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Garrett Holland
05-24-2021 at 01:20 AM
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Is PAL-M (60Hz) treated as NTSC (60Hz) or PAL (50Hz)?

I was under the impression that PAL-M (PAL-60, 60Hz, exclusive to Brazil) performances were treated as NTSC (also 60Hz) rather than PAL (50Hz). Which is it? Anyone have a definitive answer? I could not find anything in the TG Official Guidelines about it, however, that is how I and everyone else I've seen have looked at it from a submission category perspective.

Some clarity would be nice ... and quickly too. There are at least a half dozen submissions out there currently in adjudication where the answer would be crucial. Any input would be appreciated.

Quote Originally Posted by PAL-M information

PAL-M signals are identical to North American NTSC signals, except for the encoding of the color carrier. Therefore, PAL-M will display in monochrome with sound on an NTSC set and vice versa.

PAL-M is incompatible with 625-line based versions of PAL, because its frame rate, scan line, color subcarrier and sound carrier specifications are different. It will therefore usually give a rolling and/or squashed monochrome picture with no sound on a native European PAL television, as do NTSC signals.

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  1. nads's Avatar

    Treated as NTSC, from what I remember I added the below to an Adjudication, probably one of Rodrigo's cant be for sure

    PAL-M signals are identical to North American NTSC signals, except for the encoding of the color carrier. Therefore, PAL-M will display in monochrome with sound on an NTSC set and vice versa.

    PAL-M is incompatible with 625-line based versions of PAL, because its frame rate, scan line, color subcarrier and sound carrier specifications are different. It will therefore usually give a rolling and/or squashed monochrome picture with no sound on a native European PAL television, as do NTSC signals.

    Just noticed you added it it already


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  2. Scott S.'s Avatar

    Peter is correct. PAL-M is basically the same as NTSC (same 30 fps framerate, 262 scanlines, and 60Hz frequency) but has a color palette similar to PAL. Straight PAL is 25 fps, 312 scanlines, and 50Hz.

    Not all games however were programmed to adapt to both standards equally. Most games were originally programmed for NTSC, but the PAL conversions didn't take into account the timing differences with regards to the gameplay, and vice-versa. They simply adjusted the framerate and color palette, but the game itself often would run slower, giving PAL players an advantage.

    http://www.ataricompendium.com/faq/vcs_scanlines.html

    The opposite happened with games originally programmed for PAL and later converted to NTSC. 2 perfect examples of this are the Atari 8-bit games Elektra Glide (by English Software) and The Last V-8 (by Mastertronic). Both companies were based in the UK, and the games were programmed for PAL. When they were sold in the U.S. the gameplay timings were never adjusted with either for NTSC, so the games not only run too fast, they are impossible to complete.

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  3. Barthax's Avatar

    The original decision was made during "the great NTSC/PAL/EMU split" of 2004-2006. There's a post by myself buried in those forums for anyone trying to age the decision.

    PAL-M and PAL-60 (different but close standards) are both treated as NTSC as the underlying black & white technology (which is where the sync & refresh originates) is the same standard.

    Similarly, SECAM and other PAL standards are based off a different black & white standard.

    I forget the specifics of the B&W standards but they're in my post of the mentioned forum (if not my ancient blog thread).

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