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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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.
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.
Originally Posted by Scott
Added: No encoder I've come across has an "NTSC" or "PAL" setting.
Last edited by Alwyn; 10th Aug 2023 at 01:45.
- 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.
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.
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.
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).
@MomOfOne, I have no doubt that dellsam34 will make a wonderful transfer. You can check his youtube channel, see the link in his signature.