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Old 08.07.2010, 23:21
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Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Eric, and will move to Basel from Minneapolis this August.

I visited this website before, and found pretty good stuffs here. However, I didn't find any post about this issue.

I have a pretty new Sony flat screen TV in US, and plan to move it to Basel. I know the voltage between US and Switzerland is different, and will buy a transformer to step down the voltage. Today my local friend told me Switzerland uses the different signal format from US ones, so that my US flat screen doesn't work here. I am just wondering whether someone has any experience about this issue. Does it work?

Thanks in adance...
Eric
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Old 08.07.2010, 23:36
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

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First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Eric, and will move to Basel from Minneapolis this August.

I visited this website before, and found pretty good stuffs here. However, I didn't find any post about this issue.

I have a pretty new Sony flat screen TV in US, and plan to move it to Basel. I know the voltage between US and Switzerland is different, and will buy a transformer to step down the voltage. Today my local friend told me Switzerland uses the different signal format from US ones, so that my US flat screen doesn't work here. I am just wondering whether someone has any experience about this issue. Does it work?

Thanks in adance...
Eric
Many modern TV sets can accept multiple formats. The answer to your question can be found in the set's specs. If you know the model number, Sony might help you.
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Old 08.07.2010, 23:57
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

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[...] and will buy a transformer to step up the voltage. [...]
. . . . ..
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Old 09.07.2010, 00:00
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

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First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Eric, and will move to Basel from Minneapolis this August.

I visited this website before, and found pretty good stuffs here. However, I didn't find any post about this issue.

I have a pretty new Sony flat screen TV in US, and plan to move it to Basel. I know the voltage between US and Switzerland is different, and will buy a transformer to step down the voltage. Today my local friend told me Switzerland uses the different signal format from US ones, so that my US flat screen doesn't work here. I am just wondering whether someone has any experience about this issue. Does it work?

Thanks in adance...
Eric
No, not unless it is a professional multi sync monitor.

If you have to ask the question, the answer is probably no. Sorry. I wanted the same thing when I moved here. If so, I could take the one I have here back to the US.
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Old 09.07.2010, 01:05
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

No problem, it will still be flat when you arrive here.
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Old 09.07.2010, 01:58
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

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First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Eric, and will move to Basel from Minneapolis this August.

I visited this website before, and found pretty good stuffs here. However, I didn't find any post about this issue.

I have a pretty new Sony flat screen TV in US, and plan to move it to Basel. I know the voltage between US and Switzerland is different, and will buy a transformer to step down the voltage. Today my local friend told me Switzerland uses the different signal format from US ones, so that my US flat screen doesn't work here. I am just wondering whether someone has any experience about this issue. Does it work?

Thanks in adance...
Eric
First up -- welcome to EF, and welcome soon to Basel!

This is a bit of a long post, but it contains a lot of information that others in your position will hopefully find useful.

Having just been through the process of getting a US TV (doesn't matter whether it's a CRT, plasma, LCD, LED or other type of screen!) to work here, I can help!

In Switzerland, as in most developed countries , TV signals are in PAL format. In the US and Canada (and most South American countries, Japan and a couple of other Asian countries), by contrast, the format is NTSC*. The two are not compatible. To further complicate the issue, most countries in West Africa and North Asia use SECAM.

*Let's not talk about the recent switch to ATSC here. It's not relevant to your needs right now ... your TV was manufactured to receive NTSC.

Some TV manufacturers make TVs that can receive both PAL and NTSC signals. Unfortunately, it seems to be more common that TVs sold in Europe can handle both, rather than in the US where the parochial mindset still dominates. As Goldtop said, you need to check your TV model's specs to see if it can process PAL. If so, you're onto a winner and need only purchase a step down (you are correct -- SwissPete is not) transformer, to step the voltage down from 240/220V in Switzerland to the 110/120V that your TV requires. However, if you're REALLY in luck, your TV might be dual voltage and able to handle either voltage ... again, check the specs.

I strongly recommend that you buy the step down transformer/s in the US as we were unable to find one here in Switzerland at anything like a reasonable price, and ended up getting one shipped from the US. They are very heavy, so the freight was astronomical. Think about how many you need -- you can plug US power strips into them to power several 110V appliances at once, but make sure you get transformers than can handle large wattage requirements.

