DVD question for Aussies...aka Region codes, PAL, and NTSC oh My! at DVinfo.net

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Old April 11th, 2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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DVD question for Aussies...aka Region codes, PAL, and NTSC oh My!

I am over here in the US and have a client asking if I can make her a region 4 compliant DVD that she can send to her family in Australia. I was about to call her back and happily inform her that my DVDs are good for all regions but I am nearly certain that Australia is a PAL country and I am working in NTSC. Is that correct?

I am shooting in HDV and editing in HDV and burning out NTSC files at the render. If I do burn PAL files and author a PAL disc instead, I would have no way to test functionality....What is the good solution here? Thanks for your help
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:28 AM   #2
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You don't say what software you're using. The two tools I use for disk authoring (Encore CS3 and Nero 9) are region agnostic by default. If you don't specify a region, you should be good in players worldwide.

I've read many posts stating that NTSC DVDs can play in many (most?) PAL players in Europe. I don't see why it would be any different in Aus. If your client is willing, why not send an NTSC disk over and see if it works? If it does it will save you time and preserve the video quality.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Daugherty View Post
...If I do burn PAL files and author a PAL disc instead, I would have no way to test functionality....What is the good solution here?
Put that PAL DVD into a PC or mac, and closely inspect the disc information provided by your DVD-Video playback software - First, it should play, second, it should be identified as a PAL disk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
...I've read many posts stating that NTSC DVDs can play in many (most?) PAL players in Europe...
It's true, in my direct experience. Most NTSC disks will play in most PAL players to most PAL TVs most of the time. If this is good enough, then fine. Sometimes, it's not good enough...

On the other hand, if the viewer in Australia is looking at the DVD on a computer, NTSC is going to be fine.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 02:15 AM   #4
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Hey Bryan!

In my experience most dvd players over here do play NTSC disks. The 3 players that i have at home all work with NTSC dvds although i have heard of cases where they won't work in some players.

This is just my experience however...

By making an NTSC dvd there is always a possibility that it won't be playable in the clients player, and i guess its really up to you whether you want to take that risk...
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Old April 20th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Sorry I was away and thanks for all the advice

I have been wrapped up in shot blocking for this event (we are filming HDV Thurs-Sun) and didn't get back here until today. Thanks for all the input and WOW! what a different header on DVi, but that is OT.

I have found a local lab that has a PAL system they use for testing and they are going to let me come by when my disc is ready to put it through the paces.

Tripp - Sorry about that oversight. I use Vegas Pro8 and DVD arch for my editing. I also have Premiere Pro CS4 and Encore CS4 but do most of my work in Vegas/DVDA.

Seth, Aaron - I am surprised to hear that most PAL players will play back NTSC dvds without issue, I had always heard the 2 formats were incompatible. When you have tried this before, did the content get skewed terribly due to the resolution, aspect ratio variances? How did it look?

Thanks for all the feedback,
Bryan
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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If the DVD player plays the disc, it will resize/resample and spit it out in the correct PAL format.

Keyword: IF. Most players will play it, some won't - all my NTSC players are happily playing region free PAL DVDs for example - the video output is NTSC, the conversion is done internally.

What I would do is, send them both a PAL and an NTSC disc - if the NTSC disc plays, they have higher quality (you loose some quality by reencoding to PAL).
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:10 PM   #7
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Ervin I am not sure i am following your train of thought here. Why would I take a hit to the quality if i reencode to PAL? Here are my intended workflows.

a. Shoot HDV -> Capture HDV -> Edit in VEGAS for HDV -> Render NTSC Widescreen DVD Files -> DVD architect to author and burn DVDs
b. Shoot HDV -> Capture HDV -> Edit in VEGAS for HDV -> Render BD-r Files -> DVD architect to author and burn BD-r
c. a. Shoot HDV -> Capture HDV -> Edit in VEGAS for HDV -> Render PAL Widescreen DVD Files -> DVD architect to author and burn DVDs for PAL format

With HD source material, why would I take a hit on quality when rendering out to PAL? Wouldn't it reconform the clip to the appropriate PAL configurations similar to outputting NTSC files from an HDV stream?
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:23 PM   #8
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With HDV as source material the quality hit will not be that bad as it would be with DV, but if you do a comparison, you will understand what I' saying.

May I suggest you Google around, the subject is very well documented on this and other websites.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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Ervin - Thanks for the quick reply. I am familiar with the issues of going from NTSC SD 720x480 to PAL SD 720x576 but I have not found any articles reference issues with going from an HDV 1440x1080 widescreen to PAL 720x576 widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.4568. I tested some HDV clips I had from a previous HD project and on screen playback they look fine. Is there something that happens in the render or during playback that I am missing?

I will run another search and see what I can come up with...

Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2009, 12:28 AM   #10
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I wanted to revisit this thread for 2 reasons.

First, my editing is wrapping and I don't think I got my last question answered and it would be nice to know before i start outputting files. If my source is HDV, why would PAL take a hit in quality vs. NTSC? I "googled around" (to quote Ervin) and I found no information that addressed the issue when the source material is HDV edited in an HD Timeline neither here or anywhere. Ervin, no offence, but I am also a little skeptical because you are in NTSC land with me so is your statement from first hand experience? If so, could you give me any further information about what happened when you tried it? As far as i can tell ATSC stands alone from NTSC and PAL and can be scaled to either without distortion, but your statement has me concerned that I am missing something.

The second reason i want to revisit this is I have found this thread crosslinked to other similar threads and I am not sure this discussion has been clarified enough to be of assistance. Thanks!
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Old June 1st, 2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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Thanks for everyone's input

Just wanted to follow-up and thank everyone for their input. I delivered the DVD last week and (according to the client) it is on route to Australia. I will let you know what her thoughts are if she lets me know.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #12
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I just wanted to let you know that it will not take a quality hit unless you are converting your SD NTSC file to your PAL file. Maybe he thought you would be doing it that way?

Or maybe he was referring to the fact that the framerate will be different, and that the framerate conversion from 29.97 to 25 will cause a slight quality degradation.

Regardless, you can preview your disc using a software dvd player on your computer, as they can play NTSC or PAL without issues.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 04:25 AM   #13
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With the project on screen in your NLE, simply change the NLE properties to PAL.
If its shot widescreen, set it at widescreen 720x576 interlaced, 25.0 fps , and render to an MPEG2 file at 8mbps VBR.

When authouring the disc, set the proerties identically, then the DVD player down here will be happy.

Sure, we can play NTSC discs in PAL land, but the quality is reduced when the hardware does the conversion. Its best to supply the right format in the first place.

Same goes for those in PAL Land sending discs to NTSC users... set the properties appropriately in the NLE first, and all will be well.

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Old July 30th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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Like Ben mentioned, I think there would be a loss in quality if the Ozzie Pal DVD player is converting the actual NTSC DVD disc for viewing...which would be the case if you are delivering a NTSC version disc.
The best thing, instead of making NTSC discs, would be to produce Pal version DVD discs direct from the raw NTSC HD files with a single MPEG2 compression during rendering.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:51 AM   #15
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Agreed Tony, which is exactly what I did. I am still waiting on an update from the client but I think in this case, no news can be considered good news. Since she paid a premium for the special remaster, I am sure I would have heard back if there was an issue. i think I will drop her another casual Facebook message though just to follow-up again.
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