Converting DVDs from PAL

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by Kerk1, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. Kerk1

    Kerk1 Addicted

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    Long story short - I'm looking to convert a region-free set of 7 DVDs in PAL format into MP4 so that I can burn them onto an NTSC format DVD and be able to watch them. I've been getting pricing from services that offer this but they're coming out to between $50-$150 per DVD which seems insane for a simple rip.

    Figured I'd ask if anyone has experience or advice here on how best to go about it. Appreciate it in advance!
     
  2. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    So you don't have a modern digital TV? Most newer TV's could handle both, I think the problem was with analog equipment. I had a region free player and could play both PAL and NTSC disks on my TV.

    If you have a computer at home you could install a free program called 'HandBrake'. That would do the conversion. Also, a lot of DVD players can play MP4's etc, so you wouldn't have to burn seven DVD's. You could maybe fit the files on one disk or two. Thinking about it, some DVD players also have a USB option so you could just use a memory stick.

    Ripping and burning seven disks will take quite a lot of time, even with a modern PC/Mac.
     
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  3. Kerk1

    Kerk1 Addicted

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    The player is question is a 9" CRT Emerson DVD combo for my sister's kitchen meant to be paired with a Nigella Lawson cooking collection I nabbed on eBay which doesn't play on it or my Sony BluRay - its a bit of a convoluted birthday gift as I know a decent amount of her programs are streaming but I'm committed to the cause at this point :razz:

    @The Moog Yea, I'm thinking the best route now is buying an optical drive (damn you Apple) or trying to find my old MacPro charger and ripping them on my own.
     
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  4. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    I mean, you could 'prolly find her a region-free DVD player on the relative cheap... Keep that combo for your can and catch up on Dark Shadows while you poop!

    IMGBURN is the free program that I've used in the past to remove region encoding. :?
     
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  5. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
  6. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    This thread somehow makes me both nostalgic, but also a little irate that 1) we are still battling simple video conversions in 2021 on physical media (and yes, I am old, it is a thing I use) and 2) region encoding still pervades that minor market of us foolish customers who actually have to go out of our way to support it. This is the very sort of thing which still basically forces people to find 'other alternatives' to actually access content.

    I mean, it's a rant, but to say I feel your pain and frustration, and especially when you are actually just trying to do something cool and nice for your sis. I don't have any easy solution to offer you, but I reckon the above suggestions can lead you down the right path. The digital file conversion is the main thing, but software IS certainly out there, and after that I would prob burn the re-encode to a new optical disc.
     
  7. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    Are rips of the DVD set already available on torrent sites? If so, just download those and burn the files to a DVD or flash drive, play the files on your DVD player or TV. You own a legit copy of the show on those DVDs, the great copyright gods won't stain your karma.
     
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  8. Bounch

    Bounch Fresh Meat

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    You might find you can unlock the DVD player.

    http://www.dvddemystifiziert.de/codefree_en/emerson.html

    I remember years ago using a program on the Palm Pilot that unlocked my DVD player; I thought the days of "Konami coding" your player would be dead. Hope this works for you. Just don't blame me if it bricks it.
     
  9. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    Wow. Getting a bit anxious just remembering the days of having region blocked things and living in Mexico (region 4, ergo stuck in nowhere)
     
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  10. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    To my understanding, its not a region code issue because the disks are R0 (region free), its more about playing PAL on a NTSC DVD/TV combo.

    The combo being used is around 15 years old and is CRT not digital, so even if it can play the disks the picture would probably be in B/W. That's what used to happen when you tried playing NTSC disks on a PAL TV. Once digital TV's came in that wasn't a problem anymore.
     
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  11. Bounch

    Bounch Fresh Meat

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    Didn't think beyond the region lock; pal to ntsc is the issue of course. I think rip and burn or buy her a new multiformat combi.
     
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  12. Kerk1

    Kerk1 Addicted

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    Thank you all for the insight and advice on getting this sorted - long story short, mission accomplished! The finished product was a hit and play great on the lil combo.

    I ended up purchasing a cheap optical drive, ripping the DVDs to MKV, and then converting to MP4. Unfortunately when you rip, it doesn't pull the menu (at least to my knowledge) so the next challenge was finding free software (DVDStyler for Mac) that would allow me to create one for each which ended up being a lot more fun than I thought to use after an hour learning curve and making the static backgrounds in Photoshop. At this stage, I was in far too deep so I had to get a pack of printer-ready pre-cut DVD labels and an applicator to seal the deal before wrapping everything up. Now I'm seeing where that $150 per DVD cost was coming from between the minutes ripping/creating menu/burning.

    I couldn't agree with your sentiments more @ultrakaiju - something went off in me when I realized I had purchased the content, had it travel halfway across the globe, only to arrive with no legitimate way to watch it because of a silly regional "piece of the pie" restriction. Since streaming has taken over, I've bought the occasional DVD here and there but this whole experience has totally invigorated a new appreciation for the medium. (And I can finally burn bootleg DVDs of all the content I've accumulated over the years and make my own art for them :razz:)
     
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  13. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Converting DVDs from PAL
    So glad this worked out for you @Kerk1, and actually.... that sounds amazing now. With the effort and love you put into this, it means so much more than the special gift it was already - she is going to be so stoked for the custom pack and everything. Love the dedication (and enjoyment) you put into setting this all up, and dedicating yourself to it. Really cool man, massive kudos and job well done. A DIY job that calls out to my heart.

    PS - I'll know now who to hit up for all my dvd labels I am after ;), and might just offer you some business in home converting too. If nothing else we've got to help contribute to paying off that investment and learning :thumbsup:
     

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