Need Immediate Help in Trying to convert VHS to DVD

IM trying to convert one of my old vhs tapes to dvd by using windvr 3. I have the vcr hooked up to my tv tuner card by a coaxial cable, but when I try to record it it says it cannot record due to macrovision protection. How can I get around this, shouldn’t I be able to do this since I own the dang vhs. Thanks for all your help!

“You should” but ‘they’ won’t let you easily!

“MacroVision” protection is a crude analogue hi-freq’ signal on commercial VHS (and also encoded onto commercial DVD).
It’s there to make the AGC (Automatic Gain Controller) inside a VCR go crazy and mess up the signal. It has been around since 1986.

So it was originally to stop commercial VHS > VHS copies but because it is encoded into a DVD it also stops DVD > VHS AND ALSO technology such as your capture device has built-in detection of this signal to stop you making what they see as an “illegal” backup of your VHS.
[‘They’ force companies which provide such capture devices to do this or ‘they’ appoint a team of £$billion$£ lawyers to rip non-complying hardware companies apart.]

‘Their’ basic argument is (, although ‘they’ wouldn’t phrase it like this), “You actually paid for the degrading VHS tape and the right to watch whatever content ‘they’ put on that single-unit BUT you have not paid for the content itself and therefore do not have a right to ‘transfer it’ - even if on your single-unit ‘legal’ copy, the content is about to degrade into pointlessness.”

The key to getting around this is removing the “MacroVision” frequencies from the analogue signal.

Apparently putting an RF converter in the path before recording (i.e. between u’r VCR and capture card) sometimes works. But this suggestion was when dealing with a VCR’s AV output and involves going down to the co-ax’ connections you are trying to use. That is what an RF converter does after all - I doubt there are many RF converters out there for co-ax’ > co-ax’! [LOL].
Search the net and you will find people who recommend certain RF converters for this but don’t be surprised if it’s hit and miss. (And obviously you can’t use a pathetic VCR with only RF output – you need an AV or SVHS output to convert!)

It is a possibility that your TV card is actually moaning because it isn’t seeing the “MacroVision” signal. Is it a [cough] commercial tape or a home-made one?
This is due to the malicious big-company hardware following of ‘their’ rules implying that if the signal isn’t present, it must have been manipulated so the hardware refuses to ‘play’ or just adds “MacroVision” itself (, to outputs that is).
Some (big-brand) hardware does stuff like that but usually only to the analogue outputs, I think, not the inputs. (I.E. to stop a de-protected DVD/image playing on a computer/laptop being recorded to VCR using a TV-out feature). Can’t see this being the case in your circumstance though as that would mean you weren’t allowed to record anything which came in at the aerial socket of your card – can you record standard analogue broadcast with it?

It is likely you simply need to filter the “MacroVision” signals. There is pro kit available out there to do it which will correct any artefacts caused by the filtering (£50+) (and also some exotic self-build filtering designs) but I ain’t searching them all for you. {:open_mouth:

I haven’t encountered this problem. I suggest trying a different video capture program. One’s I’ve used are ATI’s video capture , Sonic, Hollywood video, and Pinnacle’s video capture. Good luck.

Another note; If you are using video rca’s for the incoming video signal, Radio Shack sell rca filters. They are more commonly used as music/sound filters. You might want to give them a shot.

Probably not much point in continuing this thread as I think the fella dropped in expecting a 2 minute turn-around!!! :eek: BUT considering it’s got a useful title, for others who stumble across it, VOB_4ME, could you confirm what kit and connectivity between kit you use in these situations please?

Are you sure you haven’t had this problem when capturing commercially created VHS tapes? :bow:
[Obviously a ‘previously blank’ VHS tape with manually recorded stuff won’t have Macrovision on it or commercially recorded ones pre-1986’ish]

I assume the original poster wasn’t using an actual capture-card :frowning: (so probably no RCAs but u’r plan is worth a shot for other sufferers using that connectivity). I assumed he was using an older TV-tuner-card and tuning it into the VCR’s RF channel output (, like all VCRs used to be connected!).

Like you say a lot of capture cards will have workarounds based on what software/drivers you are using AND I think most of them only worry about checking Macrovision on the ‘way-out’ of the computer so maybe that’s why u have been ok but please let the thread readers know which kit/connections you have used which allows this specific backup scenario though. TY. :wink:

I have been checking back on this thread. I am using a PCChips TV Tuner/Capture card that I ordered from newegg about 6 months ago. The VHS tape was from the 80s, i was surprised it had macrovision protection. I haven’t gotten to try any solutions yet, but i will.