Videos purchased in Amsterdam

Jan 6th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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Videos purchased in Amsterdam

We purchased several VCR videos in Amsterdam recently, which don't seem to play well on our home VCR (USA). You can see an outline of the people, but is still garbled. We've adjusted the tracking and hasn't helped. Any ideas? Or should be just chalk this up to another 'cultural experience' ie purchased videos at the flea market that don't work. BTW, Amsterdam is a wonderful place!!
kywood1955 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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European videos use the PAL recording system, not the NTSC system used in N. America. Look for a video conversion service that will convert them to tapes compatible with your VCR and TV set.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 6th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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you need an "all region" or region specific VCR which is capable of decoding a VHS formatted in any given geographic area.

there are supposed to be patches or tricks which can be used to re-format an american VCR od DVD to play european products. but unfortunately, i wouldn't know how to tell you to go about it.
subcon is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Normally, this is the type of thread/posting that I ignore.
However, when you combine the words "VIDEOS" and "AMSTERDAM" ....

Anyway, my knowledge of electronics is not that great, but, if I remember correctly, electronic video equipment like VCRs and DVD players are set, by the manufacturere according to some regional setting. That is, North American players are set differently from Asian-distributed players. PAL/SECAM are settings that are associated with this. You may want to contact your VCR manufacturer and see if you can re-set your VCR to play a European VHS. Just my .2 kroners.
rcc is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:37 AM
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Hope this wasn't too valuable a lesson. You're best bet is to sell or give them away on E-bay.
bardo is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 10:15 AM
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It's not just the tape or VCR, it's the TV set. PAL uses 625 lines of resolution, while NTSC uses 525. There were a few VCRs that were interchangeable, but virtually no TV sets sold in N. America are compatible with PAL resolutions and frequencies. A PAL video played on an NTSC VCR or TV will skew, roll, or not show up at all. The only thing that works is to have the tape duplicated by a video service that can make the conversion electronically with special equipment. These services are plentiful and typically not terribly expensive.

The "regional code" above refers to DVDs. As an anti-bootlegging device (some would say profit-maximizing), the producers of DVDs set them to play only in one given region of the world (N. America, Europe, parts of Asia, etc.) There are "universal" or "region-free" DVD players sold that get around this. This is in addition to the PAL/NTSC distinctions.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 6th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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If you'd really prefer to keep your tapes (rather than giving them away on EBay) you can have them converted...there are many services that do it and you can easily access them on the internet..turnaround time in some cases is as little as two days.
Jan 6th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Posts: 440
You need a dual-system (PAL and NTSC) TV AND video to be able to play them. I'd be interested to knwo how much it costs to convert the videos these days; it used to be over $100!
jenviolin is offline  
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