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Standards Conversions


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#1 Richard R. Robbins

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:07 PM

I've produced a ten minute marketing video The specs on it are NTSC, 60i, 4:3. It was shot in DVCPRO50, 24p. The final output (distribution) media is a standard DVD.

My client wants to use it in Europe and South America. I assume I will need a standards conversion (PAL and SECAM?). Any recommended vendors for this service. Do they want a DVD or a digital videotape master? Does the DVD country code come into play? If I get a standard video DVD back from the conversion house, can I replicate it myself?

Also, help me get my head around this...if I post an NTSC video to YouTube or similar websites, will they play overseas on the web? I think so, but how does this work?
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#2 Keith Walters

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 03:54 AM

I've produced a ten minute marketing video The specs on it are NTSC, 60i, 4:3. It was shot in DVCPRO50, 24p. The final output (distribution) media is a standard DVD.

My client wants to use it in Europe and South America. I assume I will need a standards conversion (PAL and SECAM?). Any recommended vendors for this service. Do they want a DVD or a digital videotape master? Does the DVD country code come into play? If I get a standard video DVD back from the conversion house, can I replicate it myself?

Also, help me get my head around this...if I post an NTSC video to YouTube or similar websites, will they play overseas on the web? I think so, but how does this work?


As far as I know, all modern DVD players used outside the USA will play both NTSC and PAL discs, and automatically standards convert them to the owner's local TV standard. Many DVD players also give you a choice of PAL, NTSC or "Auto". I have never seen a single one that doesn't do this for at least the last 5 years or so.

When set to "auto", the video output follows the standard that the disc was mastered under (PAL or NTSC), which avoids the standards conversion process. The only problem is that you need to have a TV that can display both PAL and NTSC, but virtually all TVs do these days.

As far as YouTube is concerned, any PC that can play YouTube videos will be able to handle the frame fates. Computer monitors are not standardized like TV sets, they use all sorts of frame rates.
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:31 PM

It was shot in DVCPRO50, 24p.


That's the important thing. You want to convert to PAL/SECAM from your 24p master, not from the NTSC 60i. That way you get full resolution progressive frames, and a much better picture.





-- J.S.
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#4 Keith Walters

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:31 AM

That's the important thing. You want to convert to PAL/SECAM from your 24p master, not from the NTSC 60i. That way you get full resolution progressive frames, and a much better picture.
-- J.S.

There is no such thing as "PAL/SECAM" on a DVD. The DVD produces 625 line 50i component video, which can be encoded to whatever standard the DVD player is set to,

Also, unless you specifically convert the 24p video to 60i and then feed it into a DVD recorder, the data stored on the DVD should still be 24p anyway. Just about all film-sourced DVD movies are done that way, where the extra NTSC fields are generated on playback in a 3-2 sequence simlar to the way it is done in telecine. For PAL, they just run the disc 4% faster.

I would be surprised if the editing program doesn't allow this as an option. The only time a DVD contains sixty fields per second is when the video is actually shot at 60i.

Some early PAL-type DVD players even allowed you to show movies as 48 field 650 line PAL, in the interests of getting the sound the correct pitch. However since most modern PAL-type DVD players now allow you to play back at 24fps "3-2 pulled-down" 60i NTSC this idea has fallen by the wayside.
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