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This paper reviews the field of the efficient coding of color television signals. Because this paper is perhaps the first review on this topic, some background is given in the areas of colorimetry, visual perception of color and color television systems. We assume that the reader has some familiarity with luminance encoding techniques. Coding techniques themselves are divided into two broad groups: component coding methods in which each component (usually three) is coded separately, and composite coding methods in which the composite television signal with its "color" modulated subcarrier is processed as a single entity. Both approaches are covered in detail. The field is still growing, pushed primarily by the desire in the television area to find digital coding standards accepted by both broadcasters and carriers and suitable for use with NTSC, PAL and SECAM television systems. We discuss this aspect by comparing composite and component coding methods.