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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Group!

The stress is sinking in! I am moving in Oct (the goal) from USA to France. I have read the following post (What I should have taken with me from US and ...) but still have some outstanding questions about my high end stereo equipment.

I have been told to NOT bring my plasma TV & DLP (honestly I don't think they will even fit in an apt there-ha!) - it still stinks because in the US, when you sell your TV's, furnishings - you get PENNIES on the dollar! BOO! Is this true about the TV's? I can let go of the TV's...

Regarding my high end receiver and speakers (Denon receiver & Definitive Speakers) - I called the manufacturer and they said that all I need is a transformer. Can anyone confirm this? Has anyone brought their stereo equipment and used it successfully in France? Suggestions on the type of transformer?
I DO NOT want to part with this if it's not necessary:).

What about a blue ray dvd - I know US DVD's don't work in French DVD players BUT what if I bring my blue ray (sony) and a transformer? (If anyone's a Seinfeld fan - I have the 300 episode set and hate to part with it - it keeps me sane in France:). Hee hee!

I'm still struggling with the delimma to bring my furniture - especially my bed (cal king - yes Bev, I know you said dont' bring it:) - but my mattress is like sleeping on a cloud! But I get it - I will be in tight quarters in France....no palace:).

So - What is the largest bed we can buy in France? Queen? King? And can I go ahead and buy sheets here for either? I love FLAT sheets and last year I found that they rarely exist - plus linens are expensive in France even at the outlet places. Thoughts, comments?

Yes, I'm having a VERY HARD time leaving my things behind! More importantly, I hate the fact that I will sell my things here and have to "re-buy" them at INFLATED prices - it seems there are NO deals in France based on my experience.

Thanks everyone for any suggestions.

K
 

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In regards to DVD player, in the states I used a European DVD player, so I could play region 1 & 2 DVDs, just used a outlet converter and never had a problem, do not see why it would not work in reverse. As for TV, I sold a 2 year old Samsung LCD on Craigslist for half it's suggested retail price, so perhaps you can recoup a décent amount!

Good luck!

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I'm not sure about the new, fancy HD televisions. Is there still the old PAL/SECAM vs NTSC issue in the digital age?

As far as the Blue-ray goes, you might be better served getting yourself a zone-free player over here. I haven't gone BlueRay but for a DVD player, having a zone free one means you can play either US or European videos with only a very few exceptions (and those I can watch on my computer, where the video player is set for Zone 1).

I had a weird experience with my stereo equipment when I brought mine from the US to the UK. I was running it on a transformer and it simply stopped working (after making a rather loud and unpleasant noise). Though I had blown out the system somehow. But after I returned to the US, the equipment started working again. No idea how that happened.

On the bed issue - standard mattress and sheet sizes are different over here. A queen mattress is equivalent to a 160 x 200 cm mattress. You can get sheets for this size bed with little or no difficulty. There are also some larger mattress and sheet sizes, though I don't know how they relate to a King, especially a California King sized mattress.

Just make sure to measure the hallways and doors to see if it will even be possible to get your current bed into your living quarters in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Why do you not buy your new goods in the UK and get them shipped over to your new residence in france works out cheaper, there are several companies who will store bought goods and then ship them to you when a pallet is full. Sell all your possessions on ebay and use the money to buy Uk/european goods.
 

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Regarding my high end receiver and speakers (Denon receiver & Definitive Speakers) - I called the manufacturer and they said that all I need is a transformer.
I had a weird experience with my stereo equipment when I brought mine from the US to the UK. I was running it on a transformer and it simply stopped working (after making a rather loud and unpleasant noise). Though I had blown out the system somehow. But after I returned to the US, the equipment started working again. No idea how that happened.
Electrical transformers change the voltage but not the frequency. US is on 60 Hz and France on 50 Hz. So some electrical devices which are frequency sensitive will not work even with a transformer. Best to double-check.

