PAL/NTSC Progressive scan

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by PhillJones, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    0
    Morning all,

    Please excuse me if I'm posting in the wrong forum. I'm new arround here but I figure that my questions are pretty basic so I'll put it in here.

    I've just arrived in the States from England and all the HC terms and technologies are different and confusing for a poor simple limey such as myself.

    I'm looking to set up a large screen, probably plasma, home cinema that's multi region and multi standard. I've spoken to one dealer who said he only had one multi standard TV, the Toshiba 42HP83 42" plasma. He says it is pal compatible, HD and prog scan but didn't know if it'll recieve a progressive PAL signal. As I'm sure you know, there is some confusion over the PAL progressive format. So:

    1) Are multi standard TVs rare here? Does anybody know where I can find a list of multi-standard TVs, a decent dealer in Boston or any help.

    2) Same as above but for DVD players. I figure I need a DVD player that'll output both PAL and NTSC progressive but none of the dealers I speak to know anything about this. Where should I go for help with this.

    3) Should I change tack and try and find some kind of seperate de-interlacer or line doubler, or a TV with one built in and just get a multi region player and use the interlaced signal from it?

    Sorry about the length of this post.

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Nothing to be sorry about. Yes, monitors capable of scanning at both NTSC and PAL rates are nearly nonexistent here in the U.S. The only one I can think of offhand is the Sampo line of direct-view sets (Sampo had stopped importing sets here for a while, and, just a few years ago, resumed selling its wares in the U.S.). My understanding is that the Sampos use(d) a notch filter instead of a comb filter as a result.

    You will find that there are far fewer "hackers" here in the U.S. Multiregion players are rare, too.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    To add to what Jack has written, I’ll confirm that multi-standard TV sets are very rare here.

    However you can buy DVD players that will not only play both PAL and NTSC DVDs, but will convert PAL to NTSC. Offhand Malata is a brand that makes several models, including ones that are progressive scan. Most (perhaps all) of their models are also multi-voltage, so you can take it back to the UK, should you desire. These players are also multi-region.

    As to your point three, any TV now sold in the use that can benefit from a progressive scan DVD player will have a line-doubler (or de-interlacer). This is because here, all these models will be capable of displaying HD signals as well.

    My advice, get an HD capable set and a Malata progessive scan and don’t spend any more time thinking about a TV that can display both PAL & NTSC.
     
  4. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice both of you. I guess I would have to see a system in action. to judge for myself but I've heard bad things about PAL-NTSC conversion. Messed up time bases, juddery results, stretched images. The thought of interpoating down to a lower resolution sounds bad to me. Even if you iterpolate back up again, the result must be to loose information. I don't really want to spend thousand of dollars for something that looks bad.

    Back home, I originally had a player that would convert from NTSC to true PAL. It looked terrible, slow pans and zooms juddered horribly. I found that using a TV that could received a 60Hz signal and converting the colour from NTSC to PAL but not the frequency looked good. Are there multi-frequency TVs?

    Perhaps I can get a player that interpolates the standard "PAL resolution" signal up to a 780p signal at 50 Hz or 100Hz and have a TV that can accept this? Is this a practical idea?
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Phil, welcome to the forum and to the States.

    First you should understand that you are coming to a very insular country. We mostly only care about things as they are here and don’t worry so much about compatibility. Which is no doubt a reason that our TVs won’t display PAL, while every TV I ever saw in Australia would display NTSC as well as PAL.

    And why it was relatively easy to find dual voltage appliances there and not so easy here. (Think for a moment that our electricity is 60 Hz, not 50 Hz) This fundamentally means that the timing issues are real and won’t go away (we use a 3:2 pulldown—I’m pretty sure that PAL systems use 2, 2 2)

    You will not likely find a TV here that will accept a 50 Hz signal. There are some DVD players that internally upscale to 1080i and output via a DVI interface. But none that I know of at 50 Hz, even if there were any TVs that accepted them.

    This is the bad news.

    The good news is that an HD set here, has better resolution that PAL and has better color saturation as well (for ATSC signals). I really think that your best bet is to get a player like a Malata and use an HD display for displaying the picture. Anything you do will be a compromise—this is going to be the least expensive of the compromises, the easiest to implement, and possibly the most satisfactory.

    You have not said why you need the PAL capability, but I assume that it is for your DVD library.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    What Lew said! Every bit of it.
     
  7. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, it's for the DVD library. So, in reality, the colour encoding isn't the issue as DVDs use neither PAL nor NTSC and componant doesn't colour encode anyway.

    The issue is timing and resolution. From what you say, the resolution problem will go away if I get a player that'll ouput 1080i as the picture is only interpolated upwards. This only leaves timing. I'd have to see one working to make a judgement but I guess if I have a plasma screen that corrects for 3:2, it might look okay. Thanks for the info guys, you've been very helpful.

    FYI. The way that film is converted to PAL is simply to split the the frame into two fields. The upside is that the motion is perfectly smooth, no 3:2 pull-down. The downside is that it's 50 fps, not 48fps, resulting in a speed up, most notably sounds are all a semitone or so too high. Expensive transfers do pitch adjustment. Another, more esoteric issue is that without that duplicated field that's inherent in NTSC 3:2, it's harder to work out which fields belong to which frame, hence the difficulty in establishing a progressive PAL format. There is supposed to be flags to tell the player which fields belong together but most producers are lazy and don't implement them properly.

    Enough ranting from me already,

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
  8. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are headed towards progressive scan, you might consider a de-interlacer such as a Lumagen Vision, that accepts and de-interlaces both NTSC and PAL, then scales either or both to a common output scan rate (or resolution) to match your TV (or projector).

    The quality of the PAL-NTSC or NTSC-PAL conversion in a run of the mill multi-standard TV is hard to find out in advance. It is entirely possible to end up with the vertical resolution cut in half.

    I haven't seen the Lumagen models (or others) do 576i - 480p or 480i - 576p conversion. I can't guarantee that they produce a totally judder free output but according to their literature and my use of them for 480i to 480p they are very good. These video processors do not speed up or slow down the video with accompanying audio pitch change, they do not cut the vertical resolution in half, but PAL sources of U.S. movies may already have the 24 fps to 25 fps speedup in it and they won't undo that.

    (Specifically for the Lumagen models, they only scale up, as far as 1080p, not down. You would not want to take in PAL and output 480p since in this case the bottom 96 scan lines of the picture will be cropped.)

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/vidscale.htm
     
  9. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a really good idea Allan. Thanks for that.

    Does that mean that I would just connect the interlaced componant output into the de-interlacer and let it take care of everything? Or, do I use the progressive output and use the box for purely for scaling?
     
  10. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the Lumagen models, you can feed composite, S-video, and interlaced component in either directly or from an A/V receiver or switch boxes, and the unit automatically figures out whether it is NTSC or PAL. The output remains constant at whatever resolution or scan rate you set it to be with the proper scaling applied.

    The Lumagen models do not scale material that is already progressive. But the de-interlacing is so good you don't really need a progresive DVD player. Some other scaler models may scale progressive material.
     

Share This Page