Thursday, November 10, 2011

NTSC-PAL TV Signal Identifier

This circuit is able to identify PAL and NTSC video signals. Its output is high for an NTSC signal and low if the signal is PAL. This output signal can be used, for example, to automatically switch in a colour subcarrier converter or some other device while an NTSC signal is being received. One application is for the reception from satellites of ‘free-to-air’ TV signals, which in Australia generally contain a mixture of 625-line PAL and 525-line NTSC programs. Operation of the circuit is as follows. IC1 is an LM1881 video sync separator which takes the video input signal and generates vertical synchronisation pulses.

NTSC-PAL TV Signal Identifier
Identify PAL and NTSC video signals.
For an NTSC signal, these pulses are 16.66ms apart, corresponding to the 60Hz field rate, while for a PAL signal they are 20ms apart, corresponding to the 50Hz field rate. The vertical sync pulses are fed into IC2a, the first of two dual retriggerable monostable multivibrators in the 74HC123A. IC2a has a period of very close to 17.9ms, set by the 200kO resistor and 0.22µF capacitor at pins 14 & 15. Because the monostable is retriggerable, NTSC sync pulses arriving every 16.66ms will keep its Q output, at pin 13, high.[...]
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