I just purchased an LG DVD recorder. It seems to be a nice unit, easy to use and it makes good quality recordings. However, once I tried recording anything from premium channels (such as HBO), I got “Copy protected. Cannot Record” error. One of the reason I bought this unit is so I can record movies and watch them at my convinience, but this obviously doesn’t work. I used to own a Cyberhome recorder and it didn’t have this problem. Unfortunately it had to be returned as it was extremely unreliable. I’ve googled and found something on the Interenet about cable providers setting “do not copy” flags on digital broadcasts but I didn’t realize they would be blocking ALL premium channels. So are all the DVD recorders nowadays have this “copy protection” feature, or are there brands/models that don’t? Or am I stuck with a VCR, as far as recording premium channels is concerned?
Don’t bank on VCR either, since Macrovision (the main protection used) applies to them as well.
The oldest versions of Macrovision were simpler, consisting of deliberate disturbance to sync and black level, compensated for by the circuits in most TVs (and some older VCRs). Later VCRs had their sync and level stabilization deliberately weakened, so were unable to correct for the disruption.
Later versions of Macrovision apparently also include a digital component, some form of signalling to reinforce the analog disruption. Older forms of macrovision removal may not remove the digital signalling.
At it’s simplest, the old forms of removal just had to emulate the way a TV handles the signal, with superior sync stabilization and level clamping.
As with any form of protection, it is imperfect - I have seen TV’s that are disturbed by it (in one case, would not operate correctly over RF, but ok when SCART was added). It is also quite common for TV/Video projectors to have problems.
Macrovision is simply a digital Bars controller that manipulates the VCR by adjusting the “EE” level in the VCR dimming it to the extent that it has no entertainment value. DVD recorders respond and will alert you by saying “Protected Content”. To by pass all this simply purchase Sima GoDVD.
Sima GoDVD will allow you to duplicate all Content including CSS protected DVDs as well.
Some VCRs have the switch “EE” Level built in most VCRs by adjusting this setting you can duplicate Macrovision protected Video tapes to VCR.
"[I]The NTSC video standard (the broadcast standard used in North America and Japan) is defined with a 525-line vertical resolution. However, only 480 of those lines are used for transmitting video information. The extra 45 lines are used to carry control codes (such as interlace information), closed captions, and other similar non-video content. Macrovision copy protection works by adding certain codes to these control lines that are interpreted by an Automatic Gain Control chip in a VCR to scramble the video signal if the video is being recorded. Videocassettes that are copied from Macrovision-encoded source material will frequently exhibit color loss, image tearing, variable brightness, and picture instability.[/I]"
Quoted from Stanford University Project Description
Macrovision is an analog process on Video Tapes…not digital
I’ve never heard of this “EE” level, could you elaborate?
Well, you got this right…
I don’t think I understand what you’re saying…clarify?
PS I have a BSEE so you can make it complicated…
(APS) Analog Protection System basically adjusts your VCRs "EE level switch"
to the extent that the picture will not have no entertainment value. By adjusting this, in the inside of the VCR the “EE level switch” in the VCR you will see how APS (Macrovision) works. This only works by trying to copy protected DVDs with APS or Video tapes.
Please note: this only works on old VCRs. Most NEW VCRs do not have this
built in switch. “EE Level”.
APS only applies, at present, to DVD to VHS copies…and it also affects the AGC circuit…Not some “EE level switch”, what ever that is…
Thanx for the info! Seems like a pretty simple solution to my problem! So to clarify - will it allow me to record from “copy-protected” cable TV channels?
I found this product in many online stores, so it’s a legit product? Sounds almost too good to be true
On October 26, 2001, the sale, purchase, or manufacture of any device that has no commercial purpose other than disabling Macrovision copy prevention was made illegal under section 1201(a) of the same act. DMCA
So I thought, meanwhile this product is sold in stored such as Amazon, buy.com, and even BestBuy has it, hence “too good to be true” popped in my mind
If you look at the wording “…that has no commercial purpose other than disabling Macrovision copy prevention…” and SIMA claims that it also is a video stabilizer, so therefore legal…Sneaky Lawyers…
In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they’re not. /.
Back to the original question… I copy movies and the Sopranos, Deadwood etc. from HBO and Showtime all the time with my Panasonic ES10. Never once had a problem. GKnight said he had no problem with his Cyberhome recorder. What in the LG would prevent him? I’ve read good things about the Sima http://www.simaproducts.com/products/product_detail.php?product_id=57 but why should he need one?
My best guess is that his cable provider flags premium channels and his LG acknowledges the flag and prohibits copying…
How old is Panasonic ES10? The Cyberhome unit was about a year old (Aug. '05 iif memory serves), so I presume that either it didn’t implement the copy protection feature, or it was not implemented yet by the cable provider back when I tried it. I suspect all the modern DVD recorders would acknowledge the “do not copy” flag. I couldn’t find any hacks to disable this nonsense for the LG box, I’m wondering if these are available for other brands… and now that I’ve learned about the Sima unit, it seems a good alternative to finding a hack, assuming it works as far as recording from the “protected” channels goes.
The ES10 is about a year old.
About a year ago I bought a Sima CT-1 on ebay and it worked like a charm allowing me to transfer my VHS tapes to DVD. When I encountered problems copying HBO program material (from DISH network satelite) on my Toshiba D-KR2 stand alone I hooked up the Sima and presto, no macrovision issues.
Buy one while you still can before the DRM gestapo confiscate all the remaining stock!
I have also Stand Alone DVD Recorder Pioneer DVR RT500 less than year old have no problem what so ever in copying TV programming from HBO, Cinemax or any analog or digital channel. BTW while I was browsing this thread I did record to programs one from HBO and another from ABC HD to make sure my situation has not been changed recently which I had no problem recording them.
So this device is very similar to the Sima CT-1, CT-2 and CT-200’s, right?
This whole thread is about that type of device, right? (I’m slow today)
Liteon LVW 5005 DVD recorder with free firmware hack will ignore Macrovision. In 4 hour mode as good or better than VHS tapes and at less than $0.50 a blank DVD 2 movies a disc, a cheap way to backup your old VHS Tapes.
Firmware Hacks = Way cool