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RE: UK/US video compatability?
You're right. PAL is a UK and Australia (and most of Western Europe)
format. NTSC is US (actually North America and Japan) format. France
uses the SECAM format. (I don't know what formats Russian TV uses).
The difference is in the number of standard lines and the scan rate.
NTSC has an official count of 525 lines on the screen, at 30 times per
second. PAL has an official count of 625 lines, at ~25 times per
Of course, even some of the better TVs can only show 450 lines. (HDTV
is a different story).
Don't buy any pre-recorded video tapes in Europe unless they are clearly
There are several VCRs with PAL/NTSC - right now I can find:
Samsung SV5000W Worldwide 4-Head VCR. Kmart PRICE: $299.99 (LIST:
$599.99*) - This will play PAL/NTSC/SECAM on any monitor, and has a
"worldwide TV tuner". (I can't determine quickly whether this only
plays back all formats, or can record in all of them as well). (This is
Hi-Fi, as well).
Also, the Samsung SV7000W Worldwide 4-Head Hi-Fi VCR
(bestbuydigital.com) - $585. (Plays and records in all the formats).
I'm sure there are more.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
Of Chris Glen
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 9:10 AM
Subject: Re: UK/US video compatability?
>Sorry to bother the list with this, but I wasn't sure who else to ask.
>buying a dinosaur-related video (VHS) here in the UK, for a friend in
>California. Will he be able to play it or does the US use a different
I think UK use the PAL system as they do here in Australia, but US use
which is a different system altogether (different pixel resolution,
different scan rate and different colours or something - been a while).
>From memory there are machines that handle both (little switch on back
"PAL-NTSC") should check that. I think the VHS tape itself can only be
recorded in one or the other format.
University of Queensland
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Phone: (07) 3365 2720
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One Late Mesozoic mammal to an other after a hard day of dodging
dinosaur feet and droppings, only to find their burrow trampled:
"Hey, a falling star, make a wish."