Once you have assembled all your expensive equipment, then this is the page that you should come to in order to get the most out of it. As it is not much good owning all that equipment if you cannot enjoy it to the highest possible level.
This page is titled as you can see above, because all the items on this page are linked to the video and audio aspects, when most other pages on my site are about reception and distribution.
New system users can find some items on this page useful, but this page is more for existing users. As only after time do people begin to notice the limitations of their equipment.
And so when that time occurs when you start thinking "I wish I could do this" or "I wish it could do that" then don't forget Cardman's Video and Audio page. As maybe with my help we can take your system one step closer to becoming your dream system.
Digital Video Picture Stabilizer
Well I can say that I am overjoyed simply from being able to offer you this latest version of my Digital Video Picture Stabilizer. This happens to be because when I first decided to replace my older MacroX version with a more functional model then I would not care to recall the many months, and various models I purchased and tested in that time, as some of my customers will know, to be able to offer you what I certainly know is the very best model available on the market today.
Now I could certainly cover the failing of the other models available on the market, either in their lack of functionality, design flaws, high prices, and even the one case of an unhelpful manfacturer, but maybe in this case you can trust me when I say that you certainly won't find another model this functional at even close to this price. And if you do not want to believe me then fine go and look around to see this for yourself.
Beyond my pride in this item then I will now describe what this model is about when this device happens to also be called a copy protection remover where the two copy protection systems it removes are Macrovision and CGMS.
Starting with Macrovision then to begin with this copy protection system, as found on many VHS movies, DVDs and Satellite/Terrestrial broadcasts, aims to protect the copyrighted programming in question by adding electronic pulses into the video signal, which would then disrupt the automatic gain control found on VCRs making the recorded result little more than an unwatchable picture. So while the Macrovision copy protection system is enabled your own home copy has just been badly disrupted.
Moving on to the CGMS protection system then this system became well known when people begin to record copyrighted media on their new DVD recorder and up pops an on-screen message reading like "recording denied". As sure enough those sneeky pro-copyright people included the CGMS copy protection system in DVD players, and other modern devices, by inserting a 7-bit field into the teletext information area. And if you care to know then bits 3 and 4 are the CGMS value when 00 means CopyFreely, 01 CopyNoMore, 10 CopyOnce and 11 CopyNever.
So this very device solves all your recording problems by restoring the picture synchronization where during its normal operation it writes over the CGMS information area at the same time.
During my testing then I can say that before using this device my VCR recording testing on the Sky Digital BoxOffice service, which I am well aware of outputs Macrovision copy protected programming, produced a clearly unwatchable recording. And just by adding this device the recording between my Digibox and VCR the recording result was so good that it is hard to believe that Macrovision once inflicted it.
Moving on to making a copy of one of my DVDs produced even more impressive results when before this device is added then recording is completely denied. And sure enough once this device is placed between the DVD player and DVD recorder then the DVD recorder has no further CGMS generated copying denied messages and the entire recording worked perfectly to produce a very nice result.
As to reasons why people need to remove these copy protection systems then following are some example. However, to begin with I just have to say that I strongly disapprove of anyone using this device in order to sell copyrighted programming to others.
One valid use for this device results from a flaw with the Macrovision copy protection system when whatever the VCR receives then so does the Television. I can also say that Macrovision was designed with CRT televisions in mind where not all modern TVs are CRT based. For example I am a rear-protection TV user and where I can certainly see when Macrovision is turned on and off from the picture degrading. I have also seen other models that produce a result that is fully unwatchable. So in this case using this device will clean up your picture.
Another perfectly valid use is to time-shift your recording. For example what if you wanted to show your visiting grandparents some very interesting programming but the programming was broadcast on Thursday while they were visiting on Sunday? No matter what the programming is then this device makes that possible. And sure enough the UK law supports personal recording for up to two weeks even if the locals usually ignore the two week limitation.
