I've read that the difference between UK PAL and Continental PAL is the carrier frequency used for the audio. But is that referring to:

  • the (now former) analogue TV broadcasts
  • the encoding on the tape
  • or both?

I am aware of the VHS PAL I standard for the UK and the VHS PAL B/G etc standard in continental Europe.

According to these links, if the SCART output is used, then the audio is available. The links say that the difference in audio encoding is only related to the RF (Radio Frequency) signal i.e. broadcasts:

My use case is for using a continental video player from Germany to play UK VHS PAL tapes and convert the video and audio digitally.


PAL standard references:

1 Answer 1


The UK PAL VHS tapes will play back in a German PAL deck. The actual method of audio recording is not related to the PAL specification. VHS records up to two linear audio tracks. HiFi capable decks record additional two HiFi tracks that are multiplexed with the video signal. I don't remember the details.

A non-HiFi deck will ignore the HiFi tracks and use the linear tracks which should have the same content recorded.

  • +1 thank you. Do you know how would I find out which audio is being played back - linear or HiFi ? May 27, 2019 at 11:17
  • 1
    Older decks may have a physical switch. Newer models will default to HiFi if present. Another way to tell is by adjusting tracking. A small change in tracking may result in sudden loss of HiFi audio. May 29, 2019 at 7:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.