I've been watching a lot of PAL DVD's recently,on an NTSC LCD TV. Of course my DVD player is region free and does PAL to NTSC conversion. My DVD player is upconverting to 1080P. Maybe it's my imagination but PAL seems to have a better picture than NTSC. Some of the PAL I'm watching I also have on NTSC. The PAL image seems more film like with less grain visible. Am I seeing things or is PAL better?
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PAL has more vertical lines than NTSC, but the upscaling process favors the NTSC sources. The whole philosophy of upscaling is based on the NTSC system.
If you watch PAL without upscaling, then PAL is superior NTSC (some object on the fact that on older CRT TVs, NTSC flickers less than PAL - On LCD screens that is not an issue).
So, I believe that it is something else: Probably the masters that used for your PAL DVDs where superior the masters that used for you NTSC DVDs.
I grew up with NTSC. Been in a PAL environment for about 6 years and I see an difference for the better in PAL as well.
Of course I see PAL through a SCART connection too though. I can't be certain if I would say the same viewing PAL on NTSC equipment and connections. I had basic VHS PAL to NTSC conversion back in the states....back then....and it wasn't better.
You're in the United States. PAL (European system) may play fine on that one particular DVD player, but you will have compatibility issues playing your discs on other players in the US. As for picture quality between the two, there are many variables, including bitrate, frame rate, overall quality of source material, and image enhancement circuitry in your DVD player. Less grain in an image may just mean less detail resulting from the PAL-to-NTSC conversion. So, if you have a choice, you really need to stick with NTSC for as long as you live in the US.
Originally Posted by wulf109
"PAL" and "NTSC" formally refer to the way analog YUV is encoded for analog broadcasting or recording. Modern DVD production is entirely component digital from the film flying spot scanner, through production to the final DVD MPeg2. If you connect your DVD player to the TV with analog component, RGB SCART or HDMI, the path is fully component from film scan to display. If you connect your TV with S-Video or composite, then analog PAL/NTSC encoding takes place in the output stages of the DVD player.
So what are the remaining differences for a PAL vs NTSC DVD? One is frame size 720x576 for PAL, 720x480 for NTSC. As SatStorm says, any advantage for 576 vs. 480 depends on the optimization of a particular DVD player or TV upscaler. They both need to upscale to the native vertical resolution of the TV (typ. 1080 or 768).
Then there is frame rate 25 fps for PAL vs. 23.976 or 29.97 for NTSC. I think the advantage goes to NTSC for a progressively encoded DVD which is typical for movies. TV series could be encoded 23.976 progressive or 29.97 interlace. PAL DVD requires a 4% film speedup to get from 24 to 25 fps. Audio is digitally processed to manage pitch. This wasn't the film director's original intention. NTSC DVD at 23.976 fps is essentially the same as 24 fps.
Interlace PAL or NTSC DVD (excluding telecine) requires a TV that can support 25/50/100 Hz PAL or 29.97/59.94/119.88 Hz NTSC scan rates. Many Euro/Asia TV sets support multiple scan rates but in the USA 25/50/100 Hz support is often purposefully inhibited by the manufacture in an effort to avoid trans-shipment (export) of TV sets to higher tax regions. It then falls to the DVD player to make the PAL frame rate conversion to NTSC rates. Frame interpolation is usually destructive to picture quality.
NTSC 29.97 fps telecine disks require inverse telecine processing in the display plus the ability to handle the resulting 23.976 fps progressive result. Many NTSC and PAL displays lack inverse telecine capability so the PAL disk may play smoother in those cases.
So in summary, it all depends on your DVD player and TV but in general an NTSC DVD plays better in NTSC regions and a PAL DVD plays better in PAL regions.
This is interesting. If we extrapolate this to HD, and let's say I've got two BD of the same movie, identical in all respects (both, naturally, 1920x1080 same codec), but one is region A (and therefore slated for 60i playback) and the other is region B (50i), and played in the same BD player (tough finding one like this that plays regions A & B and doesn't cost an arm and a leg at the moment) connected via HDMI to a 1080 TV, would I expect one to look better than the other??For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
Originally Posted by turk690
In PAL land that means the TV is capable of 4x24= 96Hz or 5x24= 120Hz display. Alternately the player can generate 25fps using speedup for 1080p/50, 1080i/25, 720p/50, 576p/50 or 576i/25 export.
In NTSC land the 1920x1080 playback is slowed to 23.976 and transferred to the TV as 23.976p, 29.97i (with telecine) or 59.94p (with alternate 3:2 repeated frames). A "120Hz" HDTV will accept 23.976p and then frame repeat or interpolate frames 5x to 119.88 Hz for display.
Interlace source is handled similar to DVD except more frame rates are allowed for Blu-Ray including 25p and 30p.
Blu-Ray regions are different than DVD regions and aren't separated by PAL/NTSC. Progressive movie Blu-Ray discs are the same worldwide except for region coding. The local players differ for PAL or NTSC countries.
Note that Blu-Ray region A includes NTSC, PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N and Secam countries. Only the players differ.
The OP is not using Blu-Ray, but standard definition DVD that upconverts for his HD TV. For that reason, I did not think it was best to choose PAL DVDs over NTSC, as the OP resides in the United States.