Does the PAL speed up on anime bother you that much?

Invisible Crane

Great Teacher
So a while back someone on this forum said that he was never going to buy an anime DVD release from MVM because of the PAL speed up "ruining" it for him and it got me to thinking...does the PAL speedup really bother people that much because honestly on most of the UK anime DVDs I have I don't notice it that much. I guess I only really notice it if the pitch of the sound is affected as well (as with pretty much all UK DVD releases of movies/TV shows in general)
 

NormanicGrav

(゜ロ゜)
AUKN Staff
This is a good question to bring up and I have been having my doubts about this issue. For starters I was not even aware that all PAL DVDs were sped up to about 4 minutes faster until a few months ago but I never really noticed any difference at all. But then about a month ago, I watched Doctor Dazza make a mention about this issue (since Australia is also PAL but Region 4) and noticed it does make a difference in some ways. I even tested this by watching the Code Geass opening and saw how much slower the original was compared to the release I own (Kaze). You won't really notice the difference unless you have watched the show from streaming, an NTSC disc or a Blu-ray release.


But having said that, there can be some side-effects when it comes to making PAL masters. The recent examples this year have been coming from most of MVM's titles, each have been getting issues such as off-sync subtitles and glitches in video quality. Even titles from Manga UK have had issues from converting to PAL with Cat Planet Cuties and Steins;Gate having some problems. My point is that sometimes a PAL release can affect the experience depending on the situation. The reason I buy Blu-rays isn't due to the PAL DVD issue but because it's the best version anime can be in.

I guess if a person who is rather strict in terms of defection and wants to get the best flawless version possible then they should avoid PAL DVDs and get the Blu-ray version or NTSC DVDs if they haven't got a BD player.
 
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Ath

Pokémon Master
I noticed PAL speedup for years in films on VHS but never thought it was a technical thing, I just thought songs just happened to sound higher when played in film for some reason. Naturally when I got the internet and discovered PAL speedup was actually a thing, I was glad that I wasn't crazy.

If I'm watching something on DVD, I can deal with it most of the time since I'm so used to it. However, whenever I hear a song or a piece of music which I've heard at the correct pitch previously, I will notice and it will bother me, though not too much. There are a few cases where this isn't the case though. Since The Lord of the Rings extended editions were pitch corrected, whenever I see LOTR on TV in its non-pitch corrected form I can't watch it since everything sounds off. Importantly, in the case of anime, I'll have heard the openings and the endings countless times before, so if they haven't been pitch corrected, I will notice it and it will bug me.

Perversely, this wasn't much of a problem with UK anime DVDs for ages since they were NTSC-to-PAL conversions anyway, which of course brought its own horrible video issues :lol: Now that we're getting more native PAL releases, this is definitely an issue for many people. It's less of an issue for me now, but that's only because I buy Blu-ray when it is available, which eliminates the issue entirely 99% of the time (with some exceptions...like The King's Speech). If pitch corrected though, I'd take a native PAL DVD over a native NTSC DVD because of judder and 3:2 pulldown, but that's a separate issue and I'm going way off track.

So my answer is yes, I have always noticed it and it can bother me. The existence of Blu-ray has largely eliminated this as an issue for me personally though, but in cases where no Blu-ray is available/possible, PAL speedup will put me off.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I hate it. If the creators wanted the shows to be faster they'd have made them that speed in the first place, and the music/voices sound weird when I'm used to the originals. I don't understand why they waste time and money mutilating the material that way when the overwhelming majority of modern UK players can cope with either standard.

R
 

VoxPhantom

Stand User
I only really notice the speedup if I'm watching a series that I've previously seen online, as I can usually tell if the pitch is slightly higher. It doesn't really bother me that much, though I obviously prefer stuff to be pitch corrected.

Like Ath says, I'm mainly buying BD now so this isn't that much of a concern for me now!
 

Mr Vile

Student Council President
No it doesn't. I recall it being an issue waaay back when I was buying Stark Trek: TNG videos. I genuinely don't notice it.
 
I don't mind PAL speedup, I can get used to higher pitched audio in a few seconds. I do hate pitch correction though, as some companies aren't good at applying it, and you get distorted audio as a result. You get clipping and break-up, especially in background music when there are long even tones that make it sound horrible. The Fellowship of the Ring DVDs are one example, animewise, the Dragon Ball Z discs have gruesome pitch correction and sound like someone gargling with gravel.
 

Ath

Pokémon Master
Just Passing Through said:
I don't mind PAL speedup, I can get used to higher pitched audio in a few seconds. I do hate pitch correction though, as some companies aren't good at applying it, and you get distorted audio as a result. You get clipping and break-up, especially in background music when there are long even tones that make it sound horrible. The Fellowship of the Ring DVDs are one example, animewise, the Dragon Ball Z discs have gruesome pitch correction and sound like someone gargling with gravel.
That's a good point, I remember hearing lots of complaints about Fellowship's pitch correction at the time. So it's certainly not a perfect solution.
 

