Way around Copyright-Protected VHS tape? - AVS Forum
DVD Recorders (Standard Def) > Way around Copyright-Protected VHS tape?
AzAssassin's Avatar AzAssassin 03:08 AM 04-24-2009
Here's the deal: I am trying to record a VHS tape of a movie ('29th Street') over to DVD for a friend, but - and this is for the first time ever - I have encountered a message regarding Copyright protection. The exact message reads: "Recording has stopped. Copyrighted Material cannot be copied." And then my DVD Recorder stops recording after displaying this message.

Does anyone know of a way around this so that I will be able to record this VHS tape to DVD with my DVD Recorder? Any ideas or advice? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, my DVD Recorder is a Panasonic DMR-EA18 and my VCR is Panasonic PV-8450.

I have been using DVD Recorders for about 2 years now (I've had 3 different DVD Recorders: a Panasonic DMR-ES15, a Panasonic DMR-ES25, and the Panasonic DMR-EA18, which I just bought about 2 weeks ago, after my original Panasonic DMR-ES15 crashed), and I have recorded well over 100 recordings without ever having ran in to this Copyright Protection error. Mostly I have capped/recorded stuff from TV, but I've also recorded/converted several personal VHS recordings from the '90s, mostly Boxing broadcasts.

And for the record, I am simply trying to record this movie over to DVD so that a friend will be able to view it on his DVD Player. It's a movie that he personally bought some time back, and would like to have a more convenient DVD version of the film for his collection.

Please feel free to offer any ideas, suggestions and/or adive. Any replies will definitely be appreciated!


Thanks. - AzAssassin, a.k.a. BillyJackAz

jjeff's Avatar jjeff 06:44 AM 04-24-2009
Here's a link to a thread talking about a couple video filters that remove CP off of DVDs as well as VHS tapes. Note they're a little spendy for a one time use (>$100).
If you're only concerned with VHS CP you could get by with a cheaper filter. I'm not to familiar with those but I know the member Citibear has posted a link to a VHS filter, if you wanted you could search on his name and find the link, I think they go for <$40.
Personally I'd get the better DVD filter and they way you'd be covered down the line if you ever wanted to back up a commercial DVD or if you record from cable/sat. PPV and some pay channels, it's up to you.
Here's the link for the DVD/VHS/PPV filters:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1008164
Lazza's Avatar Lazza 06:58 AM 04-24-2009
Most commercial VHS tapes have some sort or copy protection. In jjeff's link there is a discussion on Grex. Grex is priced just under $100 including shipping. I have it and it works well. I am not the best judge of the picture quality since I've only used it on old black and white movies where the picture quality is fairly poor to begin with. But the end result seems darn close to the source in terms of quality.

Grex is a remarkably tiny device, no bigger than your first. The vendor is out of Israel and they seem like decent outfit. But shipping from there takes two weeks.


_Lazza
wajo's Avatar wajo 07:16 AM 04-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazza View Post

Most commercial VHS tapes have some sort or copy protection. In jjeff's link there is a discussion on Grex. Grex is priced just under $100 including shipping. I have it and it works well. I am not the best judge of the picture quality since I've only used it on old black and white movies where the picture quality is fairly poor to begin with. But the end result seems darn close to the source in terms of quality.

You might want to try future tapes on your Mag 2160 w/o the Grex... I was able to copy 7 of 12 major movies on tape to my Philips 3575 using an older VCR w/Composite cables and w/o any filters. You'll know right away if it won't copy cuz a big menu comes up saying "What'r you gonna do when the cops come fer you" or something like that!
AzAssassin's Avatar AzAssassin 08:31 AM 04-24-2009
Hey, y'alll. Thank you very much for the replies and suggestions. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to reply. I will check out those links, and would like to get one of thoe high-quality filters that were mentioned, but I was actually hoping that there was something that I could do right now without having to purchase something, especially that may take weeks to get. I was hoping that there was maybe some sort of trick with some electrical tape over an area on the VHS tape (which I had been suggested to try) that might work, or possibly some settings that I may have been able to change on my DVD Recorder or VCR.

It appears that there is no simple solution for the Macrovision/Copyright Protection issue right away, and that I will likely have to order one of these filtering devices. I was just hoping that there was a quick for that I could try right away.

