The highest resolution method to convert PAL DV

to NTSC and make it look like film

DVFilm Atlantis Online Help

System Requirements

  1. A large amount of hard drive space (6GB to process 10 minutes).
  2. A fast processor (Pentium class 500 MHz or faster recommended), 128MB memory.
  3. Quicktime 6.1 or 7 with "Recommended" (full) installation (included on CDROM).
  4. WIndows NT/2000/XP.
  5. A Firewire (IEEE-1394) capture card to capture and play back DV Quicktime or AVI files.
  6. DV editing software such as Premiere or Vegas.
  7. Can also be used with non-DV editing systems which can import/export AVI or Quicktime, see FAQ # 7 below.


  1. Copy the contents of the CDROM into a new directory on your hard drive.
  2. Install Quicktime 6.1 if you have not done so already, by double-clicking on the Quicktime installer in the new directory. Choose "recommended" (full) installation level. Note: there is a DV codec bug in Quicktime 6.5. If you have quicktime 6.5 installed, you must update it to QT 6.5.1
  3. Double-click on the DVFilm Atlantis icon in the new directory to execute the program.

A quick-start guide appears which will guide you through use of the program and which explains each option. Check here for an online version of the quickstart guide.

Converting PAL DVD to NTSC? Click here for tips.

Conversion of Movie Files

  1. For long projects, it's recommended that you split up your film into scenes of 20 minutes or less, and process them separately. Export a DV Quicktime or DV-AVI from your editing program with DV-PAL compression at 720 x 576, 25 frames/sec (for a PAL project) or DV-NTSC compression with a frame size of 720 x 480, 29.97 frames/sec. (for an NTSC project). If your editor allows you to choose the quality setting, use maximum quality. Remember DVFilm needs the original version for transfer to film. The export audio settings need to be uncompressed audio (format = None) and 16 bits per sample, in stereo. Atlantis will also process silent movies.
  2. From the File menu, select File->Open. Navigate to the directory which contains your source material, and double-click on the desired input file. It may be in Quicktime (*.mov) or AVI (*.avi) format. Or drag the movie into the window.
  3. Player controls will open to show you the movie. You can use the volume control, the slider, and the single frame buttons to examine the source footage. DVFilm Atlantis (version 1.02 onward) displays at full resolution and shows both fields. Some formats like uncompressed AVI play back with no sound.
  4. Click on Process->View Options to choose how you want the material to be processed. If the source material is 16:9 anamorphic (squeezed) you may choose to shrink that down vertically with a letterbox (after deinterlacing). If the source material is 4:3 (standard television aspect ratio) you may choose to crop that to 16:9 with a letterbox. Or you may choose not to use letterbox at all. The check box for Deinterlace must be checked if your footage was shot standard interlaced PAL. Uncheck the box if your footage was shot in PAL frame-movie mode (Canon XL-1 or GL-1).
  5. After you have chosen your desired options, click OK.
  6. To start processing, click on Process->Start Process.
  7. Processing takes approximately one-half hour for each minute of material, depending on the speed of your hard drive and computer. While it is processing you may use your computer for other tasks. Click on the minimize box (-) to move the application to the task bar. To cancel processing, click Stop on the progress bar pop-up.
  8. After processing is complete, the player controls will allow you to view the processed footage. DVFilm Atlantis (version 1.02 onward) displays at full resolution and shows both fields, but it may not play back in real time. For a PAL to NTSC conversion, you will notice that about 2 out of every 5 frames of NTSC show interlacing, this is a normal result of the 3:2 pulldown conversion.
  9. The processed footage is saved to a temporary file called newmovie.avi. If the source movie is a DV-AVI file, Atlantis will always generate a DV-AVI directly. If you need a quicktime output file, the Always Make quicktime shoudl have been selected, and you will get a file. To save the new movie file to another file, click on File->SaveAs and enter the name of the Quicktime file or AVI file to which you would like to save the results. The Export Movie popup will allow you to recompress to other file formats, codecs, and codec settings.
  10. Use your DV capture card to play back the Quicktime or AVI to your DV camera or deck.

Help on Advanced Options (Windows version 1.04 onward)

The advanced options pop-up is provided for experienced users who wish to experiment with the processing parameters.

