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About This Book Fortunately, iMovie converses fuently with both NTSC and PAL camcorders. When you launch the program, it automatically studies the camcorder you've attached and determines its format. (And if it detects wrong, you can tell it what kind of gear you have by choosing iMoviePreferences and clicking either NTSC or PAL.) However, most of the discussions in this book use NTSC terminology. If you're a friend of PAL, use the following information to translate this book's discussions. The Tech Specs of NTSC Whether you're aware of it or not, using the NTSC standard-defnition format means that the picture you see is characterized like this: · 30 frames per second. A frame is one individual picture. Flashed before your eyes at this speed, the still images blend into what you perceive as smooth motion. · 575 scan lines. The electron gun in a TV tube paints the screen with this number of fne horizontal lines. · The DV picture measures 720 x 480 pixels. This fgure refers to the number of screen dots, or pixels, that compose one frame of image in the DV (digital video) version of the NTSC format. (But don't count on these specs if your intention is to crop photos or graphics to just that size, thinking that they'll ft neatly. They won't, as described on page 249.) The Tech Specs of PAL When iMovie detects a PAL camcorder (or when you inform it that you're using one), it makes the necessary adjustments automatically, including: · 25 frames per second. Video fans claim that the lower frame rate creates more ficker than the NTSC standard. On the other hand, this frame rate is very close to the frame rate of Hollywood flms (24 frames per second). As a result, many independent flmmakers fnd PAL a better choice when shooting movies they intend to convert to flm. · 625 scan lines. That's 20 percent sharper and more detailed than NTSC. The dif- ference is especially visible on large-screen TVs. · The DV picture measures 720 x 576 pixels. This information may affect you as you read Chapter 9 and prepare still images for use with iMovie. About At, you'll fnd news, articles, and updates to the books in this series. But if you click the name of this book and then the Errata link, you'll fnd a unique resource: a list of corrections and updates that have been made in successive print- ings of this book. You can mark important corrections right into your own copy of the book, if you like. imoviehd&idvd5:themissingmanual