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How do you make a PAL DVD from an NTSC .mov?

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  • How do you make a PAL DVD from an NTSC .mov?

    I have the G5 dual processors 2.7 gHz and FCP 5.04

    My movie is edited in FCP NTSC project, 16:9 Anamorphic. I also have a Letterbox version 720x480.

    Which one shall I use for France and European distribution and festivals?

    Shall I use Compressor 2 for the conversion? It's a 97 minute movie.

    I also have mpeg2 conversion and NTSC DVDs of the movie. Shall I use the mpeg2 for the PAL version?

    Should I use the DVD SP for making the DVDs?

    I need a BETA NUM PAL DVD with a track VI international, for dubbing.

    What do I do? Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    PAL IS 25 FPS & NTSC is 30 NDF (or29.97 DF). In order to make 30 FPS into 25 there needs to be compromises. I believe you can do it in Compressor, but I would think it would be best to burn a DVD-R with open region coding. They should be able to play it in EU. I've sent many NTSC DVDs to EU with no problems. As long as they are played on a recent player (last 5 years).

    Ask any post house in the LA metro area what they charge for standards conversion & find out how difficult it is. I'm not saying Compressor does a bad job (I wouldn't know personally), I would just be worried about how many frames it is discarding, especially if it is progressive with 3:2.


    • #3
      Slightly more to it for DVDs. Not just your video media but all your menus (stills, artworks) need to be the PAL pixel size (OK, DVDSP will resize I think but may distort so you should check). This is 720x576.

      PAL has anamorphic 16:9 too, at 720x576 - this has been the standard SD format for broadcast for some 10 years nearly. Best quality from the anamorphic - let the DVD player (meaning the hardware) do the letterboxing.

      As far as converting the video format - depends on your budget. Lots of threads below, from the earliest Compressor days when the FCP conversions were terrible. The resizing of each frame is the easy bit, it's the interpolation of 30 frames into 25 that looked horrible. Expensive but best used to be the hardware conversions from a Snell & Wilcox Alchemist - next was the Nattress convertor filter in FCP - I believe the later Compressor has narrowed the gap, we haven't had the definitive word for a while.

      The good news is that all DVD PLAYERS will play NTSC discs - the problem though is the display device, which may not be able to display the NTSC signal.
      Phil Ashby | 2-pop guide
      Bright Filament, Bath UK |


      • #4

        Thanks for taking the trouble to reply to this post, but given the original query was over 2 years ago I guess he solved the problem by now. For the record (and for any web searches that pull up this thread) you're in danger of confusing two issues here.

        TV standards (PAL or NTSC) apply to the program material on the DVD, which is mpeg-2 but has 25Hz or 30Hz variants, with different frame sizes of the TV (and any menu graphics). This is what the original questioner wanted to know about. It's usually not necessary to do this any more for DVDs playing in the EU, because both DVD players and TVs over here will display the US standard. Note I said usually - some older sets won't play (at least in color).

        Open Region coding is a copyright issue, intended to ensure that DVDs will only play in the market they're made for. To save hassle, it's worth ensuring that the DVD is open region (it's an option in DVDSPro). Again, this is not necessarily a problem these days, with multi-region players.
        Phil Ashby | 2-pop guide
        Bright Filament, Bath UK |


        • #5
          Use Compressor to make PAL mpeg-2/AC3 assets for DVDSP. Re-author DVD as PAL. Compressor does a great job with this.
          Digital Media Instructor for
          Louisiana State University & Delgado College