Normally, a multi system VCR permits you to play video tapes from all over the world, but is not capable in converting the video signals. Therefore, if you are using a NTSC system, a multi system VCR may not allow you to watch a PAL tape on your NTSC television. A converting multi system VCR is then required which will convert its video output signal through a in-built video converter, so that a PAL video tape could be played on an NTSC TV. With an ordinary multi system VCR, you will need to procure an external Tenlab video converter or a multi system TV. Normally these days the multi system VCR’s are being manufactured with in-built Video Converters. A multi system TV is capable of playing all the video formats like NTSC, PAL and SECAM.
On the same fundamentals, whether the video signals are in PAL, NTSC or SECAM, a multi system VCR will have the corresponding output.
Now the question arises, how will you view the tapes on your TV?
Well, there are a number of ways to execute this. As mentioned above, only a multi system VCR alone won’t be helpful. You will need to have a TV, which has either an in-built converter or an external one. Therefore, to watch a PAL video tape on a NTSC TV with your multi system VCR, the signal from the VCR need to pass through the signal converter before your TV can operate in PAL.
However, some multi system VCRs already have the video converter installed internally, and in this case, there is no need to purchase an external one. The disadvantage to these VCRs is that the image quality they produce is not as good as a multi system VCR and an external video converter combination.
The other possibility is the combination of a multi system VCR and a multi system TV. As discussed above, a multi system VCR only supports the type of signal coming in and does not have the capability of signal conversions. A multi system TV, with its inherent conversion capability, transforms PAL, SECAM or NTSC signals appropriately, would play the video tape in your multi system VCR. The disadvantage of such playing arrangement is that, converted copies of the video tape cannot be made. On he other hand, there are no video degradation with the combination mentioned above.
The final possibility is to get a multi system TV/VCR combo. This solution is not recommended because TV/VCR combos tend to be of low quality.
Common characteristics of Multi System VCR
A VCR needs only two video heads. to record and playback a tape, Additional heads are used for special effects, if any, such as slow motion, freeze frame, etc. Many manufacturers are going for modification in the video heads in different ways to improve the picture quality. Many VCRs now offer quick play from the stop point. There are also a huge number of VCRs that provide quick access from fast forward or fast rewind to visual scanning, and quick access from visual scanning to play. Many models now feature pre-programmed universal remotes with the ability to control TV and cable boxes. A universal remote will control the same brand of TV as your VCR.
Virtually all VCRs let you choose between two or three different recording speeds. Playback speed is automatically set, and even VCRs that record in only two speeds play back on all three speeds. Although, a faster-moving tape allows less recording time, it provides a better-quality recording. Because many people do time-shift recordings at the slowest speeds, some manufacturers, such as Toshiba, Mitsubishi, and Sharp, have developed special video heads (19-micron heads) for improved picture quality for recording and playback at the slowest speeds.
Many VCRs record an electronic index code at the beginning of each recording. To scan your recordings on a tape, you press index search. The VCR then stops at each index mark, and plays back a few seconds of the recording. Some VCRs even let you go directly to a specific index mark and start playback.
Allows you to search forward or backward through a tape at a range of fast and slow speeds. Jog control allows you to move the tape forward or backward frame by frame.
These models set their own clock thanks to a time signal being sent from your local PBS station. This means that you never have to set the clock initially or reset it after a blackout or brownout. When power is restored, the VCR will display the correct time. Auto Clock Set is now found on many mid- to upper-end models.
If you are buying a multi system VCR mainly to record television broadcasts, then programming is an important thought which should be given due importance. Except for VCPs (video cassette players), all multi system VCRs can be programmed at will to record at least one desired program. The most basic programming proposal uses a built-in clock timer that you set to start and stop within the next a 24-hour period. More complicated programming allows you to record several different programs on different channels or a period of 28 days or more (one manufacturer claims their machine will record eight programs over a 100-year period). Other program operations let you record the same program every day or every week. Many VCRs include VCR Plus+, a simple method of programming by entering a number listed in TV Guide or many newspapers’ television guides. Some VCR Plus+ models will also change channels on your cable box via a mouse, blaster, or an infrared transmitter located on the top of the VCR.
Another characteristic is the Hi-fi sound system that stands for high-fidelity, or high-quality sound. It is a new true stereo–not the low-pitched sound that was accessible on VCRs quite a few years ago. If you are thinking of taking a new VCR or even replacement, then certainly, hi-fi is the one upgrade feature that you should consider. All movies and videos manufactured now have hi-fi soundtracks encoded with Dolby Surround system.