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Q: MultiSystem TVs (PAL & NTSC) ( Answered 2 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: MultiSystem TVs (PAL & NTSC)
Category: Science > Technology
Asked by: wandering_texan1-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 16 Jan 2005 13:05 PST
Expires: 15 Feb 2005 13:05 PST
Question ID: 458232
My question started regarding PAL/NTSC conversion boxes
and has evolved to now include MultiSystem TVs.  I must decide over
the next couple of days if I am going to sell my current tv or take it
with me to London.  I would appreciate anyone answering my adjunct
questions regarding to MultiSystem TVs even if they cannot answer my
questions on conversion boxes.

My MultiSystem TV questions are... 
US prices seem much lower than UK prices for roughly equivilant TVs.  I
have looked at some Sony's.  Does anyone have an oppinion  on :

1) Are TVs signficantly cheaper in the US
2) Do Multisystems have disadvantages (eg, extra problems)others do not
3) Which is worth the money, which is best :
(US$ 2,199) KV-DR34M69
(US$ 2,799) KV-ES34M61
(US$ 1,399) KV-XR34M61
4) Are these TVs still under warranty if they leave the US?
5) Will the TVs work in UK, US, and ideally Brazil also???
6) Where are the best prices for buying relatively high-end multisystem TVs?
Subject: Re: MultiSystem TVs (PAL & NTSC)
Answered By: hedgie-ga on 17 Jan 2005 00:01 PST
Rated:2 out of 5 stars
Howdy (again)

   First about the 'adaptors' for electric voltage conversion 
(from your first question):

 A lot of information is on the web: 

SEARCH TERMS: Electrical Voltage,    FAQ  Adaptors

which I will not  reproduce here, or even summarize. Quite a bit of
what is on the web are just ads and some of it is wrong. I will  just
give you a sensible solution, based on 1) understanding electricity 2)
my own experience of moving from US to EU recently, with some
apliances, computers, ...

1) Do not buy adaptors, such as shown with your question 1. They are
not suitable for electronics (power supplies inside are reactive
loads). Bring from US one or two power strips and when you get to
Europe, get a decent Transformer. Decent means at least 600W. They
exist in US - but  on consumer market they are (overly) expensive  and
they are heavy to move. So, you buy one in EU (UK in you case) and
plug your US power strip into the 110V end. That will give you several
110V outlets which look like, and work like the outlets in US. All
your US appliances may be used with those. You need to understand a
bit about Watts
(power requirements) of apliances - so you do not overload the tansformer.

Here are more details on EU electricity and moving to EU in general:

2) Electronics is not cheaper in US - market is global and differs
mostly in variety of offered models. Example :

 a) Amazon UK 
Sony DAV-SB100 Home Theatre System MP3/ JPEG playback Sony 
Electronics - March 31, 2004 
 Electronics & Photo: See all 140 results
  Our Price: 149.99   New & Used from 114.99 

 b) US sells for about $400 un CA and similar in US and  c) rest of the world:

Your warranty is (usually) valid worldwide when you buy a product of 
a multinational company (like Sony).

3) I would not  move a TV set or CRT monitor (I am happy I did not).

Multi-system such as THOMSON 21MX17E 
can sense the output type (e.g. of a recorder/player  vs cable) and switch
automatically between NTSC and PAL.
( What is NTSC, PAL and SECAM

Combine that with region-free DVD (home cinema) player  such as Yamada HTS-3900
and you have an easy to operate system which will play your US tapes and disks
and provide Euro-News
as well - without changing your configuration.

This is a good time to buy a new Home Cinema system anyway - as prices
are already down and technology matured. However, one should not
invest to much into
DVD recorders and TV screens, as digital HDTV and recorder scene is still evolving.


Request for Answer Clarification by wandering_texan1-ga on 17 Jan 2005 07:19 PST
Thanks for replying.  Sounds like I still have much to understand. 
Since I have two inter-related questions I would be happy to pay you
to answer both? if you are qualified.  Or, if you are only comfortable
with this question (the second question), then we can stick to this
question #2 only.

1) OK, I get the jist of your point about power (I think?). 
Paraphrasing, I should bring some power strips and buy some
transformers once I arrive in London.  Sounds good... any

2) You said that you would not move a CRT (for cost, fear of damaging
the unit in the move, technical issues once you arrived, other???). 
In my case, my firm will pay for the move and insure against any
damage.  Therefore, I am only worried about the third concern, ?the
technical issues once I arrive?.  As I see it, I have two options :

?	buy a new TV that can overcome these technical issues (and sell my current TV).
Two Sub Options Exist
o	Buy in USA and ship to England (if prices are better here)
o	Buy in UK (if prices are same as USA or better in UK)
?	buy a PAL/NTSC conversion box that will enable my USA TV to work in the UK

It sounds like you prefer option 1, sub-point b (buy TV in UK).

