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  #16  
Old 2005-01-02, 05:33 AM
k8_fan
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

I'm late to this thread, but I've been dealing with this a bit. Most decent editing packages like Premiere, Vegas, Edius will do a conversion from PAL to NTSC and will do a LOT better job than the realtime converter in any DVD player. The main problem is that PAL is 25 frames per second while NTSC is 30 frames per second. The cheap converters just repeat a set of 5 frames during a second 1-2-2-3-4-4-5-etc. That leads to an artifact called "judder", and it's most noticable on pans from left to right. A good converter actually creates new frames by "morphing" between pairs of frames, and helps insure smooth pans. Personally, if I have stuff in PAL to share, I'll make both PAL and NTSC version available. People in NTSC countries who have the ability to play PAL natively will get the PAL version, but the vast majority will get a better picture with smoother motion by getting the NTSC conversion.
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  #17  
Old 2005-01-02, 03:01 PM
h_vargas
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

very good info k8_fan. i've never used Premiere to convert PAL > NTSC. i actually didn't even know Premiere or Vegas could do the conversion. but then, i don't do PAL > NTSC conversions really, after getting a DVD player that handles both formats, so...

btw, YES, there ARE DVD players here in America that will play both formats, but that do NOT do the internal PAL>NTSC conversion - which means the TV set will NOT play the DVD correctly (i know some Pioneer settop DVD players are this way). so your options in that situation are to either buy a new DVD player with a built-in converter, or buy a signal converter. if i were in that situation, i'd just buy a new player because it's roughly the same cost (or even cheaper to get a new player).

i know PAL > NTSC converted video lineages are discouraged, and i agree with that. however, recently, i did do a couple of PAL > NTSC conversions using some very good software, and the result is actually excellent. (of course, the original PAL sources were from DTV, i believe, and looked fantastic to begin with.) i used Canopus ProCoder, and i must say, it does the best job i've ever seen for a PAL > NTSC conversion, and i've used a lot of different programs in the past to try that conversion. ProCoder is also very fast, and very easy to use. and, you don't have to re-encode the audio (which is nice)... you can just convert the video stream, and it will synch up perfectly with the audio stream. as i recall, with a lot of other programs, an audio conversion is needed as well, but not the case with ProCoder.
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  #18  
Old 2005-01-02, 05:11 PM
k8_fan
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by h_vargas
i know PAL > NTSC converted video lineages are discouraged, and i agree with that. however, recently, i did do a couple of PAL > NTSC conversions using some very good software, and the result is actually excellent. (of course, the original PAL sources were from DTV, i believe, and looked fantastic to begin with.) i used Canopus ProCoder, and i must say, it does the best job i've ever seen for a PAL > NTSC conversion, and i've used a lot of different programs in the past to try that conversion.
Yeah, I have that and it does an excellent job. Personally, non-real-time software PAL-to-NTSC format conversion does as good a job as the most expensive broadcast standards converter and shouldn't be avoided. Most US television sets cannot handle PAL TV signals, so if the goal is to get the greatest number of watchable DVDs in the hands of the greatest number of people, good quality software conversion from the original source material is the way to go.

Here's a funny thing I discovered about Sony's 8mm and DV camcorders:

PAL DV and 8mm tapes will play in NTSC Sony DV and 8mm camcorders.
The Firewire connector will output the actual PAL signal for editing.
The S-video and RCA connector will output a pseudo-NTSC signal with a PAL frame rate (25 fps) and NTSC color. It is watchable, but not recordable.

Quote:
ProCoder is also very fast, and very easy to use. and, you don't have to re-encode the audio (which is nice)... you can just convert the video stream, and it will synch up perfectly with the audio stream. as i recall, with a lot of other programs, an audio conversion is needed as well, but not the case with ProCoder.
I started with Canopus' software Standards Converter, and was happy to discover that it's capability was expended into ProCoder.
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  #19  
Old 2005-01-02, 06:37 PM
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

I have a great Ben Harper show that is in PAL. If it is acceptable to be converted to NTSC, please PM me.
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  #20  
Old 2005-01-03, 11:54 AM
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jaguaracer jaguaracer is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

