internet avi files were fine, a bit soft on a 28in crt tv screen but more than veiwable. I had a lot of problems with other formats playing and had to put them through pinnacle studio to convert them to a format that would play. It is a pretty basic unit for vidoe codecs and drove me mad!
I think I used mpeg2, and the pixels were the screen pixels size (may have been lower), can't remember the bit rate, but was low as well, too big and they wont playback!, some of the files ednded up bigger than the originals, but they played fine.
Yes, always make sure the video is rendered for the tv country it is playing on, uk tv is 25fps, not sure what ntsc is. B&W picture may be a result of incomapatible format. If I play a ntsc vhs tape on uk video, it goes black and white and flickers.
Make sure the cable is pushed in fully, as I said the plugs are recessed ,and the belkin one is the only one I have found that has a very narrow end to fit it.
hope this helps,