Oct 15, 2014

Windows: Bad video quality with NTSC tapes played on European VCRs or camcorders (PAL/SECAM)

The first European VCRs and camcorders could originally only play tapes recorded in European TV standards, i.e. PAL and/or SECAM. Later, new VCRs and camcorders able to play North-American tapes in NTSC standard came on the European market. In order to play these tapes, these VCRs and camcorders do in fact convert the NTSC source into PAL60 format (PAL 60 Hz).

When NTSC tapes are used, video captured by Elgato Video Capture may sometimes have a bad quality. This problem is due to difficulty in directly detecting the TV standard used. In order to solve this problem, please use the following procedure:

  1. Quit the Video Capture software.
  2. Start the Windows Explorer and enter the following path in the address bar: %appdata%\Elgato\VideoCapture

  3. Edit the Settings.xml file with the Windows Notepad.
  4. Replace <TVFormat>Auto</TVFormat> with <TVFormat>PAL60</TVFormat>
  5. Save the Settings.xml file.
  6. Launch the Video Capture software, and the TV standard is now forced to the PAL60 value.
  • This change needs to be done only once, the modified value will stay stored in the file.
  • If one day you want to record tapes in a different TV standard (PAL, SECAM, NTSC), you will need to modify the file again and replace the PAL60 value by Auto or another value. Authorized values are Auto, PAL, NTSC, SECAM and PAL60.