This issue can be resolved quite easily actually. Using a program called IFOedit you can go into the .IFO files and change a couple lines and bang, you have converted a PAL VIDEO_TS folder to NTSC VIDEO_TS folder. Then just burn normally in nero because it is now NTSC. No conversion required, just need to replace a couple lines (called patching the disc).
Here's how: http://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=221928
http://www.ifoedit.com/
I don't know if I would recommend using this method if you plan on spreading the DVD, but for one's own personal use (ie playing a PAL DVD you D/Led, its seems great.
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  #21  
Old 2005-01-03, 05:37 PM
fatoldpig fatoldpig is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguaracer
This issue can be resolved quite easily actually. Using a program called IFOedit you can go into the .IFO files and change a couple lines and bang, you have converted a PAL VIDEO_TS folder to NTSC VIDEO_TS folder. Then just burn normally in nero because it is now NTSC. No conversion required, just need to replace a couple lines (called patching the disc).
Here's how: http://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=221928
http://www.ifoedit.com/
I don't know if I would recommend using this method if you plan on spreading the DVD, but for one's own personal use (ie playing a PAL DVD you D/Led, its seems great.
i tried this sometime back and didn't work. it won't even recognize as dvd and just ejects the dvd. it's a pioneer brand and plays both +/- format.
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  #22  
Old 2005-01-03, 06:03 PM
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katnapz katnapz is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguaracer
I don't know if I would recommend using this method if you plan on spreading the DVD, but for one's own personal use (ie playing a PAL DVD you D/Led, its seems great.
I don't know...this seems to lead to a dangerous "distortion" of the trading pool. I understand that, unlike taking lossless>lossy>claiming lossless/wav where there's no going back, doing this change doesn't fundamentally change the file itself,...meaning I'd be able to rip the vobs off of your DVDR, remaster, and I'd end up with an NTSC again. But what about the percentage of folks who can't/don't know and now there's two versions with the uneducated not realizing one's a "fake"? Obviously no trader would intentionally trades something like this (well,....we hope not), but the chance exists. Or what about that buddy you loaned it to who copied it for personal use,...and then trades it? Just playing devils advocate here

BTW dan, still catching up on things and need to get back to you on the side
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  #23  
Old 2005-01-03, 06:14 PM
h_vargas
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

excellent info, k8_fan, regarding the Sony 8mm and DV cameras.


jaguaracer, that is interesting info as well. the only type of altering i've done with IFO type files is altering hte U2 LA 87 DVD that i grabbed off STG a long while back, so that it doesn't play that blasted DVDXCopy warning at the beginning.

i didn't know this could be done for "tricking" a settop player into thinking it had an NTSC disc.

still, that wouldn't have worked in my most recent situation - authoring a compilation DVD with 80% NTSC footage and 20% PAL footage, as i simply imported the audio/video streams and authored an NTSC disc. i've heard DVDLab can supposedly author a DVD with both PAL and NTSC footage, but i haven't tried that yet (because i don't have DVDLab). to me, it seems like it would run the risk of the disc being less compatible, whereas having all the footage in one format would mean better compatibility overall.
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  #24  
Old 2005-01-03, 10:26 PM
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jaguaracer jaguaracer is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Yes, I should have stressed the 'personal use recommended' more I guess. I am not sure about all the technicalities of the patching process and its effect on quality (although I believe there is no effect on quality. However, as an above poster mentioned, this method didn't work with his player meaning a fair number of people who download the patched DVD may not be able to get it working if the poster did not mention that it was patched).
I just think it is a decent method that people should know about so that if, for example, there is a DVD you are dying to get but are afraid to download because they think the process of converting it to PAL is lengthy or difficult. Well with this patching method, your problem (might be, depending on player) solved.
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  #25  
Old 2005-01-04, 03:16 AM
k8_fan
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by h_vargas
excellent info, k8_fan, regarding the Sony 8mm and DV cameras.
Cool, I hope it comes in handy. I use this feature on a regular basis. I have a large collection of Kate Bush video in PAL format, and use an NTSC Sony DV camcorder as the source deck to my editing system, a Canopus DV Rex board running the Edius software. It's switchable from NTSC to PAL, so I edit everything in it's native format, then convert to whatever format is needed for distribution. I was even able to FireWire dub a PAL Digital 8mm to PAL DV using two NTSC camcorders.
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  #26  
Old 2005-01-04, 10:38 AM
h_vargas
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

k8_fan - incredible. i still can't get over this. there are some PAL dig8/miniDV tapes out there that i had wanted to get clones of, but didn't g for them because i didn't have a "PAL format camcorder"... now i can hopefully snag some of those clones and transfer them myself! woohoo! when you say you dubbed the PAL 8mm with two camcorders, did you just use a 4pin-to-4pin cable? (just curious, that's what i've always used to dub clones.)


