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DVD - Europe Vs USA!!!!!

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DVD - Europe Vs USA!!!!!

Old 06-27-01, 06:39 PM
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Hi,

I am new to the forum, but have a simple question that most people here can answer.

There are differences in recording of VHS tapes (PAL, SECAM, Etc). Are there differences in DVD's?

Meaning can someone play a DVD purchased and recorded in the USA on a European DVD Player? Are they universal like cd's and unlike VHS tapes?

A quick response would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Old 06-28-01, 02:49 AM
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A few general rules:

There are three major television systems in the world:

NTSC (the 'oldest'), PAL, and SECAM. In principle, these systems are incompatible among each other.


http://www.alkenmrs.com/video/standards.html


So: no, unlike CDs, which are the same the world over, DVDs (and VHS tapes) are different from each other!

* (North) American ("Region 1") DVDs (and VHS tapes) are encoded as NTSC (30 frames-per-second)

* Japanese ("Region 2") DVDs are encoded as NTSC (30fps)

* European ("Region 2") DVDs (and VHS tapes - with the exception of France, where tapes are encoded SECAM) are encoded as PAL (25fps)

* Australian ("Region 4") DVDs are encoded as PAL (25fps)

* Hong Kong ("Region 3") DVDs are encoded as NTSC (30fps)

* Any country can release "All Region" (a.k.a. "Region ALL", a.k.a. "Region 0"[=zero]) DVDs - BUT, with some exceptions, these will still be encoded NTSC (30fps) or PAL (25fps), depending on where they are made.

So, the average American or Canadian, who has a (Region 1) DVD player and watches his DVDs on a made-in/made-for North American (NTSC) TV can only watch NTSC-encoded DVDs, be they Region 1 or Region 0.

On the other hand, many if not most Europeans (at least the smart ones! ) have Region 2 DVD players that can handle PAL (European standard) and NTSC (USA/Canada & Japan standard) DVDs. The very smart ones have "all-region" or "code-free" DVD players, which allow them to play DVDs from all regions. Of course, this presupposes that the (PAL) television sets they watch their DVDs on can handle an NTSC signal - and, as far as I know, most made-in/for Europe TVs can indeed do that (although it must be said that some do it better than others...).

Note 1) I've been talking about "stand-alone" DVD players, which are connected to a TV!

Note 2) A lot of people, it seems, watch their DVDs on their computers(!), using the DVD-(ROM?)-player that's built into their PC. I know nothing about that, except that, apparently, this makes it possible to watch PAL or NTSC DVDs from any Region, provided the PC is equipped with the requisite (decoding?) program.

The upshot of it all is that, basically, and unlike Americans and Canadians, Europeans are 'lucky' inasmuch as they can pick and choose the raisins from the DVD-'cake'.

To qualify the previous statement: Region 1 has - by far - the largest number of DVD titles available (over 10'000, at last count!), whereas Europeans have 'only' some 4'000 to 4'500 titles to choose from.

Speaking for myself:
I live in Switzerland, in the heart of Region 2/Europe
I play my DVDs on a couple of 'code-free' DVD players connected to a multi-system capable TV
My DVD 'collection' includes discs ordered from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, the UK, Spain, Italy, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong

...what would I do without the Internet and a valid Credit Card?!...

. . . . . .


[Edited by Hendrik on 06-28-01 at 12:03 AM]
Old 06-28-01, 12:59 PM
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Thx

Thanks Hendrik, your explanation is exactly what I was looking for. This really helps.

Thanks again.

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