Well yes, I might as well mention the drawbacks of PAL TVs. So anyway what is so good on those old school Tube TVs - especially for the PAL region back near the mid-20th Century until they got replaced by DVB and ISDB as well as using HDMI ports? Well I’m not going to talk too much on the input lag as I’ve already covered some of that in here: https://apg-clan.org/showthread.php?...-and-Keyboards

But did you know despite that they are obsolete, they have the lowest display lag than their newer counterparts - like OLED and LCDs? How is that possible? Well mostly because CRTs use primitive analogue signals that don’t buffer as digital signals require time to be processed - not to forget DACs that need time to convert digital audio signals into analogue audio signals, which appeals to audiophiles. Cathode Ray Tubes or CRTs use electron guns, a tube with copper wires and a phosphor glass display - where they simply transmit Red, Green and Blue lights. And then create the image by using the 3 primary colours onto the glass display. But they aren't energy efficient as LCDs and OLEDs use digital signals and consume less power.

However, there are some benefits to using PAL CRT TVs compared to the NTSC CRT TVs and here is why:

A lot of movies and films are recorded at 24 FPS and PAL TVs have a refresh rate of 50Hz but is interlaced to project half of the picture in a comb-like structure. Where 25 out of the 50Hz is used to draw half of the picture frame. Like this:-

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So therefore if you do the maths, 50/2 = 25, but uses only 96% of the frames e,g, 24/25 * 100 = 96 (96%). Which makes movies play 4% faster compared to NTSC which is more significant than 4% for like 24/30 * 100 = 92 (92%). Hence movies will play 8% fast as your mind feels like it's been into a time warp compared to watching a particular movie you had watched from the cinemas. Although the actual NTSC refresh rate is just below 60Hz near 59.94.

Now my first PAL CRT TV was a SolaVox 14-inch TV which was very small for a viewing size of 13 inches but it was very lightweight, responsive and works fine by going in NTSC mode. It didn’t have RCA Composite ports nor a SCART or S-Video port, as it only contains a TV Aerial Plug which is a Coaxial Analogue port. The picture quality was not as sharp and crisp as modern TVs, but it does work for my Sinclair/Amstrad Magnum Light Phaser lightgun for my ZX Spectrum +2A for James Bond Action Pack. The problem was my new LG LED TV suffers some display and audio lag as using my Netflix and Amazon Prime video appears to have the audio and lip-sync inaccurately. Even using my BlueTooth Headphones and BlueTooth Sound Bar makes it worse!

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But what about the benefits of gaming in PAL CRT TVs? Well as most of you know that PAL ports gaming, but were exclusively designed for NTSC in North America and Japan at 60Hz, tend to run 17% slower when they are converted for 50Hz. However, they were some methods from older consoles and computers that can allow for PAL games to go into 60Hz by using VGA ports, PAL60 and Hacktricks. Amiga computers like the A500 ECS revisions 1.3 or 2.04 can allow games to be toggled in NTSC modes, which was exclusively used for Dynablaster (aka Bomberman) but not optionally set for PAL, whereas other games like Lemmings and James Pond 2: RoboCod, that can be optionally toggled in PAL/NTSC mode by pressing the [TAB] key for Lemmings, [F6/F7] keys for James Pond 2 when “The Little Mermaid” cheat is used. Even Captain Planet for the Amiga allowed NTSC mode by pressing the [F8]. Also, a couple of Amiga Format coverdisks from Future Publishing contains Hacktrick 60Hz from AF Coverdisk #23 and #39b to allow that switch. Even some Cracktros Trainer menus allow players to toggle NTSC mode before the game boots up.

