PAL Speedup

Discussion in 'ReClock' started by James, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    I've compiled some examples which demonstrate "PAL Speedup", and why it is important to remove it. Many home theater enthusiasts own high-end audio systems, but aren't aware, that they actually listen to "chipmunk" voices.

    Take a look:

    The PAL Speedup effect can easily be eliminated using ReClock while maintaining a very high sound quality.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2016
  2. el Filou

    el Filou Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for posting back the sound samples James!

    I am a fanatic user of the PAL speeddown feature in ReClock, mainly because I use a progressive CRT TV and it's unwatchable at 50 Hz so I use 60 Hz and in that mode it's better (well, less bad) to play movies at 24 than 25 fps, but also simply from an artistic point of view: I like to know that what I am watching is as faithful to the source as possible, and even though most people think about colour calibration or original aspect ratio when you mention artistic integrity, it also includes the "cinema speed". Even though I own some Blu-ray discs, I won't buy all the movies in my collection again on BD which means most of them are still PAL DVDs, plus I watch a lot of movies from european TV so it's a really useful feature.

    As this topic will probably be a discussion about PAL speedup, I'd like to ask: is there somewhere a list of movies/series that have been butchered by pitch correction when released in PAL land ?
    I've read a discussion once on an australian film review forum about the Fellowship of the Ring and how it is a perfect example on what not to do when mastering for PAL because that release had been pitch-corrected and while comparing with the US release, its soundtrack showed many unpleasant sound artifacts and overall low quality.
    The common saying is that most if not all material is not pitch-corrected, but it seems some releases got the treatment.
    Unfortunately this will become less of an interest for HTPC users in PAL land now that Blu-ray is here to save us all from that "evil", but for people still watching DVDs every once in a while or TV (most mainstream channels aren't broadcasting in 24p), it's still an issue.
    While I think masters made for TV are never pitch-corrected (it would probably be too much hassle/cost too much to invest in the equipment), having a list of the few DVD releases which have been would be a precious thing.
  3. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    No, but AFAIK the "Fellowship of the ring" discs are the only pitch butchered, erm ... corrected PAL DVDs.

    Beware... there are a couple of European Blu-ray discs running with the incorrect speed (25fps instead of 24), e.g. the German version of "W."

    I'm not sure how BBC shows like Doctor Who are recorded, but I believe they use 24fps HD cameras, but the Blu-ray versions are all 1080/50i. But I might be wrong here. Maybe I'll write a letter to the BBC. ;)

    A lot of European Blu-ray discs have the extras / trailers with the wrong speed.
  4. el Filou

    el Filou Well-Known Member

    Good question. I was thinking: as these shows are not made to be shown in theaters but only on TV and DVD/BD, and Europe is their main market, and they use video cameras and not film, wouldn't they be shot directly on 25p?
    I once had an argument over video formats conversion on a french forum with a guy pretending to work in the video production industry (in France, and he certainly sounded like he knew what he was talking about regarding everything else) and he said that pretty much everything made for TV in Europe and shot in video was now shot in 1080p25 for dramas, and 108p50 for studio programs, which is the reason Europe came so late to HDTV: they waited for the 1080p50 studio cameras (which incidently cost much more) rather than compromise by going to 720p or 1080i.
    If I'm not mistaken, Blu-ray doesn't support 1080p25, only 1080p24 or 720p50, so maybe they shot it on 1080p25 for TV (being broadcast as 1080i50) and that's why they release it as 1080i50 on BD?
    From a quick Googling, it looks like the format used to shoot Doctor Who HD is a well kept secret. :)
  5. leeperry

    leeperry Well-Known Member

  6. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    Quite possible. But sometimes they shoot in 1080/24p, so they can serve an international market more easily (US, Japan).
    Europeans are used to PAL Speedup, so they do what they always do when broadcasting.

    I'm curious how they authored the US version of the Doctor Who Blu-ray.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  7. Achernar

    Achernar Well-Known Member

    Thanks and - arghh!

    Thanks for the effort, it's illustrative and I really appreciate it.

    I bought NTSC versions of ST: DS9 and ST: VOY although I live in Europe, due to the speedup. But have PAL version of ST: TNG because of playback quality - seemed like a good compromise (if I can call it compromise).
    But in the case of Aliens Quadrilogy, I bought PAL and NTSC versions (now one may think that I'm quite fanatic :D).

