Companies with products related to printing or graphics development and image processing are faced with the need to standardize color tones. This is necessary to display the image correctly on monitors or when printing.
Therefore, various standards have been invented. Manufacturers of monitors, TVs, and printers indicate which standard of color rendering their products support. Regarding TVs and monitors, manufacturers use different means to measure the screen’s range of colors. But for many people, absolutely nothing is said by the parameter sRGB120% color gamut support. But I will explain popularly what this means in practice.
Note that, as a rule, standards are used with maximum values. For example, if it says that NTSC72% is supported, that roughly corresponds to sRGB100%. In turn, sRGB 120% roughly corresponds to RGB.

For most users, all these parameters mean nothing. It is easier to use the concept of color depth per bit. For example, 8 bits are mid-range TVs, and 10 are premium TVs.

What is sRGB 125%, NTSC 72%, RGB92%, CMYK 50%

In the monitor descriptions, you may see support for sRGB-125% or NTSC 72%, Adobe RGB 92%, and CMYK 50% in the specifications. These parameters indicate how many shades of color the monitor can show from the standard. This is very relative. Visually, at the beginning of the article, you can see what color space a particular standard covers. The greater the coverage, the more colors you can create. You probably know all of this conventionally, but I will tell you about each format.

sRGB color standard

sRGB – Developed in 1996 by HP and Microsoft, the goal of the standard was to unify the colors of printer monitors and the Internet so that images have the same color gamut and appear the same when printed and viewed. It is the primary standard used in monitors. If you use sRGB on a monitor, you will get a picture as on a monitor when you print. This is convenient because it doesn’t require additional corrections. But since this standard was developed almost 30 years ago, it has a relatively limited range of color coverage and is essentially the least progressive standard.

Adobe RGB color profile

Adobe RGB – was developed in 1998, as the name implies, by Adobe to create a standard with an expanded color gamut greater than sRGB.
In the 1990s, printers were developed that used the CMYK color model for color printing, allowing prints to be made with a more expanded color gamut than sRGB. This more advanced standard was originally positioned as a color display for professional monitors and televisions with improved screens. The downside is that not all devices support this standard. For example, you can use the RGB color profile in Photoshop, but if your printer doesn’t support this profile, you’ll end up with a different photo than the one you see on your screen. This profile is the most balanced and suitable for most users and is the most common.

NTSC color gamut

NTSC: One of the first color standards was developed in 1953 when color television was developed. Yes, it was in 1953 that the color display for film and color television was standardized. This standard stipulated what color shades could be in a color television picture. The NTSC color profile is not used now (it’s an analog standard) but is used for comparison because that standard had a reasonably broad color spectrum. The question may arise as to why the 1953 standard for transmitting color tones was adopted, and most televisions and monitors can’t reach that standard 65 years later. 

The answer is straightforward; the standard was developed for televisions with electron beam tubes. And you should know that electronic vacuum tubes have better quality than transistor-based equipment. On CRT televisions and monitors, you can get better color reproduction. For example, professional recording studios and concert sound systems still use vacuum tubes in amplifiers. This gives a cleaner sound. That’s what the standard was developed for CRTs.

NTSC 100% vs NTSC 72%

See how an approximately NTSC 72% vs NTSC image will look like 100%, this is a very conventional image. In the real world it depends on the quality and technology of the display, go to a TV or laptop store for example. Ask them to put the same picture on the screens, you will see differences in color shades on different devices.

REC 2020, REC 2100 color space

REC 2020 standards (2012) for UHDTV (UHD 4K and UHD 8K). An RGB color space whose color gamut is more expansive than almost all other RGB color spaces. There are no displays capable of displaying the full-color gamut of REC 2020. The most advanced displays show about 97% of the color space. REC 2020 is designed for SDR. With the advent of HDR and the ability to display more color shades, REC 2100 is now available with HDR capabilities.

RGB, sRGB, NTSC, REC 2020 vs, SMYK color gamut comparison

Percentage of color spaces

color spacecoverage % NTSCcoverege % sRGB
Adobe RGB~99~117
REC 2020~150~172

A bit about comparing standards, NTSC roughly corresponds to RGB. sRGB covers about 72% of NTSC, and so does RGB. REC 2020 covers more color space than NTSC by 50% and almost twice as much as sRGB. But it would help if you understood that all such comparisons are relative. Pay attention to the color depth of your monitor or TV set. If the description says color depth 8 bits, it’s a budget monitor for work, 8 bits plus dithering, slightly better, but still a budget screen; 10 bits is an excellent professional monitor or premium TV.

Standard SMYK

SMYK is a color model developed for printers; printer manufacturers, in the process of developing color printers, decided that the highest quality photograph can be printed using the following colors ink, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black as the key. The figure shows the visible human spectrum, the shades of colors, and how the different standards are superimposed on the visible spectrum.

Adobe RGB vs sRGB vs NTSC vs REC 2020 vs color model SMYK comparison

In the picture, you can see how the different color spaces are superimposed on the color scheme. You can see, as I said before, that sRGB has the least coverage; RGB covers the color space that the average person sees. ProPhoto RGB is designed for professional photographers. CMYK is the color space for printers.


sRGB-125%– the monitor supports the sRGB color space (all monitors support sRGB) and can cover up to 25% more color space when viewing. As you understand this marketing, if the monitor description writes that it supports 100% RGB, it’s standard, but if you write 125% sRGB, subconsciously, the buyer feels that this monitor is better.

Adobe RGB 92%

Adobe RGB 92% – The monitor has support for this standard and it can cover 92% of the color space in the standard.

The monitor supports this standard and is capable of covering 92% of the color space in the RGB standard. The comparison with the NTCS standard is very tentative and is provided as a reference only.


As I said, sRGB is about 72% NTSC. This is why many manufacturers cheat by not listing sRGB support in their specifications, but NTSC has 72% support, which most people need help understanding. Whether this is good or bad is up to you to guess. But I’ll give you a hint; such monitors are budget monitors. 72% NTSC = sRGB.

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