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Old July 6th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #1
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shouldn't PAL be dead?

PAL appeared after NTSC, improving the image resulotion from 480 lines to 576 with a unnoticeable cost in framerate: 60hz to 50hz.

But with HDTV come along, this resolution gain is going to disappear, with 1280x720 progressive and 1440x1080 interlaced being ubiquitous in the world market.

So why are PAL territories sticking to PAL? Why not keep PAL compatible TVs that support 576i, but display HDTV at 60hz.

Most PAL TVs nowadays support PAL 60 anyway, so it's not like it makes any sense.

Is this a marketing ploy, or is there a logical reason for this?
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Old July 6th, 2005, 09:12 PM   #2
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Backwards compatibility.

That's the main reason I can think of.

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Old July 6th, 2005, 11:30 PM   #3
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"with a unnoticeable cost in framerate: 60hz to 50hz"

From myself who finds the flicker at 60hz sad, I have to ask have you seen 50hz in action? Those who are used to it, live with it, but it is truely distracting. High contrast scenes really suck and look like double bladed 24fps film. Yuck. Flicker, flicker, flicker.
PS- I have to ask based on your logic. Shouldn't ntsc be dead as well?
The answer: Millions and millions of people own TV's/VCR's/DVD's that aren't going anywhere despite how much we induldge in this HD revolution. SD in King. Don't forget it.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hodson
"with a unnoticeable cost in framerate: 60hz to 50hz"

From myself who finds the flicker at 60hz sad, I have to ask have you seen 50hz in action? Those who are used to it, live with it, but it is truely distracting. High contrast scenes really suck and look like double bladed 24fps film. Yuck. Flicker, flicker, flicker.
Don't forget that majority of new TV's sold in Europe are 100Hz, so people will see even less flicker than you see in North America with 60Hz. Besides, film-transfered-to-video still looks better at 50Hz than with a horrible 24p pulldown for 60Hz land. I'd rather have a 4% speed up with half step down pitch correction, to achieve a very natural film motion, than 3-2 pulldown any day. Long live 50Hz!

And my next question is, why with all the 18 (?) ATSC HDTV standards I've yet to see the one that supports 24p (or perhaps 48i or 48p) for real, without any pulldown tricks? I mean what is the point of 24p if you never see it without pulldown (always gets upsamled to 60Hz instead of 24/48Hz)? And why is 25/50 is still not supported? Sounds like a marketing ploy to me coming from North America market. At least Europe is flexible, they include everything they can into their TV sets, and so have a big advantage over anyone in 60Hz land.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruslan Odintsov
why with all the 18 (?) ATSC HDTV standards I've yet to see the one that supports 24p (or perhaps 48i or 48p) for real, without any pulldown tricks?
Don't know what you're referring to. The ATSC standards do provide for direct 24P broadcast, in both 1080 and 720 resolution. If a broadcaster chose to broadcast that signal, the television would receive and display it in its full 24p native state, with no pulldown or any other complications.

Quote:
I mean what is the point of 24p if you never see it without pulldown (always gets upsamled to 60Hz instead of 24/48Hz)?
It doesn't. You can play 24p off of any hollywood DVD on a progressive-scan-capable DVD player, watch it on an LCD or other progressive-scan display, and see the full 24p signal with no pulldown.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 02:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
You can play 24p off of any hollywood DVD on a progressive-scan-capable DVD player, watch it on an LCD or other progressive-scan display, and see the full 24p signal with no pulldown.
If that's the case then:

1) The flicker would be even greater than in PAL, but it's not, so it's still being resampled into 60Hz. We have a progressive Panasonic plasma display at home, as well as I saw many others elsewhere with the same visual results. This Panasonic plasma is also multi-system capable, so I know what real PAL looks like on it, it still flickers more, so if 24p were, as you claim, shown in real 24fps, then I'd definitely see more flicker than even PAL, but I don't. Therefore it's not real 24fps, but a 24p signal displayed at 60Hz.

2) The motion would be very similar to what you see in movie theatres or in film transfered to PAL, but it does not look like that.

