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Buying camcorder from USA, can I convert VHS tapes to DVD?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Katies1979, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Katies1979

    Katies1979
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    Hi. I've had a look through previous posts and I can't find an answer to this. Sorry if its been posted before!

    My friend is buying me a JVC D90u camcorder from the USA (although I wish I hadn't asked her now, after reading the reports about buying camcorders from America!). I would like to convert my old VHS tapes to DVD. I understand this is possible with some camcorders if there is an 'analogue in' socket, by connecting the video to the camcorder to the PC (or something like that). Is this still possible with a NTSC camcorder?

    I'm very confused and any help would be really appreciated.
    Thanks.

    Katie
     
  2. Brian110507

    Brian110507
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    If you buy the camcorder in the USA it will almost certainly be for use on NTSC systems, You will NOT be able to play your English PAL tapes from a VCR through the camera - it will not work.

    You can indeed do the conversion on many camcorders by connecting the VCR to the camcorder and the camcorder to the PC - but the systems must match - if you have PAL VHS tapes you MUST have a PAL camcorder and vice-versa - you should either ensure that your friend buys a PAL camcorder (which are quite rare in the USA) or buy your camera in Europe and preferably the UK.
     
  3. KoKelly

    KoKelly
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    Aside from the problem of the Analogue pass through are there any other problems? I am looking at buying a Canon model which is the equilalent of £209 stg in the US and is £450 in the UK! Thats a huge difference. What I am wondering is, If I use a product such as Nero or even windows movie maker and import the NTSC footage onto my PC, will the quality go down somewhat in the conversion process to put onto a DVD in PAL format? Does anyone have any experience of this. The analogue pass through is certainly an issue, but so is the price difference. I wonder why the difference is so big!

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  4. Brian110507

    Brian110507
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    This is a question which comes up over and over again - search through these forums and you will find many threads covering this subject

    Apart from the Technical considerations there are also questions as to whether you will be charged import duty and how much and what happens if the camera goes faulty during it's guarentee - nobody in the UK will handle it for free - you will have to send it back to the USA for any repairs.

    On the technical side you will be able to transfer your video to your PC and view and edit it there - but as soon as you try to make DVDs or VHS tapes to send to friends and family - they will have problems viewing them properly. You cannot import as NTSC and just export as PAL to a DVD - you will require a quite expensive device or possible software for the conversion

    For what it's worth - don't do it - the reduced price is not worth the hassle.
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    As Beejaycee has said, if you capture an NTSC file it will stay as NTSC at all times right through to creating an NTSC DVD. You will not be able to create a VHS tape of the footage as all UK VCRs are PAL and cannot record NTSC footage to tape. The only exxception is if you have an expensive multistandards VCR, but as I say they are expensive and not widely available.
    You can convert the footage on the PC with a software package from Canopus called ProCoder, but this is not cheap software and the picture quality will be reduced due to the conversion.
    I have given advise to many people on this forum asking about buying a camcorder in the USA and I have always advised against doing it. Buy in the UK is the best option. With a lot of good internet retailers offering cheaper prices you wont be paying too much more for it than the USA price. As also stated you could end up paying import duty on the cam that could put the price higher than a UK purchase. You can still be charged import duty after a couple of years if you can't proove it has already been paid.

    Mark.
     
  6. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Buy at Jessops - price match off the Internet
     
  7. KoKelly

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    Thanks all! I will follow your advice and buy a PAL camcorder..less hastle and so on. The only thing is, I have friends in the US who I want to send a DVD copy to, so if I create a DVD in PAL can they play it over there in a multi-region player. I hope that will solve that issue!

    Thanks
    Kevin
     
  8. Katies1979

    Katies1979
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    Thanks very much for the info guys!
     
  9. Brian110507

    Brian110507
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    KoKelly

    Multi-region does not mean multi-format.

    While it is true that many UK multi-region DVD players can produce a signal from an NTSC disc that our UK TVs can reproduce as an acceptable picture, as I understand it the reverse is not necessarily true, the US doesn't seem to be as broadminded about TV standards as most of Europe and your friends in the USA may still have problems watching a PAL DVD. You need to find out what equipment exactly your friends have and what it can play, you may even need to experiment a little, perhaps someone who has solved the problem may come along and give you some help.

    One option which you could use would be to produce windows media player files and either send them by e-mail or burn to disc and your friends could then watch them on their computers.
     
  10. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    I don't believe there is a dvd player in existence which does not play NTSC discs.

    Nero can convert PAL recordings to NTSC (and vice versa) the quality looks ok on the little display but I'm not sure how it would look on a big screen. But don't forget, US PCs can play PAL discs too.
     

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