Pal 50 & Pal 60

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by loz99, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. loz99

    loz99
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    Using a Multi Region Dvd Player, Is the Picture quality
    better when playing a Region One dvd movie viewed
    Pal 50 or Pal 60??

    I happen to have 2 dvd players which output Pal 50
    and I happen to think the picture quality is o.k.
    I was thinking of getting a machine which displayed
    the region one movies as Pal 60, is this wise?

    Also on a machine like mine that outputs the Region one
    dvds as Pal 50, Are the Region Two movies being output
    as Pal 50 or Pal 60 - which is best Pal 60 or Pal 50??

    loz99
     
  2. one_jedi

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    Well Pal 60 is certanly better than Pal 50 picture wise! To be honest tho it would help to know a bit more about the tv etc you are using. If you have a TV capabale of displaying NTSC then you could play region one at NTSC or PAL 60, they are virtually the same. Give us some more information about the TV/set up you are using and you will get some good repy's about your best options.
     
  3. loz99

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    I have 2 Kiiro 852 dvdplayers (which I love very much!!)
    I had 2 dansai 858's which were alright - sold on
    I had a Pioneer which I think had Pal 60 about 3 yrs ago
    gave this to my daughter.

    I've 2 Sony widescreen trinitrons (ntsc capable)
    one is 28" and the other 32" 100hz.

    Bigger tv is downstairs.
    I watch the 28" 50hz upstairs (Missus watches soaps downstairs:( )

    The picture on the 28" 50hz is just as good as the 32" 100hz
    What's the idea of 100hz anyway - what advantage?
    I Can't honestly see any difference in pic quality on either
    TV!

    Thanks for reply One_Jedi - Ta!!

    loz99
     
  4. LV426

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    To answer your first question:

    If the source disc is an NTSC one, PAL60 will be preferable to PAL50 as less processing is done on the picture structure. The PAL50 conversion results, usually, in added jerkiness of movement and loss of detail. In some cases, the aspect ratio of the image is also a little distorted. None of these artefacts arise with conversion of NTSC to PAL60.

    To answer your second question:

    Every person's eyes and/or brain have a different sensitivity to refresh rate flicker. 100hz TVs double the refresh rate of the picture, which reduces flicker to a point above the perception of virtually everybody. However a native 50hz image will be seen to flicker by a significant proportion of people. If you aren't one of them, you probably won't see the benefit. And you may see some processing artefacts on the 100hz set. If, however, you have very 'fast' eyes as I do, you would find a large 50hz image uncomfortable, verging on nauseating.
     
  5. loz99

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    Re. Nigel's very Appreciated reply.
    Come to think of it Nigel. when I first got the 32" 100hz
    Sony (about 18 months ago) using the Kiiro dvd player
    and playing NTSC dvd movies. I imagined that the picture
    displayed seemed to mildly flicker at times, which never
    happens on the 28" 50hz Sony.
    Is this what you mean Nigel??

    It's only very rarely that I watch dvd movies on the 32"
    since My Missus uses it for soaps etc ie regular tv programs
    I never notice any flickering on normal tv programs or films
    we use NTL Digital Cable.


    Loz99
     
  6. LV426

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    It may be, that if you were watching your NTSC movie using either pure NTSC or PAL60, that the 100hz TV was NOT doubling up the refresh rate (from 60 to 120) but was leaving it as it is. And you were actually seeing the 60hz refresh rate flickering. Whereas on PAL material, it WAS being doubled up to 100hz and you therefore didn't see it .

    Fewer people see 60hz flicker, than do 50hz. In other words, the faster the refresh rate, the fewer people see it. By the time you get to about 85hz or 90hz, virtually no-one can see it. But as relatively few can even see 60hz, this is why '100hz' TV's don't normally double up 60 to 120.
     
  7. figrin_dan

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    I have found the opposite to be true. No distortion on PAL50 but slightly squashed (and extra black borders) with PAL60.
     
