HD formats in PAL regions. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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An interesting topic that hasn't been discussed all that much is how
the two competing next generation optical formats will treat 24p
originating content in PAL territories.

It seems from hunting around that HD-DVD and Blu-ray will use differing
strategies.

It seems from reading the HD-DVD specification (July 2005) that HD-DVD
is clearly based around splitting the world into 60Hz and 50Hz regions.
Section 5.2 clearly states that 24p content in 60Hz regions will be
encoded with 3:2 pull down. In 50Hz regions the 24p content will be
converted to 25p. This means in PAL lands that HD-DVD will have 4%
speed up for film content. HD-DVD appears to be clearly based on DVD
with 480/576 replaced with 1080.

Blu-ray seems quite different. Reading the Blu-ray Disc Format White
paper (March 2005) section 3.3 clearly states that content will be
stored on disc as either

1920 x 1080 HD (50i, 60i and 24p)
1280 x 720 HD (50p, 60p and 24p)
720 x 576/480 SD (50i or 60i)

Note, there is no such thing as 25p for Blu-ray.

Also, a discussion with a Philips engineer indicates that all Blu-ray
players (world wide) must support decoding of 24p content. Hence, it
clearly appears that Blu-ray film content will be stored in 24p
including in PAL regions. It is up to the player to decide how it
wishes to output the 24p content. An appropriate Blu-ray player
outputting 24p (e.g Sony BDP-S1) and an appropriate display which
accepts 24p (e.g Pioneer FHD1) should result in judder-free output that
also runs at the correct speed (both 3:2 pull down and 4% speed up are
avoided, a very good thing indeed).

HD-DVD appears to be designed around the legacy NTSC and PAL standards.

Blu-ray appears to be designed around storing content in its original
format.

For film purists in PAL land it appears that the Blu-ray standard will
be superior to HD-DVD. HD-DVD content will be speed up by 4% which for
some users clearly destroys film quality (e.g Pink Floyd's The Wall is
almost unwatchable in PAL DVD format). There is no way to undo the
damage that 4% speed does, for this reason many purists today in PAL
territories have exclusively purchased region 1 DVDs.

It seems that HD-DVD is once again treating PAL users (e.g Europe and
Australia/NZ) to another generation of distorted film display. My
reading is that Blu-ray does away with the 50Hz/60Hz barriers and
finally allows all users (anywhere in the world) to have a complete 24p
chain from content to player to display.

I may be missing something but I would consider this a huge advantage
for Blu-ray over HD-DVD.

Dennis.
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post #2 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 08:06 PM
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Ouch, ouch and triple ouch for HD DVD if true. What a joke for PAL users.
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post #3 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 08:09 PM
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Great post! Very interesting indeed. If these are the facts then this info should make a lot of Europeans and Australians very happy with BD.
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post #4 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 08:26 PM
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Just curious but besides that discussion with a Philips engineer does anyone know for sure if all Blu-ray players worldwide are required to be able to play 1080p24 video?
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post #5 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes it is mandated that all BD-ROM players must support the decoding of 24p
coded content.

This was told to me by a Philips representative that works closely
with the Blu-ray disc association just a month or so ago.

Dennis.
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post #6 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 08:53 PM
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Dennis, understand that I am just seeing if any other forum members can confirm this and if true it certainly sounds like another advantage for Blu-ray.
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post #7 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 09:27 PM
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We'll know it's true if Amir doesn't post in this thread.
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post #8 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semblance
We'll know it's true if Amir doesn't post in this thread.

sspears already confirm this. No need to repeat.

HDPLEX
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post #9 of 620 Old 04-15-2006, 10:02 PM
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BDA should advertise the hell out of this in PAL countries. You cannot see the movie in its pure native form on HD DVD.
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post #10 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 12:01 AM
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If there really is no option to store 25p or 50i on Blu-ray then how will any of our British TV shows be released on this format? Unlike the US most of our stuff is captured on tape, at PAL speed...
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post #11 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 12:06 AM
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There are 50i and 50p on BD. ;)

1920 x 1080 HD (50i, 60i and 24p)
1280 x 720 HD (50p, 60p and 24p)
720 x 576/480 SD (50i or 60i)
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post #12 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 12:12 AM
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In that case what's to stop the studios from storing the content on disc as 1080i50 ?
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post #13 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Common sense should stop studios storing 24p content as 1080i50
whilst 24p exists as a native storage format, I would think. Also
as mentioned all Blu-ray players must be able to decode 24p, hence
content can and will be delivered in 24p, that includes PAL regions
I believe.

