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Old January 18th, 2003, 04:04 PM   #1
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Is there a PAL or NTSC miniDV tape?

Hi there, I'm thinking of buying some miniDV tapes online... I'm in PAL land and I'm wondering if there's something like PAL or NTSC specific tapes, or are all tapes the same?

Cheers!

Adrian
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Old January 18th, 2003, 05:31 PM   #2
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I could be wrong but I think they're all the same.
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Old January 18th, 2003, 06:05 PM   #3
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I might be wrong as well, but I had a strange experience that can only be explained by there being both types of tapes. I work at the SONY store, and I had a guy come in who bought a camera in Canada (NTSC) and went on vacation overseas somewhere, where he bought some tapes. He came back from vacation and realized that all the footage he shot would playback on his camera, but not on his T.V., or any T.V. in the Sony store for that matter.

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Old January 18th, 2003, 06:52 PM   #4
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Tape is tape. PAL or NTSC use tape with the same physical properties, except in some case PAL tapes are shorter in length. The different tape speeds is the result of differences in electrical systems (50HZ vs. 60Hz). In the case of DV, because of the digital nature of the recording, tape transports speed is almost the same (PAL 18.83mm per second vs. NTSC 18.81mm per second). In analog formats the difference is much more. Betacam SP PAL moves 101.51mm per second, Betacam SP NTSC moves 118.6mm per second. Betacam SP NTSC tapes need to be longer for the same amount of record time in PAL.

Jeff
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Old January 18th, 2003, 07:10 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the replies, especially Jeff, who I'm sure put to rest all our fears! I'm quite surprised nobody mentioned this before in the threads though (not that I have come across anyway).

Adrian
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Old January 18th, 2003, 07:16 PM   #6
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But isn't miniDV tape the same length, whether PAL or NTSC? I use both cams, PAL and NTSC, and have some tapes from PAL Land---which I used in my NTSC cams. I didn't notice a time difference. But with VHS, that's another story---about a 20 minute difference, with a 2 hour tape.
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Old January 18th, 2003, 11:13 PM   #7
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Mini DV is the same length. The speed varies so little (if at all, could be calculation error on Canons part) that the length is the same. Analog formats show a big difference.

Jeff
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Old January 19th, 2003, 09:50 AM   #8
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Well since PAL is 5 fps shorter (or is 6) than NTSC, the manufacturers put less tape on ..... NAW! I cannot do it. The tapes are the same, but some of the labeling may be different.

More than likely your buddy might have changed tape brands while overseas. Some of the tape drives are very fincky about changes in tape brands. General advice is to run a pass of tape cleaner when changing brands.
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Old January 19th, 2003, 11:13 AM   #9
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Well, if you want to do it this way. I have a 60min SP mini DV tape. It is not labeled PAL or NTSC and it's total length is 70.4 meters. If someone in PAL land checks the wrapper of a tape it should be about the same length.

This Maxell site list various formats of tapes and their lengths for various record times, speeds and PAL and NTSC.

Jeff
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Old January 20th, 2003, 05:13 PM   #10
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Nathan,

Keep in mind that although PAL is 5 (not 6, actually more like 4.97)
fps less, it does have a LARGER resolution! Instead of NTSC's
720x480, PAL records at 720x576! That is 96 more lines of video
which totals 69120 pixels (don't know how many bytes that is
in DV compression)...

Cheers!
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Old January 21st, 2003, 04:30 PM   #11
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I'm in PAL land and looking at a Sony Premium DV60 min tape it doesnt mention anything about version like VHS or Hi8 tapes. and says 70m in legnth, so guess thats rounded off, so looks the same as your NTSC tape.

Maybe added lines of res on PALs equates to the same as added frames on NTSC, so being digital info, unlike old VHS, could be the same amount of 1s and 0s, so no need for tape changes for various formats.

Why not make the whole world PAL and then it will be an easier world, for us people who live between PAL and NTSC areas frequently, with nagging friends who want to see what your films like and you cannot show them. So for once why dont the americans just give in and join us, rather than the usual visaversa! [No offence to our american cousins intended..hahaha]

So lets get our GOVs to become PALs. (Sorry I know a bad Pun!)
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Old January 21st, 2003, 09:26 PM   #12
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Too many billions of dollars at stake.

Jeff
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