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Pal speedup?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Sigismund, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Hi guys. :)

    Having just received Men in Black Superbit R3, I decided to do a quick comparison with the R2 Limited Edition I have.

    As far as picture goes I'd say the Superbit is just a tad sharper, giving a more "3D" image (on a Tosh 36ZP18P T.V./Tosh SD900 DVD player). The DTS track is where it becomes interesting! Being a bit of an Elvis fan, in my youth, I noticed that towards the end of the movie, when Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are in their "Supercar" going through the tunnel with Will Smith upside down and Elvis singing "Promised Land" on the 8 track, that the difference between Pal DD5.1 and NTSC DTS5.1 is, apparently, noticeable due, I guess, to Pal speedup? Will Smith says,

    "You do know that Elvis is dead, right?" and Tommy Lee replies,

    "No, Elvis is not dead........he just went home!" and Elvis sings in agreement!

    Now, it seems to me that Tommy Lee's line, on the R2 version, sounds a little speeded up in comparison with the R3. And even more obvious is Elvis' singing. On the R2 he sounds high-pitched and FAST. On the R3 he sounds like the drawling, Misiissippi boy I know!

    Having read some of the issues regarding Pal speedup on The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition, I sold my R2 copy and bought the R1. I'm pleased I did, just for the packaging..........but does anybody know of any more DVDs where this effect is apparent..............assuming I've got it right and the difference I've mentioned is due to Pal speedup?!
     
  2. Daneel

    Daneel
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    With the lord of the rings, for audio, the point was they corrected for PAL speed up. There should be no difference at all pitch wise. Unfortunately the process was not perfect and added problems to the audio which some people can hear.

    In most cases, as you have disconvered, this correction is not done and the sound is slightly higher pitched and faster on a PAL version vs NTSC.
     
  3. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    I've read about what was done to LOTR audio re pitch correction. Of course the audio, and video, is still speeded-up by 4%, but the pitch has been made similar to the R1.

    I just wondered if anybody had noticed any other scenes in DVDs where this speedup was apparent.
     
  4. Daneel

    Daneel
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    You are right, the speed up is still there, it was just the pitch that was corrected. That's what I get for typing anything remotly technical in the morning. In my experience it isn't noticable at all unless you have the 2 side by side and can switch between them.
     
  5. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    ;)

    I know what you mean! But being a bit of an Elvis nut I really did notice the speedup (and higher pitch) immediately on the R2 version of MIB. Having noticed that, though, it then became obvious that Tommy Lee's voice was also noticably faster and higher-pitched.

    I just feel that having shelled-out a fair few squidlets on my system that these "little annoyances" have persuaded me to bypass Pal-encoded discs in favour of NTSC encoded ones! :smoke:
     
  6. Family Guy

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    But surely someone who owned only a R2 player and discs wouldn't even know about speed up...:confused:
    I've never noticed it...then again, I'm mutton in my left ear anyway...
     
  7. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    I disagree! ;) I noticed the speedup and pitch "fault" with the Elvis clip in MIB immediately before the NTSC comparison!

    It's a bit like knowing that there are 100Htz "scrolling interference bands" on your T.V. Once you know they are there you see them all the time and it can affect your enjoyment of the movie you're watching. The same has happened to me re: Pal speedup! Now I've experienced it, I'd just rather it wasn't there..........so from now on I'll buy Never The Same Color Twice DVDs!

    It's not a major bug-bear, but as my DVD player has progressive scan ability, and I will be purchasing a Prog. scan T.V. soon I think the benefits of NTSC DVDs definately suggest bypassing Pal discs!

    At least until "the- powers-that-be" convert 24 frames of Pal into 25 of NTSC internally DVD player wise.

    Of course if the speedup issue isn't noticable, if you're a bit "mutton" ;) or whatever, then I guess it would certainly be cheaper to keep all those high-pitched, amphetamine junkied R2 DVDs. :devil:
     
  8. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Look at this way....

    If you watch on avg, 2 x 2hr films a week on PAL TV/ R2 DVD you will 'gain' around 8 hours a year as opposed to NTSC/R1 :)

    Which is the equivalent of another 4 films!
     
  9. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Kevo, you cynic! :D
     
  10. Squirrel God

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    Consider TV boxsets. You save about an hour of your life watching an entire PAL X-Files season compared to the same season on NTSC.

    I only notice PAL speed-up with music that I'm familiar with, never on anything else. Might be because I play an instrument and so know what a particular song should sound like (nurture) or it's just an ability that's always been there (nature). I can't tell with music I'm not familiar with though.
     
