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PAL, short for Phase Alternate Line, is an analogue television encoding system used in broadcast television systems in many countries. Other common analogue television systems are SECAM and NTSC. This page primarily discusses the colour encoding system. See the articles on broadcast television systems and analogue television for additional discussion of frame rates, image resolution and audio modulation. For discussion of the 625-line / 25 frame per second television standard, see 576i.



In the 1950s, the Western European countries commenced planning to introduce colour television in their countries, and were faced with the problem that the NTSC standard demonstrated several weaknesses, including colour tone shifting under poor transmission conditions. To overcome NTSC's shortcomings, alternative standards were devised, resulting in the development of the PAL and SECAM standards. The goal was to provide a colour TV standard for the European picture frequency of 50 fields per second (50 hertz), and finding a way to eliminate the problems with NTSC.

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