NTSC and PAL playback?

Discussion in 'SJ7 Star' started by RBEmerson, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    I know PAL and NTSC (Never Twice Same Color) are TV standards (scan rates, colors, overall waveforms, etc.). The question is: does it matter for Mac/Win/Linux playback or only matter when using a TV? I've used German DVD's in the US (had to step past the region code, of course) and that's certainly using PAL on a laptop.
     
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  2. Damian Holt

    Damian Holt Moderator

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    Good question.

    So far all the footage I recorded was in 60fps, however as I’m in the UK I’ve very recently learnt I should have been recording in 50fps.

    Everything I’ve recorded looks fine on my laptop and phone when watching back so I’m assuming it doesn’t matter?
     
  3. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    Back in the days of yore when men wore beards and tvs were analogue NTCS, PAL and SECAM didn't play nicely.

    Each system was developed in a different environment, NTCS in areas with 60hz mains, PAL and SECAM in areas with 50hz. This led to the difference in frame rates but there were other differences which made interoperability extremely difficult.

    Now with digital media and the internal processors working on nice, flat rectified DC with and clock controlled decoupled from the mains it means alot less with computers, tvs and media players able to manage different frame rates easily.

    The reason the different frame rates are still used in each area is partly historical and partly because there is still some dependence on mains frequency (50hz lights, etc).

    Some manufacturers, however, still limit the frame rates of their products to the base rate in the area of sales (Panasonic for example)

    Therefore if you happen to have a Panasonic Lumix DMC, live in Europe and want to intermixed footage with other cameras selecting 25fps would avoid the tricky task of converting 30fps smoothly to 25fps.

    Of course the film industry standardised on 24fps as a compromise rate quite a while ago when mechanically cranked cameras were still in vogue.

    Then of course there was the super 8mm home movies which were 18fps.
     
  4. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    BTW I'm sort of assuming that when you set the TV mode to PAL or NSCT it doesn't just switch the frame rates available (which I think is silly) but also sets up the FPV output which is analogue so that it works in the appropriate region - but I really don't know enough about the FPV setups.

    I think that all the possible frame rates should be available as a selection underneath the resolution that way although I may mainly record in 25fps I can still easily select 1080p120 and get a 4.6times slow motion instead of just a 4 times :) .

    By the way the "p" means progressive i.e. the entire frame is encoded at once. Analogue (NTCS, PAL and SECAM) were interlaced - the odd number lines were sent first followed by the even numbered lines. There is a 1080i but really with digital there's no need.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  5. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    This seems to be trending towards "on a computer it doesn't matter, on a TV it does matter". Which is how I thought things would go. Surprised me, that did. [/wink]

    BTW IIRC SECAM (no, my caps key isn't stuck) is a French creation. Non?
     
  6. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    Yes SECAM is French although it was taken up by a number of other countries as well. A lot of equipment could accept both PAL and SECAM.

    In the UK Terrestrial Over The Air Digital TV (Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial or DVB-T) started off in 1998 as a subscription service alongside analogue TV - which at that time had 5 channels. These channels were also on the digital service, along with a number of new channels. In 2002 this company failed and a new boss took over, scrapped the subscription and Freeview was launched. By 2012 it was a full switch over to digital and the analogue signal was switched off. The government gave out free DVB-T set top boxes so everyone could use their analogue TVs with the new digital service.


    Programmes on DVB-T are encoded in MPEG2 format, same as DVDs, at 25fps in Standard Definition.

    HDTV came in gradually from 2009 - implemented gradually across the country as the Digital changeover progressed. These new HD channels were DVB-T2 and couldn't be received on DVB-T equipment (although DVB-T can be received on DVB-T2). Unfortunately these HD channels are just duplicates of some of the SD channels (some of which are still showing pre-digital and pre-HD programmes - gotta love repeats). DVB-T2 uses h264 encoding at 1080p.
    2
    Of course with all the DVB-T equipment in circulation that wasn't capable of handling h264 meant that they couldn't upgrade the mpeg2 channels to h264 which would have made a lot more space for new channels (or upgrade the SD to HD) so we're stuck with two encoding methods for terrestrial digital TV.

    Everythings been daisy chained with what was there before so PAL standards have been embedded throughout the TV industry.

    Of course now that TV's have full media players in them they should be able to cope with 25, 30, 73 or whatever frames a second.
     
  7. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    Once again proving "Standards are wonderful - there are so many to choose from"...
     
  8. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    I'm sure that ATSC is just as clear and simple.
     
  9. RBEmerson

    RBEmerson Humbled by events

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    Indeed. And let us not forget AGATT.
     

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