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  1. I'm looking to playback a VHS tape sent to me from Germany (he cant convert to DVD). I believe they use PAL whereas we have NTSC in Canada. I figure the cheapest approach would be to purchase a PAL VCR and playback / capture with a video capture card on my pc.

    Any recommendations on where to find a cheap PAL vcr for video playback? Google and eBay appear to have nothing. I guess i would also need a ac adpater to plug into our 110v sockets.

    I've heard of a multisystem VCR. What i gather is it is able to playback a PAL tape but will output a PAL signal (and NTSC-> NTSC) which to me is just a standard playback PAL vcr and so why pay extra.

    Thanks
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  2. Member FulciLives's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA in the USA
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    http://www.220-electronics.com/

    They have some fairly cheap multisystem VHS VCR units. They are just like you said ... play a PAL VHS and get PAL video output ... play a NTSC VHS and get NTSC video output.

    JVC J72-MS is $159.99 and is 6-head and Hi-Fi Stereo
    HITACHI VT-M695 is $169.99 and is 6-head and Hi-Fi Stereo
    SONY SLV-ED828 is $179.00 and is 6-head and Hi-Fi Stereo

    I'd go with one of those models.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  3. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    Originally Posted by quantass
    I've heard of a multisystem VCR. What i gather is it is able to playback a PAL tape but will output a PAL signal (and NTSC-> NTSC) which to me is just a standard playback PAL vcr and so why pay extra.
    If you get a multisystem VCR....just remember that you won't be able to "convert" that tape
    to NTSC....you can just watch the tape in that machine....and even that is a MAYBE. You won't be able to transfer that tape to a DVD Recorder as NTSC. Multisystem VCR's do not "convert"....converting VCR's do
    that and they are priced WELL ABOVE $179.

    All our multi system VCR’s play Pal, NTSC, and Secam standards on a Multi System or PAL TV. However if you would like to playback PAL (overseas) cassettes on a NTSC (US) TV, you will need a multi system VCR and a standalone Video converter, or you can buy our multi system VCR with built in video converter.
    http://www.220-electronics.com/VCR/vcrorig.htm
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  4. hech54 you said:
    you can just watch the tape in that machine....and even that is a MAYBE
    Oh so all multisystem VCRs arent capable of playing all PAL vhs tapes. Again i'm interested in viewing a German VHS tape.

    I found a Panasonic NV-SD230 Super Drive Multi System VHS VCR with the following specs:
    * RF In/Out
    * Long Play
    * X360 Jet Rewind
    * Multi Systems support - PAL/NTSC 3.58/4.43 NTSC P.B/NTSC Auto Select
    * Super Drive Multi Intelligent Control
    * Easy Guide On Screen Display
    * Auto Tuning
    * Allimina Head Cleaner
    * Hyper CATV Ready

    Its from a person living in australia. Anyone know how this unit will perform?

    [/quote]
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  5. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    Originally Posted by quantass
    hech54 you said:
    you can just watch the tape in that machine....and even that is a MAYBE
    Oh so all multisystem VCRs arent capable of playing all PAL vhs tapes. Again i'm interested in viewing a German VHS tape.
    It actually has a LOT to do with your television too....but we will assume that your television
    is a straight NTSC one.
    The multisystem VCR option is often thrown out here on VideoHelp as the "cure-all" to your
    problems....and that is simply NOT TRUE. The quote I posted above says it all.
    Buying just a cheap (yes...CHEAP) multisystem VCR is not going to solve the problem....IE....
    you will not unwrap your multisystem VCR....hook it up to your NTSC television and watch
    your PAL VHS tape from Germany.
    That can happen HERE in Germany (where 95% of or TV's are multisystem and 100% of our
    VCR's are multisystem)....but it most likely NOT going to happen in your livingroom.

    The multisystem VCRs suggested often here are basically any cheap VCR I can buy here
    in Germany/Europe.....all these dirtball companies(like 220 electronics.com) do is exchange the power plug in the box....that is because the VCRs are already set up for European, North American or even Australian voltage...only
    a change of a power plug is needed (like your computer's printer power cable for example).

    Long story short...if you don't buy an EXTRA converter with a multisystem VCR....there is
    about a 95% chance you will be VERY disappointed...since you will be in the
    exact same boat you started in before spending $179 for the multisystem VCR alone.
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  6. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
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    Your question has been asked on this forum so often it is not funny anymore, sorry to sound cranky, don;t mean to.

    Where in Canada are you?,, I am in Victoria and would transfer the PAL tape to dvd for you, NTSC or PAL. FREE !

    Or a local service where you live would do it for $25 ish.
    If as we suspect your TV is not multisystem, then a multisystem vcr will not work, you need a convertng VCR and why buy one unless you have a regular need.

    I bought a multisystem VCR from Australia once, their machines are odd, never again.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    I was just about to suggest that myself -- for only one tape, get a service to do it for you. It's far cheaper, and they often know what they're doing (although not always.)
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  8. Member FulciLives's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA in the USA
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    I think the point that hech54 is trying to make is that the multi-system VHS VCR will output your PAL VHS as a PAL video signal so you will need a computer capture card/device that can capture PAL and some do both NTSC/PAL and some do only one or the other. Since you live in a NTSC country you have to be careful about this as your capture card/device may only do NTSC.

    However if you do have a capture card/device that can capture PAL then the multi-system VHS VCR will work. You will end up with a PAL capture that will play back on your computer. With a bit of know how and help from us you can even go about converting it to NTSC (post capture) and end up with a NTSC DVD-R in the end.

    But this ain't cheap ... you need the multi-system VHS VCR and a capture card/device that can do PAL so like a couple of the others have said you might be better off letting someone do it for you even if it costs you a small fee.

    Having said that it is maybe better to get the equipment and learn to do it yourself IF you think getting PAL VHS tapes will become a somewhat common thing what with a friend in Germany and all.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Canada
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    I would take victoriabears up on the offer, but if you live on the other side, it may be more the $25 for postage and all.
    I would find a local TV repair shop which can do it for you.
    I had that done couple times and it was painless.
    Or go with FulciLives advice. He know what he is talking about.
    I used his method for PAL DVD, perfect.
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  10. If the intent is to use a multisystem (non-converting) VCR to play a PAL tape and get a PAL signal, why not just get a PAL-only VCR?

    I went through the whole NTSC/PAL nightmare aeons ago. I have an odd and rarely used collection of VCRs including a really crappy converting one. I also have a standalone converter (Tenlab) which does a tremendous job but is an expensive option for one or two tapes.

    This would seem to do the job:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/jvc-pal-ntsc-vcr-vhs-player-hr-j747ms_W0QQitemZ190272491796QQcmdZV...3A1%7C294%3A50

    And it is being sold by someone in Toronto.
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  11. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
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    What does he play it on if he has an NTSC only TV.

    My best experience has been , capture in the native format (or get a dvd recorder that will record in pal or both pal/ntsc, they are that unusual) and convert using TMPG express. Better than any hardware iincluding Tenlab.

    I have never experienced all the weird and wonderful problems some seem to, but the route I go is capture in the native format then get a dvd player that will play both pal/ntsc on a ntsc TV.

    All works for me.
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