Dismayed newbie discovers copy protection :(

I impulsively bought a DVD-VHS combo recorder today (Sony RDRVX555) to replace my ancient old VCR. I do a lot of time shifting, or whatever they call it – recording stuff on TV (Comcast cable) to watch when I have time. I often work at night when my favorite programs are on. I don’t duplicate, sell, broadcast, or give away the stuff I record.

So after we get the new recorder hooked up, of course I discovered that most of the stuff I want to record is copy protected. So far I’ve only experimented with the DVD drive, not the VHS drive, in the new Sony. So I don’t know if I’ll have the same problem with the VHS.

Is there any way around this? And do all the current DVD-VHS recorders have the same limitation? What about the recorders that have hard drives as well as DVD drives?

I’m considering returning this to the store and just going back to using my old VCR again. That’ll record anything.



Yes, recording pre-recorded VHS will produce the same result on that machine. The Panasonic ES-15/17 might work out better for you. Suggest keeping the old VCR as a source for recording the old VHS to DVD, but you may still need a “video stablizer” to go between them. I have no issues with my own Panasonic, recording from satellite broadcasts. If you don’t already have a DVR in your setup, then getting a recorder with a hard drive might be handy, although the cable and satellite receivers with a built in DVR work better.

I’m not trying to record pre-recorded VHS (at least not at the moment), I’m just trying to record TV (for example, HBO comedy shows).

I just bought the Sony DVD recorder today. The store didn’t have any with hard drives.

What’s a video stabilizer?

The Panasonic recorders, and Phillips, are doing this with no issues AFAIK. Suggest you visit http://www.avsforum.com/ where you can read up on all this stuff, as well as specific recorders.

check out this link


Thanks. I definitely want to return the Sony recorder – I was just informed (by the man of the house) that I won’t be able to record one program while I’m watching another. He says it’s because the Sony doesn’t have a tuner.

But as long as I’m going to return the Sony and get something else (with a tuner!), I might as well try to find a model that will let me record whatever’s on TV without restrictions.

Thanks for the link. Looks like these gizmos are just for copying tapes.

I just want to record programs off the TV (on DVDs, not tapes).

I found out the hard way, It won’t even copy tapes if they have a copywrite. :a My fancy combo is just used to watch with.

look here for help

May want to start here:

What you’re having issues with is probably the copy flag embedded in the incoming source by CGMS(Copy Generation Management System).

FYI, in case anyone’s still reading, I returned the Sony and got the Panasonic DMR-EZ47VK. And it records HBO!


Great, just shows again that Sony has lost it’s edge.
I have an LG HDD/DVD recorder and that records everything I throw at it.

Got a question, I’ve seen praises for the Grex and Sima DP 5000 and both claim to work with cable or satellite. Is this true and which one is the better model? TIA.

I tried Sima GoDVD CT-200 on TiVo, DVD recorder, and anything you can possibly imagine and it works like magic! I helps you record everything :slight_smile:
Get if off ebay if you cant find it.

including cable signals? just want to be sure :wink:

Some cable signals come crypted and with copy protection flags, they cannot get recorded DIGITALLY.

so then the GoDVD CT-200 isn’t what I’d need for cable. That would be my primary use for it. Darn.

I’ll have to look into the Grex.


Sima GoDVD is exactly like GREX there are no differences.
It is guaranteed to work with cable for sure in fact I just tested it on HBO and it records fine it removes any flags you can imagane. My Advice is go with sima.

Has anything new happened since 2009 has started with recording from a DVR to a DVD- VHS combo recorder. I just got a Directv DVR model HR23NC-700 and have it linked to a Panasonic DMR-EZ47V. I am not able to record anything, TV shows or movies. I am getting the message that you are not able to record copyrighted material. I understand the legal aspects, but this renders the DVD?VHS recorder nearly useless.

I was able to record previously with my old DVR from directv to the same DVD/VHS recorder.

Any suggestions.

OK - I’m having the EXACT same problem! I have time warner cable and have a scientific atlanta 8300HD DVR. I also have a Sony RDR-vx535 DVD recorder/VHS. I used to be able to copy shows from my SA DVR to my Sony DVR with no problems. About a week ago, I started having problems and am now getting the message “can’t copy a protected movie” constantly (got it last week for the ABC broadcast of “desperate housewives” that was on my SA DVR). I tried to go backwards and can record to a VHS just fine. This is awful! The cable company said they haven’t changed anything and it’s on the recorder’s end - I must say, I haven’t had Sony come to my house so there’s no way anything could have changed on the recorder itself. Unless Sony happened to magically download something to the system without my knowledge. Without having to go out and buy a new DVD recorder or a converter does anyone know any other type of solution that might work? Or what happened here? thanks.