PAL/NTSC: Please explain implications to this newbie at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 28th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #1
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PAL/NTSC: Please explain implications to this newbie

I live in China (as you can see) where I just purchased a PDX10P (P is for PAL). The PAL version is all that is available here. Now, my audience is pretty evenly split between China and the US. So many of them use PAL equipment (in China) and many use NTSC (in the US). By audience, I mean the end users who will watch my projects at home on DVD players and VCRs.

Here are my questions:
1. What's the difference between PAL and NTSC besides frame rate? I think there are some color/ image quality differences too.

2. What are the implications of everything I shoot being PAL, but needing to create video for use on NTSC equipment? In other words, if I do all my editing in Final Cut Pro and output to DVD, will it be PAL, or does it even matter? I'm concerned about creating DVDs that aren't playable in the US, but maybe DVDs don't have this issue. I don't know.

Any other help or suggestions you can give would be helpful. I've never had to deal with this issue before and don't fuly understand it.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #2
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Tom,


1. I'm new at this too, but as far as the camera goes, I believe the PAL version has more lines of resolution. So that should be an advantage.

2. It is my understanding that it won't matter for DVDs. You will just have to render your AVI file to the correct format. For example, in Vegas 4, you can render as a mpeg2 (DVD format) in either PAL or NTSC formats. So you will need to render the correct format for your audience but the camera can be used fine for this.

I'm sure some of the older hands can correct me if I'm wrong.

By the way, I'm over here in Taiwan. How long have you been in China?
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Old April 28th, 2004, 10:50 AM   #3
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Most except some of the oldest DVD players out there will have no trouble playing PAL-encoded discs to NTSC TV sets, so you might not need to re-encode your output and make a separate version for the NTSC and PAL worlds.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #4
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I was in Hong Kong for a year, and I've been in Chongqing for 2 years. How long have you been in China? ;)

I'd be a little leary about using a PAL DVD and risk it not working on older players. I guess I don't know how I can re-render to NTSC. I figured once my footage was PAL, it's PAL. How can I do this? Is it just a matter of using an NTSC codec in FCP? And how can a codec make up for the missing frames?

And what about iDVD? I know you can tell it that new projects are PAL or NTSC. Does that mean it will make the DVDs PAL/NTSC? Or that the video source should be PAL/NTSC? Or both?
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Old April 28th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #5
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Tom,

Off topic... if you're in Chongqing, have you been to that China "Yellow Stone" national park? That's a great place to shoot..
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Old April 28th, 2004, 10:15 PM   #6
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Tom,

To make sure it's compatable, just render twice, once in PAL and once in NTSC. You can render in these mpeg2 formats in Vegas 4 and I assume most programs can choose the format to render to.

I suggest that you try it with your program and a small file and then test for compatability. You might also post your question on the NLE forum.


I have been in Taiwan since 1986. Originally from Seattle.
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