Thanks again for the replies, folks. Your help is definiely appreciated.

- AzAssassin, a.k.a. BillyJackAz
ACPewty's Avatar ACPewty 08:46 AM 04-24-2009
If your TV has video outputs, try running a cable from the TV output to the DVD recorder input and record that way. I've heard that can sometimes bypass macrovision depending on the equipment.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 11:05 AM 04-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzAssassin View Post

I have been using DVD Recorders for about 2 years now (I've had 3 different DVD Recorders: a Panasonic DMR-ES15, a Panasonic DMR-ES25, and the Panasonic DMR-EA18, which I just bought about 2 weeks ago, after my original Panasonic DMR-ES15 crashed) . . .

Please feel free to offer any ideas, suggestions and/or adive. Any replies will definitely be appreciated!

Often when a DMR-ES15 (or other Panasonic models) present a problem, say, "no read" and "grinding" or "scrubbing" noises the simple remedy is to clean the rubber hub in the DVD Drive, a 15 minute procedure that uses a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. The procedure requires opening the case, removing the DVD Drive lid, cleaning the rubber hub atop the spindle (turntable), setting the roller/slider at the back of the disc tray to the far left, securing the DVD Drive lid and closing the case. One may also wish to very gently clean the laser lens during the procedure. It has been my practice to clean the lens and rubber hub on my Panasonics at six to eight month intervals. This post and those that follow it provide more detailed information and photos:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898

Problems with "no read," U61, U88 or U99 errors and "clunking" or "chugging" noises may be as simple as a dirty laser lens. If cleaning the lens does not correct these problems the lens may have failed or there are other serious problems.
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski 11:17 AM 04-24-2009
You don't have to specifically order the Grex all the way from from Israel. There are others from domestic outfits which should only take a couple or so days to get.
Church AV Guy's Avatar Church AV Guy 11:34 AM 04-24-2009
I feel I should make "the" obligitory comment, not to be taken as an accusation, merely information.

the legality of what the OP is suggesting is questionable. I think that there is little debate over the morality, under certain circomstances, but not others. If your friend has purchased a VHS copy of a movie, and all he wants to do is change the medium from tape to CD, few of us will argue with that. If you are making multiple copies, then there is a real issue of illegally duplicating copywritten material.

This forum does not condone illegal copying. On the other hand, merely changing the storage medium is generally considered okay, because the copyright holder has already been compensated for the product. In simpler terms, you already paid for it and are keeping up with technology. This still may be technically illegal, but the FBI is not about to go after someone making DVDs of their legally purchased tapes.

Again, for informational purposes only.

I did this with all my purchased tapes.

On the other hand, the quality of the best VHS tape is marginal compared to a DVD. It might be well worth the cost of the DVD to get the improved picture and sound. In your case, the movie appears to be "out of print", and the price on Amazon is high enough to justify the effort.

Yipes! $100 used!
CitiBear's Avatar CitiBear 12:11 PM 04-24-2009
Actually, the greedy imbeciles who sell thru Amazon are one of the biggest reasons to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD, even though technically it violates the letter (if not the spirit) of the law. Worse than these idiot sellers asking $100 for a throwaway movie like "29th Street" are the schmucks who actually buy them at that price. For every moron that gives one of these asses that kind of money, 1000 more are encouraged to try and gouge, and since only one in a million is rich enough and dumb enough to pay $100 the net result is movies sit and rot while non-movie-buff sellers dream of obscene profits. Its just nasty how this keeps good films out of circulation.

No slur intended to "29th Street", its a worthy independent movie, but not at $100 just because its out of print on DVD. Wait long enough and it will turn up on IFC or the Sundance Channel, even Showtime-Cinemax-HBO have started running "rare" independent films. Also, Warner Bros. is doing extremely well with its custom, made-to-order DVD website: it only launched a month ago and has exceeded the company's expectations. Other studios are scrambling to catch up, with thousands of catalog titles coming on line in the next few years that studios will custom-burn for you at $14.95-19.95. Wal*Mart also wants in on this action, for a "movies-burned-while-you-shop" service. Good news indeed.
Kelson's Avatar Kelson 01:28 PM 04-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

On the other hand, the quality of the best VHS tape is marginal compared to a DVD. It might be well worth the cost of the DVD to get the improved picture and sound. In your case, the movie appears to be "out of print", and the price on Amazon is high enough to justify the effort.

