Realistically, the difference


Realistically, the difference now is no longer critical at all, unless you need to squirt you video in analague to a conventional colour TV through the antenna input – and I guess we don't really do that any longer. UK PAL TV had a frame size different to US NTSC, and had different subcarrier frequencies and methods of handling the interlaced pictures and how colour was derived. Now we are in the digital domain – it's mainly historic. So 25/50 frame rates are what PAL used and the US ones, were based around 60/120, with the wierd sub-standards of drop frame 29.97.

If you have a file created on a camera in the UK, we would normally use 25 or 50 fps because it matches everything else we have – old displays VT machines etc, in the States, 30/60 makes sense. However – both of us could happily use the other system nowadays. The differences between PAL and NTSC were mainly because we handle the colour information differently – with digital files, this doesn't matter any more. Computers and other display devices only look at frame rates – so the cameras that have compositve video ouputs will be one or the other, and sticking NTSC into a PAL CRT monitor doesn't work! 

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