Brightness changes while watching DVD through VCR. Macrovision?

I got my parents a DVD player over the holidays, and because the VIDEO input to their TV doesn’t, we had to hook it up to the input of the VCR. The VCR’s video played by going to channel 3, like in the old days before video inputs.

While watching DVDs with this setup, occasionally the brightness will lower or rise by itself, with a gradual but quick change.

I saw somewhere that maybe this is caused by the Macrovision copy protection system on the DVD player. Can anybody confirm or deny this is possible?

If it is, is there a legal way for me or my mother to acquire a filter? One that fixes the brightness issue and still prevents copying would be just fine.


That pages also discusses filters.

I’m almost sure it is Macrovision.

If you have a newer TV with multiple AV inputs, you can simply jack the DVD straight into the television.

If you do not, for a “mere” thirty dollars or so, you can pick up a glorified Atari signal switcher which will allow you to pipe the DVD signal straight into your television through the same input as your VCR uses. You’ll pay more for one which will throw the switch by remote control.

Very annoying.

Thanks bradministrator, it almost certaintly is indeed Macrovision. From your link: " It is a form of copy protection that makes the picture go bright and dark" This sounds very much like what we were seeing.

Just get a RF adapter from circuit city or circuit city dot com, I think they have free shipping on everything, should be $19 or so & made to do just what you are asking for.

I like the idea of a switch box better than the filter. The filter may degrade picture quality. Now I have to email my mom to see if the DVD player had a co-ax output. It’s connected to the VCR with RCA jacks. Thanks SF.

I meant SK, not SF. :smack:

The one I picked up for my girlfriend actually had RCA inputs and outputs as well, so you might not need to worry about a coax output from the DVD.

I’m not sure if I can properly link this page, but Radio Shack offers a variety of AV selectors which should do the trick for you. handy is right: there is a model available for about $20.

And you’re quite welcome, Revtim. We Reverends have to watch out for one another.

Actually, most Macrovision filters vastly improve the picture quality of any Macrovision-infected source, and don’t have any effect at all (that I can see) on non-Macrovision video. However, they are pretty expensive, ranging from $40-$100 depending on how many levels of Macrovision you want removed. The highest-end filter I have, called Videostabilizer by a Danish company, removes all four Macrovision levels and cost roughly $100 once international shipping fees were factored in.

The Macrovision explanation linked here mentions a “Loophole Menu”. My own player has such a menu, accessed by a series of keypresses on the remote, which gives the option to turn Macrovision off.

It could be worth a search on the net to see if this particular make and model has one.

Sorry, should have said "linked above by bradministrator "

Yeah, I tried that, but no mention of hidden or loophole menus for this particular model. I searched both the web and usenet.

& What model would that be sir? I get asked this question alot. Sure, not every player has the option, but a lot do & plus, a lot are inexensive. I myself prefer an apex 1500, only thing is, it won’t show closed captions.

It’s a SONY DVP-NS315.

Revtim, most DVD players in the USA do NOT have a co-ax output, but only composite-video (RCA jacks, red-white-yellow audio/video) and “S-video”, plus maybe optical-audio and component-video. If their TV is an older “cable-ready” version that feeds only thru co-ax, it has to go through either the VCR or a switchbox, or a home-theater amp (which I suspect is what the electronics industry really wants all of us to buy).

Well, my Mom thinks it does have a co-ax, but it’s possible she may have seen something else. She’s not so technically inclined. Do DVD players have cable input co-ax connections, like VCRs? Maybe she saw that.

Most DVD players have no video input at all, coax or composite. It’s not a combo DVD/VCR or a DVD recorder, is it?

My TV only has one video input, and the signal from my VCR tends to degrade if I use the RF output, so I run my DVD player through the VCR’s video input. I mostly only watch discs I’ve burned myself (no Macrovision), but on pressed discs there’s a subtle brightness change. Luckily, my video inputs are all on the front, so it’s easy to connect the DVD player directly to the TV when I have to.

No, it’s not a combo or recorder.

I asked this same question 2 weeks ago! Here