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  1. Like the title says, are there any VHS to DVD USB-adapters sold on sites like Amazon in 2020 that ignores Macrovision protections, and that also work OK without audio/video sync problems etc? If so, which ones?
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    No.
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    In 2020? Shouldn't say in 1990? And what DVD has anything to do with a USB capture device?
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    In 2020? Shouldn't say in 1990? And what DVD has anything to do with a USB capture device?
    Example: "Roxio VHS to DVD" capture card is an Easycap.
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  5. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    No.
    OK. Why not? There used to be USB adapters that would bypass Macrovision. Why did they suddenly disappear?
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  6. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    In 2020? Shouldn't say in 1990? And what DVD has anything to do with a USB capture device?
    No I'm pretty sure it's 2020 right now and not 1990.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by guy24s View Post
    There used to be USB adapters that would bypass Macrovision. Why did they suddenly disappear?
    No.

    Macrovision came after companies that allowed it.

    There are (were) some European USB brands that were generic versions of cards like ATI, where the generic drivers had no instructions for or against anti-copy. But that's really it. And that was 10-15 years ago, some of them 20-25 years ago.

    The cheapo Chinese cards (Easycaps, "grabbers") usually just made a mess of a signal, MV or not.

    Something mainstream like Canopus had to issue revision boxes, and drivers revisions, to plug holes in MV allowance.

    Once upon a time, MV had a lobby that came after video hardware hard (too hard). But not as much anymore. Why? Because nobody really cares about VHS now. If something new came along, it could probably get by with it. But such an item won't come, certainly not a good one. It's all about HDMI and streaming these days.
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Here in the UK it is actually hard to find a VHS that had macrovision (well maybe I was buying the wrong ones )


    But I do have one and my Hauppauge USB-Live2 does actually ignore that protection (as did the WinTV PCI card that I had before)


    Now this device is not so cheap and it was acquired some years ago so maybe Hauppauge changed their chip. Also I believe that their existed several strains of mv and I have one NTSC tape which I know had it and the colours are all wrong on this one even under PAL60.
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  9. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    There are (were) some European USB brands that were generic versions of cards like ATI, where the generic drivers had no instructions for or against anti-copy. But that's really it. And that was 10-15 years ago, some of them 20-25 years ago.
    I heard that there were custom firmware for MV removal for some of the later devices. Do you know anything about those or which ones that would be?
    Someone online says he has a USB adapter that he claims copies VHS tapes from Buena Vista. Here is a photo of the adapter he has: https://ibb.co/wNCVKDJ
    The tape I'm trying to digitize is a Walt Disney VHS movie. I think Buena Vista Entertainment is owned by Disney so the copy protection would be Macrovision in both cases? He says I can borrow it but before I have him ship it to me I would really like someone who is more knowledgeable than myself to give their opinion.


    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Here in the UK it is actually hard to find a VHS that had macrovision (well maybe I was buying the wrong ones )
    Oh. Well I don't know if my tape uses Macrovision in particular, I assumed it does. But it could be any copy protection I suppose. It is a Disney VHS tape from 1994.
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Disney ! Def mv protected. But I believe they did apply a later variant of it.


    Most Disney has been released on dvd at least. One exception, even here, is Song of the South. There were some dvds on sale but, I guess, were un-official either VHS or LD conversions.
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  11. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Disney ! Def mv protected. But I believe they did apply a later variant of it.


    Most Disney has been released on dvd at least. One exception, even here, is Song of the South. There were some dvds on sale but, I guess, were un-official either VHS or LD conversions.
    Yes I know more or less all are on DVD/Bluray but I'm in a non English speaking country so I'm familiar with the dubbed versions of their films and this is an ultra rare tape that erroneously contains an original dubbing from the 1940s. Disney had recorded a re-dubbing for the 1994 release of the movie and quickly pulled the tapes and rereleased it with the intended dub. I was wanting to digitize it for the older dubbing. Subsequent VHS releases and digital formats all have the horrible redubbed version.