    However, this was a long time ago (and in this galaxy), before ReClock even existed!!! :bang:

    So, I was olny listening to the pitch differences in Alien franchise movies, but it was never a "direct" comparison as it takes time to stop playing, replacing the disc, seeking to the same position and start playing. Thus, those mp3s emphasize the difference in its entirety.

    The PAL versions, when compared directly, really sound like chipmunks, or Munchkins from The Wizard Of Oz (whose voices were actually created by playing the normal recording at a faster speed). :(

    And, due to this "technical inconvenience" and lack of proper solution (WinDVD's TruPAL is garbage) my collection was 60% NTSC and 40% PAL, before ReClock become available...

    PS: to be consistent, "best of two worlds" should be replaced with "best of both worlds". :)
  8. italospain

    italospain Member

    I have to use PAL-Speed Up on my PAL-CRT but how do I do this with the correct pitch ?

    I have to set maximum Speed Up to 10% in the ReClock Config.
    I have to set in the registry PALSpeedupCompensation to 1

    right ?

    Do i have to activate Timestreching ?

  9. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    You just enable PAL Speedup removal in ReClock properties.
  10. italospain

    italospain Member

    sorry Im using the latest build there is no option "PAL Speedup removal" only 2 PAL speed down options and the second one is greyed out.

    and the regestry Value Pal Speedupcompensation is not important ?
  11. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    These are the ones I mean.
    The first one is the "better" one (for displays supporting 24/48 Hz or 60Hz if 2:3 pulldown is acceptable)
    The second one uses timestretching. Enable it (click "default" in config).

    Don't touch ReClock's registry values, even if they are called "free sex and free beer". :D
  12. italospain

    italospain Member

    thanks for this great Software and for this fantastic support.
  13. el Filou

    el Filou Well-Known Member

    Well, some of them are reliable. I use .REGs to switch between 5% and 1% allowed speeddown more easily with the remote depending on if I'm watching a movie or native PAL material. ;)
  14. janos666

    janos666 New Member

    Let me know if you figure out what is the correct way to watch Doctor Who and Torchwood. These are the only European TV programs which I watch on my PC.

    My guess is that it shouldn't be molested. (It's not the best news for an LCD with fixed 60Hz...)

    By the way, I am not sure about the color primaries neither. I handle every BD as Rec709 but I am not sure about it when they run at 25fps and they call themselves "PAL" material. (Because PAL would also mean PAL color primaries...)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  15. andy o

    andy o Well-Known Member

    Don't these shows have soundtracks released on CD? I would imagine especially Dr Who does. There you have your universal standard, and can compare if their pitch on the show is the same as the original music.

    If any of you plays a musical instrument, I was dabbling into checking if the music is in harmony with a tuned instrument, but it seems a 4% speedup can be close enough to the next half-tone that it could be hard to discern.

    BTW, I'm pretty sure that shows like That Mitchell and Webb Look and Peep Show are shot in 25p. I got so used to Mitchell and Webb's voices, that when I saw one of their movies (Magicians), the pitch change was very evident.

    EDIT: You can even just listen to the free samples on Amazon.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  16. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    All HD material should be REC709, frame rate doesn't matter.
  17. leeperry

    leeperry Well-Known Member

    I beg to differ :eek:
    On a perfectly calibrated display, it seems rather clear that HD movies are indeed SMPTE-C. The colors just look more natural.

    It depends on the country where they were mastered...EU=EBU, US/JAP=SMPTE-C.
  18. el Filou

    el Filou Well-Known Member

    Well, HD should use Rec.709 primaries if only the studios would respect the standards.
    Time for those CRTs to go to the bin, the new Sony OLED monitors seem pretty nice. :D
  19. Is there an option in ReClock that allows the unfortunate ones of us who have a pitch-corrected PAL-DVD (like LOTR:FOTR) that will allow to keep the pitch but slow down playback speed?
    There seems to be only one for the other way (when you only want to change the pitch)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  20. James

    James Redfox Development Team Staff Member

    No, unfortunately there isn't (although it would be theoretically possible using time stretching, but I fear it wouldn't sound very good).
    But AFAIK the LOTR disc(s) is the only one offering this "feature".