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  1. I have an old VHS video that was recorded using a Sony video camera. It was recorded in the UK.
    I didn't consider this when I took it to a USA shop to have it digitalized. They called me and said they are getting audio but no video. Would the reason be because it was recorded as PAL? It's a small shop and they don't have the equipment to convert it to NTSC.
    I can have it taken back to the UK in October and get it done there.
    I really just need to know if you think that is the issue.
    I'm desperate. The video is of my son when he was a few months old. It was recorded in 1996. My son passed away in 2021.
    I'm just looking to see if there is any hope. October is a long time for me to wait and worry.
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  2. Unlike European PAL decks which can play both PAL and NTSC, North American VHS decks only play NTSC. That's almost certainly your problem. So you chances are very good that someone will be able to digitize your tape if you take it back to the UK.
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I agree with @jagabo, but would add that whoever does the work in UK should transfer the PAL vhs to PAL computer file to maintain best quality. It SHOULD play ok on computers in the US, as computer systems are basically TV system agnostic. But, once it is a digital file, can be converted fairly straightforwardly to NTSC, if necessary for other playback setups, using tools and info from this site.


    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Scott
    But, once it is a digital file, can be converted fairly straightforwardly to NTSC, if necessary for other playback setups, using tools and info from this site.
    Scott, what actually constitutes an NTSC file verses a PAL file? Using Mediainfo, I see some AVCs have "NTSC colour primaries", but most, and otherwise there seems to be no differentiation between the two standards. Given monitors and TVs sets have a multitude of different refresh rates, that doesn't appear to be a factor.

    Added: No encoder I've come across has an "NTSC" or "PAL" setting.
    Last edited by Alwyn; 10th Aug 2023 at 01:45.
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  5. Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Originally Posted by Scott
    But, once it is a digital file, can be converted fairly straightforwardly to NTSC, if necessary for other playback setups, using tools and info from this site.
    .... what actually constitutes an NTSC file verses a PAL file? Using Mediainfo, I see some AVCs have "NTSC colour primaries", but most, and otherwise there seems to be no differentiation between the two standards. Given monitors and TVs sets have a multitude of different refresh rates, that doesn't appear to be a factor.
    Some key differences:
    - Frame size (WidthxHight): PAL 720x576 vs NTSC 720x480
    - Frame rate: PAL 25 interlaced frames per second = 50 fields per second vs NTSC 29.97 interlaced frames per second = 59.94 fields per second
    - Pixel Aspect Ratio: PAL 1150:1053 (for 4:3 DAR) vs NTSC 38800:42651 (for 4:3 DAR)

    While PC and SW players are flexible regarding playback of various formats, HW players and TV players are much less so. DVD/Blu-ray players can be very picky and reject playback of non-compliant formats.

    As I understand Scott's concern: If the shop is asked to make a digital "NTSC" version of the PAL tape there is a high chance that the shop just creates a real mess, given the differences above (deinterlacing, correct resizing, frame rate conversion etc). There are enough examples of odd conversions in this forum.
    Also, "NTSC" would unnecessarily sacrifice vertical resolution.
    Last edited by Sharc; 10th Aug 2023 at 03:25.
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  6. Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Added: No encoder I've come across has an "NTSC" or "PAL" setting.
    PAL and NTSC are actually TV broadcast formats. There exist different variants of PAL, and there is SECAM as well.
    Encoders are broadcast format agnostic. The responsibility of how to encode is with the user. Authoring tools however (for making DVD's, burning discs) usually provide such format options.
    Last edited by Sharc; 10th Aug 2023 at 03:14.
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  7. There is are no NTSC and PAL files, just like there is no NTSC/PAL DV or HDV, for example, but manufacturers continue to use this nomenclature instead of saying something like "30p/30i/60p" and "25p/25i/50p" or just "60 Hz" and "50 Hz" systems.

    My BD player plays 25 fps files, but when I insert a region-free DVD with 50 Hz (a.k.a. "PAL") movie, it refuses to play it, which I think is not fair.

    Anyway, one can ship a PAL VCR to the U.S. and digitize the tape there.
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  8. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MomOfOne View Post
    I'm desperate. The video is of my son when he was a few months old. It was recorded in 1996. My son passed away in 2021.
    This is really touched me, I'm so sorry for the loss of your son, If you don't mind shipping the tape to California I would do it for you at no charge, I have the equipment for PAL and NTSC.
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  9. Captures & Restoration lollo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by MomOfOne View Post
    I'm desperate. The video is of my son when he was a few months old. It was recorded in 1996. My son passed away in 2021.
    This is really touched me, I'm so sorry for the loss of your son, If you don't mind shipping the tape to California I would do it for you at no charge, I have the equipment for PAL and NTSC.
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  10. Originally Posted by Bwaak View Post
    My BD player plays 25 fps files, but when I insert a region-free DVD with 50 Hz (a.k.a. "PAL") movie, it refuses to play it, which I think is not fair.
    Yes, the OP may be tempted to make a DVD or Blu-ray disc but should avoid them because of this.
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bwaak View Post
    There is are no NTSC and PAL files, just like there is no NTSC/PAL DV or HDV, for example, but manufacturers continue to use this nomenclature instead of saying something like "30p/30i/60p" and "25p/25i/50p" or just "60 Hz" and "50 Hz" systems.

    My BD player plays 25 fps files, but when I insert a region-free DVD with 50 Hz (a.k.a. "PAL") movie, it refuses to play it, which I think is not fair.

    Anyway, one can ship a PAL VCR to the U.S. and digitize the tape there.
    Yes, I chose deliberately to use the old nomenclature, because while those legacy analog formats are not really with us any longer, their influence still is. Plus, using the old nomenclature still gets the point across of the system differences that STILL exist with hardware players (primarily now in NTSC lands).
    But, @bwaak, you are incorrect - a PAL vcr in the US *MAY* still have problems capturing, unless the capture card/device is ALSO PAL-supporting. In NTSC lands, there is certainly NOT any universal assurance of PAL support. (I hate it that is so, but it is).


    Scott
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  12. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    a PAL vcr in the US *MAY* still have problems capturing, unless the capture card/device is ALSO PAL-supporting. In NTSC lands, there is certainly NOT any universal assurance of PAL support. (I hate it that is so, but it is).
    Maybe pro gear is NTSC-locked, but all consumer cards I've come across were multi-standard. Power may be an issue, but I think starting from 1990s most devices are multi-standard too.

    @MomOfOne, I have no doubt that dellsam34 will make a wonderful transfer. You can check his youtube channel, see the link in his signature.
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