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Old September 14th, 2004, 05:11 AM   #1
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Pal GS 400, NTSC reproduction?

I recently tried to download NTSC video -DVout- from my Pal GS 400 to my computer and the camera gave me an "Unplayable Tape" Error. I was able to solve my problem using a Pal Sony PC110. My deduction is that the Pal GS400 won't reproduce NTSC video. Is that normal? If it is then is kind of annoying, the Sony is a consumer camera and the GS400 should be able to do more things - or at least do this thing- than the PC110. Anything buried in the Menu that will unlock the capability of reproducing NTSC video?
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Old September 14th, 2004, 05:16 AM   #2
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The exact error message was "UNPLAYABLE TAPE (OTHER FORMAT)"
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Old September 14th, 2004, 06:45 AM   #3
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You actually got a PAL PC110 to upload an NTSC encoded miniDV tape to your computer? I was under the impression that some PAL Sony miniDV cams can only play back NTSC footage "in camera" and nothing more.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #4
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Andres, for me it's the opposite thing: my NTSC GS400 shows up the same error message when I try to play a PAL tape. This is indeed kind of annoying!! Technically it should be possible to play (and even output via Firewire) the respectively other format on any DV cam! The data on the tape has the same data rate in PAL and NTSC. IMO there is just some simple "protection mechanism" integrated in the camcorder's software to prevent users from playing the "OTHER FORMAT". Somebody wants to earn twice, ne?!
Would be cool if someone could find a hidden button combination or something to enable this feature... ;)
How about a GS400 service manual? Did anyone discover it somewhere on the net already?
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Old September 14th, 2004, 10:37 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : You actually got a PAL PC110 to upload an NTSC encoded miniDV tape to your computer? I was under the impression that some PAL Sony miniDV cams can only play back NTSC footage "in camera" and nothing more. -->>>

Frank, my friend also copied some PAL tapes from a NTSC Sony PD170 via Firewire into his computer.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:06 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Andreas Winkler : <<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : You actually got a PAL PC110 to upload an NTSC encoded miniDV tape to your computer? I was under the impression that some PAL Sony miniDV cams can only play back NTSC footage "in camera" and nothing more. -->>>

Frank, my friend also copied some PAL tapes from a NTSC Sony PD170 via Firewire into his computer. -->>>

This maybe a "Sony only" thing. A friend of mine told me that apparently, and this may be valid only for industrial types, Sony DV cameracorders are basically the same, be it PAL or NTSC. And with the right maintenance gear you can make them record and play both norms.

My guess is it has to do with some EPROM inside, that needs to be reconfigured. But this may be a long shot.


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Old September 14th, 2004, 09:35 PM   #7
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A few years back someone from the UK posted that his PAL TRV900 could play back NTSC miniDV tapes but couldn't convert nor upload via firewire to his computer. Maybe that has changed with newer Sonys?
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Old September 14th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : A few years back someone from the UK posted that his PAL TRV900 could play back NTSC miniDV tapes but couldn't convert nor upload via firewire to his computer. Maybe that has changed with newer Sonys? -->>>

Apparently this access I was talking about wasn't easy and required internal management. I doubt you could get the signal in or out through firewire.

Going from PAL to NTSC or viceversa requires a lot of changes, and things have to be changed internally involving cycles, lines. etc.

Future cameras may handle it, but I wonder when.


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Old September 15th, 2004, 02:26 AM   #9
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Frank and Carlos, my friend's NTSC Sony PD170 definately can output PAL tapes via Firewire to a computer. Thereby nothing is converted to NTSC, it's the pure PAL DV data that the computer receives.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 04:10 AM   #10
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I'll take your word for it. I've never tried it myself. I have tried to play back a NTSC tape on my MX300, though. I got lots of static. :-))
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:01 PM   #11
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What I could find out is that the signal you get on the firewire port for signals that are not "primary" (PAL on NTSC cameras or NTSC on PAL cameras) is only useful to see on a monitor. It can not be used for anything else, like copying, editing, etc.


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Old September 16th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #12
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In my case I did download NTSC media with the Pal PC-110. Later I did edit it with Vegas and burned a NTSC DVD with Architect 2.0, which plays great with a Pal DVD player (NTSC capable). So I deduct that with Sony Pal cameras you can play NTSC DV. I’ll have to keep a list of friends with Sony cameras, not a hard thing to do here is Spain where almost 60% of cameras sold are from that brand.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 07:59 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Carlos E. Martinez : ... is only useful to see on a monitor. It can not be used for anything else, like copying, editing, etc. -->>>

Carlos, can you explain this a little more please!?
IMO when you get the data stream (no matter PAL or NTSC) via Firewire into any computer you also can edit it further. Why this shouldn't be possible?
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Old September 17th, 2004, 12:44 AM   #14
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Re: "...when you get the data stream (no matter PAL or NTSC) via Firewire into any computer you also can edit it further...."

Getting the data stream to uplaod is the difficulty, when you mix PAL and NTSC cams, decks and even software.
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Old September 17th, 2004, 01:50 AM   #15
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Frank, you mean playing back to tape the edited stream? Yes, in deed, this is not possible easily.
But in my case this was not nessesary, as I just wanted to create a DVD from the finished PAL movie, that I edited and played back to PAL tape on a PAL camcorder some time ago.
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