t.v. and DVD compatibility

I remember hearing somewhere that certain DVD players won’t work with older televisions. I have a REALLY old t.v., and I’m currently in the market for a DVD player that will play region 2 DVDs. I was told that, most likely, in order to be able to view said DVDs, I’d need to get a newer television because the two machines wouldn’t be compatible. Why is this? And what does a television need in order to be compatible with a region free/region 2 DVD player?

Two things occur to me that you may be thinking of:
[ul][]When you start talking about regions other than Region 1, you are probably talking about PAL video (non-U.S. standard) rather than NTSC video (U.S. standard). Simple solution: make sure you get a DVD player than can read PAL and output NTSC.[]DVD players, as a rule, do not have RF outputs (a.k.a. coax cable) and older TVs, as a rule, do not have composite (the yellow on the red-white-yellow connectors), S-video, or component (red-blue-green connectors) inputs. Simple solution: Buy an RF modulator at Radio Shack.[/ul]Hope this helps.

Or, just go to Radio Shack and get their RF convertor. I can’t remember the model number, but it takes the RCA jack output of a DVD (or other device) and converts it to the 75 ohm co-ax for cable ready TVs. I’m not aware of one that goes to the 300 ohm flat leads, but maybe you could use the 75 ohm to 300 ohm converter in tandem? Probably would work sucky, though.

BTW, FTR, FWIW, that was a simulpost. KtK answered the OP fairly well, I think.


I needed an RF converter for my TV it was $26.00 at Radio Shack.

Too right. In addition to being able to read your DVD, your DVD player has to be able to display it on your TV. If the DVD is encoded for PAL, you’d still need a PAL-NTSC converter unless your “region free” DVD player does the conversion for you. Most don’t.

You should also be aware that many “region free” players simply skip the region check and won’t work with many newer DVDs, especially from Region 1.

You need to know one word: Sampo. Sampo DVD players can play both PAL and NTSC DVDs on both PAL and NTSC TVs. They also allow you to actually set the region so that it will play the new DVDs. They’re even 110/220 so you can use them anywhere in the world. Best of all, they’re relatively cheap!

I did a quick google on Sampo and found a few. Is there a specific one that’s really good, or are they all region free?

Google on Sampo and “area 450”

DVDs are not stored in PAL or NTSC; it’s just compressed digital video. The DVD player uses a digital to analog converter to send a PAL or NTSC signal. Some DVD players have an option to support either. Any DVD is capable of being played in either PAL or NTSC, no matter what region.

friedo, there’s still a difference between NTSC and PAL discs. PAL has a taller picture and a slower frame rate, which the DVD player will have to correct.

Your cite seems to say exactly the opposite.


friedo: That’s incorrect. PAL DVDs are encoded at a different resolution and framerate than NTSC DVDs (720x480@24fps NTSC-FILM, 720x576@25fps PAL). While theoretically an NTSC DVD player may decode a PAL DVD properly and vice versa, I wouldn’t count on it working in all cases.

I sit corrected.

Strictly speaking Friedo is correct. PAL and NTSC are schemes for encoding color and have nothing to do with frame rate or number of lines. In practice though, even if incorrect, people tend to use PAL and NTSC to designate certain common line/frame frequencies.