Standards Conversion


• SD Standards Conversion via ALCHEMIST with Phase Correlated Motion Compensation
• HD to SD Downconversions via HDCAM, HDCAM SR, DVCProHD and HDV as well as file based sources.
• DVD Duplication Services
• DVD Authoring from any file or tape format.
• "Slow PAL" HD Framerate conversions going from 23.98 to 50i/25psf or 25psf to 23.98/59.94i.

• Phase Correlated Motion Compensation
• CleanCuts™ for precision editing
• ARC for High Quality Aspect Ratio Conversion

• Full AVID or FinalCut Edit Systems
• High end Audio and Video monitoring
• Video scopes and Audio Metering for precise output
• Full editor/tech services
• Comfortable environment
• Located in the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco with plenty of parking available

Aside from being a full blown editing facility, Miller Video & Film can also offer an endless array of format conversions, tape or digital. All equipment we use meets broadcast standards and includes HDCAM, HDCAM SR, Digital Beta cam, Beta SP, DVCAM, DVCProHD among others. Have a tape and you can't play it or don't know what it is? Just ask... chances are we can handle it and get it into a format you can use.

One of our most sought after services is our high quality standards conversion for NTSC projects with content headed overseas and for conforming tapes in PAL format to your NTSC project. Our Snell and Wilcox Alchemist provides the highest quality standard conversion possible using it's sophisticated Ph.C., or Phase Correlation motion compensation algorithm and it's patented CleanCuts technology.

We also handle digital formats such as QuickTime. Files can be easily transferred to tape or compressed to other formats such as Windows Media, RealNetworks streams, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, the HD capable H264 among many others. Need your video streaming on your website? We can create a version of your video that's optimized for the web and it's end user. Showing your video at a meeting or convention kiosk? We can help you get your videointo a format that your laptop or PowerPoint presentation can handle without choking.

All transfers are done by trained techs who monitor your materials using broadcast quality waveform vectorscopes and color critical monitors. If there are illegal color, black or luma levels, we can correct them using high quality legalizers. Our Alchemist includes color balance controls and vertical and horizontal enhancement features to help improve overall picture quality and sharpness on troublesome projects. Wherever possible, transfers are processed in the digital domain in order to maintain maximum quality. We can also provide high quality time base correction for older VHS and 3/4 tapes as well as other "funky" or antiquated formats.

Where many video production houses often neglect the audio aspect of client materials, MillerVideo & Film takes care to optimize your audio for the analog and digital realm. We measure and meter every aspect of the signal chain in order to make sure no tape goes out over-modulated or distorted. We can also offer audio compression for program that may be too dynamic(i.e. really loud and then really quiet) using or TC Electronics Finalizer. This affectively decreases dynamic levels so you can print levels "hotter" to tape without worry of distortion. The process also improves the perceived volume of quieter passages. A rule of thumb for your production, should it be for broadcast, is to print audio to peak around 0vu(+2 or +3db for transient audio) for analog and do your best to keep it from going over -10 for digital. This helps to ensure that your tapes transfer optimally back and forth between the analog and digital domain. It's a common mistake to print all the way up to zero on a digital beta tape because, typically, your bars are set to -20 and this causes a 20db range between what's considered nominal gain and peak gain. Any analog source you record to using your bars as a reference, WILL DISTORT. Any broadcaster that doesn't have the luxury of checking bars to program is going to be irritated, to say the least. Printing audio to digital tape at such a hot level is not necessary because the noise floor of digital tape is much lower than analog tape and the extra signal to noise ratio is hardly worth the trouble it causes in the long run.

In combination with MPEG-2 compression, Miller Video & Film also offers DVD and Blu-ray authoring. We can build your DVD or Blu-ray from tape or QuickTime files and create menus using your graphics or graphics we create. For DVDs we can duplicate significant quantities using our DVD duplication towers. We provide all this and full-color printing on disc.

We also provide real-time DVDs or Blu-rays using our Pioneer PRV-LX1 DVD recorder for DVDs and our JVC SR-HD1500 for Blu-rays. This is a great lower cost solution for one-offs or discs not requiring menus without sacrificing image quality.


Miller Video & Film is proud to offer the Snell & Wilcox Alchemist standards converter which is famous for its fantastic quality. Using its superb and powerful Ph.C. (Phase Correlation) Motion Compensation Technique, we can bring you stunningly sharp and crystal clear video free from the smearing, blurring, and juddering, which is common with most standards converters available. This is the ultimate in standards conversion equipment and Snell & Wilcox Alchemist is the Rolls Royce of standards conversion world-wide. When you want your conversion to look as good as possible, we can deliver a broadcast master quality standards conversion that is fit for network broadcast in the North America, Europe, Asia, and all countries using PAL and NTSC.