    I have that Song of the South Hong Kong DVD release by the way.
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  12. Originally Posted by guy24s View Post
    Someone online says he has a USB adapter that he claims copies VHS tapes from Buena Vista. Here is a photo of the adapter he has: https://ibb.co/wNCVKDJ
    That looks like a generic knockoff of the once-popular Pinnacle branded design, not that that means anything significant. If the owner is truthful about its MV clearing abilities and is willing to lend it to you, then problem solved: just let him ship it to you, use it, and return it to him. If it doesn't resist MV, do not waste your time looking for something similar that will: outside of huge markets like North America, most of the older non-MV-compliant capture devices are very hard to find and require tricky computer configurations. It would be quicker and easier to just buy a generic MV filter box, and connect it between your VCR and this capture dongle you're borrowing. Such filter boxes were once widely available very cheaply in used condition, as millions were made and sold in the late 1990s, but today they seem oddly difficult to find. Still, its easier to find something like this in most countries than a USB capture device thats guaranteed to ignore MV:

    http://www.qualitekindustries.com/bvistrwi6feg.html

    Note the quality of your digital capture from this tape using a random USB capture dongle and MV filter box is probably going to look "acceptable" but not great: this is one of those "well, its better than nothing" compromises. Getting the best possible digital copy would require 20x the cost of the average discount USB video grabber (to buy a premium VCR + TBC + capture device + configuring exactly the right computer and Windows version).

    Another idea might be to just capture the audio from this rare tape (MV does not affect sound), then use it to replace the soundtrack on a copy of the current digital version that you don't like. With some time and effort, you can usually get the sound to sync up reasonably well with the video using various utilities on your PC. You would then have your own customized digital version with the newer better video plus the older audio dubbing you prefer.
    Last edited by orsetto; 28th Dec 2020 at 10:25.
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  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by guy24s View Post
    Someone online says he has a USB adapter that he claims copies VHS tapes from Buena Vista. Here is a photo of the adapter he has:
    That's just a Dazzle.
    BS.
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    To the OP, What Disney movie you are trying to capture and what language? Orsetto suggestion of replacing audio track is pretty good.
    I can assure you that there is no Macrovision device in 2020, At least not one that is not a scam, like the Pinnacle Dazzle you posted a picture of which is just a capture device from the 2000's.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 28th Dec 2020 at 14:02.
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  15. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    That's just a Dazzle.
    BS.
    He never specifically said it bypasses Macrovision, but he said he copied a Buena Vista Home Entertainment VHS tape without issues. That tape is from circa mid 1990s, and I assumed Buena Vista / Disney used MV on all their tapes. I could be wrong though, but I don't doubt that this person really did copy that tape successfully with the device. I guess the tape must not have had any copy protection then.


    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Another idea might be to just capture the audio from this rare tape (MV does not affect sound), then use it to replace the soundtrack on a copy of the current digital version that you don't like. With some time and effort, you can usually get the sound to sync up reasonably well with the video using various utilities on your PC. You would then have your own customized digital version with the newer better video plus the older audio dubbing you prefer.
    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Orsetto suggestion of replacing audio track is pretty good.
    Well, this was sort of the idea. I have already ripped the audio, but I also want the video ripped. The video doesn't need to be great looking, I basically just need it for correctly syncing the the analogue source with the digital source and I prefer to do this with both audio and video, not audio only. I can get it more perfectly synced when I have the video as a guide. So not sure how to solve this.
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  16. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    There is a dirty workaround on getting the video into the capture but requires a camcorder with analog output (any cam with composite out should work including CCTV), Connect the audio from the VCR to the capture card and the video from the camcorder to the capture card video in, Have the camera shoot the TV screen playing back the tape, Use the captured footage with another high quality copy of the movie and swap out the audio tracks or just add it to the main audio track.
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  17. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Any component video output in progressive mode will not have the Macrovision in it, some Panasonic dvd recorders have component video output, if you can set it to progresive, you are go. (as a passthrough)
    check the manual for doing so, or check the PDF manual for the device in question.
    But most of the time such a title will be available as torrent
    btw... Macrovision wasn't always used on Pre-recorded tapes
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 30th Dec 2020 at 13:35.
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  18. Member hiptune's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by guy24s View Post
    Like the title says, are there any VHS to DVD USB-adapters sold on sites like Amazon in 2020 that ignores Macrovision protections, and that also work OK without audio/video sync problems etc? If so, which ones?
    Depends on what you mean by cheap. The Canopus ADVC 100 early versions (black case, not white) had MV removal feature - where you hold down the power button for about 10 seconds and that was it, it killed MV dead in it's tracks.

