However, with the fall of communism, and following a period when multi-standard TV sets became a commodity, many Eastern European countries decided to switch to the German-developed PAL system.

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Development of SECAM began in 1956 by a team led by Henri de France working at Compagnie Française de Télévision (later bought by Thomson, now Technicolor).

The first SECAM broadcast was made in France in 1967, making it the first such standard to go live in Europe.

The team was working in Moscow's Telecentrum under the direction of Professor Shmakov.

The NIR designation comes from the name of the Nautchno-Issledovatelskiy Institut Radio (NIIR, rus.

The first proposed system was called SECAM I in 1961, followed by other studies to improve compatibility and image quality.

These improvements were called SECAM II and SECAM III, with the latter being presented at the 1965 CCIR General Assembly in Vienna.The system was also selected as the standard for colour in the Soviet Union, who began broadcasts shortly after the French.The standard spread from these two countries to many client states and former colonies. It is in the process of being phased out and replaced by DVB, the new pan-European standard for digital television. The technology was ready by the end of the 1950s, but this was too soon for a wide introduction.However, incompatibility had started with the earlier unusual decision to adopt positive video modulation for French broadcast signals.The earlier systems System A & the 819-line systems were the only other systems to use positive video modulation. NTSC was considered undesirable in Europe because of its tint problem requiring an additional control, which SECAM and PAL solved.The adoption of SECAM in Eastern Europe has been attributed to Cold War political machinations.