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HELP!!! NTSC/PAL questions

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by KTedeman, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. KTedeman

    KTedeman
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    Hello!

    I'm new here... I thought you folks might be able to help me out... I am American but live in the UK. Now I want to go home to the states and purchase two things: A camcorder and Pinnacle Studio 9.

    When I come home to the UK I want to be able to edit and burn my videos to dvd or vcd (somebody please tell me exactly what a vcd is and how one plays it???)

    Will I have a problem putting footage from an NTSC camcorder onto my british computer???

    And, subsequently, will I be able to view these dvd's/vcd's on my PAL tv using my regular old dvd player?

    Also, will I be able to send copies home to the states to be viewed there on NTSC???

    Thanks to any of you who can help...

    Kindest regards,
    Kate (the video novice)
     
  2. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    Hello & welcome

    VCD is Video CD (a poor relation to DVD using MPEG-1 rather than MPEG-2 compression resulting in lower bitrate & quality). VCD's will not play on all DVD players. There is another version SVCD (Super Video CD) which uses MPEG-2 compression for better quality but as it is on CD you will only fit a short amount on compared to DVD & there are even less DVD players that play SVCD's. Computers will play back VCD's & SVCD's easily though.

    You shouldn't have any problems capturing & editing NTSC footage on your computer here.

    Most (but not all) PAL DVD players will play NTSC discs. Some will play them as a pseudo PAL called PAL60. It is the reverse in the USA far fewer players in the USA will play PAL discs (though that is gradually changing)

    NTSC copies you make here will be fine to play back home in the USA. If you can, do DVD's rather than VCD's.

    Good Luck
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Welcome to the forum KTedeman

    Lets see if we can help you out with your questions:

    VCD stands for Video Compact Disk
    Basically it is a lower quality disk than a DVD. The file format of a VCD is MPEG-1 where DVD is MPEG-2 and as the name suggests you burn a VCD on a CD-R. You can just play them in most DVD players as if it was a DVD, but it does not have any menus or chapters.To see if you can play VCD's on your DVD player check it out HERE

    No, you will just be creating NTSC DVD's etc as everything will stay as NTSC. The PC itself will not know anything is different. The software will need to know though so make sure that the software is set so it knows it is working with NTSC footage (at the start of a new project in Studio 9 etc you will be asked to set the project settings for things such as NTSC/PAL etc).

    Just about all UK TV's & DVD players can output/display NTSC, so it should be no problem. RTFM to see if your TV can accept an NTSC signal and the link above should tell you about your DVD player.

    As I said above, if you film the footage on an NTSC camcorder it will stay as NTSC all the time unless you convert it with dedicated conversion software. Therefore I see no reason why the DVD's will not work back in the USA.
    The only time you will have any problems is if you want to put the footage onto a video cassette as no standard UK VCR's can record from an NTSC source. In this case you would need to convert the footage to PAL and this does result in a loss of quality, but hey so does putting it onto VHS.

    Good luck with the creation of your footage onto disks. Let us know how you get on and feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

    Mark.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    dam! must learn to type faster :devil:

    Well at least you know that 2 of us agree on the answers to your questions :D

    Mark.
     
  5. KTedeman

    KTedeman
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    I just wanted to thank you both so much for you quick and thoughtful replies to my post!

    I really appreciate your help and rest assured, I'll be back!

    Is this NTSC/PAL business something that you two wrestle with frequently??

    Kate
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Kate,
    I'm glad I could be of some help. This computer editing can be a daunting task when you first start to look into it. When I was starting it was a very expensive hobby and you needed to get it right first time! The cost of PC's and dedicated video editing hardware & software has come right down in price over the last couple of years but it can still eat too far into your wage packet if you make mistakes. So as I said before feel free to ask as many questions as you need and we will all try to help you avoid making expensive mistakes.

    All my editing is purely for my own use. I don't do it for a living, so no I don't fight between NTSC & PAL often - well only with DVD's before PAL progressive players were available :devil: , but thats another story.

    Mark.
     
  7. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    Hello Kate

    Whilst I don't do it for a living I have had to dabble a little with NTSC/PAL problems.

    I'm lucky enough to have a decent transcoder so actually convert NTSC/PAL or PAL/NTSC when needed.

    In your circumstances though & if it's most likely that you are going to be returning to the USA (supplying DVD's to people there) I would say you are best videoing with a NTSC camcorder & making NTSC DVDs on your computer here for now.
     
  8. KTedeman

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    Can you guys tell me if there are any differences in computer parts between the US and UK? By that I mean dvd burners, firewire cards and graphics cards, etc.

    Just wondering if I can economize there too...

    Von, thanks for your input... I'm so pleased that NTSC seams to be a viable option!!!
     
  9. Monty_Python

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    PCs are the same the world over, but beware! Products purchased in the us may not have warranty in the UK
     
  10. KTedeman

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    Thanks Monty,

    I'm not too worried about the USA warranty issue as it would be easy enough for me to return home to exchange it if need be.
     

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