Hello Harunvs. Welcome to the Forum!
"Is anyone aware of a combo unit that will copy VHS protected tapes to DVD? I OWN many old tapes that I want to preserve onto DVD - and most combo recorders can’t get past the VHS tape (Macrovision?) copy protection. I’m not doing anything illegal - I purchased ALL of these VHS tapes want to make a copy for myself. "
Well, as you have stated, the reason why you can’t copy VHS to DVD, if they are shop bought retail videos it’s not doable because of the Macrovision. The short answer is you can’t because the video tape is encoded in the Macrovision, and many recorders realise there is a Macrovision and refuse to code.
HOWEVER, the Macrovision can be overcome if you buy a video stabiliser which connects in between the VCR and DVD recorder, but these are often very expensive. Bare in mind, however, that many smaller video producers (not major studios like Warner, Dreamworks, etc) don’t encode their tapes with Macrovision, and therefore no need for the video stabiliser. (Such videos effected were Destination Docklands, [Polygram] and Party Political Broadcasts: The Greatest Hits (Politico Publishing)
It might be possible that bargain bucket DVD recorders / VCRs might not have this feature built in. I’m not sure if my Visitron recorder RRP Â£100 in 2008 has Macrovision built in - But all of my tapes converted are rare recordings from the television, such as 1997 Election Coverage. Proper brand recorders, like Panasonic & Phillips, back Macrovision. Bastards! :a
Never ever use footage grabbers like the one a poster suggested above. The quality is appauling, compressed, and lossy as heck, their not very good for DVD transfers. Plus, you need to reburn them if you wanted to put them onto a DVD. It’s a long winded solution.
If they are retail films, i.e. ones that can be bought retail, why not just buy the DVDs you want to keep? Or, do what I did, if you have Sky or Virgin television, wait until the film comes up on Sky Movies / Virgin Movies. I did this with The Terminator!
Either of which will equal better quality than transferring a VHS to DVD, which is a very poor viewing format (Unstable and too low resolution) and DVDs are going dirt cheap. if not, download the films and burn onto a DVD