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  1. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2014
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    Hi guys

    I'm trying to help am overseas cousin with his dubbing project. It's the old story - lots of VHS tapes with family footage and he wants them on DVD. He says he wants a DVD/VCR combo that will handle both PAL and NTSC VHS tapes.

    I started searching the threads here and it's clear that for you guys, combo units aren't exactly the optimal way forward. I need to ask a couple of questions before I post my thread. Hope this is okay.

    1. The other way to go is just to get a VHS player and a separate DVD recorder... and what? Go RCA jack straight from the VHS player to the DVD player? Is that even possible? Is there a hardware interface required between them? For example, is an A/D converter required?

    2. I'm calling him in the next few days. From reading here, it seems to me that even if you get a combo and start trying to dub directly from your VHS to DVD internally, you can run into problems with format. Is this correct? Will some combo players that say 'PAL/NTSC' actually not be able to deliver a recordable bitstream to the DVD because of encoding issues?

    3. Same question applies if the idea is to try this with two players - a VCR and a stand-alone DVD recorder. Do I need to make sure that I'm spening enough money to get hardware that will work no matter what his formats?

    4. This may seem dumb, but... given that he said he needs a player that will handle both PAL and NTSC, I feel, after reading here, that more information is required from his end before I can buy the right hardware. But what? Does S-VHS matter? Does he want to record the DVD in PAL-60? (I don't even know what that is but I will try to find out tonight). What other questions would you ask him?

    I fear I will have to bug you guys for more information in the coming days. I'll try to do my searches and answer my own questions before posting.
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  2. Member
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    Has anyone found one of these things that doesn't have HDCP on the HDMI output?
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  3. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Nope,unless it's built illegally then it has have hdcp.Look for hdcp stripper on google.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  4. Member DB83's Avatar
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    You say you do not want to start a thread but ask enough questions for a thread all the same.

    You will not likely find any combi that can handle both PAL and NTSC tapes. The only company I know that offered this was Phillips in Holland and specific models only.

    Try dubbing a NTSC tape in a machine that states PAL/NTSC even with a stand-alone player will result in a B&W picture without any other format considerations.
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  5. Member
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    1: if the DVD recorder has an RCA in and can record from that then that will work, as long as they actually ARE home movies and have no copy protection.
    ...
    Maybe you should try to find a PAL/NTSC VHS/DVD recorder before asking more questions.

    As far as I can tell, your best bet is the either
    1: get a Multi-Format VCR off of ebay and buy an adaptor to plug it into your PC
    2: buy an NTSC VCR and a PAL VCR and plug them both into the PC when needed using an adaptor
    3: buy one PAL and one NTSC VHS to DVD recorders and use them each on their own formats
    4: buy one NTSC VHS to DVD recorder with HDMI and one PAL VHS to DVD recorder with HDMI, buy a splitter to strip the HDCP from the HDMI signal, buy an HDMI capture card and use VirtualDub to save a lossless intermediate to clean up before you distort the picture even further by compressing it.

    Isn't PAL60 South American? He'd have to be well travelled to have home movies in the format.
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    South American is PAL-M or PAL-N both closer to NTSC than PAL. US machines that state PAL/NTSC would more likely support these PAL formats than European ones. PAL60 is NTSC playback on PAL-B equipment.
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  7. Member
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    *sigh* is there any progress on a single international standard yet
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  8. Member
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    tradernick - It might be in your best interest to tell us exactly what country your cousin lives in. Many people get into this making erroneous assumptions about what they need to do. Why exactly does this cousin think he needs to deal with both NTSC and PAL?

    What the hell is going on this year with all these people only now suddenly waking up and going "Oh crap! I better save all my precious videotapes NOW!"

    The golden age of doing this was YEARS ago. Your cousin needs to prioritize what he must save vs. what would be nice to save. Many men have maybe hundreds of videotapes of stuff they shot years ago and they are convinced that all multi-hundreds of tapes MUST be saved even though nobody including them is ever going to watch this stuff again. A realistic assessment of what is actually worth keeping would be helpful vs. "Let's copy everything even though it would take someone 400+ hours to sit through it all" that most people do. Note that if any of these tapes have defects in them that a VHS/DVD recorder combo may refuse to record the tape because it erroneously thinks it's a commercial tape. We don't recommend using VHS/DVD recorder combos for that reason. Separate devices at least allow you to put a TBC between the VHS player and DVD recorder to try to handle the "tape won't record" issue, but that adds to cost and complexity in having to buy an old VHS player and a separate DVD recorder, but it may be the only way to get some tapes recorded. Yes, of course separate devices is possible.

