NTSC/PAL/DVD question at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center

Distribution Center
PC or Mac, how to take your video to DVD or the Internet.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 20th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Posts: 19
NTSC/PAL/DVD question

Still new at this, and trying to wrap my head around the NTSC/PAL thing. Thought that someone out there might be able to provide some clarity.

I have been creating video (Vegas 6.0) in the US in NTSC. No problem when I burn DVDs (always as multi-region) in NTSC.

I've had a request to create DVDs that will need to go out to many countries throughout Europe and Asia.

Here are my questions:

What would happen if someone in a country with the PAL standard tried to play a NTSC DVD on their DVD player? Would they get any picture at all?

What if they tried to play that same DVD in a computer with a DVD drive? Does the NTSC/PAL standard apply to computer drives?

My assumption is that I need to create a NTSC version of the DVD and a PAL version of the DVD if the disc is to be played on a traditional DVD player.

(This is a company training video, so it may be played either on a TV/DVD or via a laptop computer/projector.)

This may be a Vegas specific question, but can I just use the same file and somehow render to PAL instead of NTSC?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Dawn Haynesobrien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 20th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,507
Any decent NLE should let you export the mpeg2 file in the desired format, regardless of what your source file was - Vegas is probably no exception, but you better ask that question on the appropriate forum.

Now for the general questions: most DVD players worldwide won't care about what you feed them, be it NTSC or PAL, region one, two... whatever. I have lots of DVDs from Europe, clearly marked as region 2 PAL, and almost all of my DVD players will play them... keyword "almost"... not all of them. Manufacturers basically make one player for the whole world, and then dumb it down to local requirements. It looks like after some time they got tired of it and just leave all of the options open (before, you had go in the service menu and fool around a little to open up blocked regions and TV systems).

With computers it's a similar story - I'll give you the Windows version and let Mac people chime in on what is their story. Software allows to change the DVD region five times, the fifth time locks down the computer to whatever the last change was. There is software out there, supposedly illegal but you can buy it on the internet for around $25 - it will unlock the region code. See http://www.dvdidle.com/ for example.

Bottom line is, if you want no headaches, and want to make sure your DVD will play in a country, then make it to the specs in that country! Most players will not care, but you would get burned for those few that would not play your NTSC 'region 1' product.
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2007, 09:07 AM   #3
New Boot
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Posts: 19
Thanks very much for your insight! Most helpful!
Dawn Haynesobrien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2007, 06:02 PM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hillsborough, NC, USA
Posts: 968
My cheap $19 DVD player happily plays PAL and NTSC.

My considerably more expensive Pioneer doesn't - only NTSC.
My two DVD recorders don't - only NTSC.

So it all depends!
John Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2007, 07:43 AM   #5
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 40
In general, a large percentage of PAL DVD Players will play NTSC DVD's. However, a much smaller percentage of NTSC DVD Players will play PAL DVD's.

Computer playback should be no problem (as mentioned above).

If this isn't a must-be-perfect type of DVD, then DVDA has a nice feature of letting you simply change the project from NTSC to PAL (and vice versa), and then output the converted DVD (saving all the menus and chapters accordingly). So prepare once, output two formats...

For mission-critical DVD's, you would be best to get a proper standards converter, and re-authoring using the converted assets.

George Wing is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:15 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network