Edit: I just thought of a workaround, get an adaptor to convert the French AC to DC and then an appropriate inverter to convert the DC back to AC at the correct voltage and frequency. Come to think of it more, there MUST be such a single product already for such conversions. Whatever the case, take note of this issue in any transformers that you buy.
 

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You could rip all your DVDs (via DVD Decrypter or DVD Fab). With DVD Fab, I copy my DVDs to a zone free DVD and turn them into mp4s to run on my iPad. Nowadays I just plug my iPad into the TV to watch my movies and certain TV shows. The DVD player rarely gets used now in our house.
 

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If you can find the right converter you can could probably just bring whatever you want from the US, plug all that stuff into a power strip, and plug that into the converter. But as was said, the frequency is also different.
 

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... or you could just embrace France and its economy, and do the right thing ...
 
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For what it will cost to ship the items, it might be best to just buy all new (or possibly used) here. Consider please shipping costs, damage ratio and in the case of furniture space requirements. It would be a pity to get it all over here and find damage or even tax related issues. Just my thoughts. Warm regards!
 

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Electrical transformers change the voltage but not the frequency. US is on 60 Hz and France on 50 Hz. So some electrical devices which are frequency sensitive will not work even with a transformer. Best to double-check.
60Hz or 50Hz will make no difference as long as you have the correct power supply. Almost every device are 50/60Hz (it doesn't change anything for the input rectifier)

kmh12309 electronic devices tend to be obsolete very quickly. So if they are, let say, older than 2 or 3 years old it's probably nonsense to ship them.

But if I were you I'll take with me all my DVDs and Blue rays and my DVD/Blue Ray reader as well. You'll need to by a new power supply (VAC 230 as input and look at the one you have for DC output voltage and power) for something like 20€ on ebay. You'll be able to plug the HDMI output to every recent TVs you'll find in France.
 

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60Hz or 50Hz will make no difference as long as you have the correct power supply. Almost every device are 50/60Hz (it doesn't change anything for the input rectifier)

kmh12309 electronic devices tend to be obsolete very quickly. So if they are, let say, older than 2 or 3 years old it's probably nonsense to ship them.

But if I were you I'll take with me all my DVDs and Blue rays and my DVD/Blue Ray reader as well. You'll need to by a new power supply (VAC 230 as input and look at the one you have for DC output voltage and power) for something like 20€ on ebay. You'll be able to plug the HDMI output to every recent TVs you'll find in France.
I've said it countless times but here goes again.

Digital TV if the TV is new should work for broadcast, will definitely work for DVD, DVR etc, TV and all other stereo stuff will work with an appropriate voltage regulated transformer - I got mine here:

www.world-import.com - great company.

Add up the wattage of your components, double it and buy that size or larger transformer. I run all mine on a 500W. Nothing has an AC motor so the frequency is a non-issue. The only thing that will be affected is a digital clock as that does use the frequency (50Hz here, 60Hz in USA). All the others (DVD, Cassette, even turntable) use DC motors internally converted from AC and therefore fine.

I also have two of their 2000 watt ttransformers and we run our kitchen applicances and my power tools.

Replacement cost for all the devices we brought and use would be close to $3000, the transformers were less than $100. To me its a no-brainer.

TIP, bring some US power strips and use an adapter to plug them into the French outlet - no need to change the plugs.

And we just shipped the whole lot again from France to the UK :D
 

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Hills- don't forget that a lot of us on here have only moved to France for short term assignments and buying all new things and embracing France's electrical system doesn't make a lot of sense financially.
 

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Well, OK Emily, but as some of the other posts have pointed out, you have to do the number-crunching, and, if it is only a short assignment, decide what you really need and what you can live without for a while.

But, I also think, and will stand on a high horse about it, that, if you're living somewhere and benefit from so-doing, it's important to support that country's economy by buying locally.

