Trouble with DVD player and certain movies

I’ve been having some trouble with my DVD player lately, and it really feels like I’m missing something completely obvious.

I just moved into a dorm, and we set up my DVD player through the VCR. It works fine with some movies, such as Matchstick Men, The Missing and others, but it’s been giving me trouble with School of Rock and one, ahem, adult film. The screen darkens and takes on red tones, and I get a blue screen for a few seconds. Sometimes it works correctly, but only for a few moments before reverting back to its previous problems. I bought a new DVD player, and it had the same trouble.

So, does anyone have any idea what’s wrong? The player plays some movies perfectly, messes up on some, and it’s not the player nor the DVD as far as I can tell.

You may have encountered “Macrovision”. Macrovision mangles the analogue output of the DVD player so that VCRs can’t record it well. DVD FAQ section 1.11

I might be missing something in that link, but I’m not trying to copy the DVD or anything like that. The DVD player is just routed through the VCR so I can play movies.

That’s the wonder of copyright protection devices - it doesn’t know that! (annoying isn’t it?)

Yeah, DVD thru the VCR is not a good idea. When I first bought a DVD player I had it set up like this. Most movies I watched would brighten, then darken, then brighten again, about every fifteen seconds or so, like someone was playing with the virtual “brightness” knob. Drove me nuts, and for the longest time I thought my DVD player was messed up. I think it was about a year or so ago when I saw a post on these boards recommending against running the DVD into the VCR. When I ran the DVD player directly into the TV, it worked just fine.

Now, about those “Crash Bandicoot” games that I can’t seem to get to work in my Playstation… :smiley:

In the past, I have used a Radio Shack RF Modulator to get around this type of issue. Why Marcrovision affects the modulator in a VCR and not my stand-alone modulator (or one built into newer TVs) is beyond me.

Well, VCR makers have been forced by Macrovision to incorporate “helpful” circuits into their machines to “facilitate” their method of messing up you picture. Again, see various FAQs on this topic.

You can also use your Betamax. The way they handle the blanking signal is different from VHS so they were (and are) immune.

If you have a dual deck VCR, Macrovision will cease to be a problem. :cool: