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  1. Hello everyone,

    I have a couple videos that were recorded in Brazil which uses PAL-N format. When I played them in the USA they appeared in black and white and there was a constant knocking sound in the background. I have to get them converted because they are sentimental and a few years old and I want them archived and playable. Does anyone know of a reputable video conversion service that converts PAL to NTSC?

    and also, I played the videos twice already in my ntsc vcr. Would this damage the tapes since it was the wrong format?

    Thanks for reading.
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paul99 View Post
    I played the videos twice already in my ntsc vcr. Would this damage the tapes since it was the wrong format?
    No
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    If it is Brazil then the video should be PAL-M, not N. This format is very similar to NTSC, only the color sub-carrier is changed. No of lines is the same 525/29.97.

    Conversion should be quite straight forward - much easier than a PAL 625/25 video.

    I had a PAL-M video converted here in the UK. The user just used conventianal mult-standard VCRs and signal boosters.
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    Paul99 - Since you don't state the country you live in (and yes, I realize that I also do not do so in my profile, but there are reasons why I don't want it in my profile and I've admitted countless times here that I live in the USA) it might be kind of hard for us to make a recommendation. Just saying.

    If you live in the USA then you can do a web search or if you live in a large metropolitan area you can probably find a video service that can do this for you. I agree with DB83 that if this is really PAL-M then it should be very easy to convert to NTSC DVD.
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  5. Thanks for your responses guys.. Sorry Jman, I was in a hurry when I made my profile. I am from Pennsylvania... Ive found some places online that do conversion but no one specifies pal-m. Will they all have the capabilities to convert from this format?
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  6. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paul99 View Post
    Thanks for your responses guys.. Sorry Jman, I was in a hurry when I made my profile. I am from Pennsylvania... Ive found some places online that do conversion but no one specifies pal-m. Will they all have the capabilities to convert from this format?
    PAL-N is Argentina/Uraguay and is 625/50 with PAL subcarrier at 3.58 MHz vs. 4.42 MHz for Euro PAL.

    PAL-M is Brazil and is 525/60 with PAL subcarrier at 3.58 MHz. In USA, to play a VHS tape in other than monochrome you will need a multi-system VCR that will detect PAL and convert to NTSC. This tech talk is necessary so you can negotiate with a dub house. Most service the India/China/Euro customers that present 625/50 PAL tapes. You may have more luck sending your tapes to a Brazil savvy market like Miami but NYC dub houses should also be familliar with PAL-M.

    Best to have these dubbed to a hard drive or flash drive in NTSC DV-AVI format which allows you more editing flexibility (including still capture) vs a DVD dub. If these tapes are important to you, specify a framesync/TBC be used for the transfer.
    Last edited by edDV; 24th Mar 2011 at 15:10.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    PAL-M and PAL-N are not so exotic that you'd require service from South America or Miami.
    I do these kinds of tapes from time to time. I have the gear for it.
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    At minimum you just need a transcoding VCR for a few hours while you capture the video.
    http://www.hometechanswers.com/video/samsung-sv5000.html
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  9. Thanks for the help guys! I really appreciate it..

    EdDV, these tapes are pretty important to me so I will request framesync/TBC when i find a service.. Excuse my ignorance, but what does that mean exactly?
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paul99 View Post
    Thanks for the help guys! I really appreciate it..

    EdDV, these tapes are pretty important to me so I will request framesync/TBC when i find a service.. Excuse my ignorance, but what does that mean exactly?
    8mm and VHS video has timebase instability due to cheap mechanical design. It is similar to wow and flutter on audio decks but at much higher rates. This causes horizontal jitter line to line causing lines to displace from those above or below. This causes errors in motion detection that negatively affects digital filtering and compression.

    A simple TBC will read data into memory based on the wandering input horizontal sync pulse and then read it out at a stable rate. This removes most horizontal jitter from the line.

    A more sophisticated Framesync/TBC will read a full frame of video into memory and correct line to line and vertical instabilities. In the past these units cost many thousands but now are in the $1,000 range and common in dub houses.

    Typical is FOR.A FA-125 $1649.00
    http://for-a.com/products/fa125/fa125.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/553316-REG/For_A_FA_125_FA_125_Analog_Frame_Sync_TBC.html

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    Last edited by edDV; 25th Mar 2011 at 15:41.
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  11. Thanks for your help Ed, I really appreciate it the info! I'll be sure to request the framesync/tbc.
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    [QUOTE=edDV;2066629]
    Originally Posted by Paul99 View Post
    Most service the India/China/Euro customers that present 625/50 PAL tapes.


    So what usually does someone from the India/China/Euro market want? Do they typically have VHS tapes in their format they want dubbed to DVD NTSC?
    Would a simple mulitsystem VCR take care of that (besides transferring it to computer and burning it to DVD)? I mean, what's the minimum equipment one should
    have to service that India/China/Euro market?
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  13. Member edDV's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=HoosierGuy;2068828]
    Originally Posted by edDV View Post
    Originally Posted by Paul99 View Post
    Most service the India/China/Euro customers that present 625/50 PAL tapes.


    So what usually does someone from the India/China/Euro market want? Do they typically have VHS tapes in their format they want dubbed to DVD NTSC?
    Would a simple mulitsystem VCR take care of that (besides transferring it to computer and burning it to DVD)? I mean, what's the minimum equipment one should
    have to service that India/China/Euro market?
    India/China/Euro PAL VHS tapes will be 625 line, 50Hz and require a 625/50 PAL VHS player or a high price "multi-system" converting VHS player like the Samsung model referenced above. A PAL VHS player will output PAL so won't be compatible with most USA TV sets or DVD recorders. The PAL output can be captured to a computer in PAL format and viewed there. To convert that to NTSC search this site for many ways to make a low quality conversion.
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Multisystem VCRs tend to be low quality consumer-grade decks, just FYI.
    Much better to have dedicated VCR for the format.
    That's what high-quality video transfer services will be using.
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  15. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Multisystem VCRs tend to be low quality consumer-grade decks, just FYI.
    Much better to have dedicated VCR for the format.
    That's what high-quality video transfer services will be using.
    And they should be using high quality standards converters like Snell and Wilcox (now Snell).
    http://www.snellgroup.com/products/conversion-and-restoration

    I was once told by someone at Snell and Wilcox back in the 90's that their largest US segment was small dub houses for the Indian and Chinese VHS conversion market. TV stations and post houses were small in comparison.
    Last edited by edDV; 3rd Apr 2011 at 16:25.
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  16. Thanks Ed, I was looking for the largest companies I could find figuring they would be more technologically advanced than the smaller ones. Now that I know what to ask them, it sure makes it easier deciding where to send them for the best results. Do you recommend any dub houses on the east coast? Kinda nervous about sending these tapes cross country, they are very sentimental.
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  17. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paul99 View Post
    Thanks Ed, I was looking for the largest companies I could find figuring they would be more technologically advanced than the smaller ones. Now that I know what to ask them, it sure makes it easier deciding where to send them for the best results. Do you recommend any dub houses on the east coast? Kinda nervous about sending these tapes cross country, they are very sentimental.
    I haven't used any. Here are some higher end facilities with the right equipment.

    http://www.dupespec.com/video.html
    http://www.accordproductions.com//rates.php?id=2
    http://www.evideoexpress.com/
    http://www.dvsduplication.com/services_pal-ntsc.htm
    http://www.mellowstv.com/index.html
    http://www.bvdigitalmedia.com/duplication-and-broadcast-support/standards-conversion-a...-distribution/
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  18. Thanks for all of your help Ed! I really appreciate it
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