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Frequently Asked Questions about Pontel DVD's


Is Pontel reliable? Can I order with confidence?

Pontel has been distributing full-game videos and DVD’s of American sporting events since 1980, distributing millions of videos and DVD’s to customers around the world (outside of North America). Over 30 years Pontel has earned the respect of both the leagues who licence it, and the countless customers who have enjoyed its products.

How soon will I receive my order?

Pontel has a weekly shipping schedule. DHL picks up all shipments on Tuesday afternoons, and flies them to the countries of their destination. There they pass them to the post office for local delivery. In Germany and Switzerland, you usually receive your order on Wednesdays, in the rest of Europe on Thursdays, and in Asia some days later. All orders made by 14:00 hours (2 pm) on Tuesdays will be included in that afternoon’s shipping cycle.

Will Pontel DVD’s play on my DVD Player?

Pontel DVD’s are not regionally coded, so they will play anywhere in the world. Pontel receives fewer than 10 complaints per year from customers having technical problems with Pontel DVDs. See also the following questions.

What level of quality can I expect from a Pontel DVD?
Are Pontel DVD’s available in HD?
Are Pontel DVD’s recorded in PAL or NTSC?

From time to time we receive inquiries from our customers asking if Pontel DVD’s are recorded in PAL or in NTSC, or if they are recorded in “high definition”. Some of these questions come from people who want to get the facts before buying from Pontel, others because one or several of the DVDs received from Pontel “play well in the living room, but come out black and white in the bedroom”, or similar complaints.

Here is what you should know. DVD’s are simply carriers of digital data. This data is formatted neither in PAL nor in NTSC. It is formatted to play on digital screens. DVD’s made for the USA and Japanese market have a standard resolution of 720 X 480 pixels, those made for European markets and most Asian markets have a resolution of 720 X 576. Because most modern screens have a resolution well beyond those levels, they can play back any resolution standard the DVD player can read.

However, some older DVD players do not feed the raw data from the disk to the screen, but convert it first to the low resolution picture of a 4 x 3 television set. Some of those models read the DVD resolution, and if it finds that it was made for the USA market, it converts the signal to the old NTSC standard for viewing on a TV set in America or Japan. Or conversely if the DVD player detects a resolution common in Europe, it converts the signal to the old PAL standard common there. In such a case it is possible that a Pontel DVD may show up black-and-white, or even refuse to play at all.

Before February 1st, 2009 Pontel produced DVDs in a resolution common for Europe. In theory, because the European resolution has more pixels, that should have created the best picture. But it turned out that the process of converting the American to the European resolution actually diminished the quality of the picture, because the conversion process, while creating more pixels, interlaced those pixels in a way that reduced sharpness. Therefore we decided in February 2009 to produce our DVDs in the resolution standard common to America and not convert or process the data on the DVD.

This decision had the result that Pontel DVDs of games played after February 1, 2009 create a sharper and clearer image, which is especially visible on a large screen, such as 46 or 50 inches. Pontel is also in the process of re-mastering its classic catalogue using the new process to improve the quality of the classic game DVDs. Hundreds of classic games have been done. If you wonder about a specific game, send us an email and ask.

However, many regular season games of the past ten years will not be remastered, which means that we now have DVDs of older games which are recorded in the European resolution, and newer ones recorded in the American resolution.

If you have trouble playing a Pontel DVD, it is evidence that either your screen or your DVD player is several years old and still formats the data coming from the DVD into NTSC or PAL. This might be a good time to upgrade your equipment. If you already have a flat screen, you probably need to upgrade your DVD player, because even if your flat screen can read your old DVD player’s signals, it must convert it back from PAL or NTSC to the digital format, and as a result the picture you see might be not as good as the one recorded on the DVD.

Here is our tip: The latest generation of DVD players include many models that play DVDs back at a HIGHER resolution than the one on the DVD (so-called up-conversion). You can identify these models because they have an HDMI output, which connects via an HDMI cable to the HDMI input of your screen. With this combination you can watch Pontel DVDs in much higher resolutions on large screens, often matching the quality of the original broadcast, and get the most enjoyment from your Pontel experience.