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Scanlines and fields on PAL DVD video

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Matt Radbourne
Scanlines and fields on PAL DVD video
on Oct 22, 2009 at 4:42:20 pm

Hi forum
I've just been authoring a PAL widescreen DVD video. All is well but Im a bit confused about what's going on behind the scenes.

So my Widescreen video has 576 lines. 288 upper fields and 288 lower fields, taking turns to update 25 times a second. Is that right?

If so, my 4:3 PAL TV also has that many fields right? So If I produce a pan and scan version of my DVD the fields will match up a treat.

What happens if I make a letterbox version? Won't the video fields be squashed down on the footage to add the black bars at the top and bottom? How does the TV display the letterboxed picture properly if the full screen is still 576 alternating lines but some of these are now black. Surely the squashed interlaced movie would have all its fields mashed together to fit extra black bars in its 576 fields.

I'm sure I'm getting it wrong somewhere. Please help!


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