Re: Alain Robbe-Grillet

Delin, Peter (
Tue, 8 Jan 2002 11:27:10 -0800 (PST)

Dear Margaret,

"Betacam digital" is the original format of the film produced with
digital Betacam TV-Cameras for broadcast. This film has been transferred
to DVD, probably in PAL format with no region coding. Region coding is
mostly used by major feature film companies, often not by small film
production companies as this one: "Les Pérides" is a belgian film
production company in Brussels (Belgium is PAL-region). You might call
them directly by phone and ask them which TV color format (PAL or NTSC)
and if region coding was used for their DVD (phone number and email
adress are on their website).

In general european DVDs are in PAL and coded Region 2. The french TV
color format SECAM is no longer used with DVD. So there does not exist
any DVD in SECAM. Because all european DVD-players display PAL as well
as NTSC some european DVD-publishers use NTSC plus allregion coding as
an international standard that can be used worldwide. Combined with
multiple language tracks they can sell these DVDs worldwide. For example
some french documentaries are encoded in this way.

In the US normal DVD-players only display the NTSC format and DVDs coded
Region 1. If you want to be prepared to use all DVD formats you need a
DVD player equipped for both color TV-formats NTSC and PAL and which can
be switched to the correct region before starting.

There two possible but unlilely drawbacks with european DVDs:

- at the beginning the MPEG sound compression format only was used for
some european DVDs which is different from the AC-3 sound compression
format used in the US. These early DVDs do not run on normal DVD players
sold in the US. But this sound format is no longer used in european DVD
sound encoding as a single format. Today all european DVDs are sound
encoded (also) in AC-3.

- there does not yet exist a standard for progressive scan bit stream in
the PAL format. That means films made with analog TV cameras in the PAL
format cannot be displayed via DVD-ROM drives in computers on computer
monitors. There is no problem if they are displayed on TV screens via a
TV output.

with kind regards

Peter Delin/Videolektorat
Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin

Margaret Porter schrieb:
> Colleagues,
> I just received a request from a faculty member for a this product:
> Robbe-Grillet on DVD
> A double DVD, released jointly by Les Impressions Nouvelles and IMEC,
> provides a much fuller version of these important interviews, with a total
> running time of about 6 hrs 15 mins. It will be of particular value to
> schools, colleges and universities, resource centres, international
> cultural centres and lovers of literature in general. This interactive DVD
> will enable viewers to explore Alain Robbe-Grillet's life and work
> according to their individual interests. The accompanying booklet contains
> details of all the topics available for search.
> The format is only described as Digital Betacam DVD
> (
> Since this is produced in France, does anyone know if standard DVD players
> and workstations with DVD drives can be used, or is DVDs produced in Europe
> different (such as video cassettes and PAL or Secam formats).
> Since my primary function is selection of videos and DVds I'm pretty
> ignorant regarding technical aspects. Thanks so much for any information.
> Margaret
> ***************************************************************
> G. Margaret Porter
> Librarian, Reference Department
> University of Notre Dame
> Notre Dame IN 46556
> Phone:219-631-7620
> Fax: 219-631-8887
> E-Mail: