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FAQ for PAL-NTSC-FILM-Converter

What must be noticed considering the conversion of different medium types (DVD, cinema, television/TV, VHS etc.) and why are there three input/output fields in the converter? The answers described here can provide some short explanations. This section should also provide a clearer understanding of some passages of the review "Television Standards - formats and techniques".

1. Why does this page exist?

When I was concerned intensively with the PAL/NTSC topic I have found many internet pages which described the NTSC standard very inaccurately. In those pages misunderstandings may arise again and again for readers who are not quite versed in this topic. The fact that differences between TV NTSC and DVD NTSC are very often ignored has also to be considered. My review of the PAL and NTSC Television Standards intends to clarify these differences. A further purpose of these FAQ is the correct conversion of play times of different media in the PAL and NTSC category - e. g. the length conversion of a PAL DVD into a NTSC DVD. Further readings related to different medium types can be found in the FAQ below.


2. For what is the PAL-NTSC-FILM-Converter used?

Especially in the uncut regime sometimes only american NTSC run times of DVDs - so-called RegionCode1-DVDs (RC1, overview of all DVD Region Codes) - are in common. In order to know how long this film would run on an uncut european PAL version (RC2) the conversion to the second offers itself. The running time must be entered into a specific field of the PAL-NTSC-FILM-Converter depending on the source of the film and the format which it should be converted into. The running times must also be freed from different intros and end credits which are possibly used by the Filmstudios in different film versions. Further readings related to different medium types can be found in the FAQ below.


3. Is there a difference between "Frame Rate" and "Refresh Rate"?

Yes. In the review it was intended to use both terms. The Frame Rate describes the real "material" speed of a movie. If a film is shot in 24 fps and played back in 26 fps, the real "material" speed has changed in the viewers eyes because now more frames are played in one second. However, if this 24 fps film is played with a Refresh Rate of 48 Hz the film does not run faster due to this change - only more pictures per second are displayed.
Example: 24 frames are displayed in one second while a frame is displayed in approx. 41.67 ms. If the film is now played with a Refresh Rate of 48 Hz, 48 pictures per second must be displayed. Each picture is displayed twice in series but only in a time of approx. 20.83 ms in each case. The frame rate did not increase and there was no change of the real "material" speed of the film.


4. What has MPEG to do with the whole thing?

The video material is stored in the format MPEG-2 on a DVD. MPEG provides possibilities to affect the real "material" speed or the "length" of the video material respectively. Theoretically, there could be available different DVD standards beside the existing PAL and NTSC DVD standards with greater or smaller video play times.


5. What are the characteristics of the conversion?

The PAL-NTSC-FILM-Converter takes into account the several kinds of "NTSC sources". The frame rate on NTSC television as well as many "making of" documentations on NTSC DVD (29.97 fps or 23.976 fps respectively) is another one than the frame rate of a motion picture film on a NTSC DVD (24 fps), resulting in different length specifications of both media. A NTSC television runtime must be entered into the field NTSC whereas a NTSC movie runtime of a conventional NTSC DVD (e. g. all normal films which can also been seen in the cinema) must be entered into the field FILM. In order to convert the nominal runtime (the theoretical speed of the film running in the cinema) of a motion picture film, the field FILM is likewise used. Consider also the ultimate comments with respect to the frame rate of Blu-ray Discs.


6. I look for a less detailed review. Does there exist a short table?

1.) Yes. Consider the PAL-NTSC-FILM-Converter related table, or...

Overview of the frame rates, refresh rates
 medium typeframe rate, refresh rateconverter
PALDVD movie25 fpsPAL
DVD specials25 fpsPAL
TV, VHS25 fps, 50 fields/sPAL
NTSCDVD movie23.976 fps or 24 fps1NTSC
DVD specials23.976 fps, 29.97 fps (2:3-Pulldown, Flags), 24 fpsNTSC
TV, VHS23.976 fps, 29.97 fps (2:3-Pulldown, "mechanical"), 59.94 fields/sNTSC
High Definition (HD)Blu-ray Disc (BD) [movie]23.976 fps or 24 fps2NTSC
HD DVD [movie]23.976 fps or 24 fps3NTSC
CinemaMotion Picture Film24 fps (nominal)FILM

Table 1: Overview of the refresh rates

1 Common motion picture films are usually encoded in 24 fps.

2 Common motion picture films are usually encoded in 23.976 fps.

3 Common motion picture films are usually encoded in 24 fps.

2.) ...the Digital Television Standards of ATSC, DVB, H.264/AVC, and ISDB.

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2005/10/31 - last updated: 2011/06/16

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