Rosencrantz

Dragon Knight
Rui said:
I hate it. If the creators wanted the shows to be faster they'd have made them that speed in the first place, and the music/voices sound weird when I'm used to the originals. I don't understand why they waste time and money mutilating the material that way when the overwhelming majority of modern UK players can cope with either standard.

R
That's a good question, why do they bother to convert, it must cost money. Is there perhaps some regulation that requires a PAL release forcing their hand?
 
Rosencrantz said:
That's a good question, why do they bother to convert, it must cost money. Is there perhaps some regulation that requires a PAL release forcing their hand?
It could be a licensor stipulation seeing as Japan and Europe are both Region 2. That, or Manga and the rest don't to risk alienating the three people (margin of error +/- 3) on the continent who don't have the capability to play NTSC.

As for speedup, I can't say I've ever noticed it, though the audio running 4% faster does bother me on principle.
 

Mr Vile

Student Council President
I've got the US releases of all the Dragonball series. They are Region 1, 2 and 4 compatible, it's even listed on the back. Would they have had the audio buggered about with, because they sound pretty good to me.
 
I have never noticed. I think people only notice it because they are psychologically expecting it, if people got less hung up about it perhaps they wouldn't notice it.
 

Ath

Pokémon Master
Mr Vile said:
I've got the US releases of all the Dragonball series. They are Region 1, 2 and 4 compatible, it's even listed on the back. Would they have had the audio buggered about with, because they sound pretty good to me.
No they're NTSC so will be at the correct pitch.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
robot monkey said:
I have never noticed. I think people only notice it because they are psychologically expecting it, if people got less hung up about it perhaps they wouldn't notice it.
Erm, no. If you have bought the soundtrack and listened to it, you will definitely notice the music playing faster. Same with having watched the show before attentively or having become used to clips used in trailers.

I know that many people won't notice, but for many people it's extremely noticeable for series they're following closely - even if they'd rather not be able to tell.

R
 

Mr Vile

Student Council President
I mentioned the Star Trek TNG tapes earlier. They did PAL speed up but only from season 3 onwards. But oddly to me the sped up seasons sounded right and everyone sounded really, really deep in the first two seasons. Deanna Troi sounded like a bloke! It did cause a lot of arguments in the sci-fi mag I was reading at the time, so I know it's a big issue.
 

bakum4tsu

Pokémon Master
I have never really noticed too. As long as the image is good, im quite happy cause japanese is music to my hears whether is fast or normal lol
 

Mangaranga

Za Warudo
The person mentioned in the OP is probably me, and yes, it really does bother me that much.
I rarely ever buy DVDs in the first place since they look utter crap compared to Blurays, but PAL speedup is really noticable to me.
Out of the four DVD's I've bought this year, only one has been a UK release which was Canaan (Since it's animated at 720i), and I watched half of the first episode before stopping and ordering Sentai's Bluray. Arguably though for that particular title it had both PAL speedup and mistimed subtitles which probably didn't help.

If MVM had released Ano Natsu and Zombie as NTSC DVDs I probably would have bought them since I'm not going to go to the trouble of importing them, despite how much I loved the former. I don't mind paying £40 for a Bluray, but anything over £15-18 just isn't worth it for a DVD. PAL is a massive no no, and just one of many reasons why I barely buy any UK releases.
 
Rui said:
robot monkey said:
I have never noticed. I think people only notice it because they are psychologically expecting it, if people got less hung up about it perhaps they wouldn't notice it.
Erm, no. If you have bought the soundtrack and listened to it, you will definitely notice the music playing faster. Same with having watched the show before attentively or having become used to clips used in trailers.

I know that many people won't notice, but for many people it's extremely noticeable for series they're following closely - even if they'd rather not be able to tell.

R
I can think of no occasion when I have noticed this effect, maybe subconsciously I have, but I cannot remember ever consciously noting it.

I should add with anime for sometime if at all possible these days I only buy on blu ray which generally doesn't suffer from this, though there is the very odd exception.
 

Shiroi Hane

Dragon Knight
It's more of a problem now, what with simulcasts making me intimately familiar with the theme songs.
That, and it wasn't so long ago that nearly all UK releases were converted from NTSC rather than HD masters anyway.

Most of the time I get used to it once the show has started proper, unless it is something like Penguindrum with the messed up audio.
The first show I really remember it standing out on was Durarara - not only was the OP clearly too fast (and I don't believe it was pitch corrected either) but right at the start you have Masaomi gabbling away really fast even before speeding him up.

I've still not got the K-on discs (I was all ready to get the BDs...) but I dread to think what has become of the OPs there.
 
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