Quantcast MESECAM/SECAM VCR's Buying Guide? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
09-02-2013, 04:54 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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I've been looking at the VCR Buying Guide and other places to see what would be the best VHS and Video8 SECAM VCR's (or even in the case of Video8 camcorders) in order to use for transfers.

As I understand it, S-VHS and Hi8 did not have any SECAM-only (and MESECAM basically recorded PAL on the tape, although I've heard that PAL VCR's won't play these back, but PAL TV's will play MESECAM signals), since they were released (1987-1989) when many SECAM countries had either gone to dual transmission, or abandoned SECAM all together.

With Video8 I am assuming that the camcorders/VCR'S from after 1987 have S-Video. We're there any SECAM VHS players released with S-Video? (Or would it have to be SCART to S-Video?)
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  #2  
09-02-2013, 05:37 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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MESECAM (SECAM-B) units are actually more common than true French SECAM-L VCRs. The JVC "MS" models (ex: HR-S9600MS) support both French SECAM-L and MESECAM VHS and SVHS tapes. The rest of the JVC PAL models will play MESECAM tapes out of the box. I'd have to look at the manuals, but I don't believe the Digipure TBC was supported for MESECAM playback.

8mm SECAM tapes are likely pretty rare these and was seemingly only supported by standalone VCRs. All camcorders seem to have went the PAL recording route. Seeing that 8mm flopped as a home video recording format outside of camcorders, I wouldn't be too concerned about running across any tapes.
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09-02-2013, 06:05 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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Even with Video8, were there any later models from the Hi8 and Digital8 eras that were PAL for Hi/Digital8, but offered PAL & SECAM/MESECAM playback for Video8?

With SECAM/MESECAM VHS, was JVC the only manufacturer to make VTR's or (and I'm thinking of the small VHS-C tapes here) did Panasonic or another manufacturer make any.

(SECAM, the "ugly duckling" of the video world. I'm just glad that with Digital the powers-that-be went with just NTSC and PAL.)
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  #4  
09-02-2013, 09:03 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomswift View Post
Even with Video8, were there any later models from the Hi8 and Digital8 eras that were PAL for Hi/Digital8, but offered PAL & SECAM/MESECAM playback for Video8?
I just found something over at video99.co.uk. Apparently (this is on his SECAM country page) Video8 Secam camcorders & VCR's, while they could accept a SECAM signal, internally the camcorder/VCR records PAL. So it sounds like SECAM Video8 equipment has SECAM/PAL Converters built in for just import/export to/from SECAM TV's and cable/OTA sources (should someone have used Video8 like a VHS to rcord TV shows).

So for SECAM all three 8mm formats are just NTSC/PAL.
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  #5  
09-04-2013, 08:58 AM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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The best vhs vcr for secam are from panasonic, model: Panasonic NV-FS 200

I have never tried it myself though (got the info from a video enthusiast who tried many jvc's/panny's, here in france)
I have a JVC hr 8600MS which has s-video output and secam-> pal converter option
The tbc/dnr system won't work for secam tapes, period.

If you deal with secam you better throw a Proc Amp + TBC in the mix, to tackle the infamous red/pink lines and other nastiness
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  #6  
09-04-2013, 03:26 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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JVC's manuals says otherwise.
http://www.jvc.fr/download.php?type=2

Here is the phase they list in the TBC section of the manual (translated to English):
Quote:
Reading a MESECAM tape, Digital TBC / NR does not work
even though the indicator DIGITAL TBC / NR is on.
It specifically says MESECAM (SECAM-B) tapes, not SECAM-L, which are likely pretty rare outside of France. The NV-FS200 manual says it doesn't play back or record SECAM tapes.
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  #7  
09-05-2013, 02:58 AM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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If the guide say so.... It must be a special model the guy i spoke to was talking about (it's been a long time..)

Go on ebay.fr search for magnetoscope (that's how we call vcr's here) and you may find one good

Mesecam is very rare though i don't know many people who have recorded in mesecam

French tv was secam L and commercial tapes were in secam B
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  #8  
09-07-2013, 06:10 AM
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Video8 and Hi8 honestly works best in cameras -- not decks. The decks were not widespread, and have seen a lot of abuse because of it. I'd avoid those, and find several cams in like-new condition -- which is most, because people never really used their cameras more than few dozen times. If it comes from a non-smoker, was stored indoors, and in a bag to keep out dust, you've got a good one.

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  #9  
09-07-2013, 08:46 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themaster1 View Post
If the guide say so.... It must be a special model the guy i spoke to was talking about (it's been a long time..)
It was only VHS that allowed SECAM recording. Any S-VHS recording was recorded on tape in NTSC or PAL and then sent to a NTSC/PAL-to-SECAM converter. So from a S-VHS standpoint, the NV-FS200 could've been used in France since the signal would've either been converted internally to SECAM (if any machine was ever made) or the signal sent by SCART/S-Video/Composite to a converter.

As for Video8/Hi8 I prefer using the Digital8 camcorders, so I'll stick with those.
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  #10  
09-07-2013, 08:54 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the Digital 8 cams are very good - but be warned many of the lesser models wont play Video8 or Hi8 tapes.
if you buy a Digital8 cam make sure it is reverse-compatible - IIRC the DCR-TRV320 and higher are
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  #11  
09-08-2013, 06:48 AM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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I know with Digital8 Sony put the backwards compatibility in with the first gen camera's, but then decided to remove it later. Bu I like using the 340's for all 8mm work.
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  #12  
09-08-2013, 06:55 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the 340 is a good one - they can be found for reasonable in great shape.
yard sales are great place to find cams - ive bought D8 & Hi8 cams for $5 at yard sales
ive even gotten mini-dv cams dirt cheap that way.
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  #13  
09-08-2013, 08:19 AM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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Plus with the 340, when I need a PAL model it just has an extra "E" on the end of the number to signify Europe.
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  #14  
09-08-2013, 07:08 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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Quick time travel question. Back before the German reunification in 1990, I know that West Germany used the PAL TV system and East Germany used the SECAM system (and then in 1990 the reunified Germany went with PAL and discontinued SECAM transmissions). With East Germany did the VHS (and to a further extent Betamax) VCR's sold there record in MESECAM, or did they just sell PAL VCR's with a SECAM converter inside? I haven't had anyone bring in an East German tape yet, but I was just wondering whether or not I'd be facing a SECAM or PAL tape?

(Edit Note: I just found the manual for an old Philips VR6390. I'm not too sure what year the VCR came out in, but it was obviously before 1990 since it mentions East Germany in the text of the manual. Here's the link: http://www.p4c.philips.com/files/v/v...90_dfu_eng.pdf

Quote:
Eastern European reception (SECAM East)

This video recorder can also receive SECAM East transmissions of East German TV broadcasting companies.
For the recorded TV programmes to be reproduced in colour, your colour TV must also be equipped to receive these transmissions.
Your video recorder will switch automatically from the PAL transmission standard to Eastern European reception and vice versa.

NOTE:

Video cassettes recorded on the French SECAM colour system can only be reproduced in black-and-white. This is a technical limitation and not a fault in your video recorder.
So I guess for East German tapes they could be recorded in both MESECAM and PAL.)

Last edited by tomswift; 09-08-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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  #15  
09-30-2013, 01:27 PM
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I keep forgetting about East/West Germany! I remember where I was when the wall came down.
Same for the Reagan vs. Gorbachev newscasts.

I'm guessing the East used the Russian videotape format. So Russian VCRs may be another place to look.

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