PAL Movies on NTSC North American HDTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by spacepower7, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I am thinking about getting an AppleTV. I was wondering if I can rip my PAL format 25fps DVD movies/concerts and play them on a North American Samsung/Sony/Panasonic/etc.. LCD/Plasma HDTV?

    Anybody has this working? and if so what brand HDTV are you using?

    The salespeople at the Apple Store and Best Buy could not answer this. They didn't seem cool with me bringing a PAL movie/concert on a USB thumbdrive to test it out.

  2. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    check Handbrake forums. I think it rips PAL, but there are some encode options that aren't compatible. Should be doable but I don't have any PAL disks to test it on.
  3. spacepower7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    Handbrake (awesome app) rips PAL fine and I have verified this myself. I am wondering if the AppleTV can play a 25 frame per second PAL signal on a North American LCD/Plasma HDTV. If there is a problem then it will probably an HDTV problem and not the AppleTV. I was just wondering if anyone on this forum has tried it and if it works or doesn't work, what brand of HDTV they have.

  4. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I have a few DVD's from the Mute Store in England (DM and Erasure) that are PAL that I converted almost a year ago and they play fine. Im not sure about the frame rate though - I did not change that, unless Handbreak changes that automatically, but I imagine you could manually change the frame rate in the pull down options. The files run fine on both my Samsung 1080p and my Sharp 720p.
  5. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    I've ripped PAL discs and played then on my HDTV via HDMI without a problem.

    I live in Virginia just as a FYI ....
  6. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Diode is correct. The atv will play whatever framerate you feed it. Unlike dvd's mp4 could care less. HandBrake is fully PAL compatible and so is the atv. :)
  7. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2006
    New Zealand
    A couple of technicalities.

    It's "couldn't care less" unless you're being sarcastic.

    Also, there is no such thing as PAL or NTSC when it comes to DVD. Both PAL and NTSC refer to broadcast standards and the way colour is encoded in addition to the monochrome luminance signal. DVD doesn't use PAL or NTSC colour coding although LaserDisc did. Frame rates and line structure have nothing to do with PAL or NTSC since it is technically possible to have PAL colour on 525/60Hz as Brazil does, or NTSC colour on 625/50Hz.

    Anyway, yes, HandBrake works fine with all my DVDs regardless of region and format and the rips play back perfectly on my iPod so I don't see why the ATV should be any different. Are US HDTVs capable of playing 720 or 1080 at 50Hz instead of 60? My HD sets certainly are but I didn't buy them in the US.
  8. spacepower7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    some right but some wrong

    Trying to clear things up? Thanks for all your input.

    "no such thing as PAL or NTSC when it comes to DVD"

    DVD-Video discs use either 4:3 or anamorphic 16:9 aspect ratio MPEG-2 video, stored at a resolution of 720×480 (NTSC) or 720×576 (PAL) at 29.97 or 25 FPS
    wikipedia quote

    I don't know about Brazil, but when I lived in Europe they had many TVs that played NTSC (video) on PAL (TV) (I forget what the technical spec was called.) at this same time 99.99% of NTSC TVs could not play PAL on VHS, DVD, or analog. But this was when the only affordable TVs were CRTs.

    Most TVs in PAL land (ie most of the world) have been able to play NTSC for many years but the TVs in NTSC land could not (past tense not sure abt current situation ie reason for this thread.)

    "Are US HDTVs capable of playing 720 or 1080 at 50Hz instead of 60?"
    or even 720x576 at 50Hz?

    This is my question?

    Anybody have an answer and can tell me there brand of TV?

  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Courtesy of the DVD Studio Pro manual, page 48:

    About the Terms “NTSC” and “PAL”
    The terms “NTSC” and “PAL” are technically incorrect when used with respect to DVDs. These terms specify a variety of things with respect to an SD composite video signal. When you refer to a video asset as NTSC or PAL with respect to SD-based DVDs, you are defining the asset’s frame rate and resolution. With most HD assets, the terms NTSC and PAL refer only to the frame rate, since the resolution is far different than an SD video asset.

    Dual-Standard DVD Players
    Many DVD players in PAL countries can also play NTSC DVD-Video titles. It’s important to understand that these players do not convert NTSC video to PAL—they simply output the NTSC sources. You must connect an NTSC or dual-standard video monitor in order to view the output. Additionally, be aware that all DVD players have a region code that prevents them from playing DVD-Video titles not intended for the player’s region.
  10. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    PAL to NTSC conversion is possible - I have a multi-region DVD player that will output my R2 UK PAL DVDs to my NTSC-only CRT TV. I just hit a button and it works, so I am assuming a chip inside does the color and frame-rate conversions on the digital signal being read off the DVD.
  11. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Ah, you got me on a technicality. For the most part the layman does however refer to the framerate as well as the dvd's resolution in terms of "PAL" and "NTSC". I saw no reason to dilute the conversation when the terms were sufficient to answer the OP's question. Generally dvd's *are* referred to in these terms on a fairly widescale basis. I have noted your clarification however. Thanks.
  12. spacepower7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    still wondering

    Still Wondering?
    Thread Hijacking or misunderstood question?

    I know alot about digital video and DVDs. I have been using After Effects since version 3 (same with Photoshop) and Media100 for years before Apple bought Final Cut Pro from Macromedia.

    I have DVD players here in the US that will play my PAL DVDs on NTSC only TVs.

    I know I can rip my PAL DVDs, been doing that for awhile. The AppleTV can play these mp4/m4v files I assume.

    I'll clear up the question if I can.

    Can most/many North American LCD/Plasma HDTVs play back from the 25 fps signal? If you have it working, please let me know the brand of your HDTV?


    I appreciate all input but only one person said that they in fact had it working but gave no details on make of the HDTV.
  13. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    You are correct. And it doesn't matter where you got the LCD. It will play the output of the ATV just fine, regardless if the original source dvd you encoded from is "PAL" or "NTSC". Hope that helps.

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