Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Planning to bring your USA TV with NTSC to India ? Read this !

For those NRI's returning home having NTSC specification American standard televisions wanting to bring the same to India, have to note the following

Major Differences between USA and India TV Systems and Other Possible Concerns:

1. The US Televisions are in the format NTSC, which is region specific. Where as the India Broadcast systems have AUTO or PAL Formats.   Most of the recent televisions have both NTSC and PAL.  So please check the global specifications on your televisions for any type -LED/LCD/Etc

2. Voltage systems used in India and USA.  US has the 110-120V @ 60 Hz while India uses 230V @ 50 Hz

3.  Packaging - Safety issues during Transit

4.  How much to pay at Customs at Indian Airports? How much do Airlines charge for transportation?  

Solutions to the above differences

1.  NTSC to PAL System Conversion

Most of the TV service provides in India, including Dish TV, Airtel and Sun Direct provide set up boxes that have the HDMI support feature and also internal NTSC to PAL converstion possibilities.    Dish TV Tru HD and Airtel HD Set up  boxes work with the HDMI output connected to the TV HDMI input and works like a charm.   I have set up the Airtel HD set up box and it works like a wonder on my Sony LED with only NTSC option.   

For those wanting to know the price I spent, it comes around Rs.3000 for set up boxes and Rs 1200 for convertor and choose any package of your choice starting from Rs.170 a month. 

What happens if you try to connect to normal TV cable is that the picture is only in Black and white with no sound.  

Non Worked Solutions ...So dont waste your time on these given below:     Using the earlier mentioned options in other online forums asking to set up the PAL to NTSC converter and external PAL tuner and etc are not viable and efficient options that I have researched...for they are very costly and a grey lines keep poping up on the TV using the Tuner.     Connecting with the TV tuner to your laptop and connecting the laptop to TV through HDMI is also a tough solution as every time you want to watch TV you have to start your laptop.  

2.  Voltage Conversion

230V- 110 V convertors are available in the India local markets and you can get a good convertor between Rs. 800-  Rs 1200.    Spending few extra Rupees would ensure that convertors also handle often dripping voltage fluctuations in India .  Check with your local electrician who can suggest you a good local brands that work in the locality

3.  Packaging

Please do use only the Company Provided packaging for the television that you intially got with the TV.   That is the best and safest packing that you can do.  Further protection based on the weight of the television,  you can package it in the Wooden Box or additional packing boxes available in Home Depo or Office Depo.    You can add bubble wrap or shredded paper around the television in the blank space so that the TV has additional support.   Dont forget to put all your screws, small stuff, remote along with the TV and dont forget to remove the batteries from the remote.  If possible keep the batteries in different baggage.   Check the dimensions of the box and weight and check with the airlines specifications.    

4.  Airport Transit

Check the dimensions and weight of the baggage and if you have extra billed baggage, ensure you put this as an additional paid baggage for check in instead of the free baggage allowance.  In that way, you can claim any damages in case of transit breakage.      Please ensure that you add Fragile Stickers all around and keep the UPPER Side indication so that the TV is not handled wrongly.    Speak to the airline representative for addition of Fragile Indicators from their side and a personal request for careful handling

5.  Customs to Pay at Indian Airports

Every person travelling back home is entitled to carry Rs.25k work of goods from abroad.  So keep you bill handy and also the dollar value on that date of purchase.  Most of the used home TVs more than 180 days old usually do not attract Octroi unless you dont have the correct bill and the package is looking brand new.     Otherwise, the difference of the TV value and Rs 25K limit attracts Customs Duty and you have to pay by cash at the SBI counter available and get a receipt before you take the TV out of the airport.   

There are other corrupt cheap means people do in the airports which I dont want to suggest.

Now Wall Mount or Get a good entertainment centre, and enjoy Happy Televisioning in India....same time dont get hooked to the forever crying soap operas of the India telediaspora!



Lakshmi said...

Airtel HD box is not working for me. I recently bought a LCD TV from USA. I tried to install Airtel and it is not working.

lakshmi said...

Airtel HD Set up box doesn't work with NTSC tv. Don't get deceived by this post. I just tried and Airtel technician gave up.

Umasree said...


The Airtel HD box comes with the HDMI cable. Connect the HDMI cable to the HDMI input in the LCD TV and the Set up box to connect to the Dish...and it works. If you want a technical help on this, I can ask the technician who fixed this for me in Chennai to check the issue if you are living in Chennai...Mail me your email id

Kavitha said...

Hi Umasree, I am also facing the same problem with Airtel HD set top box as Lakshmi. Even with the HDMI it says unsupported mode. Is it possible to get some more technical details from the Airtel guy and post in your blog.

It would be really helpful for a lot of us. I have asked several technicians from Airtel, but all draw a blank face.

Umasree said...

Lakshmi, Kavitha,
Please call on Uday Kumar 91-9500097444 to discuss on the fix. He is a installation technician for the set up boxes and has good knowledge and can help you

Anonymous said...


Thanks for an informative article. Was relieved to see that Airtel is supporting NTSC TVs.

Unfortunately I was not able to see any output on HDMI Cable even after doing all the steps mentioned. Even the technician did try to get some results but to no avail. Connecting via RCA cable shows black and white picture. Kindly suggest any additional steps if needed.

TV: Samsung LCD TV (Series 6) - NTSC

STB: Airtel HD box



Umasree said...

Hey Lakshmi...did you get the TV fixed. My post is not decieving and it worked for us and thats what has been shared. Probably Airtel technicians themselves are not aware...check with the local cable operators and I am sure those who know to install multiple set up boxes,..will be aware to crack this puzzle.

