12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2012 6:17 AM by Crellin Sound

    NTSC to PAL, anyone?

    Crellin Sound

      Hello There,

       

      I'm about to buy Premier and I'm excited about it.  I'm learning and you'll see that from my question.

       

      Can anyone tell me if Premier has the ability to output an NTSC project to PAL?  My camera is NTSC.  My client needs a PAL end result.

       

      Or, if that's not possible, what program will do the job and how's the quality of the result?

       

      Thanks,

       

      BT

        • 1. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          If your delivery is on DVD, there is no need to convert and take the quality hit. All PAL DVD players also play NTSC DVD's.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
            Crellin Sound Level 1

            Hi Harm,

             

            You have a great name.  I'm sure there's no confusion at parties.

             

            Thanks for the information.  I didn't know that about DVD players.

             

            I'm not sure the delivery will be on DVD.  If I have to deliver by FTP, I might be stuck.  Do you know of a program that will do the conversion?

             

            Thanks,

             

            BT

            • 3. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Grass Valley's Procoder has a good reputation for these kind of conversions. However, even if you FTP the final product, it will either be burned to DVD and then the DVD player takes care of it, or it will be used for computer playback and then the point is moot, because computers don't care about the distinction between PAL and NTSC.

               

              Notice that if you have a PAL camera and need to deliver that in a NTSC country, then conversion is a necessity, but you have the advantage of downscaling from 576 to 480, which is always better than upscaling from 480 to 576.

               

              You have a great name.  I'm sure there's no confusion at parties.

               

              Only when my son is present too, because his first name is Harn as well, as were the first names of my father and grandfather. Before my father passed away, it could get confusing if people did not pay attention to our ages. BTW, we never intend to do ... harm. It is similar with an old collegue of mine, a big and heavy weight Italian whose name is Georgio Aiuto and when he introduced himself to people in English, he used to say he was a big help to them, because in Italian Aiuto means Help.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                zikade Level 2

                I used to use Compressor for PAL to NTSC conversion, since I had a client requiring a NTSC-DVD. While doing that I also discovered that Harm is correct in stating that any DVD player I know of is able to play either NTSC or PAL, but if you have an older TV-Set which is hard wired to PAL and your DVD is NTSC you still won't see much since the DVD-Player is emitting NTSC signals which the TV cannot decode properly. Today, thats probably very rare, but it happened to me once, albeit some time ago.

                 

                I haven't tried Adobe Media Encoder, but next week I will have to create another set of NTSC DVD's and - if the schedule permits it - try AME with that conversion.

                • 5. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                  Crellin Sound Level 1

                  Hi Guys,

                   

                  This is good stuff.

                   

                  Harm - It's hard to believe you're heading for 20,000 posts.  The rest of us are babies compared to that.  I bet you've helped a lot of people.

                   

                  You said, "Notice that if you have a PAL camera and need to deliver that in a NTSC country, then conversion is a necessity, but you have the advantage of downscaling from 576 to 480, which is always better than upscaling from 480 to 576."

                   

                  And now I'm confused, but probably needlessly so.  Let me clarify by saying that I'll shoot HD with an NTSC camera.  I was under the impression that there wasn't any scaling problem with HD on conversions because HD is HD in both PAL and NTSC.  The problem comes with frame rates.

                   

                  I'm usually completely off base, so I wouldn't be surprised if I have bad information.  What am I missing here?

                   

                  Zikade - Good answer on the Adobe Media Encoder.  Please let us know how it works.  This might solve everything.

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  BT

                  • 6. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                    zikade Level 2

                    Funny, whenever someone talks about PAL/NTSC conversion I automatically assume its good, old SD. Probably because HD is a brand new beast for someone being that ancient like myself. But it may also be that the definition of PAL and NTSC is SD-only, as far as I know. ;)

                    Back to the topic: any TV set which can display HD should display the different framerates without the audience being able to spot the difference if the source is 60i, 25p or whatever as long as it is conforming to the appropriate standards.

                    • 7. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                      Crellin Sound Level 1

                      Hi Zikade,

                       

                      Yep.  It's all confusing, isn't it?

                       

                      But, judging from what you and Harm say, converting from NTSC to PAL isn't much of a hurdle any longer.

                       

                      Ya'll have put me on the right track and I appreciate it.

                       

                      BT

                      • 8. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        The distinction NTSC and PAL only applies to SD material. With HD material only framerates are the distinguishing factor. For SD material there are resolution differences, 720 x 480 NTSC versus 720 x 576 PAL, there are framerate differences and there are color differences, IRE 16 - 235 NTSC versus 0 - 255 PAL.

                         

                        In PAL countries, DVD players handle both NTSC and PAL material. In NTSC countries, DVD players handle only NTSC material. Hence the need to convert PAL to NTSC but not the other way around.

                         

                        I think both AME and Encore do a decent job with the conversion from PAL to NTSC in the most recent version. I do not know if it can match the quality of Procoder, which has a good reputation.

                        • 9. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                          zikade Level 2

                          Let me add ancient SECAM to this mix, just for (color)fun.

                           

                          But conversion is way easier today. Only if its going to a TV station for airing (or the client demands it, they can be sooo unreasonable sometimes) you will have to convert the frame rate accordingly. That alone can be tricky, but I am so glad to drop color conversion.

                          • 10. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                            Crellin Sound Level 1

                            Hmmmm,

                             

                            Just how tricky is the frame rate conversion going from NTSC to PAL?  We'll probably shoot at 24fps, but one never knows.  There's a possibility that this could go to TV.

                             

                            And just how much visual color difference is there between NTSC and PAL?  Does the difference between 16 - 235 for NTSC and 0 - 255 for PAL really matter?  Is it noticeable?

                             

                            Thanks,

                             

                            BT

                            • 11. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                              zikade Level 2

                              Crellin Sound wrote:

                               

                              Hmmmm,

                               

                              Just how tricky is the frame rate conversion going from NTSC to PAL?  We'll probably shoot at 24fps, but one never knows.  There's a possibility that this could go to TV.

                               

                              And just how much visual color difference is there between NTSC and PAL?  Does the difference between 16 - 235 for NTSC and 0 - 255 for PAL really matter?  Is it noticeable?

                               

                              Thanks,

                               

                              BT

                              Well, make sure you know at least what you are shooting

                               

                              I just gave it a try using AME, max render quality & frame blending and the result is... let me put is this way: you'll see the difference comparing both clips, especially if the source is interlaced, for progessive its a quite a bit better. Some people would say just play it back at 25 fps, the lesser speed is visually below being perceivable, but you will get audio shifting.

                               

                              Using time remapping might be better, I had good result using Apples Compressor which uses optical flow for rendering intermediate frames (which is not good for CG, by the way). After Effects has similar capabilities, but I haven't used them yet.

                               

                              As long as you stay in HD you wont notice any color differences since there arent any. Both use the same color space. 

                              • 12. Re: NTSC to PAL, anyone?
                                Crellin Sound Level 1

                                Hi Zikade,

                                 

                                Thanks for doing the tests.

                                 

                                I think I'll get an NTSC camera and take my lumps.  But it sounds like the lumps won't be too big.  It seems like there are solutions, though they might not be perfect at the moment.

                                 

                                Playing back at 25fps might be good.  Stretching the audio will be a pain.  But it can be done.

                                 

                                We'll be talking as I get into this ................. 

                                 

                                Thanks again for your help.  And thanks to Harm, too.

                                 

                                BT