Advice on the PAL / NTSC thing. : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

I'd like to get some advice.

I've moved from the UK to the USA and I have a whole bunch of UK PAL video cassettes that I'd like to watch. I have a standard NTSC USA television, though I haven't got around to buying a VCR yet. I'd also like to run a VCR into my computer and eventually create VCDs of this stuff I have (I have a video-in / tv-out type graphics card).

You can buy worldwide VCR's that I'm guessing take all video cassettes and playback on any type of television, but they are quite expensive (Samsung SV-5000W - $350!):

The other alternative is to use a standard USA VCR & television setup and get a signal converter box (like the SB-3686 ($179.00) or the SB-3690 ($229.00, but computer friendly?) and I'm guessing this will convert both VCR & television NTSC workings into PAL? (I need to ask the manufacturer about this):

Can anyone help?


Paul S.

-- Paul S. (, October 08, 2003


Excellent question! I think I may have a simple solution for you. Many US DVD players that support VCD will actually play PAL and NTSC and automatically convert the PAL image to a NTSC signal. All will not, but many do. Apex, for example, makes a lot of cheap but good DVD players that can do this. My brother has a Sony DVD player that does it. DVD players sold in the US don't advertise this feature but many can do it.

The good news is that this means that the best and cheapest solution for you is to record your PAL video tapes on a PC and make PAL VCDs out of them. Most likely you will be able to play them. I would strongly advise you to avoid buying Toshiba DVD players in the US. They are notorious for what they don't support, with some older models not supporting CD-R, others refusing to play VCD, and I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't convert PAL to NTSC. While it is possible to buy VCRs or add on boxes to convert PAL to NTSC, I have read that unless you pay $600 or more, the results are not that good. I think it would be a lot simpler for you to simply make PAL VCDs from your video tapes and hope to buy a cheap DVD player that can play it back as NTSC.

-- Root (root@yahoo.moc), October 09, 2003.


Thanks for your response.

What you suggested with running my PAL tapes straight into the computer and then creating VCDs is pretty much what I was planning to do. BUT I'll still think I need a signal converter (like the the SB-3690 which I've seen for sale for $189) to even play the PAL tapes in an NTSC American VCR.

Have you made many VCDs from video tapes? How do they end up looking/sounding? I have a Geforce Graphics Card which has video- in / tv-out sockets, which I'm guessing is also very nessecary.

Paul S.

-- Paul S. (, October 09, 2003.

Hi Guys, Can anyone tell the model number of the Apex/Sony? Thanks.

-- Sara (, December 28, 2003.

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