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Playing VHS tapes from Belgium?

Hi, I've been offered VHS tapes used in Belgium. I was told that they are of the SECAM or PAL types. Can I play those on my North American VCR? Aren't we using a different kind of system than the ones in Europe?

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Yes, having invented TV here in America, we have always used the NTSC format. It is not compatible with the other formats. There are some commercial VCR's that can play any format, but very expensive of course. If it is something important that you need, take it to a TV editing service that can convert it for you.

Posted on Feb 07, 2008

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There are currently 3 main television standards used throughout the world:

NTSC - National Television Standards Committee. The oldest existing standard, developed in the USA. First used in 1954. Consists of 525 horizontal lines of display and 60 vertical lines. Sometimes irreverently referred to as "Never Twice the Same Color." Only one type exists, known as NTSC M.
Here is a list of TV STANDAREDS I had for a while and can finally share it with someone. GOOD LUCK!!!! TECHMAN

SECAM - Système électronique pour Couleur avec Mémoire. Developed in France. First used in 1967. A 625-line vertical, 50-line horizontal display. Sometimes referred to by wags as "Something Essentially Contrary to the American Method" or SEcond Colour Always Magenta!" Different types use different video bandwidth and audio carrier specs. Types B and D usually used for VHF; types G, H, and K for UHF; types I, N, M, K1 and L for both VHF/UHF. Different types are generally not compatible.

PAL - Phase Alternating Line. Developed by German engineer Walter Bruch and the German electronic corporation Telefunken. Walter Bruch
patented his invention 1963 and the first commercial application of the PAL system was in August 1967. Also a 625/50-line display and variant of NTSC. Proponents call it "Perfection At Last." Due to the cost of the enormous circuit complexity, critics often refer to it as "Pay A Lot". Different types use different video bandwidth and audio carrier specs. Common types are B, G and H; less common types include D, I, K, N and M. The different types are generally not compatible.


Television Standards by Country
COUNTRY SIGNAL TYPE
AFGHANISTAN PAL B, SECAM B
ALBANIA
PAL B/G

ALGERIA
PAL B/G

ANGOLA PAL I
ANTARCTICA NTSC M
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
NTSC M

ARGENTINA
PAL N

ARMENIA SECAM D/K
ARUBA
NTSC M

AUSTRALIA
PAL B/G

AUSTRIA
PAL B/G

AZERBAIJAN SECAM D/K
AZORES PAL B
BAHAMAS
NTSC M

BAHRAIN
PAL B/G

BANGLADESH
PAL B

BARBADOS
NTSC M

BELARUS SECAM D/K
BELGIUM
PAL B/H

BELGIUM (ARMED FORCES NETWORK) NTSC M
BELIZE
NTSC M

BENIN SECAM K
BERMUDA
NTSC M

BOLIVIA
NTSC M

BOSNIA/HERZEGOVINA
PAL B/H

BOTSWANA SECAM K, PAL I
BRAZIL
PAL M

BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY
(AF DIEGO GARCIA TV - AFRTS) NTSC M
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
PAL B

BULGARIA
PAL

BURKINA FASO SECAM K
BURUNDI SECAM K
CAMBODIA
PAL B/G, NTSC M

CAMEROON PAL B/G
CANADA
NTSC M

CANARY ISLANDS
PAL B/G

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SECAM K
CHAD SECAM D
CHILE
NTSC M

CHINA (PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC)
PAL D

COLOMBIA
NTSC M

CONGO (PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC) SECAM K
CONGO, DEM. REP. (ZAIRE)
SECAM K

COOK ISLANDS PAL B
COSTA RICA
NTSC M

COTE D'IVOIRE (IVORY COAST) SECAM K/D
CROATIA
PAL B/H

CUBA
NTSC M

CYPRUS
PAL B/G

CZECH REPUBLIC
PAL B/G (cable), PAL D/K (broadcast)

DENMARK
PAL B/G

DIEGO GARCIA NTSC M
DJIBOUTI SECAM K
DOMINICA
NTSC M

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
NTSC M

EAST TIMOR
PAL B

EASTER ISLAND PAL B
ECUADOR
NTSC M

EGYPT
PAL B/G, SECAM B/G

EL SALVADOR
NTSC M

EQUITORIAL GUINEA SECAM B
ESTONIA PAL B/G
ETHIOPIA PAL B
FALKLAND ISLANDS (LAS MALVINAS) PAL I
FIJI NTSC M
FINLAND
PAL B/G

FRANCE
SECAM L

FRANCE (FRENCH FORCES TV) SECAM G
GABON SECAM K
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS NTSC M
GAMBIA PAL B
GEORGIA SECAM D/K
GERMANY
PAL B/G

