Prospective shoot in Ireland, should I go PAL or NTSC? at

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Old July 25th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #1
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Prospective shoot in Ireland, should I go PAL or NTSC?

Okay team, I'm discussing a potential shoot to take place in Ireland next summer. It will be a travel/lecture series to be released on DVD. At THIS point in time, they are thinking it will be marketed in BOTH the U.K and U.S. The larger audience is probably in the U.S.

I shoot with an XL2, edit on Avid XpressPro.

I'm trying to figure which is the best way to go. Shoot and edit in NTSC, deliver the master to a replicator, and have THEM produce PAL and NTSC discs? Or shoot in PAL and have them deliver NTSC and PAL discs.

Anyone here have experience in BEING from the states, shooting in UK and then mastering a disc for international distribution? What were your choices and why?

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Old July 25th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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I work in the states and work for a company that shoots a lot of weddings for folks from England who get married here on holiday.. And we shoot NTSC and create DVD's using that footage (NTSC).. From what I have gathered, europeans have DVD players that have some built in converters that can play DVD's from the states.. Not sure if this helps..

Mike M.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'm aware that region "O" discs will play in most UK players. As a matter of fact, I've sold a lot of my documentary "American Jouster" to UK folks, who have reported no problems watching it. I'm wondering if there is a greater need, for a product that would have WIDER distribution than a wedding video, or my more exclusive audience.

I guess I'm also asking the general question about how great is the need for a PAL version of NTSC discs, if there is going to be UK or European distribution.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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I would be more worried about shooting a wedding in NTSC than a lecture series. PAL is much better at the quality of blacks so tuxedos show up clearer. I can't imagine a lecture series really needing the quality of the blacks. Maybe if you are shooting in a dark cave. Unless I had to shoot at a shutter speed that made the lights flicker I would go NTSC. NTSC plays on PAL almost always, PAL never plays on NTSC.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:37 PM   #5
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Pal Pal Pal

Reasons to shoot PAL:

20% more luma resolution than NTSC

4:2:0 colour space is identical to DVD MPEG2 and superior to the 4:1:1 colour
space of NTSC.
PAL DV does not exhibit the nasty colour blockiness of NTSC DV, especially in large areas of high contrast and primary colour.

VERY simple conversion from 25p PAL (I assume you will shoot 25p on the XL2) to 23.976p NTSC DVD. Simply export your master PAL edit from your NLE and then reconform it to 23.976fps 720x480 in Cinema Tools or equivalent.

25p and/or 23.976p are the best universal formats for standards conversion. I would not shoot interlaced for an international project destined for multi-standard markets - converting 50i to or from 60i is ugly and requires interpolation of fields and loss of resolution.

At the end of the day, PAL simply has 20% more luma resolution and a whopping 100% more chroma resolution than NTSC..... even after standards conversion your NTSC DVD's will appear vastly superior if originated in PAL.
The secret is to shoot 25p and convert to 23.976p by ONLY slowing down the footage by 4.2709% and rescaling to 720x480 properly: discarding lines is not acceptable! Line averaging with a good linear filter is the best way. Any good NLE or standards conversion application such as Compressor will do this.
Then author your DVD in software that can properly recognise 23.976 NTSC footage.

ALL films are transferred this way - those originated on 24fps film are captured at the slightly slower frame rate of 23.976fps, usually to a hi-def or greater format. NTSC DVD's are authored from the hi-def master with 720x480 scaling applied. PAL DVD's are authored by reconforming the 23.976fps hi-def master to 25fps and scaling to 720x576. Sometimes for PAL DVD's the sound track is left in its 4% "speeded up" state, although often the sound track is digitally pitch-shifted back to its original pitch for music DVD's and recently with movies as well. Most people cannot tell the slight difference in pitch shifted dialogue (it is only about a quarter tone raise) but for music DVD's it can be annoying and makes well-known songs sound "wrong".
European TV shot at 25p and in some cases European cinema releases shot at 25fps on film are transfered to DVD in a similar but reversed fashion - for PAL DVD's the footage is simply scaled to 720x576 from the 25p hi-def masters. NTSC DVD's are created by slowing down the 25fps footage to 23.976fps and scaling to 720x480.

I live in PAL land but I spend 10 months of the year working in NTSC land.... I own an NTSC Canon HV20 and a PAL Canon XL2.... I shoot 23.976p on the HV20 and 25p on the XL2. Standards conversion between the two is easy - *as long as I shoot progressive*

Lastly, for the best slow-mo without the expense of a Varicam, shoot Hi-Def 60i and then half-speed slow-mo deinterlace it to 30p, then reconform to 23.976p or 25p by slowing it down. This will give you the highest possible slow-mo ratio using consumer camcorders - especially in PAL land. I bought an NTSC HV20 specifically for creating the slowest possible slow-mo in PAL 25p.
Of course in Hi-Def there is no longer any luma or chroma resolution difference between PAL and NTSC - the only difference is frame rate.
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