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Posted: 3/29/2009 3:02:14 PM EDT
Is it true that some VHS tapes have some kind of copy protection that prevents you from converting them to DVD?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:08:17 PM EDT
tag for info, since I am clueless.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:11:28 PM EDT
I haven't noticed, but since I've only converted my old home VHS tapes to DVD I can't really say.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:12:33 PM EDT
No, there is no copy protection on VHS tapes.

If you have a digital video camera you may be able to use it as a passthrough to your computer and make a DVD from there.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:13:49 PM EDT
If you can watch it, you can burn the output to DVD. There are lots of different models of devices you can buy that will do it with your PC. I'm looking to get one but haven't picked one out yet. Look on newegg.com and other places to see all the models...
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:42:28 PM EDT
My MIL's vhs -> dvd recorder just had a warning about copying copyrighted material..

We got her the recorder for x-mas ($200 sams club deal) and it worked great for all of her home movies..

I am going to borrow it sometime and do some of our stuff..

Brian
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:43:23 PM EDT
I have a few VHS movies that I cannot copy to my DVR (then DVD). I have a Toshiba and a Philips DVR that gets about 5 seconds copied before it cuts off with a message, saying the movie is copy protected.

Two of the movies are Roadracers and Wisdom. Both are unavailable on DVD.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 9:15:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By roboman:
Is it true that some VHS tapes have some kind of copy protection that prevents you from converting them to DVD?

Thanks.


Macrovision's copy protection system introduces electronic pulses into the signal of a video recording. While these pulses are invisible during playback, they interfere with the signal of the video if it is recorded from VCR to VCR, scrambling the picture. Macrovision has teamed up with consumer VCR manufacturers to implement its technology in about 85% of the VCRs on the market today.

Macrovision
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 12:18:51 AM EDT
I ended up having to use my VCR as a pass through in order to burn video tapes to DVD.
After a couple days of that crap I ended up buying the DVD's of movies I wanted instead of burning them, and for the 4 or 6 VCR tapes that didn't / don't have DVD's I burned them to DVD.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 12:25:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By heathen:
Macrovision's copy protection system introduces electronic pulses into the signal of a video recording. While these pulses are invisible during playback, they interfere with the signal of the video if it is recorded from VCR to VCR, scrambling the picture. Macrovision has teamed up with consumer VCR manufacturers to implement its technology in about 85% of the VCRs on the market today.
Macrovision


To add to this -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrovision

Analog copy protection
A DVD recorder receiving a data stream encoded with Macrovision's legacy ACP copy protection signal will simply display a message saying the source is "copy-protected", and will pause the recording.

This is achieved through a signal implanted within the offscreen range (vertical blanking interval) of the video signal—either physically recorded directly on the tape (as with VHS) or created on playback by a chip in the player (as with DVDs) or the digital cable/satellite box (as with all HDTV programs being down-converted to standard definition).

NTSC and other video formats store the video signal as “lines.”

A portion of these lines are used for constructing the visible image by transposing them on the screen, but there are approximately 20 to 40 lines outside the visible range that are used for different things in different countries, like closed captioning.

Macrovision inserts pulses into this non-displayed area.

These signals cause the automatic gain control on the recording VCR to compensate for the varying strength.

This makes the recorded picture wildly change brightness, rendering it unwatchable.

On most televisions, the viewer on the screen sees no effect in ordinary playback of the modified video because the signal is outside the visible area, but some TVs do not properly blank the vertical retrace and leave dotted white lines near the top of the picture.

Some newer TVs also mistake the Macrovision pulses for synchronization pulses.

Another modification also used in Macrovision is the addition of colorstripes—rapidly modulated colorburst signals.

Historically, the original Macrovision technology was considered a nuisance to some specialist users because it could interfere with other electronic equipment.

For example, if one were to run their video signal through a VCR before the television, some VCRs will output a ruined signal regardless of whether it is recording.

This also occurs in some TV-VCR combo sets.

Apart from this, many DVD recorders mistake the mechanical instability of worn videotapes for Macrovision signals, and so refuse to make what would be perfectly legal DVD dubs of people's old home movies and the like.

This widespread problem provides a legitimate basis for the sale of devices that defeat Macrovision.

The signal has also been known to confuse home theater line doublers (devices for improving the quality of video for large projection TVs) and some high-end television comb filters.

In addition, Macrovision confuses many upconverters (devices that convert a video signal to a higher resolution), causing them to shut down and refuse to play Macrovision content.

Some DVD players give the user the option of disabling the Macrovision technology.

This is possible since the signal is not stored on the DVD itself; instead commercial DVDs contain an instruction to the player to create such a signal during playback.

Some DVD players can be configured to ignore such instructions.

There are also devices called stabilizers, video stabilizers or enhancers available that filter out the Macrovision spikes and thereby defeat the system.

The principle of their function lies in detecting the vertical synchronization signal, and forcing the lines occurring during the vertical blanking interval to black level, removing the AGC-confusing pulses.

They can be easily built by hobbyists, as nothing more than a cheap microcontroller together with an analog multiplexer and a little other circuitry is needed.

Individuals less experienced with such things can purchase video stabilizers off the Internet. The best device for defeating Macrovision is a Time Base Corrector (TBC), although they are more expensive than the simpler video stabilizers.

Discs made with DVD copying programs such as DVD Shrink automatically disable any Macrovision copy protection.

USB-based video interfaces designed to allow DVD recording on PCs are legally required to detect the presence of Macrovision signals on any analog signals input to them, and if so, inhibit the recording.

The MPAA maintains it has every right to limit copying of movies, comparing DVDs to pay-per-view where the consumer is allowed to view the movie in question but nothing more. Many are concerned that the organization is attempting to quash fair use by disallowing consumers to make personal copies.

On the other hand the ease with which Macrovision and other copy protection measures can be defeated has prompted a steadily growing number of DVD releases that do not have copy protection of any kind, CSS or Macrovision.

United States fair use law, as interpreted in the decision over Betamax (Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios), dictates that consumers are fully within their legal rights to copy videos they own.

However, the legality has changed somewhat with the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

After April 26, 2002, no VCR may be manufactured or imported without Automatic Gain Control circuitry (which renders VCRs vulnerable to Macrovision).

This is contained in title 17, section 1201(k) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

However, there are a number of mostly older VCR models on the market that are not affected by Macrovision. (this is no longer true unless you go to pawn shops or the like).

On October 26, 2001, the sale, purchase, or manufacture of any device that has no commercial purpose other than disabling Macrovision copy protection was made illegal under section 1201(a) of the same controversial act.
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 12:26:59 AM EDT
http://www.afterdawn.com/
You should be able to find an answer there.
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