DVanced PAL/NTSC Converter test and review

Self Help | The Magazine | Downloads | Links | Tips & Advice | Help! I'm new | Contact Us | Subscribe | Home  

Inside the magazine
Self-help message board
Article reprints
How to contact us
Web links directory
Software downloads
Tips and advice
Fire-wire campaign
Subscribe today
Help Me, I'm new!
Fair pricing petition

In Software Downloads:
Adobe Premiere 6 (trial)
Paint Shop Pro 7 (trial)

Tips and Advice:
How to get started with computer video editing

Fire-wire Campaign:
Join our ongoing campaign

DVanced PAL/NTSC Converter

Conversion between PAL and NTSC video standards has always been problematic for video enthusiasts and freelance professionals. So, could a small, inexpensive, independently produced program really offer a practical solution for DV users?

All DV video makers face the possibility that they'll need to convert their finished videos to a different video standard for viewing abroad. For example, an NTSC copy of a wedding video may be required for a family member living in the USA. Or, corporate video makers with offices in other countries might ask for training and promotional videos to be supplied in PAL and NTSC formats. Even the home enthusiast might need to convert video before sending it overseas.

The process has never been a simple one, however, and no NLE packages - apart from Adobe After Effects - comes with PAL/NTSC conversion tools. Samsung's SV 5000W multi-standard VCR provides an easy method of creating PAL, NTSC and SECAM VHS copies, and the ACE converter goes one better with S-video support and multiple AV outputs, but these are purely analogue solutions - not ideal for keeping footage in the digital domain for DVD authoring. To date, the best option we've seen has been Canopus's Video Format Converter software - a simple dongle-protected application, selling at well over £200. This has since been worked into the companyís repurposing tool, ProCoder, which costs a whopping £617.

The aDVanced DV PAL/NTSC Converter is a neat application, designed purely for video standards conversion by independent software developer, Attila Mezei. The program can be downloaded directly from Attila's website as a 1.4MByte Zip file, and registered for the princely sum of US$98 or 98 Euros - about £63. Unregistered copies will superimpose a watermark onto rendered footage. The program itself is neatly self-contained, running as a stand-alone EXE file, rather than installing itself into the core system and making changes to the registry or existing NLE software. Even so, we'd like to see a plug-in version of the converter for Adobe Premiere, Pinnacle Edition or Sonic Foundry's Vegas Video - allowing standards conversion to be done directly from the timeline.

The aDVanced PAL/NTSC Converter is a great program, producing results that compare very well against Canopus's standards converter, but offering the added convenience of batch lists and support for many DV file formats and DV Codecs. Technical support is first-rate, too, and updates seem to happen frequently. We're told that the next version will support Sony's DSR-DU1 Hard Disk Unit file format, and that there are also plans to include support for OMF and MXF file formats. Considering that support and all future updates are available free to users who pay to register, the US$98 price tag seems almost silly. A plug-in for NLE applications such as Premiere or Edition would be a definite bonus, but everyone who needs
to convert PAL productions to NTSC, or vice-versa (particularly for DVD projects, where video is best kept in the digital domain) should still consider this an essential purchase.

Peter Wells


Recent features...
View The Archive

Reviewed in March's issue:
Philips DVDRW228
Sony DRU-500A
Pioneer DVR-A05
DVanced PAL/NTSC Converter
Sonic Desktop Movie Maestro
Sonic Foundry Sound Forge/Acid Pro

In March's news:
Real-time MediaStudio
Combustion slashed to under £900
Matrox FX exchange web site
Avid DV editing freebie
DVD X Copy
MS WM9 hits the net
Video Forum 2003

Contact Us | Subscribe | Home (c) WVIP. Designed by Mark Newman.