DVD camcorders and the PAL/NTSC issue
October 3, 2005
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I want to get a camcorder. I'm not very technical, and I thought one of the DVD ones would be great. The models sold here in Israel are the PAL standard, and I'm wondering if my parents in the United States can play these DVDs on their American NTSC TV sets. Also, is it worth waiting, hoping that models with greater recording time will come out?
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| |Your parents should be able to play the DVDs,
provided they have a multisystem DVD player
. Many should be able to read DVD-RW or DVD+RW discs as well, so that you don't have to worry about exactly which format disc you're using. As for higher-capacity discs, I wouldn't hold my breath. As of now, there are two competing potential formats: HD-DVD and Blu-ray. It looks as if neither one is going to be integrated into a camcorder any time soon. And even if it were imminent, it will likely be at least one more year before the hardware-compatibility conflicts get ironed out.
Right now, the best candidate for longer recording times seems to be the hard-disk-based approach, such as that used by JVC's Everio camcorders, which can record 7 hours or more at their best quality settings. Since these types of camcorders use the same MPEG-2 encoding as the DVD-based models, transferring your video from the hard disk to a DVD should, theoretically, be as easy as dragging and dropping. I expect to see more of these types of products relatively early in 2006.
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