A valid example of CGMS removal is to take a copy of your DVDs. As every parent knows then children and DVDs just do not go together well where I have seen myself DVDs with more scratches than I had believed possible. Problem solved when by using this device your can keep the original copies safe while your children are free to destroy your cheap copies. Best of all is that when you do not need those DVDs any more then you can sell them on in a like-new state. Your buyers will think that your children are angels. :-]
Now a third reason is one that I have always strongly supported in that I have always believed your free to do as you wish in your own home. Like for example when you have paid your provider for what you see then I see little harm in you viewing this programming in a way that is ideally suited for you. Like for example I currently watch a lot of my programming on my computer systems and laptops.
So for example just what is wrong with you copying DVDs or satellite broadcasts to your portable MPeg4 player or mobile phone? As very many people are doing that already then this explains why later in 2007, or early 2008, a law change is expected in the UK and elsewhere to support this otherwise harmless activity. For now you can only join and support the revolution. However, please remember to voice your support to this law change when freedoms are easy to lose but very hard to recover. Legal personal copying is a good thing.
Now that you know that this device can fight the evils of Macrovision and CGMS then I will tell you why this model is exceptional. To begin with then this device has two scart sockets for input and output. No scart cables are included by default when not everyone needs them and you can see below to obtain two scart cables at a discount price.
Scart is not the only method to use this device though when by simply making use of my SPSA and SPSAG adapters (see below) then you have just obtained phono and s-video support. I can also say that not only does this model support scart, phono and s-video but since it also supports PAL and NTSC video (for all regions) then so it would be hard to name a country where it cannot be used.
The only real limitation is with the power adapter used to power this model when it comes plugged for both 230v UK (3-pin) and EU (2-pin) support. So this means that those customers in North America and elsewhere would be needing to find their own 9v DC adapter that runs off their local 110v supply, which should not be very hard when they could have a suitable model on hand already. In any case all European customers only have to plug it in using the provided power adpater.
Since there is no on/off button on this model then there is not much else to say about it when you just connect it up to your scart, phono or S-VHS sockets and it works to pass through the video and audio removing any Macrovision or CGMS in the process. This means that you can leave it connected when recording or viewing unprotected media when it just passes it through anyway.
The last thing to say is that this MACRO+ device measures just 12 x 8 x 4cm. So this model is small enough to fit out of sight should that be your desire.
And last of all you can now see my price. Since this is less than half the price of my former model, and you certainly won't find a better deal from looking around, then here is the market's best model at the market's best price...
Ordering Code: MACRO+
Included: Digital Video Stabilizer and a 9v UK/EU Power Adapter.
Gross Weight: 445g
If you wish the above standard items, plus two of my gold plated scart leads, then just order this pack instead.
Ordering Code: MACRO1
Included: Digital Video Stabilizer, 2 x scart leads (SCART) and a 9v Power Adapter.
Gross Weight: 771g
If you wish the above standard items, plus all the connections needed for s-video use, then just order this pack instead.
Ordering Code: MACRO2
Included: Digital Video Stabilizer, 2 x Scart to Phono/S-Video Adapters (SPSAG), 2 x S-Video Cables (SVID3) and a 9v Power Adapter.
Gross Weight: 745g
And last of all if you wish the above standard items, plus all the connections needed for phono use, then just order this pack instead.
Ordering Code: MACRO3
Included: Digital Video Stabilizer, 2 x Scart to Phono/S-Video Adapters (SPSAG), 2 x Phono Video Cables (PV1) and a 9v Power Adapter.
Gross Weight: 631g
So there are options to cover everyone but if you desire to make your own pack then just see my Cables (Video/Audio) page.
2.4Ghz Video Sender System
When these 2.4Ghz video sender systems first appeared then I could not wait to get my hands on one. As long ago I used to enjoy using the old cheap video sender systems, but then they soon became illegal. These new versions bare little in common to the old cheap versions, when transmission is done in the clear region of 2.4Ghz and they come as legal as you can get.
