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Old May 5th, 2003, 06:02 AM   #1
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How to edit PAL for an overseas friend?

I'm in the US and I have a friend overseas who wants me to edit some material he shot. The problem is that his footage will be subsequently shot in PAL.
Now if my memory serves me correct PAL footage on miniDV tape can't play or be captured via my NTSC Canon GL-1 or Panasonic DVX100. We are trying to find ways to work around this issue. The one idea we had was to export the raw footage onto DVDs. That way I think I'd get the content 23 minutes a disc or so (correct me if I'm wrong). That way I could capture it via DVD into Premiere (thats the NLE I'm using) and choose to edit in a PAL workspace.

Another completly different issue would be output. How would I output the edited footage back to miniDV for him. I guess the only option would be to encode to MPG2 and burn a DVD out of it. However if a DVD is made from PAL footage are there special settings to keep in mind while encoding/burning?

If anyone has any input on how to best deal with this situation please feel free to give me input- all is greatly appreaciated. Thanks!
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Old May 5th, 2003, 07:28 AM   #2
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I think your DV cameras will read and record the DV stream. Why
do I think this? Because the stream is the same on the tape
(and thus in digital form as well). Only the content is different.
If this is the easiest for you guys I suggest you simply try it out
before discarding it (unless other people already tried this and
can say that it doesn't work).

DVD is another option. But keep in mind that you DO NOT have
to convert it into MPEG2 for it to be on DVD. Why not simply
make a DVD-data disc (like a CD-rom) and put the AVI DV files
on it (both source for him and the result from you) if you both
have a DVD burner that is.

Or you can put it on a CD's. 23 minutes is 4968 MB which you
can fit on 8 CD recordables (700 mb size).
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Old May 5th, 2003, 07:42 AM   #3
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Wouldn't the European DVD recorder be a different region, than the US region 1? I believe this may be a problem, more so than PAL-NTSC content.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 07:56 AM   #4
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I would be surprised if the DV stream would work. The differences in the voltage systems (50Hz vs. 60Hz) causes all the mechanicals to spin at different speeds. The NTSC unit will mistrack the PAL tape and errors will occur.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 08:37 AM   #5
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Jeff...yeah- I didn't think my NTSC cam would play and or record edited PAL content. Especially beings it runs at a totaly different frame rate and due to the fact they specificaly sell NTSC and PAL versions of the same camera.

Rob....as far as using DVD as a medium to ship the raw footage- that is what I was talking about as an option. However I meant when I FINISHED the edit- what direction should I take to output it and get it back to him. I mentioned DVD because aren't DVDs universal- oooor would I specifically have to burn a PAL DVD?! Keith, you might be on the right track as well.

Can anyone certify this info?
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Old May 5th, 2003, 08:45 AM   #6
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DV stream won't work unfortunately.

Your idea of putting the raw DV footage on DVD is good. Why not also use it to send the stuff back? That way everything stays in the highest quality possible and he can just transfer it back to tape to get a DV master.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:11 AM   #7
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The way I see it, and I may be wrong ( Me? Wrong?!? No way!!!!), Premiere has no problem importing or exporting PAL footage. The problem is, reading and re-recording the PAL footage with NTSC equipment. If it is important enough, you might want to take it to a pro, and have the stuff transferred to NTSC, edit the footage, and then transferred back to Pal.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:29 AM   #8
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I would never pretend to know it all myself either, but I have been confronted to similar PAL/NTSC questions just recently.
I would strongly recommend *against* going the pro transcoding route which is either going to be very expensive or going to bring the quality of the final product down dramatically. Even with a very expensive transcoder, going back and forth would result in important in high quality loss. Imagine you are each time changing both the framerate and the resolution of your images!

If you can get the footage on DVD in PAL DV, then just create a PAL DV project in your NLE and edit it that way (it's all RGB digital computer data at that point and no longer "video" as such). You probably won't be able to have output on an external video monitor however.
Then just export the final cut just back to one or more PAL DV files and burn these on DVD-R.