  8. loz99

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    From what I recall on my old Pioneer 454 displaying Pal 60
    I remember the Letterbox dvd movies did seem a little
    slimmer in height is that the slightly squashed look you meant?

    I've been watching Pal 50 for so long now that I'd forgotten
    that impression. Which is why I was toying with the idea of
    getting a Pal 60 machine (like the Arianet or the Yamada 5520
    £39.99 at Amazon - More compatibility with more dvd formats
    etc - but No Macro Disable) but if Pal 60 is really better I'm
    not too worried about the Macro disable.

    loz99
     
  9. LV426

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    In that case, your TV is maladjusted for 525/60 (or, NTSC, which, for this purpose, includes PAL60).


    The actual height of the visible image will vary from film to film. It is better evaluated by checking the shape of objects on the film - circles, for example, should be round (of course). The globe at the start of anything by Universal is a circle. Its width and height should be the same. If they aren't, something is wrong - most often, the TV is maladjusted. But, as I say, if you are using the NTSC > PAL50 conversion in cheap DVD players, then this rarely preserves the correct shape of the image accurately. (If I recall correctly, my Dansai - now broken and refunded - gave an image that was taller than it should be).
     
  10. loz99

    loz99
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    When a new dvd release appears on Reg1 & Reg2 sometimes I'm a bit confused as what version of the movie to buy (assuming they have the exact same extras).
    What will be the best picture quality. It might seem daft but I
    have even bought 2 regions of the same movie.
    e.g. 'Once Upon A Time In The West' is coming out Reg2 on 6th Oct. Whereas the Reg1 version appears on 18th Nov.
    I need this movie badly to complete my Sergio Leone dvd movies. I'm confused about what version would have best picture quality. The price doesn't bother me I might buy both versions.
    My dvd player obviously displays Reg1 as Pal50.
    will it also display Reg2 as Pal50 as well??
    As far as I know this movie will be letterbox & anamorphic.

    loz99
     
  11. LV426

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    Assuming (incorrectly, in your case) that an NTSC disc (eg. R1, and R2 Japan) is displayed at 525 lines, 60hz, and a PAL disc (eg. R2 or 4) is displayed at 625 lines, 50hz; and assuming that the equipment is set up/adjusted optimally for both types of source then:

    1: A PAL disc will have more vertical resolution (horizontal lines)
    2: A PAL disc will be sped up by about 4%
    3: A UK-sourced PAL disc may have 'input' from the BBFC

    and

    1: An NTSC disc will be shown at the correct speed
    2: An NTSC disc is less likely to be censored
    3: Depending on the method of playback, an NTSC disc may exhibit some jerkiness of movement

    In reality the improved resolution of PAL discs is true only in theory; in practice, disc mastering differences nearly always account for more difference in the displayed image than the theoretical improved definition of PAL, and in any case, some people dislike the 4% speedup of PAL.

    IN YOUR CASE however, as I said above, the conversion from NTSC to PAL50 will degrade the image. It will therefore inevitably be 'worse' than a true PAL disc. An NTSC signal, converted in a cheap DVD player to PAL50 will:

    a) be at the correct speed
    b) is likely to show significant jerkiness of movement - more so than when viewed at 60hz (ie true NTSC or PAL60)
    c) is likely to be either too tall or too squat (the former, I think).
    d) possibly suffer from loss of detail

    These issues arise because of the CONVERSION from NTSC (as found on R1 discs) to PAL50. A disc mastered in PAL in the first place will be displayed at PAL50, but this is correct for such a disc and no conversion is occurring - hence no degradation.
     
  12. loz99

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    Thanks for the input Nigel - You've reseached this well!
    In what way does Anamorphic play a part here?
    On Pal 50 & Pal 60 also NTSC vs PAL??

    loz99
     
  13. LV426

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    The simplest way of describing what Anamorphic means, in the context of DVDs is:

    An anamorphic video signal, properly displayed, will exactly fill a 16x9 screen.