Snell & Wilcox Alchemist Ph.C. is the result of years of research and experience in producing the world class standard in standards conversion hardware. The converted images are high quality and will pass quality assurance at any broadcast facility in the world. Even the most complex video material is delivered with clarity that is free from artifacts. Motion artifacts from moving objects, camera pans and zooms, and frame flicker, are virtually eliminated by the Alchemist. Performing SD standards conversion between 60hz (59.94) and 25hz, the resulting output looks great.

This system can also be used to produce great looking down conversions from various HD formats including Sony HDCAM, HDCAM SR, Panasonic D5, DVCproHD, Varicam, and HDV. When shooting in High Definition with NTSC compatible frame rates, remember that a high quality standards conversion process is necessary to produce PAL standard definition formats such as Digital Beta cam (Digibeta), Beta cam SP (Beta SP), DVCAM, Mini DV, and DVDs. And of course, just the reverse is necessary to produce NTSC down conversions from HD frame rates that are PAL compatible. For instance, an HD tape shot at 25 frames would require both down conversion and standards conversion to produce a NTSC standard definition tape at 29.97 frames per second.

The Alchemist uses Motion Compensation, also known as Motion Estimation, which analyzesvideo and shifts the pixels in each frame (or field) so that they match up perfectly, even excelling in complicated scenes featuring fast moving object in motion, high detailed graphics, and mixed film and video source materials. The Alchemist is even capable of applying Motion Compensation to just the portions of the frame where they are most needed, through a matt system that is built in.

In addition the Alchemist can control aspect ratio conversion which can change anamorphic images to letter box, correct aspect ratio errors in source program material, and simultaneously eliminate lines of noise that sometimes are sometimes seen it the extreme edges of videoprogram. This assures clean and solid video even out to the far edges of the screen, which is important for DVD playback on computer screens that do not overscan their video playback.

The Alchemist also offer the Clean Cuts feature, which uses a scene detection system to keep motion artifacts from crossing frames. This allows for clean edits when working with standards converted tapes in the edit bay. For instance, the editor will not lose a frame or two in an extracted edit because it contains artifacts from a previous shot, as a result in lesser quality standards conversions without Clean Cuts. Clean Cuts is a trademark feature of Snell & Wilcox standards converters with that option.

The Alchemist hardware is an Emmy Award winning proprietary technology enabling standards conversions to look artifact free. Major networks have used the Alchemist to convert the Olympics to both PAL and NTSC feeds to their satellites. The Emmy's have awarded this honor to Snell & Wilcox's Alchemist Ph.C. because this technically superior converter delivers tremendous viewing quality for television in both NTSC and PAL standards. NBC used Snell & Wilcox's Emmy award winning motion compensation equipment since the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney Australia. This is a system that provides superior video quality using both serial digital I/O and analog video

In addition the Alchemist can be used to create DVD's in both PAL and NTSC format. When converting from one standard to the other, our DVD's, are authored using the Alchemist to help create MPEG video in PAL and NTSC formats, which will help assure your DVD looks great in any country, regardless of its broadcast standard.

Be assured that Miller Video & Film will handle all your format conversions from PAL and NTSC using the broadcast industry's best standards conversion equipment, the Alchemist. Ask for it by name.

Video formats from around the world are often incompatible. Video tapes in any format (such as Digital Beta cam, Beta cam (Beta) SP, DVCAM, DVCpro, VHS) will not play on machines used in countries that use an incompatible television standard. For instance, a Digital Beta cam PAL tape will not play in a Digital Beta cam NTSC machine. Click here for a list of countries that use each standard. When shipping tapes from one country to another, be sure to check compatibility to avoid disappointment by the recipient. Simply ask us to convert the broadcast standard before shipping.

There is a vast array of incompatible formats being used worldwide. American broadcasts in NTSC will not play on gear used in Europe for instance. And Japan has its own flavor of NTSC. But using broadcast quality gear made by Snell & Wilcox, Miller Video & Film's standards conversion system can convert most formats to be played in most countries.

What follows is a discussion of international broadcast standards and how standards conversion equipment works.

NTSC - National Television System Committee

The NTSC broadcast standard started in the United States in 1941 as a specific television format. It is used in the US, Canada and Japan, although Japan uses a slight variation of the American and Canadian standard. NTSC frame rate is 29.97 frames per second, although commonly rounded up to 30 for general discussion. Within these 30 frames are 60 fields in an interlaced pattern. Although the resolution of NTSC is lower than that of PAL or SECAM, its frame rate is faster, which reduces the apparent flicker. Cable and satellite systems provide decent color stability, although broadcast through the airwaves can be affected by multi-path distortion when received through an aerial antenna. This resulting error causes phase distortion which can cause the color shifts. Although broadcast engineers sometimes derisively call NTSC "Never The Same Color," the quality of the broadcast can be quite good for standard definition television. It should be noted that the actual technical name for NTSC is NTSC-M, although it is most commonly called simply NTSC.