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Old August 6th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #1
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NTSC to PAL - which one of THESE encoders?

Occasionally I work on a project that needs to go out on both NTSC and PAL DVDs. All the footage is in NTSC so I will edit in NTSC, then encode to both MPEG2 formats. Now, I know about Atlantis and a couple more specialized pieces of software that do this better than anything else, but I won't spend the money (it's family a project).

So my question is, which one of THESE encoders (that I have access to already) will do the job of transcoding to PAL, and with the best possible quality: Cinema Craft SP, Sorenson Squeeze, or TMPG Enc? I edit in PremPro and I'm pretty sure it won't do a decent job at encoding...

Edit: [OOPS, posted in the wrong forum, sorry... moderator, please move it].

Thanks
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Old August 6th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #2
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Hi Ervin

I used to edit PP2 and transcoding 2 types of encoded, canopus ProCoder 2 or media encoded come with PP2. Both work great. Cinema Craft SP, Sorenson Squeeze, or TMPG Enc, have try on Cinema Craft SP and TMPG Enc not bad, but quality still lose ProCoder 2 :)
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Old August 7th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #3
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Thanks K.C. - I was specific enough though... I don't need yet another piece of expensive software... so which one of the encoders I already have?
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Old August 7th, 2007, 08:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Thanks K.C. - I was specific enough though... I don't need yet another piece of expensive software... so which one of the encoders I already have?
TMPG Enc SHOULD BE GOOD. A lot of user are getting this to made VCD,DVD etc
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Old August 7th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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I'm not sure your question is being answered. The focus is on a freeware solution to get your NTSC footage to PAL. Not really what encoder to use to make the DVD. Correct?
I wouldn't do the frame rate conversion while encoding the DVD(mpeg2). First I would render out your finished NTSC project to a high quality codec ( eg. the free HuffYUV or some other low loss codec) Then try various sofware methods to see which conversion to PAL works best. Don't count out PPro yet. Another option is VirtualDub, its free and has many plugins for just about any task.
When you have a perfectly converted PAL .avi, then use your regular DVD encoder on that footage(what ever you made your NTSC version with).
PS- are you shooting HD, because thats what forum your in.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #6
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I know, I posted in the wrong forum by mistake - asked the moderator to move it with no luck so far... To answer the question, some of the originals are SD, others HDV.

Anyway, I was hoping I can do it all in one step using the NTSC .avi as master and encode directly with one of the encoders I mentioned. In the meantime I did some testing with Sorenson and it came out excellent. Will test the other two as well. All of them can take either format and spit out either format.

Are you saying, Ken, that I should transcode the avi file to PAL first and then encode to MPEG2? I will also have to resize in this case, right? What would be the advantage compared to using the NTSC master instead?

Is changing the frame rate and size give me a true PAL file? I am thinking about the difference in color sampling...
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Old August 8th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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I use an Avisynth script to do it - converts the NTSC footage into progressive, resizes to PAL, then re-interlaces and changes the frame rate. The best results I've seen short of getting it done out of house using an Alchemist.

Do some reading on the Doom9 forum, starting here.

This would assume that you start with an NTSC AVI file, and want to output a PAL AVI file for your MPEG2 encoder of choice.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #8
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I read a lot of good things about Avisynth, but the command line thing scares me to death... never got further than fixing minor mistakes in html as far as working directly with code...

Is there a GUI for Avisynth? OK, Googling around I see VirtualDubMod can be used as GUI? How about using VDub itself instead of Avisynth?
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Old August 13th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Best way to assure full multistandard compatibility is to shoot 24p in NTSC-land or 25p in PAL-land. The conversion from 24p to 25p or vice-versa is dead simple, just reconform one to the other by changing the speed.
If you shoot 24p Hi-Def on an A1, HV20, V1, etc then your PAL SD conversions will be every bit as good as a hollywood blockbuster PAL DVD.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #10
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Unfortunately that's not an answer to my needs... I am talking about footage already shot in NTSC 29.97 fps interlaced (regular DV).
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Old August 13th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #11
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Sorry, didn't know you shot 60i.

Is a 24p conversion an option for you - Magic Bullet or similar?
Or upgrade to a 24p camera?

Unless you spend $250k on a broadcast-grade standards converter, the best method is 24p/25p.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #12
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Please read the original post

Paul, I specifically asked for people's experience with the encoders mentioned in the original post. I am aware of all the expensive options... but this is a no-budget family project: video ALREADY shot 60i here in the States needs to go on a PAL DVD to be sent to relatives in Europe. That's it! No need for Hollywood movie quality.

All of the encoders I already have can do the conversion, I was simply asking if anyone has done this before, and can share his experience so I can spare some time.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #13
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Sure, he's my experience:

The standards conversions built into NLE's are usually terrible!

Eg. on Mac I would *not* recommend using iMovie, iDVD or FCP to perform a standards conversion!!!!!!
Compressor is the best option, also MPEG Streamclip is very good and provides as many options as Compressor.

The problem going from NTSC to PAL is the uneven distribution of fields - going from 60i to 50i something has to be omitted or blended along the way.... since you have to perform field blending to go from 60i to 50i anyway you might as well convert to 24p and then speed up to 25p, with the added bonus that your footage will look a little more grand in the process. :)

When keeping everything interlaced you are going to have to perform field blending to go from 60i to 50i - but it will be performed better in a stand-alone application. NLE's typically just drop fields or double fields when performing standards conversion, this looks like crap as it disrupts the smooth temporal cadence. It also causes discrete frames to have fields from adjacent frames to exist in the same frame, causing jerky motion and problems with MPEG compression.

There is also the question of how to redistribute 480 lines of NTSC to 576 lines of PAL resolution.... this is where the NLE's and applications like iDVD are crap.... they just mash the lines by duplicating some of them and you end up with jaggies and artifacts. Better to use a dedicated standards converter with linear resampling or predictive algorithms for seamless upscaling from 480 to 576. Resampling the entire field's lines as opposed to doubling a few of them is a much better way to upscale.

Sorry I don't know about PC standards converters, but I can tell you a PC NLE is probably not going to provide satisfactory results for you - find a stand-alone application if you can.

Hope that helps!!!
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Old August 13th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #14
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Just looking at your choices of encoders - any which allow field blending, scaling by resampling and/or statistical prediction, and adaptive deinterlacing would work fine for you!

N.B. many standards conversions do not allow interlacing in order to simplify the process.... they will force you to have a progressive output, especially going from NTSC to PAL. The better encoders will perform proper field blending and interpolation of new fields, thus allowing full interlaced output.
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