First of all I know this not the VCR section and since there isn't one I thought this would be the appropriate section in which to post, if its not then the mods can move it.
I'm looking at capturing my PAL VHS with home videos on a computer (my thread about that subject here -> LINK) and so I need a VCR player capable playing PAL to play my source VHS tapes. A player that is multi-region/system would be preferred. I don't know if they ever made VCRs with HDMI out or not but I'm trying to capture the video at the highest possible quality.
If anyone has any recommendations, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
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If you search Google for something like "multi-system VCR" you should find plenty of matches. However, do note that such are a bit rare in the US. You usually have to deal with stores that cater to the immigrant market as they sometimes sell them. I have no personal experience here, but stores like
have them. http://www.bhphotovideo.com has a few too.
Yeah, I got this Multi-System one from B&H for a PAL VHS tape to NTSC DVD conversion project, but it's been discontinued now:
It works OK, but soon after I got a much better PAL player from eBay in the UK. As I discovered, thanks to a tip from victoriabears, you only have to change the plug to a US-style plug and then a PAL player works fine in the US. Apparently, a multi-system VCR isn't ideal and your best bet, if you're really serious about quality, is to buy a true PAL player, one with a line TBC. Read these and other pages from lordsmurf's site:
These are VHS tapes, after all, and in my opinion having TBCs in the chain will make much more difference in the final quality than will having an HDMI port available. Using an S-Video connection, if available, makes a difference, though.
Last edited by manono; 16th Mar 2012 at 15:13.
A multi-system VCR is basically every European VCR sold in the past 15 years. If your goal is to make an NTSC DVD from this PAL tape...you will need to spend a whole lot more money for a "converting" VCR.
It's your time to spend jbloggs, but if I had a bunch of PAL VHS tapes to capture, I'd just make PAL DVDs out of them. I feel pretty strongly that if you have to convert PAL to NTSC more than maybe twice you're better off just buying a converting DVD player that can convert PAL DVD to NTSC video output. Geez, Best Buy still sells the Philips DVP3560 for $39.95. But it's your time to waste, not mine.
Assuming these are movies (PAL interlaced sources can be tricky to convert to NTSC), the conversion to NTSC can be as simple as just doing a 720x480 resize and encoding for 25fps, with DGPulldown applied afterwards for 25->29.97. Or, if you want to do it right, slow both the video and audio to film speed before encoding and applying standard pulldown. Since these are VHS tapes, some filtering is usually needed. In principle this shouldn't be all that difficult. Once in an acceptable format, there are several all-in-one DVD creation programs available for the job if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.