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NTSC Vs. sRGB Color Gamut: What is the difference?

NTSC Vs. sRGB Color Gamut

The world is changing over to digital media. What is a digital media without screens? While we are talking about displays, nothing can beat LCD screens. When it comes to LCDs, color gamuts do play a significant role.

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A Color Gamut refers to the level at which the different levels of colors are displayed on a device. The color gamuts we use depends upon the purpose for which it is used.

We would today know what precisely a color gamut is and what types of color gamuts are used in case of different applications and how different they would be from each other. Let us check out the concept and understand the differences between the various color gamuts (NTSC Vs. sRGB Color Gamut).

Related Reading: Best Gaming Monitors with 99% sRGB Color Gamut

What Is Color Gamut? (NTSC Vs. sRGB Color Gamut)

NTSC Vs. sRGB Color Gamut

Color Gamut is what would refer to different levels of colors which can be displayed on the devices. Technically speaking a Color Gamut is a range of colors from among the broader variety of colors that can be identified by human eye. Having understood that, it should also be noted that we have a lot of devices that process images and their ability to process colors vary considerably – color gamut also has also need to meet the capabilities of these devices.

Color gamut can be of two types – additive and subtractive. Additive Color Gamut is when a particular color is produced when the different colors are mixed to generate a right color you wanted to. The additive color is also referred to as RGB. The nomenclature is based on the underlying colors used Red, Green, and Blue.

This technology is typically used in computers, TV screens or other similar devices. The subtractive Color Gamut refers to mixing different dyes or pigments to create a color. This style is used in printing and also referred to as CMYK. It is based on Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

Types of Color Gamuts and Their Differences

There are multiple standards for the color gamut. The most common color gamut standards used are sRGB and NTSC.  There is another standard used namely Adobe RGB as well, though we will not be discussing in this article.

An XY chromaticity diagram represents the color gamuts. The triangle covered by each of these gamuts show the standard displayable colors by the particular color gamut. As per the XY diagram, the NTSC color gamut offers the reproduction of a broader range of colors on your screen as compared to the sRGB color gamut.

The sRGB Color Gamut

sRGB color gamut has been one of the standards and most preferred color gamut presentations for your television screens. The international sRGB standard was prepared in 1998 and established itself as a standard for the Windows ecosystem.

The standard has widely been used in LCD monitors, digital cameras, printers, and several other applications. It has been observed in case of XY Chromaticity diagrams; the color range is quite narrow. That would mean the sRGB standard may not be able to show the highly saturated colors. There have been several devices that could produce more vivid colors than sRGB color gamut profile can support that.

NTSC Color Gamut

The NTSC Color gamut has been developed for the analog television. This color gamut has been developed by National Television Standards Committee of the United States. It has the highest level of color reproduction. If you are looking for the more comprehensive color options, NTSC should be your prime option. This is almost comparable to another standard that we just made a mention of – the Adobe RGB.

Yes agreed, NTSC color gamut happens to be the highest option for the broader colors. But it may not be essential in cases that we usually come across with. Especially in situations where you have still pictures, NTSC color gamut may not make any difference. For the sake of comparison, it may be concluded that sRGB color gamut would be hovering around 72 percent of NTSC.

Where Are They Used?

The current ranges of LCD screens that we usually use with our desktop PCs come with capacities enough to display the sRGB spectrum. In fact, these should be able to show the entire range of sRGB. In fact, there have been demands that have been forcing the manufacturers into using better color gamuts in their LCDs.

This is made possible by means through the improvements in the backlight technology. This technology can be used to improve the color gamut of the LCD monitors. However, a detailed discussion on them is beyond the scope of this article.

How Would These Gamuts Stand With Each Other?

Well, the most important and famous color gamut measure is sRGB. It is the standard color gamut, and it is used in computer displays, TVs, cameras, video recorders and other consumable electronics. In fact, it is the narrowest of the color gamuts and is used as a reference point.

NTSC, on the other hand, is the color gamut that was developed for representing the colors that can be perceived by the human eye. Designed as a TV standard, the technology or the color gamut is also found in many other devices.

It should be noted that the color gamuts are defined regarding the percentage of colors possible from a color gamut. In recent times NTSC is used as the reference point. A 100 percent NTSC screen would mean you get to have the entire range of colors in the whole NTSC color gamut. An average computer screen should provide around 70 to 75 percent of the NTSC color gamut.

In Conclusion

Well, that should provide precise information on the two major color gamuts we regularly tend to see – the sRGB and NTSC.  Though we have not offered a comparative analysis of the two of them, we would assume going through the features, and description between the two should have provided you a brief idea of how do they differ.

Also, note that the color profiles may need a little calibration to be able to offer you the perfect range of colors you would expect in a particular gamut. In that case, you may need a calibration tool for the purpose.

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