As it goes it was many months before I did finally get one of these, but as I was very impressed with just how better these are then my old video sender, then these easily met my high standard to qualify for sale here. In fact, as I only sell items that I would personally use, then I can tell you that after ELVIS this is my second most personally enjoyed item that I both sell and use.
To begin with, then this system comprises of two main items, which are the transmitter and the receiver. However, if you wish to go beyond the one to one system, then by purchasing additional units allows up to 4 transmitters and an unlimited number of receivers. And if you wish additional units then just ask for a quote, or see the following Stealth Receiver, but for now I will stick to what you get in this pack.
The transmitter will of course take the video and audio from your desired system (including CCTV), and then transmit this at 2.4Ghz to the receiver. The receiver would then output this signal to your local system, which then makes it appear like your desired system was directly connected.
Starting with the video quality; then my best descriptive word would be "impressive". As you would have to stare long and hard to just about notice that it is a transmitted signal. In fact as I am looking at mine right at this minute, then I can tell you that it even looks better than some local equipment that I have.
Moving to the audio is no less impressive, when unlike the old video sender systems this one give you transmitted Stereo sound, which certainly sounds excellent to me.
The only small sound problem I did notice was a bit of a hiss when I called up on-screen menus on my main system. but this is hardly a problem when it does not affect normal viewing. And it certainly is nothing like the constant hiss of the old video sender systems whatever you were doing.
Apart from the impressive video and sound quality the best is yet to come. What I mean is that it is not much use viewing stations upstairs when you have to keep going downstairs just to change the channel. This system has that problem easily covered, when the local receiver is perfectly happy to send all your remote control commands back down to the transmitter. The transmitter then uses a special IR cable to output these commands to remote equipment.
Even this aspect is impressive, when it can control all the equipment that I own. This even includes my Digibox, which I had feared would not work when this remote control is hardly normal. What I mean is that many other devices could not handle Digibox commands, but this system does it easily.
The only problem I find here is purely due to all the video devices that I own, when it is a little tricky the first time you do it to position the IR cable where all the devices can see it. However, as I managed to do it with all the devices that I own, then I am sure that you will be able to as well.
Anyway, as right at this moment I have full control of all my receivers downstairs, then if I choose to watch Sky Digital, FreeView, some analogue stations, or digital stations from all across Europe, then I certainly can do any or all of the above just by selecting the right device on my Universal remote.
I would not have believed it had I not seen it, but I can remotely even move my big dish and tune in new stations.
These devices can even do other things. Say for example you connected two transmitters to CCTV cameras on your front and back door. As then you can get your receiver to swap between the two transmitted signals fully automatically each few seconds. And with up to 4 possible transmitters in one system, then with a local VCR you can have quite some security setup.
I find this device most useful myself when I can watch a few things while working (like now). And most of all when another family member wishes to watch a soap or football match on my big rear-projection TV, then that is fine with me when I can go upstairs and watch my desired movie.
Channel selection is controlled by four dip switches. Setting more than one switch will cause the device to switch between channels each 5 seconds, which is ideal for a security system. The transmitter and receiver both connect to a scart socket, where the transmitter comes with what is called a DigiConnector. Should you already have your scart sockets occupied, then this is not a problem, when this DigiConnector allows you to plug your normal device's scart plug into the back of this combined scart plug and socket.
A truely great device, which is why I am now selling them to you. Please note that this device is only recommended for UK use, when other countries can use other frequency ranges.
Ordering Code: DSEND
Included: 1 x Transmitter, 1 x Receiver and 2 x 9v Power Adapters.
Gross Weight: 1577g
Additional 2.4Ghz Stealth Receiver
This extra receiver is ideally used with the above DSEND system should you wish viewing in a second room. However it is also well designed for use in a CCTV system, which is a second use for these 2.4 Ghz video sender systems.
