Don't confuse lines of horizontal resolution (resolution along the x axis) with scan lines (resolution along the y axis). DVD produces exactly 480 scan lines of active picture for NTSC and 576 for PAL. The NTSC standard has 525 total scan lines, but only 480 to 483 or so are visible. (The extra lines contain sync pulses and other information, such as the Closed Captions that are encoded into line 21). PAL has 625 total scan lines, but only about 576 to 580 are visible. Since all video formats (DVD, VHS, LD, broadcast, and so on) have the same number of scan lines, it's the horizontal resolution that makes the big difference in picture quality.


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