Recording from HBO/Cinemax onto DVDs? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-28-2007, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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My wife bought me a Zenith DVD/VCR combo recorder for Xmas and I have been using it to record dvds of sports events off my cable provider (Charter Communications).

Last week our cable was out and they offered us a year's worth of HBO for $5/month as a special deal, so I took it. I've never watched HBO but for $5 a month why not?

However whenever I try to record any HBO or Cinemax channel, I get an error message that says "Copy protected".

I read the Zenith manual and it states that the unti is "CPMR" compatible and I can make copies (ONCE) if I use DVD-RW discs formatted in VR mode (not video).

So I went out and bought some DVD-RW discs and did this. No dice. Same error message.

I checked the HBO website and it SAYS I should be able to make copies of all its channels for "watch only" purposes (timeshifting). But I can't. Apparently I can't do that for on-demand services, but I don't have any anyway.

So what gives? Is it Charter that is messing me up? My Zenith unit? Something HBO isn't telling me?

I'm about to cancel HBO and return my Zenith DVD recorder.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-28-2007, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieTV View Post

I'm about to cancel HBO and return my Zenith DVD recorder.

Don't be so quick to do that just yet.

You basically need something like this...

http://www.checkhere22.com/stabilizer/

...wired in between your Cable Box and your DVD Recorder. That device will make your Recorder think it's recording a regular program and you won't have the restriction anymore.

There are many devices out there like the one I gave you a link for, and here are a few others...

http://www.facetvideo.com/xcart/customer/home.php

http://www.xdimax.com/grex/grex.html

Then, take a look at this thread for some information about these devices.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=704101

Good Luck.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-28-2007, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, but how stupid is it to have to go out and pay money to be able to do something that should be intrinsic to the service you are getting?

I think media suppliers are getting too complicated for their own good.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-28-2007, 05:18 PM
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With CPRM there is "copy-once" flags and "copy-never" flags. So you may have run into one of two problems: the content you are trying to record is flagged with "copy-never"; or the Zenith recorder you have cannot record -RW in VR mode but only video mode. I agree this is not a desirable situation but this is now the world of DRM -- it only promises to get worse. If your content is flagged with "copy-never" no DVD recorder will record it. Your only option will be to buy one of those decoder boxes Suplex listed. Other than pay-per-view, often the cable co reps you talk to don't really know how their specific content is flagged. They could say it's clear when in fact it is "copy-never". It also varies by region. I remember posts here some time ago from people whose cable co had protected the Sopranos as copy-never, while others from different regions and different carriers responded that they had no problem.

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-28-2007, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

or the Zenith recorder you have cannot record -RW in VR mode but only video mode. .

This does not seem to be the problem as I can record from other non-HBO channels in VR mode.

I'm going to press my cable rep for an answer tomorrow.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-28-2007, 09:16 PM
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The cable company is basically going to say you're out of luck. They definitely won't help you with a workaround.

Welcome to the world of copy protection. Who exactly is being "protected" is the question. You should be thanking Hollywood for being so forward thinking to make absolutely sure you wouldn't be breaking any laws. (end sarcasm)
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-29-2007, 01:15 PM
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Well, as you have said, this is almost certainly not coming from HBO, but your specific cable company. If Charter Communications is deliberately inserting the copy never flag in their HBO feed, they will be unlikely to help you defeat that restriction. Your best bet is one of the various products mentioned by suplex. I have recorded movies from HBO and Cinemax to my DirecTivo, and then to my EH50 many, many times with no problems.

I suppose it couldn't hurt to ask HBO if your cable company is authorized to set broadcast flags for them that other sources are not setting. Hey, it could work, and I don't see how it could make the situation worse.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-29-2007, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieTV View Post

My wife bought me a Zenith DVD/VCR combo recorder for Xmas and I have been using it to record dvds of sports events off my cable provider (Charter Communications).

Last week our cable was out and they offered us a year's worth of HBO for $5/month as a special deal, so I took it. I've never watched HBO but for $5 a month why not?

However whenever I try to record any HBO or Cinemax channel, I get an error message that says "Copy protected".

I read the Zenith manual and it states that the unti is "CPMR" compatible and I can make copies (ONCE) if I use DVD-RW discs formatted in VR mode (not video).

So I went out and bought some DVD-RW discs and did this. No dice. Same error message.

I checked the HBO website and it SAYS I should be able to make copies of all its channels for "watch only" purposes (timeshifting). But I can't. Apparently I can't do that for on-demand services, but I don't have any anyway.

So what gives? Is it Charter that is messing me up? My Zenith unit? Something HBO isn't telling me?

I'm about to cancel HBO and return my Zenith DVD recorder.

I recently encountered CopyNever/Macrosivision with BBC America On-Demand. The only thing I changed was a different cable box, but I do not know if the new cable box is the cause or they simply added the flags recently... If On-Demand was perfect, there would be no need to timeshift it, but Comcast's OnDemand has issues (one speed BF/FF, no slowmo, sluggish operations, takes up one tuner while watching, no access to other DVR functions, etc).

Boldly trying a new DVR:
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-30-2007, 10:03 AM
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Had the same problem when I recently bought a Sony RDR-VX555 DVD/VCR combo. It wouldn't record HBO. Sony is so obsessed with DRM my only solution was to try and find a hack via the service tech menus to disable the $#@& Macrovision, which are nowhere to be had, or simply take it back and get another unit. The quickest and simplest solution was returning it after 2 days and I am now happy with a Panasonic DMR-EZ47V which records everything off satellite.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-30-2007, 12:17 PM
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Comcast cable in my area apparently does not flag HBO or Cinemax content - I have copied their HD shows several times and burned to a DVD-R on a Panasonic E80H.

"The truth is out there!"
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-06-2007, 11:43 AM
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i am looking for some help regarding this unit ,DMR EZ47VK,, I like to record on dvd hdtv widesreen movies off my dvr and when i did it with my old unit i lost 2 inches on top and bottom , i was told by manufacture that is was due to only having an analog input ,,, will this unit copy the full screen , since it has a digital tuner?
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 05:54 PM
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I'm still using regular 4:3 TV.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-07-2007, 05:59 PM
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Manual P.94 says 16:9 will appear letterboxed with black bands at the top and bottom of the picture.
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