How to Convert PAL & SECAM to NTSC

Written by matthew anderson
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How to Convert PAL & SECAM to NTSC
World map of countries with NTSC (green), SECAM (orange) and PAL (blue) broadcast standards (

There are three standards of broadcasting used around the world. Most of Europe, Africa, Australia, and parts of Asia and South America use PAL. Russia and parts of Asia and Africa use SECAM. The United States, Canada, most of North and South America, and Japan use NTSC. Video devices and televisions made in countries using different standards are not compatible with one another; however, it is possible to convert signals from one broadcasting standard to another through the use of a SECAM/NTSC/PAL converter.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • SECAM/NTSC/PAL converter
  • Two video cables

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  1. 1

    Connect one of the video cables into the output ports of the PAL or SECAM video device.

  2. 2

    Connect the other end of the first cable to the input ports of the SECAM/NTSC/PAL converter.

  3. 3

    Connect the second video cable to the output ports of the SECAM/NTSC/PAL converter.

  4. 4

    Connect the other end of the second cable to the input ports of the NTSC television or video device.

  5. 5

    Set the SECAM/NTSC/PAL converter to have SECAM or PAL as the input mode (depending on the video device's standard) and set the output mode to NTSC. Not all converters have manual switches to set the input and output modes.

Tips and warnings

  • Some SECAM/NTSC/PAL converters have a slight lag to the video and audio signal. This is not really an issue with video devices, such as DVD players or VCRs, but it can be an issue with video game consoles. If the video device is a video game console, get a SECAM/NTSC/PAL converter marked as having no video delay.
  • A converter is needed between any devices with different broadcast standards. If similar standard video devices are not grouped together, it will increase the number of converters needed.

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