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post #31 of 35 Old 01-30-2012, 01:02 PM
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I summarized the various issues in the fol. post, although for Australia, answers are all the same:

1) Most U.S. market equipment do NOT support 50 Hz refresh rates on Video, S-Video, Component Video
and HDMI, they "typically" only support: 480i/p, 720p, 1080i/p (all at 24, 30 & 60 Hz).

2) European components WILL include 50 Hz refresh rates AND 576i/p, cuz that is what is broadcast.
I doubt that any of their Cable Boxes or SAT Receivers include an internal 50Hz/60Hz Converter.

3) You WILL need to buy either a European market HDTV (which can includes DVB-T OTA tuner) or
a European market HD Monitor (either of which accepts BOTH 50 Hz and 60 Hz) or a so-called
Multi-System HDTV (I provided links to suppliers).

4) Although most Multi-System HDTV's support European OTA DVB-T formats, they MAY or MAY NOT
support other markets, such as the HDTVs targeted for the Australian/New Zealand/Singapore,
so carefully check the specs and if in doubt, call the manu. There are many "flavors" of DVB-T.

5) I only saw TWO HDTVs, 19" & 22" from iView International, with BOTH DVB-T and ATSC tuners:

6) A single channel 50 Hz to 60 Hz PAL-to-NTSC Converter ONLY operates on Video/S-Video I/Fs
(poorly), so it isn't suited for a multi-input configuration where some of the I/Fs are C-V and/or HDMI.

Wiki overview of Digital TV in the UK and DVB-T summary:

AND you'll pay about 145.5 pounds/year just for the privileged of OWNING a TV:

Internal DBV-T tuners should pickup FREEVIEW, which only has FOUR HD Channels:

You'll need Cable STB/DVR or SAT Receiver to decode subscription channels:
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post #32 of 35 Old 01-30-2012, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by humantorch34 View Post


I currently have a NTSC TV 1080i. I am moving to the UK and wanted to know what I would need to watch the following:

US HD-A2 HD-DVD Player
US Wii
US Multi-region DVD Player.

A7: Either a European HDTV or Multi-System HDTV with BOTH 50 Hz and 60 Hz refresh I/Fs.

Do I need to worry about NTSC if I watch all my US DVD's in 1080p or 1080i - both my dvd players output in 1080i.

Does NTSC still exist at 1080 levels?

A8: NTSC is OTA broadcast format, which isn't used in Europe (except near Ramstein, GE military housing).
Technically, it only exists in 512-line ANALOG format. I'm presuming you don't mean the analog I/F formats,
such as Video/S-Video at 60 Hz frame rates.

I would need to buy a PAL tv in the UK to watch broadcasts but I'm not sure I need a multi-system to be able
to watch HD-DVDs and DVDs.

A9: Analog UHF 625-line PAL & NICAM broadcasts will all be gone sometime this year.
Analog VHF 405-line PAL broadcast are no more. They are being replaced with DVB-T.
And in some locations, esp Ireland, Lo-VHF is being phased out altogether.

Did PAL and NTSC converge into ATSC for 1080 and 720 resolutions?

A10: NO, ATSC is used in the Americas (and Korea), Japan & China have their own systems,
whereas DVB-T is used in most of the world.

I see a lot of PAL/ATSC Tvs in the UK but hardly any PAL/NTSC.

A11: I doubt you've see any PAL/ATSC TV's in the must mean PAL/DVB-T.
As mentioned above you probably won't find ANY more PAL broadcasts in the U.K.,
except perhaps in a few remote regions for a few more they are shut down.
Although there are numerous Multi-System HDTVs that receive BOTH NTSC and PAL broadcasts
(both unlikely in the U.K.), only TWO small HDTVs had BOTH DVB-T and ATSC tuners.


See embedded answers to your specific questions.

