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Transfer Foreign VHS and Camcorder Tapes: PAL and SECAM

Posted in Transfer Services, Transfers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looking to transfer foreign VHS films? NTSC, PAL, and SECAM are all forms of video systems or formats that have been used in various parts of the world since the advent of broadcast television and consumer recording. NTSC is mostly used throughout North and South America as well as some Asian countries, while PAL and SECAM formats are used throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Although NTSC, PAL, and SECAM VHS tapes look physically the same, due to a different electronic signal, they often require format specific equipment for playback. That means if you have a VCR purchased in North America, you would not be able to play a PAL or SECAM format tape from Europe. Transferring or even viewing the tape would be impossible without the correct type of player or video standards conversion equipment.


Aside from compatibility issues, there are a few other noticeable differences between the formats. PAL and SECAM both function at 625 lines per frame and 25 frames per second. NTSC on the other hand, functions at 525 lines per frame and 30 frames per second. With the additional lines per frame, PAL and SECAM offer a 20% increase in resolution. Additionally, the both the picture size and pixel aspect ratio differ between the three. PAL and SECAM are set to 720×576 while NTSC is 720×480.

  • NTSC: 525-Line/30 fps Standard
  • PAL: 625-Line/25 fps Standard
  • SECAM: 625-Line/25 fps Standard


At Advanced Media Integration, we can transfer all of your foreign tapes such as VHS, VHS-C S-VHS, HI 8mm and Digital 8mm in both SECAM and PAL formats. For more information regarding Advanced Media Integrations Transfer Services or if you have any questions, contact us and one of our sales representatives will be glad to assist you.

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