I'm fed up with NTSC.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren Pillans, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Darren Pillans

    Darren Pillans Second Unit

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    Hey all,
    Here in Australia we of course use the PAL format.
    I've always been aware of PAL's increased resloution, but as I want a movie's US cut, I buy ONLY region 1 titles.
    I was happy doing this (ie: rationalising NTSC's lower resolution) until I played my region 1 Phantom Menace.
    This is an ORDINARY looking transfer.
    Since this movie only has it visuals going for it, I feel compelled to ditch it and most of my other discs for their PAL counterparts. Why would any rational human being do anything else?
    PAL is almost always better.
    Could someone please clarify the specific differences in the two formats?
    Lines of resolution, etc.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bruce Karsten

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    NTSC - 525 lines, PAL - 625 lines
     
  3. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    But then NTSC is ~30FPS and PAL is ~24?
    --
    Holadem - I might be wrong
     
  4. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    PAL is 25fps. NTSC is 30 (technicaly 29.997fps)
    In order to play back 24fps (movie) NTSC display one field twice in the sequence. PAL, on the other hand, just speeds up the playback by 4%!
    So, PAL has more resolution, and is less jerky on pans, but it's got it's own problems.
    TPM's transfer isn't great, by any stretch, I don't think that is the fault of NTSC.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  6. Paul Pacey

    Paul Pacey Extra

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    PAL may have a superior picture, but it also uses a lot more space on the disc, leaving only room for Dolby Digital soundtracks and 99% of PAL Region 4 releases. Which to me, is quite frustrating, as I am an avid DTS fan from way back.
    We do have the advantage in that most new PAL devices (TV, VHS, DVD, etc.) will play NTSC format video sources, so at least we have the choice.
    And lets face it, the DVD market is aimed primarily at the US domestic scene as it is the biggest market for the studios, so our American brothers usually get the better options as far as extras, soundtracks, packaging, and even multiple releases of the same title (which is debatable as money making exploitation vs. giving the consumer the extra options/director's cut, etc.)
    As far as PAL speeding up the picture/soundtrack, I'd love to meet anyone who could pick the difference (although I heard Titanic ran 7 minutes shorter in PAL, leaving our bums a little less numb [​IMG] ).
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Paul the difference is very noticable on films you're familiar with. I have a PAL version of the Star Wars Trilogy on VCD, and the soundtrack is noticably higher. Someone did a back to back comparison wav file for a movie.. anyone still have that?
    ------------------
    My DVD Collection
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  8. Paul Pacey

    Paul Pacey Extra

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    Well then, Adam, it's very nice to meet you. [​IMG]
     
  9. donovan_chin

    donovan_chin Stunt Coordinator

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    Adam, PAL does NOT alter the soundtrack. The speed up only occurs when you watch PAL DVDs on NTSC machines that are region free or when you watch PAL VCDs. If you had a PAL machine and watched a PAL DVD/VCD, the soundtrack will be played at the correct speed.
     
  10. Justin B

    Justin B Agent

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    Donovan,
    The 4% speed-up DOES occur on PAL machines playing PAL film-based (ie 24 fps) sources. It is the nature of the format, regardless if it is played back on a PAL system or a PAL compatible NTSC system.
     
  11. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Two common ways of committing a 24 FPS film directly to PAL video:
    1. Repeating every 24/th frame, the length of the movie and pitch of music is unchanged. Actually they should repeat one field (even or odd) of every 12'th frame, to minimize jerkiness. Namely 11 film frames taking odd and even PAL fields, then odd, even, odd fields for the 12'th film frame, then 11 more film frames even and odd, then even, odd, even for the 24'th film frame.
    2. Consuming 25 frames of film for every second of play time, there is a slight speedup of picture and sound. Four percent is more than half a semitone (6%) so some people will sense that music is playing in the next higher key.
    Some problems with NTSC-PAL conversion and vice versa (not always encountered):
    1. Poor comb filtering. If the video was composite prior to being converted, Y/C separation must be done, if notch filtering or poor comb filtering is done, there will be lots of artifacts such as dot crawl.
    2. Scan lines must be added (NTSC-PAL) or deleted (PAL-NTSC) and moire patterns and flickering can be accentuated. This is analogous to the problem of downconverting anamorphic DVD content to play on 4:3 TV sets.
    Other video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
    [Edited last by Allan Jayne on November 15, 2001 at 04:28 PM]
     
  12. donovan_chin

    donovan_chin Stunt Coordinator

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    My bad [​IMG]
     
  13. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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