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Playback of NTSC Videos on PAL Equipment

 

TOPIC

Q: When I play back the Amiga Forever videos on my PAL DVD player, the audio is fine, but the video is black and white (instead of color). Can this be fixed?

 

DISCUSSION

A: The videos which are included on the Amiga Forever DVDs respect the original video content of the footage, which is NTSC. This requires no conversion for playback on NTSC TVs (as used for example in North America).

Modern PAL DVD players (as used for example in Europe) usually automatically convert the NTSC signal to PAL, for optimal playback on PAL-only TVs. Because dual-standard TVs exist which can play back both PAL and NTSC videos, PAL DVD players usually offer the option (e.g. via the player's menu) to either convert or not convert NTSC videos when playing them back.

If the NTSC signal is not converted to PAL by the DVD player, and if the TV does not support the NTSC signal, then the video will show as black and white instead of color. This can usually be fixed in one of two ways:

  • Verify that NTSC to PAL conversion is enabled in the the DVD player options or switches
  • Verify that the selected video output (e.g. SCART, RGB, S-Video, or Composite) supports the desired conversion, as not all DVD players support the conversion over all output connections

On PAL versions of the Sony PlayStation 2 device, NTSC video output is supported only via the S-Video output.

Some PAL DVD players partially convert NTSC to a "60 Hz PAL" signal, meaning that that the color encoding is converted to true PAL, but the scan format and rate are otherwise NTSC (525/60 instead of 625/50). Most modern PAL TVs support this signal, but a few sets may not be able to display this signal.

Ultimately, where the output of an NTSC DVD by a PAL DVD player is not suitable for playback on a pure PAL TV, the use of an NTSC to PAL converter between the DVD player and the TV may be required. These converters may however be more expensive than a modern low-cost DVD player.

 

Article Information
Article ID:16-111
Platform:All
Products:Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords:psone ps2 psp ipod zune
Last Update:2008-10-25
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