In the U.S., the video format recognized by nearly all manufacturers is that of the National Television System Committee (NTSC), while in Western European and Asian countries, the format is called the Phase Alternating Line (PAL), according to High Tech Productions. So, if you’ve shot a video on an American JVC camcorder and wanted to share it with someone living in Western Europe or Australia, some conversion would be necessary. Most basic editing software has NTSC to PAL conversion capabilities. There are also a number of conversion software packages available to accomplish this.
Digitizing the video
1. Connect the video camera to the computer using the Firewire port. The computer should recognize the camera once it is turned on. Insert the JVC video into the video camera.
2. Open a new project in the video editing program. When you do this, there should be a menu screen at the beginning that gives you a variety of options in terms of the video and audio settings for the sequence. Under “Video Settings,” find “Compression,” and select PAL.
3. Not all editing programs will have a prompt at the beginning. If not, adjust the settings manually by going to the “Settings” option under the “File” menu before beginning the project. If PAL is not an option at all, continue reading, and this problem will be addressed in Steps 3 and 4 of the next section.
4. Open the “Capture Video” mode of editing program. When in the editing program, there should be an option under the “File” menu that says “Capture Video” to select.
5. Capture the video. Now that you’re in the “Capture Video” mode, the video on the tape will display in a window on the computer monitor. Use the controls below the window to cue the tape to the appropriate starting point, and press “Record” or “Capture.”
6. Drag the captured video into the timeline. The captured video should be in the project’s library, in the upper right- or left-hand corner of the editing screen. Highlight the thumbnail representing the desired video, and simply use the mouse to drag and drop into the editing timeline.
Converting to PAL
7. Export the sequence to a DVD, making sure that all of the video is highlighted in the timeline, Select the “Export” option from the “File” menu, verifying that the video compression is still set to PAL instead of NTSC.
8. Under the “File Output” option, choose “DVD.” If the editing program you use does not have the option to export to PAL follow Steps 3 and 4 of this section. If it does, you are almost done and may skip to Step 6.
9. Export the video to a high-quality file type if the editing program does not export to PAL. A good choice might be an .AVI, as these retain most of the quality and resolution.
10. Import the .AVI into a NTSC-to-PAL file conversion program. From the “File” menu, select “Import” and choose the .AVI file you captured and exported.
11. Export the .AVI as PAL. Highlight the AVI file and find “Compression” in the “Settings” menu, and make sure PAL is selected. Then, simply press “Convert” or “Export” to complete the process.
12. Write the file to DVD. If you are exporting directly to DVD from an editing program, the program will likely prompt you to insert a DVD into the drive at an appropriate time.
13. Otherwise, open a DVD writing program and import the PAL-formatted video through the “File.” Once the file is imported, press “Write” or “Burn,” and you will be prompted to insert a blank DVD. Wait for the DVD to burn.