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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    I'm just curious, how does VHS copy-protection work? Is there a certain part on the tape itself (like the one that you can take out to prevent any more recording on the tape) or is it in the video signal?
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    In the signal.
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  3. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    Macrovision. Do a Google search for it to understand what the protection is and how it works.
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  4. Member Marvingj's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: Death Valley, Bomb-Bay
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    The Macrovision Anti-Copy Process (ACP) is the most effective and widely used technology for preventing unauthorised copying. At a Macrovision licensed duplication facilty, the Macrovision process is added to the video signal as video cassettes are duplicated. The process is completely transparent on the original tape, yet it degrades unauthorised copies made on the majority of all consumer VCR and TV combinations. When a consumer attempts to make a copy, Macrovision's technology confuses the automatic gain control of the recording VCR, weakening the video signal and causing copies to exhibit some or all of the following characteristics: dim and/or noisy pictures, loss of colour, loss of video and picture tearing.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2002
    Location: United States
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    In layman's terms, Macrovision puts a small "strobe effect" in the signal. On a player, the strobe effect can't be seen since the frequencies don't match and will be ignored. But on a RECORDER, as explained above, the automatic gain control tries to record the strobe effect as well, and completely screws up the picture, including destroying v-sync, massive strobing, and so on.

    There are filters you can get that will filter out the Macrovision signal. In fact, if you Google-search it, you can even find one that you can build yourself for about $10 or so.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
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    A Google search found a hack for firmware for LiteOn and LiteOn clones that's supposed to remove Macrovision, but it appears the LiteOn hack does not work and such hack failure is reported on another forum. I got the same failure to record on 3 out of 4 different tapes now, and I suspect the one that did work probably just had no protection on the tape. Effectively I got only latest LiteOn firmware update which added 3 hour record option and maybe some other things I've not yet discovered. The site where I got the hack said something about some folks selling his free hack on eBay, and I'm sure some buyers are very pissed when they find out it doesn't work. I have only a few VHS I'd like to backup and find it hard to justify the expense of a filter purchase for just a few backups. I'd like to know if anyone else here has had similar experiences with LiteOn and would appreciate any less costly ideas if there are any. It'd cost less for me to just repurchase the DVD version of the few protected VHS I have and then backup via computer burner. Anyone considering buying a filter need to research to be sure chosen filter works with owner's recorder. For example, one link I found for the Sima CT-2 Go-DVD Video Enhancer states it doesn't work for LiteOn and several others in a list at the link. The http://www.xdimax.com/dvd/dvdredpro.html site has the filter that seems to work for the biggest variety of recorders that I found.
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  7. The Macrovision hack will only work on certain LiteOn 5000 series recorders and ILO HD04 or R04 recorders up to firmware version 098 as stated on the website. It worked perfectly on my LiteOn 5001, 5006, and ILO R04 units.

    The DVD Red PRO you mentioned will work, but it's overkill if you're just doing transfers from copy protected VHS. This device will also allow DVD copies from copy protected DVDs which not only have Macrovision, but an additional form of protection called CGMS/a.

    Google or search eBay for DIGITAL VIDEO STABILIZER and you should find a black box device for $20 - $25 that will allow you to make DVD copies from copy protected VHS sources (but not DVDs).

    I just picked up one of these for about $23 to use with my LiteOn 1107 recorder and it works like a charm.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    The hack failed completely for my LiteOn 5005. Either that or I just got so lucky to have a number of VHS with protection other than Macrovision. A Google search found a stabilizer that said it does not work with LiteOn and several other recorders in a list at the manufacturer's site. Which one did you get, and do you know if it'll work with my LiteOn 5005?
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  9. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2006
    Location: With the other crabapples
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    The Sima Videostabilizers work with the LW-5005
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    Faulty memory caused me to incorrectly state CT-2 Go-DVD Video Enhancer doesn't work with LiteOn, and it might work. Info at http://checkhere22.com/stabilizer/ states that stabilizer doesn't work with LiteOn and 5 other recorder brands. This same device was found for $23 at another site which caused me to think it might be the 1 RowMan got, but RowMan says the 1 he got works with his LiteOn which must mean his is different. It'd be worth getting 1 for under $30 if it works, but I'm very skeptical about any since the firmware hack should've worked but didn't. I'm uninterested in a $30 paper weight, which a video stabilizer that's supposed to work but doesn't, may well be!
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  11. The hack should work for the LiteOn 5005. You might want to post more details about the firmware upgrade failure you had in the DVD Recorders forum over at http://www.techolio.com/ . A lot of people there have detailed knowledge of the LiteOn / ILO firmware hacks.

