DVDs, Regions, NTSC, and PAL

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Geoff, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Geoff

    Geoff Guest

    Two questions:

    1. When the entertainment industry decided to divide the world into
    regions, why would all the dvd hardware manufacturers go along with it? Why
    do some manufacturers not go along with it?

    2. Say a DVD is region 2, PAL. If someone had a dvd player that plays all
    regions on their computer connected to an lcd screen via dvi, does it matter
    if the dvd is pal or ntsc?

    Thanks.

    -g
    Geoff, Aug 28, 2006
    #1
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  2. Geoff wrote:
    > Two questions:
    >
    > 1. When the entertainment industry decided to divide the world into
    > regions, why would all the dvd hardware manufacturers go along with it? Why
    > do some manufacturers not go along with it?


    The intellectual property required to build a disc player is
    licensed, and the terms of the license include region compliance.

    (BTW, despite all the high talk about "better technology", the real
    reason for the BluRay/HD-DVD fiasco is the $5 or so per player that
    goes to the licensor(s).)

    Put another way, "better" doesn't mean better for *you*. ;-)

    > 2. Say a DVD is region 2, PAL. If someone had a dvd player that plays all
    > regions on their computer connected to an lcd screen via dvi, does it matter
    > if the dvd is pal or ntsc?


    It depends on whether the player converts formats to the user's
    chosen output format. Most do.

    -michael

    New, faster SUDOKU v2.0 solver for Apple II's!
    Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

    "The wastebasket is our most important design
    tool--and it's seriously underused."
    Michael J. Mahon, Aug 28, 2006
    #2
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  3. Geoff

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "Michael J. Mahon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> 2. Say a DVD is region 2, PAL. If someone had a dvd player that
    >> plays all regions on their computer connected to an lcd screen via
    >> dvi, does it matter if the dvd is pal or ntsc?

    >
    > It depends on whether the player converts formats to the user's
    > chosen output format. Most do.


    Not in the U.S., most don't.
    Joshua Zyber, Aug 28, 2006
    #3
  4. Geoff

    Geoff Guest

    > It depends on whether the player converts formats to the user's
    > chosen output format. Most do.


    That is why I am confused. A DVD is just numbers and an LCD using DVI is
    displaying the numbers sent to it. There is no conversion of one format to
    another (numbers that represent the picture/movie come off the DVD and are
    sent to the LCD via the DVI port).

    So, does ntsc or pal matter in a situation like that?

    -g
    Geoff, Aug 28, 2006
    #4
  5. Geoff

    jayembee Guest

    "Geoff" <> wrote:

    > Two questions:
    >
    > 1. When the entertainment industry decided to divide the world into
    > regions, why would all the dvd hardware manufacturers go along with
    > it?


    Because the studios insisted on region-coding as a condition for them
    releasing material on DVD. (Keep in mind that at the time, no one
    expected DVDs to be as big a hit with consumers as they were.) The
    manufacturers went along with it because they wouldn't sell any
    players if there wasn't anything to play on them.

    > Why do some manufacturers not go along with it?


    Because they called the studios' bluff.

    > 2. Say a DVD is region 2, PAL. If someone had a dvd player that
    > plays all regions on their computer connected to an lcd screen via
    > dvi, does it matter if the dvd is pal or ntsc?


    No. And most standalone players that can be made region-free through
    a hack can convert one format to the other.

    -- jayembee
    jayembee, Aug 28, 2006
    #5
  6. Joshua Zyber wrote:
    > "Michael J. Mahon" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>>2. Say a DVD is region 2, PAL. If someone had a dvd player that
    >>>plays all regions on their computer connected to an lcd screen via
    >>>dvi, does it matter if the dvd is pal or ntsc?

    >>
    >>It depends on whether the player converts formats to the user's
    >>chosen output format. Most do.

    >
    >
    > Not in the U.S., most don't.


    I should have said "Most region-free players that can play PAL can
    convert the output format to NTSC." If it can't play PAL (like most
    US DVD players), the question is moot, but the OP implied that he was
    asking about a "universal" player.

    -michael

    Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

    "The wastebasket is our most important design
    tool--and it's seriously underused."
    Michael J. Mahon, Aug 29, 2006
    #6
  7. Geoff

    Jukka Aho Guest

    Geoff wrote:

    > That is why I am confused. A DVD is just numbers and an LCD using
    > DVI is displaying the numbers sent to it. There is no conversion of
    > one format to another (numbers that represent the picture/movie come
    > off the DVD and are sent to the LCD via the DVI port).
    >
    > So, does ntsc or pal matter in a situation like that?


    If you just play back the DVD on a computer, using a software-based DVD
    player (such as WinDVD or PowerDVD, for example), watching the movie on
    your computer monitor, "PAL" or "NTSC" doesn't matter. (You may need a
    DVD-ROM drive with a "region free" firmware in order to conveniently
    play back discs from various regions other than your own.)

    With stand-alone DVD players and real tv sets, it's a different story.
    In that case, it depends on the make and model and capabilities of the
    said devices and, possibly, their menu settings.