To begin with then this receiver is just like the one found in the above system, where it has the same power connection, on/off switch, and channel selection. The one main difference here is that this receiver has video and audio phono sockets on the back, where a supplied cable allows you to covert these phono sockets into a scart plug. In other words this receiver is more open to connect to most things that people would want.
Connecting it up is no different, when the supplied 9v power adapter is used to power it, and then the Scart to 3 x Phono connection just needs plugging into this device and then to your TV or Video. So once connected it is simply a matter of turning the on/off switch to the on postion.
Now the part where this extra receiver starts to get interesting is with the included and unusually flat remote control, when this opens up an easier way to control this receiver. As by simply setting all four 2.4 Ghz channel selections to the off position now allows you to select the channels manually by the remote control, which is extra useful if you happen to use more than one transmitter in your system.
Also when using this remote you can establish an automatic channel scan, where it will swap between each of the 2.4 Ghz channels in your selected range at a rate that you can also manually set via the remote.
The other buttons are mostly only useful if you go the way of the CCTV system, where that allows you to remotely control the extra CCTV equipment such as with recording. And no doubt that remote is flat so that you can walk about with it in your pocket.
Anyway, if it is for use in a CCTV system, or simply to feed some TV into a second room, then this is the additional receiver system to do just that.
Ordering Code: STREC
Gross Weight: 1037g
NTSC to PAL Converter
NTSC is the common video format used in the U.S and elsewhere, while PAL is the system used within Europe and many other locations.
NTSC can be found output from VCRs, video game consoles, satellite receivers, video cameras, etc. No doubt the greatest use for this device is for those people who buy R1 DVDs, when if your DVD Player desires to output NTSC, then using this device will save the large cost of buying a new multi-standards TV.
For years I have been viewing NTSC based satellite feeds from the U.S, which I have been viewing sadly without colour. Which makes it a shame that I did not own one of these converter devices sooner.
The exact PAL output from this device is what is using the commonly called PAL 60 format, which is basically PAL video format running at 30 frames per second instead of the normal 25 frames per second for PAL.
This special PAL 60 mode has been designed into a modern TVs for many years now, which was done for this very purpose of being able to easily convert NTSC video to PAL for viewing purposes. Unfortunately, this does mean that this device would not be suitable for use on 'ye olde' TVs, but as they would not know what a remote control was either, then that should not pose a problem.
As to the audio, then that is output in PAL I format, which means that citizens outside the UK using other formats like PAL B/G would be able to see colour video, but then would not be able hear the audio produced by this device. And so unless you wish to only see colour video with no audio, then this device is only recommended for use within the UK and other PAL I countries.
However, since customers in other PAL countries can already hear NTSC audio, then so if you can indeed hear the audio, then using this device is still suitable. After all you can just have the audio by-pass this device, which would result in hearing the same audio that you can now. So only if you currently do not hear NTSC audio and you do not live in the UK (or other PAL I country), then is using this device not recommended.
The only other limitation of PAL 60 mode is that VCRs have not kept up with advances in TVs. As VCRs cannot record PAL 60 video, or at least not PAL 60 in colour (as my VCR testing does). However, as other devices to convert NTSC to the true PAL I 25fps format cost about 6 to 8 times more then my device, then if you wish to record NTSC, then go get yourself a VCR supporting true NTSC recording.
As since these NTSC supporting VCRs would be less than half the cost of one of these expensive converters, then using this device to convert this NTSC VCR output for PAL viewing would still be the cheaper and better option.
This device in terms of size can be called palm sized, when it is smaller than my hand. And if you desire the exact size then this is 110mm length x 27mm depth x 80mm width.
Connections to this device total in at seven, with six of this seven being standard Phono RCA sockets. The seventh connection is a quite an important one being the power connector for the included 9v Power Adapter.
The other inputs into this device take up three of the available six Phono sockets. And these three inputs just happen to be for the NTSC composite Video input, along with the Left and Right Audio inputs.
Turning the device around to look at the outputs, then we have a PAL composite Video output, along with an Audio output. As to the last Phono connection then this is for an RF output.