    The Digital Video Stabilizer shown at http://checkhere22.com/stabilizer/ looks almost identical to the one I got. I imagine the guts are the same. It will probably work for VHS to DVD.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    Actually the hacked firmware update succeeded, and it did add 3 hour record option after drive update. What apparently failed is the removal of Macrovision protection since I still get the "Protected Content" message when trying to do VHS to DVD backup inspite of the fact that the hack program showed Macrovision was found and removed. The only other possibility is that I have more than ordinary number of VHS with protection other than Macrovision which would mean a filter of some kind to remove those would be required. I might try 1 of those devices like RowMan's if it'll work for VHS to DVD backup because I prefer to backup DVDs with PC burner for DVD backups.
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  13. From what you describe, it's possible that the firmware of your 5005 is a version later than 098 (I believe the latest is 0102). The hack only works with 098 and below so you may have to downgrade in order for it to be completely successful.

    http://ncc2315.com/ilo/
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  14. Member thecoalman's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Pennsylvania
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    If you have a lot of tapes get a TBC:

    http://www.datavideo.us/products/tbc_1000_main_page.htm
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  15. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    The http://ncc2315.com/ilo/ has archive of LiteOn firmwares, and the 098 states "Last modified 1 Dec 2005." I've had mine over 2 years which must mean mine is older than 098 firmware, wouldn't it?
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  16. Your SETUP screen will have a serial number that will indicate the firmware version within it. If you can't decifer the number. Just post it here and I can tell you. I believe it's in the third set of numbers.

    In this example, I think the firmware version is 063

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  17. Member
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    Location: United States
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    Won't the serial number and firmware version in particular be different after update? Before update, mine was SN: 0102-1840-0090-B208 (103-010D) and was SN: 0102-1840-0101-B208 (103-010D) after update. If you're correct about firmware version location, mine was originally 090 firmware and 101 now. Is there a way to downgrade to original firmware and get a version that will work, and is there a danger of rendering the drive useless by such means?
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  18. Member
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    Location: United States
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    Correction the "B208" part of the serial number in previous post is really "B20G" that I initially misread if that makes any difference.
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  19. You're correct. Your current firmware version is 101.

    I believe there should be no trouble in downgrading, but I'd post the concern in the DVD Recorders forum over at http://www.techolio.com first to see what they say.

    The 5005 v098 firmware available at http://ncc2315.com/ilo is already hacked. It's probably fine, but in my experience I have always applied the official version of the proper firmware first and then applied the hacked version.
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  20. Member
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    Location: United States
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    A Google search found a 0102-1840-009X-XXXX firmware which appears to be for my original 090 firmware if mine is 090 at http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=150339 and is the last link at that site which appears to be for my original version. Could I download that 1, run the hack again and update again to correct the problem? Again are there any risks in doing so, or should this work with no problems? If this is the solution, then instructions at http://ncc2315.com/ilo/ that instruct to download latest LiteOn firmware to run the hack needs to be changed.
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  21. Member
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    Location: United States
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    The instructions that may need correcting to which I referred are actually at http://ilohacker.tripod.com/ not at http://ncc2315.com/ilo/. Sorry if that threw you a curve.
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  22. The first post in the following link has a link to the 098 firmware for your machine's serial number.

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=1126652&postcount=1

    If I were doing this, I would downgrade to the official 098 (in the link above) and then apply the hacked version of 098 from http://www.ss3f.com/ilo/

    There are always risks. The main one is a power outage during the upgrade process. That would be the worst and may render the unit useless. Other than that, the recorder usually will just reject the firmware it it's not right.

    Since you have already done an upgrade, you're familiar with the correct process so you'll most likely be OK.

    Oh, and I have seen a thread at www.techolio.com about downgrading a 5005 and it states that a downgrade from v101 to v098 is definitely possible.
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  23. Member
    Join Date: May 2001
    Location: USA
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    In case you have not known, a digital camcorder with pass thru capability also allow the user to capture a macro vision protected tape to the PC for editing and DVD making.
    Here is the connection

    VCR ----> digCamcorder -------> firewire port of PC
    RCA 1394

    a) VCR audio/video OUT to audio/video IN of digical camcorder
    b) digCamcorder connected to PC via Firewire cable

    It's just that simple.

