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<o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" images="" smilies="" redface.gif="" border="0" alt="" title="Embarrassment" smilieid="2" class="inlineimg"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" images="" smilies="" redface.gif="" border="0" alt="" title="Embarrassment" smilieid="2" class="inlineimg"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <wontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Pal, NTSC, SECAM, and region codes: The whole bit!

by Funnybook

Someone asked how to convert a PAL DVD to Region Code 1. Allow me to respond in the hopes that this brief article will help folks better understand the relationship between video formats, region codes, and whether a DVD player will handle a given disk.

There is only a slim relationship between PAL and region code. PAL and NTSC are different video formats. A PAL dvd is 720x535 pixels ("picture elements", that is, dots) while an NTSC DVD is 720x480 pixels. PAL is 25 frames per second; NTSC is 29.97 frames per second. None of that has anything to do with region code.

Region code is to keep people in one part of the world from selling their retail disks to another part of the world. Movie studios produce different versions of movies, at different prices, and sell them to different countries. They don't want the cheap price country selling theirs to the high priced country's customers, thereby cutting into the studio profits. They also don't want the naked titties and pee-pees showing in the countries where they had to sell a scaled down version due to morality issues. For these and other reasons, we have region codes.

What I mean by a slim relationship is, a PAL DVD can be any region code, and any region code can be PAL or NTSC or even SECAM (a third video format). It just happens that <st1:country-region w:st="on">England</st1:country-region> uses the PAL video format, and the DVD consortium say<st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1></st1></st1:country-region>s region 2, so usually, PAL disks are region 2. However, <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1>Australia</st1></st1:country-region> uses PAL also, but their disks are region code 4. And so on and so forth. Video format and region code are not married, although they often do show up together at parties.

Now, as far as region code, everything most of us author at home comes out with no region code. The same is true for copies of retail DVDs where the region code is stripped by the software during copying (DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter, among others, do this). There's a zero in the Region Code spot on the disk when DVD players go looking for the region code, and that's good. Since there is technically no such thing as region 0, as long as there is no "wrong" code (any non-zero number other than the right one for the country the DVD player was made for), the player sees no conflict and it will play the disk. At least, a newer player, like those made in the last few years, will play them. It's technically incorrect but it has taken root to call them "Region 0" disks. "Region Free" is more accurate. No recently-built player anywhere in the world should have a problem with a region free disk.

What some American players do have a problem with is the PAL video format. A PAL DVD has 535 scan lines, but some of our American DVD players can only handle the 480 lines of an NTSC DVD. (Don't rely on these numbers; they get distorted and changed as the process goes along. The principle is what's important.)

I got a cheap little DVD player at K-Mart a couple years back and was delighted to find it plays PAL disks smoothly. I had another, older one that played PAL but the picture stuttered due to the difference in frames per second. But this one plays PAL disks just fine... as long as they're region code 0 (or 1, I would assume). Since then I have bought a couple more cheap decks that play PAL just fine, and I'm sure there are many others sold in America that will play PAL... but you'll be hard pressed to find one that will play anything but Region 1 or Region Free.

The bottom line answer to the question at the top of this article is this: There's no such thing as converting from PAL to region code 1. It's like saying I'm going to convert my car from an automatic transmission to leather upholstery. They're separate issues.

Originally posted in alt.video.tape-trading on 2007-02-25

Updated for the Savage Traders Online forum on 2008-02-12

"I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman."
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