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Q: video purchase ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: video purchase
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: cherry-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 02 May 2002 14:00 PDT
Expires: 09 May 2002 14:00 PDT
Question ID: 11163
Where can I buy a copy of a video of "Closet Land"; it was broadcast
on UK terrestrial tv some years ago, and starred Madelain Stowe and
Alan Rickman.
Subject: Re: video purchase
Answered By: joey-ga on 02 May 2002 14:18 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
"Closet Land," released in 1991, has been released on VHS tape.

As you speak of seeing it on UK television, I assume you live in
Britain.  From what I've gathered, the tape was only released in
"NTSC" video format (the video version used in the United States.) 
Europe uses a competing video standard called "PAL", and a VCR you've
bought in Europe will not display American NTSC tapes.

If you would, in fact, like to purchase the NTSC version, it is
available used from, starting at $7.99US (Independent
sellers currently are marketing the video through
[more info:]

There is a company called "InetVideo" that sells the video new for
$39.99US.  They are also able to convert videos to PAL format for
$9.99US so that you could watch it on your VCR in Europe.  They ship
to Europe for a handling fee starting at $8US.

When buying from InetVideo, make sure you click the "PAL" checkbox
before you order.  Because the video isn't natively in PAL format and
would have to be shipped from the USA, the final price is semi-steep,
but it is an attractive alternative to having no "Closet Land"!

Let me know if you need any more information, and I hope this works
out for you!


Request for Answer Clarification by cherry-ga on 05 May 2002 14:58 PDT
Thankyou to Joey (the researcher) and also to vikingbrad and plotinus
(the discusants)

Yes,NTSC/PaL etc is a bit tricky, but nowadays, most machines cope
well. Can we leave this now, Please?

Clarification of Answer by joey-ga on 05 May 2002 17:06 PDT
No problem.  I'm glad you finally found it.

Take care.
cherry-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Brilliant, and thanks Joey.

This was my first go at Google Answers, and it was a trick question,
in that I'd tried to do it myself. It took me hours and hours of "free
time", and months before I found a source (lots of them listed it as
avaialble, then when you ordered, it was out of stock.) Yours was
about to take my money, so I reckon they had it.

Also, very more gold stars for the extra information about Pal not
being compatable

I'm pleased,

But very troubled by the guess your price bit. I don't know what's

Subject: Re: video purchase
From: vikingbrad-ga on 02 May 2002 18:43 PDT
Excellent answer.

By the way, I am in Australia which also uses the PAL standard used in
the UK.

Most VHS recorders/players sold here have NTSC playback as a feature.
If your machine is recent you may want to check it can playback both
NTSC & PAL format tapes, it may save you some dollars.

Subject: Re: video purchase
From: plotinus-ga on 05 May 2002 04:53 PDT
Just to clarify this format issue: the entire world uses PAL, except
for North America, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan, which use
NTSC. (There is also something called SECAM, which is similar to PAL
and is used in the former Soviet Union, parts of the Middle East, and
in France and the former French colonies in Africa; and Brazil uses
"PAL-M" which is very similar to NTSC - but that's just confusing!)
NTSC is actually inferior to PAL, with a smaller screen size and
poorer resolution: this is why American news clips shown on British TV
sometimes have that weird yellowish tinge. I always used to assume
that America was in fact yellow, a hypothesis supported by watching
"The Simpsons", but it fact it's because the signal is being converted
from an inferior format. NTSC handles colours differently from PAL.

Don't ask me why America and Japan don't use PAL like almost everyone
else; I suppose it's like America refusing to use the metric system,
which at least Japan does. All I can say is that it causes immense
trouble and expense for the TV and film industry, as I can testify,
having worked on documentaries for Japanese TV. But it is possible to
buy VCRs in Britain that will play NTSC. Failing that, it's easy to
get NTSC videos converted to PAL.

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