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Secret to watching U.S. videos and DVDs??

Posted by gofrance - Created: 16 years ago
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6 replies (Showing replies: 11 to 16)

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Posted by gofrance - 16 years ago

Thanks to you and everyone else who replied. I think it's much clearer now!! I just want to be sure we don't either buy the wrong thing or buy one thing, but it doesn't work with the TV, etc. and so on. I just want to be able to watch a few tapes/DVDs from the states! If only it were simple... Heheh.

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Posted by mike-179830 - 16 years ago

I believe that the easiest way to get the good HBO stuff is to watch it on French satellite TV. Most of the top shows make it on to one or other of the CanalSatellite channels in VM (version multilangue) which means you can watch 'em in English if you press the right button on the remote. You'll also get CNN, BBC World etc.

As for the DVD/Video/TV story and running US tapes/DVDs (I'm assuming that you already have some of these so that NTSC/Zone 1-compatibility is a must):

Your best bet is probably to get a 220v zone-free DVD player (that will play Zone 1 and Zone 2 DVDs), a 220v VHS that will record/playback PAL & SECAM and also play back NTSC (ones that will also record NTSC are hellish expensive) and a 220V PAL/SECAM TV (that will handle the signal from your DVD, VHS, Satellite and - if you want to be desperately  20th Century about things - even terrestrial French broadcasts).



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Posted by Jack Kelly - 16 years ago

One thing to keep in mind is that you may not need a "code-free" DVD player at all. A popular misconception is that Europe's Code 2 means that DVD's bought in that region will not play English language content. Since the UK is in Region 2, obviously this is not the case. Any Region 2 player should allow you to select the English language audio track if one exists. (One should exist on any production that was originally created for an English-speaking market.) The only advantage to having a Region 1 player is that some productions are released in the US earlier than the European counterpart release. In recent years however the lag time has become minimal with many major cinematic productions having a common worldwide release date. As far as your HBO faves are concerned you will probably be able to get most of that product as Region 2 through Amazon's UK subsidiary amazon.co.uk. Jack Kelly

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Posted by szozu - 16 years ago

There are many countries that use SECAM, including Eastern Europe, but many times multi-system, multi-voltage video players that work everywhere else won't work in France because France uses SECAM-L. However, video recorders that will play US tapes are easily bought here, just read the fine print and make sure it says "lecture NTSC" (North American standard). Most VCRs sold in France (except the very cheapest) are now multi-standard. Have a look at

http://www.codefreedvdplayers.com/FAQ_basic.shtml#4  and



And as for the DVD player, just try to buy one that's not zone locked or make sure that you can find a means of unlocking it.


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Posted by miajl - 16 years ago

Hi Kelby,

I'm not exactly the most knowledgeable on this but I do know that electronics bought in the US w/c is 110 volts will not work here since it's 220 volts here, unless you have some sort of transformer.

You can however, get a multiregion/multisystem DVD player in Monaco (not sure if you can in France) for about 120 euros  w/c will play both US and European dvds on a French TV. 

To my knowledge, France and Monaco are on a Secam system while US is NTSC and most of the rest of Europe are on PAL.  There are TVs available that are multisystem but I don't know if that automaticallly means it will work with your US dvd (together with a transformer).

Hope this helps and good luck.


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Posted by irfs - 16 years ago

I think  ..... that if you buy a DVD player here that is a Multi Zone player your DVDs should work.......    

Have no idea about other things though.