The only supplied cable is a twin Phono plug to Phono plug lead, which I guess is used by default to connect both Video and Mono Audio between this converter and your NTSC output device.
As this default budget connection could use some improvements to make the most from this device, then see my extra items on the Cables page. I do not offer an upgrade pack at this time, when the devices that you connect this converter to can vary quite a lot.
This device other then producing the colour video as claimed happens to support the useful feature of Automatic Tint Control, which then helps to maintain a high quality resolution.
Ordering Code: NTSC2PAL
Included: NTSC to PAL converter, Twin Phono to Phono cable, and the 9v DC Power Adapter.
Gross Weight: 464g
PAL to NSTC Video/Audio Converter
This device is designed to convert PAL video/audio to NTSC video/audio, which I am sure would be useful in places like the United States, Canada and very many other countries who use the NTSC M video format.
However, being a cheaper analogue model and not one of the much more expensive digital models, then like with all analogue models, the output from this device would be NTSC at 50 Hz (25 frames per second) instead of the usual NTSC rate of 60 Hz (30 fps).
What that means for the very many NTSC M countries, like the United States and Canada, is that since modern TVs no longer take their frequency from the power line, then so should mostly all modern TVs support automatic vertical adjustment.
And that would mean that modern TVs would display this NTSC at 50 Hz just fine, but like with the reverse NTSC to PAL conversion this video output would not be recordable. This is because NTSC based VCRs are not as flexible as NTSC based TVs and can only record NTSC at the usual rate of 60 Hz.
So as long as you remember that this device is for viewing purposes only, then so you cannot go wrong.
The current most common use for this PAL to NTSC video converter would be those NTSC viewers who buy R2 and R4 PAL based DVDs, when if your DVD player desires to output PAL video, then so will this device save on the expensive cost of buying a new multi-standards TV.
And so wherever you see PAL video that you wish view on an NTSC based TV, then this is the ideal model for the task.
On this device are four Phono Plugs, a Power Connector and a Switch.
Now, since two of these Phono Plugs are coloured yellow, then so are these two for the Composite Video input and output. Most North American viewers these days make of the S-VHS video format, but I am sure that the older and well supported Composite video system won't pose a problem.
And the last two Phono Plugs on this device are for audio conversion, which is basically just adjusting the PAL Sound Carrier frequency to the NTSC Sound Carrier frequency of 4.5 mHz if needed.
Using this device is easy enough, when you just have to use the supplied twin phono cable to feed composite video plus audio into the two phono inputs on this device. Next you will be needing a second twin phono cable (like my PA2 or PAP) in order to feed the video and audio output back into your desired equipment like the TV.
Following this you just need to use the included 7.5 volt Power Adapter in order to power the model, where you would then have a working system. However, since the Power Adapter is a UK plugged 230v input model, then customers in North America (and possibly elsewhere) would be needing to obtain a 110v input to 7.5v output model locally.
Also on this model, as mentioned above, is the one switch, where this switch should be set to "Convert" when you wish to convert NTSC video to PAL video, but the other option of "Bypass" is to just to feed through the video unmodified. This option is for when you no longer wish to use the device, where this saves having to rewire your system.
So if you have need to convert PAL video to NTSC video for viewing purposes, then this model is the ideal and low cost method to do just that.
Ordering Code: PAL2NTSC
Includes: PAL to NTSC converter, 7.5v Power Adapter, and a twin Video+Audio Phono cable.
Gross Weight: 615g
Secam to PAL Video Converter
I guess that since the invention of the boat it was the case that us English and the French discovered that we did not get along very well together. This goes a long way to explain the several hundred years following, including several wars and many colourful characters and events.
Even today this issue continues in many forms, but after so long of cultural conflict what can you expect?
So these days you have to wonder if the French are trying to fill in Channel Tunnel by packing Asylum Seeker into it faster than what us English can handle? Then around these parts there is still interesting saying like "Do you French wish to buy back part of your country? Again!", but then lets not forget that France once controlled part of England as well.
