PAL region

Television system by country, prior to digital switchover. Countries using the PAL system are shown in blue.

The PAL region is a television publication territory that covers most of Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and Oceania. It is so named because of the PAL (Phase Alternating Line) television standard traditionally used in some of those regions (with SECAM used in others), as opposed to the NTSC standard traditionally used in Japan and most of North America. Recently as most countries have stopped using PAL, Video Games that are released in PAL region means the list of regions it covered in the past.


Below countries and territories currently use or once used the PAL system. Many of these have converted or are currently converting PAL to DVB-T (most countries), DVB-T2 (most countries), DTMB (China, Hong Kong and Macau) or ISDB (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Botswana and part of South America).

PAL B, D, G, H, K or I



Countries and territories that have ceased using PAL

The following countries no longer use PAL for terrestrial broadcasts, and are in process of converting from PAL (cable) to DVB-T.

Country Switched to Switchover completed
 Albania DVB-T2 2019-10-011 October 2019
 Andorra DVB-T 2007-09-2525 September 2007
 Australia DVB-T 2013-12-1010 December 2013
 Austria DVB-T and DVB-T2 2010-06-077 June 2011
 Azerbaijan DVB-T 2015-06-1717 June 2015
 Belgium DVB-T 2010-03-011 March 2010
 Brunei DVB-T 2015-01-011 January 2015
 Bulgaria DVB-T 2013-09-3030 September 2013
 Cambodia DVB-T2 2015-01-011 January 2015
 Croatia DVB-T 2010-10-2020 October 2010
 Cyprus DVB-T 2011-07-011 July 2011
 Czech Republic DVB-T 2012-06-3030 June 2012
 Denmark DVB-T and DVB-T2 2009-11-011 November 2009
 Estonia DVB-T 2010-07-011 July 2010
 Faroe Islands DVB-T 2002–12 December 2002
 Finland DVB-T and DVB-T2 2007-09-011 September 2007
 Georgia DVB-T 2015-07-011 July 2015
 Germany DVB-T and DVB-T2 2009-06-044 June 2009
 Ghana DVB-T2 2015-06June 2015
 Greece DVB-T 2015-02-056 February 2015
 Gibraltar DVB-T 2012-12-3131 December 2012
 Guernsey DVB-T 2010-11-1717 November 2010
 Hong Kong DTMB 2020-12-011 December 2020
 Hungary DVB-T and DVB-T2 2013-10-3131 October 2013
 Iceland DVB-T and DVB-T2 2015-02-022 February 2015
 India DVB-T 2015-02-3131 March 2015
 Iran DVB-T 2014-12-1919 December 2014
 Ireland DVB-T 2012-10-2424 October 2012
 Isle of Man DVB-T 2012-10-2424 October 2012
 Israel DVB-T and DVB-T2 2011-06-1313 June 2011
 Italy DVB-T 2012-07-044 July 2012
 Jersey DVB-T 2010-11-1717 November 2010
 Kenya DVB-T 2015-03March 2015
 Latvia DVB-T 2010-06-011 June 2010
 Lithuania DVB-T 2012-10-2929 October 2012
 Luxembourg DVB-T 2006-09-011 September 2006
 North Macedonia DVB-T 2013-05-3131 May 2013
 Malta DVB-T 2011-10-3131 October 2011
 Monaco DVB-T 2011-05-2424 May 2011
 Montenegro DVB-T 2015-06-1717 June 2015
 Namibia DVB-T 2014-09-1313 September 2014
 Netherlands DVB-T 2006-12-1414 December 2006
 New Zealand DVB-T 2013-12-011 December 2013
 Norway DVB-T 2009-12December 2009 [3]
 Poland DVB-T 2013-07-2323 July 2013
 Portugal DVB-T 2012-04-2626 April 2012
 Qatar DVB-T and DVB-T2 2012-02-1313 February 2012
 Romania DVB-T2 2016-12-3131 December 2016
 Rwanda DVB-T 2014-03March 2014
 San Marino DVB-T 2010-12-022 December 2010
 Saudi Arabia DVB-T and DVB-T2 2012-02-1313 February 2012
 Serbia DVB-T2 2015-06-077 June 2015
 Singapore DVB-T2 2019-01-022 January 2019
 Slovakia DVB-T 2012-12-3131 December 2012
 Slovenia DVB-T 2010-12-011 December 2010
 South Africa DVB-T 20152015[4] (as of 2018, PAL terrestrial still operational)
 Spain DVB-T and DVB-T2 2010-04-033 April 2010
 Sweden DVB-T and DVB-T2 2007-10-2929 October 2007
  Switzerland DVB-T 2007-11-2626 November 2007
 Tanzania DVB-T 2014-07July 2014
 Thailand DVB-T2 2020-0926 March 2020
 Ukraine DVB-T and DVB-T2 2016-12-3131 December 2016
 United Arab Emirates DVB-T and DVB-T2 2012-02-1313 February 2012
 United Kingdom DVB-T (SD) and DVB-T2 (HD) 2012-10-2424 October 2012
 Zambia DVB-T2 2014-12-3131 December 2014

