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Television Measurements: NTSC Systems

To characterize television system performance, an understanding of signal distortions and measurement methods as well as proper instrumentation is needed. This booklet provides information on television test and measurement practices and serves as a comprehensive reference on methods of quantifying signal distortions. This publication deals with NTSC composite analog signals. Analog component, digital composite and component, and HDTV measurements are outside its scope.

New instruments, test signals, and measurement procedures are introduced as television test and measurement technology evolves. This booklet encompasses both traditional measurement techniques and newer methods. After a discussion of good measurement practices, five general categories of television measurements are addressed:

  1. Video Amplitude and Time Measurements
  2. Linear Distortions
  3. Nonlinear Distortions
  4. Noise Measurement
  5. Transmitter Measurements

A basic knowledge of video is assumed and a glossary of commonly used terms is included as a refresher and to introduce new concepts. This booklet does not provide detailed instructions on how to use particular instruments. The basics of waveform monitor and vectorscope operation are assumed. Consult the instrument manuals for specific operating instructions.