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Television Standards Converters, Modulators etc Standards converters, modulators anything else for providing signals to vintage televisions.

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Old 16th Feb 2008, 10:56 pm   #1
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Default Pal, Ntsc, Secam

In another thread Michael Maurice said:
I think its more complicated than that and highly political. Colour was invented in the aftermath of WW2, the Americans were there first with NTSC, PAL was developed by the German Telefunken company who looked at the Amercan System and brought in the correction system that NTSC lacked.

The French developed SECAM because they hated the Germans and didn't want to support their system.

The British were working with the Germans so adopted PAL as did the rest of Europe.

The Middle East always had French leaning, so they adopted the SECAM system except Israel which adopted PAL. The Russians also took to the SECAM system for the same reasons. Russians and those who lived in the communist block would still have been able to receive broadcasts from the West though not in colour.
It was even more complex than this. Something pretty close to PAL was developed in the Hazeltine labs in the 1950s but for various reasons it wasn't practical at the time. Bruch and his team at Telefunken took these ideas and developed them into PAL in the 1960s. The BBC actually wanted to use NTSC for some years but they eventually settled on PAL. Some ITV companies also pressed for NTSC. There was a small SECAM lobby in the UK but they were definitely a minority.

SECAM was designed to overcome the vulnerability of NTSC to distortions by using FM subcarriers. Unfortunately this made it really difficult to use in the studio. The Russians adopted it partly for political reasons but also for 2 technical ones. It was better than PALfor working over very long and mediocre quality distribution networks. It could be recorded on the Russian copies of 2" quadruplex VTRs. NTSC and PAL needed the latest VTR technology (Colortec was the Ampex trademark, an early form of timebase corrector) and the Russians just didn't have this capability at the time.

With the benefit of hindsight and modern technology, NTSC can work really well. PAL likewise but it's harder to decode it without cross-clour artifacts. SECAM just seems like a horrible kludge, possibly suitable for transmission but pretty evil for anything else. You can't dismantle a SECAM signal for further processing without serious losses. It's no surprise that the French were early and enthusiastic adopters of analogue component for studio work (Betacam recorders etc).
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Old 17th Feb 2008, 8:58 pm   #2
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Default Re: Pal, Ntsc, Secam

I heard the Sovietunion made a deal with the French. If they chose SECAM the French would supply them with colour picture tubes. The french never kept their end of the deal.

I'm not shure this is a fact. Does anybody know?
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