Follow-Up Questions
a) For a 32-34? TV ? which one would you recommend, why
b) For a 36?- ? which one would you recommend, why
c) What is a comparable model in the US (I want to compare prices, features)
d) if buying a TV becomes to complex/costly, which of the video
conversion boxes I listed in question one would you recommend, why

I am avoiding plasma and other ?high-end? technologies for the next 3
years until prices drop and HDTV is fully flushed out (despite the
fact that I really, really one).  I currently have a 32? Sony
Trinitron ? it?s a great medium quality set!  Ideally, I would like to
find one similar or better that will become the ?2nd? TV when we move
back to the US in 3 years (or, possibly back to Brazil in 3 years).

Many thanks.  I look forward to your reply.
The Wandering Texan

Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 17 Jan 2005 10:24 PST
1) ".. I should bring some power strips and buy some transformers  .. in UK .."
  Yes. One transformer (unless you really need 110V in multiple rooms) --
  That's what the power strips are for - to feed multiple outlets from
one transformer.
  You need to understand the difference between a transfomer and a
(solid state) converter
  (like the one you have shown). I am not explaining that here, since
it is explained well
  on the web - in different ways and  on several grade levels (K1 to college :-).
  When a researcher says

SEARCH TERMS: Electrical Voltage, FAQ  Adaptors

That means, please type these words as a querry into a search engine
and pick a site which looks good to you,
which is on the right level. So please do a bit of reading first- and
we can then clarify the rest.
or (same thing) click this:


Picking a transformer is easy. The only important parameter is power
(Watts it can handle)
 and the price and mass (weight), which both increase sharply with the
amount of power.
Something like this (with fuses):

In the EU we are less standartized (part of the charm of Europe - really)
 and so multifunctional models are easier to get and cheaper - and
come with the right local plug fitting the particular local outlets.
2)  o Buy in UK (if prices are same as USA or better in UK)

  I recommend this option (was that not clear?). I thought I had shown
that the prices are the same.
  OK, on one example - but you just compare to see it is univeral.
  EU models are more likely to have seamless switching between
standards - since we need it more here
  (We still have multiple currencies and languages here too - imagine
:-) One reason then is more selection
  of multi-standard features but there is another. 
  I will explain using an example of CRT monitors:
  a) I am leaving my computers and monitors ON overnight - since I use
them every day. With 'native' models
     the power management works. With transfomers and adaptors - the
monitor may be swirched off - but the transformer stays on - and
wastes energy. It can all be done - in different ways - but we are 
talking "KISS" here.
  b) Most appliances do not care about 50/60 Hz difference.  Some do:
CRTs just may, which  would cause slight degradation of the picture.
3) We agree on "avoiding plasma and other ?high-end? technologies for
the next 3 years .."
   I am not recommending  32-34? TV vs 36" .. etc. The point I was
making about these is this:
   I can drop a US-made VHS tape  or DVD -- or a DVD or VHS I rent
here -- or just turn the TV on (UCP cable) and not even think about
regions or formats. It adapts itself without so
   much as querying me.
    The example I used (THOMSON 21MX17E +  Yamada HTS-3900)   does this. 
   There surely are other combinations which do that (I did not test
them all) and in different screen sizes.
   The adaptor/ conversion boxes can certainly make things work,  too,
 but such configurations  may require some fiddling with switches and
cables. It is very difficult
   to know how complicated this would be from just reading the specs.
   BTW: for technical issues I think (MODESTLY :-) that Google Answers
is best, but you
   may, particularly if you are relocating with family, ask your
company to purcahse a
   relocation consulting package, such as
    They have lot of local detals on their local sites

Request for Answer Clarification by wandering_texan1-ga on 17 Jan 2005 11:52 PST
Thanks Hedgie,
I guess I will have to manage my own expectations on how best to use
this forum.  The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards
the conversion boxes.  They seem simple enough to use and I will loose
aprox US$1-2,000 trying to obtain what I already own if I pursue the
PAL compatiable equipment route.  It is probably not worth it
considering I will be in London for just a few years before returning
to the US and my current TV is less than a year old.

This puts me back to my original question.  Can you (or anyone you
know)recommend which of the conversion boxes is best?  Besides
complexity of set-up is there any strong reason not to use the
conversion box as my solution?

1) DVC-1660 from Universal (?) 
(US$ 239.00)
2) DVC-1200M (or CMD-1200) from ComWorld
(US$ 310.00)
(US$ 279.00)

Thanks for your helpd so far.  Your information on voltage was helpful.


Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 17 Jan 2005 18:59 PST
Daer wandering_texan1-ga 

you say:

This puts me back to my original question.  Can you (or anyone you
know)recommend which of the conversion boxes is best? 

