Can DVDs I record be played anywhere in the World?

Question: Can DVDs I record be played anywhere in the World?

Answer: The short answer is "NO".

However, there are solutions that can work, if you have the money and time.

The world operates with two major video systems, NTSC and PAL.

NTSC is based on a 525-line, 60 fields/30 frames-per-second at 60Hz system for transmission and display of video images. This is an interlaced system in which each frame is scanned in two fields of 262 lines, which is then combined to display a frame of video with 525 scan lines. NTSC is the official analog video standard in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, some parts of Central and South America, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

PAL is the dominant format in the World for analog television broadcasting and video display (sorry U.S.) and is based on a 625 line, 50 field/25 frames a second, 50HZ system. The signal is interlaced, like NTSC, into two fields, composed of 312 lines each. Several distinguishing features are one: A better overall picture than NTSC because of the increased amount of scan lines. Two: Since color was part of the standard from the beginning, color consistency between stations and TVs are much better. In addition, PAL has a frame rate closer to that of film. PAL has a 25 frames per second rate, while film has a frame rate of 24 frames per second. Countries on the PAL system include the U.K., Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, China, India, most of Africa, and the Middle East.

Some DVD recorders can record in PAL from a PAL source or NTSC from an NTSC source, however, they do not convert the signal during recording -- in other words, you cannot record a PAL disc if your source is NTSC or vice versa. Also, NTSC DVD recorders cannot record a from its NTSC tuner to a disc in PAL format.

The only real workarounds for this are:

If your friends have a DVD player that has a built-in NTSC-PAL converter -- that would enable them to play an NTSC disc and view it on a PAL TV (or vice versa).


If you purchase an NTSC to PAL converter and place it between a camcorder or VCR and a DVD recorder with PAL recording capability so that the DVD recorder can record a DVD in PAL.