jaguaracer - doing the "patching" method you described should not affect the quality of the video in ANY way. you aren't changing any of the bits of the actual audio or video in the method you described; only changing basically what amounts to a "table of contents" for a DVD, so that a DVD player will read the DVD as a different format. the actual digital audio/video bits are untouched that way. again, very cool trick that i may try out sometime... even though my DVD player will play PAL discs.
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  #27  
Old 2005-01-04, 11:32 AM
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RainDawg RainDawg is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8_fan
Most US television sets cannot handle PAL TV signals, so if the goal is to get the greatest number of watchable DVDs in the hands of the greatest number of people, good quality software conversion from the original source material is the way to go.
This is, in fact, not true, because it inevitably leads to the possibility of someone on the other side of the pond saying the same thing, using a "high quality" conversion back to PAL, and the cycle repeating. The best thing to do with any of the material here, is to keep it identical and the best possible....the hardware might take a few years to catch up, but at least then people are running around with multiple versions that span multiple degrees of quality.

My DVD player at home does not to PAL, so I watch them on my computer. I can also convert one for my own use, but I always trade the original, and that is the standard we will enforce here on TTD.
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  #28  
Old 2005-01-04, 11:37 AM
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RainDawg RainDawg is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

This method of "patching" the header file is not actually changing the video at all, or changing it to a different format. Basically, for reasons of pure greed and the need to control the media on the part of corporations, most DVD players have the ability to read multiformat, but simply refuse to do so based on some information it reads in the header. Sony manufactures the same unit for sale anywhere in the world, and just changes what header information it will accept so that businesses can control media from sailing to other continents.

So....changing this header will just trick your US DVD player into thinking it's playing an NTSC video, when in fact it is reading PAL. Based on the way the signal is decoded, this may or may not work for everyone, so I strongly encourage everyone to make these discs for your own personal use, and not for distributing. If your player permits you to use this method, do it, but only trade the original DVD with the correct header.

Again, the best solution for all of this is to just buy a cheapy Apek or Mintek player that will play anything for <$50.
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  #29  
Old 2005-01-04, 11:51 AM
k8_fan
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by h_vargas
k8_fan - incredible. i still can't get over this. there are some PAL dig8/miniDV tapes out there that i had wanted to get clones of, but didn't g for them because i didn't have a "PAL format camcorder"... now i can hopefully snag some of those clones and transfer them myself! woohoo! when you say you dubbed the PAL 8mm with two camcorders, did you just use a 4pin-to-4pin cable? (just curious, that's what i've always used to dub clones.)
Yes, a 4-pin to 4-pin FireWire cable. Now this only works with Sony equipment...I know Canon DV camcorders are NTSC only. Sony doesn't mention this in their manuals, and none of their US technical people know about this. It's just apparently the result of the Japanese design engineers wanting to simplify the manufacture of the recorder mechanism. I have not tried it with DV or Digi8mm camcorders sold in PAL countries, but I'd imagine they are the same.

You should be able to capture the PAL DV or Digi8mm into your editing system after re-configuring it for PAL, then convert it to NTSC with ProCoder. Let me know how it works out.

BTW, various Brooktree chipset video input cards like the I/OMagic PC-VCR handle both NTSC and PAL input. The best software for those cards is the wonderful, open-source package dScaler. It's a very cheap, yet high quality, way to get analog PAL and NTSC into your computer. The guys who produce this are such great hackers. I described the video that the Sony camcorders produced - NTSC color combined with PAL frame-rate - and they managed to add the format to the program. Literally 24 hours after I mentioned it, I had tested two beta versions and had a working final version. There is no commercial software in the world that has that kind of customer service.
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  #30  
Old 2005-01-04, 12:01 PM
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bobs23 bobs23 is offline
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Re: PAL to NTSC...?

There are some basic technical things that must be covered. As previously stated PAL runs at 50hz 625 lines 25fps. NTSC is 60hz(59.94 actually) 525 lines 30 fps. In basics you are much better to go from PAL to NTSC as you are essentially downsampling the line rate. The wonderful FCC has made our system quite complex, video runs at either 30fps or 29.97fps. This all came to be when the US made the change from black and white broadcasts in the 50's to try and intigrate color with a minimal equipment changeover at the TV stations.Film runs at 24fps and when transferred to video it must fill in the extra 6 frames by creating a pull down meaning every other frame is a frame and a half. In a PAL format everything is just 25fps. Also when doing a PAL to NTSC you also must pitch and speed correct by 4% to account for the 25 to 30 frame rate. I work with this stuff every day, if anyone would like a more detailed explaination I'd be glad to go into more detail.
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