Is PAL/NTSC compatability a major problem in the states?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan_M_M, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. Ryan_M_M

    Ryan_M_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Just browsing this forum, I noticed how many living in North America have to fork out a substantial amount of money for a player that will convert PAL to NTSC output. I take it around 90 percent of players in the United States must be R1 encoded only? In the UK, it is quite easy and cheap to get a player that will output PAL and NTSC. How much would a cheap multi-region player cost in the states normally?
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    90%? Try 99%. There is 1, maybe 2 models of VCR that support PAL/NTSC conversion out there on the market (at $6-800). There are virtually no domestic retailers that carry chipped players, and all those are imported for a very small market. A few high-end projectors support PAL and NTSC, but 99% of televisions on the market in the US in any form do not support PAL.

    Most US players will output PAL, it's a matter of getting somethign that will DISPLAY PAL. A cheap player that CAN be modified can be gotten for around $100, however, they are really crappy in terms of build quality and the PAL/NTSC conversion.
     
  3. Ryan_M_M

    Ryan_M_M Stunt Coordinator

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    That's pretty bad. Almost any modern VCR and TV in the UK will adequetely output NTSC. From the NTSC DVDs, I've seen, there is very little difference in terms of quality between PAL and NTSC, however PAL destroys NTSC in terms of VHS quality, but VHS is crap in any transmission. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Ryan, you misunderstand. It's not a matter of OUTPUTTING the signal. US TVs are NTSC ONLY. Most UK sets seem to be dual standard, or at least support NTSC friendly PAL 60. US TVs cannot play PAL, period, so you need to buy a VCR or DVD player with a built in converter, which if you don't want it to look like crap is a lot of money
     
  5. Angsty

    Angsty Stunt Coordinator

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    Most new TVs, videos and DVD players in Australia over the past 5 years or so are dual format for PAL and NTSC signals. This has not really been much of an issue or concern to the mainstream,
    EXCEPT....
    when distributers such as Warner Australia get too greedy/lazy and release DVD titles in the NTSC format. This may be OK if your TV is less than 5 years of age, but if not, then the picture is unwatchable. This apparent loop-hole allows dubious releases like a P&S NTSC version of Willy Wonka in R4 to occurr [​IMG]
    If R1 had dual signal TV/DVD players, would distributers then be free to release titles in the PAL format? (ie: same content - different region code?) [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Angela
     
  6. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Excellant PAL to NTSC coversion for DVD is actually very easy to come by in the States using the Malata N996 player. The most popular site for purchasing this player is avdeals.com which will ship the player to the states for $290.00 US dollars. It is a superb player that converts PAL to NTSC without a sweat and plays all regions. Home computers can also do PAL to NTSC conversion very well for a cost of around $200 (not counting the cost of the computer itself, but most people already have one). I order around 5 to 10 PAL discs a month, mostly from Australia (where they are very cheap even with the cost of shipping) and Britain. JCV also makes a few models that do good PAL to NTSC conversion and can be purchased properly chipped for less than $300.

    It's really not all that difficult to get one of these players, though they aren't sold by the major mass marketers of DVD players such as Circuit City and Best Buy so you need to use the Web to get them.

    Finally, for about $150 you can find low quality Chinese made players that will do a so-so job of converting PAL to NTSC.

    As to VHS, well, who really cares if there is a quality VCR than can play PAL tapes at a reasonable cost. Most of the home theater crowd isn't interested in VHS.
     
  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Jay,

    That is correct, but the people willing to buy a Malata are very few in comparison to the market at large. My point is that except for a few retailers, no one here carries chipped players, and none of those will chip your player for you, because all of their decks are imported.
     
  8. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    A modded JVC can be had for about $300. It'll uses the same chipset as the Malata so the Pal->NTSC transcoding is just as good. Plus it'll do DVD-Audio and has a lot better build quality.
     
  9. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    The JVC will be almost as good as the Malata. One advantage the Malata has over the JVC is X-Y scaling to let you fine tune the aspect ratio which is a bit off with PAL discs without using X-Y scaling (at least when using the Malata with NTSC sets).
     
  10. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Does the JVC have the same scalling feature as the Malata for non-anamorphic material? I really don't care about PAL to NTSC conversion because I have a multi-standard TV, but I LOVE the non-anamorphic scalling that the Malata does -- it works WAY better than the zoom on my TV, plus it can shift the picture around by small degrees (handy for those in the letterbox subtitles on non-anamorphic disks and can zoom out, thus defeating your TV's overscan.

    On the other hand the Malata does have a pathetic remote, runs hot, and worst of all, can't defeat "mandatory" subtitles or override other "forbiden by the disk" functions.

    Ted
     
  11. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    not the same but similar to what the RP91 does. It doesn't have the x-y scaling the malata does.
     

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