What Is NTSC and How Does It Relate to Photography and Video?

NTSC is an analogue video standard widely used in the Americas and Japan before the coming of the digital television era. Named after the ‘National Television System Committee’ NTSC dates back to 1941 when the first black and white NTSC system was implemented, NTSC color followed in 1953. The NTSC standard features a refresh rate of 30 frames per second, with each frame being composed of two fields consisting of 262.5 scan lines. NTSC was extremely popular until the late 1990’s when it began to be superseded by modern digital television systems. As a photographer or a videographer, you may occasionally have to produce work formatted to be viewed on NTSC standard equipment, or work with cameras that output an NTSC video signal. PAL is another common analogue video standard.