    In Canada you're going to fit it expensive and difficult to get hardware that can handle PAL if he has suckered you into doing this for him. If you do more than maybe 10 tapes for him you're probably an idiot to give up all your time for free, but it's your time to waste on this, not mine. Most people have no problem committing other people into great expenditures of time and money and you're probably just enabling him by agreeing without any thought to capturing a boatload of tapes for your cousin. Again, I promise you that the bigger the project, the less likely it is that ANYBODY, including your cousin, is ever going to watch this stuff again so you might consider whether it's really worth the effort to do some massive project for nothing.
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  9. Member
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    You say you do not want to start a thread but ask enough questions for a thread all the same.

    You will not likely find any combi that can handle both PAL and NTSC tapes. The only company I know that offered this was Phillips in Holland and specific models only.

    Try dubbing a NTSC tape in a machine that states PAL/NTSC even with a stand-alone player will result in a B&W picture without any other format considerations.
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll take them in order

    I actually didn't say I didn't want to start a thread. I said I didn't want to start yet another 'Which DVD/VCR combo is best for dubbing my old tapes' thread. I read that if you have questions before starting a thread, the newb section is the place to introduce yourself and get someinfo. I apologize if I've done something that you feel is a waste of time or inappropriate.

    If you could give me any info on the questions I asked, I'd really appreciate it.
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  10. Member
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    Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    1: if the DVD recorder has an RCA in and can record from that then that will work, as long as they actually ARE home movies and have no copy protection.
    ...
    Maybe you should try to find a PAL/NTSC VHS/DVD recorder before asking more questions.

    As far as I can tell, your best bet is the either
    1: get a Multi-Format VCR off of ebay and buy an adaptor to plug it into your PC
    2: buy an NTSC VCR and a PAL VCR and plug them both into the PC when needed using an adaptor
    3: buy one PAL and one NTSC VHS to DVD recorders and use them each on their own formats
    4: buy one NTSC VHS to DVD recorder with HDMI and one PAL VHS to DVD recorder with HDMI, buy a splitter to strip the HDCP from the HDMI signal, buy an HDMI capture card and use VirtualDub to save a lossless intermediate to clean up before you distort the picture even further by compressing it.

    Isn't PAL60 South American? He'd have to be well travelled to have home movies in the format.
    Thanks for the response. Re: the PAL/NTSC combo unit, I am taking my cousins word for it - he mentioned that he found a few that handle both and sent me links. He's actually fairly tech-adept. Maybe he's mistaken in this. That's two of you who have made comments suggesting that a combo unit that handles both is rare or non-existent, so I will now start to look for specific proof that the combo units under consideration actually do handle both.

    Thanks for your suggestions. It seems more and more like the answer is the multi-format VCR into PC route.
    Last edited by tradernick; 1st May 2014 at 14:18.
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    tradernick - It might be in your best interest to tell us exactly what country your cousin lives in. Many people get into this making erroneous assumptions about what they need to do. Why exactly does this cousin think he needs to deal with both NTSC and PAL?
    He lives in India. He's tech adept enough to know that he used both formats. He and his wife are in the business of animal rescue and have travelled all over the world doing seminars (Nat Geo did a 30-minute piece on them a few years back). So I assume he's had lots of different cameras in his hands.

    Considering the responses I've received so far, I know I'm going to get flamed for this... but the idea is not for me to do his work for him. The idea is for me to ship him a solution/player from Canada to India.

    Let the howls of laughter begin : )

    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    What the hell is going on this year with all these people only now suddenly waking up and going "Oh crap! I better save all my precious videotapes NOW!"
    I've read this same question in other posts I reviewed before posting here. Sorry, I have no idea. I'm not a home movie guy. I am a pro audio guy, though, so I'm not totally at sea qwhen it comes to tech stuff.

    I really don't know what material he has to dub. It's not really a concern for me. Maybe he's the kind of guy who wants everything archived. In any case, my only concern here is to try to find him a solution.

    I'll admit that I'm a bit surprised that this is (apparently) so hard to do.
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    Maybe at this point I should just ask this -

    Is it correct to say that the easiest way to get this done nowadays is to just do it via computer? That is, get an adapter to plug your VHS player into the computer, get software to handle the input, then create a file and burn to DVD?

