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John Locke May 5th, 2002 01:08 PM

NTSC TVs - All the same?
Hi gang,

Here's a question that, if you can answer it, you're ahead of the techs for Sony in Korea, Japan, and the U.S. I hope someone can answer cuz I need your help!

In a couple of weeks, I'm moving from Seoul to Tokyo. Last Christmas I bought a Sony Trinitron made locally in Korea. My predicament is...should I take it to Japan or sell it and buy a new TV once I get there?

I called the Sony office in Korea and they said that aside from the obvious voltage difference (not a problem since this is a free voltage TV) that there is also a minor problem regarding frequencies. They said that the channel numbers would read differently on my TV and I'd lose a few channels altogether. But overall, it should work okay.

Not too sure what they meant exactly by "a few channels", I contacted Sony Japan. They said basically the same thing, but said I might lose "quite a few" channels. But they added that they're not 100% sure because they've never had experience with Korean TVs.

Frustrated, I called Sony U.S.A. They say NTSC is NTSC and that it should work fine with no channels lost in any NTSC country.

So...who's the winner? Any takers?

Chris Hurd May 5th, 2002 01:47 PM

Well, one thing, John, if you *sell* it, then you don't have to *move* it. Moving's always a pain... how are you moving? Shipping container? Pallets? How does one move from a far-east country to another, such as the Island nation of Japan. Over here, we just load up the Ford and the horse trailer full of furniture and make several round trips.

John Locke May 5th, 2002 01:54 PM

That's the reason why it's a problem...hard to decide whether to move it or not. Wish I could just throw it all in the back of a pickup and drive to Tokyo.

Moving is pretty painless here...they come to your house and pack things for you, send them to Incheon or Pusan to be put in a container, ship them to Tokyo, and then deliver to your house AND unpack. The only thing is that it takes 24 days to arrive!

The *cost* of moving a large TV really isn't so much of an issue since I have to buy a set minimum amount of space in a container...and I probably won't fill that. So the real question is...once I move it there, will I find out it doesn't work properly and then not be able to sell it!

slas_swe May 5th, 2002 05:06 PM

NTSC is NTSC, but i guess the channels are broadcasted on different frequencies in the two contries. Japan might be broadcasting channels on frequencies that the Korean tv isn't capable of recieving...that's what I think the tech-support is trying to say...if you understand...

Nick Kerpchar May 5th, 2002 05:37 PM

I worked overseas for a number of years and also had to wade throught the different TV broadcasting systems. I took the easy way out by purchasing multi-system/multi-voltage TV and VCR that semi-automatically switched to the correct system (as long as I managed to flip the right sequence of switches).

As it regards the South Korean and Japanese systems... as I recall they are both NTSC (at least they were up until 1998). That's the good news.

The bad news is that it seems I had two NTSC switches on my VCR: NTSC 3.58 and NTSC 4.43 (referring to frequencies no doubt). I shipped my Sony Trinitron color TV back to the States and am looking at it right now. It states that it received NTSC 4.43 signals from recorded video tapes. It also receives local broadcasts here in Texas just fine so that means it probably receives NTSC 3.58 (I think that is the US system).

The next part of the equation are the channels and that, I believe, was part of your question. In looking at the set right now I have channels 2 - 12 VHF, and 21 - 69 on UHF. It seems to me that some of the multi-system TVs also had cable channels. Mine does not.

It would appear that if both South Korea and Japan are on the same NTSC frequency (3.35 or 4.43) then the set should work O.K., just like the Sony U.S. rep stated. The only difference will be if Japan does not broadcast on certain channels then there is nothing to receive (kind of like some spots in Texas and remote Oklahoma to name but a few).

That may be what the Japanese Sony tech meant. If they don't broadcast on UHF channels 30, 31, 32, etc., then you basically loose those channels..... because there's nothing there.

One last comment. If you can sell your Korean set, like Chris Hurd suggested, without taking a bath, do it and purchase a new set in Japan. Their quality control is better on electronics and there is less chance of damage.

Hope that sheds some light on the picture. Good luck on the move and your new digs.

Rik Sanchez May 5th, 2002 06:54 PM

I'd say bring it along and if it doesn't get all the stations then at least you will have a good monitor. But I was wondering if the tv's in Korea have the "bilingual" button on it.

Japanese tv's and vcr's have an audio sub-channel button and the movies are broadcast with the English soundtrack on that sub-channel. Just press it and you can hear the japanese dub over or the english version or if you want to drive yourself crazy, you can hear both at the same time.

