Buying an HDV in the US - good idea?


Active Member
My sister is coming over from the 'States/NYC this summer. She knows I'm thinking of buying a new camcorder, Sony HC5 is the most probable, but maybe an HC7 or Canon HV20 if the exchange rate stays where it is... :D

Now, I understand that viewing via HDMI on my HD LCD (or via Component to my CRT) straight from the cam should be OK (both TVs have NTSC/PAL60) but what about recording to DVD on my Panasonic DVD recorder? I thought I saw in one of the threads that that may be a problem (I've read so many, my mind's gone ga-ga :confused: )

Would Hong Kong be a better/more compliant source (for an 'international' model - my cousin is there at the moment)?


Remember that if you bring a camcorder into the UK there is a fair chance of getting caught by customs and being chrged inport duty & VAT for it. Shopping around on the internet may well find the camcorder for around the 'new' total price.
Also there is a fair chance that any warrenty (even if international) will likely be difficault to get honoured as no shop will want to take it off you for repair as they have not made money out of the sale. If it is not international then if you have a problem you would end up paying for any repair - and that may be more expensive than normal as it will be an NTSC (well sort of as HD is not stricktly NTSC or PAL) model that may require different parts/adjustments.

Creating DVD's on a PC will be no problem with an NTSC cam, but will be a problem on most standalone DVD recorders as they will normally be PAL only. There are a few models though that can record NTSC footage, RTFM to see if yours is one of them.



Active Member
Thanks for the advice - it tallied with my own beliefs, I just wanted to make sure... (sometimes it feels like there is toooo much info out there!).

As it happens, whilst looking at another thread (in the LCD TV section), it mentioned using promotional codes and 'instant cashback' via egg credit cards. Now, I have one of those, so looked at their website, and for a limited time only (five days ending 17 April - tomorrow) egg were giving 10% instant cashback on all purchases from, instead of the usual 5%
Dixons happened to be (joint-)cheapest store on Pricerunner: £608 (incl. VAT , plus about £4 for standard delivery); plus the thread mentioned a promotional code that gave another tenner off :)

So, I've just ordered a legit Sony HC5E, from a big brand UK outlet (although it is part of DSG!) for what my credit card statement will hopefully say is around £540... Not quite as cheap as some on eBay - but still very good, and without all of the hassle that Mark mentions in his reply.

AVForums strike again!:clap:


Well-known Member
I have a US spec HV20.

Not sure if it is a 'good idea' but I am very pleased with it. My Pio plasma will inverse telecine the 1080i/ 60Hz to 24p and refresh at 72Hz.

Also, my trusty Panasonic Hard drive / DVD recorder (sans freeview) has an NTSC mode and will record the footage via its digital DV- iLink. OK so the DVD-R disc will only play on NTSC compatible players but many players can do this now.

In the meantime the HD footage can be retained on miniDV which is cheap and there is no pressure to archive stuff on a Hard Drive.

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