    Some notes:
    1) the digCamcorder will refuse to record a MacroVision protected VHS tape to digital tape
    2) after capturing to PC, you cannot save the [edited] video back to digital tape
    3) however, you can edit, make DVD out of this capture video
    4) the resulting DVD is also protected, can be played on DVD player but cannot be copied to VHS tape (it's similar to a commercial DVD).

    My Sony digital 8 camcorder does this.
    ktnwin - PATIENCE
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  24. Member
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    Location: United States
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    The first post at the link actually says for update to 101 firmware, and only the third and fourth say for update to 098 firmware. Attempts to run update in recorder failed for the official 090 update first and subsequently for the 090 hacked update to 098 firmware. Perhaps the current hacked 101 firmware is not downgradeable. I knew about the camcorder use but don't have one.
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  25. Member
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    Location: United States
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    In my haste operator error by yours truly caused me to try the third link at the site in the failed attempts in my recent post. Notice the third 1 begins with 0104 whereas mine and the fourth one at the link begin with 0102, and that 1 not surpisingly completed update. Obviously it's quite critical to choose the correct firmware version for updates to work properly, and now all VHS to DVD seem to be truly Macrovision free. I did do official update first and then the hacked update as recommended since it only takes a couple of minutes just in case. Thanks to all for input and especially to RowMan who must have had some experience with these issues. Notice all this may have been unnecessary, and I'd never have encountered all the problems if instructions at http://ilohacker.tripod.com/ were correct, i.e. it should not instruct to get latest LiteOn firmware for the hack and should instruct to get 098 version. This LiteOn is a really cool recorder now!
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  26. I see what you mean about the confusion. I have always gotten to this site...

    http://ilohacker.tripod.com

    ...by first going through this site...

    http://www.ss3f.com/ilo

    ...which has more current and detailed information about the program.

    The person in charge of http://ilohacker.tripod.com should update the instructions and add disclaimers as to which LiteOn / ILO firmware can actually be hacked. The site currently reads as if the hacking program can alter all LVW firmwares while the info on http://www.ss3f.com/ilo clearly says that it does not.

    Glad you got it all worked out. Yes, the LiteOn machines ARE cool. I started my video collection in 1982 and am glad I have a DVD recorder that will very simply allow me to back up my copy protected VHS tapes without having to run the signal to an external device first.
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  27. Member thecoalman's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Pennsylvania
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    Originally Posted by ktnwin
    a digital camcorder with pass thru capability also allow the user to capture a macro vision protected tape to the PC for editing and DVD making.
    Depends on the cam, I'm pretty sure most new ones won't allow you to do this.

    1) the digCamcorder will refuse to record a MacroVision protected VHS tape to digital tape
    2) after capturing to PC, you cannot save the [edited] video back to digital tape
    3) however, you can edit, make DVD out of this capture video
    4) the resulting DVD is also protected, can be played on DVD player but cannot be copied to VHS tape (it's similar to a commercial DVD).
    Once you have it on the computer recompressing it even with another DV codec should remove the protection. As far as the protection being present on a DVD that is even more doubtful since every protection scheme I know of requires licensing...

    More here: http://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=274473
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  28. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    The http://ilohacker.tripod.com/ site also states the hack "Should also work for Daytek and Gateway and Philips Clones." Does anybody know if that statement is true, or is it for ILO and LiteOn only? Will the firmware mod work for LiteOn 5116, and are there any mods for JVC or Pioneer recorder to remove Macrovision?
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  29. I know for sure that the hacked firmware will work on the Gateway clones. The Gateway version of the LiteOn LVW-5001 was my very first DVD recorder.

    Not sure about the 5116. Probably not likely, though. I recently tried to upgrade an LVW-5115GHC+, but it was a no go. I think it's because the encoding chip is different in the 51xx series, but I'm not sure of that either.
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  30. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    You may well be right on hack not working on 5116. On the NewEgg site 1 of the 5005 reviews said LiteOn was ordered by courts to stop selling recorders with that chip. That likely means no hackable LiteOns once the 50xx series are all sold.
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