VCR question. Why is this happening?

Whenever we rent a tape from Blockbuster an odd thing happens.
The picture on the screen will fade to very dark and stay that way for about 20 seconds. Then the regular color returns which lasts for only about 10 seconds. Then it fades to dark again and this continues for as long as we can stand it.
It only happens with tapes rented from our Blockbuster and doesn’t do it with any other tapes. Also, the VCR records fine and when we watch something we have recorded from the TV this never happens.

I should add that this doesn’t happen every time but more like 50% of the time.

We have asked the folks at Blockbuster (not exactly experts on the field) and they seem to think that it is our VCR.
They have been good enough to give us other copies of the movie we wish to see -at no additional cost of course- but this is very frustrating nonetheless.

So my question (at last) is why is this happening?
Is it the VCR or the tape?
Anyone else experience something similar?

Please help!

I had a simular problem when I tried to make a copy of some of my favourite movies 1-2 years ago. (the picture became very dark and turned into Black and white after some seconds. Then it became normal again for a few seconds before the same thing happend over and over)

I think it’s some kind of function inside the tape that is meant to block the possibility of making a watchable copy of the movie. This “function” was only on some of the movies I rented.

Maybe some of the movies you rents get a wrong message/signal from your VCR or something. Maybe the tape get a message/signal that you are trying to make a copy.

I’m pretty sure that the error is in your VCR.
I’m not sure if this will help you

Sounds like Macrovision to me. Macrovision is a copy-protection scheme on many commercial videotapes that’ll affect the video if you try to copy them, or even if the video signal passes through certain other devices on the way to your TV. Does your VCR’s cable pass through another device, like a second VCR, on the way to your TV?

It’s Macrovision as Max says. It’ll come in even if you don’t copy. Search here for Macrovision its been discussed & what you can do about it.

What Max said. If you have the line-out on the VCR going to the line-in on another VCR, you’ll get this type of behavior. However, if you use the cable-out of a VCR it should pass through another VCR unaffected as long as you have the second VCR set to ‘TV’ (i.e. to let the cable signal pass through undisturbed.) You still won’t be able to make copies, but at least you can watch.