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pal to ntsc noob question

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by crazyXgerman, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. crazyXgerman


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    scenario: i live in the US. i have some dvd's my sister sent me from germany.

    when i put the dvd in my dvd player in my home theater system and change the region code accordingly, i can play the disk back, get audio, but i just get junk on the tv screen (black and white, garbled, but i can make out what it is trying to display).

    my tv is a 6-7 year old 32" jvc crt (av-32720). it is hooked via s-video directly to the dvd player. my my dvd player is a harman kardon 5-disk dvd changer (dvd 5). my receiver / amp is a harman kardon as well (avr-510).

    i understand that the dvd uses pal signal instead of ntsc what we use here in the states. what exactly is causing the problem here, what would be a way to resolve it? do i need a new dvd player, a new tv, some kind of signal converter box, or is there a way to make this work without the additional expense? does it have something to do with the s-video connection (tv doesn't have component in)?

    is there some undocumented menu in the dvd 5 to convert pal to ntsc maybe? the dvd player seems to be able to read the dvd correctly since i get audio and video, just not in the right format.

    i'm confused :confused: if somebody could lay it out for me exactly what's going on here, help me understand, and find a solution, i would really appreciate it.

  2. LV426

    Administrator Staff Member

    Jul 14, 2000
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    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    The NTSC TV standard used in the USA consists of 525 horizontal lines (480 used for picture) and a frame refresh rate of 60hz.

    The PAL TV standard used in Europe and elsewhere uses 625 lines (576 used) and a 50hz refresh rate.

    You say you get a garbled image. This indicates that the TV in question is not able to deal with the 625 line, 50hz format of the PAL video signal which the player generates from a European DVD. Which, in turn, indicates that you will need either

    a) a TV that CAN handle this structure (and I'm not at all sure how available these are in the US - fwiw, most recent TVs on sale in Europe can handle both) OR

    b) a DVD player that can convert the native PAL structure of the image to a true NTSC/525/60hz structure. These do exist. Curiously, it is the very cheap Chinese players that are available (over here at least) in supermarkets and the like - obscure brand names you've never heard of - that tend to offer this ability OR

    c) a digital standards converter which will convert PAL to true NTSC.

    If you can find one, the cheapest option is likely to be the Chinese DVD player. Typical UK price is well below GBP100 (say USD150). I can't recommend any models, though, because I don't know what you guys have available.

    I'd guess that a full standards converter will start at around USD4-500.

    And a new TV - well, you'll have your own ideas.

    To obtain the best picture quality, a new TV is the option to take. Standards conversion will always degrade the image somewhat; commercial TV stations spend thousands on the devices they use - cheaper domestic converters are a huge compromise. And cheap converting DVD players tend to produce a sharp, clean image, but with some jerkiness of movement and/or slight errors in geometry (shape of the image).


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    HI , i had a similar problem though i had it figured out before i arrived here from UK. I bought a JVC 500 , now being fazed out . I bought it from Best Buy i think it was $160 ,the machine has a built in pal> ntsc convertor which is very good indeed.its far better than the after market pal. ntsc convertors that are say sub $500.

    As standard it will replay of course region 1 + pal region zero_Of course your german dvd's will be more than likely region 2 so you will need to modify.

    I did this by getting a i.c. / chip from JVBDIGITAL.COM. IT WAS ABOUT $59 .

    Its a 8 pin I.C. ,it was pretty straight forward to fit if you can solder.

    The instructions are easy via online images.

    The only thing that i did'nt care for originally was swapping regions which meant putting into stby then pressing the region # i.e. 1 for region 1 , 3 for region 3 and so on .i pressed 0 and it now seems to be all region pal + ntsc.i guess rce problems may arise in the future if so just select it as region 1. simple.

    they also sell premodded machines, from jvc and others . the jvc's offer progressive scan in ntsc .there is dvd-a on some machines as well if you need that. I can confirm also that the jvc's play back dvd-rw + also dvd+rw , as well as mpeg's and jpeg's

    hope this helps.

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