What are the specs to look for in a video recorder in the UK that will play American videos?

The TV system for the US is different to that of the UK, which is different to France and so on. Some use the same system but not always. I won't go into technical details, but the differences affect the colour and sound content of the video signal. The US television system uses a system called NTSC where as the PAL system is used over here in the UK. (In France they use SECAM). Basically, look for a UK video recorder that supports NTSC playback (you can get more expensive VCR's that will record in NTSC too!). That's it. The picture quality should be okay, but may be a little poor compared to the UK PAL playback.