Also from a movie studio perspective wouldn't it be easier just to do
a single 24p encode world wide, rather than separate 60Hz encode for
NTSC regions and 50Hz encode for PAL regions. Simpler is better.

As for British (and Australian) TV shows the Blu-ray spec allows
576i, 720p and 1080i all at 50Hz.
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post #14 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 01:12 AM
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The idea is that on Bluray, you can store everything in its native format, so if you can display it natively, you may. If not, than your player will do the appropriate scaling/interlacing/pulldown to make it work on your display. Where as on HD-DVD, there is no option, and content wont be stored in its native format even if the display is perfectly capable of utilizing it, it has not the choice.

What an oversight. Also, it will mean bluray will be able to make fewer discs, since the difference from region to region will be minimal, if there is at all. With the word that some studios may forego region coding, atleast at first, there could be releases of global discs, which cuts costs and allows everyone on earth to have the same viewing experience. Im glad I live in the US, 4% speedup seems absolutely intolerable.

CROPPED < OAR < OPEN MATTE -- OOOOH I SAID IT!
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post #15 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 04:17 AM
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We will likely get 24P discs in Pal regions and the players will probably allow the option to transcode to 1080/50 or not and I suspect Blu-ray will do exactly the same.

There is no difference between the formats as far as this is concerned, both will offer 1080/50 because some European HDTV content is natively in this format. The reason Pal countries are using 1080/50 for HDTV is that it makes synchronising with Pal SDTV stations much easier.
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post #16 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
We will likely get 24P discs in Pal regions
not with hd-dvd it has been confirmed by sspears that films were stored at 25P on hd-dvd for pal land

sorry for my poor english but I'm french !!!!
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post #17 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 05:43 AM
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That's completely insane. The madness never ends. Thank God I live in NTSC land.

Vimeo is the home of the Super8 Shooter...
http://vimeo.com/super8shooter
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post #18 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 05:50 AM
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Are there any australians importing Blu-ray or HD-DVD players to Australia??

Are there any restrictions from customs authorities??

i had a friend who tried to import a merc from Dubai & had to send it back because of customs violations and I'd hate to think they'd do this on a Toshiba player.

Will
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post #19 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vairulez
not with hd-dvd it has been confirmed by sspears that films were stored at 25P on hd-dvd for pal land
Excellent. :D
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post #20 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 09:57 AM
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Hi dlb99 - Very interesting post. I don't know a lot about the PAL-land side for either format but you seem to quote a lot of specs and supporting info from the BD end.

Could you put some of the sources and specs up for the HD DVD end as well? It would make me feel a bit more certain about what you're saying.

Thanks
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post #21 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyg
Great post! Very interesting indeed. If these are the facts then this info should make a lot of Europeans and Australians very happy with BD.
Here's one. Note I don't have absolute pitch but anyway a hidef disc format inheriting PAL speedup is as asinine as having compact disc with vinyl crackle... ;)

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
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post #22 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 12:25 PM
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Amen. This is GREAT news! (I used to believe the difference wasn't that bad, that was until I started collecting DVD's and only region 1 titles. One night a James Bond movie came on (TV), and just for kicks I started my DVD of the same movie at the same time. I could not believe the difference. Chipmunks! Really! Plus, all movies are shorter in PAL, ie. less value for money... ;))

NilsP

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Life is better in HD.
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post #23 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilsp
I could not believe the difference. Chipmunks! Really!
Yeah, I'm currently in PAL country and Arrested Developement was on TV the other day, and I had just been watching NTSC TV recordings with my girlfriend .. and she looked at me and said "the narrator is a different guy on TV here" .. no no.. it's still Ron Howard .. just speaking with a chipmunk voice.

I'm not getting any HD-DVD .. IF .. this is correct. Too bad.. I kinda liked HD-DVD.
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post #24 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Note, there is no such thing as 25p for Blu-ray.
Perhaps you should read the actual Blu-Ray spec. 1080p25 is in there as well as 720p50.

It was not the formats that wanted to support 25/50. They wanted to do away with them but they were pressured into supporting them.
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post #25 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 03:50 PM
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OK then - well folk, and to the readers out there in TV land. I've asked for some links to prove any of what dlb99 is saying and have not had a reply.

