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  1. I got a very old betamax tape of my parents' wedding which was recorded in Europe, thus, in PAL format.

    Does anyone know where can I get a PAL BetaMax VCR? eBay sucks

    In reality, the best solution would be if I could get a BetaMax which plays both NTSC and PAL - since my TV here in US is, well NTSC

    Problem comes not just VCR but TV I guess

    Any other thoughts or suggestions would help a bunch.

    Thanks!
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
    - http://smilajkov.com/petar
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by peconi
    Does anyone know where can I get a PAL BetaMax VCR? eBay sucks
    Are you having trouble finding a PAL Betamax machine "anywhere" in America....outside of Ebay
    that is?
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    The real question is, not can you find one, but how much are you willing to pay?

    Anything used is likely to be REALLY used, but you might still find one on eBay.

    I'd say your best bet though, is a service like the one at http://www.stanleysonline.co.uk/scategory-80.htm

    Even if you don't live in the UK, there's got be one in your country that does this.

    If money's no object, you might try Sony, too. I've bought machines for obsolete standards from them before and paid through the nose.

    There's another alternative, but it's even more expensive. Get a professional transcoding BetaMax that does both standards. They were rare even then, though.
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  4. My suggestion is to search for a company that converts tapes to DVD,it would be cheaper than buying a VCR.Here is one company in the US:

    http://www.apmstudio.com/pal-ntsc/convert-pal-to-ntsc.asp
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  5. Thanks for replies guys... Every video service company I called couple of months ago could not do anything PAL BetaMax related. I'll try the AmpStudio and see what they say.

    stanleysonline.co.uk sounds quite interesting since they say they are doing just that. I have a brother who lives in London so I could mail it to him

    As for BetaMax machines - the problem is that most people who sell them have no idea if they are PAL or NTSC, but being in US they are mostly NTSC. I bought one on eBay for $250 but it turned out not to be able to read PAL tapes. The only ones I could find were in UK - but shipping to here of a super heavy BetaMax VCR is around $150+ USD.
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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    - http://iBetaTest.com (register!)
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  6. Hmm found also http://www.torontohomemovies.com/ ... Heck, I'll drive 7 hours if I have to
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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  7. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by peconi
    I bought one on eBay for $250 but it turned out not to be able to read PAL tapes.
    So that is why Ebay sucks?


    Look....all bashing aside....you'd have a hard time trying to find
    a real PAL VHS machine in America....let alone a PAL Betamax machine
    in America.

    You also have to ask yourself....what are you going to do with it once you get it?
    Can your DVD recorder or your computer capture card "record" in PAL format?

    The tape you are looking to preserve/convert is well worth the effort....
    but it is going to take some planning and some research.
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  8. I know - that's why I'm here -- researching hehe

    APM Studio in Florida responded to my email and seems they are capable of converting PAL BetaMax to NTSC DVD... Now that's good news.

    I just wish I had it available somewhere closer - I'm sincerely scared sending the tape via UPS, etc. - even if it is going overnight insured... I think I'd drop and die if it got lost haha

    As for eBay - they suck for a lot more reasons than just mentioned - you won't believe how many times people won my auctions and haven't paid for them... I use www.ClickaPost.com (try to figure out why)

    P.
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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  9. Well, outside the USA, in an area where PAL was in use, your chances would be a lot better. Send it overseas if you have to.

    It's always worth having just a quick look at other tapes you might have found before throwing them all out. There are a few things that have been lost by careless TV stations (Doctor Who is the most famous example but far from the only one).
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  10. I sent the tape to APM Studio after they said they can do it.

    Got a call from them the other day saying - they can't do it. In 3 Pal BetaMax players the image was jumping - so they say it's some specific PAL they can't decode.

    Very nice of them to reimburse me for my shipping $40 and to ship it back FedEx Overnight - without any charge.