PS: AFRTS has OTA NTSC broadcasts around a very small number of military housing areas,
but NOT in the U.K. It's all commercial free...with military "spots" replacing commercials.
Minimal news feeds (no networks) but carries major sporting events:
They plan to upgrade the Satellite network for HD...sometime in the future...
Qualified military members can buy (rent?) for individual use if in off-base housing.
Unknown if/when low-rez NTSC will be upgraded for Hi-Def...and which OTA format???
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post #33 of 35 Old 01-30-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by humantorch34 View Post

Thanks guys

So in summary - if I buy a UK TV the chances are it will display what I need it do but there maybe risks.

My main concerns are the following:

My HD-DVD Player - bought in the US - not sure if it outputs in NTSC/ATSC or something else. (Toshiba HD-A2)

A12: Toshiba specs only sez it outputs 480p, 720p and 1080i, unknown refresh rates.
Since HD-DVD doesn't use that stupid REGION system, I would guess that if you ran across
a HD-DVD in Europe, it might have 50 Hz refresh, since original material could be 50 Hz.

My Multi-region DVD Player - also bought in the US - not sure what output this is in (Initial DV490V).

A13: I couldn't find anything re Initial DV490V (probably similar to Pioneer of same name).
If it's truly a 50/60 Hz 100-240 VAC model, then it is intended for World-Wide use and
should support BOTH 50 Hz and 60 Hz refresh interfaces. Can you call the manufacturer?

My Wii (US Purchase) - not sure what this outputs in.

A14: Since there is no operator entry to select 50 Hz or 60 Hz output, it's obviously set
by the manufacturer, with different models for North America and Europe, just like PS3:
So if you buy a European or Multi-System HDTV, it needs to accept BOTH 50 Hz and 60 Hz I/Fs.
BTW: Since it uses an external 120 VAC Power Supply, perhaps you can get a Euro replacement part.

That's it. Should I just buy a multisystem TV here in the US and use this in the UK in case a UK TV doesn't work correctly?

A15: With typically higher prices and esp. VAT Tax in the U.K., equipment is probably much less
expensive to buy in the U.S., but you'll be charged shipping and maybe U.K. import duty (how much?)
and what are the rules for avoiding import duty (military family household goods are somehow exempt).
Perhaps you can check with your Human Resources people.....
Either way, you'll be charged 145.5 pounds/year license for the privilege of OWNING a TV.

Very helpful advice up till now.

See embedded comments.

My son-in-law blew out his new BOSE Surround System when he "forgot" to slide the 120/240 VAC
selector switch... and took forever to get it fixed/replaced....
Not all equipment will automatically adjust to different voltage systems....
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post #34 of 35 Old 01-30-2012, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

AND you'll pay about 145.5 pounds/year just for the privileged of OWNING a TV:

Not quite accurate. If you can demonstrate you don't have an aerial/dish/cable feed connected or any means of watching Live TV you don't have to pay the UK TV Licence (which is a requirement to receive broadcast TV, NOT to own a TV) even if you own a TV. (If you only watched DVDs for instance)

Conversely if you don't own a TV but use a PC with a TV capture card to watch TV broadcasts you DO need a TV Licence.

Internal DBV-T tuners should pickup FREEVIEW, which only has FOUR HD Channels:

No. You need a DVB-T2 Freeview HD tuner to receive the UK HD Mux (BBC One HD, BBC HD, ITV1 HD and C4HD *) - and this isn't available everywhere yet. The good news is that BBC HD is 100% HD.

A DVB-T tuner will get you just the Freeview SD service (which is a lot of SD channels - most 16:9 SD) and will not receive the HD channels.

Most TV's have a DVB-T Freeview SD tuner, but not all have a Freeview HD HD tuner - as Freeview HD only launched quite recently here.

You can also buy Freeview+ and Freeview HD+ DVRs easily if you want an OTA time shifter (models are available with Blu-ray recorders) - and there is also a similar Freesat / Freesat HD non-pay TV platform for satellite viewers who can't receive a decent OTA signal (with Freesat+ and Freesat HD+ DVRs) - and some TVs have integrated DVB-S/S2 satellite tuners as well as DVB-T/C/T2 Cable and OTA tuners.