    The units went low in price about 2 years ago to about $75 to $125. And now prices are heading back up. You'll need an early model for the MV removal.

    Check the forums here for this model and read others' experiences. Canopus ADVC-100 Digital Video Converter
    https://www.videohelp.com/search?siteurl=forum.videohelp.com&q=canopus

    I think they can still be had for under $200, but you'll have to wait it out on ebay looking every week for a deal to appear.

    here is an example of a couple for sale.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Canopus-ADVC-100-Digital-Video-VHS-Converter-w-Power-Apple-Th...4AAOSwkDFf1CwJ

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Canopus-ADVC-100-Analog-to-Digital-Video-Converter-with-Warra...IAAOSwQjdfjx6m
    Last edited by hiptune; 30th Dec 2020 at 14:17.
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  19. Member hiptune's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by guy24s View Post
    There used to be USB adapters that would bypass Macrovision. Why did they suddenly disappear?
    Something mainstream like Canopus had to issue revision boxes, and driver revisions, to plug holes in MV allowance.
    I noticed for years, could not help not to, how you've always underplayed how good the Canopus A - D converters were. Now you imply (sort of) that they made exactly what the op is asking about, yet all you really say is that they issued revised models.

    These revised models came along after many thousands of ADVC100s were sold that were MV proof. May as well come out and say it, they made exactly what the op needs. Many many happy purchases later - the item is a legendary VHS to DV / DVD box.
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  20. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    I read many posts that DV boxes don't remove Macrovision, and remove only partially some other types of Macrovsion with slight brightness fading as a leftover, I've never owned a GrassValley product just based on what I've read, but I had the Edirol VMC-1 that blows the sucks of ADVC boxes and had only one disney tape with Macrovision and it did not work at all, Wish I did more tests with tapes back then but I no longer have it since I switched to lossless capture.

    But I don't think the OP is willing to spend that much money for just one tape.
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  21. Originally Posted by hiptune View Post
    Depends on what you mean by cheap. The Canopus ADVC 100 early versions (black case, not white) had MV removal feature - where you hold down the power button for about 10 seconds and that was it, it killed MV dead in it's tracks.
    This Canopus MV revision info is good to be reminded of for reference- thanks! (Also thanks to delisam34 for the Edirol VMC-1 tip!) Both probably out of price range and availability to OP in their country, tho. They seem to want something no more expensive than an EZcap, easily found on major international sites like Amazon (unlikely at this late date).

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Orsetto suggestion of replacing audio track is pretty good.
    Well, this was sort of the idea. I have already ripped the audio, but I also want the video ripped. The video doesn't need to be great looking, I basically just need it for correctly syncing the the analogue source with the digital source and I prefer to do this with both audio and video, not audio only. I can get it more perfectly synced when I have the video as a guide. So not sure how to solve this.
    Your need is simple but technology moved on and none of the solutions (new or old) are cheap enough to be worthwhile for just this one tape. Nothing is available brand new from a known website that ships to various countries: it will either be triple or more what you want to pay, or sold straight out of China with no guarantees. Digital is the dealbreaker here: the encoder hardware simply refuses to pass a signal to the PC, even one ruined by MV, if it detects MV on the tape. Back in the analog VCR days, you could still copy the MV protected tape: it would just look terrible. Since there was no computerized detection in the VHS spec, MV could not actually stop a VCR from dubbing: it could only make the copy look so bad most people wouldn't bother. No such luck with digital capture, I'm afraid.