    A non-anamorphic video signal, properly displayed, will exactly fill a 4x3 TV screen.

    That doesn't mean, in all cases, that the film will fill the screen. Many films are made in ratios wider than a 16x9 TV is. In these cases, the disc is mastered with some black padding above and below the actual film. This black padding is coming off the disc - ie is part of the video signal. So, where I say above that the video signal will fill a given shape of screen, that INCLUDES any black padding it contains.

    If you have a 16x9 TV and an anamorphic disc, then, the signal off the disc (including any plain black it contains) will fill the screen, more or less exactly in both directions, if displayed properly.

    If you have a 16x9 TV and a NON-anamorphic disc, then the correct way to display it depends on the disc contents.

    If the contents are a 4x3 film or TV show, the correct way to display it is in your TV's 4x3 setting. This will make the TV place black left and right of the image (this is not coming off the disc, and is not part of the video signal; it is put there by the TV).

    If the contents of the disc are a film which is 16x9 or wider, then, the disc will contain black padding again, but this time the whole thing will be padded, on the disc, so as to reproduce correctly on a 4x3 TV. In other words, there will be more padding (all other things being equal).

    What you can do, with a widescreen TV in such cases, is zoom the image up so that it correctly fills the width of the screen and crops off the top ands bottom of the video signal. As the top and bottom contain only black padding, you don't loose anything of value. And you get a larger image.

    All TV signals are made up of a fixed number of horizontal lines (scan lines). For PAL signals (as found on region 2 etc) this number is 625, of which 576 are used for video signal (including padding if any). For NTSC (as on R1) it is 525 of which 480 are used.

    An anamorphic disc uses more of these lines for actual useful picture content, than a non-anamorphic one of a film of the same original shape does. A non-anamorphic disc (of the same shape of film) uses more of these lines as padding.

    When you watch a 16x9 (anamorphic) DVD correctly, all 576 or 480 lines are displayed on the screen.

    When you watch a 4x3 (non-anamorphic) DVD of a film of the same shape, zoomed up, only three-quarters of the available lines are displayed on the screen. The rest are off the top and bottom where you can't see them.

    It follows, then, that, with a zoomed non-anamorphic disc, the scanlines are displayed further apart. On a large screen, they will be more visible. And, overall, there will be less detail in the image in the vertical direction.
     
  14. loz99

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    In what way does Anamorphic behave in Pal50 as opposed
    to Pal60?
    If my dvd players output ntsc as Pal 50.
    Then I assume that my normal Euro Pal movies also come up Pal 50.

    Would Anamorphic improve NTSC output as Pal50 ie
    bring it up to Pal 60 resolution??

    On both my TVs I've got an viewing option called SMART
    which stretches the height slightly without distortion.
    This I've found useful with some dvd movies where the
    letterboxing seems just a little too narrow for comfortable
    viewing.

    Thankfully both my TVs seem to be adjusted fine ie circles
    look correctly circularly rounded.

    loz99
     
  15. Warpaint

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    Anamorphic will behave the same with any TV system (NTSC, PAL50, PAL60 etc.)
    If you have your DVD player set to output to a 16:9 TV then your Sony widescreen should be set to WIDE mode. SMART mode will distort the picture. A horizontal band across the centre of the picture will be unaffected and the top and bottom of the picture will be squashed to fit the 16:9 shape.
     
  16. LV426

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    The two things aren't related at all. PAL50 as a conversion from NTSC is applied in the same way irrespective of whether the signal is 16x9 shaped or 4x3 shaped. The electronics don't know the difference. The only difference is in the CONTENTS of the signal - not in the signal itself.

    An anamorphic signal has more definition than a non-anamorphic one - always - whether it is PAL50, PAL50-converted-from-NTSC, NTSC or PAL60. All other things being equal.

