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Thread: Camcorder compatibility: French vs UK TV systems

  1. #1

    Default Camcorder compatibility: French vs UK TV systems

    Hi there

    A general question - I'm looking to buy a Hitachi DZ-HS300E camcorder (a DVD-HDD hybrid). I live in France at the moment, but all my television/VCR/DVD equipment is either multi-system or based on the UK PAL I standard.

    Can anyone confirm whether a French-bought camcorder of the above spec. would be any different from the exact same item bought in the UK as regards TV system/DVD recording type?

    I would assume not, but I became very confused last year when a Mini-DV cassette recorded on a previous UK-bought camcorder was declared to have nothing on it by a French shop specialising in Mini-DV-transfer-to-DVD, and the question was put to me by the shop about whether the tape could come from a camcorder with a "different TV system" in the UK. The tape in question was later found to be full of recorded images when played back from a second UK camcorder, so the shop were either nuts, incompetent, or correct to say the UK and French camcorder systems are incompatible.

    Any help gratefully received!

    Kind regards

    Jeremy

  2. #2
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    Default

    Yes, UK and French tv systems are different, the UK uses PAL and the French system is SECAM, I believe SECAM has either has less scan lines and the same number of cycles (hertz) as PAL or the other way round. Can you not borrow a camcorder with SECAM on it, now I have to admit, I have yet to come across one. And to answer your question "Can anyone confirm whether a French-bought camcorder of the above spec. would be any different from the exact same item bought in the UK as regards TV system/DVD recording type?" The answer is yes, it would be different.

  3. #3

    Default

    thanks a million for your advice. As everything I have is Pal rather than Secam, I think I may look to buy the camcorder in the UK. The DVD region between UK and France is, as far as I know, the same, but I don't want to get messed up by any problems with the recordings I make being playable on my UK-originating equipment. Why do they make things SO complicated???

    Thanks again

    Jeremy

  4. #4
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    You would need to make a SECAM version of your DVD's to play on a French DVD player and tv system and a PAL version to play back in the UK. Tv and video equipment with SECAM is not widely available outside France, you are more likely to find in the UK and Ireland PAL/NTSC equipment. The DVD region number is probably the same but I'm not 100% certain on that.

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