For curiosity's sake, I just attempted to capture a short section of a live HBO television-stream from the RCA/composite-out on my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR to my USB video capture device.
The resulting AVI file is distorted with regards to color:
I'm curious as to what sort of copy-protection this is, and if there is a way to circumvent it (purely for personal use, of course!).
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Thread: DVR copy protection
Dvr's use proprietary copy protection. And, since a dvr is a closed system device unlike a computer, it's pretty easy for the manufacturers to keep the protection secure.
So basically your only option with protected dvr video would be screen capture.
DVR's can't use proprietary copy protection on the analog composite output. Nothing would be able to display the video, or recording devices would ignore it. They are using Macrovision or CGMS-A and the capture device is responding to it.
TBCs will strip out, regenerate and replace the sync signal, and in doing so will also be getting rid of most forms of MV.
Is there any way around this? Maybe. But it will cost you a lot of money to try.
First of all, you are using a "USB video capture device". Which one?
Second, why are you using USB? Is this being done on a laptop? Hauppauge makes some nice capture devices such as their excellent Colossus card that I'm sure could handle your video fine. They also have some USB based devices called "HD PVR" that would likely be able to handle this capture. But it will cost you well over $100 to try and until we try (I know absolutely nothing about your Scientific Atlanta box) I suppose there is always some chance that you'll still have problems. The Hauppauge devices can record from component video. Perhaps you are using composite. Or perhaps your capture device is just a cheap piece of junk. I think that Hauppauge devices ignore CGMS-A but you can search online to confirm that.
HBO always sets a CGMS-A flag on its recordings to deny copying. Your suggestions around it seem to be less than ideal, but if you are stuck with whatever capture device you bought and don't want to buy something better, your only other solution is to roll the dice and look for the video on the Bit Torrent servers and hope that HBO doesn't come after you for downloading it.
Geniatech iGrabber; I'm capturing through Stoik Capturer to uncompressed AVI or Lagarith, depending on my mood.
I do have an HP desktop box into which a friend stuck a RCA video-input board, but I don't have Linux drivers for the board yet so it's unusable for the moment.
I'm sure I can find a Hauppage capture card of some sort on eBay - I looked a few weeks ago and there were several available for $22-ish. Short of that, I have a friend who may be able to chip in a bit of cash in exchange for my helping to transfer some of his old Hi8 and VHS tapes.