But "which of the conversion boxes is best?" is really a different question
from 'what is the best way to move (with electronics )to UK?'.

This (GA) really is a community of sorts. You can check history of researchers
(by clicking on their handle) and of the customers as well. Some
customers appear, make promises, and disappear (e.g.):
other stay and establish a reputation as being fair and reasonable.

Right now, you have three $30 questions rolled into this one $15 dialog

and now you ask: can anyone you know ..tell me more (for free?)

Perhaps this would be a good time to evaluate what (if anything) you learned,
 close a question (with rating - preferably) - and open a new question to
challenge the community of all researchers - who ( even when they know
the subject)  must each time make a custom search - compose+edit+check
 the results - and who each time do it 'on faith' that customer will
appreciate the work and actually rate - pay - tip something


Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 17 Jan 2005 19:05 PST
Ops -- I apologise 

customers appear, make promises, and disappear (e.g.):
other stay and establish a reputation as being fair and reasonable.

should have been

customers appear, make promises, and disappear (e.g.):
osther stay and establish a reputation as being fair and reasonable.

(embarassed)  Hedgie

Request for Answer Clarification by wandering_texan1-ga on 18 Jan 2005 15:45 PST
Fair enough.  I know this question is not easy (hence, the reason I am
trying google answers).  To protect my anonymous persona's honor (for
whatever that is worth), one should note that I did open 2 questions
with 2 different prices to address your stated concern.  I am still
willing to pay someone to answer both questions.

Further, you have only partially answered this $15 question, but I am
giving up because the economics of buying a new/selling the old TV
does not make sense in my case... making this question moot.  So, I am
willing to pay you for your time, rather than any answers provided. 
The heart of this question was WHICH MULTISYSTEM TV (LISTED OR NOT
LISTED BY ME) was the best value.  This question was not answered. 
But, like I said I believe this question is moot on further reflection
and I do believe you deserve some compensation for yout time.

Finally, if you (or anyone else) can answer the first question (the
one I truly want answered), then I will pay them the price stated.  My
entire solution is predicated on the belief that these conversion
boxes work, but I can find no testimonials/ratings/proof on the web to
confirm this.  Any help from an expert would be appreciated.   If the
conversion boxes do not work... THEN I will truly need this
MULTISYSTEM TV QUESTION answered, but not until then.

Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 19 Jan 2005 02:05 PST

    Your honor is not being questioned. There is nothing wrong with
having two RFC dialogs open. It is the other way:
  Problem is rather with your liberal use of  'in addition'
 as in:      
In addition, I realize that I will need to convert the voltage in the
UK for a US machine.  I found this 50va USA Type Transformer which
seems (per the picture) to be well designed.  If you have any opinions
on whether this would work,it would be greatly appreciated.
(US$ 14.95)

Clarification of Question by wandering_texan1-ga on 15 Jan 2005 10:53 PST
which convinced me that you indeed may use some help
crossing the great Atlantic divide. 

 This lead to several RFCs on power conversion -- which it seems you
appreciated (at the time)
 " I would be happy to pay you
to answer both? if you are qualified..."  

and on which (power conversion question) I spent  at least $15 worth
of my work time per pricing guide:

Then the question kept expanding - or perhaps spiraling back - so I
that it was really difficult to gauge where we are.
So, rather in questioning your honor - my point was to suggest that,
next time, you break your investigation into several separate and
focused questions

For example - I could recommend buying a multi-system in Europe -
particularly since I learned from my own experience few things about
that which were not obvious from specs. But I do not have experience
with conversion  boxes - and no interest researching  - since I do not
consider that a good solution. That is an opinion only.

So - breaking it all into separate questions - you allow researchers
to select what they have expertise and interest in - and then answer
that question  fully. It also makesit possible to see an end of each
question - and what is
needed to clarify that one issue.

In this case,if the subtopics would be separated, I would be able to
(e.g.) answer your  "
 "...If you have any opinions (on power converters)
on whether this would work,it would be greatly appreciated..."

 question fully and you would be able to express your appreciation
with 5 stars rating.... As it now - I indeed did not answer question
about TV boxes - and do not feel my answer on power - the effort and
expertise - were appreciated.

But - we all learn from our experiences - and this was your first experience
with GA.  You are welcome to try again.  If you pose unanswered part
as specific question - chances are - that (with proper price on it)
someone will research the boxes for you.

wandering_texan1-ga rated this answer:2 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: MultiSystem TVs (PAL & NTSC)
From: owain-ga on 19 Jan 2005 05:32 PST
Before buying a multisystem TV in either the US or the UK, you might
want to look at French stores. Multisystem TVs are reputedly widely
available in France with various versions  of PAL, SECAM and NTSC, at
competitive prices.


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