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Old 10-14-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Posts: 5,785

What standard is your source device, NTSC, PAL, SECAM?

Unless it is a true multi-standard device that is able to do standards conversion, playing a source with a different standard from the playback device itself will produce unpredictable results.

To confuse the matter more (although convenient for those in PAL land), most PAL players will play NTSC tapes, but using NTSC refresh, but PAL color subcarrier frequency (4.43 MHz), which makes the resulting NTSC 4.43 (aka PAL 60) incompatible with true NTSC devices that use 3.58 MHz color subcarrier.

Of course few people in PAL lands know this, because most PAL televisions are very forgiving and happily play NTSC 4.43 signals.

From Wikipedia
Many 1990s onwards VCR players sold in Europe can play back NTSC tapes/discs. When operating in this mode most of them do not output a true (625/25) PAL signal, but rather a hybrid consisting of the original NTSC line standard (525/30), but with colour converted to PAL 4.43 MHz—this is known as "PAL 60" (also "quasi-PAL" or "pseudo PAL") with "60" standing for 60 Hz (for 525/30), instead of 50 Hz (for 625/25). Some video game consoles also output a signal in this mode. Most newer television sets can display such a signal correctly, but some will only do so (if at all) in black and white and/or with flickering/foldover at the bottom of the picture, or picture rolling (however, many old TV sets can display the picture properly by means of adjusting the V-Hold and V-Height knobs—assuming they have them). Some TV tuner cards or video capture cards will support this mode (although software/driver modification can be required and the manufacturers' specs may be unclear). A "PAL 60" signal is similar to an NTSC (525/30) signal, but with the usual PAL chrominance subcarrier at 4.43 MHz (instead of 3.58 as with NTSC and South American PAL variants) and with the PAL-specific phase alternation of the red colour difference signal between the lines.
A general chart...
Tape  Player* Output
NTSC  NTSC    True NTSC (3.58)
NTSC  PAL     NTSC 4.43/PAL 60
PAL   NTSC    Undetermined, sometimes the player will just display "no signal."
* Does not apply to standards-converting multistandard players - these will properly convert the source tape standard to whatever output standard the player is set to.
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