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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old December 7th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #1
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Do you buy PAL DVDs for best Quality?

Hi, with alot of quality minded movie interested people here I'd like to know if you get your prefered films in PAL for highest resolution. With so many hi-tech junkies around I'm sure there are many here with projectors, huge size TVs and so on.
If you do, is there a big difference? If you don't, why not, since most of you (us) don't like to compomise image quality.. (I'm not trying to be fresh about formats here, I'm in NTSC land myself.)
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Old December 7th, 2004, 02:17 PM   #2
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An interesting idea, which oddly enough I've never heard been mentioned.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 04:01 PM   #3
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No? That's odd. Personally I haven't bought many DVDs because I've always figured I want them in PAL. (Meaning I buy some whenever I'm in PAL countries.)
Let's see if others chim in here..
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Old December 7th, 2004, 04:17 PM   #4
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The region codes would be a factor here, wouldn't they? Obviously you would need a PAL DVD player that recognized disks from whatever region you purchased them in. Like Hayden, I never really thought about this. But sounds like it would be sort of a pain since you'd have to order disks from overseas and wouldn't have the huge selection available locally that we typically do here in the US. I'd question whether the gain in resolution would be worth the trouble personally.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 05:40 PM   #5
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I have some PAL DVDs and they do seem sharper when viewing on the computer. When viewing them in an NTSC player with an NTSC TV, the difference is not visible, at least not with my setup. So, if you have a projector or TV that natively does PAL and a DVD player that outputs PAL (without transcoding), or if you have a projector with computer resolution (i.e. 800x600 or more) then yes, it might be a good idea to prefer the PAL version of a given movie. Still, the difference seems subtle when visible.

Note this is mostly subjective judgement. The only DVDs I have been able to A/B in both systems is 12 Monkeys, a friend has the NTSC version. In both cases, the video coming off those disks is truly awesome, nothing like any analog broadcast ever.

I didn't check to see whether the PAL version is 1% shorter, but I think it should be.

At least in this part of the world most DVD players being sold now are region and system agnostic. They play everything!
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Old December 7th, 2004, 06:15 PM   #6
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Yes, as Ignacio says, many of the "high end" DVD players come region free and play both PAL and NTSC. Since there is no such thing as a NTSC or a PAL projector the "only" hazzle would be the get the PAL copies.. I don't have any personal experience and I don't know how expensive it would be to order from the UK for example. (The dollar is a bit weak at the moment, but still.)
Well, just a thought anyway.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 06:57 PM   #7
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Things are probably very different due to your location. Here in the US, DVD's can be found at discount stores in the $6-$10 range frequently. There are also stores that sell used DVD's. Personally I'm an impulse buyer when it comes to this sort of thing, and I want to go into a store, look through the titles, and come home with a "bargain." :-) This would be tough to do with mail order from PAL land...
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Old December 7th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #8
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Yes. Actually I bought my PAL DVDs when shopping in Spain, not through mail order.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 06:52 AM   #9
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For anyone who is interested and can play PAL DVD's a good and
cheap place to buy them is at www.play.com. All prices
shown (in European Euro's or British Pounds) include shipping,
and I assume they ship to the states as well (not sure!).

Actually I have a lot of NTSC discs here in my collection simply
because some discs or special editions do not go to Europe or
are not as cool as the NTSC versions (think special boxes and
things like Criterion editions). However, it is changing rapidly over
the last year or so, there was a time I bought 100% NTSC DVD's,
now I'm at 95% PAL I think.

But for example: I really want to see Garden State and it is going
to be available on NTSC DVD this month and it is still unsure when
it will be show here in Holland in theaters or when there will be a
DVD release, so I'm gonna buy it from www.playusa.com
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Old December 8th, 2004, 08:19 AM   #10
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The website indicates that they ship to the US. But considering the current value of the dollar those prices are no bargain (not to mention the time it would take to ship, etc). A quick look at Amazon.com for a couple titles makes its seem like play.com is almost twice as expensive...
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Old December 8th, 2004, 09:28 PM   #11
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I too am the DVD Impulse Junkie. I cant fathom a PAL version substantially worth the time and cash to order and have shipped from overseas. Perhaps if my screen was 20' wide?
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Old December 9th, 2004, 05:11 AM   #12
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Boyd: that's funny. For us the exchange rate is very good (dollar
versus euro) and those DVD's are among the cheapest you can
get here, hehe. Figures it is the other way around if you want
to order from the US and have to pay in pounds or euro's.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 08:44 AM   #13
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Rob, how big is the difference in your opinion? Is there a real quality difference or not? (since it isn't really practice to go for PAL I guess there can't be too much of a difference..)
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Old December 9th, 2004, 09:02 AM   #14
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Well, I must say I really can't see the difference. BUT, I have been
watching on a not so good TV mostly. I've recently been watching
on a projector (Infocus X2) and I have the two first Lord of the Rings
instalments (the extended versions) where one is NTSC and the
other is PAL. So if I get a moment (which will probably be in a
week or so since I need to hook everything up again) I'll see if
they look much different.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 10:14 AM   #15
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Thanks Rob, I'd really apreciate that. If there's no difference I'll start buying mine here now. or maybe I'll wait for the HD-DVDs.. ;)
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