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Old 30th Aug 2019, 8:13 am   #1
cashaw1972
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Default From SECAM to PAL

I remember after around 1989, a lot of Eastern European counties converted from SECAM to PAL.

Was there a specific reason for this or was it just to be more compatible with their new Western European friends ?

Also, did the governments of day distribute free converter boxes ?

It all seemed to happen very quickly with little fuss and I have always wondered how they went about it.
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 9:06 am   #2
kan_turk
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

There was no reason to continue with SECAM , other than the political one which had evaporated, as all production & distribution was done in PAL with transcoding to SECAM at transmitter sites - just remove/bypass transcoder and , hey presto, you’re transmitting PAL - by this time (almost) all current TVs were dual system SECAM/PAL so transition was seamless

So no converters necessary

Last edited by kan_turk; 30th Aug 2019 at 9:10 am. Reason: Add detail
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 12:23 pm   #3
FERNSEH
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

The attachment shows a PAL to SECAM transcoder.

DFWB.
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 12:57 pm   #4
Richard_FM
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

SECAM always had the disadvantage that two signals couldn't be mixed by professional equipment, so studios either had to have PAL setups or component equipment once it became available.
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 1:16 pm   #5
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

I think a lot of people in countries which had been behind the iron curtain were not sad to see the back of their communist-era SECAM televisions. They were big, heavy, unreliable, clumsy things. In Poland, where I live, the Rubin 714p is such a set:
https://unitraklub.pl/node/6576
They had an annoying tendency to catch fire.

Basically, the locally-made sets were at least 20 years out of date and few people had colour ones. Even today, I've never seen an old communist-era colour set forgotten in a loft or garage. All the ones I've come across in relatives' houses, have been black and white.

The market was quickly flooded with relatively affordable imported multistandard sets which displaced the SECAM-era ones.
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 2:16 pm   #6
cashaw1972
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Interesting, thanks for the info. I have been doing a bit of reading this afternoon and at least in Slovakia and some of the Baltic states they changed the sound/vision separation at the same time as the move from Secam so that must have been a larger change to cope with. But they seemed to do simulcasts for a while, so it was not a big bang switch everywhere.

Interesting to see that Rubin 719, in fact I saw one in the museum at the bottom of the 'Palace of Culture and Science' in Warsaw a few years back and it was huge, looked like it weighed a tonne !
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 3:55 pm   #7
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Yes - the change from system D (6.5MHz sound spacing) to system B (5.5MHz sound spacing) was a separate operation from colour system change and was achieved seamlessly by first introducing a new sound carrier at +5.5MHz (having first limited vision bandwidth to about 5.2MHz - so there were two sound carriers for a time - the +6.5MHz carrier then being switched off - this facilitated the introduction of Nicam stereo etc

Hope this clarifies
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 10:40 pm   #8
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjones01 View Post
I think a lot of people in countries which had been behind the iron curtain were not sad to see the back of their communist-era SECAM televisions. They were big, heavy, unreliable, clumsy things. In Poland, where I live, the Rubin 714p is such a set:
https://unitraklub.pl/node/6576
They had an annoying tendency to catch fire.

Basically, the locally-made sets were at least 20 years out of date and few people had colour ones. Even today, I've never seen an old communist-era colour set forgotten in a loft or garage. All the ones I've come across in relatives' houses, have been black and white.

The market was quickly flooded with relatively affordable imported multistandard sets which displaced the SECAM-era ones.
As mentioned in other threads many B&W Eastern European sets were still using valves into the 1990s, especially the larger screen ones.

Some Polish ones found their way over here, & the East German made sets were sold at German branches of Woolworths during the reunification period.
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 11:10 pm   #9
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

In Greece, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation started color transmisions in SECAM B/G in 1979. The first PAL transmisions were made by the MEGA channel in 1989. Then the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) switched to PAL in around 1992. I guess the switch from SECAM to PAL was made for compatibility reasons.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 4:19 pm   #10
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

In most overseas territories colonized, occupied or influenced by other powers, the TV system (and sometimes the AC mains) adopted was usually a variant of that used back in the 'mother country' - Japan, Sth Korea and parts of America had NTSC, parts of North Africa and America and the likes of Polynesia under the French got SECAM, large parts of Eastern Europe got SECAM after the USSR, parts of southern Africa, India and Australia got PAL. So when East Germany fell to the west, the system of the surviving German state (PAL B/G) was installed, along with its currecy and legal system. The pattern was soon followed by the other eastern block states. Since most of Western Europe already used a variant of PAL, that was the system that got used. And let's not forget the economic opportunity in the change from SECAM to PAL, there was then a newly made captive market for new PAL TV sets...
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 6:47 pm   #11
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by kan_turk View Post
Yes - the change from system D (6.5MHz sound spacing) to system B (5.5MHz sound spacing) was a separate operation from colour system change and was achieved seamlessly by first introducing a new sound carrier at +5.5MHz (having first limited vision bandwidth to about 5.2MHz - so there were two sound carriers for a time - the +6.5MHz carrier then being switched off - this facilitated the introduction of Nicam stereo etc

