How do you feel about PAL speedup?

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by dave13, Sep 21, 2012.

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How do you feel about PAL speedup?

  1. I don't notice it.

    58.8%
  2. I notice, but it's never bothered me.

    11.8%
  3. It bothered me at first, but I've gotten used to it.

    5.9%
  4. I can't stand it!

    23.5%
  1. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I know I'm late to the party, but I just went DVD/BD region free a few weeks ago. Up until this point I had been aware of something called "PAL speedup" but, not being region free, I hadn't bothered to look into it. So I put in my first PAL purchase the other day (Creepshow SE), and immediately noticed something was wrong. There was Tom Atkins on screen, but it didn't sound like Tom Atkins. And, come to think of it, why was everybody buzzing around like hummingbirds? The way that clothes swayed and smoke curled from cigarettes was unnaturally fast. "What the fuck is this?" I thought. Do I have it on some kind of fast-forward? And then suddenly it dawned on me. A little research later, and I knew what the problem was.

    At first I was really upset. I felt a little better when I learned that BD's don't suffer from this. I eventually tried again (this time with Slaughter High), and found it to be tollerable. If I focussed my attention, I was almost able to ignore it. Ultimately, I ended up enjoying Slaughter High, which I'd never seen before. I tried to watch Creepshow again, but couldn't make it more than 10 minutes in. It was just too painfully, distractingly obvious with that one. Which leads me to believe (in my relative lack of experience) that certain titles are going to suffer from this worse than others.

    Initially I had planned on splurging on dozens of other-region dvds, but now I think I'll have to be a lot more selective. Blu rays, thankfully, are open season now :D.

    But I really wanted to know, how many people are as bothered by this as I am? If you grew up watching PAL, do you notice it at all? Do NTSC DVDs actually appear annoyingly slow? How about those NTSC people who went region free, like me? Did you get used to it eventually? Do you also find that it's more noticeable with some titles than others? Let me know, I'm really curious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  2. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I only notice PAL speed up on movies I know really well. For example, I noticed it on my R2 uncut DVD of Friday the 13th. I have the R2 Network release of Prom Night as well and that one is incredibly noticeable. I know that movie too well to not notice it. The music plays faster and about a half semitone higher in pitch. I dunno, in terms of presenting films in theatrical running time and speed, PAL fucking SUCKS.

    ~Matt
     
  3. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    Thankfully I've never noticed it. I used to like it as I could watch more in a time frame.
     
  4. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    The Diamond Region (1?) release of Fulci's The Beyond is a PAL transfer and... do you know what... ?

    I love it.

    When I got the proper NTSC Grindhouse re-release 3 years later, I did the same thing dave13 is describing with Creepshow- just a few minutes watching it in 5.1 and I was sure that's what was fucking the music up so bad. It sounded terrible. Granted, I think a lot of 5.1 tracks change pieces of music I know well for the worse (the "Laurie's theme" section of Halloween when she leaves the house with her books, the end credits theme in Child's Play, the end credits theme of Friday the 13th Part VII, and if I'm not mistaken- some of Carrie and The Fog; then I switch over to the 2.0 stereo or the mono tracks and the music sounds much better).

    Anyway, I realized it has nothing to do with the 5.1 track, stereo tracks, or tracks in Italian or French if they're on the disc. Grindhouse's DVD is the way the music is supposed to sound. And... the PAL version is better.

    My opinion, of course. But... did anyone else ever jump at the moment when Catriona MacColl (?spelling?) is looking around the room and right behind her, the cabinet door slowly swings open? I think chances are better of being spooked by that in the PAL version.

    As for the pieces of music I mentioned, maybe I should make a YouTube video comparing them. There is a difference between the 5.1 and 2.0 tracks on Friday the 13th Part VII during the end credits music.
     
  5. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I can notice the subtle speedup if I really do "try" to notice, but it doesn't really bother me if I'm not subconsciously looking for it.

    If it's a film that I really know quite well, it's often far more noticeable.

    If I have the choice between a PAL and NTSC DVD that utilizes the same transfer, I'll pick the NTSC disc without hesitation.
     
  6. Mitbox

    Mitbox Member

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    I definitely can tell the difference, but as most say, it only bothers me when I have something to compare to (that is, two versions of a movie that I know well) because when it's the only version I've seen, I wouldn't know any better (even when one still feels there's something wrong about the voices or music).
     
  7. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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    I've been region free for about 4 years and I've never noticed PAL speedup.
     
  8. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I certainly notice it on titles I know well and it is a bit distracting to me.
     
