WinDVD PAL TruSpeed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve_Klein, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. Steve_Klein

    Steve_Klein Agent

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    Hi all:

    Long story short: Picked up the Cyberhome CH-500 "region-free" player (based on the $50 after rebate price and raves about its PAL-NTSC conversion ability) and the R4 release of one of my all-time favorite films, (ahem) Ford Fairlane. Not having experienced PAL video playback extensively, I was surprised how much I couldn't stand the infamous "PAL speedup."

    Not to rehash the relative innocuousness of the phenomenon, but suffice it to say the Cyberhome is probably going back to Best Buy, although I'm probably stuck with the sped-up Ford disc. Still wanting to partake in some of the stuff available in PAL-land but not R1, I did some research and found this in the description for WinDVD 4 for the PC:

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    PAL TruSpeed™

    PAL is the dominant video standard in Europe. When NTSC movies are transferred from film to PAL DVDs, popular in Europe, they play 4% too fast. This often results in subtle variation of the video and audio quality. With WinDVD 4, you no longer have to put up with that! InterVideo's patent-pending PAL TruSpeed automatically corrects the 4% speed error and adjusts the audio pitch to maintain natural sounding audio.

    So if you are in a country that sells PAL DVDs and you want to watch American films, WinDVD 4 is the only DVD player that will play them at the correct speed and with adjusted audio.

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    Does anyone have any experience with this feature? A close reading might lead one to conclude that the program is only doing on-the-fly pitch correction and not adjusting the frame rate to correct the overall running length or anything like that (and I shudder to think what the player would do if the pitch had already been corrected at the mastering stage). Not being an expert on the technical aspects of the whole PAL to NTSC conversion process, and assuming WinDVD doesn't do this, why couldn't a software "slowdown" be incorporated into the conversion to compensate for the frame rate change? Maybe I'm asking why the whole "PAL speedup" HAS to exist in the first place and I need a good primer on the whole process (if there's one feel free to point me there). Otherwise, thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    basically it slows playback 4%, but warning, you cannot do 5.1 tracks with it, only stereo, and that's not likely to change due to the major processing that it would take to correctly adjust all those streams AND keep it in sync (and then recombine them BACK into DD/DTS for output, which would probably be an atrocious licensing headache to boot)
    The reason for PAL speedup in a nutshell
    Film runs at 24fps (ALL movies, and most television is shot 24fps, Farscape is the only international show I know of that is shot 25fps)
    PAL runs at 25fps
    Since dropping a frame looks weird, especially if you're doing it once a second, they instead speed up playback so you get all the proper motion in the alloted frames. Since both 24 and 30 are multiples of 6, it's easy for NTSC to play back fine by using 3:2 pulldown and by repeating frames keep everything moving at proper rate ( like so: frame 1, 2,3,3,4,5,5,6,7,8,8) In case your're wondering, converting PAL to NTSC is fairly simple, since both are multples of 5. The whole key is the fact you're dealing with whole frames instead of percentages [​IMG]
    If this is utterly confusing, tell me so, I'ts almost 1 and I'm exhausted [​IMG]
     
  3. David L. Gold

    David L. Gold Auditioning

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    >>Does anyone have any experience with this feature?
     
  4. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Come to think of it, my old CD player (a high end Denon something-or-other) has pitch control. I wonder which DVD players and/or receivers have similar features?

    Ted
     
  5. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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