    --
    znark
    Jukka Aho, Aug 29, 2006
    #7
  8. On 28/8/06 13:32, in article
    wnBIg.2361$, "Geoff"
    <> wrote:

    >> It depends on whether the player converts formats to the user's
    >> chosen output format. Most do.

    >
    > That is why I am confused. A DVD is just numbers and an LCD using DVI is
    > displaying the numbers sent to it. There is no conversion of one format to
    > another (numbers that represent the picture/movie come off the DVD and are
    > sent to the LCD via the DVI port).
    >
    > So, does ntsc or pal matter in a situation like that?


    The numbers of pixels differs between NTSC and PAL (PAL has more) and the
    refresh rate also differs (60Hz vs. 50Hz).

    A PAL DVD might have slightly better detail on an LCD due to the fact it
    starts off with more pixels.

    However converting NTSC to PAL (or vice versa) can slightly alter the speed
    of playback (to most people this will not be noticable), this might mean it
    takes slightly longer/shorter to play the same film or that if you carefully
    watched it a 'converted' playback might have a slight jerk every second.

    This is because if NTSC has 60 frames per second and is being shown on a PAL
    display which can only show 50 frames per second then 10 frames per second
    have to be thrown away (or in the other direction an extra delay inserted).

    I seem to be noticing something like this with a TV recording from DVB-T
    made using Media Center and then played back on a computer LCD. This shows
    up particularly for the 'ticker' displays going across the bottom of news
    channels. When this is viewed live on an analogue TV it is perfectly smooth,
    but when shown on the computer LCD using Media Center it has a very slight
    judder (the computer is easily fast enough not to be causing this itself).

    While LCD TVs usually don't let you alter the refresh between 50Hz and 60Hz
    some computer LCDs do. Now that I have thought about this I will have to
    check to see if I can alter my computer LCD and see if that helps.
    John Lockwood, Aug 29, 2006
    #8
  9. Geoff

    Joshua Zyber Guest

    "John Lockwood" <> wrote in message
    news:C119D89B.12AC6%...
    > However converting NTSC to PAL (or vice versa) can slightly alter the
    > speed
    > of playback (to most people this will not be noticable), this might
    > mean it
    > takes slightly longer/shorter to play the same film or that if you
    > carefully
    > watched it a 'converted' playback might have a slight jerk every
    > second.


    PAL speedup has nothing to do with the conversion of PAL to NTSC or vice
    versa. It has to do with the transfer of 24fps film to 25fps PAL video.
    All film-based movies are sped up 4% on PAL video, regardless of whether
    you watch it on a PAL display or converted to NTSC.

    Film-based movies transferred to NTSC retain their original running
    speed due to the 3:2 pulldown process.
    Joshua Zyber, Aug 29, 2006
    #9
  10. Geoff

    anthony Guest


    >
    > PAL speedup has nothing to do with the conversion of PAL to NTSC or vice
    > versa. It has to do with the transfer of 24fps film to 25fps PAL video.
    > All film-based movies are sped up 4% on PAL video, regardless of whether
    > you watch it on a PAL display or converted to NTSC.
    >
    > Film-based movies transferred to NTSC retain their original running
    > speed due to the 3:2 pulldown process.



    The best DVD players will output in true PAL or NTSC depending on the
    source, with no need or reason for conversion.
    And of course, any decent television set should be able to display
    native NTSC or PAL signals. Just a case of checking these elementary
    things before you purchase.
    True PAL output to a PAL-capable television should be superior to NTSC,
    all other things (eg transfer mastering) being equal, because of PAL's
    inherent superior screen resolution. Against that, as noted above,
    film transfers do show a 4 per cent lift in audio pitch due to the
    faster transfer of film to DVD.
    anthony, Aug 30, 2006
    #10
  11. On 30 Aug 2006 03:01:24 -0700, "anthony"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >>
    >> PAL speedup has nothing to do with the conversion of PAL to NTSC or vice
    >> versa. It has to do with the transfer of 24fps film to 25fps PAL video.
    >> All film-based movies are sped up 4% on PAL video, regardless of whether
    >> you watch it on a PAL display or converted to NTSC.
    >>
    >> Film-based movies transferred to NTSC retain their original running
    >> speed due to the 3:2 pulldown process.

    >
    >
    >The best DVD players will output in true PAL or NTSC depending on the
    >source, with no need or reason for conversion.
    >And of course, any decent television set should be able to display
    >native NTSC or PAL signals. Just a case of checking these elementary
    >things before you purchase.
    >True PAL output to a PAL-capable television should be superior to NTSC,
    >all other things (eg transfer mastering) being equal, because of PAL's
    >inherent superior screen resolution. Against that, as noted above,
    >film transfers do show a 4 per cent lift in audio pitch due to the
    >faster transfer of film to DVD.