60 Hz operation

During the mid-1990s, the practice of modifying consoles such as the Super NES and Mega Drive to allow 60 Hz operation became somewhat common among PAL gamers, due to the rise in NTSC/60 Hz capable PAL TVs and the relatively simple nature of the modifications. Beginning with the Amiga CD32, which introduced more powerful hardware, developers had the ability to output at full PAL resolution without borders or stretching, although games still typically ran slower and all ran at 50 Hz. Beginning with the Dreamcast and continuing through the sixth generation of consoles, developers began including PAL60 modes in their games. Games that run at PAL60 are produced with the same colour encoding system as 50 Hz PAL signals, but with the NTSC resolution and field rate of 60 Hz, providing an identical gaming experience to their NTSC counterparts, however some games, such as Tekken 4 and Tekken 5, will actually use the NTSC color mode when in 60 Hz mode; these games will appear in black and white on PAL-only televisions. Brazil's PAL-M always operates in 60 Hz.

Criticism of PAL region video games

Games ported to PAL have historically been known for having game speed and frame rates inferior to their NTSC counterparts. Since the NTSC standard is 60 fields/30 frames per second but PAL is 50 fields/25 frames per second, games were typically[dubious ] slowed by approximately 16.7% in order to avoid timing problems or unfeasible code changes. Full motion video rendered and encoded at 30 frames per second by the Japanese/US (NTSC) developers was often down-sampled to 25 frames per second or considered to be 50 frames per second video for PAL release—usually by means of 3:2 pull-down, resulting in motion judder. In addition to this, PAL's increased resolution was not utilised during conversion, creating a pseudo letterbox effect with borders top and bottom, which looks similar to a 14:9 letterbox, and leaving the graphics with a slightly squashed look due to an incorrect aspect ratio caused by the borders. This was especially prevalent during the 8-bit and 16-bit generations when 2D graphics were used almost exclusively. The gameplay of many games with an emphasis on speed, such as the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, suffered in their PAL incarnations.

Despite the possibility and popularity of 60 Hz PAL games, many high-profile games, particularly for the PlayStation 2 console, were released in 50 Hz-only versions. Square Enix have long been criticised by PAL gamers for their poor PAL conversions. Final Fantasy X, for example, runs in 50 Hz mode only, meaning it runs 16.7% slower than the NTSC release and features top and bottom borders; while this practice was common in previous generations, it was considered inexcusable by contemporary consumers at the time of release.[5] In contrast, the Dreamcast was the first system to feature PAL60, and the overwhelming majority of PAL games offered 50 and 60 Hz modes with no slowdown. The Xbox too featured a system-wide PAL60 option in the Dashboard, with almost every game supporting PAL60. Seventh generation PAL consoles Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii also feature system-wide 60 Hz support.[citation needed]

As of the eighth generation, consoles such as the Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch have all games solely in 60 Hz, with 50 Hz only being used for video playback and, in the Wii U's case, backwards compatibility with Wii and Virtual Console games.[citation needed]

However, this problem does not occur in Brazil's PAL-M since it is mostly based on the NTSC standard (with its frame rate operating at nearly 30 frames per second) but not on the encoding of the color carrier which is similar to that of PAL.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc Michael Hegarty; Anne Phelan; Lisa Kilbride (1 January 1998). Classrooms for Distance Teaching and Learning: A Blueprint. Leuven University Press. pp. 260–. ISBN 978-90-6186-867-5.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-12-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
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  5. ^ "GamesRadar+".