GERMANY (ARMED FORCES TV GERMANY) NTSC M
GHANA
PAL B/G

GIBRALTAR
PAL B/G

GREECE
PAL B/G

GREENLAND
PAL B

GRENADA
NTSC M

GUAM
NTSC M

GUADELOUPE SECAM K
GUATEMALA
NTSC M

GUIANA (FRENCH) SECAM K
GUINEA PAL K
GUYANA NTSC M
HAITI
SECAM

HONDURAS
NTSC M

HONG KONG
PAL I

HUNGARY
PAL K/K

ICELAND
PAL B/G

INDIA
PAL B

INDONESIA
PAL B

IRAN
PAL B/G

IRAQ
PAL

IRELAND, REPUBLIC OF
PAL I

ISLE OF MAN
PAL

ISRAEL
PAL B/G

ITALY
PAL B/G

JAMAICA
NTSC M

JAPAN
NTSC M

JOHNSTONE ISLAND NTSC M
JORDAN
PAL B/G

KAZAKHSTAN SECAM D/K
KENYA
PAL B/G

KOREA (NORTH)
SECAM D, PAL D/K

KOREA (SOUTH)
NTSC M

KUWAIT
PAL B/G

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC SECAM D/K
LAOS PAL B
LATVIA PAL B/G, SECAM D/K
LEBANON
PAL B/G

LESOTHO PAL K
LIBERIA
PAL B/H

LIBYA
PAL B/G

LIECHTENSTEIN
PAL B/G

LITHUANIA PAL B/G, SECAM D/K
LUXEMBOURG
PAL B/G, SECAM L

MACAU PAL I
MACEDONIA PAL B/H
MADAGASCAR SECAM K
MADEIRA PAL B
MALAYSIA
PAL B

MALDIVES PAL B
MALI SECAM K
MALTA
PAL B

MARSHALL ISLANDS NTSC M
MARTINIQUE
SECAM K

MAURITANIA SECAM B
MAURITIUS
SECAM B

MAYOTTE SECAM K
MEXICO
NTSC M

MICRONESIA
NTSC M

MIDWAY ISLAND NTSC M
MOLDOVA (MOLDAVIA) SECAM D/K
MONACO
SECAM L, PAL G

MONGOLIA SECAM D
MONTSERRAT NTSC M
MOROCCO
SECAM B

MOZAMBIQUE PAL B
MYANMAR (BURMA)
NTSC M

NAMIBIA PAL I
NEPAL B
NETHERLANDS
PAL B/G

NETHERLANDS (ARMED FORCES NETWORK) NTSC M
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES NTSC M
NEW CALEDONIA SECAM K
NEW ZEALAND
PAL B/G

NICARAGUA
NTSC M

NIGER SECAM K
NIGERIA
PAL B/G

NORFOLK ISLAND PAL B
NORTH MARIANA ISLANDS NTSC M
NORWAY
PAL B/G

OMAN
PAL B/G

PAKISTAN
PAL B

PALAU NTSC M
PANAMA
NTSC M

PAPUA NEW GUINEA PAL B/G
PARAGUAY PAL N
PERU
NTSC M

PHILIPPINES
NTSC M

POLAND
PAL D/K

POLYNESIA (FRENCH) SECAM K
PORTUGAL
PAL B/G

PUERTO RICO
NTSC M

QATAR
PAL B

REUNION SECAM K
ROMANIA
PAL D/G

RUSSIA
SECAM D/K

ST. KITTS & NEVIS
NTSC M

ST. LUCIA
NTSC M

ST. PIERRE ET MIQUELON SECAM K
ST. VINCENT
NTSC M

SAO TOMé E PRINCIPE PAL B/G
SAMOA, AMERICAN
NTSC

SAUDI ARABIA
SECAM B/G, PAL B

SAMOA NTSC M
SENEGAL
SECAM K

SEYCHELLES PAL B/G
SIERRA LEONE
PAL B/G

SINGAPORE
PAL B/G

SLOVAKIA PAL B/G
SLOVENIA PAL B/H
SOMALIA PAL B/G
SOUTH AFRICA
PAL I

SPAIN
PAL B/G

SRI LANKA PAL
SUDAN
PAL B

SURINAME
NTSC M

SWAZILAND PAL B/G
SWEDEN
PAL B/G

SWITZERLAND
PAL B/G

SYRIA SECAM B, PAL G
TAHITI
SECAM

TAIWAN
NTSC

TAJIKISTAN SECAM D/K
TANZANIA
PAL B

THAILAND
PAL B/M

TOGO
SECAM K

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
NTSC M

TUNISIA
SECAM B/G

TURKEY
PAL B

TURKMENISTAN SECAM D/K
TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS NTSC M
UGANDA
PAL B/G

UKRAINE
SECAM D/K

URUGUAY PAL N
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
PAL B/G

UNITED STATES
NTSC M

UNITED KINGDOM
PAL I

UZBEKISTAN SECAM D/K
VENEZUELA
NTSC M

VIETNAM
NTSC M,SECAM D

VIRGIN ISLANDS (US & BRITISH)
NTSC M

WALLIS & FUTUNA SECAM K
YEMEN
PAL B/NTSC M

YUGOSLAVIA PAL B/G
ZAMBIA
PAL B/G

ZIMBABWE
PAL B/G

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1 Answer

DVD-VR355 samsung DVD Video


There is no regional coding for VHS. Its only for DVD's. All you have to do select the correct playback format - PAL/Secam/NTSC
Usually N.American tapes are in the NTSC4.48 format. You could also just set your VCR to "Auto".

Hope that hepls.

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1 Answer

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The video standard in Japan is PAL while it is NTSC here in the USA. You should be able to locate a VCR than can play both. If you'd rather not purchase a new VCR, some locations that create DVDs from VHS tapes can usually also read PAL tapes.
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1 Answer

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Hi, Not on the same brand/model but on another that is only PAL/Secam compatible. Video is squeezed top & bottom, black & white, high speed audio. Hope this be of some help/idea. Good luck and kind regards.

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Hi, Based on your post/description, you need to get a multi-system TV to go with your multi system VCR if you are going to playback VHS tapes from different regions. You are quite correct "Plays NTSC tapes to NTSC, Will not Play Pal to NTSC" to play PAL (even Secam) you would need a PAL/Secam TV. They have a different system for color and audio. In some cases, you can still play PAL but you get it in black & white and picture squeezed from top & bottom. Hope this be of some help to you. Good luck and kind regards.

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