Anyway, this section concerns an event many years ago now, where the French unlike the rest of Europe did not wish to make use of the English made PAL system, which is why they decided to create and use the Secam system instead. Naturally, in the following years, other countries like Russia decided to use Secam as well, but Secam on a World scale falls in third place behind PAL and NTSC.
Anyone with some technical knowledge of the Secam system will know that Secam is not unlike the PAL system, where for example both use a 25 frames per second rate. That was a product to the electrical system, when to begin with the video frequency was linked to the mains electrical frequency. That is why NTSC runs at 30 fps (on their 60Hz electrical system) and PAL and Secam both run at 25 fps (on the 50Hz electrical system).
Anyway, the point is that since the sub-carrier frequency for the Chrominance (Colour) information is the only real difference (apart from signal modulation) between the PAL and Secam systems, then so is conversion of Secam video to PAL video quite a simple one.
However, it should be noted that since this device does not handle the audio aspect at all, then this audio needs to be fed between the two devices and thereby not through this converter. Also for countries of other PAL format system, then you should check that you can hear the Secam audio before buying this device, when no audio now will also mean no audio later.
Apart from that Secam to PAL limitation, then since the output from this device provides PAL at 25 fps, then so are there no problems in both viewing and recording this Secam to PAL converted video. So the output from this device is almost as good as it would be, had the original video source been in PAL in the first place.
Looking at the above photo will soon show you that this device is quite a simple one, when the only connectors on it are the two Phono Plugs, which are for Composite (Secam) Input and Composite (PAL) Output, then the power connector for the supplied UK plugged 7.5v 300mA Power Adapter.
Should this device be used outside the UK in other parts of Europe, then so on my Power Adapters page do I sell an adapter plug (UK2EU) for such purposes as this one.
Now, when it comes to the supplied cables, then this device (like my other converters) comes by default under supplied. Where unfortunately the single included phono plug to phono plug video cable won't be enough to complete any video conversion system.
Fortunately, since I also sell lots of video leads and adapter, then so can this problem be easily and cheaply corrected. Therefore, if you wish to connect this device between phono sockets, then so would the PV1 (or PV2) be suitable for the video, where the PA2 can be used to complete the stereo audio link.
Now, if you like most people wish to connect this device between two Scart sockets, then apart from the recommended PV1 and PA2 leads, then so would I also recommend ordering two of my Scart adapters (SPSA or SPSAG). No doubt I will eventually offer this in a pack and give you a complete package discount price, but as my choice of cables and adapters are much wider these days, then so I may have to figure out a better system in order to allow you the items of choice with a small extra discount.
Anyway, for now you can pick the extra cables and connectors as needed, where my prices are already much cheaper then elsewhere. And so if you have the need to convert Secam video to PAL video, that you can both certainly watch and record, then here is the device to do just that.
If you are English, then just be careful that you do not watch too much French TV, when we would not wish this device to spoil hundreds of years of conflict and allow us all to get along after all. ;-]
Ordering Code: SCM2PAL
Included: Secam to PAL converter, 7.5v Power Adapter, and a Video Phono cable.
Gross Weight: 377g
PAL to Secam Video Converter
As this device does exactly the same as the SCM2PAL model above, except in converting PAL to Secam of course, then for now read that description to see how this one works.
This one does also handle audio conversion as well if needed, which is not always the case.
It also comes with a bypass switch, which turns on and off the video conversion. In the models like the SCM2PAL this bypass is done automatically, but on this model it is done manually by this switch.
Apart from that I will write a full description here one day, but for now just ask if you have any questions.
Ordering Code: PAL2SCM
Gross Weight: 789g
Includes: PAL to Secam Converter, Scart to Video + Audio Phono Cable, Video + Audio Phono Cable, 9v 500mA Power Adapter (EU Plugged), a EU to North American Adapter Plug and the Instructions.