Raj said...

Hi Umasree, Thanks for all the updates. I need a calrification, you bought airtel setup box and a convertor also ?? Because you mentioned 3000 + 1200.

My friend and myself finding to make the TV operational.

Durai Raj said...

Hi Uma,

Your blog made me to releive from my worries, but i culdn;t reach uday in the number you mentioned. By any chance do you know any other contact number . Also convrtor you have at ur home whats the make?

Thank for your help.

KIRAN said...

Buy Videocon D2H HD and connect your US TV with HDMI..it will not work..relax..Connect to AV (black and white) and go settings...It will ask for password..Type 1234..go to box settings and then TV...select reselution 1080i and 60Hz..now switch back to HDMi..you will able to watch perfect clarity color pictures...all channels..It will cost you around 2930rs...also one month all channels free...Videcon d2h got 30 Asli HD channels...amazing..

vinod Jain said...

Hi Umasree,
I brought Sony Bravio LED, Blue Ray player and Bose System with DVD receiver from US, and now would like to connect all these and should work with Indian DVD/telecast formats,
I believe both Blue Ray and Bose DVD seems having NTSC as per USA.

Can you please help me to connect these systems without making any major changes?

As I understand if I take Dish/Tata Sky the TV should work and can see all the programs.

Pls Advice,


Anonymous said...

thanks for the useful post. Quick question, I have a sundirect setup box, my (USA)LG LCD TV is working fine with that but I now decided to withdraw Sundirect connection. Can I use the setup with local cable operator or is there any other setup boxes the cable tv operator provide? what will be the cost if any.

albinviju said...

Hi Kiran,

Do we need Videocon HD Digital Set Top Box or HD Digital Video Recorder. HD Digital Video Recorder connection is more costly. If HD Digital Set Top Box will works with my US TV I will prefer HD Digital Set Top Box. Could you please suggest.

albinviju said...

Hi Kiran,

Do we need Videocon HD Digital Set Top Box or HD Digital Video Recorder. HD Digital Video Recorder connection is more costly. If HD Digital Set Top Box will works with my US TV I will prefer HD Digital Set Top Box. Could you please suggest.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lakshmi,
Can you please let know if you are using a converter with your airtel HD box. If so, what is that make of the convertor. It will help a lot of us - as yours is the only forum on internet which says Airtel works with US Tv's. Awaiting your kind response

lalitha smpalli said...

this is lalitha previously i too bought samsung lcd hdtvfrom usa ,i opted connection through videocon set
top box it cleared my all problem all
the way ,before i tried tata sky and airtel but there both did't worked for me...

Banu from Chennai said...

Videocon DVR works with NTSC only TVs like my Sony LED TV. Not sure about other STBs.

Perpendicular Pronoun said...

Hi Umasree,
Can you please tell me if the Airtel HD set top box supports 1080i at 60Hz frequency? I am trying to get the info but no one is able to give me a clear answer. Can you please look at the settings on your HD set top box and let me know please? Thanks in advance.

Roopesh Chandran said...

73Greetings!! to Umasree & all guests of forum. Am planning to buy a SMART TV SAMSUNG LED HDTV (Model #UN32EH5300)from USA to take to India. Please help me to address my concerns mentioned below.

1.Will this TV be Combatible with SUN DTH in India?

2.Is SUN DTH capable of providing vedio channels for NTSC only HDTV?


Does it require a PAL-NTSC vedio convertor?

rajesh kumar said...

this blog is informative. I have recently purchased samsung 40" LED TV in USA. Will Sun DTH SD box support NTSC in india?

rajesh kumar said...

I have purchased Samsung 40-inch LED-backlit LCD TV - UN40EH5300 Series 5 1080p Smart HDTV. Will Sun direct SD (not HD) support NTSC format?

bvsreekanth said...

Dear All,

I have shipped two TVs from US - LG LED and Samsung LCD. My LG LED works perfectly with Airtel HD box with HDMI input. But my samsung does not work without PAL-NTSC converter. I have tried many ways to make it work without converter but not successful.

I think the problem is specific to Samsung LCD NTSC TV and Airtel HD Setup box. As far as my research goes, if Airtel provides 1080p instead of 1080i resolution like other providers Dish, Videcon etc., Samsung should work fine.

Deepak said...

Guys, I
got SONY LED TV in 2010. It works like a charm with SUN DTH check the blog below.

Anonymous said...

check the below link, and do it yourself. NTSC TV should be working on SUN DTH

Jerry Gene said...

Very informative post. Keep up the good work. I would really look forward to your other posts

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Great Post! thanks, Just setup my LG47LH30 from USA in India with DishTV TruHD+, works great!

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Jagadeesh PN said...

I recently bought LG LN5750 led tv from US. I too have same problem. Picture is displayed in black and white. I am using Hathway set top box. I have saved the technician to get me HDTV set top box. I hope changing from RCA to HDMI will work.

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muralidharan said...


i have purchased a SONY LED TV(MDL:KDL40EX700)from canada in 2011, now it dosent work in india due to the cable system in asian countries. though i have purchased a NTSC - PAL converter to fix up the problem, but i failed fix it. is there any one who could suggest me to fix it up. this is eating my brain coz i have spend soo much of money to buy the tv and also to bring it to india.
please need your advice

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Anonymous said...

Hi Murali,
I also had a Sony television from US, PAL to NTSC convertor works good for me. I have a KDL46EX700. This is working fine without convertor with TATA SKY HD set top box.... I tried t with HATHWAY HD set top box but didnt work, I had to use PAL to NTSC convertor along with HATHWAY set op box

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