Hi Guys, I'm trying to solve a problem which under normal circumstances I'd fix with cash.
I've got a Digi-Beta master of my movie, which was shot PAL and I want to show the movie to agents and other interested parties in the US.
I can't afford to convert the tape to NTSC and then also pay to have the film encoded for a run of DVDs. In the UK that's going to cost me about $900
However, I thought that if I imported the film into Final Cut I could export it as a QT file and then use the QT video to burn DVDR's. Does anyone know whether that will get around the PAL/NTSC issue?
I know it's less than ideal, but at the moment I'm open to any idea that gets the job done cheaply.
09-21-2005, 10:59 AM
Depends. It will certainly play on a computer but set top DVD players won't handle the quicktime format. I believe there are some relatively inexpensive plugins out there for conversion between PAL and NTSC.
For FCP you can get the Nattress Standards Conversion plugin for 100 USD. His plugins have gotten great reviews in the past. Might be worth looking into.
09-21-2005, 11:20 AM
In PremPro, you can export the timeline straight to DVD and in the export options it has radio-buttons to select an NTSC or PAL version.
I would think FCP must have something similar.
09-21-2005, 11:32 AM
In FCP, I believe there's a way to create a NTSC timeline and you should be able to drop the PAL footage in there...it'll either crop or re-aspect the footage when doing so. The you should be able to export using quicktime conversion to whatever format you need.
I don't have specifics, I just remember reading that FCP was made to take disparate formats and bring them together easily.
Final cut pro will convert any video from NTSC to PAL, and vice versa FREE. Cash doesn't make it the best solution. . . (Choose export, quicktime, then at the bottom you can change your options from NTSC to PAL, or whatever you want) No need to spend money.
I'd recommend: in Final cut go to "Easy Setup" and change your timeline into a PAL format, edit your PAL footage, and then you can export it as an NTSC video and an PAL video when you're finished. For DVD, you'd need to make 2 DVDs, one PAL DVD and one NTSC DVD, which is usually just the click of a button (if using DVD Studio Pro). I could go into more detail if you need me to.
09-21-2005, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll try some short clips first and then try doing it with the feature.
I've downloaded a trail version of DV Atlantic that did a good job, but if I can get as good results in FCP, I'll go with that.
09-21-2005, 04:03 PM
Hey Clive, I've done quite a bit of research on this topic as I shoot PAL and live in an NTSC country.
I strongly recommend against using Final Cut Pro (4.x) to do the conversion for you. This method yields very poor results as FCP does not utilize the complex algorithms required to perform this properly. It may however, look good enough for you, and it would be the least expensive solution. Test it.
I use After Effects to get the job done (which btw, requires as much as 50x more render time than FCP). From my tests, the next best is Procoder. I have heard great things about the Nattress plug-ins, but have never used it.
The new version of FCP (5) comes with a new version of Compressor which now can handle video format conversions (PAL/NTSC, as well as HD up/down conversions). I have not used that yet, but an Apple tech (not surprisingly) told me it is very good.
09-21-2005, 05:48 PM
oh just fyi, both PAL and NTSC support 23.98 frame rate, the only difference then would be pixel dimensions of the video (PAL to NTSC would result in dropping some pixels, and NTSC to PAL would have to make some up)
09-21-2005, 08:57 PM
The other thing to consider is that a lot of DVD players will play pal discs on NTSC TVs no problem...
well few problems anyway. ;)
I'm able to watch both NTSC and PAL DVDs on my TV.
12-02-2005, 11:55 PM
[If you have converted your film, just ignore the post]
It's been a while since your last post and since then I've had the chance to use the new version of Compressor more (v2).
I barely used the old version of Compressor because there certainly are better products out there (not as 'simple' however). I have to say with the new release of FCP 5, Compressor 2 impressed me. Apple gave it a quite an overhaul with advanced compression features. It's a whole new program (well, almost).
Even if you have to upgrade FCP, I think it's the best bang for the buck.
I was DP on a film a few months ago that we filmed in PAL. I had to send the director all the footage (NTSC format). I used Compressor 2 for this (since the way I usually go about doing this would take days of rendering with the amount of footage). The converted footage looked great, and all within a reasonable amount of time.
12-03-2005, 05:29 AM
I'll look into it. I've been so skint I couldn't even afford the digi-beta deck hire to digitise it in.