There are three common video standards found around the globe. The US standard is NTSC, (National Television Systems Committee or Never Twice the Same Color). The other formats are PAL and SECAM. While the VHS tapes look identical, the formats are not, eg. a tape recorded with a VCR in the US will not play in a VCR in England.

If you're producing a video for use in a foreign country, don't be a doofus and send your client, business prospect or friend a tape that won't play in their VCR. Check the handy chart below to find out what the proper standard is. You can then walk into your local video service house with your head held high and request copies converted into the proper format.

Rates for VHS transfers should range from $20-$50 per copy depending on the length of the program and the facility's equipment. It's also possible to buy VCRs which are capable of recording and playing back multiple formats relatively inexpensively.

List of countries' standards:


world TV standards