    A PAL DVD will always produce a PAL50 signal. This is correct, and involves no conversion. You see exactly what is coming off the disc. 576 lines on the disc; 576 lines on the TV. 50hz refresh rate, 50hz on the TV (maybe doubled to 100).

    An NTSC DVD should be watched either in true NTSC or PAL60 depending on the equipment. 480 lines on the disc, 480 on the TV. 60hz refresh rate on the disc, 60hz on the TV.

    Showing an NTSC DVD in PAL50 involves a conversion process. In cheap DVD players, it is (unsurprisingly) not very sophisticated. The 480 lines on the disc are re-scaled to 576, often not very accurately. The end result is typically LESS resolution than the original. The refresh rate is changed from 60hz to 50hz which usually results in frames being dropped.

    In other words, conversion degrades the image, and is best avoided.

    As for Smart mode - it is there solely for 4x3 material and distorts the image to fit it onto a 16x9 screen. As a purist, I consider distortion to be best avoided. You should never use it for anything that is not 4x3.
     
  17. figrin_dan

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    Kind of, the tv just could not handle NTSC which is why I was using PAL60.

    loz99
    I've just noticed you are using a Sony tv. This will display NTSC fine. Just set your dvd player output to 'Auto', (Either in the setup, or on a switch on the back).
    This will display NTSC as pure NTSC and PAL as pure PAL and both will be the best picture you can get. Your TV will know which is which and change accordingly.
     
  18. LV426

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    PAL60 and NTSC are, for the purposes of evaluating the TV's adjustment, exactly the same. They both have a 525-line, 60hz structure for the picture. And, if (all other things being equal) things are a different shape between a genuine PAL50 signal (off a PAL disc, say) than off an NTSC disc, displayed either as true NTCS or PAL60, then the TV is out of adjustment for one or the other - most probably it is wrong for 525 lines, 60hz. The structure of the image should not affect its shape, on a properly adjusted TV.
     
  19. loz99

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    So What you mean Nigel is Pal 60 is the equivalent
    of NTSC when displayed on a native European Tv set up.

    My Sony Tv's being Pal Tv's that are NTSC Friendly can actually
    display NTSC as NTSC??
    I have always set my dvd player to Pal Output ie as my default
    was this incorrect considering my tv capabilities. Re.figin_dan

    Another thing that confuses is this. When I was purchasing
    my 100hz 32" Sony. An old mate of mine (Tv Engineer as it happens) said to me that 100hz tvs are only a benefit when
    100hz is being transmitted from the reception source whether
    it's Tv Station or dvd. Also that the maximum Hz a dvd can transmit is 50hz.
    So what is the benefit of 100hz if this is the case??

    loz99
     
  20. Mr.D

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    cripes remind me never to get your TV engineer out to fix my kit!

    There are two issues going on here.

    PAL/NTSC are composite colour systems. Its just the way the colour signal is encoded . A dvd player generate whatever colour signal you want from the information on the disc ( which is encoded in component neither PAL not NTSC).However it will be encoded as a specific image format

    The image format can either be 625/50 or 525/60.(lines/fields) Europeans tend to use 625/50 with a PAL colour carrier. Americans tend to use 525/60 with an NTSC colour carrier.

    However the image format has no direct relationship to the colour signal ( lets keep it simple eh guys?) So there is nothing stopping you from having say a 525/60 signal with a PAL colour frequency ( normally reffered to as PAL60). As I said itd just a function of the player.

    Nowadays most TVs in Europe are on the wholeperfectly happy with either a 625/50 image or a 525/60 one. What they may not handle is an NTSC colour frequency. So if you are using svideo or composite and you get a black and white picture from a region1 disc chances are your TV is incapable of decoding NTSC colour.

    All is not lost because as mentioned before we can just change the colour signal to a PAL one....bingo you'll get a nice 525/60 colour image.

    If you want the best quality you'll use RGB or componenet which don't even use composite colour encoding and again should work just fine on your non-NTSC set.