    P.
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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  11. Member
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    Actually, I have two - but shipping one from New Zealand would cost more than from the UK. You reminded me of them, they have been in the basement for years. The first one I got cheap, and quality blew VHS away back when VHS was new, so I used to have them both hooked up and mainly used the VHS for rentals. I had a very very good HQ video monitor w/o a TV tuner (used to sell for several thousand $$$ in the day, I got it surplus with a second Beta VCR, a tape drive, 25 new tapes, and NEC multisynch monitor and some other bric a brac all for $50) that I used to use as a TV in the spare room - with the Beta VCR serving as a tuner even long after I had pensioned the format off from being used to record. Great quality, but new tapes got harder and harder to find. Guess I should haul them out and find out if they still work, and if not dump them. Actually, even they do work I'm not sure I have a use for them any longer ............. Ah, memories of a packrat.

    Anyhow, I suggest that for a one off job involving both an obscure format and signal standard conversion a professional duplication house would be your best bet. That's what I am planning to do with some old broadcast format footage (featuring a dead relative, so old I suspect it's on film rather than tape) I want converted - as soon as I can find out how/whether I can get the TV company to locate it and tell me how much they will charge to let it get copied. Otherwise, even if you get it from Tape to DVD, assuming you have a recorder that can cope with PAL, you are still left with PAL to NTSC conversion.
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  12. APM Studio can do PAL tapes to NTSC DVD - they just could not do my Pal format for some reason. Didn't know there were many differences in PAL
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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  13. It's possible the tapes are damaged beyond what a TBC can correct.
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  14. It crossed my mind but I thought the studio would know if the tape is damaged or they can't read the format.

    I really hope it's not. Maybe on my next trip to Europe I can explore the hidden electronic stores of UK, France and Italy - and hopefully find a nice BetaMax player that can read it. Heck maybe even an old camcorder - that'd be even more fun...
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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    One of the local places here in town used to do all my old Beta tapes. I'll have to see if he still has Beta equipment. Outfits in Chicago also had conversion equipment but that was back in the late 90's. I don't have any working Beta PAL or VHS equipment anymore. You might also check with some of the places that used to sell multisystem equipment in the USA. There is a chance they might be able to help. I'd figure major TV stations probably still have that kind of equipment but how to get ahold of techs that might be able to help? Have you tried on AVSForum as well as this site?
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  16. Thanks for info ... Will check out all suggestions. I really want this thing
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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    Originally Posted by peconi
    It crossed my mind but I thought the studio would know if the tape is damaged or they can't read the format.
    I think your assumption is wrong. It sounds to me like they don't know what the heck they are doing because what you describe sounds exactly like a tape badly in need of TBC. You'd do well to take this to heart - in life just because someone does something for a living, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are any good at it. There are good doctors and bad doctors, good lawyers and bad lawyers, and so on. I can certainly believe that it's possible that they don't know anything about PAL in reality.

    My understanding of PAL is that the PAL used in Europe is compatible across the board and it's only when you get outside of Europe that things start getting weird. SECAM was also used in Europe, but that should manifest itself as (I think) black and white video, not jumping.

    Of course I am assuming that you know what you are talking about when you say "Europe" and if it turns out that you are a geographically challenged person who thinks that, for example, Argentina is in Europe, well, that could be a big part of the problem. I would suggest that you tell us exactly what country in Europe this tape came from in case there is anything special about that country that you need to know in terms of video. I'm not trying to be rude, but you are certainly being mysterious here. Is there a reason you prefer to speak in vague terms like saying "Europe" instead of the specific country? The less you want to tell, the less help you'll get as you are finding out.
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  18. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by peconi
    It crossed my mind but I thought the studio would know if the tape is damaged or they can't read the format.
    Most of those "one price fits all" companies don't use high-end equipment. I'd be surprised if they had any experience at restoring video, rather than just popping into a few VCRs, scratching their heads, and giving up. I see a lot of that going on with these services.

    EDIT: jman98 beat me to it -- I've got the same conclusion.

    Sadly, PAL Betamax is outside of my abilities too, but I can ask 2-3 people whom I know with PAL equipment, Betamax equipment, AND some experience at restoration. Not sure if any of them do all 3 together, however.

    Indeed, there are at least a half-dozen variant PAL formats from the tape days. Any self-respecting service should know that as much as they should know how to set a VCR clock.
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  19. Well, I got a few of these babies lying around:

    Sony SL-HF950, wich is TOTL in PAL-land, has HiFi Stereo, SuperBeta,... of wich I'd be willing to sell one, theyre not cheap though. But I also have a SL-F60 wich is a lower-end mono model, and a SL-HF100 and SL-HF150, both HiFi Stereo.

