilnd (Amer.)NTSC
Virgin Ilnd (Brit.)NTSC
YemenPAL
YugoslaviaPAL
ZaireSECAM
ZambiaPAL
ZanzibarPAL
ZimbabwePAL


 SECAM is a PAL-compatible format. If your TV set doesn't support PAL, the picture will be b/w. If you try to play an NTSC VHS on a PAL or SECAM VCR, you'll see nothing because of a speed difference.

 PAL-M is an NTSC-compatible format. If your TV set doesn't support NTSC, the picture will be b/w. If you try to play a PAL VHS on a PAL-M or NTSC VCR, you'll see nothing because of a speed difference.

PAL-N is absolutely PAL-compatible if we speak about VHS recordings.


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