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Old December 9th, 2003, 05:23 AM   #16
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Well, PAL cams are actually used in Europe, Russia and the Middle East, as well as India etc etc. Korea also uses NTSC as well as other countries in the Americas---and Brazil, a country larger than Australia in both area and population.

Don't forget China. That's one heck of a LARGE market. -->>>

Just reinforcing my arguing that NTSC cameras are cheaper because their market is actually larger. I seriously doubt China is using PAL cameras, though I am not too sure what system is being used in Singapore and other Asia countries.

Brazil uses NTSC but is not a large market for cameras. They are very expensive here. Australia is a PAL country, but with a not too large population.

Scale economics has contributed to lowering prices in color TVs and VCRs, but cameras are still a luxury. Particularly those we use.


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Old December 9th, 2003, 06:12 AM   #17
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Projected worldwide PAL DV sales units for 2003 and 2004 are 4.6 mil and 6.45 mil respectively. NTSC projected sales during the same period is only 4.4 mil and 5.3 mil. Why the sudden big growth in PAL? China is becoming a consumer nation. These figures are only for digital sales and come from the Magnetic Media Information Services.

I think it is generally acknowledged that analog PAL units also outnumber similar NTSC units. In part do the extremely low prices analog camcorders are sold for in Europe, China and other developing nations.

Just as a note, Canada has only 30+ million people and is not considered a major market.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 06:13 AM   #18
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Carlos, I can't say I agree with you on some of what you say. Just look at all the countries which use PAL/Secam here:

http://kropla.com/tv.htm

And some of these countries house the bulk of the world's population. I'd have to go with what Jeff wrote.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 06:40 AM   #19
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> Isn't Brazil's PAL only 525 lines---like NTSC?

Precisely. And it runs at 29.97 fps too. It's really just a 'PALish' NTSC. NTSC analog signal aired with PAL radio transmission technology (which the Brazillian authorities realized is better). I wonder why they did not go all the way and just use full PAL. Perhaps they thought it would be better to stick to NTSC and have cheaper production equipment. This was all in the state-owned TV days.

If I recall correctly, Bolivians have it the other way around: they use NTSC broadcast technology but PAL resolution. Go figure.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 06:45 AM   #20
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I think part of the reason was to maintain compatibility with their neighboring countries.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 07:26 AM   #21
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Right. Would it not then have been easier to use the *same* standard as neighboring countries? Sorry I don't want to start a war of any kind here and we are somewhat off-topic. It's just that I am curious about this sort of thing :)
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Old December 9th, 2003, 08:07 AM   #22
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Good question, and I don't have the definitive answer. Sorry.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 11:38 AM   #23
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The numbers Jeff mentions are projected sales, so they expect to get that. Until those things are effective, prices may stay as they are. They are most likely for basic equipment also, like TVs, VCRs and DVDs.

The "bulk of the world's population" is poor, as you probably know, and won't own a video camera in their whole life. Let me see the numbers on countries where they have a certain development and proper annual income and we can talk again. Numbers usually do not lie.

Countries with PAL/SECAM systems, like Russia or China, are not too much into sophisticated consumer goods.

In those countries, AC is most likely 220v/50Hz, which is very much related to how television got started. Color came later on, and they built from the 50Hz upward.

The reason for 220v, as you probably know, is being able to spend less in wiring. For instance: northern Brasil, which is poorer in resources, is 220v/60Hz; from the center down to south is 110v.

Jeff's comments, that "the extremely low prices analog camcorders are sold for in Europe, China and other developing nations" seem to be a contradiction to what we are saying: why PAL equiment is more expensive than NTSC. Which it is.

The chroma information in Brazilian PAL-M is locked on the TV receivers, which avoids generating image ghosts on TVs when tuning mountain reflected signals.

TV was never state owned in Brazil. It was always private. The only state channel is educational and never had any saying on TV policy, as far as I know.

