What are the PAL variants?

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There are five varieties of PAL:

1. PAL B/G/D/K/I
The majority of countries using PAL have television standards with 625 lines and 25 frames, differences concern the audio carrier frequency and channel bandwidths. Standards B/G are used in most of Western Europe, standard I in the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Macau, standards D/K in most of Eastern Europe and Standard D in mainland China.

7-MHz channels are used in VHF (B, D) and 8-MHz channels in UHF (G, K, I), although Australia used 7-MHz channels in UHF and Ireland uses 8-MHz channels in VHF .

2. PAL-M standard (Brazil)
PAL-M is used exclusively in Brazil, and is a hybrid of NTSC and PAL. PAL-M uses the same scanlines, frequency, and frame rate as NTSC, but uses a PAL color pallette. Keep in mind that this is the video format used by the TV, to our knowledge there aren’t any cartridges actually programmed for PAL-M. This means that NTSC games will display on a PAL-M TV but the color may be different from that of an NTSC TV. Therefore, we have listed Brazilian games as being in NTSC format, even though the Brazilian video standard is PAL-M. Brazilian games should play fine on North American TV's.

In Brazil, PAL is used in conjunction with the 525 line, 29.97 frame/s system M, using (very nearly) the NTSC colour subcarrier frequency. Exact colour subcarrier frequency of PAL-M is 3.575611 MHz. Almost all other countries using system M use NTSC.

The PAL colour system (either baseband or with any RF system, with the normal 4.43 MHz subcarrier unlike PAL-M) can also be applied to an NTSC-like 525-line (480i) picture to form what is often known as “PAL-60” (sometimes “PAL-60/525” or “Pseudo PAL”). PAL-M (a broadcast standard) however should not be confused with “PAL-60” (a video playback system — see below).

3. PAL-Nc
In Argentina, the PAL-Nc (combination N) variant is used. It employs the 625 line/50 field per second waveform of PAL-B/G,D/K,H,I but with a chrominance subcarrier frequency of 3.582 MHz. VHS tapes recorded from a PAL-Nc or a PAL-B/G,D/K,H,I broadcast are indistinguishable because the down converted subcarrier on the tape is the same.

4. PAL-N
In Paraguay and Uruguay, PAL is used with the standard 625 line/50 fields per second system, but again with (very nearly) the NTSC subcarrier frequency.

PAL-N should not be viewed as wildly incompatible versions of the PAL system, only the choice of colour subcarrier is different.

A VHS recorded off TV (or released) in Europe will play in colour on any PAL-N VCR and PAL-N TV in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Likewise, any tape recorded in Argentina or Uruguay off a PAL-N TV broadcast, can be sent to anyone in European countries that use PAL (and Australia/New Zealand, etc) and it will display in colour. This has been very convenient for video collectors in the past.

People in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay usually own TV sets that also display NTSC-M, in addition to PAL-N.

5. PAL L
The PAL L (Phase Alternating Line with L-sound system) standard uses the System “PAL” video standard, which is the same as PAL B/G/H (625 lines, 50 Hz field rate, 15.625 kHz line rate) except that it uses 6 MHz video bandwidth rather than 5.5 MHz, lifting the audio subcarrier to 6.5 MHz. When System L is used with SECAM, the audio carrier is amplitude modulated, but when used with PAL, the more usual FM sound system is usually used. The sound offset in B and G is +5.5 whereas in L its +6.5. In layman's language, PAL-L is PAL-BG with positive and AM sound modulation. An 8 MHz channel spacing is used with PAL L.

PAL L is used on some hotel internal distribution systems, as well as other public display and plant television systems. It is not used by any national TV networks. One example of a TV with PAL-L support is Thomson 24WK25. This signal has been defined by Sandipan Bhattacharjee, India.

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