FAQ's About Video/DVD Formats

 

There are two main formats of videos available today - VHS-NTSC and VHS-PAL. NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) is the format that is used mainly in North America, Japan and Taiwan.
PAL (Phase Alternate Lines) is the format suited for VHS players in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Europe, and most other countries.

Make sure you choose the right format when you buy videos!

NTSC video is formatted for 60 fields (30 frames) per second. PAL standard is 50 fields (25 frames) per second. American power is 120volt at 60hz, Europe is 240volt at 50hz. The lights in a house in the US flash 60 times per second, so they need to be in sync with the TV so you dont see flicker between the two.

DVDs currently use one software format for "Region 1" countries and another format for "Region 2". However, as part of a growing industry trend, many DVDs (such as the Alfred DVD of "Martin Simpson Teaches Alternate Tunings" and the SGGW "Martin Simpson in Concert" DVD that we sell here on the Watershed Arts website) are "Region Free", meaning that they work work anywhere on the planet, in any DVD player.

Below is a more complete list of countries sorted by video format.

 VHS-NTSC

United States
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bermuda
Bolivia
Burma
Canada
Chile
Columbia
Costa Rica
Cuba
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Equador
Grenada
Guatemala
Honduras
Jamaica
Japan
Mexico

Panama
Peru
Phillipines
Puerto Rico
South Korea
Surinam
Taiwan
Venezuela

 VHS-PAL

United Kingdom Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahrein
Bangladesh
Belgium
Brazil
Brunei
China
Denmark
Fiji
Finland
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jordan
Kenya

Kuwait
Lesotho
Liberia
Gibraltar
Hong Kong
Luxemburg
Malaysia
Malta
Mozambique
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Norway
Paraguay
Portugal
Romania
Singapore
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Turkey
Uganda
Uraguay
Yugoslavia
Zimbabwe