Home Movies to DVD

I admit it: I bought a bargin-basement, no-name VCR & DVD player/recorder. Supposedly, it’s circuitry can block the recording of copyrighted material as encoded on the source. However, it even blocks me from recording my home videos onto DVD!

a) The manufacturer’s helpline claims my video camera has encoded “Macro vision” onto my films; hence, the block. But, my superior video camera’s manufacturer claims this is not possible. So, I suspect the first manufacturer is lying.

b) Furthermore, the block happens randomly. It will start recording for 3-5 minutes and randomly stop with an error message that the source is copyright protected. Is this the normal way this feature works…randomly???

Any clue what happening here with “a” or “b” above?

  • Jinx

Macrovision copy protection is part of the analog signal, but it does it in a rather crude an annoying manner - it purposely sends signals out of normal range that mess up the automatic synchronization in a recording or playing device.

It is possible that a bad/noisy signal from a camera (your camera mfr. is correct though, they wouldn’t purposely add it) could look like Macrovision, or it could also be an overzealous ‘detection’ circuit on the recorder (since it actually gives you a message, it has a circuit that actively determines if Macrovision is there). This is why it doesn’t always trigger it.

Even if the camera is fine, there could be noise in the path to the recorder (or other sources connected to it). You can get devices - ‘video stabilizers’ I believe they’re called, but good ones are sort of expensive (some cheap ones will simply block out Macrovision, which is good enough). I’d first try and see what else might be causing noise, simplifying the connections and where things are plugged in, to see if that fixes it.