PAL support on PS3/A2

All I can say is this: Shame on you, both Sony and Toshiba.

My parents in law were leaving for France today and they asked me to burn a DVD for them with some of my video clips. I burned a PAL DVD (out of NTSC HD sources), and I tried it on the PS3’s Blu-Ray. Error: no PAL support. I turn ON the Toshiba A2 HD-DVD player and I got another error about PAL support. Apparently you have to literally hack the A2’s firmware using a hex editor to get PAL support. At the end, JBQ had to hook up our 6 year old Philips DVD player to be able to successfully test the PAL DVD.

Remember, we are just talking about a region-free, unlocked home DVD here. And yet, these two expensive devices will refuse to playback the DVD even if the ability IS there. That’s something that most DVD players of years ago would do anyway, as long as the disc was unlocked.

FAIL. Go burn in hell, Sony and Toshiba.

7 Comments »

memson wrote on February 3rd, 2008 at 3:54 AM PST:

I know nothing about how French generally use DVD, but isn’t broadcast TV in SECAM? PAL and SECAM are not the same thing at all. How does that work? Also,, if it is region free, can’t they just watch NTSC on a European DVD player? My old £30 DVD player plays back NTSC.


Thom Holwerda wrote on February 3rd, 2008 at 7:09 AM PST:

Memson: PAL and NTSC have nothing to do with region encoding. They are television standards, not DVD standards. DVDs are all the same all over the world (except for the region code of course); it is the job of the player to send either a PAL or an NTSC signal to the TV. If the TV gets the wrong signal, stuff goes tits up.


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Eugenia wrote on February 3rd, 2008 at 9:21 AM PST:

Memson, all French DVDs playback PAL, no reason for SECAM. I simply created a home PAL DVD. And yes, all European DVD players playback NTSC. But the expensive HD kind from Toshiba and SONY, don’t play PAL. Which is why they should be ashamed for selling these players on the market without the basic functionality being fixed first.


Ivan wrote on February 3rd, 2008 at 9:47 PM PST:

Secam is a variant of PAL. Most tvs and electronics in Europe are labeled ‘Pal/Secam’.
My canon minidv camcorder (md101, similar to zr800) also has ‘pal’ printed under md101, so I guess it would be impossible to play tape straight on a ntsc tv.
BTW, on what tv set did you test the dvd?


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Eugenia wrote on February 3rd, 2008 at 9:51 PM PST:

I tested it on an NTSC HDTV. However, most HDTVs don’t have a problem to playback PAL. Thom got his two HDTVs from US, they play PAL just fine and our Philips DVD can display PAL on our HDTV too. So the problem is with these supposedly high-end Hd players refusing to playback PAL even if the ability is there and even if the DVDs are unlocked.

This is a lot like creating a luxury, fast car similar to a Porsche and forgetting to add an FM radio on it.


memsom wrote on February 4th, 2008 at 4:25 AM PST:

Ivan: Secam is not a variant of PAL, PAL is a more similar to NTSC. The main difference is that NTSC needs an explicit bit of hardware to handle tint, but PAL does not. Other than that, and obvious frequency and such differences, the basic premis is the same. Secam uses Frequency Modulation to do colour, and is therefore a completely different ballgame.

Thom: Secam is also used when recording/encoding video for playback on Secam based hardware. As I said, I don’t know/care what the French use for DVD. If it *is* PAL, then that is quite amusing as they resisted PAL and NTSC and invented Secam, “just to have their own standard.”

PAL isn’t universal either… PAL N (IIRC) hardware will not play back any other PAL DVD’s in colour, due to the encoding of the signal. You need specific hardware to reinterpret the signal. Let’s also not even get started on PAL M. So, yes, broadcast standard, but not all hardware will correctly decode even PAL. The physical signal going to the TV still has to be something it can interpret and use.

Then again, Why not encode in DIVX? I have two DVD players and both play back DIVX flawlessly, directly from CD and/or DVD.


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Eugenia wrote on February 4th, 2008 at 12:54 PM PST:

> Then again, Why not encode in DIVX? I have two DVD players and both play back DIVX flawlessly.

Because my parents in law players don’t. Get real.


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