    delisam34 offered a clever workaround for your specific need of just getting a dirty video signal for audio syncing purposes, but here again it will likely cost more than you'd want to spend just to buy a junk video camera (unless you already own or have access to one). Perhaps look into borrowing one for free from a friend/relative/neighbor. Otherwise, you're out of free or cheap options: most phone and tablet cameras will not let you shoot feature length video and export to PC. I suppose it's possible you could do it with a laptop: if it allows shooting video off the TV screen with its camera while you feed it the VCR tape audio (bypassing "live" mic audio), that would be another way of getting to delisam34's suggestion.

    Otherwise, you'll need to spend the money for a MV filter box as I suggested above, at 49 for simple old-style black box up to 95 for The Grex. Or look for an old discontinued video encoder device like the Canopus or Edirol: expensive, and requires a FireWire aka DV camera connector on your computer (long gone from Windows laptops, requires an additional board for most desktops).
    Last edited by orsetto; 30th Dec 2020 at 15:04.
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  22. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post

    Your need is simple but technology moved on and none of the solutions (new or old) are cheap enough to be worthwhile for just this one tape. Nothing is available brand new from a known website that ships to various countries: it will either be triple or more what you want to pay, or sold straight out of China with no guarantees. Digital is the dealbreaker here: the encoder hardware simply refuses to pass a signal to the PC, even one ruined by MV, if it detects MV on the tape.
    Some of the cheap models may freak out from macrovision and give a messed up image, but at least for PAL tapes, my experience has been that there isn't any hardware limitations on the common USB dongles preventing recording the signal. Only time I've encountered any restriction is that the bundled arcsoft capture software that came with the Diamond VC500 had a limitation on copy-protected signals, but that could be turned off with a ini file or registry setting, and didn't impact other apps like virtualdub. The VC500 (and other conexant-cards) drivers have a "copy protection method" registry setting but idk what it does. Maybe the dazzle doesn't have any limitations either in that regard. Of course direct capture will look like crap and it may give you dropped frames, but it may be fine for grabbing the audio. Some of the cheap cards have mediocre audio quality as well so that's something to be vary of. The drivers are so lazily put together that they probably didn't spend much time on putting in any macrovision enforcement. If you use linux you can even mess with all the chip registers directly if there are any settings for it. I haven't used the fancyer game capture cards cards with hdmi/component inputs and hardware encoders so can't speak for those.
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  23. Originally Posted by oln View Post
    Some of the cheap models may freak out from macrovision and give a messed up image, but at least for PAL tapes, my experience has been that there isn't any hardware limitations on the common USB dongles preventing recording the signal.
    Interesting! Also bolsters my earlier point: if OP can borrow the Dazzle for free, no harm in trying it: at best it works to give him a guide video for syncing the audio to a better source video, at worst it fails from MV and hes just out the small shipping cost to return it to the owner. As you say, much may depend on how the underlying PC OS and drivers interact with the dongle. Also a surprising number of tapes that were viciously protected in USA/Canada were not protected at all in various PAL territories, so this whole discussion may be moot if OP tries the Dazzle (or whatever) and it just works.

    We (me?) NTSC-centric folk forget things could sometimes be very different in PAL-land.
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    Originally Posted by hiptune View Post
    I noticed for years, could not help not to, how you've always underplayed how good the Canopus A - D converters were.
    Good?

    Canopus DV boxes are a 1990s conversion technology, invented for the era of the Pentium III computer (with a Pentium II minimum spec requirement). Let that sink in for a minute. Chroma was crippled to allow the max data rates of then-modern computers.

