Browse Definitions :
Definition

National Television Standards Committee (NTSC)

Contributor(s): Roopesh Doshi

The NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) was responsible for developing, in 1953, a set of standard protocol for television (TV) broadcast transmission and reception in the United States. Two other standards - Phase Alternation Line (PAL) and Sequential Couleur avec Memoire (SECAM) - are used in other parts of the world. The NTSC standards have not changed significantly since their inception, except for the addition of new parameters for color signals. NTSC signals are not directly compatible with computer systems.

An NTSC TV image has 525 horizontal lines per frame (complete screen image). These lines are scanned from left to right, and from top to bottom. Every other line is skipped. Thus it takes two screen scans to complete a frame: one scan for the odd-numbered horizontal lines, and another scan for the even-numbered lines. Each half-frame screen scan takes approximately 1/60 of a second; a complete frame is scanned every 1/30 second. This alternate-line scanning system is known as interlacing.

Adapters exist that can convert NTSC signals to digital video that a computer can "understand." Conversely, there are devices that can convert computer video to NTSC signals, allowing a TV receiver to be used as a computer display. But because a conventional TV receiver has lower resolution than a typical computer monitor, this does not work well for all computer applications, even if the TV screen is very large.

In recent years, there has been increasing pressure to adopt a new set of TV standards. One of the proposed protocols is known as high-definition television (HDTV). Ideally, the HDTV standard that is ultimately adopted will be directly compatible with computer systems. However, there are engineering problems associated with this. Some industry experts fear such compatibility could dramatically increase the cost of a conventional TV set.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About National Television Standards Committee (NTSC)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from cyberattacks.

  • asymmetric cryptography (public key cryptography)

    Asymmetric cryptography, also called public key cryptography, uses a pair of numerical keys that are mathematically related to ...

  • digital signature

    A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • hard disk drive (HDD)

    A computer hard disk drive (HDD) is a non-volatile memory hardware device that controls the positioning, reading and writing of ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • network-attached storage (NAS)

    Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve...

Close