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True PAL to NTSC transfer


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This little guide is for those, who want to go the extra step and make a true transfer from what was originally an NTSC version, but which they bought as PAL. It reverses the steps the manufacturers took.

1.chapter structure cannot be kept
2.if the audio is longer or shorter than the video (and this is not too unusual) you will run into sync problems.

tools you need:
an avi to mpeg-2 encoding program (like tmpgenc, tmpgxpress or CCE)
an audio editing tool that can exactly bend audio streams (change length and tone pitch), for example adobe auditon

1. I suggest working from a perfect avi source and to a perfect avi source. For best quality you should work with uncompressed avi. If you do not have the space to do that, use lagarith lossless codec.
2. If you run into interlacing problems, use a deinterlacing filter. There are various ones available and the result really depends on the source video.

the guide:
launch virtualdub (I am currently using 1.88)
load your video (no audio required): file ---> open video file
resize the video: video --> filters --> add ---> resize
disable Aspect Ratio, new size: 720x480, filter mode: lanzcos3 (you can use another filter mode, if you prefer that)
change frame rate: video --> frame rate
change framerate to (fps) 23.976
- if you want to save as lagarith lossless codec, you need to have this codec installed and then: video --> compression
select lagarith lossless codec
save your NTSC avi: file ---> save avi
(lagarith lossless codec will require about 20GB per hour, uncompressed will require about 60GB per hour)
turn your video file to mpeg-2 using your mpeg-2 encoding program (do not change the framerate)
use dgpulldown to change the framerate to 29.97

preparations: hardly any audio editing program can work with ac-3. They can work with pcm-wav (uncompressed audio) though.
- If you are using a 2.0 file, you can convert it with "headac3he" to pcm-wav.
- If you are using a 5.1 file, you have to split it into single pcm-waves and do the bending with each of these waves.

load the audio into your audio editor
find the bend option and select that you want to bend both time and tone pitch)
bend the audio to a length of 104.271% (that is 25 / 23.976 for the math geeks)
save your new audio file.
turn it to ac-3 with an according program.

- if your audio is shorter than the video, add silence to the exact length of the video (which you can find out in virtualdub: file --> file information...). Do this BEFORE bending it.
- if your audio is longer than the video, cut it to the exact length of the video. Do this BEFORE bending it.

good luck.
great guide, boon.

for changing the audio in audacity the filters to use are:
- change tempo - does not change pitch
- change speed - changes pitch

and it's actually 23.976024, boon ...you know... for the math geeks ;) (24000/1001)
boon23 said:
resize the video: video --> filters --> add ---> resize
disable Aspect Ratio, new size: 720x480, filter mode: lanzcos3 (you can use another filter mode, if you prefer that)

I'm using 1.98, and I'm trying to resize. I think the options you can see here might have changed slightly from 1.88, so I want to make sure.

New size: Absolute (pixels) 720x480
Aspect ratio: disabled
Filter Mode: Lanczos 3
Interlaced: not checked
Framing options: Do not letterbox or crop
Codec-friendly sizing: do not adjust

Am I doing anything wrong here? :?
is there a reason why its better to use dgpulldown instead of CCE's internal pulldown settings?
nOmArch said:
is there a reason why its better to use dgpulldown instead of CCE's internal pulldown settings?

I allways use that and never had any problems.
okey dokey i'll give it a try :)

EDIT: well i used dgpulldown and the video file looks great but as soon as i mux the audio to it the video stutters horribly in VLC but when i try it in a proper dvd app, totalmedia theatre 3 in this case, the stutter almost disappears, its only really noticable at first but even after a few minutes you can still just about detect it.

i'll try using CCE's pulldown 2m but in the meantime, any ideas...?
stutter could be caused by a field change. Maybe you are using lower field first, when it should upper field first. Check your source file and keep to it.
im pretty sure that its top field first, but i will check. good call i hadnt even thought about the fields.
ok problem solved. after messing about with field settings and various other things in CCE i came to the conclusion that something is broken. so tried using the internal pulldown feature of DVD-lab and ouila it worked perfectly first time.

so my conclusion is dont use dgpulldown 1.0.11.
Thanks for the heads up, nOmArch. :) What were you muxing with?

I had that problem using Womble's multiplexer. The resulting file had just the kind of stutter in VLC that you described. I switched to using Imago and it worked without a problem.


Maybe you could try that on your files? I'm curious as to whether it works for your files too.
yeah i used Womble 5's demux/mux. the funny thing is that i use it quite a lot and this is the only file that its ever done it to :?

maybe it doesnt handle the pulldown flags very well or something.
Okay, I'm not completely sure if this is still an issue for people, but I've found a VERY simple fix for people using Final Cut Pro.

Cinema Tools, included in Final Cut, conforms PAL sources to 24p without having to re encode at all, and from what I understand maintains chapter information and conforms audio to match.

I'd assume this means the entire film/audio track could be edited in PAL (which actually makes editing faster, as previewing would be 4% faster). Then when you're finished, you can convert the finished project to 24p, and then render an NTSC DVD, fixing playback issues.

This process also offers the option to convert NTSC sources to 24p for editing, removing repeated frames.
I was watching a Doctor Who DVD featurette on NTSC/PAL conversion and this was the machine that was needed to convert video in 1968:



It's amazing that fans can do the same on basic home laptops today with free software. Times change :D.
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