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PAL to NSTC aspect ratio confusion

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PAL to NSTC aspect ratio confusion

Old 02-01-02, 11:56 PM
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PAL to NSTC aspect ratio confusion

This is a question derived from another thread, but I figured it would be better off with its own thread. And I apologize if this is one of those often-asked questions, but I sincerely did spend some time searching through these forums, and various online FAQs, for an answer, and came up mostly empty....

From Codefree:
>>>However, unless your player has built-in PAL-->NTSC conversion, you will not be able to play European Region 2 or Region 4 DVDs since they are PAL. Very few players have the conversion built-in and only one can display the widescreen movies in the correct aspect ratio, the Malata N996.
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Old 02-02-02, 03:05 AM
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Problems

The problem is many of these players can not downconvert anamorphic discs AND convert PAL to NTSC at the same time. Hence any anamorphic discs will look vertically stretched on these players as not enough scan lines are removed to lower the resolution appropriately. Non-anamorphic discs should look to be the same ratio, or very, very close. Full screen discs should suffer no problems. As for the movies you mention, the difference is likely due to the AR's. I believe drive was 2.35:1, and the others 1.85:1, so the vertical stretch was more pronounced on the 1.85:1 discs.
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Old 02-02-02, 09:48 AM
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My apex1500 displayed Le Pacte Des Loups properly and its anamorphic. I didn't notice any thing out of the ordinary.
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Old 02-02-02, 11:04 AM
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Furious explained it well, I just want to add that the Malata is far from the only player that can do this. It certainly is the only overpriced player, but then that's a topic for a whole other thread

Many players have probs with the anamorphic conversion as they are converting the film inside the letterboxing on an anamorphic title, and basically 'forget' to re-letter box it once converted. If you've got a 16x9 TV It shouldn't make a difference. On a nonanamorphic movie the AR is basically 4:3 with the letterbox being part of the picture that is getting converted, so it looks OK.

I would check out the forums at www.nerd-out.com (Sorry, don't mean to drive folks away from here mods, but it is a technically superior forum when it comes to this type of info, IMHO) and see what others have to say about how the various players convert PAL/NTSC.
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Old 02-02-02, 11:26 AM
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My Apex-3201 also converts PAL anamorphic DVDs to NTSC with no problems. I have Poltergeist II and it plays perfectly.
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Old 02-02-02, 01:03 PM
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All the Apexes, Sampos, Daewoos, and other cheap players do NOT convert PAL signals properly. This is because the players use the animorphic downcoversion algorithm do downconvert the PAL signal. They remove every 4th line from the image instead of every 6th line as is neccessary. Thus a PAL 576 line image converts to 432 lines instead of the 480 lines necessary for proper conversion. This is most noticable on Full-Frame PAL images, which have tiny black bars on the top and bottom of the screen instead of filling it out. All non-animorphic images will appear 10% shorter than they should, as well as animorphic images on a 16x9 screen. How noticable this is depends on how discerning you are.

Also, since the PAL image already went through the animorphic downconversion, it doesn't downconvert again and the image is still at 432 lines, versus the correct 360 lines for a downcoverted NTSC image. Thus the image is stretched to about 20% taller than it should be. A 1.85:1 movie will appear almost full-frame, while a 2.35:1 movie like Brotherhood of the Wolf will appear to be about 1.95:1; still letterboxed, but not at the proper ratio.

The Malata has a Mediamatics chip, which because of it's advanced scaling capabilties is able to downcovert the image properly. All players with the same chip should be able to do the same. However, the Malata comes up often because of it's ease of changing regions, which is a major selling point if your looking at PAL movies, which are most likely in a different region.
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Old 02-02-02, 02:35 PM
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Wow....Let me offer a sincere Thank You to those who replied. What a huge help just those few posts were. I think I actually understand what it all means now.

The clincher was the anamorphic aspect....I hadn't taken into account that the 3 discs I tried are all anamorphic, and that a non-anamorphic disc would be displayed properly. And the Buffy set I used as an example would not have a stretched display because it's just a non-anamorphic TV show (except the 10% shorter bit). Gotcha!

I'm sure this was a big help to many others with perhaps the same questions I had, so thanks again!

Larry
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Old 02-02-02, 04:33 PM
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IMHO you should ebay it off and purchse a Malata N 996. THE BEST DVD player for this type of thing....


renaldow stated :



Furious explained it well, I just want to add that the Malata is far from the only player that can do this. It certainly is the only overpriced player, but then that's a topic for a whole other thread


Care to explaine that statement??? I am wondering what you are trying to imply?