    If so, can anyone tell me what software is best for a reasonable cost? Also, is it a straight RCA to USB connector that's necessary? Will this work for any reasonably modern VHS player
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  13. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    tradernick, in the future please use a more descriptive subject title in your posts to allow others to search for similar topics. I will change yours this time. From our rules:
    Try to choose a subject that describes your topic.
    Please do not use topic subjects like Help me!!! or Problems.
    Thanks,

    Moderator redwudz
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  14. Member
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    Originally Posted by tradernick View Post

    Considering the responses I've received so far, I know I'm going to get flamed for this... but the idea is not for me to do his work for him. The idea is for me to ship him a solution/player from Canada to India.

    Let the howls of laughter begin : )
    Nobody should laugh but this is such a horribly bad idea that I'm done with this thread. To continue to "help" you when this is your plan would do you and your cousin a big disservice. You'll have to buy a speciality unlocked dual powered world wide region free recorder and pray that it works for him long enough for him to complete this task. I cannot in good conscience recommend that you ship a player to India from Canada, so I wish you the best, but I'm done here.
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  15. Member
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    tradernick, you might need to answer whether these conversions need to be basic quality or very highest quality possible.
    I suggest you visit http://www.digitalfaq.com/ and its forum http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/ .

    Another is how much money are you willing to invest in this...or your cousin.
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post

    Nobody should laugh but this is such a horribly bad idea that I'm done with this thread. To continue to "help" you when this is your plan would do you and your cousin a big disservice. You'll have to buy a speciality unlocked dual powered world wide region free recorder and pray that it works for him long enough for him to complete this task. I cannot in good conscience recommend that you ship a player to India from Canada, so I wish you the best, but I'm done here.
    Thanks for the response. I was aware that this would seem laughable to you guys. Just before you go, could you confirm that if your overseas cousin asked about this and you confirmed that he actually had homemade (not copy protected) tapes in both PAL and NTSC, you would tell him that the best solution is to get a player that plays both formats, then import into a computer using ________ software, then simply burn to optical media?

    Yes, I'm aware that optical media is passe. I will bring this up with him and see why he needs these on discs in the first place.
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  17. Member
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    Originally Posted by Steve(MS) View Post
    tradernick, you might need to answer whether these conversions need to be basic quality or very highest quality possible.
    I suggest you visit http://www.digitalfaq.com/ and its forum http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/ .

    Another is how much money are you willing to invest in this...or your cousin.
    Okay, will ask and check that link. Thanks.
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  18. Member
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    Well, if you do find a VHS/DVD recorder that's capable of dubbing both NTSC and PAL cassettes can you please post a link on the forum, I'm sure we'd all be fascinated to see it.

    I've found a unit that will PLAY both PAL and NTSC VHS cassettes but the instructions are quite clear that the copying of NTSC signals is prohibited (it says it twice).
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    Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    Well, if you do find a VHS/DVD recorder that's capable of dubbing both NTSC and PAL cassettes can you please post a link on the forum, I'm sure we'd all be fascinated to see it.

    I've found a unit that will PLAY both PAL and NTSC VHS cassettes but the instructions are quite clear that the copying of NTSC signals is prohibited (it says it twice).
    Reading between the lines on your first sentence above, it's clear you don't believe very many (if any) of these units exist. Obviously if someone with your level of knowledge doesn't know of them, they likely don't exist. I'm pretty clear on that at this point.

    I'm not sure what you mean by probited (maybe commercial, copyright protected tapes such as Hollywood movies were sold in this format). In our case, we're dealing with footage owned by the guy who shot it. I don't know why some is in PAL and some in NTSC.

    I would ask the same question of you that I asked above. If a friend or cousin came to you with this question, would you just say

    'By far the easiet way to do what you want is to import the footage into your computer via ___________ software, and then just create digital files and burn DVD's'

    Thanks for taking the time to respond in this thread.
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  20. Member
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    Originally Posted by Toshiba DVR20KB - Users Manual
    This unit uses the PAL system. However, it is also possible to
    play back DVDs using other colour systems, such as NTSC.
    ---
    Recording Error
    This programme is not allowed to be
    recorded.
    • The recording function encountered a
    copy prohibited programme.
    • Original source is in NTSC system.
    ---
    • NTSC recording is prohibited in this unit.
    Make sure whatever you end up with actually does what you want it to do.

