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Converting from NTSC HD to PAL SD for DVD authoring

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Hemma Kearney
Converting from NTSC HD to PAL SD for DVD authoring
on Mar 20, 2015 at 2:08:10 am


A client of mine was instructed by their agent to film there six DVD fitness videos in NTSC HD (29.97fps) as it will be distributed worldwide. We live in Australia where we use PAL. After days of research and trials I come to the understanding it's easier to go from NTSC to PAL than the other way around- so that makes sense considering the DVDs will sold overseas too. Unfortunately I have not had such luck with all the methods I have tried. Also, most methods are for NTSC SD to PAL SD and I wonder if this is what's creating difficulty. The problem being that the image looks terrible and blocky- not being able to see their faces properly.

Here are the methods I have so far tried:
- Export from premiere straight out of the 29.97fps timeline - converting to 25fps with the usual export process (burn in Encore with PAL setup)
- Bring the footage from the 29.97fps timeline into a new timeline set to PAL settings and then export like above (burn in Encore with PAL setup)
- Following this method without RE:VIsion Effects:
- This one with twixtor (demo) but no fields kit:
- And all varying versions of the above, changing the fields etc.

The best method so far has been exporting from 29.97fps timeline in premiere with: MPEG-2 DVD, Qual: 100, Field: progressive, 2 pass, GOP 3, 12 in the settings.

I know there is a program called AVISynth but after going to their website it's a program for up scaling from PAL to NTSC. Then there is Canopus Procoder but it's only designed for PC. The client would go to this kind of expense and nuisance if it was a guaranteed working option but unfortunately we won't know unless we go to the expense first. I would also have to source a PC to run it.

Also because there hasn't been a guide to down scaling from HD to SD I have just scaled it in AE. Is there another step I should be doing for this?

The audio also goes out of sync with the above ae methods. But that's the least of my worries at the moment until I get the vision sorted!

Any hints or tips would be most appreciated! Thank you!

Brisbane Videography :: Corporate Video Productions :: Wedding Videos

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Jeff Pulera
Re: Converting from NTSC HD to PAL SD for DVD authoring
on Mar 23, 2015 at 5:40:45 pm

Hi Hemma,

PAL DVD players have the capability to play NTSC discs, having built-in conversion to PAL output. Therefore, the general consensus every time this subject comes up in forums, is to simply author the DVDs as NTSC to play in both the US and PAL countries.

Regarding AVIsynth, that is just a front end - there are countless plug-ins for it to do different types of video conversions, is not limited to a certain conversion process.

Thank you

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers

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