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HINTS & TIPS ANSWERS

 

A1 (C Bazely)

PAL, or Phase Alternate Line to its friends, is the name given to the 625-line colour television system we use in the UK, throughout much of Europe, the middle East and Australasia. NTSC or Never Twice the Same Colour (actually it stands for National Television Standards Committee, the US government body responsible for developing the system in the 1950’s), is the system used in North America Japan and parts of the Pacific Basin. An NTSC picture is made up of 525 scanning lines, with a frame repetition rate of 60Hz (i.e. the moving image is made up of a stream of still pictures, shown 60 times a second), the frame rate on PAL pictures is 50Hz.

 

The differences between the two systems are such that they’re totally incompatible with one another, in other words an NTSC coded video tape or disc won’t play on a PAL VCR, laser disc player or TV, and vice-versa. However, some PAL VCRs and laser disc players can partially decode NTSC signals, enough for many recent TVs to show a reasonable colour picture. Moreover there are a few ‘multi-standard’ VCRs, TVs and disc players, that can handle all of the different formats, including SECAM,  (colour TV system used in France, much of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union).

 

In all cases the best results (i.e. a good quality picture and stereo sound) will be achieved when you connect equipment together using AV (audio-video) leads; all will be explained in the instruction manuals.

 

A2 (Rahan Ullah)

Why the pre-occupation with warranties? Are you unlucky with domestic appliances or something? Statistically, if a product is going to go wrong it will do so in the first few weeks, well inside the retailer and manufacturers guarantee period. Live dangerously and forget warranties for a moment. Concentrate on important issues, like picture and sound quality, and extra facilities. There’s little doubt what we’d spend that £1000 on, the Philips 29828C is the one to go for; AV performance is excellent, and there’s lots of toys to play with. The list price of the NSX-V70 is £400, it’s almost certainly going to be replaced soon, so £330 sounds about right.

 

A3 (N.F.Ingram)

Since you’ve got a mono TV it’s not essential to use a SCART or AV connection to the VCR, though it will give a slightly better picture. You will have to route aerial lead through the VCR anyway, so you could just use this for the picture signal. Alternatively, make use of the unusual composite video output socket on your VCR and make up -- or have made for you -- a simple long SCART to single phono lead  (wired for video input) that connects between the TV and VCR. By the way, the video signal coming out of the phono socket on the back of the VCR is identical to the one present on the SCART AV sockets. Lastly, connect the two audio output phonos on the VCR to the audio inputs on the Kenwood box. There’s no point making any video connections to the AV amp as they pass straight through the unit.

 

A4 (Billings)

They sure do, there’s plenty of good mono sets on the market. You should take a look at Sony’s range, they have the same Trinitron picture tubes and chassis as their stereo counterparts. The KV-M2541 (25-inch) is a good place to start, it costs around £480.

 

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Ó R. Maybury 1996 1303

 

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