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PAL to NTSC Transfers Explained


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Most people have no idea what PAL or NTSC formats are or refer to and that’s why I’m writing this article. As the Office Manager of Advanced Media LLC in Hollywood, I get a chance to meet with people from all over the world to discuss their media. It turns out that media from foreign countries does not play in our DVD players in the US and the need arises to view this footage here and that’s how people end up here. Just recently, a couple from India came in with wedding footage shot in PAL format which is standard in India and in many parts of the world and they wanted to cut together a DVD which could be viewed in India as well as here in the US.

The process of converting the 25 frames per second PAL to the 29.97 frames per second NTSC is quite involved and I won’t bore you with the technical details. In the end I cut the footage on a PAL timeline and used a special hardware component called a Teranex Converter to create the NTSC version. The Teranex gives the highest quality possible. Another gentleman came in with a DVD he ordered from England. He was surprised to find out that it didn’t play in his player and because it was simply for home use, I was able to do a very simple form of the PAL to NTSC DVD transfer in which I play the disc in one machine, run it through a converting device and run that into a DVD recorder. The quality is not quite as good as the original but it’s certainly just fine for viewing at home. Most people opt for this very inexpensive transfer over the Teranex, however, anyone wanting to broadcast their media on television or to display a film in a theatrical setting should opt for the high quality hardware solution. For more information on our Post-production Services click HERE.

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