At this point I may as well say that this *may* be based on fact or it *may* just be more rumour-engineering. Caveats all around (but I think it's bunk).

And I'll tell you why, even. The studios who are releasing movies for both formats, and will make up more than half of the titles, are not likely to change their encoding for one format or the other.

They have already talked in public and private about the fact that they will use the same VC1, etc, encoded video for each of the formats. If this is what they are doing for the US market, why should they do everything diferent for Europe?

Where is the proof that these folks have said that? Where is the proof (as in links to the specs of both formats) and the supporting documentation to support this rumour?

The onus of "disproof" is not on the rest of us reading, the onus of proof is on you. Not that we are not curious, just - at this point - sceptical...

BR and HD DVD both support 1080p25? Dunno! BR and HD DVD both support 1080i50? Dunno!

Your turn to prove what you're saying :)

I will add my two cents - DVD did not playback at 25 fps just because it is some old archaic format. Trying to playback 24 fps material at 25 fps or 50 fps does create a couple of hangups with judder. The judder is not that bad, but folks who watch US DVDs on PAL systems should be familiar with it. If you have a really good VP, it's less of an issue. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Vanatage HD was at this when I got it.
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post #26 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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The Blu-ray technical Whitepaper I referred to can be found by googling

2b_bdrom_audiovisualapplication_0305-12955

section 3.3 Video streams lists the legal video streams. Note, there is no mention
of 25p.

sspears says that the final Blu-ray specs now lists 1080p25. If true that would
be devastating. However, before I go away and sulk, it would be good to get
that confirmed. All material I have seen has always listed Blu-ray as supporting

1920 x 1080 HD (50i, 60i and 24p)
1280 x 720 HD (50p, 60p and 24p)
720 x 576/480 SD (50i or 60i)

The addition of 25p into the Blu-ray specification sounds like a last minute thing
which appears to be still secret.

sspears, do you have the final Blu-ray specification? Interesting.

If true (I am hoping it is not), then it sounds like the movie studios may have tried
to shoe-horn it in, maybe to equalize HD-DVD and Blu-ray??

Sigh, Blu-ray and HD-DVD may be equally garbage for us PAL users, looks I'll
have to import again for another generation.

25p is an abomination, it really needs to die. It has no place in this day and
age, all HD-Ready displays in Europe/Australia support both 60Hz and 50Hz
HD resolutions, there is no need for 50Hz based replay of 24p material.

It would be good to get absolute definitive information about 25p and Blu-ray.

Dennis.
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post #27 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 05:57 PM
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sspears, just to clarify this but are all Blu-ray players required to be able to playback 1080p24 video? I noticed that you said that 1080p25 had been added to the Blu-ray specs but you didn't say anything about 1080p24 playback being removed as a requirment. If it is still true than it would be an advantage for Blu-ray since you could use 1080p24 video encodings in PAL regions of the world.
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post #28 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
noticed that you said that 1080p25 had been added to the Blu-ray specs but you didn't say anything about 1080p24 playback being removed as a requirment.
It was not added, it has been there the entire time. Most DVD players today can play both PAL and NTSC. Some don't allow by default but can be "enabled'.

An interesteing tidbit: WMV-HD titles in Germany were 24p.
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post #29 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 06:37 PM
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sspears, just to point this out but could you answer my first question where I asked if all Blu-ray players are required to be able to playback 1080p24 video? It would be nice to know that for sure.
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post #30 of 620 Old 04-16-2006, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Now I am confused.

If 1080p25 has been in the Blu-ray specification the entire time then why
wasn't it listed in the interim Blu-ray Whitepaper.

Could the muddle be related to on-disk representation vs output.

For example, it could be possible to store 24p video on a PAL region Blu-ray
disk with two soundtracks, one optimized for 24p and one optimized for 25p.

The Blu-ray player could then run in two modes, 24p mode and 25p mode.

In 24p mode the 24p video and 24p soundtrack play as per usual.

In 25p mode the 24p video is speed up 4% by the player (similar to how an NTSC
region Blu-ray player is required to generate 3:2 pull down) and is run in
conjuction with the 25p soundtrack. That way both legacy PAL and forward
thinking 24p are supported.

Note, it is not possible to easily speed up a 24p soundtrack to 25p inside
a player.

This scenario probably is in-plausible.

However, I am a little uncertain about the Blu-ray 25p situation. If it has been
there all along then the Blu-ray disc association has been careless in regards
to listing its legal video streams.

Dennis.
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