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Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dan Major, Aug 24, 2005.

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  1. Dan Major

    Dan Major Guest

    My brother brought me a bunch of video cameras back from an overseas
    vacation. He got some really nice wires and wireless cameras. The problem
    is that, without knowing any better, he got PAL format instead of NTSC. Is
    there a cheap/easy way to convert the baseband signal? With the wireless
    cameras - is the signal that is transmitted PAL or is it only encoded in
    the receiver (meaning an NTSC receiver would work)? Thanks in advance (and
    I know this is a stupid question, but I gotta ask).
  2. Tam/WB2TT

    Tam/WB2TT Guest

    Do you really mean cameras, or camcorders? Do you want to convert in real

  3. Does "cheap" to you mean something on the order of $100 each?
    Everything about them is PAL. Only receivable on
    PAL receivers.
  4. I read in that Richard Crowley
    UnPALatable information!
  5. dave

    dave Guest

    No it's not possible on that small scale. The conversion equipment would cost
    way more than the cameras. The wireless link is irrelevant, the problem is
    that both the scan rate and the colour subcarrier are different and both are
    very very difficult to change. Most modern TV's will display either however.
    At least, most pAL tv's will display NTSC okay, but I'm not sure about the
    reverse as I live in a PAL country.
  6. Dan Major

    Dan Major Guest

    Yes, cameras. Lttle things about an inch square and half-inch thick. Need
    conversion in real time.
  7. Guest

    At least, most pAL tv's will display NTSC okay, but I'm not sure about the
    I was surprised to find this, but multisystem TVs are rare and
    expensive here in the US. They really want to enforce NTSC only :)

    Even 50Hz field rate with NTSC color encoding doesn't work on most TV
    sets here. Culture shock, since at the time I left Australia
    practically all TV sets bigger than about 14" were multisystem.
  8. Dan Major

    Dan Major Guest

    Thanks. Didn't think it would be worthwhile. The simplest solution it
    seems, is to use a computer video capture card. These are capable of using
    either a PAL or NTSC baseband video.
  9. Your best chance is to sell them on Ebay. List them on
    Ebay in Germany ( as one lot, starting at
    1 euro, so you will be sure that you have a buyer.

    If you intend to use them with a PC, most video grabbers
    support both NTSC and PAL.
  10. Sell the cameras to someone in the UK or wherever else they use PAL
    and buy NTSC ones. He bought them in China, right?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  11. <larwe wrote ...
    Nah. For better or for worse, NTSC is the "Rev. 0" of compatible
    color schemes, and PAL came along and learned from our mistakes.

    Add that to the fact that the US is a bigtime net EXporter of movies
    and TV and it makes it much less economically viable to produce
    multi-standard TVs, VCRs, etc.
    Kinda. They don't support true NTSC, do they? Just PAL60?
  12. mc

    mc Guest

    The signals are entirely different. There is a small possibility that the
    chips in the camera are capable of producing both formats (PAL and NTSC) and
    you just need to set a jumper or something.
  13. Even 50Hz field rate with NTSC color encoding doesn't work on most TV
    Pretty much all modern video equipment in Europa supports PAL and NTSC.
    I am using DV tapes recorded in NTSC on my PAL DV Cam and vice versa,
    play NTSC DVD's frm my DVD player and pllay my daughters U.S. "Elmo"
    tapes (shudder) through my PAL VHS onto my PAL TV every day.

    The problem is much less that there is not enough PAL content that the
    U.S. would want to watch. It is a lot easier for TV manufacturers to use
    the same chip in all TV's world wide. The issue is regulations in the US
    that want to "protetct" you from watchinga foreign tape that was not
    sanctioned by Hollywood or any other of the Big Media.

    Ever heard of Country Codes on DVDs? The prohibit that you can play a
    SOuth American DVD on a North America DVD player, even if both are NTSC.
    Country Code are an invention by the movie industry to make perfectly
    fine viedo systems incompatible.

    In Europe, no one gives a damn about Country Codes, and you can buy
    Country Code free DVD players legaly everywhere, but try that in the
    U.S. . If you happen to find that copy of "Run Lola Run" on your
    vacation to Germany, you will not be able to watch it when you come
    home, not because your player couldn;t, but simply because one tiny byte
    on the DVD says: you spent your money in the wrong country.
  14. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    It's pretty easy... huge on-line retailers such as Buy.Com and Amazon.Com sell
    those "off-brand" DVD players that usually just need a "magic code" sequence
    entered through the remote to enable all region playback. I bought one two
    Thanksgivings ago to give to a friend here in the U.S. with a Taiwanese
    wife -- they wanted to be able to playback DVDs they obtained in Taiwan for
    their daughter.
  15. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    It's utterly ridiculous that the public is forced to go to those lengths to be
    able to play what they legally bought in another country though.

    Imagine the uproar if music CDs were coded that way so you could only play it in
    the region you bought it. Region coding is a form of trade restraint by another a

    It's bitten Hollywood back anyway. Bit Torrent etc.

  16. Different take on this, Graham. I don't have any reason to play out of
    country tapes and don't wish to pay a higher price for a TV that
    supports something I'm very unlikely to need. The company that offered
    a simpler (cheaper) TV that only displayed NTSC would quickly become
    dominant (which is exactly how it is). Nobody PROHIBITS you from having
    multistandard equipment, its just that few need it.

    CDs all use the same sample rate. Imposing region code on them WOULD be
    restraint of trade. Video is a different animal. Different subcarrier
    encoding schemes, line rates and frame rates. Knowing I can't play a
    disc or tape from UK, I wouldn't buy it unless I was willing to pay for
    a standards conversion.

  17. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Realistically, the same chipsets are used in TVs worldwide.

    I doubt that there's much economy to be had in making an NTSC only set. I imagine any
    'savings' are illusory.

    You're just thinking of USA vs ROTW. Region coding disallows the playback of *entirely*
    compatible media based purely on geographic location. NTSC is virtually exclusive to
    America, maybe even just the North and most of the rotw is PAL ( or SECAM if you're
    French / French influenced ).

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