If your TV is NTSC only, you will need to purchase a PAL-NTSC converter. Make sure you get one that converts in that direction (PAL --> NTSC) or both ways ... not a one-way NTSC --> PAL converter! Don't bother with analogue converters -- buy a digital converter. Again, you almost certainly won't find one in Switzerland so if you can buy one in the US, I'd do that. It would be a good idea to buy one that operates on dual voltage so that you don't need a transformer for it! It seems that most stores no longer carry converters so you will probably have to buy one online.

We purchased a converter from "Threedoubleyou Company" in the UK. Their "Gadget 25" is a dual voltage, PAL --> NTSC or NTSC --> PAL (switchable) converter with a built in multi-regional DVD player/recorder (no hacking required to play your US DVDs!), and it's HD-compatible. It retails at £95 including VAT, which you can have deducted if you prove residence in Switzerland. You can cut the UK plug off the converter and replace it with a Swiss plug. I would check with the manufacturer of any transformers you buy before doing the same with them. I can definitely recommend the Gadget 25, it works perfectly for us. It will also work in the US should we ever need it to ...

One final note: in Switzerland, you will almost certainly have a set-top box to provide your PAL signal via cable or telephone line. This box will have a SCART connection (among others). Your US TV won't. The Gadget 25 has a SCART connection. The best way to hook it up is to purchase a SCART lead (about CHF 20 -- these ARE actually available in Switzerland!) to connect the set-top box to the converter, then use the cables supplied with the converter to connect it to your TV (component leads are probably going to be best for you. I can't remember if the Gadget 25 has HDMI).

Getting US TVs to work in Switzerland is an expensive process, and you may end up with yet another remote control, but at least it's possible!

Last edited by 22 yards; 09.07.2010 at 02:21.
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Old 12.07.2010, 17:35
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

Thanks all for your help, especially 22 yards. It seems like the job is not so easy, and now I need to make some decision.
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Old 12.07.2010, 17:53
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

Check www.digitec.ch or similar to get an idea of local prices for flat screens and if it's really worth shipping it over & buying all the gear 22 yards mentioned.
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Old 12.07.2010, 17:53
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

also worth baring in mind that flat screen tv's are pretty cheap here now, especially if your not a badge snob and get one of the no make ones. full hd tv's are below 1000chf and you'll be 100% sure it'll work with anything europe can throw at it.
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Old 12.07.2010, 19:12
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

Nothing much to add to what has been said before, although flat screen TVs in the USA are increasingly dual voltage and support PAL as well as NTSC. It should be easy to check. If it is the case, you might still need a SCART cable converter, but again some of the cable boxes, VCRs etc in Switzerland also have yellow, red and white RCA jacks as well as SCART. SCART cable converters are pretty straightforward bits of kit and should only cost you a few dollars by mail order.
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Old 08.08.2010, 00:29
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

Anyone use or think one of the PAL to NTSC converters will work on a US TV in Switzerland?

http://www.world-import.com/Com_Worl..._Converter.htm

I have found this one and sounds like it will work even using the swiss cable box, 240 voltage and switching the incoming pal cable signal and pal dvd player to a NTSC tv.
Thoughts?
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Old 08.08.2010, 06:40
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

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Thanks all for your help, especially 22 yards. It seems like the job is not so easy, and now I need to make some decision.
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Check www.digitec.ch or similar to get an idea of local prices for flat screens and if it's really worth shipping it over & buying all the gear 22 yards mentioned.
Yeah I think it will be cheaper and easier to just sell your American one and then buy a new one once you arrive. Those other steps sound like too much work and too much room for disasterous mistakes if you don't know what you're doing. By the time you buy all of that and ship your American TV you will probably spend more than just buying a new one in Switzerland. Plus it still might not even work right after all of that. Plus that sounds like a lot of wires and junk attached to it cluttering everything up just to make it work. Then add the cable box and DVD player you might want hooked up to it too.
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Old 16.08.2010, 18:48
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Re: Does US flat screen work in Switzerland?

I recently moved here with a US bought Panasonic plasma. I had hoped it might be multi-system but unfortunately it wasn't.

A company called Atlona makes an HD-compatible HDMI NTSC-PAL converter, which I bought for about 375 CHF at bitstream.ch. Works like a charm with my Swisscom box, I haven't noticed any degradation in image quality compared to what I had in the US, even with HD channels.

I'm assuming you have an HDMI plug if it's a new TV. It's not cheap but certainly much less expensive than a new TV and prevents your TV from becoming an expensive monitor.
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