  11. Family Guy

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    But what about stuff that was Pal sourced in the first place? TV shows for eg - Blackadder.
    Do you think Americans notice the 4% slowdown?
    Movies like The Full Monty and ALL of the Bonds are produced in Britain and must surely be Pal sourced...is slowdown an issue over there? Or is Pal speedup a figment of everyone's imagination...like dts?;) :devil:
     
  12. Gary D

    Gary D
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    i did a comparision of two versions of Dances with wolves last weekend and while there was a difference in the pitch, as Daneel points out it only really noticable if you play them side by side.

    Other than that i dont really think its worth worrying about. I will still buy my titles based on if i like the film, what extras it has and how much its going to cost me. I've spent the last 38 years watching PAL so i think i'm used to it now.

    A quick question - are you all watching the film or the equipment its playing on? :cool:

    Gary
     
  13. Family Guy

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    That's a good point. I for one would never buy a disc just because it had soundtrack A and soundtrack B sounded poo according to a DVD review on the forums...
    If a film I wanted was only available in Pal, then I would buy it. Also, if the R1 & R2 versions were the same to the letter, I would pop into Smiths and buy the R2 because it would be more conviniant...
     
  14. nathan_silly

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    I have Rex the Runt boxset on Region 1. Was this shot for the PAL market? Like you said, it's been 4% slowed down.

    But it's not even out on Region 2. So whatcha gonna do? Wait for donkey years to own it?

    Btw, sound & picture is very good.
     
  15. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Whilst this may be true, I don't really understand the relevence! One could "save" even more time if one watched a movie/boxset even faster! The point is I don't watch DVDs in order to save time! I have a "middling" system set up and it sounds very good.................and as I have a choice, the sensible option, it seems to me, is to choose NTSC over Pal where the Pal speedup is in force.


    To me this is interesting! The "side-by-side" comparison argument can be used in many areas. How many people would be perfectly satisfied with having Dolby Digital encoding only on a DVD if DTS had never emerged as a rival? The only way to really experience the difference is to compare "side-by-side"! And if DTS sounds better to me on my system, I'd listen to the DTS track!


    Nathan...........I am of "mature years" now, so waiting a while for a "mere" DVD is no hardship for me! If you are eager for the earliest release, and are happy with NTSC slow-down or Pal Speed-up, then I think you've probably made the right decision.
     
  16. Squirrel God

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    Perhaps I should've added a smiley at the end ;)
     
  17. Squirrel God

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    Why all this talk of NTSC slowdown? It doesn't exist!
     
  18. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Squirrel God - You are forgiven ;) :devil:

    I think I may know what you mean re NTSC "slow-down", but could you please explain, in your usual erudite manner, why Pal to NTSC conversion doesn't, from an original Pal source, leave us with a "slow-down" and therefore deepening of pitch? :kisses:

    Cheers, mate. :boring: oops, sorry, I mean :p no, no, no I mean ;) ahhh that's better :D :devil: :D
     
  19. nathan_silly

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    So Pal to NTSC aren't slowed down?

    That's cool, as I own a few British shows on Region 1- Blackadder, Fawlty Towers & Rex the Runt (and will be buying Red Dward 3-6, Young Ones & Bottom)
     
  20. Squirrel God

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    Briefly .....

    PAL speedup occurs when we go from 24fps to 25fps. This we know

    PAL runs at 25fps. NTSC runs at 30fps (actually 29.97). This we know too.

    So how could you get slowdown going from 25fps (PAL) to 30fps (NTSC)? In actual fact, you could get NTSC speedup. But to go from PAL to NTSC you couldn't possibly speedup from 25fps to 30fps - it's too noticeable (approx 17% speedup!)

    So it's the same as with going from 24fps to 30fps (for film) as when we go from 25fps to 30fps for NTSC. Repeated frames.

    So now you're thinking, well how come we get PAL speedup on TV shows which are NTSC? Surely we are going from 30fps to 25fps? Well we don't because we're not. TV shows are recorded on film (these days anyway). A process called DEFT (Digital Electronic Film Transfer) is then used which removes the 3:2 pulldown to recover the original 24fps frames (since the extra frames were only duplicates to generate 30fps). The transfer then proceeds as with film (more or less).
     
  21. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    OK that may be "erudite", but I don't understand it completely!

    Do you mean nothing is recorded over here at 25fps, presumably with no repeating frames, and then transferred to NTSC 24fps?

    :eek:
     
  22. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    I believe that these were all made on film and not video.
     
