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?




Well-known Member
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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