Yipes! $100 used!

Is this "29th Street" the 1991 movie
Quote:


"Based on the life of Frank Pesce (Danny Aiello), an actor who won $6 million in the first New York State Lottery in 1976"

If so, the DVD is available and in-stock for rental on NetFlix.
Church AV Guy's Avatar Church AV Guy 02:33 PM 04-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Actually, the greedy imbeciles who sell thru Amazon are one of the biggest reasons to transfer your VHS tapes to DVD, even though technically it violates the letter (if not the spirit) of the law. Worse than these idiot sellers asking $100 for a throwaway movie like "29th Street" are the schmucks who actually buy them at that price. For every moron that gives one of these asses that kind of money, 1000 more are encouraged to try and gouge, and since only one in a million is rich enough and dumb enough to pay $100 the net result is movies sit and rot while non-movie-buff sellers dream of obscene profits. Its just nasty how this keeps good films out of circulation.

I don't know if I would call the buyers WORSE than the sellers, but if there were no market, then no one would be selling at that price point. Amazon.com says that there are six used from $99.40 to $304.00. I don't know what to make of that. The "new" copies go from $170 to $800. This must be a much better movie than I remembered, because it was no way worth $800!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Is this "29th Street" the 1991 movie If so, the DVD is available and in-stock for rental on NetFlix.

I assume that's the one. If all he wants to do is watch it, there's your answer. If he really wants his own copy of the movie though, duplicating a rental DVD is definitely illegal.
WhiteWhiskers's Avatar WhiteWhiskers 03:05 PM 04-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACPewty View Post

If your TV has video outputs, try running a cable from the TV output to the DVD recorder input and record that way. I've heard that can sometimes bypass macrovision depending on the equipment.

Just tried this and it didn't work. I have a VHS tape that's copy-protected. If I feed the output of a VCR while playing this tape direct to the input of a Panasonic DMR-E85H, the E85 instantly detects the copy-protection and drops out of record mode with a message saying no copy.

I've thought of this problem and solution a few years ago but never tested the theory. Today I took the output of the VCR and fed it into the Sony TV. Then I took the monitor out jacks of the TV and connected them to the input of the E85. Switched the TV to the VCR input, put the E-85 in record mode, and pressed play on the VCR. Again, the E-85 detected the copy protection. I was hoping the TV would restore the holes in the sync pulses but it just faithfully reproduces the signal, copy protection and all. I was even feeding the TV s-video from the VCR and the only monitor out video is composite. It just wasn't going to make the copy.

The only reason I was doing this is the tape is degrading and was hoping to put the video on more stable DVD, which the E-85 can make once the video is on the internal disc. Oh well.......
CitiBear's Avatar CitiBear 05:54 PM 04-24-2009
There really isn't any way out of the MacroVision VHS copy-prohibit trap for old tapes other than buying one of the stabilizer/clarifier devices mentioned in the AVS threads devoted to this topic. 99 out of 100 dvd recorders will detect MV and shut down, almost no televisions will filter it out in pass-thru, and not very many camcorders. When DVD was introduced, the number one motivation for the studios to sign on board was the prospect of millions of consumers re-buying their entire tape libraries as DVDs. The MacroVision system helped push that along, and over the years consumers have pretty much bought replacement DVDs for most of their VHS. But a lot of us have tapes that will never be released on DVD that we'd like to back up onto DVD-R: that is a legitimate personal-use reason to buy a video filter. These are not cheap to purchase (some cost almost as much as a dvd recorder), and the resale market is hampered because eBay does not accept listings for such things. Unless you have quite a few rare VHS to back up, or can split the expense of a filter with friends who have the same problem, its an expensive solution. Unfortunately it is also the ONLY practical solution.
lordsmurf's Avatar lordsmurf 09:17 PM 04-24-2009
Those "filter" devices are only effective maybe 50-70% of the time, too. To truly remove the junk in the signal, use a timebase corrector (TBC).
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