A fair question Dawayne. Here’s my stab at an answer. It’s generally accepted in the lossless music / Video Of music community that every time a DVD is converted between PAL and NTSC or the opposite a loss of video quality is introduced. Combine that with the fact that the cheapest DVD player you can find at walmart can convert on the fly without quality loss, and a good argument can be made for never converting. Many players only need to have the TV type set to NTSC to be able to convert. Most come set on multi mode. In multi mode a PAL disc will give you PAL output and an NTSC disc will give you NTSC output. Going into your player’s setup and setting it for NTSC only output or TV type NTSC (this setting varies with brand) will let it give a perfect NTSC output even with a PAL disc. This is because every player has a digital to analog converter or DAC. It’s very easy for the DAC to simulate 29 frames per second even with 25 frames per second digital video. NTSC and PAL are broadcast TV standards after all and DVD’s only simulate the formats. They are not broadcasts but are just video streams. My $25 APEX does it as do both of my Philips players while my old $200 Sony player can’t do it. Software to convert without loss costs about $200 and a hardware converter that does an even better job costs $400. It’s just more cost effective to invest a few bucks in a player that plays PAL. If your player gives you a message saying something about region or format incompatibility then it probably can’t play PAL. If it gives you sound and a jumbled black and white rolling picture then it’s probably just set on multi.  


The other reason for not converting with cheaper software is to try and maintain the integrity of the trading pool. It’s generally excepted that a DVD should be kept in it’s native format. Let’s take the KCET show as an example. Coming from LA’s public television station it was most certainly NTSC to start with. Somewhere along the way it got converted to PAL and probably lost a little quality in the process. So now if it gets converted back to NTSC another loss occurs. Later someone in the UK might not be able to play NTSC (although this is rare) and convert it back to PAL again with another loss. You see where I’m going with this. Better to vine or trade the original format and then let each recipient convert his own copy if need be, and if he doesn’t mind the loss.


Jim L

From: Zappa-List@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Zappa-List@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Glen Young
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2006 12:47 AM
To: Zappa-List@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Zappa-List] Re: VO: A Token Of His Extreme DVD


Dawayne wrote

I have a question about the way we share DVDs on here. I just received
the KCET DVD from John G in Kansas. It's in PAL format and needs to be

That's odd as the disc I seeded here was a direct dvd-r copy of the Room 101
silver pressed release which is code free.
I can only assume that somewhere along the line someone has kept the
original and made a PAL copy and sent that on instead........or it's
possible the original was in PAL format but I didn't notice.

The disc I sent out was unbranded with a white face and KCET written on the
clear plastic inner ring......does this look like the disc you have Dawayne



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