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EBU Technical Standard N14-1998

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EBU Technical Standard N14-1998

Reference signal for the synchronisation of
625-line digital television equipment
EBU Committee First Issued Revised Re-issued
PMC 1988 1998

Keywords: Synchronisation/timing

1 Scope
This specification describes a reference signal used to synchronise television equipment operating on the 625-
line television standard. The signal may be used for both analogue and digital equipment, operating in either component
or composite form.
The signal may also be used to synchronise digital audio equipment used in television: see EBU
Recommendation R83 [1]

2 Timing reference
2.1 Input reference
The timing reference for the input function of equipment should normally be derived from the input signal but
if an external reference is required, equipment should be capable of deriving it from the signal defined in Section 3.

2.2 Output reference

Equipment that requires a separate reference for the output function shall be capable of deriving it from the
signal defined in Section 3.
Note: In order to provide a reference signal within the specified tolerances, it may be necessary in practice to
provide a separate sync pulse generator (SPG) to serve the local area.

3 Form of the reference signal

The reference signal is an analogue composite PAL video signal with no picture information, often called a
"Black and Burst" signal.
3.1 Signal Characteristics
The timing reference shall be an analogue 625-line video signal as defined in ITU-R Recommendation BT.470
[2] and modified in the following sections.

3.2 Picture signal level

Apart from the synchronising information, the signal shall correspond to blanking level at all times1.

3.3 Signal amplitude

The amplitude of the synchronising pulses shall be 300 mV nominal.
The amplitude of the PAL sub-carrier burst shall be 300 mV peak-to-peak nominal. The PAL sub-carrier burst
is optional if the reference signal is used for component or SECAM equipment.

Analogue reference signals of higher constant average picture level (APL) are specifically not recommended because they may cause
performance degradation related to APL variations between the vertical interval and other parts of the signal. Furthermore, reference signals
with changing APL, such as moving video or switched test signals, are also specifically not recommended because they may cause
disturbances to the video signal being processed by the equipment for which they are the reference.
EBU Technical Standard N14-1998
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3.4 Build-up time of line synchronising pulses

The build-up time of the leading edge of the synchronising pulses shall not exceed 210 ns, measured between
the 10% and 90% amplitude levels.

3.5 Jitter
The timing of individual leading edges of line synchronisation pulses shall be within 2 ns, peak-to-peak,
measured over at least one field.
The zero crossing points of the PAL sub-carrier burst, if present, shall be within 500 ps peak-to-peak measured
over at least one field and taking into account the phase switch of the V-axis in the PAL system.

3.6 Master oscillator frequency

The frequency of the colour sub-carrier should be within ±1 Hz of the nominal value.
Rate of change of colour sub-carrier frequency should not exceed 0.1 Hz/s.2.
3.7 Physical

3.7.1 Connector
The connector shall have mechanical characteristics conforming to the BNC type specified in IEC Publication
60169-8 [3].

3.7.2 Impedance
The reference signal shall operate in a 75-ohm environment. Return loss of the reference signal source shall be
greater than 40 dB from 25 Hz to 10 MHz.

4 Ancillary information
Normally the reference signal should not contain any ancillary information. 3
Ancillary information, if added, should not cause excessive disturbance to the Average Picture Level 1.
4.1 Vertical Interval Timecode, VITC
Vertical Interval Timecode, according to IEC 60461 [4], may be added in lines 19 and 332.

[1] EBU Recommendation R83-1996: Synchronization of digital audio signals in a television environment.
[2] ITU-R Recommendation BT.470-4: Television systems
[3] IEC Publication 60169-8: Radio-frequency connectors. Part 8: R.F. coaxial connectors with inner diameter of
outer conductor 6.5 mm (0.256 in) with bayonet lock - Characteristic impedance 50 ohms (Type BNC)
[4] IEC Publication 60461: Time and control code for video tape recorders.

2 Legacy equipment may not be able to meet these figures.

It has now become common to use the reference signal as a convenient source of a "black" picture. In this case, the effect of permitted
ancillary signals should be considered.