In order to digitalize video tapes (K7) recorded with a camcorder, I used a SCART to hdmi converter (I think it's this model https://www.amazon.co.uk/Converter-Upscale-Adaptor-Monitor-Projector-Black/dp/B08HVNYH4X?&linkCode=ll1&tag=bluecine-21&linkId=2524a257eefa7b5f01ed7778adf49231&language=en_GB&ref_=as_li_ss_tl), in between my VHS tape reader and an hdmi to usb acquisition card.

This work nicely to record Disney tapes, but if I use instead a K7 recorded from the camcorder, I get from the SCART to hdmi converter a blue screen with a "no output" message (if my memory is good). I tried to plug the scart converter to an hdmi screen directly, same message. However, I tried to replace the SCART converter with another SCART to HDMI device (actually it's a device used to record scart or hdmi inputs to a hard drive to save them for later use… but for some reasons I don't have access to this device anymore) and it's working…

Any idea why my original SCART to HDMI converter is working only for Disney tapes but not for manually camrecorded tapes?

  • Is the camcorder set to PAL vs NTSC or something like that? If you list the models of all the devices you're using (camcorder, VHS machine etc), you might get better answers
    – tomh
    Apr 24, 2023 at 10:58
  • Thanks for your answers. Since I live in France I would expect it to be PAL, but I might be wrong: how could I even check? I don’t even know which camcorder was used to record the video. Regarding the VHS machine, I’m not next to it right now, but I’ll let you know when I have access to it later.
    – tobiasBora
    Apr 24, 2023 at 20:01
  • 2
    France used yet another analogue video encoding system called SECAM, so you could definitely be having a format conversion issue if some tapes aren’t working. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SECAM
    – tomh
    Apr 24, 2023 at 22:19
  • Oh good to know, thanks a lot, I guess it make sense… I thought that the VHS machine reader would convert it to the same format irrespective of the K7 input format, I guess it’s not what happens? Is it dependent on the VHS reader, or are all readers just forwarding the format of the K7 ? (i.e. could it be that on another VHS reader this works fine?)
    – tobiasBora
    Apr 25, 2023 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Secam L (which was the broadcast format for Analog Color in France) does have differences in the video signal to PAL though both are 625 lines, it is likely this did not trigger the digitizer. You could check if there are settings for your digitizer to select line/field rate and or Color system. Ironic as the complexity of SECAM meant that a large amount of production was shot and edited in PAL and then transcoded for transmission. SECAM L being much more suitable for the use of fewer higher power transmitters and longer range reception in France. NTSC was much easier with no ABBA as you had in PAL...

  • Thanks a lot. By digitizer do you mean the Scart to HDMI device? If so it only has a 720p/1080p switch. But according to this website (that sells the same product as the one I use), this converter is supposed to handle both secam and pal (and more) amazon.fr/… Do you think it’s a mistake in the description? But if secam is used only to broadcast but not to record individual videos, isn’t it a bit strange that the camcorder outputs to secam?
    – tobiasBora
    May 3, 2023 at 22:36
  • If it says SECAM / PAL then it should work. I presume as you are in France, it would be SECAM used in France (Soviet and Middle Eastern SECAM are different. Can you give the Camcorder details. It is possible that the camera tapes have degraded over the years and the sync may be too ragged for the output to be locked into. If you could find a monitor and play the tape direct to see what you have. These modern devices that blue screen or send messages do not help in diagnosis. If the tapes are over 10 years old or have been stored near magnets my money would be degradation.
    – Rich HI
    May 4, 2023 at 5:51
  • Thanks! So I don’t have the camcorder details, as it’s coming from some videos made by a friend of the family of my partner 40 years ago… I just have the tape, and no idea how to even check if it’s secam/pal or other. However, the tape was working perfectly: I could easily read it directly from the Scart TV, or even using a device initially made to record TV shows on a hard drive (it was also forrmwarding scart to HDMI out, so I used this device to record the tape back then… but I will likely have other tapes to copy, and sadly, for some reasons I don’t have access to this device anymore).
    – tobiasBora
    May 4, 2023 at 14:09

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