10-27-2016, 12:32 AM
photoguy1234 photoguy1234 is offline
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So I've got some French tapes in SECAM-L format that need to get digitized. I know there's a few decks that everyone suggests (Aiwa MX100, Panasonic AG-W3, Samsung SV-7000W) The problem is that I've ordered a few on eBay and they just arrive DOA. Since there were so few models, they tend to be war-torn production units from transfer houses. Perhaps if I pay a premium on eBay, I could get a good one. But I just wonder whether that's really necessary.

Why can't I just get a newer French deck and convert the signal myself without having an old, dedicated universal unit? For example, I tried recently to purchase a French deck from eBay France (SONY SLV-SX700B) that is capable of SECAM-L playback. Yet I'm still getting B/W playback. It seems pretty clear from the manual that it does play SECAM-L, but feel free to check (http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/3868271e11.pdf) I know it's supposed to be color - both because the customer said it's color, and the MX100 I had worked just long enough for me to confirm this detail. I currently have a Kramer FC-4001 (something like that) for standards conversion, but I have a feeling that maybe the standards converter is the bottleneck. It works for everything else, but somehow the color isn't coming through for this tape and if it's not the VCR, it has to be the converter. I can't really be sure though.

So basically do you know a plain 'ol VCR deck (magnetoscope) that will definitely play SECAM-L tapes in color and a standards converter (Snell & Wilcox, Leitch, AVToolbox, Blackmagic Teranex) that will definitely convert a SECAM-L signal and remain in color? This has been such a pain. I went to three separate local companies and none of them were able to reproduce the color. They're completely oblivious. I know of the problem, but can't get it working in color by my workarounds. I just want to avoid paying an arm and a leg for a beat up machine that will last a year before breaking down, just to transfer a 2-3 tapes a year. I rarely get French tapes in, but want the ability to do it.

Last edited by photoguy1234; 10-27-2016 at 12:47 AM.
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10-27-2016, 05:45 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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It's not that easy.

The signal from plain VCRs (NTSC, PAL or SECAM) is too dirty. You will run into transfer issues. Even TBC often cannot fix the messy output. Those were analog, pre-digital, for connecting to a TV. Only broadcasters had to worry about signals, as the analog TVs ignored many flaws.

SECAM-L is also the most difficult VHS format to work with. You not only need SECAM playback, but the output is SECAM as well, meaning that PAL wiring won't work. You need French SCART. And a card that is SECAM-aware (and note that VirtualDub may lie to you). Many capture cards do not support SECAM at all -- only PAL and NTSC.

FYI, the AIWA, JVC and Samsung are Panasonic rebadges. And I'm not aware of anybody else making a multi-format deck aside from Panasonic. Those are regular VHS, but not consumer grade. Those have a lot of flaws, too. JVC does have some rarer SECAM S-VHS decks, but I'm not sure about L. In 15 years, I've had maybe a dozen SECAM tapes, and use the Samsung 5000W, which doesn't support L.

SECAM is like 99% PAL. In fact, the internal of SECAM VCRs are just PAL VCRs, with a converter for the color. But that 1% is enough to cause you grief.

Good luck.

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10-27-2016, 07:27 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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According to their manuals, the JVC SVHS decks that end in "MS" are supposed to play back SECAM-L (True French market SECAM) format tapes and were marketed in France.

More details here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...jvc-decks.html

Don't use a standards converter, pretty much all the recommended capture cards can record a color SECAM signal once you find the proper playback deck.
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10-28-2016, 03:15 AM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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Your best bet would be to get a vcr with a pal transcoder included; I know mine got one (Jvc HR-8600MS) but i don't know if it works for secam-L tapes. I'll check the manual later

It's not specified in the manual so i'm guessing either types of secam can be transcoded to Pal (at the price of a signal degradation most likely). It states: Ntsc-> Pal60; mesecam->secam; secam->Pal or secam ; Pal->Pal
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