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NTSC vs. PAL...all regions?? (1 Viewer)

Neil Rudish

Auditioning
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Apr 30, 2002
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I'm somewhat confused: I saw a DVD set listed for sale in New Zealand, where the seller claims the title is for all regions, but is in the PAL format. What's confusing?
1. Wouldn't Region 1, by nature of its location, be considered NTSC?
2. Isn't the data on a DVD stored as compressed MPEG data, which is independent of format? (My computer monitor certainly isn't NTSC ;) and plays DVDs just fine.) My thought was that the DVD player itself decoded the MPEG then formatted it for NTSC or PAL within the player, depending on what type of player you owned (NTSC or PAL).
3. If this is an all-regions DVD, will it play in the U.S. on home theater and/or computer DVD players?
Hope my questions make sense!
TIA,
-= N =-
 

Jeff Kleist

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1. Wouldn't Region 1, by nature of its location, be considered NTSC?

Yes. All Region 2-Japan and 98% of Region 3-Hong Kong discs are NTSC as well (As well as some Australian titles as I'm sure someone will point out)

2. Isn't the data on a DVD stored as compressed MPEG data, which is independent of format? (My computer monitor certainly isn't NTSC and plays DVDs just fine.) My thought was that the DVD player itself decoded the MPEG then formatted it for NTSC or PAL within the player, depending on what type of player you owned (NTSC or PAL).

Yes, MPEG is MPEG, but a set top DVD player just passes the signal it decodes. NTSC is 29.97fps, 60Hz and 720x480 while PAL is 25fps 50Hz and 720x576. The MPEG files are encoded to these different standards which YES most DVD players can PASS. Most players in the US will pass PAL, but since your display doesn't have a PAL tuner it doesn't understand the signal it's getting.

3. If this is an all-regions DVD, will it play in the U.S. on home theater and/or computer DVD players?

Yes, but again, being able to display it depends on your TV/Projector having a PAL tuner, or your player being able to convert PAL to NTSC
 

Neil Rudish

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Apr 30, 2002
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Jeff: that seems to cover most of the bases. Thanks! I'd thought the signal was encoded as MPEG in a high-res format and then decoded for NTSC or PAL at the player. Wrong there, I guess!
I'm still looking over my DVD player on the computer to see if it plays back in both formats or not. Can't really tell yet (WinDVD 3.0). I could at least watch it there if the other players in the house choke on it. :crazy:
Gracias,
-= N =-
 

rutger_s

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Computer monitors are not set for NTSC or PAL standards. They will accept input and output from NTSC or PAL with maybe some distortion, even on NTSC.
 

Christian Behrens

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You will have to make your computer DVD ROM drive region-free, which means flashing it with new firmware. Secondly, you need a tool on the OS level that allows you to switch regions without limits, e.g. DVD-Genie on Windows.
For more info check out Infomatrix.
-Christian
 

cafink

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This seems like a good place to ask…

I have an APEX DVD player that I've modified to play discs from any region. I have discs from a few different regions, but all are NTSC. On the remote is a button labeled "P/N." The instruction booklet says that it's a PAL/NTSC toggle. If I hit it, the picture turns black-and-white and starts scrolling up and down (like there's a problem with the V-hold).

What exactly does this button do? I can't use it to play PAL discs, can I? I was under the impression that most DVD players can't do that, especially cheap $75 ones.
 

Neil Rudish

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On the remote is a button labeled "P/N." The instruction booklet says that it's a PAL/NTSC toggle. If I hit it, the picture turns black-and-white and starts scrolling up and down (like there's a problem with the V-hold).
That certainly sounds like what PAL video would do on an NTSC set! That's good to know there is a toggle for that.

On my main computer downstairs, I'm using a dual-monitor Matrox card, and I can designate one of the outputs for standard video (via RCA or S-video with a dongle that attaches to the VGA port). Given my sound card has 5.1 outputs, I could in essence use this for my DVD playback instead of the Toshiba DVD deck I normally use.

-= N =-
 

Neil Rudish

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Apr 30, 2002
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Computer monitors are not set for NTSC or PAL standards. They will accept input and output from NTSC or PAL with maybe some distortion, even on NTSC.
I've been finding that DVD playback on my computers here is much better (cleaner) looking than standard TV, thanks to the lack of scan lines. Last year, I'd almost considered buying one of those Gateway Destination monitors, used (either 31" or 36") just to be able to playback noninterlaced video from the computer on it. (These are getting cheap on the used market...or were, the last time I looked many months ago.) I have an older 36" rear projection set that has a "gassy" green tube in it, and the set isn't worth the $700 (parts only!) to replace it!
I'm just buying time right now. No desire to hop into an HDTV set, especially with all the digital-bashing going on by our wonderful government :angry: . Will probably sit this out for a few years...as little as I watch DVD anymore, it's usually at a computer while I'm working.
-= N =-
 

rutger_s

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The Apex remotes have a button to switch from PAL to NTSC and Vice Versa. This is in case, the unit is set to MULTI in the TV settings. You can usually set it to the proper color system and never have to touch the P/N button.
 

Michael St. Clair

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97% of DVD players sold in America will not play R0 PAL on your NTSC TV.
Exceptions include the XBox, many recent JVC players, and certain APEX models. They don't need a mod to play R0 PAL.
 

Carl Hood

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Jan 15, 2002
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Something else I have heard may need to be considered in the NTSC vs PAL forum is the different colour temperature for white used by each format (please shoot me down if I am wrong!). I have a number of R1 NTSC disks which are distinctly yellower in colour compared to their R4 PAL counterparts. Contrast is quite different as well. Comments?

BTW - I guess we are lucky "down under" in that all DVD players ever sold in this country can handle both formats but not all regions. Likewise most newer TVs.
 

Jeff Kleist

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Carl, most US players will PASS PAL, but virtually no US television can DISPLAY PAL

That's the problem, and why we need converters
 

JoelO

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That's why go w/ the projector route, which should be able to handle NTSC & PAL nicely.. :)
 

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