  9. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    yeah, i thought there would be some people with experiences like that. i guess its just whatever you become accustomed too.

    i think its interesting how so many people notice it only on films they know well. but i'd only seen Creepshow once, and that was over 15 years ago. now, granted, it was initially Tom Atkins' voice (which i do know well enough) that tipped me off, but as soon as I actually looked at the action onscreen, it was incredibly obvious that they were moving faster than they should be. does anyone else with the Creepshow SE feel that it's a particularly strong example of this? it really seems like the speedup there was significantly worse than in Slaughter High.

    to be honest, im still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that this is the way people in other parts of the world have been watching things on home video for decades now. that THIS was the standard. that's unbelievable to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  10. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Speaking of the Creepshow SE, here is the excellent documentary "Just Desserts" in its entirety:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9PHroXl9X4
     
  11. Marshall Crist

    Marshall Crist New Member

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    Yes, the audio speed-up is the worst, but I frequently am distracted by the visual speed-up as well. All those Shaw Brothers releases from Celestial are the pits. Any time there is camera movement, it is screamingly obvious that it is moving too fast. It also gives it a very "video" (non-filmic) look that is nauseating.
     
  12. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    I despise the PAL speed up. I've first discovered about the PAL format when I first got Phantasm II on DVD in 2007 from a rare DVD website. I noticed the pitch and thought that was just the movie. Mind you, this was after I watched Phantasm II on the Cinemax channels (which FYI will return October 24th!) and I noticed a difference in the sound pitch. When I ordered the UK Phantasm Sphere Set it was when I understand the PAL format and I hated it! All those videos on the internet that were sourced from PAL stuff, I thought that was just a result of an improper video upload. The thing that bugs me is really about PAL is the sound pitch. I like listening to my movies at 24fps and at normal sound pitch (as they were shot). If PAL masters were presented with a speed-up but presented in the normal sound pitch that wouldn't be a problem and I don't know why it can't/couldn't be done. However, there are exceptions like Monty Python's Flying Circus and the first 3 Wallace and Gromit shorts (those shorts were received with NTSC transfers in 2004 and as a result the pitch was lowered). But PAL shows converted to NTSC like Space Goofs don't bother me. I'll end my rant with this; thank God most Blu-rays all over the world are presented at 24fps in the correct sound pitch.
     
  13. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Why's that? The PAL-to-NTSC conversion doesn't correct the pitch or make the runtime any longer.
     
  14. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    I meant a PAL show like Space Goofs was converted to NTSC speed for the US. Should've been specific about that.
     
  15. startide

    startide Member

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    Having grown up PAL, I don't notice it. However, when I bought Prom Night on an NTSC DVD/video there was no music during the auto shop scene in Wendy's chase, the soundtrack was virtually silent (even when I turned it up!). In all the PAL variants of it the music in that scene plays loud and clear, I mean you can hear the disco music pumping, but the NTSC... nothing. Strange.

    And the funny thing is, when I watch Prom Night, regardless of the format, everything sounds the same!!!! I have extraordinarily sensitive hearing, so that isn't the issue, so the music/no music thing is just odd.

    Meanwhile, I think the EB DVD of PN is unwatchable! (To the point that I sat down to watch it one day and lasted five minutes, I had to turn it off, I thought I was going to be sick.) Whereas most other people who watch it think it looks good. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  16. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    The Echo Bridge DVD comes from a PAL source (it runs 2-3 minutes shorter than the older Anchor Bay DVD), and it has various encoding artifacts/flaws throughout the transfer.

    It's certainly the best the film has ever looked on a R1 DVD release, but it's hardly an optimal presentation.
     
  17. startide

    startide Member

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    An issue I am certainly aware of. (I'll photograph my Prom Night DVD collection when I unpack them all.) :p

    I just find it odd that some have no issues with it, when I thought it was utterly abominable. Granted, I have spacial issues (I have big issues with most computer games as a result), but barring the original German DVDs, that DVD is the worst Prom Night release thus far, AFAIAC. I know that might seem like I'm overstating it, but when I say bad I'm talking headaches and dizzy spells bad! :eek:
     
  18. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Maybe it just looks worse when you convert it back on a PAL display again, or something? The more it gets converted around the worse it might look.

    But I do agree that the EB disc of Prom Night is rather crappy...
     
  19. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention, but my parents have a Daewoo DVD player in their bedroom and by using the remote, I can change the sound pitch high or low. I sometimes use it to play my PAL DVDs and my Puppet Master II Remastered Edition DVD and lower the pitch to match the original NTSC sound.
     
  20. startide

    startide Member

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    The thought certainly crossed my mind. It is also possible I was having a bad day that day (those spacial issues I mentioned, it can be severely disabling) and watching that DVD just highlighted that fact.
     

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