PDA

View Full Version : All-region VCRs - recommendations?



Jim Tomkins
10-14-2010, 04:17 PM
I really want to see that SECAM of "Pyromaniac" ("Don't Go in the House").

paul h.
10-14-2010, 10:17 PM
I'm not sure about the machines, but I am curious about why the SECAM "Don't Go In The House"? Is it special? The Shriek Show DVD is actually pretty nice looking and inexpensive, if you get it in the 3-pack.

Are you in the USA?

Jim Tomkins
10-16-2010, 04:02 AM
I'm not sure about the machines, but I am curious about why the SECAM "Don't Go In The House"? Is it special? The Shriek Show DVD is actually pretty nice looking and inexpensive, if you get it in the 3-pack.

Are you in the USA?

Not sure if it's special - there use to be footage from it floating around on YouTube but now I can't find it.

I'm in the U.S..

Werner Von Wallenrod
10-16-2010, 08:41 AM
Aren't European VHS tapes actually different sizes? I think you'd need two separate players, no?

John K
10-16-2010, 03:38 PM
No, there are definitely NTSC - PAL - SECAM players. Finding them at this point is probably a fairly expensive option, however...

paul h.
10-19-2010, 04:51 PM
Not sure if it's special - there use to be footage from it floating around on YouTube but now I can't find it.

I'm in the U.S..

I like that artwork!

I have a friend who lived in Hong Kong years ago and he had a multi-format machine.

You might be able to find a duplication service that would convert it for you (from tape to ntsc dvd-r). There still a few places around that convert all kinds of tapes to dvd-r (for people's home movies and such).

Good luck!

John K
10-19-2010, 11:29 PM
Yeah, for one tape, buying a whole machine hardly seems worth it. Try getting a place to convert it. Another idea is, depending where you live, some sort of library or academic institution might possess a machine too. You could try that.

Jack J
10-20-2010, 12:04 AM
Aren't European VHS tapes actually different sizes? I think you'd need two separate players, no?

Different sizes? No. All VHS tapes are the same size. Betamax and Video2000 tapes are different sizes to VHS.

Ian Z.
10-20-2010, 04:11 PM
For conversions, you should look up Craig Ledbetter from European Trash Cinema. He's always been very fair with me on prices for conversions, especially if your tape somehow relates to trashy cinema. :)

Jim Tomkins
10-21-2010, 04:10 PM
Yeah, for one tape, buying a whole machine hardly seems worth it. Try getting a place to convert it. Another idea is, depending where you live, some sort of library or academic institution might possess a machine too. You could try that.

It's not just the tape of "Pyromaniac" - it's the tape of "Demence", and "Justice d'un flic", and likely a few other SECAM tapes I have but can't think of just now.

Zane C.
10-21-2010, 06:22 PM
Jim, if you're wanting to buy one and start buying PAL and SECAM tapes, try these guys:

http://www.220-electronics.com/

and also these guys:

http://www.world-import.com/index.htm

I THINK I ordered my Sony through 220, but I can't remember. It came with a signal box that changed the signal in the VCR from PAL to NTSC, so I didn't need an all-region TV.

I also have a SAMSUNG 5000W(?), which was supposedly the best around, but it seemingly crapped out on me - some tapes are fine, some are not. Personally, I wouldn't buy one again. Plus, they're ridiculously expensive nowadays, as well as hard to find.

These are nice to have, but currently I only have about 4 PAL tapes. I'm of course hoping to grow that collection, but you usually have to go through eBay for that, in order to get the good cult tapes, and it's usually the same, deep-pocketed folks that bid on them that drive the prices way up to heights that finally just make you go "meh", it's not worth it. I get PAL tapes when I can, but it's not a huge priority.

One last thing - be aware that some of these VCR's DO NOT play SECAM. It seems like a notoriously picky format. Be sure to read the fine print.

Lorne Marshall
10-23-2010, 01:06 AM
Also, some machines play SECAM tapes in B/W, even if the movie is in color.

Jim Tomkins
10-24-2010, 04:54 PM
Jim, if you're wanting to buy one and start buying PAL and SECAM tapes, try these guys:

http://www.220-electronics.com/

and also these guys:

http://www.world-import.com/index.htm

I THINK I ordered my Sony through 220, but I can't remember. It came with a signal box that changed the signal in the VCR from PAL to NTSC, so I didn't need an all-region TV.

I also have a SAMSUNG 5000W(?), which was supposedly the best around, but it seemingly crapped out on me - some tapes are fine, some are not. Personally, I wouldn't buy one again. Plus, they're ridiculously expensive nowadays, as well as hard to find.

These are nice to have, but currently I only have about 4 PAL tapes. I'm of course hoping to grow that collection, but you usually have to go through eBay for that, in order to get the good cult tapes, and it's usually the same, deep-pocketed folks that bid on them that drive the prices way up to heights that finally just make you go "meh", it's not worth it. I get PAL tapes when I can, but it's not a huge priority.

One last thing - be aware that some of these VCR's DO NOT play SECAM. It seems like a notoriously picky format. Be sure to read the fine print.

Thank YOU!

Bummer about the B&W SECAM trip - hopefully, whatever model I get won't suffer from it.

Zane C.
10-24-2010, 06:13 PM
Thank YOU!

Bummer about the B&W SECAM trip - hopefully, whatever model I get won't suffer from it.

Glad to help, Jim! I hope you are successful with finding a VCR that suits your needs! You might want to try to find one sooner, rather than later, though, because as John K. mentioned, the prices are going up on these things as the technology is getting older, and everyone wants Blu-Ray/DVD versions of everything, not just VCR quality.

The real issue, though, is that there's lots of rare stuff on VHS/PAL/SECAM that will never see a DVD/Blu-Ray release. That's the kicker for those of us still buying up old tapes.

Andrew Ellis
10-24-2010, 06:35 PM
Years ago I bought a $500 Sony multi-region player. It basically broke down after a year and a half, but I could still use it as a signal converter, for instance, to record off Turkish cable onto my American VCR. Then I was back in the States and I had all these Argentinean PAL tapes I wanted to put on NTSC DVD. So I bought a cheaper player. But while it would play PAL tapes, it wouldn't convert the signal, so good luck watching it on an American television. So I ended having to use BOTH players to do the DVD-R transfers.

The only moral of the story I guess is that the whole thing is generally a big pain in the ass, so unless you're generally planning to record a whole bunch of PAL or SECAM tapes, it would probably be cheaper and easier to have a service do it for you.