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(National TV Standards Committee) The first television standard for the U.S., which was also adopted by Canada, Japan, South Korea and several Central and South American countries. In the U.S., the analog NTSC standard was superseded by the digital TV standard in 2009 (see digital TV transition and DTV).

From Monochrome to Color
NTSC commercial broadcasting began in the U.S. for black and white TVs in the summer of 1941. A subcarrier frequency was later developed to transmit color alongside the monochrome signal, and color TV debuted on January 1, 1954 (see composite video). Before electronic TV became a standard, prototype electromechanical systems produced the first, crude video images (see video/TV history).

NTSC Specifications
Administered by the FCC, NTSC broadcast 60 half frames per second, which is known as 60 "fields" per second in TV jargon (59.94 fields per second to be exact). NTSC used 525 lines of interlaced resolution (two 262.5-line half frames). The last 21 lines in each half frame were the "vertical blanking interval" (VBI), which gave the electron gun in the CRT time to reposition itself from the bottom of the last frame to the top of the next. See interlace and raster scan.

The digital video (DV) camcorder format that is equivalent to NTSC is 720x480 pixels (see DV). The digital TV equivalent is 704x480 pixels (see DTV).

NTSC was encoded in the YUV color space, which provides a mathematical equivalent of red, green and blue. It also includes an audio FM frequency and an MTS signal for stereo. See NTSC DVD, YUV, YIQ, 4fSC, vertical blanking interval, aspect ratio, DTV, PAL and SECAM.

This TV set picked up the first NTSC TV signal, which was broadcast in the U.S. in 1941. The signal was monochrome. In 1954, the new NTSC standard added color using a composite video signal. (Image courtesy of www.TVhistory.TV)

Inside a TV?
Hard to imagine, but this rotating disc was the heart of the first TV camera and receiver, which predated the all-electronic systems such as NTSC. For an overview, see video/TV history. (Image courtesy of www.TVhistory.TV)
References in periodicals archive ?
American and Dutch companies are working on high-definition systems (approaching 1,050 lines of resolution) which will be compatible with existing NTSC standards and equipment.
Tvia's turnkey LCD-TV Reference Design based on Tvia's TrueView(TM) 5600 digital TV display processor is now in Mass Production with Sinobond and will be shipping in both European and NTSC standard Televisions.
The latter give viewers a picture quality equivalent to that of the current NTSC standard.
The new ATI FirePro Synchronization Module supports four professional graphics cards, features a modern Serial ATA power connector and allows ATI FirePro graphics accelerators to receive signals and synchronize to virtually any video input source, including PAL and NTSC standard definition video black burst, high definition TV tri-level, TTL and SDI sync.
Also, with a 10-bit panel the reproducible color gamut is 102 percent based on the NTSC standard, displaying full edge-to-edge color of an NTSC picture.
Projectors illuminated by PhlatLight LEDs produce more than fifty percent wider color gamut than the NTSC standard and the pure, primary colors sequentially pulsed at high speeds, provide ultra-fast color refresh for stable, accurate colors and a smooth picture with superior motion quality.
The DOD's jurisdictional decision does not change the dynamics of the debate that 8VSB fails to provide reception equivalency of the current NTSC standard and therefore jeopardizes the future of over-the-air television as a business," stated Nat Ostroff, Vice President of New Technology.
The panel, using an LED backlight, reproduces 92 percent of the NTSC standard for color saturation and features low power consumption of 90 watts or less.
In North America, broadcasters use the NTSC standard, while most of the world -- nearly 80% -- employs the PAL standard.
We became concerned that the ATSC 8VSB standard could not replicate the same ease of reception, as provided under the current NTSC standard, particularly as it relates to areas within urban environments," commented Nat Ostroff, Vice President of New Technology at Sinclair.
The AVT, audio-visual-with-tuner version builds off of the IT and AV functionality with an ATSC HD tuner and an NTSC standard definition tuner, and has RF inputs that accept HD and SD TV signals