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NTSC / PAL Problem

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Simon6776, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Hi Folks,

    This is my first post here, so bear with me if this has been asked before, but my cousin has just bought a Toshiba DVD player, which is multi-region, but he has now discovered that his old Sony TV won't play NTSC. Well, it does, but not in colour! :rolleyes:

    I suggested to him an NTSC - PAL Converter, currently on offer at Maplins for £29.99. He phoned Maplins, but they have told him that for the converter to work, he needs a 60 (yes, sixty) Hertz TV, and his Sony is only a 50 Hertz, so it won't work.

    Well, I was under the impression that most TVs were either 100Htz, or 50Htz - I've never come across a 60Htz model, so one of us must be wrong! :confused:

    Could someone please clear this up for me? Am I correct in thinking that most TVs are 50Htz, and that either Maplins have got it wrong, or my cousin misunderstood? Further, will an NTSC - PAL converter work with a 50Htz TV?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. jim.rae

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    UK TVs nowadays can play back NTSC from DVDs and videos at 60Hz in a pseudo NTSC form.

    It's a clever bit of technical trickery and not the same as true NTSC playback.

    No doubt someone much more technically competent than I am can explain it better...
     
  3. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Thanks, Jim, but this is quite an old TV, from pre DVD days. Are you saying that NTSC is 60Htz? I'm just totally confused!! :confused:
     
  4. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    True USA-style NTSC is 60 Hz,
    line frequency = 30 (full) Frames/second x 525 lines = 15750 Hz.
    Colour subcarrier = 3.58 Mhz

    True PAL is 50 Hz,
    Line Freq= 25 (fps) x 625 lines = 15625 Hz.
    Colour Fsc = 4.33 MHz.

    Various hybrids & trick modes exist such as PAL 3.58, NTSC 4.33,
    PAL @ 60 Hz and NTSC @ 50 Hz.

    Some TV's & Set-top devices convert native video to one of the above modes to either give you a mono picture (better than nothing) or a wrong aspect ratio picture from an "alien source".

    Better TVs (not always proportional to cost) will handle native NTSC , PAL (& even French SECAM) with the correct number of lines and frames and in colour.
    As a satellite TV "dx-er" (with i.8 Meter steerable dish) , I have always ensured that my TV will handle all the formats.
    This is an extra bonus when it comes to playing DVDs as virtually any DVD player will work ok.
    For a full explanation of everything, get hold of a book (I believe now available as a PDF-file on the internet) called "Video Demystified".


    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  5. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    OK, thanks Chris.

    So if I understand it correctly, a DVD Player in Region 1 mode would output in 60 Htz, if it's true NTSC, so an NTSC - PAL Converter should convert it to 50Htz, yes? So how come Maplins are saying you need a 60Htz TV, if the PAL Converter is outputting 50Htz?
     
  6. YellowCows

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    Most (if not all) DVD players sold in the UK can ouput NTSC in a hybrid format called PAL 60 - which, as the name suggests, is a PAL-compliant signal running at 60Hz - so that TV's that can't receive a pure NTSC signal can still have a colour picture running at the appropriate refresh rate.

    What Maplin's converter does, I imagine, is perform this very same conversion from a true NTSC signal, i.e. if they say the TV needs to be 60Hz-capable, then the converter outputs PAL60, and not true PAL (which as Chris informed you, runs @ 50Hz). This would be redundant if the DVD player itself can provide a PAL60 signal (the overwhelming majority can).

    Have you tried setting the TV output on the DVD player to PAL-only? Perhaps it's set to 'Multi' or 'Auto' - which means it's set to work with a multi-standard TV set. If you haven't done so already, try setting the output signal to PAL-only. At this setting, the player outputs a true PAL signal with R2 (UK) discs, and a quasi-PAL, or PAL60, signal with R1 (NTSC) discs. If the signal is still black and white, then the TV is not capable of handling a 60Hz refresh rate - most, but not all, mid-to large size pre-DVD TV's could do so, so it's worth a try.

    If all else fails, the only recourse is to go for a more expensive standards converter that will output a true PAL signal form an NTSC source. This is better because they usually have better internal electronics that will introduce less noise into the picture than the cheapo Maplin one, as well as provide higher-grade connections such as S-Video or RGB. I cannot stress strongly enough that you should ALWAYS try to avoid composite (or phono) connections from a DVD player - S-video, at the minimum, should be used, in order to give the best picture possible from a high-resolution format such as DVD. The problem is, though, these converters cost upwards of £200!

    Try the above, and have another word with Maplin to have them explain exactly what their converter does.

    Cheers

    Moory
     
  7. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Cheers Moory,

    I think the best solution is for my cousin (who's problem this is) to get a decent new TV!! :rolleyes: ;)

    Thanks for the info. :)
     
  8. LV426

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    Simon:

    You said that the TV DOES reproduce the signal - but only in monochrome. If it is otherwise watchable, then this is absolutely conclusive proof that the TV CAN operate at 60hz.

