The Ultimate How-To Guide For Copying PSX Games

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PAL vs. NTSC

First of all, you have to understand that if you bought your PlayStation in America, it cannot play any games from either Japan or Europe without being modified, or without tricking the system.  American games have the designation NTSC-U/C on the cover (as well as the CD), Japanese games have the designation NTSC-J, and European games have the designation PAL.  (Keep in mind when I refer to countries here, I'm referring to where they are designated for sale, not necessarily where they were made).  If you modify/trick your PSX into playing a NTSC game on a PAL PSX, you will end up with a black-and-white game because of the differences in the systems (if you buy a new SCART lead, vs. the one that came with your system, it will clear this problem up).   If you are trying to play a PAL game on an NTSC TV, be aware that newer TV's probably won't do you any justice - although you might find that an older TV will lock the signal in because of its' sloppy oscillator.  Otherwise you're going to need a PAL to NTSC converter, and those usually will set you back about $300.00.  The following is an excerpt from WHATIS.COM concerning the technical difference between a PAL and NTSC system:

The NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) was responsible for developing, in 1953, a set of standard protocols for television (TV) broadcast transmission and reception in the United States. Other standards were adopted in the rest of the world. The NTSC standards have not changed significantly since their inception, except for the addition of new parameters for color signals. NTSC signals are not directly compatible with computer systems.

An NTSC TV image has 525 horizontal lines per frame (complete screen image). These lines are scanned from left to right, and from top to bottom. Every other line is skipped. Thus it takes two screen scans to complete a frame: one scan for the odd-numbered horizontal lines, and another scan for the even-numbered lines. Each half-frame screen scan takes approximately 1/60 of a second; a complete frame is scanned every 1/30 second. This alternate-line scanning system is known as interlacing.

PAL is short for Phase Alternating Line, the dominant television standard in Europe. The United States uses a different standard, NTSC.  Whereas NTSC delivers 525 lines of resolution at 60 half-frames per second, PAL delivers 625 lines at 50 half-frames per second. Many video adapters that enable computer monitors to be used as television screens support both NTSC and PAL signals.

 

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