    You may be talking about the European market but no North American TVs
    will do PAL. Also American eyes do NOT like PAL because of the more
    obvious flicker at 50 HZ, and Americans like the image brighter.. And
    in digital media it makes no difference anyway, the tiny increase in
    vertical resolution is unnoticeable and NTSC has the aformentioned
    advantages for film playback. 24fps progressive playback is natively
    supported by good NTSC televisions.

    ... Steve ..
    Steve(JazzHunter), Aug 30, 2006
    #11
  12. Geoff

    anthony Guest

    Steve(JazzHunter) wrote:
    > On 30 Aug 2006 03:01:24 -0700, "anthony"


    >
    > You may be talking about the European market but no North American TVs
    > will do PAL. Also American eyes do NOT like PAL because of the more
    > obvious flicker at 50 HZ, and Americans like the image brighter.. And
    > in digital media it makes no difference anyway, the tiny increase in
    > vertical resolution is unnoticeable and NTSC has the aformentioned
    > advantages for film playback. 24fps progressive playback is natively
    > supported by good NTSC televisions.
    >
    > .. Steve ..


    So it's true ... American eyes are different. That explains heaps!
    It's indeed odd that no North American TVs will do PAL -- since in most
    of the civilised world television sets are made to switch invisibly
    between PAL and NTSC.
    Anyway, back to my collection of Region 1, 2 and 4 DVDs .....
    region-free forever!
    anthony, Aug 31, 2006
    #12
  13. anthony wrote:
    > Steve(JazzHunter) wrote:
    >
    >>On 30 Aug 2006 03:01:24 -0700, "anthony"

    >
    >
    >>You may be talking about the European market but no North American TVs
    >>will do PAL. Also American eyes do NOT like PAL because of the more
    >>obvious flicker at 50 HZ, and Americans like the image brighter.. And
    >>in digital media it makes no difference anyway, the tiny increase in
    >>vertical resolution is unnoticeable and NTSC has the aformentioned
    >>advantages for film playback. 24fps progressive playback is natively
    >>supported by good NTSC televisions.
    >>
    >>.. Steve ..

    >
    >
    > So it's true ... American eyes are different. That explains heaps!
    > It's indeed odd that no North American TVs will do PAL -- since in most
    > of the civilised world television sets are made to switch invisibly
    > between PAL and NTSC.
    > Anyway, back to my collection of Region 1, 2 and 4 DVDs .....
    > region-free forever!


    I'm sure you realize that the US TV market is sufficiently huge that
    it justifies its own production runs, with pennies saved on each set
    by eliminating PAL support (it used to be more when things were analog).

    But I must also say that I can instantly tell a PAL display, because
    the flicker is quite visible in highlights, and especially so when
    my eyes are slightly averted from the display, or the highlights are
    a few degrees from my gaze.

    I have the same problem with 50Hz flourescent lighting.

    It's too bad that the person(s) who set the 50Hz standard didn't have
    faster visual response. ;-)

    Of course, the solution is to refresh at 100Hz, but that would be
    best done with motion interpolation.

    -michael

    New, faster SUDOKU v2.0 solver for Apple II's!
    Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

    "The wastebasket is our most important design
    tool--and it's seriously underused."
    Michael J. Mahon, Aug 31, 2006
    #13
  14. Geoff

    anthony Guest

    My Pal/NTSC television never flickers; the native improvement in PAL
    over NTSC is very clear, though I prefer NTSC DVDs for movies with
    major musical content because of the 4 per cent lift in pitch which
    happens with PAL movie transfers.
    There's no flicker simply because most decent dual-system sets are 100
    hz, not 50. Rock-solid picture stability, for presentation of the best
    from all regions. Should be the way to go for everyone.
    anthony, Aug 31, 2006
    #14
  15. anthony wrote:
    > My Pal/NTSC television never flickers; the native improvement in PAL
    > over NTSC is very clear, though I prefer NTSC DVDs for movies with
    > major musical content because of the 4 per cent lift in pitch which
    > happens with PAL movie transfers.
    > There's no flicker simply because most decent dual-system sets are 100
    > hz, not 50. Rock-solid picture stability, for presentation of the best
    > from all regions. Should be the way to go for everyone.


    I agree, assuming that we can find such sets at the rock-bottom
    North American price point.

    The US is a loss leader for most TV manufacturers.

    -michael

    New, faster SUDOKU v2.0 solver for Apple II's!
    Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

    "The wastebasket is our most important design
    tool--and it's seriously underused."
    Michael J. Mahon, Aug 31, 2006
    #15
  16. Geoff

    Geoff Guest

    Actually, there are dual sets out there but I saw them when I was in the
    military and living in europe. It seems like everything was switchable.

    -g
    Geoff, Aug 31, 2006
    #16
  17. Geoff wrote:
    > Actually, there are dual sets out there but I saw them when I was in the
    > military and living in europe. It seems like everything was switchable.


    *Everything* is out there--but what was the price?

    -michael

    Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

    "The wastebasket is our most important design
    tool--and it's seriously underused."
    Michael J. Mahon, Sep 1, 2006
    #17
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