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Problems Making Ntsc Disk

Pangolin Gumbo


I have some videos I'd like to compile on a disk for a friend in the USA (so NTSC format) - they are 1280 x 720p and either 25fps or 23.98 fps but although I'm selecting NTSC in Preferences, when I come to the burning stage a box pops up to tell me I'm about to burn a mixed PAL/NTSC disk. I don't think this will work well for my friend Stateside.

Ought I to 'pre-convert' some of the clips in order to avoid this, if so using what software for the best and with what settings?


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For HD clips (1920×1080, 1280×720), the distinction between PAL and NTSC is only the frame rate.

Toast will offer to convert PAL to NTSC when all clips are in the unintended format. Unfortunately, with mixed content, this offer is replaced with just a warning. (It is not a problem to mix 29.97 fps and 23.98 (23.976 actually) fps clips, as both are NTSC frame rates.)


You may pre-convert in some other app, but then Toast may choose to re-encode it anyway, if it thinks it does not conform to its BD standard. If you trick Toast in converting it for you, then Toast will accept it for authoring as-is, without the double conversion. For this reason I would suggest to use Toast for it.


To trick Toast in converting only the PAL clips to NTSC, take only your 25 fps clips (not the others), and let it create a BD disc image file. Toast will offer to convert all content this time, and make temporary files in ~/Documents/Roxio Converted Items/ with separated video and audio streams. Toast may be set to delete temporary files, so check Preferences/Storage for its current policy, and change it (before converting) if you have to. You will not be using the disc image file (delete it), but instead use those temporary files in your second stage.

Next, move the temporary file to a different location, so they won't be deleted accidentally. Now, set up to author a new disc in Toast with your original NTSC clips and the newly converted NTSC clips (previously PAL). For adding the temporary files of the previous step, just use the video file (.264 or .m2v, depending on encoding setting), not the audio files; Toast will find them by matching the name, if they’re in the same folder. Now the clips will match to make an all-NTSC disc.


Check with one clip first (for time wasting reasons), look at the quality, and see if the frame rate conversion is still smooth. If it is bad, you may still have to use a separate conversion app to bring those clips to NTSC.


Feel free to ask additional questions if this two-step procedure is too confusing.

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DVD instead of BD changes it a little bit. PAL DVD resolution is 720×576, NTSC is 720×480, so the number of scan lines (the vertical) is different, as well as the pixel aspect ratio, as well as the frame rate. For the most part, the converting software will take care of all that.

You can still use Toast to separately do a PAL > NTSC conversion for the clips that need it, as described before. Like before, the frame rate is the deciding factor for Toast; the resolution will be scaled as needed without worrying about PAL/NTSC.

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Thanks for that. As an alternative work-through, what about using Handbrake (or similar) to change the frame rate of the 25fps clips to 29.97 prior to compiling with the 23.98 clips. would it then be possible to go 'full NTSC' on the whole contents with Toast 15?

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