5 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2013 10:41 AM by MassiveHeadache
MassiveHeadache Level 1 Level 1

I realise there are probably many threads discussing this topic but I have just finished converting a 25fps movie to 23.98fps i.e PAL to NTSC and found after a lot of trial and error and trying an array of recommended methods that the simplest and best result is this:


1. Export your movie as a self contained clip from FCP and the audio as an .aiff

2. Open the clip in Cinema Tools and conform it from 25fps to 23.98fps

3. Open a new project in FCP and import the clip and the .aiff

4. Double click the clip within the Browser and adjust its speed to 104.165 with frame blending off which will adjust the clips lenght to the same exact lenght of the original PAL file and the .aiff

5. Put the video clip onto a time line with the same settings as the clip along with the .aiff audio


This final clip will now have a frame rate of 23.98 and the exact lenght of the original PAL clip with the original audio in sync.


For some peculiar reason the running time of the movie shown in the timeline is not the same as that shown in the browser but when you export it for dvd using compressor the resulting m2v is the correct lenght. You must also export the audio from the new timeline to go on the dvd as either another .aiff or a dolby digital.


There are some odd things going on with the stated running times of everything but the end result is correct.

powermac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    PAL is a different pixel dimension than NTSC and I don't see where you are adjusting for that. 


    And although cinematools does a lossless adjustment of frame rate, fcp does not do a very good of scaling or retiming.  Compressor does a much better job of both things if you turn on frame controls and set the resize filter and retiming to best.   Doesn't seem that complicated to me.  In most cases, I use Natreses standards converter which I bought many years ago and still does a great and simple job.

  • MassiveHeadache Level 1 Level 1

    The pixel adjustment is happening I think in compressor when you create your ntsc m2v.


    I guess you can take your PAL mov into compressor and set it to convert to an ntsc m2v and do the settings as you say. It just seems like the speed of compressor at this is interminably slow.

  • Studio X Level 7 Level 7

    I'm with Michael on this.


    I use Graeme Natress's Standards Converter for this within FCP if it is a small project and use Compressor feeding Qmaster clusters for something more lengthy.


    Clusters make a huge difference in the performance of Compressor. I have Clusters set up on machines running 10.6.8, 10.7.5 and 10.8.3 so I know it works on the range of current OSX versions.


    Digital Rebellion has a good write-up on how to set up Qmaster.


    Good luck,



  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    There's almost always a trade off between time and quality.  Try clusters as studiox suggests.  It takes some time but once you find your optimal settings, it will save you a lot of time.

  • MassiveHeadache Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for your responses.


    I am converting a 55 minute film and only have one machine which is an original power pc G5.


    Maybe I will try a straight compressor conversion of the PAL MOV and see if it is better.


    The method I used gives a good result but the playback is a tiny tiny amount less smooth than the original.