DVDR3300H/19 gives message "Copy protected material"

Since several weeks I own a Philips DVDR3300H/19 DVD recorder with a 80Gb hard disk. Most of the time it plays recorded broadcasts without a problem. But sometimes de DVD recorder refuses to play recorded stuff, giving an error message ‘copy protected material’. The recorder then also refuses to burn the recording to DVD-R(W), given the same error message.

I have contacted Philips about this and they told me that TV-broadcasters can transmit a signal which tells the DVD-recorder that the current broadcast is copyrighted material. The recorder does record the stuff, but will refuse to replay the content or copy it to a DVD-R(W). This is as designed by Philips. They told me there is nothing that can be done to get rid of this.

Does anybody know if this is true? I have looked for a patched firmware, but I cannot find it. What kind of a signal is it anyway? Can I get rid of the signal before it reaches the DVD-recorder? This would solve the problem without loading patched firmwares.

This really is a pain in the rear end, as you cannot tell in advance if the broadcast is copyrighted. My plain old VHS and my Pinnacle PCTV Deluxe both record movies and play them, where my brand new Philips refuses to do so. It’s kind of funny because under Dutch law you are allowed to make a copy of copyrighted material as long as it is for private (non-commercial) purposes. So why does Philips bother?


  1. This is the newest firmware available for your DVD Recorder (it won’t solve the problem, but useful, check your version):

  2. Try to record in VR mode.

Thanks! The recorder already has the latest firmware (FF11a).

What is VR mode?

Are you recording from a subscription channel?

Recording is always in +VR mode, on both +RW and +R discs.

No, I am recording from public channels.

I made a mistake by the way. The correct error message is “copy protected video”, and not “material” as I wrote earlier.

As to your other remark: the DVDR3300H/19 does not allow to record to +RW or +R directly. Recording always takes place on hard disk, after which you can copy it to +R or +RW.

OK, I missed that you were using -R(W) discs. Even though there is a HDD stage in the way, I am certain that the copies from HDD to DVD +R or +RW would be +VR. However I’m not sure why Alex Thyl thinks recording in VR would be expected to help with this protection issue (or if this option is even possible).

Are you making the original recording from the machine’s internal tuner, or from a separate box? If the latter, you can get a filtering SCART cable to remove spurious signalling.

I am using the machine’s internal tuner. A separate tuner and a filter should indeed do the trick. Problem is that I am not sure what needs to be filtered, because I do not know what kind of signal it is. It might even be transmitted with the teletext data.

Anyway, it is annoying, but not a real problem. I was hoping for a simple remote control fix.

I’ve never seen such a copy protection fix for any Philips recorder, unfortunately, even though this problem used to occasionally come up with the older models.

It is not mentioned in the specs on the Philips website, nor in the manuals. However, I did find an addendum sheet in the stack of manuals where ‘copy protection signals’ are mentioned.

Some recordings listed on the HDD menu can not be played or copied to disc.

Some TV broadcasts or videos from external device which are recorded to this recorder may contain copy protection signals, such cannot be played back from the HDD or copied to a recordable DVD.
The copy protected recordings are marked with the icon © in the HDD menu. They are either fully protected (copy never) or partially protected (copy once). For partially protected recording, playback is possible but once copied to a recordable DVD, the recording will be removed from the HDD.
[End Quote]

Be aware: copy never ALSO implicates view never.

Philips support was right: this is by design. They might consider making a clear statement about this in the specs of the machine.

And apparantly Dutch public TV is using the copy-never-signal a lot! Which is crap for two reasons:
1-they are financed using tax money; we own them, at least partly.
2-You’re allowed to make a private copy by Dutch law

I could consider fighting wind mills here and start writing letters to parliament… Aahhhhmmmmm well… just forget about it…

  1. In case of DVD-R/RW there are two recording modes VR and Video Mode.

  2. If copy protected material is encountered during a recording, an error message is displayed (as indicated by the author). If so, it could have been caused by CPRM (Content Protection for Recordable Media), only allowing the recording of “copy once” broadcast programs. In this case, CPRM recordings can only be made on DVD-RW discs formatted in VR mode. That is why I suggested recording in VR mode.

I hope I have given you a satisfactory answer, concerning the VR mode and last, but not least the existing recording modes with DVD-R/RW media.

In your second remark you say that an error message is given during recording. If only this was true! No, the recorder nicely records the whole broadcast to the hard disk. Disk space is allocated. The error message is not given until you try to playback the recording. This is what makes it so annoying!

Ok, so I need to find out how to make a recording in VR mode first. The manual does not say anything about VR. It is not very explicit about ‘video mode’ either. At one page the manual states that playback DVD recordable and rewritable is only possible if recorded in ‘video mode’. At another page the manual says that ‘video mode’ is needed for playback of DVD-RW and not for -R, +R and +RW.

If I understand you correct, VR mode is only applicable for DVD-®W? Is there a generic way to make a recording in VR mode?

Alex - I think we know about the two recording modes available with -VR. However I am not sure it is clear about why recording in -VR mode would be expected to solve this problem. If, as you say, CPRM can only be recorded in -VR mode, why suggest that as a solution when it’s already causing the problem?

A confounding factor is that I am not sure that the Philips recordings on ‘minus’ media actually have to be in -VR. It is perfectly possible to record a +VR structure on a -R(W) disc, and I wouldn’t put it past Philips to do this.

I was not supplying a solution, just tried to provide a possibility that might work. Everything is worth trying to my mind. And as we are far away from each other, we try to provide solutions based on data that is available at the very moment.

I agree that something should be tried; it’s just not clear what is special about -VR mode.

With VR mode you can place your own chapter points,
so not the ones with all the same intervals, VR mode recorded
discs you can’t play in a standalone player, plus you can’t play it in someone elses dvd-recorder.

Thanks for the extra information, and what you say about -VR mode is true. I realise it’s meant to be helpful but I think the subject of this thread (how to get round the spurious copy guard management system on free-to-air program recordings), has become rather lost in the process :eek:!

We’re still looking for a solution to the problem outlined in posts #1 and #10 of this thread: essentially how to record public broadcast programs on the HDRW720, in Holland.

As I explained earlier, you can only record to the internal hard disk. I don’t think you can choose between video modes. Normally I am able to insert chapters points and hide chapters; so this would mean it’s VR mode (thanks for the explanation Fugitive!). If the broadcast was copyright protected however, you can’t view, edit or copy the recording. The protection is already active when the recording is on hard disk.

I am curious if the recording of a copy protected broadcast is on the hard disk or not. Philips support claims it is not. They say it is an empty title, but I can hardly imagine this to be true. Why would this empty title allocate hard disk space? I am thinking about opening the recorder, take the hard disk out and plug it into my PC. But this might spoil my warranty. I don’t know…

I have been experimenting a little more and it turns out that not every public broadcast has copy protection on. It appears to be active on some programs and not on others. It’s always active on the same programs though.

This thread is starting to become surreal :rolleyes:.

Of course the recording is on the hard disc. If you can’t record direct to DVD then it must be. Removing the HDD from your machine will certainly void the warranty.

If you want to record the CGMS-protected FTA transmissions, then you’ll need to buy a non-HDD recorder and rip the direct recordings with something like DVD Decrypter and reauthoring a new unprotected DVD.

Surreal? It is exactly what Philips Support claims to be the case: They say that copy protected movies are NOT recorded to the hard disk. There IS a new title created on hard disk, but Philips Support claims it’s empty!

I can hardly believe this to be true, THAT’s why I considered removing the hard disk; just to see if the copy protected recording is on it or not.