buying from the States follow up advice


Active Member

I have read all the other threads on this subject and I would like to clarify my understanding.

If I buy a high def camcorder to record on mini dv e.g hv20 and only use the high def settings - then there is no issue about playing back on a UK TV as high definition is high definition and there is no issue.

Secondly as I am unlikely to do much editing then the pal v ntsc debate is largely irrelevant - am I correct in this assumption? To be honest I do not understand the relevance of the 50i/60i - what exactly is it going to effect?

Backing up to a hard drive is also not an issue.

However if I try and reduce the footage to SD to play on an older tv set then that may involve a few extra steps but knowing me I am unlikely to do so.

So in theory, would it be correct for me to assume that whether I purchase a ntsc or pal model is largely irrelevant?




If you have an HDTV, and buy say an HV20 with an HDMI output to connect to the HDTV, then as long as the TV autodetects NTSC/PAL it will play any HD footage no problem.

50i/60i. This mean that the camcorder takes 50 or 60 frames per second (fps) interlaced (each frame is rebuilt in the TV using a deinterlacer, since each interlaced frame makes for half a frame). I know that wasn't terribly scientific but it's the best I can do.

If you use a HTPC as your source instead of the cam itself, it won't care that the footage is 1080 x 60i (the HD output from an NTSC cam) or 1080 x 50i (the output from a PAL cam).

If you output to SD DVD to give to friends then you do come up against the NTSC/PAL issue and many UK TV sets will not display the NTSC signal.

One last point; if you regularly film outside under sodium street lighting, or indoors under fluorescent lighting, these have a phase of 50Hz which corresponds to the 50i frame rate of a PAL cam. The NTSC frame rate of 60i may well induce a flicker under these conditions but I should suck igt and see.

It's all a lot more complicated than this of course, and don't forget that you might get stung for VAT if you buy from the US. Find a seller who dispatches using USPS Express Mail, rather than UPS or other carriers as USPS converts to Parcelforce in the UK and they tend to charge less Duty and a lower Customs brokerage fee.

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