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Old December 11th, 2013, 03:11 AM   #1
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PAL DVDs in USA

Not sure if this has been discussed before but...

I filmed a wedding a few months back and now she's got in touch asking for 10 extra DVDs that she wants to send to the USA. Now the last few DVD players I have play back NTSC videos no problem. As my discs are produced region free is it fair to assume that recently manufactured players in the USA will playback PAL discs?

I'd like to exhaust this assumption before taking the time (for me) and cost (for her) of re-authoring NTSC discs

Pete
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Old December 11th, 2013, 04:09 AM   #2
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Hey Pete

I have been told on good authority that yes, our PAL players play both NTSC and PAL DVD's with no problems but it seems the reverse is not true and NTSC players in the USA often struggle to play PAL disks.

However I recently sent an example wedding DVD (in PAL) to one of our forum members and he didn't report any issues at all so it seems that at least some players in the USA will happily play PAL DVD's unless he simply ran it on his computer??

I have always rendered my PAL projects in Sony Vegas to DVD NTSC MPEG2's when copies need to go to the USA ... if it's practical can you maybe sent just one to make sure it runs OK instead of having to re-do all 10?? It would be much easier than re-rendering all the files and making NTSC DVD's!

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Old December 11th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

There's a reason PAL players will play NTSC but NTSC players will not play PAL, and you can blame Hollywood for this.

It's all to do with the original region coding (even though your discs aren't region coded). The Region 2 area covers both PAL and NTSC countries, so needs to play both, but region 1 (USA) only covers NTSC countries so doesn't need to play PAL. PAL discs WILL NOT play on most american purchased DVD players. Simple as that. Some of the cheaper late model taiwanese players may play them, but you simply can't guarantee it.

Creating NTSC discs is fairly trivial, even from a PAL timeline. The one thing you need to watch out for (although most people won't care) is that if you have any scrolling credits timed for 25p then they will be a bit jerky when played back at 29.97.

You'll also lose a little bit of clarity here and there, but most people won't notice.

Oh, there's one more thing too…. the broadcast safe filters are different for PAL and NTSC. So what I do is replace the Broadcast Safe filter on the timeline and just export again….
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Old December 11th, 2013, 07:08 AM   #4
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Well I create my DVDs region free so that shouldn't be an issue - I'll have to look into how easy it is for Adobe Encore to reconfigure my PAL project

Pete
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Old December 11th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #5
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Hi Pete

The fact that you create a region free disk still doesn't mean it will play on USA players. Afraid you have to bite the bullet and re-render your project and burn NTSC disks for the client

Yeah if you pixel peep the quality will drop as the 720x576 frame drops to 720x480 for a DVD ... As long as the dress looks pretty, as Dave says, they won't even notice!

Chris
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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
Well I create my DVDs region free so that shouldn't be an issue - I'll have to look into how easy it is for Adobe Encore to reconfigure my PAL project

Pete
As I said in my post, it makes no difference that your discs are region free, the players aren't, so they ship with appropriate features for their region, which for region 1 means NTSC only because there are no PAL territories within region 1.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Pete I asked a similar thing in this thread:

NTSC from PAL Media

I asked the client this morning and the NTSC disc worked fine :- )

I can't recall what you use as an NLE but this was Vegas Pro.

Pete
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Old December 11th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #8
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons. What do you do to your DVD's when you have recorded 24fps to get that so called for film look?
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Old December 11th, 2013, 03:02 PM   #9
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

NTSC players can usually play 24p DVDs ;)
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:15 AM   #10
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

So what about mobile devices and smart TVs in the states? Does an ipad/tablet in the states require a NTSC digital video file or will it play a PAL one?
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:26 AM   #11
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

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So what about mobile devices and smart TVs in the states? Does an ipad/tablet in the states require a NTSC digital video file or will it play a PAL one?
No, they are universal so play the same everywhere, just like computers can. It's really only DVD players that are the problem (and possibly Blu-ray players). Also, older TVs (CRTs) in the US won't accept a 25p/50i frame rate so things have to be converted prior to the signal. Modern LCDs may be different.

With computers, phones, iPads etc it's all software based and is not relying on the 60hz (vs 50hz) mains frequencies.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 04:29 AM   #12
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Ah so then one solution is to provide my couple with a download link to a digital file but.... my PRS licence may not cover this - I suppose I could provide them with the file and then it's up to them if they make it available for their friends and family across the pond?
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Old December 13th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #13
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

I provide them with an MP4 file within a zip file so its not an online show as such. The accompanying paperwork states that they must not put any part online without my prior written consent.

You can't readily create chapters in an MP4 file so an alternative is to render the show in parts with each part prefixed with an ascending number. That way it should play in the correct sequence in itunes etc. Not that chapters are particularly valuable in MP4's anyway as all they need do is scrubb along the play bar.

The zip file also gives them a convenient way to share the show with friends and relations whilst maintaining their privacy.

My site hosted by fasthosts allows unlimited storage so I have quite a few shows and digital files stills packages of several gbs each kept on it for clients.

Pete
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Old December 13th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #14
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

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My site hosted by fasthosts allows unlimited storage so I have quite a few shows and digital files stills packages of several gbs each kept on it for clients.
Pete
My hosting company also provides unlimited storage, but one day I got an email saying they were suspending the account because they were not a 'backup solution' and following an audit had decided I had too many large files on there!

I complained about it and they restored my account but said I had to delete about 100GB of videos I had built up there over several years because they were considered 'backups' and not "real web site files".

I complained again, pointing out that the files were accessed from time to time (via the web site) and that the contract said "unlimited storage". The guy told me it was their 'fair use policy' and these files weren't "fair use" in "their opinion".

He sympathised, telling me his wife was a photographer and shared all her large files via drop box, google drive etc and not through the web site, and that's what I should do instead.

After some clarification of the rules they agreed I could put these large files there for "1 or 2 weeks" for genuine downloads by my clients but then had to remove them quickly.

So, while you may have no trouble now, as indeed I had no trouble for about three or four years, one day you may get the call ;)
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Old December 14th, 2013, 03:00 PM   #15
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Re: PAL DVDs in USA

Yep Dave thats why I'm reluctant to offer it up front as a service to every client. Bit like with ISP's that claim to offer unlimited bandwidth.

I tried dropbox but at the time it got expensive pretty quickly. I also have 100gb of capacity with Google Drive that costs me 5 a month but I've found that to be problematic with large files e.g. MP4's of 3gb+. It would slow right down to a crawl and since it does not offer a progress bar its been useless to me. Similar experience trying to ftp large files within Dreamweaver CS6. I now use a separate ftp called Filezilla for large file ftp's up to my main site and that works well.

There are quite a few cloud storers springing up. I'm going to let the dust settle before making any changes unless I have no choice.

Pete
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