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Confused about NTSC, PAL, SDI, and HD

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a SDI DVD Player and scaler that can handle NTSC and PAL signals. I am in the USA so my TV is NTSC.

When I play a PAL DVD and output the SDI to my scaler, the image is cropped vertically. In order to fix it, I have to go into my DVD Player menu and change the "TV Type" setting to PAL. The image is then corrected.

Bottom line, this "TV Type" setting in my DVD player affects the output. I was under the impression that this should not matter for SDI, as it just reads and passes unmodified decoded MPEG data out to the scaler.

Anyone know what might be going on?

I'm currently looking at this Oppo 981 that I hear so much about, does this behave the same way? Is there a setting in the player menu that has to be set to PAL for playing PAL discs?

Another question... I'm also confused with NTSC and PAL when it comes to HD. Are there different NTSC and PAL versions of HD signals? For example, is there a 1080P NTSC and 1080P PAL type of HD signal? If I get a HDSDI modded player, will I be able to play discs from the UK locality and have them display properly?

Sorry if these are real basic questions...
post #2 of 5
The Oppo 970 has a NTSC/PAL/Auto option which can be changed if there isn't a DVD loaded. I keep mine on auto which output DVDs in their native 480i or 576i resolutions through HDMI. I'm not sure about the SDI mod on the Oppo, and how this might effect it. Your processor should be able to rake in either signal and do a good job translating it into 720p or 1080 to your television.
post #3 of 5
Many external scalers autoselect incoming NTSC or PAL but none automatically figure out such things as an NTSC DVD image with black bars added to fill a PAL frame (with more scan lines). In addition, scaling an NTSC picture to fill a PAL frame (or vice versa) may detract from quality especially if a second scaling is needed to get to 720p or 1080i. So it is best for the player to output NTSC or PAL to match the disk being played.

NTSC vs. PAL 1080p. Yes and no. The pixel count (or number of scan lines) is the same but 1080p and 720p can exist in either 60 (59.94) frames per second for NTSC based systems or 50 (50.00) fps for PAL based systems. The hi-def DVD's hold at most enough material for 1080p at 30 fps or 1080i at 30 fps (60 fields, up to 60 motion poses, per second). Usually film source is put on DVD's, HD or otherwise, at 24 fps, and the player converts to 60 or 50 fps as desired.

HDTV 1080i broadcasting is done in both 30 (NTSC countries) and 25 fps (PAL countries); 720p broadcasting is done in both 60 and 50 fps respectively.

The hi-def DVD's themselves I believe are the same format worldwide, excluding region codes (to restrict playing to different countries or parts of the world) and the fact that Blu-Ray and HDDVD are not the same.

In the U.S. the HD standard is called ATSC rather than NTSC. For 1080i it has 30 fps. For 1080p it has has either 30 or 24 fps. The ATSC standard for 720p has 60, 30, or 24 fps.
post #4 of 5
That's some good info.

One thing that I have gathered from reading various threads is that while there is region coding on HDDVD and Blu Ray titles, there are not currently any "region free" HDDVD or Blu Ray players, but, there doesn't need to be, because so far, region coding doesn't seem to be being enforced, so it isn't necessary.
post #5 of 5
HD-DVD is region free. I don't know which Blu-ray titles are region free, and don't know how to check if any of my discs have a region code or not. Japan shares the same region code as the States.
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