Hope this clarifies
I'm really surprised that that worked. Having the additional sound carrier would play havoc with sound on vision, intermod problems etc.
It certainly was not necessary to introduce Nicam which can be used on both systems BG and DK using a Nicam carrier at 5.824 MHz.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 8:15 pm   #12
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

No - many countries already used two sound carriers for zweiton stereo - with appropriate filtering there was absolutely no issue with sound on vision or intermodulation - remember that vision had been band limited before introduction of additional carrier and Nicam was not introduced prior to switchoff of original +6.5MHz carrier
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 11:09 pm   #13
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Yes but the second carrier for zweiton is at a much lower level. Here we are talking about two full level carriers. You can band limit the vision as much as you like at the transmitter but the receiver will still see the additional 5.5MHz sound carrier within its vision passband.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 10:23 am   #14
Maarten
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
As mentioned in other threads many B&W Eastern European sets were still using valves into the 1990s, especially the larger screen ones.

Some Polish ones found their way over here, & the East German made sets were sold at German branches of Woolworths during the reunification period.
If you count the "picture valve", this is definitely true. Same if you are talking about the longevity of second hand sets. Maybe even some overstock turned up at one point, even if the 1990's seems quite late for that. However most manufacturers (all I know of) were already several generations into transistor technology by that time, even if the production of hybrids from some of the factories might have lasted throughout the 1970's.

As for colour sets, I think especially Russian non-export sets used some valves for quite some time in sharp contrast to the East-German sets that were transistorised from the very first one in 1969.

Last edited by Station X; 2nd Sep 2019 at 10:56 am. Reason: Quote correctly attributed.
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Old 2nd Sep 2019, 1:41 pm   #15
Richard_FM
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Here are the relevant links:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...rid#post435989

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...9&postcount=14

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...9&postcount=25


The Eastern European sets were certainly hybrids, possibly with a valve or 2 where it was more reliable / economcial than a transistor would be, like a BRC 1500, which was into production until the late 1970s.
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Old 3rd Sep 2019, 5:14 pm   #16
Maarten
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Unitra might be the exception to the rule in that case, but a set turning up in the early 1990's could still have been some kind of overstock that was liberated leading up to or shortly after the fall of the iron curtain. I'll concentrate on looking for Unitra models/schematics then.

Tesla and certainly RFT certainly switched to all transistor technology some time during the 1970's or early 1980's possibly in case of Tesla (would have to dig into schematics). I own a late 1980's RFT B/W set with no valves to be found.

Then there's Russian, Yugoslav and Romanian sets. Will have to do some research there too, but Romania did already have joint ventures or licenses in the early 1990's to manufacture relatively modern colour sets and Ei tended to license the previous design of Western manufacturers. Gorenje wasn't too outdated either.
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Old 3rd Sep 2019, 11:45 pm   #17
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

My late Brother-In- Law lived in France, and one of the things we kept after he died was a 14" Schneider colour TV that he had apparently bought from a local supermarket some 20 years ago. It can receive SECAM, European PAL and UK PAL. I still use it with a digibox, as it fits nicely on a bookcase shelf. I have wondered why it was worth while to provide UK PAL functionality in a French TV, as it would probably only have been users within range of the Channel Islands that would have been able to receive UK PAL broadcasts. Or would it have used a multi-standard chip and it wasn't worth disabling the UK PAL functionality?
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 12:26 am   #18
winston_1
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Philips, Hitachi, and possibly others also sold sets in France capable of receiving French, UK, and European broadcasts.

UK TV can be received on the NW French coast from the Belgium border to well south of Boulogne as well as near the channel islands.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 12:41 am   #19
Maarten
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

PAL I would have been explicitly added as it uses a different sound filter from PAL B/G/H. Philips did this often in the late 1980s and 1990s on their Multi/France models. Multi/France models were usually based on European chassis, not on local designs for the French market only.

I think it's indeed about receiving signals from neighbouring countries. Sets for Germany often sported a PAL/SECAM decoder to recieve East German broadcasts, even those sold outside of the border regions.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 3:30 pm   #20
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Default Re: From SECAM to PAL

Thanks for clearing up my UK PAL query. Thinking about it, the set must date from circa 1990, and still produces an excellent picture.
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