PAL (short for Phase Alternating Line) is the world's most widely used color coding system. PAL is an analog format used in television broadcasting systems. The common feature of PAL, which has many different versions, is that it has 625 horizontal lines, 25 fps images/second, 50i (interlaced layer).

Developed by the German engineer Walter Bruch in 1966, this system is a much improved version of the American NTSC system and has since been adopted by many European countries.

As in the NTSC system, all the colored information is simultaneously given over the auxiliary wave by utilizing the amplitude and phase difference of the subcarrier wave. At the receiver, this data is used by grouping it every two lines. Thus, the color line following a black-and-white line automatically corrects the errors that may arise from the phase difference.

Except for France, the USSR and socialist countries, all European countries use the PAL system.

If we examine the technical features of PAL and NTSC formats:

PAL                                                                  NTSC
625 horizontal lines                                     525 horizontal lines
25 fps ( 50 fields, interlaced )                     30 fps ( 60 fields, interlaced )

As can be seen from these values, the PAL format can display 15625 horizontal lines per second, while the NTSC format can display 15750 horizontal lines per second. In this case, PAL has a higher resolution because it shows more horizontal lines. However, it provides an advantage in NTSC as it refreshes pictures faster (30 times per second).

Another difference between NTSC and PAL is in terms of color signals. PAL uses a 4.43MHz color signal, while NTSC video format uses a 3.58MHz color signal.

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