The reason for picking PAL-M was political too, so as to not receive TV signals from Argentina, and viceversa. A military strategy and somewhat belligerant, from both sides in those times.

Of course that modern sattelite reception and cheaper electronics wiped all that away. No wonder sattelite antennas and internet are illegal or very controlled in countries that do not want any external influence on their people, like Cuba or China.



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Old December 9th, 2003, 01:08 PM   #24
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Analog camcorders are being dumped around the world. The reason for most of the higher prices is importation taxes, fees, duty etc. PAL equipment does provide a superior quality image. But the circuitry and design to do so are more expensive than equivalent NTSC models. It's just a fact of life, there are more components in a PAL camera.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 03:44 PM   #25
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Carlos wrote:
Quote:
why PAL equiment is more expensive than NTSC. Which it is.
PAL cams more expensive? Naaa, it depends from where the cams are bought. Locally, PAL cams are cheaper. Pana AU prices are usually cheaper than CA prices, when comparing similar models. Then there is our man, Yow, who can get great PAL prices from where he is (compared with CA and MEX prices---even better than PAL/EU prices). There we go.... :-)
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Old December 10th, 2003, 07:43 AM   #26
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> TV was never state owned in Brazil. It was always private.
> The only state channel is educational and never had any
> saying on TV policy, as far as I know.

Thank You Carlos for the clarification. Interesting piece of information. I had thought Brazil had followed a similar path as other countries in Latin America.

> PAL equipment does provide a superior quality image.
> But the circuitry and design to do so are more expensive
> than equivalent NTSC models.

Hmm. I don't think so, not in the digital world at least. It seems that many Sony DV camcorders are actually the same across systems but with the firmware set up to work in a certain standard. Hacks are available on the 'net that turn consumer NTSC cams into PAL and vice versa. And we all know Sony consumer and semipro cams are actually very similar.

It probably makes more sense and is less expensive to design a single piece of hardware that can run both systems then two different designs.
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Old December 12th, 2003, 09:28 AM   #27
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ignacio Rodriguez : It seems that many Sony DV camcorders are actually the same across systems but with the firmware set up to work in a certain standard. Hacks are available on the 'net that turn consumer NTSC cams into PAL and vice versa. And we all know Sony consumer and semipro cams are actually very similar.

It probably makes more sense and is less expensive to design a single piece of hardware that can run both systems then two different designs. -->>>

Does anyone know or has any information on where to get these hacks? A Google search got me nothing.

Most video cameras, when models are similar, share the same mechanics. It's where scale economics pays off. But CCDs and electronics are probably different.

What I was told that is that a PAL camera might be adapted to NTSC, but not the opposite. Apparently there would be missing pixels to fill the PAL frame coming from NTSC.

But it would be really interesting for PAL camera owners to be able to move to and back from NTSC.


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Old December 12th, 2003, 11:27 AM   #28
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> Most video cameras, when models are similar,
> share the same mechanics. It's where scale economics
> pays off. But CCDs and electronics are probably different.

I don't think so. It would be more expensive to make different CCD chips for the different TV systems and digital photo cameras. It's less expensive to crop or scale the image electronically.

My camcorder has three different ways of using it's CCD array, in the case of 4:3 and 16:9 video, the image is cropped to the desired aspect ratio and then scaled down to DV resolution. When working as a photo camera, a larger area of the CCD is used. The CCD is 4:3 but the camera's electronics can probably not process the full amount of pixels in real time for video so a smaller 4:3 area is used. Since DV resolution is so much lower than the CCD's native resolution, the camera is said to have 'native' 16:9 performance despite the 4:3 aspect of it's CCD.

And let's not forget that DV in both PAL and NTSC uses non-square pixels. As far as I know CCD chips always have square pixels so there is always some scaling.

I have tried searching around for the hack I read about some time ago that allowed system toggling on some Sony consumer camcorder but the 'net is so full with hacks for DVD players that the information is harder to find. When I get back home I will check my bookmarks.
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