Pal Vcr

Written by Adam Blau
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Those people looking for a VCR which will allow them to view tapes from outside the US should search for a PAL VCR. PAL stands for Phase Alternating Line, and it is a standard by which most countries (excluding the US, France and some Asian countries) broadcast their signal. The US uses a system called NTSC, or the National Television System Committee.

The two systems are incompatible. Something that is videotaped using the PAL standard will not play on an NTSC system, thereby depriving most of those in the US the pleasure of viewing material bought from outside the country. The opposite is obviously also true.

Using a PAL VCR

If someone wishes to view these tapes, then, a PAL VCR is the solution. These are VCRs that, as the name implies, comply with the PAL standard and are able to display the signal as it was recorded in the region outside the US. It is also possible to purchase a separate converter that will transfer PAL formatted tapes to the NTSC standard and vice versa.

There are a few machines that operate on both standards. These essentially consist of a PAL VCR and an NTSC VCR rolled into one. On these machines, a flip of a switch will switch formats, allowing a user to view VHS cassettes from anywhere in the world. Many of these machines also serve as SECAM VCRs, which play a third format used primarily in France.


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