  1. Show motion detector mask -- this outputs the motion detector mask instead of processed video, to allow you to adjust the motion detector sensitivity (see 4).
  2. Show line detector mask - this outputs the horizontal line detector for testing this feature.
  3. Turn line detector off -- the line detector prevents aliasing on sharp horizontal lines when the camera is moving slightly. You can turn the line detector off which may be appropriate for high-shutter speed shots or if your camera is always static. Turning the line detector off will also speed up processing.
  4. Motion detector sensitivity -- a larger number makes the mask more sensitive to motion, a smaller number makes it less sensitive. The recommended setting is 50. The line detector works better with values of 25 or smaller. Click here to learn more.
  5. Grain amount - the amount of added film grain, if selected.
  6. Red boost amount - the amount the red layer is boosted, if selected.
  7. Blur Horizontal Lines on Motion - this effect softens horizontal edges when they are moving around in the frame. This further helps remove dot crawl artifacts.
  8. Use YUV Processing - Use this option for more accurate color and faster processing. Note: turn this option off for consistent results with older versions (<2.0) of DVFilm Maker, or for use with RGB video sources like uncompressed AVI.
  9. Always Make Quicktime - Use this option to create PAL/NTSC Quicktimes for systems that require Quicktime instead of AVI, for example Avid DV Express.
  10. User Selects Output Folder - Use this option to specify which drive and folder to save the output movies. Otherwise the output movies will go into the same folder as the source movie.
  11. User Selects Compression - Use this option to manually configure the Quicktime or AVI output compression settings. When creating an AVI this option can also be used to create uncompressed AVI. There are also many, free high-quality codecs such as
    HuffYUV: and
    Matrox DVCPRO50:

    for HD intermediate we recommend DVFilm

Help on Batch Processing - click here

Known Issues and workarounds

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to use Quicktime 6.1 or 7 or can I use an earlier version? You need to use at least QT 5 because the DV codec in version 5 is greatly improved, and older versions of Quicktime cannot read AVI's correctly. The DVFilm Atlantis CDROM (serial no. 21 onward) includes a self-contained Quicktime 6.1 installer so you do not need to download from the Apple website.
  2. Can I use DVFilm Atlantis to convert NTSC to 24 fps? No, for that get DVFilm Maker click here.
  3. Can I use DVFIlm Atlantis to convert NTSC to PAL? Yes!
  4. DVFilm Atlantis will not read my .mov or .avi files, what's wrong? Your files must be in a form readable by Quicktime, which includes .mov and .avi files with standard DV compression. This does not include editor project files. Try opening the .mov or .avi file with the Quicktime player. If the Quicktime player cannot read your file, then DVFilm Atlantis will not be able to read it either.
  5. How can I use DVFilm Atlantis with non-Firewire AVI-based video editing systems, ilke the Decklink? DVFilm Atlantis beginning with release 2.0 will read almost any AVI format including uncompressed (Millions of colors/24 bit, but not Millions+/32bits or with alpha).
  6. The DeInterlace option seems to have no effect on my video, why not? If you shot frame mode, or used a slow shutter speed of 1/30th sec or slower, cameras like the Canon XL-1 and the Sony VX-2000 will record both fields simultaneously, and so the DeInterlace option in Atlantis has no effect. We do not recommend shooting with slow shutter speeds because the slower shutter speeds will blur motion much more than a movie camera would. With DVFilm Atlantis and standard, interlaced PAL, you get both film-like NTSC suitable for digital projection and (with your unprocessed video) compatibility with transfer to film.
  7. What about fast shutter speeds like 1/250th sec? We do not recommend these either. Processed footage will look best and most film-like at 1/50th sec shutter speed. If you need more information on why to use certain shutter speeds and how that interacts with transfer to film or with DVFilm Atlantis, we recommend the book SHOOTING DIGITAL.
  8. Do I get free updates when you make performance improvements to the software or release a new version? Bug fixes are emailed free. Updates on CDROM are available by mail to registered users, for a small upgrade fee ($35). Go to the DVFilm Update Center
  9. The output NTSC movie looks jerky when there is movement, how do I fix that? Click the option for "Output upper field first" because your editing system may require that. However if you shot your PAL movie at very high shutter speed, pan and tilts may look jerky even though the field order is correct. 1/50th sec shutter speed is recommended for PAL production, for the smoothest conversion of PAL to film, or to NTSC.
  10. Why does it look like some NTSC frames have interlacing, even though Atlantis is suppoed to convert the PAL to progressive-scan as a first step? This is normal, and you will not see the effect when the NTSC footage is played back on an NTSC monitor. The reason you see interlacing on frames of NTSC is because of the 3:2 pulldown conversion. Some PAL frames are printed to 3 NTSC fields instead of 2, and so some NTSC frames will have fields taken from different PAL frames, i.e, from different points in time.
  11. Why does the NTSC ouput movie look squashed with respect to the PAL movie? PAL and NTSC have different pixel aspect ratios, but the Quicktime and Atlantis players always display with square pixels for fastest processing. The image will look normal when you play it back on a television.