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Region 1/NTSC --> Mac Mini --> Region 2/PAL???
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:01 am    Post subject: Region 1/NTSC --> Mac Mini --> Region 2/PAL??? Reply with quote

I'd like to buy some DVDs from the United States, but of course, they're tagged as Region 1 with NTSC output. If I ordered them, is it possible to use the Mini to rip the contents and re-burn them onto DVD-Rs as Region 2 with PAL output? Confused
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mooblie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short answer - no. You'll need standards conversion (NTSC>PAL) which is NOT trivial at all.

However, if you rip them to some format other than DVD (mp4, etc.), any computer will play them watchably.

If you want to play them as DVDs (using, say Apple's DVD Player software) it will work, but use up one of your five lives in switching the drive's region number. If you're going to do a lot of this, you could get an external drive for Region 1 and keep your internal drive set to Region 2. Saves switching drive Regions back and forth - not a good idea.

However - are you sure you need to bother doing this at all? If you have a multi-region DVD player*, it will play NTSC DVDs OK, and if you have a UK PAL TV made in the last ten years or so, it will show a stable, colour picture from NTSC output too.

(* Often a simple hack with secret codes on the remote - look here for your player.)
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could rip it and strip the region or reassign a new region. Once ripped and stripped, Visual Hub will convert NTSC to PAL with ease. They sell region free DVD players that will play PAL here in the US for$30. A good investment if you don't want to invest time ripping and trans-coding.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't wanna get the region free player, Handbrake is your friend for playback on the computer.

SC
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies fellas.

I posted this in the software forum because I imagined some kind of Handbrake --> MP4 --> iDVD workflow as a kludgy kind of R1/NTSC-to-R2/PAL conversion process and I hoped that someone would have had some experience of this.

As for just ripping and watching on the computer as an MP4, yep that's certainly a possibility, but I was hoping to watch documentaries in the lounge, sitting on my comfy sofa.

I checked the spec of my DVD player and TV; according to an online source, my Panasonic TV does indeed have an NTSC-capable tuner. I have a DVD player/recorder which is also Panasonic (DMR-EZ28) and the manual says that it can read NTSC DVDs -- but a few web pages claim that the multi-region hack can't be performed using the supplied remote control; you have to get hold of a special remote or a PDA with an infra-red transmitter to do this. Sad

Anyway, I've spent the enormous sum of £1.89 on a R1 NTSC DVD from eBay; when I get it, I can experiment and see what it works with.
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mooblie
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your existing DVD player and TV won't play it, you may well find that a real cheapo DVD player (the £19.99 sort of "Tesco special" jobby) WILL be multiregion, or CAN be hacked with its own remote control.

However, as you are already doing: the best thing is to try what you've already got. Just avoid changing the Region on your computer DVD drives too often.

Good luck.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mooblie wrote:
If your existing DVD player and TV won't play it, you may well find that a real cheapo DVD player (the £19.99 sort of "Tesco special" jobby) WILL be multiregion, or CAN be hacked with its own remote control.

Last Wednesday, I gave away a cheapo DVD player that had been sat in my attic to some friends.... Embarassed Crying or Very sad Rolling Eyes

mooblie wrote:
However, as you are already doing: the best thing is to try what you've already got. Just avoid changing the Region on your computer DVD drives too often.

Will do, mooblie. Thanks for the advice! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Region 1, NTSC DVD turned up in the mail yesterday ("Sideways" with Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church). I popped it into the Mini, and sure enough, DVD Player auto-started and offered me the chance to change its DVD region setting. I pressed "Cancel", to which DVD Player quit and ejected the DVD! Shocked

Hmmm.

I pushed it back in and DVD Player re-started together with that DVD region dialog box. I went to quit, but the "Quit" menu item was greyed out. Command-option-escape to the rescue... Wink Twisted Evil

I installed Handbrake, but it didn't really want to touch the DVD before VLC Media Player was installed. So, I installed VLC. Here's where it gets interesting...

I selected "Open Disc" from VLC's "File" menu, clicked the "VIDEO_TS directory" radio button and directed VLC using the "Browse..." button to the "VIDEO_TS" folder on the DVD. I clicked "OK" and... this Region 1 DVD began playing in a new window!

So I think that's something worth knowing: while DVD Player might be very picky about which Region your DVD is from, VLC Media Player has no such qualms. Cool
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mooblie
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
So I think that's something worth knowing: while DVD Player might be very picky about which Region your DVD is from, VLC Media Player has no such qualms. Cool

Good find. I guess Apple's "official" DVD playing software has to play by Hollywood's rules, but VLC doesn't!
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just thinking that VLC should do it, but you already found out.

Time to set up a mini for the HT system!

SC
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Region 1/NTSC --> Mac Mini --> Region 2/PAL??? Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
I'd like to buy some DVDs from the United States, but of course, they're tagged as Region 1 with NTSC output. If I ordered them, is it possible to use the Mini to rip the contents and re-burn them onto DVD-Rs as Region 2 with PAL output? Confused

I've cracked it.

1) Take the NTSC, Region 1 DVD and rip it using Handbrake. This will leave you with a large MP4 file that can be played using the QuickTime Player...



2) Open VisualHub and drop the large MP4 file into it. Change output settings to "DVD" and click the "PAL" radio button and the "Author as DVD" & "Burn When Done" checkboxes. Push a blank DVD-R into your optical drive and click the "Start" button...



3) 93 minutes later, the Mini spits out a PAL, region 2 DVD. Cool

The picture quality isn't as good as the original because a dual-layer disk's data has been compressed to fit on a single layer disk but I've tried it in my domestic Panasonic DVD recorder, it plays and it's pretty watchable. It's not blocky, but during the side-to-side camera pans, the picture stutters a little.

If I re-run this experiment again, I'll reduce Handbrake's compression settings to give a bigger MP4 file and burn to a dual-layer DVD+R disk -- hopefully, that will give me improved picture smoothness.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about using MakeMKV for the first part and then passing that to VisualHub?

SC
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could give it a try! Smile

Maybe Handbrake (or something else) would let me rip from DVD to the DV (lossless) file format... Then I'd be reducing the number of transcoding 'compressions' in the chain.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's what MakeMKV would do. It would just bundle the VOBs into one file, then you would do the thing with VisualHub. You could always just try it with a special feature like the trailer or any "making of" stuff.

SC
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'll give it a try once I've got hold of some dual-layer disks -- then I'll report back with my findings... Wink
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