As far as I know the Malata N 996 in the only player with the Mediamatics chip(there could be others but I have never heard of them) so therefore it is the only player that can do this.... Unless there are other players with the chip that is.
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Old 02-02-02, 10:22 PM
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Jay G.

As stated above I have an Apex 3201. After reading your post I decided to do a little experiment. I played my region 1 NTSC Big Trouble in Little China (2.35:1). I then marked the top and bottom of the screen with Post-It notes. I then played my region 2 PAL Poltergeist 2 (2.35:1) and it was EXACTLY the same size. Also the theatrical trailer on the Poltergeist DVD is in full frame and takes up the entire screen. I'm not disputing anything you said, I just wanted to let others know that the APEX 3201 does seem to convert the image properly. Maybe it has a Mediamatics chip inside? I have never opened up my unit.

Note: Both of the above mentioned discs are anamorphic.
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Old 02-03-02, 03:17 AM
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there are quite a few DVD players that use the Mediamatics chip. The Malata N996 is the only one though that is born region-free and region-settable.

I posted the list sometime ago, I'll have to find where I put it.
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Old 02-03-02, 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by d2cheer
Care to explain that statement?
Hmmm.... perhaps the request for clarification could also have been phrased a little better?

FWIW I read it as a simple typo i.e. he meant to say "not overpriced". Of course, I may be wrong

renaldow is a good guy and will almost certainly explain when he comes back to the thread.

Last edited by benedict; 02-03-02 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 02-03-02, 09:55 AM
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OK, I did a little research this morning. As far as I can find out, the Apex 3201 does not have the mediamatics chip cand should not doa proper conversion. The apex 800 does have a mediamatics chip, but so far no hack for it exists. As for why ytsejam gets a proper image, I suspect it has something to do with his TV and not the player. Perhaps he has a multisystem TV, as the apex will output PAL properly in it's native format.
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Old 02-03-02, 10:12 AM
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Furious explained it well, I just want to add that the Malata is far from the only player that can do this. It certainly is the only overpriced player, but then that's a topic for a whole other thread
Overpriced? What a crock of you know what. A region free, PAL convertable progressive Scan player will the best scaling of ANY player EVER for under $300 is overpriced? Get real.

And the ONLY players that can do a PAL to NTSC conversion without muckups are the ones featuring the Mediamatics chip, ala the MALATA and some newer JVC's (which have to be hacked). I have heard that ONE Apex now uses the chip, but I would never, ever spend my money on an Apex. Been there. Done that. Sold it as quick as I could. Their quality control is horrid.

Sampo, Raite, Daewoo, and all the others cannot do a proper PAL to NTSC conversion. I am amazed people read these forums, still buy the players, then post here wondering why their PAL DVD's look funny. You may save yourself a hundred bucks, but at what cost? Funny looking pictures?
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Old 02-03-02, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Matt Stevens
Overpriced? What a crock of you know what. A region free, PAL convertable progressive Scan player will the best scaling of ANY player EVER for under $300 is overpriced? Get real.
Didn't you just flip out in the Shiri thread the other day because you believed people weren't reading your posts? Here it is a couple days later and you obviously didn't read benedict's post which is two posts above yours. You love to get rattled over the littlest things.
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Old 02-03-02, 02:37 PM
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Boy, mention a dissenting voice against Malata and people go crazy!

Before I start: If you are looking for a progressive scan, multi-region DVD player that converts PAL/NTSC then it's not a bad deal and the Malata is exactly what you're looking for.

However, if you aren't looking for a progressive scan player it is an overpriced player that does not offer that much bang for the buck. If you're looking for a regular region free player that does the conversion properly there are other less expensive options.

Sure, the mediamatics chip is supposedly very good, but to do proper PAL/NTSC anamorphic conversion a mediamatics chip is not necessary. To say, "Does it have this chip? No? Then it won't work." is a wrong statement. It is not the only way to make anamorphic conversion work nor is it (from what I've seen) going to be in anything by progressive players.

The reason many players have problems with anamorphic PAL conversion is simple. Players with the problem use the same chip to convert PAL/NTSC video as they do to decode anamorphic video. 1 chip can't do both functions at the same time, so the conversion process gets done but the anamorphic video decoding is skipped. All a player needs to both is 2 different chips handling the 2 different processes and the conversion of PAL anamorphic video works just fine.

