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Old June 16th, 2003, 02:32 PM   #1
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Advice on NTSC DVD from PAL

Hi all,

I find myself needing to create an NTSC DVD when all my source footage is PAL.

I understand that most NTSC DVD players won't happily play a PAL DVD (but PAL DVD players generally are happy to play NTSC DVDs). So, rather than reshoot everything in NTSC (budget, doncha know), I need to perform some conversion.

The question is, where in the workflow will it be best to convert?

My footage is PAL DV25 (DVCAM). I am editing this in a native DV25 editing system (Digisuite DTV with Premiere 6). For the PAL DVD I then encode straight to PAL MPEG2 from the Premiere timeline.

Which would give the best results (I am asking here because trying them all out instead requires money...):

1 convert the original source material to NTSC DV25 (choice: by After Effects, or by an external conversion house) and then edit it all in NTSC space before encoding to NTSC MPEG from the timeline. This would permit all work to be in NTSC space, but would it suffer from editing in the reduced screen resolution of NTSC DV (there are some DVE effects)?
2 edit down in PAL, then render to PAL DV25 (DVCAM/DV) before converting _that_ to NTSC DV25 and encoding that to NTSC MPEG. This would avoid editing in the reduced screen resolution of NTSC DV, but might suffer from being difficult to work interactively (every time I rendered I would have to convert again to NTSC...).
3 is there some way of avoiding a 4:2:0 to 4:1:1 to 4:2:0 double conversion: I ask because DVD MPEG2 and PAL DV/DVCAM are 4:2:0, but NTSC DVCAM/DV is 4:1:1. So all workflows I can see involve some conversion from 4:2:0 to 4:1:1 when going to NTSC, and then back to 4:2:0 when going to MPEG. This is likely to result in some significant quality loss (I'd guess).

Any suggestions of what might be better quality, versus what might be better workflow?

Regards,

Julian
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Old June 16th, 2003, 10:27 PM   #2
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I'd edit and master in PAL then go to a post house and have an NTSC dub made of your master. From there you could hire a DSR20 or the like and capture you NTSC back into your machine and compress from there.

OR

You could use a software conversion tool like DVFilm Alantis . This will not give you the same quality of a professional hardware conversion but for DVD production it could do the job.
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Old June 17th, 2003, 03:17 AM   #3
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Yes, this way would require the least NTSC conversion - just convert the edited footage, and not all the source material.

But do you know if there is any way (does anyone provide this service) of converting and encoding from PAL DV25 (4:2:0) all the way to NTSC MPEG2 (also 4:2:0) without passing through the 4:1:1 NTSC DV25 stage on the way? This intermediate step would seem to me to effectively halve the colour information to "4:1:0" so I'd love to avoid it.

Julian
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Old June 17th, 2003, 08:14 AM   #4
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Can't help you on that one Julian. Your best bet would be to check out some post houses in London or any local ones.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 05:33 PM   #5
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If you can spend the money go with a professional house that
can do all this for you. Encoding for both DVD formats in a
professional manner. It will save you a lot of worries.

If you want to produce your NTSC DVD's yourself I suggest you
try out if 24p will look better then 30p or the other way around.
Resizing to 720x480 is no problem since you also need to convert
from a PA of 1.067 to 0.9 which will yield you a frame aspect that
is good for 720x480.
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