The transfer from European PAL or SECAM (France) is not legal to do
because you undercut the distribution agreements that go by territory.
However, nobody will probably ever find out if you do it (great advice)
There are many recent possibilities for converting Other standards of VHS
to the American NTSC type. Many Brands such as Goldstar, Aiwa, and others
offer very cheap digital converters that can cost as little as 400 $US.
VCR's that can play all formats are called "Multi-system" and are made
by all brands. Not all are capable of converting onto another regular
US-Type VCR. Check with your video store first.
Furthermore, not all European formats are the same. Germany, Switzerland
and in fact most of Europe use a system called PAL, France and some
countries in Eastern Europe use one called SECAM, though their a little
different from each other.
So, you want to get a multisystem recorder that can transcode, play all
systems and has an ok Quality. Try Panasonic for I think about 600$
Remember that viewing foreign tapes without having converted them will
require a multisystem tv (sony's 21 inch is about 400$)
If on the other hand, you prefer to simply have them converted by an
outside house, I'd suggest you try (i don't know where you are) RAFIK's
in NY (212) 475 7884 they charge about 30$ for 120 min.
E-mail me for specific troubles and questions
Columbia University Film Division
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