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Old April 13th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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Converting NTSC to PAL

I need to convert a 90 minute HD NTSC movie to SD PAL DVD

When I researched how to do it I found 3 methods:
1. copy the edit into a PAL SD sequence then export. I read this yields poor results.
2. use compressor to convert to PAL with simple settings tweak.
3. use method 1 with Nattress convert filter. This is said to give best results and works quicker.

I decide to use method 2 for simplicity sake. Problem being it takes too long. Compressor says it will take 780 hours that's 32 days of encoding! I started it before I went to bed thinking that the time estimate might be off. But after 10 hrs it had encode only about a minute.

I've also read that most modern DVD players in Europe will play NTSC some say with good results other say with poor results. I'm going to give the Nattress filter a try but I think that it can't make that much of a difference, because I think its in HD thats why its taking so long. Any suggestions?
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Old April 13th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #2
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Assuming you have the latest version of Compressor 3 (Final Cut Studio 2) then that's your best option; there's no need to spend more money on other encoders since none of them will do a better job. Only Episode Desktop (formerly Episode Pro) can compete with Compressor's quality of output but it's too pricey as a standalone encoder.

Don't believe the initial "time to complete" Compressor gives you, it will draw-down significantly as the encoding process continues. Of course without knowing what your system architecture is I can't make any guesses as to how long it will really take.

I'd suggest taking a small segment - no longer than 10 seconds - and doing test encodes with various settings to get the look you want.

Down-converting HD to SD-PAL does take time - but the wait is worth it.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
....there's no need to spend more money on other encoders since none of them will do a better job....
Actually, I disagree. I did a side-by-side comparison of Compressor and Nattress - Nattress was clearly better - especially on moving images. Certainly worth $100 - especially for output intended for paying customers.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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I decided to get the Nattress plug-in. Compressor was taking too long. I have a 1.8 Dual G5 PowerMac. I thought the same thing about the initial time estimate being off but after 9 hrs in and not much progress I couldn't wait any longer. The client needs it in a couple of days. Can't be encoding for weeks.

Nattress process is a little tricky, I had to export the edited sequences, then re-import them because, otherwise there is no way to drag the original clip to the source filter section since it was made up of multiple clips. Its also a pain dealing with the chapters.

Anyways Nattress is giving me 9 hrs to render 30 minute clip, which adds up to 27 hrs render the entire 90 minute movie and maybe 3-5hrs mpeg2 encode but I'll take that over 780 hrs in Compressor.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; April 13th, 2009 at 07:44 PM.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #5
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I use Nattress or DVFilm Atlantis depending on the job. Nattress is fast, works within FCP and is gives very good results. DVFilm Atlantis, in my experience, does a better job but requires more testing to get the right results and runs as an external program.
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