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Ctein

Can I transfer "copy-protected" tapes?

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Dear Folks,

 

I've been porting my library of several hundred VHS tapes over to DVD by copying directly from my D-VHS recorder to my DVD video recorder. This works fine except for about 2 dozen tapes that were copy-protected by the studios to prevent piracy. I can't copy those over; the DVD recorder just throws up a message to the effect that recording is disallowed for that source material.

 

Will "Easy VHS to DVD for Mac" allow me to copy those tapes, or will it also block the process?

 

If I can just get those last two dozen tapes moved over, I can banish VHS from my home forever. "Easy VHS to DVD for Mac" will be worth the price to me if it solves the problem.

 

thanks!

 

Ctein

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There are devices called image stabilizers that you can put between the D-VHS and the DVD recorder that eliminate the Macrovision signal. I haven't tested the Easy VHS to DVD for Mac with a Macrovision VHS tape. I won't have time to test it today but could give it a try Friday.

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Dear Tsantsee,

 

Thanks! Is that what the anti-copy scheme is called?

 

FWIW, the video output looks and plays just fine, no visible evidence that there's anything hinky in the signal. But there's something in it that tells the DVD recorder not to allow record mode. I'm supposing it's buried in the interframe signal.

 

I know about lots of different things, but as you can tell video copy protection schemes isn't one of them (ignorant smile).

 

pax / Ctein

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Dear Tsantsee,

 

Thanks! Is that what the anti-copy scheme is called?

 

FWIW, the video output looks and plays just fine, no visible evidence that there's anything hinky in the signal. But there's something in it that tells the DVD recorder not to allow record mode. I'm supposing it's buried in the interframe signal.

 

I know about lots of different things, but as you can tell video copy protection schemes isn't one of them (ignorant smile).

 

pax / Ctein

I may be wrong in my legal interpretation but my understanding is it is lawful to make a copy for yourself of a copy-protected video you own, but it is unlawful to defeat a copy protection scheme to do that. Sort of a catch-22. So the manufacturers of DVD recorders include a circuit that will recognize if a Macrovision signal is present and prevent the copying. The thing is, who cares any more if someone copies for themselves a commercial VHS tape? The quality is far less than a replacement store-bought DVD and the prices of those DVDs for old movies is darn cheap (especially used). So I don't know if the Roxio unit is sensitive to Macrovision or not. They have been sticklers about not enabling copying or owner-protected media in the past. Personally I find the time required to copy the movie and make the DVD just isn't worthwhile when a much better-quality version is available for purchase for just a few dollars. If you do make the copies I bet you never get around to watching any of them.

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Dear Tantsee,

 

On the whole, we're on the same page. While it would only cost me about $300 to replace the tapes with DVDs (I've looked into it), I really don't know how many of those I will watch again. So I'm not willing to invest a lot of money in this. Similarly, I'm not willing to invest a lot of effort. There are various and sundry ways to hack around the anti-copy stuff, but they all involve more babysitting and more work than I'm interested in. If I can do this for under $100 without a big investment of fiddling on my part, it's worth doing. Otherwise, I'm just spending too much time on it versus the money.

 

For what it's worth, simply transferring tapes to DVD is not a lot of work. Not unless one is going to do a re-edit or play other fun and games. But a simple transfer? Just a matter of popping a tape and disk into the respective machines, making sure everything is running properly, and come back two hours later. Spot check the DVD to make sure it's OK. I'm done. Compared to transferring my vinyl LPs, this was a piece of cake.

 

You'd be surprised at the quality that a D-VHS deck produces. It's a shame that technology came along too late. As in every other arena, digital signal processing of analog videotape signals is an amazing thing; official resolution figures aside, the image quality of a commercial VHS tape, played back on a D-VHS deck, only looks a little worse than a DVD on my standard-resolution TV.

 

Anyway, I'll be interested in finding out what your tests turned up.

 

It has belatedly occurred to me that the real question is simply whether I can get the signal into the computer. Whether I can burn it to DVD is secondary. If the Roxio toy will produce a clean transfer to the computer, that I can watch on the computer, that's actually good enough for me. It would be nice to have the DVD as a hardcopy backup, but my ultimate goal is to migrate everything to the computer... eventually.

 

 

~ pax \ Ctein

[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]

======================================

-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 

-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

======================================

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Dear Tantsee,

 

On the whole, we're on the same page. While it would only cost me about $300 to replace the tapes with DVDs (I've looked into it), I really don't know how many of those I will watch again. So I'm not willing to invest a lot of money in this. Similarly, I'm not willing to invest a lot of effort. There are various and sundry ways to hack around the anti-copy stuff, but they all involve more babysitting and more work than I'm interested in. If I can do this for under $100 without a big investment of fiddling on my part, it's worth doing. Otherwise, I'm just spending too much time on it versus the money.

 

For what it's worth, simply transferring tapes to DVD is not a lot of work. Not unless one is going to do a re-edit or play other fun and games. But a simple transfer? Just a matter of popping a tape and disk into the respective machines, making sure everything is running properly, and come back two hours later. Spot check the DVD to make sure it's OK. I'm done. Compared to transferring my vinyl LPs, this was a piece of cake.

 

You'd be surprised at the quality that a D-VHS deck produces. It's a shame that technology came along too late. As in every other arena, digital signal processing of analog videotape signals is an amazing thing; official resolution figures aside, the image quality of a commercial VHS tape, played back on a D-VHS deck, only looks a little worse than a DVD on my standard-resolution TV.

 

Anyway, I'll be interested in finding out what your tests turned up.

 

It has belatedly occurred to me that the real question is simply whether I can get the signal into the computer. Whether I can burn it to DVD is secondary. If the Roxio toy will produce a clean transfer to the computer, that I can watch on the computer, that's actually good enough for me. It would be nice to have the DVD as a hardcopy backup, but my ultimate goal is to migrate everything to the computer... eventually.

I'll check into it. I am having trouble getting the Roxio device to work with my MacBook Pro (no picture) but have yet to try with the iMac I just bought. I seriously considered getting a D-VHS deck when they were still an option so I could transfer HD video from my cable DVR via Firewire. I have a standalone DVD recorder (Pioneer) so I'm familiar with the issue you're encountering. I think I'll have some time Saturday to hook it all up and see what happens.

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You can copy "Copy Protected" tapes. I have copied these copy protected tapes and burned them to DVD's with no problem whatsoever. The only problem I have with the VHS to DVD software is that it takes so long to copy a tape and burn it. In some cases a 2 hour movie takes over 4 hours!

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Dear Folks,

 

I've been porting my library of several hundred VHS tapes over to DVD by copying directly from my D-VHS recorder to my DVD video recorder. This works fine except for about 2 dozen tapes that were copy-protected by the studios to prevent piracy. I can't copy those over; the DVD recorder just throws up a message to the effect that recording is disallowed for that source material.

 

Will "Easy VHS to DVD for Mac" allow me to copy those tapes, or will it also block the process?

 

If I can just get those last two dozen tapes moved over, I can banish VHS from my home forever. "Easy VHS to DVD for Mac" will be worth the price to me if it solves the problem.

 

thanks!

 

Ctein

 

Try the Canopus 100. Hold down the input button for 20 seconds.

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