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16th June 2011 8:22  #1

60pele72 Member Join Date: June 2011 Location: United States Posts: 1
dvd & vhs
I just bought a new RCA dual vhs to dvd machine which works fine for my own tapes from tv. My problem is when copying movie vhs (about 30 of them) which won't copy (pops up with "video is copy protected".
Any way of getting around this? Some of these tapes are 10-12 years old and i'm afraid they may get outdated and break the tapes.
Thanks in advance for any help.

16th June 2011 13:36  #2

Mal Webmaster Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,290
Commercial videos were often protected by a proprietary system called Macrovision, use Google if you want to research the topic further. Technically, you only own a licence to watch the films on video, so transferring them to DVD is a legal issue, which mean we can't really help.

Personally, I recommend just buying the original DVDs if they are available. VHS is such poor quality, while DVDs are so cheap these days.

17th June 2011 22:53  #3

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
I remember being horrified when Macrovision was introduced back in '86/'87. All those Fox titles that I couldn't have. Aliens, The Mosquito Coast and The Fly. Who remembers trying to watch a VHS-VHS copy of any of the above as it pulsed away on screen?

My long term solution to get around the problem (I don't suppose it hurts to divulge this now as the tech is pretty redundant) was to transfer VHS to Betamax. Macrovision didn't really affect Betamax recorder's ability to record, because how it dealt with the AGC (Automatic Gain Control) differed from VHS decks.

I should point out that any films copied were for private use and for convenience only. Back in the late 80's, most film rental companies (in my town anyway) only rented by the night and very often I wouldn't have the time to watch the films during the week when they were released. They were usually all 'rented out' at the weekend as well so I'd rent them early in the week, record them and then watch them when I wanted.

Since LaserDisc, I haven't ever felt the need to copy films and while nostalgic to think back to the late 80's and VHS, I couldn't wait to see the back of the tape chewing format, which was another reason in itself to copy (at the time) even my own bought tapes as my VCR seemed to, and without warning, put strange scratches (like a crease) along the centre of the tape. So I used to make a copy to safeguard the original.

I digress.

I have the same problem with a couple of VHS titles that aren't on DVD as well. There are solutions out there but you'll have to do your own digging.

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