If you're not looking for a progressive scan player (and I don't think the original poster said he was) there are other options available that will work as well but are much less costly than the Malata.

People have already posted that their 3201 converts properly. A 3201 can be had for $99-129, and can be made region free with single simple code on the remote. (It makes accessing the old Apex 600A loophole menu look like brain surgery.) Whey spend $250 when you can have the same features for half the price? Again, unless you need a progressive scan player, there's no reason to.
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Old 02-03-02, 04:04 PM
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Oops!


(I said I might be wrong, though).
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Old 02-03-02, 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by benedict
Oops!


(I said I might be wrong, though).
Thanks for the vote of confidence, anyways!
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Old 02-03-02, 06:41 PM
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Didn't you just flip out in the Shiri thread the other day because you believed people weren't reading your posts? Here it is a couple days later and you obviously didn't read benedict's post which is two posts above yours. You love to get rattled over the littlest things.
No, I did not "flip out", thank you very much. Let's get real here. Your personal feelings towards me have no place here (in this thread), so please do not bring them into the conversation. They just do not belong.

Second of all, I DID read his post and he was not correct. "renaldow" posted again at 5:37 PM and stated:
if you aren't looking for a progressive scan player it is an overpriced player that does not offer that much bang for the buck. If you're looking for a regular region free player that does the conversion properly there are other less expensive options.
I think that is simply wrong. It offers serious bang for the buck, more so than any other player under $500. Not even the Panasonic RP91 has the scaling features of the Malata.

Third, so far no one has proved that a non-Mediamatics chip based player can convert PAL perfectly.

So chill, baby. Chill. It's all good.

Last edited by Matt Stevens; 02-03-02 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 02-04-02, 12:42 AM
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From Matt Stevens:
>>>Sampo, Raite, Daewoo, and all the others cannot do a proper PAL to NTSC conversion. I am amazed people read these forums, still buy the players, then post here wondering why their PAL DVD's look funny. You may save yourself a hundred bucks, but at what cost? Funny looking pictures?
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Old 02-04-02, 09:52 AM
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Well, sorry, but I cannot be here all the time. I have commented in hundreds of posts here about the PAL problem. I receive emails every single day from people with questions. I answer them all. But I can't be everywhere all the time.

My advice, return the DVD player for a refund, unless you bought it online, in which case, whoops.
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Old 02-04-02, 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by renaldow
The reason many players have problems with anamorphic PAL conversion is simple. Players with the problem use the same chip to convert PAL/NTSC video as they do to decode anamorphic video. 1 chip can't do both functions at the same time, so the conversion process gets done but the anamorphic video decoding is skipped. All a player needs to both is 2 different chips handling the 2 different processes and the conversion of PAL anamorphic video works just fine.
I don't understand your point. Are there any DVD players that actually use two chips in this manner? If so, are they priced under $300?

People have already posted that their 3201 converts properly.
People? I see only one person who made that claim. Can anyone else back this up?

A 3201 can be had for $99-129, and can be made region free with single simple code on the remote. (It makes accessing the old Apex 600A loophole menu look like brain surgery.) Whey spend $250 when you can have the same features for half the price? Again, unless you need a progressive scan player, there's no reason to.
If you spend $99 on a DVD player, you deserve whatever poor-quality piece of junk you get. And with the Apex name on it, you are guaranteed junk. $300 is not a lot of money to spend on a good DVD player, certainly not one with as many features as the Malata.

It is not perfect (I have a few reservations about its ability to play PAL animation and video-based content), but overall I am very happy with my Malata and recommend it heartily. It beats the hell out of the Infinity machine (Apex clone) I used to own.
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Old 02-04-02, 12:26 PM
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I've read at least 50 posts over the last two years from people who claim the SAMPO line converts properly. Well, it doesn't. I confirmed that myself. Fact is, many people just don't notice the screwed up picture.
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Old 02-04-02, 01:47 PM
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From what I can see, Larry is happy with answers that he has received. Anything further here threatens to descend into the region of name-calling [hence the timely "lock"].

If anyone has third-party objective reviews to support their respective (and occasionally opposing) viewpoints perhaps the links could go in another thread e.g. "Malata and beyond: discussing the Region-Free DVD player options [PART TWO]".

And, as always, would everyone please remember to keep it civil and avoid inflamatory language: there is a lot of useful technical knowledge to be shared and, while enthusiasm can be expected, various evangelists do need to consider how their posts might look to a random Administrator who might swoop in and skim through a thread and not have the day-to-day knowledge of all the "personalities" participating ....



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