    And I wouldn't say 'easiest' way, but it does give you a hell of a lot more control and will most definitely give a better outcome, assuming you have the technical abilities to get it working.
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  21. Originally Posted by tradernick View Post
    'By far the easiet way to do what you want is to import the footage into your computer via ___________ software, and then just create digital files and burn DVD's.'
    There's a bit more to it than that. Say, for the sake of argument, you (or he) gets a multisystem VCR (rather than a DVD/VCR combo unit). You (or he) will still need a way to get it into the computer. After that it's fairly easy, assuming you don't intend to do much/any editing and/or restoration, and the capture unit will come with the required software. If you don't care much about quality, a simple USB capture device capping in DVD-compliant MPEG-2 will do the job. The included software will both capture as well as prepare the DVD from the capture.

    Something such as this one is well-regarded here and can do the job for you:

    http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-VC500-Touch-Capture-Device/dp/B000VM60I8/
    Last edited by manono; 1st May 2014 at 19:45.
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  22. Member
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    Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    Originally Posted by Toshiba DVR20KB - Users Manual
    This unit uses the PAL system. However, it is also possible to
    play back DVDs using other colour systems, such as NTSC.
    ---
    Recording Error
    This programme is not allowed to be
    recorded.
    The recording function encountered a
    copy prohibited programme.
    Original source is in NTSC system.
    ---
    NTSC recording is prohibited in this unit.
    Make sure whatever you end up with actually does what you want it to do.

    And I wouldn't say 'easiest' way, but it does give you a hell of a lot more control and will most definitely give a better outcome, assuming you have the technical abilities to get it working.
    Thanks for trying to provide a concrete example. I notice that in the quote you took from the manual, it says

    "...it is possible to play back DVD's using other colour systems such as NTSC"

    So what we are looking for is a unit that will play VHS tapes recorded in NTSC, right? Or am I missing something obvious here?

    Regardless, I assume the error message you've posted is an example of what I can see when I use a unit that is supposed to be able to dub from NTSC onto DVD, but in fact won't work. It will come up as copy prohibited even if I shot the footage myself.
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  23. Member
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    Sorry, reading through all this crap is difficult. Multi-format can mean NTSC + PAL or the different types of DVD recordable media. A lot of DVDs can play both NTSC and PAL but you're looking for something that will record both from a VHS cassette to a DVD. Finding an adequate description of what a particular unit is capable of is difficult.

    However, I think it's telling that at least two members of the forum have suggested what you're looking for doesn't exist, and no one has jumped in to correct us.
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  24. Member
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by tradernick View Post
    'By far the easiet way to do what you want is to import the footage into your computer via ___________ software, and then just create digital files and burn DVD's.'
    There's a bit more to it than that. Say, for the sake of argument, you (or he) gets a multisystem VCR (rather than a DVD/VCR combo unit). You (or he) will still need a way to get it into the computer. After that it's fairly easy, assuming you don't intend to do much/any editing and/or restoration, and the capture unit will come with the required software. If you don't care much about quality, a simple USB capture device capping in DVD-compliant MPEG-2 will do the job. The included software will both capture as well as prepare the DVD from the capture.

    Something such as this one is well-regarded here and can do the job for you:

    http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-VC500-Touch-Capture-Device/dp/B000VM60I8/
    Thanks for a useful response.

    I have learned tonight that people are having decent luck with the Sabrent unit of the same description (another dongle-like RCA - USB adapter). Also that they use it with a program called ULead. I am not sure if this unit is capping in 'DVD compliant MPEG-2' or not, but I'll find out.

    http://www.sabrent.com/category/video-converters/USB-AVCPT/

    Your suggestion seems even better if the unit comes bundled with software made by the same manufacturer (will check out the link now). If that's the case, it would suggest even better compatibility and ease of use.

    Thanks again for a helpful response.
    Last edited by tradernick; 1st May 2014 at 22:11.
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  25. Member
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    Originally Posted by ndjamena View Post
    Sorry, reading through all this crap is difficult. Multi-format can mean NTSC + PAL or the different types of DVD recordable media. A lot of DVDs can play both NTSC and PAL but you're looking for something that will record both from a VHS cassette to a DVD. Finding an adequate description of what a particular unit is capable of is difficult.

