New TVs will display NTSC and PAL

PAL or NTSC - that's the difference

The television standards PAL and NTSC determine how picture and sound are transmitted. In our practical tip, we'll show you whether you should use NTSC or PAL and what the difference between the two standards is.

The difference between NTSC and PAL

The NTSC television standard is only used in the United States and some parts of Asia. The rest of the world relies on PAL.

  • In the PAL format, frame rates of 50 FPS (frames per second) or a multiple or divisor thereof are used. These are, for example, 12.5 FPS, 25 FPS or 100 FPS.
  • In the NTSC format, the frame rates are multiples or divisors of 24 or 30. For example 15, 24, 30, 48, 60 or even 120 FPS.
  • With a few settings, the frame rates of NTSC and PAL are the same. This is the standard for most movies: 24 FPS and 48 FPS.
  • Both standards do not differ in terms of video quality. The following applies: the higher the resolution, the lower the frame rate and vice versa.

PAL or NTSC: what to use?

  • In principle, you can use both standards for video recordings, you will not notice any difference. However, the end device must be set to the correct standard. Most televisions and game consoles do this automatically.
  • However, you should avoid mixing both standards. If you are composing a video from several videos, all videos should be in either PAL or NTSC, otherwise jerking can occur. The frame rates used may, however, differ from one another.

In the next practical tip, we will show you how to create a time-lapse video with the GoPro. It doesn't matter whether you record in PAL or NTSC format.