If your friend or client needs the final edit in a video format then you can also encode in Mpeg-2 keeping the PAL specs and author a PAL DVD. Region coding is not a problem as most authoring don't even offer such an option, and on those that do, it is just that (an option)!

Hope this helps...
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:40 AM   #9
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The cheapest and easiest way might be to rent a PAL camcorder for a day or two. They are available in most major markets and I used to charge $35 a day for a consumer PAL camcorder.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:41 AM   #10
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Steven, the only problem is I have no idea what the final project length would be- if it were, say, an hour- I would have to compile at least 3 separate DVDs with the uncompressed edited footage.
If I went the MPG2 DVD route it would be more streamlined, however, I "would" have to burn it as a PAL DVD correct? Meaning it wouldn't play in my NTSC DVD player? I've never tried encoding MPG2 in preparation for a PAL DVD, so I'm assuming I have to adjust to PAL setting even in my encoder...right?
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:56 AM   #11
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You would actually have both options.
You could author a PAL DVD (just use the PAL DVD template for the Mpeg-2 encoding) which would be best both in terms of quality and rendering time. You won't be able to check it on your standalone DVD player but you should be able to read it on your computer player.

Or you can author an NTSC DVD which will play fine on your friend's player since all european DVD players also play NTSC (a shame it doesn't also work the other way around).
But you will have to transcode from PAL to NTSC. I have found you get the best results if you do both the transoding and the Mpeg-2 encoding in one single operation. The extra necessary frames for NTSC will be created through some kind of blending. It is really only noticeable when an extra frame is created in between a straight cut. The extra frame created will look like a "dissolve" between the two shots. But since it is only a one frame "dissolve" it isn't really noticeable to the casual eye.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #12
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Consumer DVD's aren't region encoded (you could make this,
you don't need an authoring burner for this) and even if they
were, this would only apply to a DVD-Video disc and not a
data disc.

Yes, if you are going to make a DVD-Video disc you will have to
make it NTSC or PAL. Unfortunately DVD isn't universal in that
aspect (although most [new] TV's here in Europe can view
NTSC).

I'm wondering why you think that you will make the movie
longer than 23 minutes when you have only 23 minutes of
source. Usually editing cuts the movie down in length, not
increase it :) Unless you are repeating shots/scenes or adding
different ones (CGI for example).

Splitting it over multiple DVD's is a possibility. Yes, you can also
create a DVD-Video disc and go down that route. BUT, this is
only feasible if your friends endpoint is THAT DVD. If he wants
to process it further it is probably bad to have it on DVD-Video
(quality reasons) unless you go down to VCR.

Renting a PAL (or multiformat) DV Deck or PAL DV Camera is
another option indeed.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 02:58 PM   #13
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Rob, the only reason I mentioned the # 23 was because it was the approximate amount of footage in minutes I'd be able to fit on a DVD uncompressed. The program or programs would more likely be closer to an hour in length.

So is this true, regarding NTSC to PAL. European DVD players WILL play NTSC? But not the other way around?!
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Old May 5th, 2003, 04:16 PM   #14
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European DVD players will DEFINITELY play NTSC discs (that aren't
region protected or are patched [happens a lot here]). BUT, not
all TV's do. A lot of them will, but definitely not all. This also
depends on where you are in europe.

Converting PAL to NTSC is possible but I doubt it will look very
good....
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Old May 5th, 2003, 08:09 PM   #15
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Glen,

what you could do is to get the footage from your friend as raw DV files on a DVD (data, not DVD-video) and edit in your NLE in PAL (sequence settings) and then output it back out as a DV stream, and burn it back onto a DVD-data. Your friend can then simply pop the DVD into his computer and copy the files. No loss of quality this way. Unless your end product is a DVD, there's absolutely no point in compressing it as a mpeg-2 stream (DVD-video).

hope it helps

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