Lots of foreigners who are leaving Japan sell their stuff so you can easily pick up a cheap tv at a sayonara sale or even visit Akihabara and pick a used one there. Getting one of those super thin Sharp tv's that you can mount on your wall is also an option;-)

Adrian Douglas May 6th, 2002 02:48 AM


Tokyo Free-to-air TV bites the big one. There's 12 channels of crappy game shows and pooly produced 'life' shows(mum's daily routine stuff). After 5 mminutes you'll be looking for the phone numbers of the cable providers.

Rik Sanchez May 6th, 2002 10:53 AM

Adrian is right, japanese TV is pretty bad, pretty much all I see is old Deep Space Nine and Voyager episodes. You'll probably end up renting movies if you want to see something good, otherwise you will use it mainly as a monitor.

still waiting for them to offer cable in my neighborhood, had it at our last place, you should definitely get it if you can.

Just checked my watch, 2 more minutes till Stargate: SG-1 goes on, I'm outta here!

Frank Granovski May 10th, 2002 07:55 PM

Regarding Stargate, they've been shooting a bunch of new episodes here in Vancouver. So, soon, you won't be watching 're-runs.' Some bad news, though, this is the last season, or so say my friends who work on the show.

NTSC consumer cams are all the same, but TVs/VCRs start at different channels---like I believe Japensese TV begins with Channel 5(?). Anyways, I have some Jap. multi-system VCRs and can only hook them up via AV-out. But that's okay. I knew that when I bought them.

Rik Sanchez May 10th, 2002 08:11 PM

Right now they started the second season, for me they are new since I didn't see it when it came out. What season are they up to now?

No channel 5 over here, they start at 2, which is also NHK, japan's version of PBS, and unlike the states, they actually send people to your house to collect money for it.

I heard from a friend that one guy kept blowing them off and not answering the door, pretending he didn't speak Japanese(this is my favorite tactic and I use it often, especially with religous groups) and one day his girlfriend got tired of them(she was Japanese) and went to the door naked and yelled at the NHK guy to stop bothering them. That solved his problem.

BTW, been getting Star Trek Enterprise off the net, no way will I wait several more years before they show that over here.

Frank Granovski May 10th, 2002 08:32 PM

I think Stargate's in its 4th or 5th season...not sure, it's been on so long already.

That's strange about starting at channel 2. My Japanese Domestic VCRs begin at...let me just check the manual...oh, I see, 1 to 12 (VHF) and 13 to 62 (UHF) or 13 to 63 (CATV). But for what's it's worth, I think I can only get channel 5 and up when hooking it/them up here (Vancouver, Canada). Go figure.

Rik Sanchez May 10th, 2002 08:44 PM

The tv's do have a channel one but it's not used, broadcasting starts at channel two. Since my remote only has channels 1-12, I've set channel 5 on mine to play channel 34(UHF)Kyoto TV. I wonder how a vcr from the US or Canada would do over here?

Nick Kerpchar May 12th, 2002 11:16 AM

Have you made the move from South Korea to Japan? If so, I am interested to learn what you decided to do about your TV, and to find out what you learned about the differences between NTSC in Korea and Japan.


Edward Tune June 3rd, 2002 07:48 AM

I realize this is an old thread but for info...

NTSC is NTSC... it is just a standard and I will not bore you with all the little details. Basically a TV channel (non-digital) is 6 MHz wide. In the US channel 2 starts at 65 MHz so we now know that channel two extends from 65 MHz to 71 MHz. If I remember correctly, in Japan channel 1 starts at 62 MHz and being 6 MHz wide ends at 68 MHz.... are you starting to see the problem here?

There are gaps between some of the channels. The most notable is the FM band at 88 MHz to 108 MHz in the US and also the Amateur Radio band at 144 to 148 MHz... plus the Feds and locals own some of that area for civil use.

So the tuner in your TV will match up to some of these channels in a different country, some you will be splitting down the middle (and who knows what you will get but I vote for 'unwatchable') and some will not even be viewable.

So what is this 3.58 MHz and 4.43 MHz things? In each TV channel (6 MHz wide remember?) is a color burst frequency. The color burst frequency is either 3.58 MHz or 4.43 MHz up from the bottom edge of the viewed channel. Basicly the color burst frequency will determine what is red, what is blue... etc...

This is why he got hedged answers from every tech he talked to. Unless you have a frequency chart for the countries concerned... and for the TV concerned.... and know where you get your color information for that particular make, model, brand of TV (import or export version) you do not want to be too specific on what you put out...


John Locke June 3rd, 2002 05:50 PM

Guys...I'm here in Tokyo now...but still haven't gotten my satellite hooked up yet. Once they get around to me and hook me up, I'll let you know.

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