    What it isn't doing, is handling the NTSC colour carrier.

    The solution (assuming that the DVD player has such a setting) is to set the DVD to output PAL, rather than 'Auto'. The method of doing this may be either a switch or a menu setting.

    This will have EXACTLY the same effect as putting an NTSC signal into one of the maplin converters to which you refer. The end result, either way, is a signal that has the structure of NTSC (which, as I say, your TV can clearly handle) but with a PAL colour carrier, which the TV will be able to decode.

    FWIW, my first ever TV, a 1977 Sony, worked just fine with such a signal.
     
  9. YellowCows

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    Ahem..Nigel,

    That's EXACTLY what I said in the reply above....

    :p

    Moory
     
  10. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Well, thanks all. I'll pass the information on. It looks like he's going to try the Maplins converter, and hopefully it will work!

    I'll post back soon with the outcome! :)
     
  11. jim.rae

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    You see I knew all these technical chaps would have an answer better than mine!
     
  12. bowenjones

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    I have a Philips w/s tv and a Toshiba 220 dvd player.
    The dvd player isn't able to produce a pal 60 signal
    therefore I get moire problems with ntsc discs played
    through my TV.
    Now, my old Samsung dvd player had a quasi-pal setting
    so I had a good picture on ntsc discs apart from jerky
    movements on panning shots which I know is down to the
    refresh rate.
    What I would like to know is would the maplins convertor
    solve my moire problem by converting the ntsc signal from
    my dvd player to pal 60 ?
    I can live with the jerky movements.
     
  13. Stuart Brooks

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    Why not set the DVD player to output in RGB? Even old Sonys should support that, and play NTSC discs in colour.

    Stuart
     
  14. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    I don't think NTSC will show in colour even with RBG Stuart. I had the same problem myself a few years back, but fortunately my TV was rented, so I just changed it for a newer one!

    I think my cousin is going to try one of the converters from Maplins, but I haven't heard yet whether he's had any luck.
     
  15. Kingston LJ

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    In my experience even the most insignificant tv`s support 60hz. The problem is getting colour, most tv`s only accept 60hz NTSC through a RGB scart socket. Remember that you must use a fully wired all pins connected scart lead to get a colour picture.

    If your scart socket/s is not RGB, I would reccomend a new tv, as RGB is very important for DVD and sky etc..
     
  16. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    I've also recommended a new TV, but he's waiting for the prices to come down on plasmas! :rolleyes: :D
     
  17. Stuart Brooks

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    In the uk.media.dvd FAQ it says RGB should work:


    7.16 My TV claims to be able to show an NTSC signal and yet NTSC disk`s don`t display or come out in B&W?

    This is because you display only supports 1 of the 2 versions of NTSC. There are both an NTSC 3.58Mhz standard and an NTSC 4.43Mhz standard.

    If you have an NTSC only player you will need a standards converter to allow colour, If you have a UK or US modified player there is a high lightly hood that it will support the PAL60 standard, this will use NTSC's frame rate and refresh rate of 60Hrz but use PAL's colour encoding.
    This setting should allow colour on NTSC formatted disks. The only problems with PAL60 are that it is not supported on all displays and may just 'roll', uncontrollable if you do not have a vertical hold on your TV. Most new displays will handle PAL60 fine however.

    One thing worth noting is that connecting your player via SCART using RGB if possible can get around this limitation as RGB transmits the colour information independent of the PAL or NTSC so your display only needs to handle a 60Hrz refresh to function correctly.
     
  18. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    OK, thanks Stuart - I'll pass that on. :)
     
  19. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Just to update you all, my cousin got his NTSC - PAL converter from Maplins - and IT WORKS!!!

    The only problem is, when he plays R2 DVDs, now they play in black and white, unless he disconnects the converter!! [​IMG]

    Any further comments appreciated!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Stuart Brooks

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    Perhaps the DVD is set to auto output, i.e. R2 discs output to PAL. The converter then changes the colour sub-carrier frequency away from something the TV can decode?

    Anyway did he try the RGB output from the DVD player? If this works then take back the converter, as quality will be inferior.

    Stuart
     
  21. Simon6776

    Simon6776
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    Hi Stuart,

    I think he did, but to no avail. He has a Toshiba DVD player, but it is one of the entry level ones. Apparently if he'd gone for the Panasonic, he wouldn't have had any of this, as they are PAL / NTSC switchable!

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Stuart Brooks

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    The Tosh 220 at least has the option to output to RGB I'm sure the 120 (entry level) does too. The TV may only have SCART1 set up to receive RGB though.

    Stuart
     

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