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Old October 6th, 2003, 09:22 PM   #1
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Shoot NTSC, product in PAL?

If a VX2000 NTSC system is used to shoot many cassettes of video...

...and the video is imported into Macintosh for editing in Final Cut Pro...

...and weeks later the finished production is exported in PAL and used to create a PAL product (VHS) for sale outside the US.

Questions:
1. Can this be done?
2. Will the resulting product look AS GOOD as if the original video shoot had been shot using a PAL-version VX2000 camera?

Also:
If we buy instead a PAL VX2000...can we produce NTSC products (the reverse of the process described above) and will they look AS GOOD as if the original video was shot using an NTSC VX2000?

Many thanks,
Scott Shuster
New York
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Old October 6th, 2003, 10:26 PM   #2
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I would just shoot in NTSC, edit in NTSC, then make a PAL S-video master. Then, using this master, make copies in PAL VHS. (Note, you will need a S-video converting VCR to convert the NTSC S-video output to PAL SVHS tape, and 1 PAL VCR---unless you are going to get it duplicated pro.) If you shoot in PAL, it's better, but you will have other issues.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 11:13 PM   #3
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Frank - thanks... You suggest that the PAL original would yield a better result, but there would be 'other issues' - would you be kind enough to tell us what those issues might be....?

And what about going from a PAL original to an NTSC product -- ?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 11:45 PM   #4
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When I convert from PAL to NTSC, the results are not as good as converting NTSC to PAL. Going with PAL to NTSC gives you colors that look awful; the other way, even though you're converting less resolution to more resolution, the PAL footage on a PAL TV looks clean and the colors good.

The main issue with shooting PAL in our North American electric system is that you cannot get good footage with "normal," indoor lighting. The footage will flicker or throb/pulsate. Another issue is with buying PAL equipment, such as software, a deck and other surprises.

What I do is shoot not to NLE it. Either in PAL or NTSC, depending where my market is. However, I find just shooting in NTSC, then converting, requires less hassle, since my main market is here: 60 cycle electrical system/NTSC.
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Old October 7th, 2003, 09:12 AM   #5
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This is really invaluable knowledge and insight, Frank -- thank you SO MUCH!
Scott
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Old October 7th, 2003, 10:15 AM   #6
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Perhaps with Atlantis...

Interesting. I had always thought that PAL, because of it's higher resolution, would be better for aquisition. The flicker problem makes sense, I have experienced it the other way around. Weirdly, I live in a country which uses NTSC TV but power mains is 50 Hz. Go figure. Anyway, the color problem you describe is intriguing.

There is a tool called Atlantis by DVFilm which is designed for shooting PAL and converting to NTSC. You can download a demo ant tell us if it works for you:

http://www.dvfilm.com/atlantis/index.htm
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Old October 7th, 2003, 01:55 PM   #7
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I can usually tell if I'm watching PAL to NTSC converted something like on the news, or even PAL TV on my buddy's TV, which pulls in PAL signal. The colors are brownish, washed out. Same thing occurs with a number of VCR converters I used. I find the AIWA MX100 gives me good results, though, but I can still tell!
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Old October 7th, 2003, 05:22 PM   #8
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I understand. I have seen that kind of thing. However I have several PAL originated channels on cable, like the BBC, and they look awesome, so there must be a way to do good conversion, even realtime.
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Old October 7th, 2003, 08:56 PM   #9
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There might be, but it's going to cost big time. Also consider that lots of stuff is shot 24P then converted either to PAL or NTSC or usually both.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 11:03 AM   #10
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PAL to NTSC

Good NTSC-PAL conversion is not impossible. Far from it. PAL is higher resolution vertically and has a more "evolved" colour system than NTSC, which is an older system.

For best results, you need to use a hardware conversion process at a good dub house where they know how to set up the machine properly! NTSC to PAL in FCP is a no-no as it just drops every 6th frame, resulting in jerky motion.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 11:05 AM   #11
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One more thing

Many NTSC people don't realise that most modern PAL VCRs, DVD players and TVs can handle NTSC sources without any problems. Sometimes it's not necessary to convert at all -- especially if you just need to send someone viewing tapes.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 12:25 AM   #12
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Could someone help me with this? I have edited in PAL, and need to send a NTSC DVD to the States.
Can I encode PAL to NTSC using TMPEG software and then burn a NTSC DVD using a Pioneer A05 burner?? Are DVD burners also either in PAL or NTSC?
Obliged, Ewald
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Old October 11th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #13
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If you originated in PAL, then I think it is best not to convert to NTSC. It is possible that youre audience will have no problem playing PAL content. Many new NTSC DVD players I have seen lately play back PAL content to NTSC TVs perfectly, but this is something that has sprung up in the last year or two... if it is something you are sending to a known audience, check first whether they will be able to play it back in PAL, if they can, that will be the best way to do it.

Even though your DVD burner can write an NTSC MPEG2 file just fine, the transcoding you can do with PC or Mac based tools through your favorine NLE is probably not very good and will result in jerky motion. So if your content is intended for wide public distribution then you might have to invest in professional high quality conversion to NTSC.
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