    Yea, I'm a Beta freak xD

    Oh BTW, I live in Belgium wich is a small country next to France

    PS: about multistandard machines, there are a couple, like the SL-T50ME, they are scarce, and expensive. (one on ebay right now for €500)
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  20. Of course I am assuming that you know what you are talking about when you say "Europe" and if it turns out that you are a geographically challenged person who thinks that, for example, Argentina is in Europe, well, that could be a big part of the problem. I would suggest that you tell us exactly what country in Europe this tape came from in case there is anything special about that country that you need to know in terms of video. I'm not trying to be rude, but you are certainly being mysterious here. Is there a reason you prefer to speak in vague terms like saying "Europe" instead of the specific country? The less you want to tell, the less help you'll get as you are finding out.
    All of this could've been put in one sentence: What country in Europe is the tape from?

    I may not know how many Pal variations there are but I certainly know I am from Serbia and that Serbia is in Europe. Also, being from there I know a lot more about World's geography than most people since we study it in schools since the 3rd grade and we have it every single year.

    So all info there is about the tape: It's from Serbia, which is in Eastern Europe, surrounded by Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia (Kosovo is still ours so I guess Albania counts as surrounding country too). The tape was recorded on March 23rd 1980 - and since it was recorded then and there and was playable for years to come on the TV's over there - I assume it's in PAL format.

    Did Sony make SECAM BetaMax? I sincerely doubt it was SECAM.

    I remember vaguely of how the VCR looked like (my uncle is the one who had it). I rather now find out which BetaMax camcorders were around in that time and try to maybe find one of those. Heck, it can play back stuff too and may be the better solution.

    Raffie - with the shipping in 100's of USD for BetaMax VCRs from Europe (sorry, Belgium to be exact), and probably at least a 100 or 200 more you would be wanting for the VCR - I'm better off getting it when on my next trip (which is next year). Save shipping and bring the tape to try out in all these stores

    Thanks.
    Petar Smilajkov - Peconi
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    - http://iBetaTest.com (register!)
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  21. Some websites say Yugoslavia used secam - I assume when they married it was still Yugoslavia, before the country broke up (let's be objective, including Kosovo)? Of course, not everything you read on the internet is true.
    But SECAM was also in use in France, so there must have been Secam Betamax players.

    Buying a really rare and expensive betamax player for one tape sounds cumbersome. Better to find a reliable professional service in a PAL or SECAM area.
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  22. Member
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    Hi, I was interested in reading your video conversion problem. I operate a business that converts old video's like yours to PAL etc. I have a fully serviced Toshiba V31 player, a TBS, a Advanced Digital Converter And Enhancer all
    outputed to a ADVD 300 then into a AVIO video card. I believe that your tape should offer np problems for the
    conversion, as I do PAL, NTSC, Secam etc. Send me a email if you are interested in a conversion.
    Roger
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    Just to clear this: ex-Yugoslavia had PAL not SECAM.
    I'm from Croatia.
    peconi,
    if you have plans to visit Serbia, I'm sure that there are video services in Belgrade which could handle the conversion in any other acceptable video format. Call them on the phone and ask them. Research a bit. Insist that you have PAL BetaMax as a source and ask which machine do they have to play it.
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  24. OK, so they had PAL.

    A contribution on this topic https://forum.videohelp.com/topic355093.html#1906205 suggests you should avoid a betacam deck that can also play betamax. Maybe that's what went wrong at APM?
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  25. Member
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    Yes I have a SONY SLT50-ME 5 system player, but may have a problem since I cannot play tapes on NTSC TV.

    Do I need a PAL TV to view tapes?
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  26. Member
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    I got a SONY PAL BETAMAX 5-System player/recorder and a bunch of old movies in PAL format. Does anyone want it/them?
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    If anyone interested in Sony Betamax player/recorder and 40 movies/tapes contact me at dfawver@sbcglobal.net. They are in San Antonio, Texas
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