In short, what I'm trying to say is even if you see the "real" 24p on your progressive display, it's still being shown with 60Hz refresh rate instead of something more matching, like 24, 48 or 96 Hz. And that all translates into motion still being not as crisp as the films transfered to PAL and shown with 25, 50 or 100 Hz refresh rate. I mean the picture is smooth, the interlacing lines are gone, but the movement is far from being film-like. That's the same effect if you'd be showing some 24p WMV file on a 75Hz computer monitor. Yes, you'll see it in 24p, but the refresh rate of the monitor is far from being optimal for that task. PAL equipment on the other hand multiplies really well with 25p (25, 50, 100 Hz).

My final point is, if everybody is so obsessed with 24p, then why not make the displays and playback equipment that can actually show this material with a matching refresh rate instead of traditional 60Hz, and also not being encapsulated into a 29.97fps stream? And my other question is still open: how come 25/50 signal is not a part of ATSC? It shouldn't have been that difficult to include. Or is it for political reasons?
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Old July 8th, 2005, 05:42 AM   #7
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You have to look at what kind of pull-down your progressive display supports. I'm not sure how all of them work... but one of the Pansonic TV's has what's called a "3-3" pull-down, where it changes the refresh rate of the screen to 72 Hz, displaying each frame 3 times. This seems like a perfect solution for 24p display.

I've been looking to see what exactly the Sony displays feature - but I suspect any that advertise a 2-3 pulldown display each full frame 2 and then 3 times respectively, within the 60 Hz progressive signal.

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Old July 8th, 2005, 06:54 AM   #8
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But "NTSC" has it's ludicrous 29.97fps frame rate, not 30fps, and it has the diabolic drop frame timecode system to account for it. Nobody in the rest of the world is going to change to such a system. Indeed, as NTSC is used by less people than PAL, it should have been the USA changing it's system to adapt to the rest of the world with the introduction of HD. This would be easier than going in the other direction as most North American TV is shot on film at 24fps, which could be sped up to 25fps giving more room in the schedule for commercials.

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Old July 8th, 2005, 10:22 AM   #9
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Also, don't forget that shooting NTSC in a PAL country with lights flickering at 50Hz looks like poo. Why would anyone want to switch to a video format that would give your interior camcorder shots a lovely 10Hz lighting flicker?
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Old July 8th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #10
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What do they do in Japan where they have both 50hz and 60hz electricity??

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Old July 8th, 2005, 11:32 AM   #11
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They shoot NTSC and live with flickery lights in the 50Hz areas :).

The Z1 does have a 'flicker removal' option, but I don't know how well it works.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #12
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I think I see a flicker removal filter, if I can manage it.....

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Old July 12th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #13
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The main reason for the framerates is indeed the power cycle. I really do not
want to shoot 30 fps / 60 hz here in PAL land with a 50 hz power cycle. I've
never really seen the PAL flicker, but perhaps I am used to it that I don't see
it. But film is projected at 48 fps (basically) which is still below 50 fields per
second for PAL and most people don't complain with that either.

Most people actually seem to prefer PAL over NTSC (color and resolution wise).

Apart from the framerates the HD standards at least feature the same resolutions,
which is great. I would much rather drop interlaced instead of the different framerates.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:53 AM   #14
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Flicker is dependent on the brightness of the image - bright areas seem to flicker more, and also when you're not looking directly at them.

For example, if I look at the bottom (say my OS X dock) of a generally white screen (say the Google start page) when my CRT is set to 60hz, flicker is incredibly noticable.

Setting the refresh rate to 100Hz solves the flicker, at least in my completely unscientific and uncotrolled test.

BTW, LCD, plasma and TFT screens do not in my experience have any noticable flicker, no matter what the refresh rate.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lohman
The main reason for the framerates is indeed the power cycle.
But in Europe most TV sets nowadays have PAL 60, for NTSC DVDs and gaming.

I just don't see what's the use of 720p50. Why not unify the formats throughout the world? NTSC and PAL had their reason to exist due historical issues, but going HD it's ridiculous to keep this obsolete difference.

I'm guessing maybe big broadcasters and studios are worried about piracy, but what about the internet?
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