DVD Pet Peeve #3
NTSC Warning (circled in red) … not very visible or helpful
Why do studios insist on releasing NTSC content in PAL regions? Is it because they are lazy? Cost savings? Or just because they don’t give a rat’s arse about people who actually pay their salaries (us, the customers)?
A lot of people still don’t have equipment that can play or display NTSC content, and is it really that hard to produce a new transfer for the PAL regions, especially when there are so many countries that uses PAL (Europe, UK, Australia). Notable NTSC releases in Australia includes The Goonies, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (only the full-frame version is available as well) and my recently purchased copy of Dilbert: The Complete Series. Often, the NTSC warnings are not very visible nor helpful, since most people don’t even know the NTSC/PAL difference (nor should they be expected to know).
On a related note, if you have a Pioneer Plasma that has PureCinema mode, you should have an “Advanced” option which basically does 3:3 pulldown, playing back 24 FPS content at 72 Hz. 3:3 pulldown triples every frame to get the required 72 Hz refresh rate, and what you get is a slightly smoother picture compared to standard 2:3 pulldown (the “Standard” PureCinema mode) . I use this mode to play back all my NTSC DVDs. For my (3 year old) model, 3:3 pulldown only works when the input is interlaced, so I have my upscaling DVD player set to 1080i 60Hz mode when playing back NTSC discs, and then enable 3:3 pulldown – the improved smoothness of panning is immediately noticeable. PAL discs are at 25 FPS, so I set the DVD player to 720p (native resolution of the TV) @ 50 Hz.