    However what if your set can't handle a 525/60 signal? You'll get a rolling black and picture and your only hope is to perform some sort of awful standards conversion on the image to turn it into 625/50 ( normally what PAL50 will do to a 525/60 image)

    So in closing: decent TV use RGB or component and you wonm't have to worry about PAL/NTSC.

    If you have an ok TV that will handle 525/60 but not NTSC and no component or RGB inputs ( highly unlikely to be honest) then use PAL60 for region1 material.

    POS TV that only handles 625/50 PAL you'll need some sort of transcoding ie PAL50 ( | say buy a new telly)
     
  21. LV426

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    Yes, really to restate what Keith says:

    A TV picture can be defined in three factors:

    Number of lines: NTSC = 525 (480 used); PAL = 625 (576 used)
    Number of fields per second (refresh rate): NTSC = 60, PAL = 50
    Method of adding colour: NTSC = NTSC; PAL = PAL.

    These factors can be mixed up. a PAL60 signal is actually a mixture. 525 lines, 60hz, but a PAL colour carrier.

    Converting the colour carrier from one to the other is technically simple and doesn't result in any deterioration of the signal.

    Converting line and frame rates is technically more problematic, and requires clever processing to be done well. Cheapo DVD players do it, but not especially well.

    In terms of overall PQ, therefore, a PAL60 signal, produced from an NTSC disc, will be indistinguishable from true NTSC. Only the colour carrier is changed.


    If this is the case, your DVD player should be set to Automatic (Auto) which produces true NTSC from NTSC discs, and PAL from PAL discs. No conversion occurring in either case.

    Absolute drivel. All UK TV signals (from ANY UK source) are PAL, 625 lines, 50hz. Nobody produces or transmits 100hz.

    Put simply, a 100hz TV takes an incoming 50hz signal (from any PAL source) and stores each field or frame and then displays each one twice in succession, instead of once. Hence the refresh rare is doubled and visibility of flicker is reduced. Some 100hz TVs do more, but basically this is it. All PAL TV signals start life at 50hz.
     
  22. SpliffCartel

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    Quick question. I use RGB on my Phillips 6006 28" TV from a Pioneer dvd350 drive. If I use pure NTSC the colour seems noticeably higher than if I am watching a PAL dvd or PAL60 on an NTSC dvd. If what has been said above is true (RGB does not use composite colour encoding) this shouldn't happen right?
     
  23. LV426

    LV426
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    I guess not (although I'm not 100% sure). Is it at all possible that, although it seems, from the settings etc, that you are using RGB, you are, in fact, using composite?
     
  24. one_jedi

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    Thats a problem with the TV, I have the same TV, whenever it goes into NTSC mode the colour goes really bright and blooming, wether it's from a dvd player or video player, no way round it!
     
  25. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    I have always found NTSC colours to be more vibrant than PAL. Either using composite laserdisc or s-video dvd. I just thought it was my imagination.
     
  26. Mr.D

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    Well its most likely down to some odd behabviour in your TV set but.

    NTSC can look more clipped colourwise in relation to PAL. You may be mistaking lack of colour information for punchiness ( think like a colour photocopy).

    I've done tests on broadcast grade equipment on a handful of dvdvplayers and in every case the colour was noticably more detailed using PAL60 over NTSC via s-video ( greens and skintones most noticably).
     
  27. loz99

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    About 12 Months ago I was advised by a local mate to get
    really good scart leads coz the ones supplied with machines are
    Mickey mouse standard.
    I bought some gold scart leads and i must say they definitely improved the quality of dvd picture for me!
    I wouldn't like to use cheapo ones ever again.

    Does any you guys know anything about these new scart leads
    that have built in Ntsc-Pal converters & macro defeaters - any
    info at all?

    BTW This has turned out to be a very informative, interesting
    thread - Thanx Lads!!

    loz99
     

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