  23. StooMonster

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    Is the 60Hz NTSC version not made by doing a 3:2 process on 25fps PAL content -- treating it as if it were film (as per US television productions) -- therefore slowing it down?

    If there were repeated fields, in converting 25fps to 30fps, would there not be a visible judder?

    Either way, as NTSC version loses 17% of PAL vertical resolution (downscaling 576 rows to 480) it's not the best way to watch British television video sourced content.

    StooMonster
     
  24. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Furthermore, post-production products like Deliverance state in their specifications that they can "Slow PAL SD [standard definition] to NTSC SD with 3:2 pulldown", also refered to as "Slow PAL to 525" function by other companies.

    Hrm... NTSC slowdown anyone? :clown:

    StooMonster
     
  25. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    No, it's totally incorrect... admittedly American television programmes tend to be shot on film, and have been since the late 50s early 60s ... but everything shot here in UK and in the rest of the PAL world is shot at 25fps either on film or video.

    25fps on film? Yes, a film camera isn't limited to one speed; and it's easy to telecine 2:2 for most of your global audience (PAL broadcaster customers) and then telecine 25fps to 60Hz using 3:2 pulldown and 4% slowdown (NTSC broadcaster customers).

    Although most British television productions have typically been shot on video instead, at 25fps; there is a wide range of programmes shot on film at 25fps. Interestingly this also enabled early adoption of digital video technology in PAL countries as the first generations of digital cameras only shot at 25fps or 30fps and not at 24fps (which was required for US television or cinema).

    StooMonster
     
  26. Squirrel God

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    Hi Stoo,

    Yes, process is the same as if it were film. That's what I said! Look:

    :)

    Repeated frames is in essence what 3:2 pulldown is (bit more complicated than that though, involves fields). But it doesn't actually slow anything down - it just adds repeated frames to make a slower frame rate (film/PAL) compatible with a higher frame rate (NTSC).

    Decent illustration/explanation here: http://www.divx.com/support/guides/guide.php?gid=10 (scroll down a bit)

    Yes, the same judder you get with film transfers to NTSC (24fps to 30fps). Most noticeable on panning shots.

    Agree :)

    I'm not familiar with them, but sounds alright to me. Just 3:2 pulldown which is the addition of the extra fields/frames to make 25fps compatible with 30fps. It's not actually slowing down the video though - you're not actually slowing down 25fps to 30fps. First, it's impossible since NTSC has the faster frame rate and you want to go to NTSC! Second, even if PAL had the faster frame rate, 5fps is a hell of a difference - if you slowed down anything by 5fps it would sound awful so you can't do it. We only use PAL speedup because it's only 1fps difference between film and PAL.

    Terminology is the bone of contention here by the looks of it. I don't use the term "slowdown" at all as it's misleading - it implies the opposite of speedup, which is not the case.

    Nothing I want to comment on with regards to the above (apart from perhaps you're insistence on using the word "slowdown" ;)), but wanted to add a little to what you've said for Sigismund's benefit :)

    It's important to note that if something is shot in film, it doesn't mean it stays on film. I think that's maybe where confusion can arise. The film must then be prepared for broadcast at the appropriate resolution and frame rate, and conversions are often done off that (that's why DEFT is used for US shows to go back to 24fps).
     
  27. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    OK Squirrel, Ithink I understand! So...........if a movie/T.V. series is shot over here it will be shot at 24fps, and if transferred to NTSC it will be "adjusted" using DEFT to remove the "extra frames"......................but I still don't get this 30fps lark!! I thought it was 25fps for NTSC and 24fps for Pal, or is this only for T.V.? And the standard for film throughout the world is 30 fps? And if I've got that right does that then mean that even if a movie/T.V. series is filmed over here for the U.K. market it will still "suffer" from Pal speed-up?
     
  28. Squirrel God

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    You have your frame rates all muddled mate. Re-read the thread again ;)
     
  29. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    OK is that better? :blush:
     
  30. Squirrel God

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    No :(

    PAL 25fps
    NTSC 30fps
    Film 24fps

    DEFT is used for NTSC to PAL conversions (explained above). 3:2 pulldown is used for PAL to NTSC conversions (explained above, follow link too).

    In other words, converting TV shows from PAL to NTSC uses the same technique as converting from film to NTSC (more or less, we'll ignore resolution differences etc).

    Therefore, with regards to your original question, there is no change in running time, nor any deepening of soundtrack pitch when watching UK TV shows on NTSC. There are other side-effects/downsides however, which are covered above (I won't mention them again here as I don't want to introduce any unnecessary complexity).
     

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