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Old July 5th, 2004, 01:53 PM   #1
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storing NTSC on Pal devices? Help!!!

Hiya!

I'd like to be able to record from an analogue NTSC camera but I live in Pal world.

I was wondering if I could feed an NTSC composite signal into a Pal video recorder, then later on connect the composite output of the video recorder into a computer to capture the video in NTSC?

Basically I want to keep the NTSC video but to use the pal video recorder as a storage device.

Will my Pal video recorder get all offended by the NTSC? I'm not asking it to make sense of it I just want to do "garbage in, garbage out" as they say!

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Freya
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Old July 6th, 2004, 04:03 AM   #2
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I tried that once with a HI-8 NTSC camcorder and my Canon XM2.
The audio was fine, but the picture was only black and white when transferred to my XM2.

When I tried to transfer from PAL to NTSC, the same thing happened.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 05:12 AM   #3
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Won't work indeed. The camera tries to understand the signal
and it can't.

Now there might be other ways depending on what you want
to do. A DV deck or analog to DV converter (like the Canopus
ADVC100) should be able to let you capture an NTSC stream to
your computer.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 05:56 AM   #4
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I'm confused now, I don't want to change formats at all, I start with an NTSC signal and I end with an NTSC signal!

I should point out that I'm not talking about a camcorder camera but literally a video camera. A camera head without a recorder.

Theres no problem to connect the head to the computer and record but I want to take the head away from the computer and record the NTSC signal.

For example, I might want to go to a park and record there where there is no computer.

Ultimately I want to have the footage in the computer of course and to edit it digitally. I need a way of storing the NTSC signal in the meantime, some sort of storage.

So when you say the camera tries to understand the signal Rob, do you mean the VCR tries to understand the signal?

I'm just talking about analogue VCR's here in terms of storage.

love

Freya
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Old July 6th, 2004, 06:01 AM   #5
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It will not work. Data storage would require that everything is in sync, because there is no computer as host or controller. The differences in the elctrical systems (50Hz PAL vs. 60Hz NTSC) means everything is spinning at the wrong speeds. The PAL tapes move to slow, mm per second, to record all the data.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 06:11 AM   #6
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Ah I think I understand what you mean Jeff, an NTSC VCR is desiged with a faster transport to capture the 30 frames whereas Pal runs slower.

This is actually independant of the electrical system tho isn't it because I could still use an NTSC recorder here to record NTSC it's just the way the tv system has been designed around the electrical system?

Have I got that right?

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Old July 6th, 2004, 06:39 AM   #7
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The frequency (50Hz vs. 60Hz) controls the rotation of many components. Electric motors spin a multiple of 60 in NTSC land, whereas motors spin a multiple of 50 in PAL land. You have to convert 50HZ to 60Hz in order for the electrical components to work. You risk damaging the equipment if you don't convert.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 06:54 AM   #8
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Wow, so an NTSC VCR really wouldn't work in pal land! It would freak out!

Which brings me to the next obvious question tho, what if it is running off batteries!????

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Old July 6th, 2004, 07:14 AM   #9
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There are voltage convertors to convert your 50 cycles to 60 and the voltage from 220 to 120. Batteries supply the correct current and voltage needed. The batteries bypass the power supply convertor, which takes the AC current and steps it down to the DC current and the correct voltage for the camera's electronics.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 07:19 AM   #10
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Yes but surely batteries are just batteries and don't have any frequency?

I love the bird pictures BTW they are very beautiful! :)

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Old July 6th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #11
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Freya: batteries are DC power, not AC. You cannot use DC
power for AC. DC has no frequency since it doesn't "alternate"
(the A in AC).

There is much more difference between the power standards
and PAL and NTSC:

- 50 hz / 60 hz
- 230 volts / 110 volts
- 720x576 / 720x480 (DV resolution, not analog resolution!)
- 25 fps / 29.97 fps

Yes I was talking about the VCR part. A PAL VCR does NOT
understand NTSC unless you get a multistandard VCR (which
to the best of my knowledge a DV camera does NOT have, DV
decks *might*).

I have a multistandard VHS recorder here and it allows me to
record NTSC signals no problem.

Again all computers can do both PAL/NTSC with the right interface
and equipment.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 08:15 AM   #12
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"Freya: batteries are DC power, not AC. You cannot use DC
power for AC. DC has no frequency since it doesn't "alternate"
(the A in AC)."

Yeah, that's exactly what I was asking geoff, I mean if VCR's get all their timing from the mains, what happens with a VCR running off 12volts? Perhaps all the battery powered VCR's have crystals inside them to provide sync but I suspect not?

"Yes I was talking about the VCR part. A PAL VCR does NOT
understand NTSC unless you get a multistandard VCR (which
to the best of my knowledge a DV camera does NOT have, DV
decks *might*)."

I know but I'm not asking it to understand the format,only to store it but it seems it can't even do that. :(

"Again all computers can do both PAL/NTSC with the right interface
and equipment. "

Yeah, I'm having no problem with the computer bit, it's just a way of storing the ntsc till it gets to the computer, sadly it looks like this will be quite complicated :(

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Old July 6th, 2004, 08:20 AM   #13
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To what exactly do you want to store this? DV? VHS? SVHS? DVD?

There are always solutions available to most problems. Again
for both DV (DV deck) and (S)VHS (multistandard VCR recorder)
a solution should be available.

I think you are approaching the "problem" from the wrong side.
You need to evaluate what you have and where you need to
go (ie, which format).

Then you can decide whether it is possible or whether you would
have to invest in more equipment. Then you can see if you can
afford it or not etc.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 09:18 AM   #14
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You are definitely right Rob.

One solution I just came up with from what you were saying would be to use a Canopus ADVC100 or similar (maybe the pyro?) to directly connect the camera head to a firewire harddisk, just like the vancecam!

As you say affording such a set up might ruin everything.

Basically I just want to go from NTSC to NTSC. The camera is NTSC. My computer can import analogue NTSC signals or even digital ones for that matter. It's NTSC all the way. I have no problems at the computer end.

Where do I want to store it? Ultimately you mean? Well on DVD or Video CD, probably with backups of the raw data on dvd-rom.

So I'm quite clear about where I'm coming from and where I want to go, it's the journey inbetween!

One solution might be to find an NTSC dv camcorder with analogue in going cheaply. That's an expensive solution in a way tho.

Another idea might be an NTSC Umatic or SVHS portapak VCR. The trouble is that the shipping on such heavy bricks (on top of the actual cost) from the states will probably be a killer and I was hoping to avoid that. I may just have to bite the bullet tho

It's nasty, I was just hoping there would be a simple way of storing the NTSC, and there are a few simple ways, it's just that none of them are especially cheap, but I may yet come up with a magical idea! :)

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Old July 6th, 2004, 10:28 AM   #15
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I'm sorry but I really do not follow what you are trying to do.
You cannot connect a harddisk to the ADVC100 directly. Nor
will this create something similar as the Vancecam.

From your interest in the CMOS thread it sounds like you want
to build your own camera? If so I don't think you are approaching
the problem correctly.
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