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Swirlygiver

Tsop Region Switching?

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On a TSOP’ed Xbox is there still a need for region switching or will it automatically play both NTSC and PAL?   I don’t currently have any PAL, so I just wondering. 

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I think the following is right but I'm not any sort of  BIOS expert so I'll be happy to be corrected:- 

If you don't region switch the console from PAL to NTSC the ED/HD display options won't be available whatever dashboard you're using.

In PAL you have PAL50 (576i/50Hz) or PAL60 (480i/60Hz). The latter is practically the same as NTSC (480i/60Hz) just with a slightly different colour sub-carrier. The only other Video display options are Normal (4:3), WS (16:9) and Letterbox (14:9?). Again practically the same as the NTSC dash when used with a SD type cable.

But with the Xbox region changed to NTSC you are also able to select ED/HD ie. 480p, 720p or 1080i when using Component cables.

If you have a PAL Xbox swap to NTSC and forget about such matters.

Only problem you can have is that a few dozen specific PAL version Xbox games were released region locked so can only be played on a PAL region/region swapped console (Timesplitters 2 is a well know example). Most PAL and many NTSC version Xbox games are not region locked and even with retail BIOS support both PAL and NTSC display modes. The Xbox itself is not region locked just hobbled in PAL mode by a MS dash GUI that doesn't support ED/HD.

 

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In my experience with this issue: some games have the executable programmed with capability for both PAL and NTSC. However the disc they are released on only includes the neccessary assets for the region it is intended for in order to save space. For example Enter The Matrix has several .vidpal files missing in the NTSC release, causing it to display a "Disc may be dirty or damaged" error on trying to play when the console region is set to PAL mode. This happens because the executable checks the region of the console then looks for the corresponding video intro files for that region, can't find them and doesn't know what to do. The same can happen vice versa. The only "solution" is to find a copy with the missing files or (the dirty way) to make copies of all the video file assets with the filenames renamed to .vid (in the case of Enter The Matrix). This does mean you'll end up using more hard disk space.

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In the case of PAL games it is not just some which support NTSC it is the majority. There are less NTSC version games that support PAL but still plenty that do. For instance Myst 4: Revelation is nominally a NTSC only game but it is in fact region free and will play without issue on either a PAL or NTSC retail state Xbox.

Incidentally that particular game is the only Xbox game I know that has a problem with a particular disc drive - the Hitachi. I do not mean it won't read it but it just plays the game with a persistent sound glitch. No other games have any problem with the same Hitachi disc drive. Put the same original retail disc in a Xbox with any other disc drive and it plays perfectly. For years I though it was a either a v1.6 or BIOS issue (Xecuter 2.6CE chipped Xbox) until I installed on the same Xbox's HDD and it played perfectly too.  

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