(In the UK "+" = PVR - as Sky+ has been so successful as a branding device for the dominant Sky pay-TV satellite platform's PVR, and V+ is the PVR for the Virgin Media Cable service)
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post #35 of 35 Old 01-31-2012, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Sheer Lunacy View Post

I haven't met a piece of electronics built in the past 10 years that wasn't capable of running on 100 to 250 volts, 50 or 60 cycle. Switching power supplies, which are in everything down to cell phone wall warts, can be built so that they don't care, & usually are. The only problem is the power cord itself, which you can use an outlet adaptor for — or buy a new cord, if your piece of equipment has a DIN input socket (like most desktop PCs).

This is true, interestingly, even on pieces of equipment labeled "110 V 60 Hz". Take one apart & look at the PSU board, & there it is. (I recently did that to a Chinese-made DVD player, with exactly those results.)

From you other posts, I see that you are in St. Louis, MO (USA).
I can cite numerous pieces of equipment in my families inventory that is 120 VAC 60 Hz ONLY:

Hitachi 42HDT55 Plasma HDTV
JVC HMDH40000U D-VHS (HD) + VHS Tape Recorder
Nintendo Wii
Panasonic DMP-BDT300 3D-Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Player
Panasonic TC-P50VT20 3DTV with Skype
Panasonic TC-P60ST30 3DTV with Skype and DLNA
Pioneer VSX-1015TX AVR (7x100-Watts)
Samsung BD-C6900-XAA 3D-Blu-Ray DVD CD Player with DLNA
Samsung DVD-VR320 DVD Recorder + VCR
Samsung HD-841 DVD/SACD/DVD-Audio "Universal Player" [No PAL support.]
Sharp LC-45D40U LCD HDTV
Sony BDP-S570 3D-Blu-Ray/DVD/CD/SACD Player
Sony KDF42WE655 GrandWega HD-RPTV
Sony STR-DE635 and STR-DE835 AVRs

Only pieces I found in my on-line manual folder that were dual voltage, dual frequency
were my "Universal" Disc Players with NTSC/PAL support (no surprise there)...and SlingBox:

Cyberhome CH-DVD-300 Region-Free NTSC/PAL DVD/CD Player
OPPO BDP-93 3D Blu-Ray/DVD/CD/HDCD/SACD/DVD-Audio NTSC/PAL "Universal" Player with DLNA
Pioneer DV-563A DVD/CD/SACD/DVD-Audio NTSC/PAL "Universal" Player
SlingBox Pro-HD

I have a couple dozen more HDTV manuals I've downloaded while shopping or helping
people with various spot checking, I only saw an LG and a Vizio HDTV with
dual voltage, dual frequency power support.

If a manu. doesn't specifically MARK THE DEVICE for dual voltage, don't even THINK
about simply plugging it in to the wrong voltage with some sort of simple plug adapter!!!
Some internal power supplies MIGHT be designed for 110-240 VAC and only restrict
the voltage range due to the need to supply a UL (or equal) Approved power cord.
But designing a regulated power supply is MUCH MORE EFFICIENT (read "ECO Green")
if it is restricted to a narrower voltage range. [Excess Voltage across the regulator
transistor X Current = Wasted Power]. This is done by using either a dual-voltage
transformer or different transformer part numbers, depending on the intended country.

If a 120-VAC power supply is NOT designed for 240-VAC, it could blow up in a
cloud of my son-in-law's new Bose Surround System did in Italy.

A 240-VAC to 120-VAC Transformer is typically used to supply power to U.S. devices,
but you might also want to look into the price of a (used) 240-VAC external Power Brick
for the Game Systems and other similarly equipped devices. They should be readily
available when people's Game System dies, leaving behind a working Power Brick.

You're taking a small risk running equipment intended for 60 Hz on 50 Hz power,
since the power transformer COULD overheat and the voltage smoothing capacitors
might not be as effective as originally designed (probably not a problem). But this
sort of problem is more likely in very inexpensive equipment...or home appliances.

Some equipment have built-in cooling fans, such as in some (not all) Plasma HDTVs.
I would expect that this won't be a problem in most systems if they run on DC voltage,
but I can't rule out that somewhere, someone has used SYNCHRONOUS motors
in the fans, which will run slower on 50 Hz, which COULD result in overheating.
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