How good are built-in PAL converters?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sean Aaron, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Sean Aaron

    Sean Aaron Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Sean Aaron
    My wife and I are contemplating moving to Canada from the UK and we have a sizeable R2 DVD collection. It appears that multi-standard widescreen TVs don't exist in North America, so simply getting two DVD players isn't going to work. I've looked at standalone PAL converters, but they only seem to support S-Video at best, so that's not on since I'd be getting a tv with component connectors and want best possible video.

    Are the converters that come with multi-region JVC and Toshiba (most likely brands of DVD player given what I've seen available) up to the job, or will I see a difference in quality switching between R1 and R2?
     
  2. Erik G. Lund

    Erik G. Lund Extra

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are JVC and Toshiba actually making factory-released multi-region players? My understanding is that the DVD Forum has been very strict on restricting DVD units to be sold only as SINGLE region players - and as these two manufacturers are charter members of this 'cartel' I am wondering.

    Also - if they would be SINGLE region from the factory - how do JVC and Toshiba explain the addition of PAL.

    I have only understood that 'outside hacking' wasa the only way to get a multi-region player - and in Europe the NTSC/PAL question is handled by most TV's being PAL/NTSC - so R1's are easier to use.

    As for the question at hand converters should be well enough made - the main point is that NTSC quality is not up to PAL - 525 lines vs. 625 etc.
     
  3. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    2,991
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Sean,

    It is possible to get an European multi-standard widescreen TV in North America -- I know, because I did [​IMG] Of course if you have a good one already, it may be cheaper to have it shipped.

    Most good front projectors are multi-standard as well.

    There are DVD players that do pretty good PAL to NTSC conversion: Malata 520 and Philips 727 are two examples.

    Stay away from standalone converters -- they are a complete waste of money. For the best quality though, nothing will beat a good multi-standard viewing device.

    Ted
     
  4. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    I have a Philips 727 and it does flawless PAL->NTSC conversion along with Progressive scan.


    Chris
     
  5. Jeff Mason

    Jeff Mason Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    While the Philips does a nice job with PAL, it WILL NOT properly convert anamorphic widescreen PAL discs. I tested it with the UK director's cut of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on my friend's machine when I "hacked" it for him to be region free. It did not display the film properly, instead choosing to force it into a full screen approximation of some kind. This did not happen on an R3 anamorphic NTSC film I also tried out.
     
  6. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Then to put it bluntly, you did something WRONG or had a setting in the setup or were not using the 727 that we are speaking of. The only way I can see this happen is you told the player it was connected to a 16:9 set when in reality you had it hooked to a 4:3 set. I also have a 727 (4 of them in fact) and it will FLAWLESSLY convert anamorphic PAL>NTSC.

    Each.
    and.
    every.
    R2.
    and.
    R4.
    disc.
    I.
    have.
    PERIOD.

    R2 discs tested.. (off the top of my head)

    Farscape, Season 4, all 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.
    Mutant X, Season 1, all 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.
    Dark Angel, Seasons 1 & 2, all 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.
    Bottom Live 2004 tour, 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.
    Goodness Gracious Me, series 3, 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.
    Fierce Creatures, 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.
    A Fish Called Wanda SE, 16:9 Anamorphic PAL.

    and on.. and on...
     
  7. Erik G. Lund

    Erik G. Lund Extra

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    TT:



    Please drop the other shoe [​IMG] and mention brands and sources you might know about

    Thanks
     
  8. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Like Rick P. said, all the anamorphic PAL DVDs I have played have been converted perfectly. And this is on a 4:3 TV, which is where most PAL->NTSC converters mess up the anamorphic transfer.

    Ones that can't handle the conversion do exactly as Jeff described. Maybe it wasn't a 727, but the 727 and 726 I have, as well as those owned by others (check out nerd-out.com) handle the conversion properly.


    Chris
     
  9. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    2,991
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    My TV is a 30" 16:9 Sony WEGA. I got it over 4 years ago, so my choice of model number and vendor may not mean much today, but if you do a search on the Web you'll find vendors and models -- that's how I found mine back then... Let us know what you find, and I'd be happy to comment -- I'm too lazy to search myself [​IMG]

    Ted
     
  10. Scott Barnhart

    Scott Barnhart Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here is one source of Multisystem TV's that you can buy in the US. I have never bought a TV from them, but did buy a multisystem VCR and PAL/NTSC convertor from them and was very happy with my experience.
     
  11. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Messages:
    2,991
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Yes, Mindlogic is the outfit I got my TV from. Thanks for jogging my memory.

    Ted
     
  12. Sean Aaron

    Sean Aaron Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Sean Aaron


    Sorry, I was referring to modified versions of the JVC XVN77SL and Toshiba SD4900
     
  13. Sean Aaron

    Sean Aaron Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Sean Aaron


    Well, I have a second-hand 32" widescreen Sanyo, that I would keep if it was easier, but it only has SCART input, and frankly isn't worth it to keep even if it was multi-voltage, which I'm not sure it is.

    I'll think I'll just go the converter route as I can buy an NTSC widescreen tube set cheaper than what's being offered online in multistandard (which mostly seem to be square sets for some reason).

    Any opinions on the multi-region dvd players I mentioned? I'm quite partial to the JVC as it's progressive scan and plays back DVD-R and DVD+R, which is a pretty important feature to me.
     
  14. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    THe Philips 727 (around $70) that several of us mention is progressive, and mine play +/-R with no problem whatsoever (and I archive a lot to disc, so I hammer them quite well)
     
  15. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Add JVC to that list. I purchased my JVC XVSA70 multi-regional player from JVB Digital. Here ia another site & a third site. I know nothing about these last two sites as I've never done business with them. Based on my personal experience, I can recommend JVB Digital.
     
  16. Jeff Mason

    Jeff Mason Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rick,

    Considering I had about 5 minutes to "play" with the unit, I'm willing to accept that some settings may have been incorrect. However, if you re-read my post, you'll see I put in an anamorphic PAL disc which did not play properly in widescreen followed by an anamorphic NTSC R3 disc which DID play properly in widescreen. It was a 4:3 TV, but it seems to me that if the PAL anamophic disc didn't display properly in widescreen then the NTSC disc wouldn't have either. Again, I don't have the unit to play with again so I'm not able to "replicate" my experiment. The machine is most certainly a 727 purchased from Amazon in the U.S.

    I've never had to tweak any settings on my Malata to get it to play anamorphic discs, either PAL or NTSC; pop the disc in and it plays properly right off the bat. Perhaps other units require some type of menu setup? I have no idea.

    In the end, I have no "stake" in this. If the 727 does convert flawlessly as many have now attested to, then it is quite a bargain at the price it sells for!
     

Share This Page