    However, I think it's telling that at least two members of the forum have suggested what you're looking for doesn't exist, and no one has jumped in to correct us.
    Absolutely, the fact that no one is challenging that point is making the difference for me. I have basically given up on that idea. If this is going to happen, it's likely to be using the type of device that manono linked to above. That's just way easier than rolling the dice with a combo unit.
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    My next question is going to be

    'Which Multi-Format VCR should I be looking for to handle playback of both PAL and NTSC - say my budget is $150 - $200. Even a hint as to which manufacturer, if any, can be relied upon more than others.'

    I have started a search by title but no threads are popping up right away. Will continue to look. I don't want to start another thread if I don't have to. But if I do, which section should it be in?
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  27. LG makes them, but not within your budget. Maybe cheaper would be to buy separate used VCRs, one for PAL and the other for NTSC, from eBay or somewhere.
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  28. Just my 2 cents:
    I have a JVC HR-S5700AM MultiSystem VCR.

    It plays back PAL - MESECAM - NTSC3.58 and NTSC4.43.

    (NTSC 4.43 is used on PAL video recorders and allows reproduction of American video tape (NTSC3.58) on a PAL TV. It's not true NTSC and you cannot record it, it's really just for playback on PAL TVs only.)

    I run the signal from the JVC HR-S5700AM through a Canpos ADVC110, (which has a PAL/NTSC switch depending on the format being played back), and capture on the computer. So I can capture PAL VHS tapes on the computer in the PAL format; or I can capture NTSC (3.58) VHS tapes on he computer in the NTSC format.

    Then trim and cleanup before encoding and burning either NTSC or PAL DVDs for the family. It takes a bit longer but I enjoy the control it offers.

    Other then that, depending on the size of the job, is going to a professional transfer place an option? (Here in Australia http://www.dvdinfinity.com.au/vhs_to_dvd.htm). It might be easier.
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  29. Member
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    Originally Posted by phase52001 View Post
    Just my 2 cents:
    I have a JVC HR-S5700AM MultiSystem VCR.

    It plays back PAL - MESECAM - NTSC3.58 and NTSC4.43.

    (NTSC 4.43 is used on PAL video recorders and allows reproduction of American video tape (NTSC3.58) on a PAL TV. It's not true NTSC and you cannot record it, it's really just for playback on PAL TVs only.)

    I run the signal from the JVC HR-S5700AM through a Canpos ADVC110, (which has a PAL/NTSC switch depending on the format being played back), and capture on the computer. So I can capture PAL VHS tapes on the computer in the PAL format; or I can capture NTSC (3.58) VHS tapes on he computer in the NTSC format.

    Then trim and cleanup before encoding and burning either NTSC or PAL DVDs for the family. It takes a bit longer but I enjoy the control it offers.

    Other then that, depending on the size of the job, is going to a professional transfer place an option? (Here in Australia http://www.dvdinfinity.com.au/vhs_to_dvd.htm). It might be easier.
    Excellent information, thanks for the details.

    Obviously the outboard A/D converter is going to give you much better results than one of those little dongles paired up with a piece of software. I assume the main bonus for you, though, is the ability to capture in the appropriate format.

    I think for our job I am going to stick with the converter dongle. The only JVC unit close to yours that's available used is this one, the HR-S7600U

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-HR-S7600-S-VHS-VCR-/161286117058?pt=VCRs&hash=item258d66d6c2

    It's in my price range. I'm hoping that a higher model number means that this one also has the PAL/NTSC capability that yours has. I'm off to search it up to see if I can find out.

    _________________________________

    EDIT: The manual for your unit clearly details the 'Multi-System Compatibility' feature, and the 'Color System' button which, in Auto mode, automatically detects the color system being recorded or played back.

    The manual for the S7600 has nothing about Multi-System compatibility.

    Darn!
    Last edited by tradernick; 2nd May 2014 at 02:45.
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  30. Originally Posted by tradernick View Post
    It's in my price range. I'm hoping that a higher model number means that this one also has the PAL/NTSC capability that yours has.
    Nope.
    Originally Posted by tradernick View Post
    Obviously the outboard A/D converter is going to give you much better results than one of those little dongles paired up with a piece of software.
    Not so obvious. You wanted easy, but for those willing to do some work the ability of one of USB devices to cap lossless AVI (as well as MPEG-2) trumps the ability of the ADVC since the DV-AVI it captures is lossy. Not as lossy as the DVD compliant MPEG-2 you'll get using the software included with the USB capture device, but lossy nonetheless.
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