I have to calculate the bitrate of PAL format $\ (576*720) $. I have the following data:

  • $\ 25 $ frames per second
  • Interlaced
  • Interior representation is: $\ 4:2:0 $
  • $\ 8 $ bpp

I have tried the following formula but I am really not sure at all if it is correct because I have not clearly understood the difference between interlaced and non-interlaced video and how this difference changes the calculation fo the bitrate.

This is what I tried:

$\ (576*720)*(1+1/4+1/4)*8*25 $

This part: $\ (1+1/4+1/4) $ is due to the specific representation $\ 4:2:0$

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your field rate is 50 Hz and there are 2 fields in one frame, thus you have a frame rate of 25 Hz. So your equation is correct. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


In the early days of analog television broadcast with CRT display receivers, it was found that instead of sending a whole picture frame information (576 PAL video lines) at once at a frame rate of 25 Hz, it was visually better to send half the lines as even field (0,2,4,...,574) and odd field (1,3,5,..,575) at 50 Hz. This is called interlaced video 576i for PAL and 480i for NTSC. If you send all the lines at once (and at half the rate of 25 Hz) then it's called progressive and denoted as 576p and 480p. These days they are used for 720 or 1080 etc line HD or FHD or 4k formats in the same line.

The reason for better visual characteristic is due to the fact that faster field rate yields smoother motion and yet reduced vertical resolution is compansated by several factors.


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