Hong Kong VCD

Lang Thompson wlt4
Sat Jan 13 09:52:29 EST 2001

>It seems that Hong Kong DVDs cannot be played on a region 1 player, because
>of the PAL encoding, but VCDs can, correct?

PAL/NTSC and DVD region coding are completely separate things.  Region
coding exists only on DVDs and is designed obviously to allow the disc to
play only in machines that have the matching region code.  It appears that
most HK DVDs do not have any region coding and so will play in any machine
or maybe that's just my experience with ones distributed in the US.

PAL and NTSC on the other hand are not encoding methods but television
formats.  North America and Japan use NTSC while Europe mainly uses PAL.
(There's also SECAM in France and some related territories.)  Any
videotape, VCD or DVD might have either NTSC or PAL output depending on its
market.  (I've never heard of a disc with both PAL and NTSC; has anybody?)
If you're in North America and want to watch something in PAL you either
need a PAL TV or a player that does the format conversion.  By the way PAL
to NTSC conversion speeds up the film slightly and every now and then adds
small black bars similar to letterboxing.

So for instance if you're in the US, a British DVD will have Region 2 DVD
coding and PAL output so your DVD player has to be able to handle Region 2
AND you'll need a way to watch PAL.  (My DVD player will convert NTSC/PAL
but most won't.)  A Japanese DVD would have Region 2 DVD coding but NTSC
output so your TV will be fine but your player again will need to handle
the right region.

I've heard that some Hong Kong VCDs are actually in PAL but don't for sure.  


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