Southeast Asia

In about 3 years I am going to chuck it in and move to Thailand (from USA). The more I learn here the more questions I have and this one gets into region codes.

I just got a new home theater system last year that included 52" High Def plasma, Bose surround sound, Samsung Blu Ray, Yamaha 7 channel amp and of course I am taking it all with me when I move to Thailand. Actually such stuff is cheaper here in America than it is there.

I am note sure how available new release movies will be in English but I am now worried that these movies will even play on my system.

Recently I made a movie of my wedding and sent it to my new Thai family using Sony Vegas Movie Studio 4.0 and I output it in PAL. It didn’t play. I ran the project again and output it NTSC and it played fine so I guess my in-laws have NTSC at home…maybe but unlikely a dual mode player.

I thought about getting on a VOD service and output it from computer to home theater but I am not sure how to pull that one off. Plus their high speed connections are all DSL and I am not sure how good it is.

Or I could download and burn DVD’s on my computer and I suppose that would work.

Anyone experience similar issues or have any ideas about what I may be up against?


Some bad news for you.
If your home theatre componentes are US standard, NTSC, get rid of them before you move to Thailand. There is no way that any of them will work there,and neither can they be converted.The Thai TV system is PAL-2 ,System B/G. Totally different to the your system, and in fact different to many other PAL system countries.In fact the sound is broadcast in a standard used by SOME German TV stations, whereas most PAL countries, including most of Germany, broadcast NICAM STEREO.
There is another difference. The voltage in Thailand is AC 220-240V 50Hz, whereas your components will be 110v 60Hz, unless they are multi system and autovolt. Also, your blueray will be limited to playing region 1 discs, due to US laws, whereas Thailand is region 3.
The reason why your in-laws were able to watch your wedding is because in Thailand,as in most countries, such as the UK where I am, all modern TVs and DVD players can play NTSC and PAL, and they are allso autovolt 100-250v and 50/60Hz. Meaning that most of the world can watch US DVDs, but in the US, most of your players only support NTSC. Blame it on the restrictive practices in the US.
The good news is that you can take all your DVDs with you, and you can buy a a new player in Thailand for less than the cost of carrying one there. As Bangkok is just about the piracy capital of the world, you can buy ALL the latest western movie dvds and TV series complete with artwork, for less than US 40 cents a disc! You will need them too, because Thai terrestial TV is all in Thai,except for one channel that does have SOME foreign news in English, including some BBC reports. There are some English language cable and satellite channels, including US sports.
You are wrong about electronics costing more in Thailand. They are cheaper.Most of the world’s major manufacturers have plants in Thailand, though not Bose Electronics. Their factory is in Shanghai.
Don’t bother to take any small electrical items with you unless they are dual voltage and dual frequency. It is not worth carrying them, and they are so cheap in Thailand.
You said you will stay in Thailand, so I will assume you are already aware of the immigration regulations for the husband of a Thai lady.
However there are some peculiar laws, because it was only in 1997 that Thai women received a very small measure of equality with men.
That can be a problem for a foreign husband. For example, no matter what anyone may tell you to the contary, a foreigner is not allowed to own one square inch of Thai land, and is certainly not allowed to own a house.He she/can lease land up to, I think it is 2.5 acres, for a period of 30 years and can then renew for another 30 years, if he is a Thailand resident, BUT, he is required to transfer not less than 10 million Baht in hard currency to a Thailand bank! Of course, he can buy a house and put it in his wife’s name,(Women could only own real estate since 1997). The snag is, in the event of marital breakdown, the foreign husband has no claim on it. A lot of foreigners have lost a fortune due to that. You will find that many are renting, but not necessarily for that reason. It is because rent is far far less than mortage payments would be, unlike most western countries, and also because house prices are very much inflated.( Not that a foreigner can get a mortgage. Its just a way of checking if rent is the right amount, of if a house is too expensive. Rent is only about half of the payments on a 25 year mortgage). Hope this is of use. If you have any specific questions, I may be able to help.

Oh, and another peculiarity. A married Thai woman cannot have a car registered in her name.It

Forgot to mention that Thai broadband is available from numerous ISPs, but really there are only a couple of networks. Connections are DSL, ADSL, and there is some cable in Bangkok, as well as wireless, and via cellphone. 1Mb ADSL is about 600 baht a month.