For gaming consoles well most 8-Bit and 16-Bit games in the PAL region suffered from having the 17% playback and speeds but some of them were optimised to play near the same speed as NTSC. Sonic 1 game for Mega Drive (Genesis for US) PAL had a slow speed and I had no idea until I was curious to compare the speed of the Sonic 1 and 2 Intro Theme and Invincibility Music. Sega eventually published and released their games to be compatible with both the US and EU regions, even those Electronic Arts Genesis/Mega Drive allowed that. Which can be useful to play those PAL games in 60Hz instead of 50Hz. I’m not sure on which other games were exclusively compiled and designed for NTSC, but if I’m not mistaken I do know Codemasters had made Micro Machines 2, ‘96 Special Edition and Military Edition only for PAL regions. And certain Mega Drive games had Regional Lockouts like the NTSC-J version of Thunder Force 4 won’t work for PAL. Sega’s Regional Lockout was not as strict as Nintendo’s game cartridge for the NES, SNES and N64. Is there another way to allow PAL games that cannot natively work in 60Hz mode? Well…yes but it depends on the side effects. There are some unlicensed modules or cheat extensions like Action Replay, Game Genie as well as Game Shark to allow PAL2NTSC functions, but aren’t very reliable. However, using emulators run from PCs allows to hack and maybe bypass the Regional Lockout by switching to various BIOSes or using some hack patches from romhacking.net. But again, they may have some nasty side effects and not operate at the correct speed. Also, I got Sonic Mega Collection PAL for my GameCube and that allows me to go into PAL60 mode and resolve that incorrect Aspect Ratio and slower speeds for Sonic 1.

Speaking of GameCube, newer consoles like the Sega DreamCast, as well as the GameCube itself and the original Xbox allow for that PAL60 functionally by using the DreamCast’s VGA port as well that the GameCube’s ATI GFX card has the ability to toggle PAL60 for most of its games, same for the Xbox. But not all PlayStation 2 PAL games can run exclusively in PAL60, which is a real pain in the neck, especially if you took a lot of time and effort in certain games like Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy but wished you didn’t store your saves in that 8MB Memory Card. Besides not all saves data are compatible with various regions as there are certainly regional differences like Luigi’s Mansion PAL that doesn’t contain a full replica of the game data, same with Pokemon Channel PAL and Pokemon Colosseum PAL. Therefore you would need to reverse engineer or hexedit in order to try to successfully import your PAL save data to work for NTSC versions.

Anyway, let's focus on the benefits of PAL CRT TVs, shall we?

So despite its flaws, having slower gameplay may not be so bad for Racing or Time Trial based games that require quick thinking as well for PGA Tour Golf games that require sync skills to press the button at a precise moment to provide accurate shots. What I mean by that is when you press the (B) button to start the Back Swing the bar in the Percentages box go towards the left to build up power, but you need to press (B) again to make sure it stops at 100% as going over 100% not also allows longer shots but reduce accuracy. This is why you need to press (B) again for the final time but at the exact moment, that bar comes back to 0%. Otherwise, it will cause the shot to curve to the right (if not pressed) and into the rough. Look at this video and it will show you what I mean and I will explain why CRT TVs can come in handy:-

So the reason why games run in CRT TVs and by using a wired controller is due to the lowest display and input lag. Besides using RetroArch that you will get by installing RetroPie for your Raspberry Pi suffers from those lags and makes that PGA game unplayable unless you tweak the options, which unfortunately won’t be as smooth and responsive compared to running that game natively on the Mega Drive and using the CRT TV. And another good reason for playing this PGA game at 50Hz is it gives you more thinking time and to press the (B) that the right time.

Here I’m going to summarise the Pros and Cons.


» Slower gameplay at 50Hz can allow you more thinking time instead of going into a stressful panic
» PAL is technically superior it carries slightly more bandwidth than NTSC
» Movies or Films can play almost in sync in PAL 50Hz or 576i25 as their 24 FPS is 1 cycle away from their refresh rate target
» Amiga ECS Chipset and their Amiga Video Connectors (A520) appear to allow NTSC support for old PAL CRT TVs
» PAL display more lines at 625 instead of 525
» Low Resolution like 320x200 or 320x240 is not interlaced from retro 8-bit and 16-bit games which don't produce flickering artefacts
» The slower 50Hz interlaced videos can allow slower flickering as rapidly visible flickers could cause eye strains and seizures
» And PAL CRTs have the lowest display lag than PAL Plasma, OLED and LCD TVs


» PAL wasn’t pioneered to become the first regional TV format to become more ubiquitous - as PAL wasn’t first broadcasted until the 1960s
» PAL games that weren’t optimised from their NTSC counterparts don’t perform at the same speed
» As Japan doesn’t use PAL means that their games, as well as their TV plants, may not have their TVs produced to be fully optimised for PAL viewers and gamers - depending on the quality assurance

There are quite a few PAL games that appear better than NTSC versions but not a lot. Here are some examples: https://gamerant.com/pal-games-better-than-ntsc/