Knowledge about many formats of multisystem VCR will help you understand your device better. This awareness also extends to other home entertainment gadgets like televisions, DVD players, etc. A multisystem device can process the video signal from various sources. Here, ‘sources’ refers not to the type of media, but to countries and regions that have different standards for encoding video and television signals. For example, a VCR made for use in the US will be able to process an NTSC signal only. The other formats used around the world are PAL and SECAM. A device or gadget may or may not have a combination of these various formats. A multisystem gadget like a multisystem VCR will have support for PAL and NTSC and may even have support for all three.
It is possible to use adapters and convertors for converting one signal to another, however, that severely deteriorates picture quality. Any video enthusiast can easily distinguish such differences. If you use a gadget that can decode the signal on its own, you will end up with a far superior viewing experience.
A brief description of the three formats is given below.
NTSC: NTSC stands for National Television Systems Committee. It is the name given to the standard adopted by them for analog television signals in 1941. It is primarily used in North America, some countries in South America and a few in Asia like Japan and the Philippines. It has the ability to process 525 lines per frame.
PAL: PAL or Phase Alternating Line has a wider channel bandwidth. This allows for better picture quality with its 625 lines per frame. PAL is the dominant standard in the world and is used across Europe (except France), Asia, Australia and most parts of Africa and South America. Being so popular, many foreign movies and videos are only available in this format. A multisystem VCR with PAL enables you to watch these videos without any problems.
SECAM: SECAM stands for Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire (or Sequential Color with Memory in English) is the standard format in France and most countries comprising the former USSR. It is also used in many countries in Africa. If you are a fan of French and Russian movies, you would want this format in your multisystem VCR.
The primary advantage of a multisystem VCR is that one does not have to worry about the format of the tape you want to play. It eliminates the need to buy different convertors and cables, the cost for which can quickly get out of hand. If you have a multisystem VCR with inbuilt decoders and convertors that can output an NTSC signal, you don’t have to worry about your TV’s format either. When you sit down in from of your entertainment system, you should be able to relax and enjoy your experience, not fiddle about with cables or wonder if your video will even play. With a multisystem VCR, you can accomplish just that.