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Old August 21st, 2009, 06:27 AM   #1
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PAL to NTSC conversion and authoring

OK, pretty worried about this as I have a deadline of 1st November to get a NTSC master copy DVD to my distributors. Obviously I shoot in PAL. Now I need to know what the usual process of getting a high quality NTSC conversion done. Is it easiest to write the edited footage back to Mini DV tape and then get that converted, then capture all back into my editing software into a NTSC project then burn to disc? Or is it possible to burn the DVD with menus etc. then convert the disc to NTSC? Is there any other easier way?

My other question is does anyone from the UK have any recommendations on who to go to for my conversion as I need a professional quality conversion done without worrying too much about the price.

Also is the authoring process for a NTSC master the same as PAL? Ie. if I burn to disc normally with a NTSC file this shouldn't be a problem?

Cheers!
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Old August 21st, 2009, 11:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Bartlett View Post
OK, pretty worried about this as I have a deadline of 1st November to get a NTSC master copy DVD to my distributors. Obviously I shoot in PAL. Now I need to know what the usual process of getting a high quality NTSC conversion done. Is it easiest to write the edited footage back to Mini DV tape and then get that converted, then capture all back into my editing software into a NTSC project then burn to disc? Or is it possible to burn the DVD with menus etc. then convert the disc to NTSC? Is there any other easier way?

Also is the authoring process for a NTSC master the same as PAL? Ie. if I burn to disc normally with a NTSC file this shouldn't be a problem?

Cheers!
Best results would be to go the NTSC route via conversion of master (either Mini DV or Digi-Beta, I've done both on a project shot for PAL frame rates and Digi-Beta is noticeably better, but if you're delivery format is NTSC the that should be fine.).

Go to a reputable post place that offers hardware conversion. It won't be cheap but if you want the best possible results then compared to any other option it will save you a lot of time and hassle.

DVD can then be authored off ingested NTSC footage (assuming you have a deck that can capture both PAL and NTSC Mini DV, you can do this all yourself.)

DVD project will need to be authored for NTSC, so all menus etc will need to be designed for NTSC pixel dimensions and frame rates. (So if you need to deliver both PAL and NTSC, you pretty much have to do everything twice. I know if you use DVD Studio Pro you can't convert even the existing NTSC project to PAL or vice versa to keep your buttons and links, so it's pretty much starting again from scratch.)

You can do a basic check of this NTSC DVD in any computer, and almost all PAL dvd players will do hardware conversion back to PAL, but if you want to see exactly what the DVD looks like in an NTSC player than NTSC DVD player will be required.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Was your footage shot as Progressive??

If so, what i've done in the past, was slow down from 25FPS to 23.976FPS..Audio would also slow down, but i would correct the pitch...
If need be, colour correct.
After that, encode the footage as progressive, 23.976FPS but add pulldown..Whether during encode process or after. Some authouring softwares might allow for it..

Of course, if it's 50i footage, than that's another story...
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:04 AM   #4
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Guys, here's the best kept secret for NTSC-PAL conversions.

DV Atlantis from http://www.dvfilm.com/atlantis/

It's as good as it gets.

Andrew
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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I don't think it's a secret at all..
In fact, freeware tools have been doing this for several years already..

These guys just bunched it up into a package, and advertised as an all-in-one solution...

Indeed... why add hard telecine to a film source? You're losing potentially 1/5fth of encoding capacity..And for that matter, why deinterlace 25FPS film footage? It's progressive by nature?

I won't talk bad about them, since i didn't try their product, but i tend to be a bit sceptical..
I think it comes with age :)
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #6
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Peter,

your logic works in most cases... but not with Atlantis. It's not a bunch of free programs packed together and sold for money.

You have to see for yourself, and you will believe me. It's slow as a snail but it works like any hardware converter, if not better.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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Sorry guys for the late reply but thanks very much for your help!
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #8
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So how did it work out for you in the end?

Andrew
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