A lot of stuff can be sold later, or even altruistically given to others when you move on/back - & you never know, you might find something that you never knew existed but is an unbelievable god-send - consumer products are sold to suit the consumer demographics, habits, constraints, climate and circumstances - there are very few things for which one size suits all.

h
 

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I'm not sure about the new, fancy HD televisions. Is there still the old PAL/SECAM vs NTSC issue in the digital age?
Cheers,
Bev
Pretty much, except that PAL is now DVB-T and the modern version of NTSC is ATSC.
And yes, as before, ATSC and NTSC are not compatible.

But..a few TV's are multi-system, and can cope with both. All can be used as monitors with an appropriate external set top box but I'm not aware of any that convert DVB-T to NTSC.

In Australia the system is effectively the same as Europe (DVB-T) - here's kind of a reversed explanation of US/Aus differences that may help, although I had to think about it a bit, :) Is it possible to bring a US/CDN TV to Australia (ATSC to DVB-T)
 

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Oh and in terms of TV's, just to cloud the issue a little further...

Just like jailbreaking iphones and rooting Android devices, Nooks and Kindles and the like, some TV's can now have this done.

I recently bought a new Smart TV - even though the same model, some of the different country variants (even with the same transmission system and voltage) don't have all the same features, or the same access to the same onboard apps.

Some techheads have found a way with last year's Australian (and UK I think) version for example to make it work here and have access to all US apps (netflix, hulu, etc) as well as all the UK iplayers and all the Aus iplayers, on the same screen. Can't do that yet with this year's model. Can't do it with last years NZ model of the same TV. So it can vary by where you get the set, and even then you might risk turning your foreign tv into a brick to get the features the local version comes with.

Generally, if you have fast internet speeds with a good quota, there are good options using the internet, either per maybe Roku or streaming over HDMI from a laptop, again, mostly on demand, although we're using Zattoo to get some UK but mostly German live TV here, using a SmartDNS for about $5 a month.
 

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Well, OK Emily, but as some of the other posts have pointed out, you have to do the number-crunching, and, if it is only a short assignment, decide what you really need and what you can live without for a while.

But, I also think, and will stand on a high horse about it, that, if you're living somewhere and benefit from so-doing, it's important to support that country's economy by buying locally.

A lot of stuff can be sold later, or even altruistically given to others when you move on/back - & you never know, you might find something that you never knew existed but is an unbelievable god-send - consumer products are sold to suit the consumer demographics, habits, constraints, climate and circumstances - there are very few things for which one size suits all.

h
Hils, I don't believe you said that. In effect you are saying I should have dumped all my US electronics and made a free gift to France of $3000 just because I lived there. I have a little more respect for my hard-earned cash than that.
 
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No David, but if you'd been here knowing you were here for say 12 or 15 months or whatever, and then going back to US, I imagine you'd've put all your decent expensive stuff in storage wouldn't you? and made do with something "adequate" here ? (And anyway, you know what you're doing with leccy stuff - lots of people don't - so you'd have understood what you could/couldn't easily adapt for use here.)

And why would it be a free gift of 3K?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Okey dokey - so let me get this straight:) Before I leave the US (cheaper I'm sure) - I should buy the following for my Denon receiver and Definitive speakers:
transformer = doesn't matter 50 or 60Hz according to idreamofla right? I can double check that the transformer works for both 50/60.
and if I choose to bring my blue ray - I need a blue ray reader to run the dvd's - right?
(not sure on the blue ray - seems like dvd's are going away)

Sorry all you techies - I just listen to the music blaring from my system - I don't know anything about the mechanics of it:) Thank you all!!!
 

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Transformers are double the price here that they are in the US, so definitely pick those up there. Huge regret I had was not just ordering 2 from amazon before we moved. So dumb.

Hils- you aren't thinking about all the things that can fall into this category. Like my fancy mixer I put in storage, but we brought our play station and Xbox and run those on a transformer. There are some things you can buy "get by" versions of and others you can't or just plain don't want to if you don't have to.
 
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