    DV was never intended to be a conversion format, but only a shooting format. The crippled chroma was adequate for shooting, but on conversion it would decimate color and sharpness of sources. And the lower the source quality (VHS), the worse the results. A few companies dabbled with DV in the late 90s (Matrox, DataVideo), but it was only Canopus that went all-in with DV into the 2000s (until the demise/buy-out of the company by Grass Valley). I would imagine Grass Valley kept selling the ADVC because people were mostly stupid enough to keep buying it. Hey, it sells, money, right?

    The original ability to "remove" (ignore, not pay attention to) Macrovision was surely not an intentional ability, but it was a hole that had to be plugged. In the 2000s, Macrovision was rabid, even going after this site (VH) for having a "hacks" section for firmwares that could remove MV, forcing Baldrick to remove the section.

    Because Canopus DV boxes do not replace/recreate the base signal like an actual frame sync TBC, some MV versions still do damage to the signal. So it's the "removal" is very hit-or-miss. I have tapes that confuse the hell out of Canopus DV boxes. No Canopus has a TBC, not even the ADVC-300 (which is marketed to, but it BS, the "TBC" is so weak as do do near-nothing).

    the item is a legendary VHS to DV / DVD box.
    It's also infamous for low quality conversions.

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    I read many posts that DV boxes don't remove Macrovision, and remove only partially some other types of Macrovsion with slight brightness fading as a leftover,
    This is what the Grex does. It chokes often. Sometimes the image gets really bright for a second, then brightness returns to normal. But it can repeat multiple times. So you get this strobe of flashing frames within about 30 seconds, every several (5-10 or so) minutes, all through the movie. It's REALLY distracting. The Grex would even do the same BS on my S-VHS-ET recording that I made in my HR-S3800 back in the 90s. It saw MV that did not exist, caused the same sort of brightness artifacts.

    No "copy protection remover" has ever worked consistently, reliably, and at all times. I've tried everything out there.

    You know what does work? Frame TBCs. Not even all TBCs, but mostly DataVideo and Cypress. And DataVideo handles it best.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    up to 95 for The Grex.
    As per above, massively overpriced POS for what it does (or rather, doesn't do).

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    We (me?) NTSC-centric folk forget things could sometimes be very different in PAL-land.
    It's really not that different. I've handled PAL tapes for 20+ years. It's hard to ignore PAL as a cartoon collector.
    So many toons were available in PAL VHS releases not available in North America.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 30th Dec 2020 at 22:35.
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    I remember back in the 1990's that some Mitsubishi vcrs would bypass macrovision while doing a tape dub.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    I remember back in the 1990's that some Mitsubishi vcrs would bypass macrovision while doing a tape dub.
    Probably just ignored MV, not removed. Sony Betamax(s) were able to copy most* MV tapes because of the different AGC circuitry, but MV was still there. Copy the dub back to VHS and the MV kicks in again.

    *Disney tapes with their continually updated MV versions were the hardest to copy, requiring a TBC inline to remove. I had a DataVideo 1000 back then.
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  27. Thanks for all your replies. As some of you already guessed, I really don't want to invest in any expensive equipment for just one tape. I was mostly wondering if there was a simple workaround. Like I explained I really don't care if the video has defects like flickering or whatever, I just need the video as a guide when syncing the analog source to the digital. Some of you gave me some ideas of what to try.
    I am still baffled why my friend was able to copy the Buena Vista Home Video tape with the Dazzle unit if you claim there is no way that could bypass Macrovision. But then again it is a PAL tape and so is the Disney tape I want to convert, and it was mentioned that Macrovision protected PAL tapes sometimes copy in these devices while Macrovision protected NTSC tapes do not, if I understand correctly.
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  28. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Sometimes even firmware of devices can make a big difference if something will work, some converters can strip MacroVision, and some just don't, you need detailed user experiences for that,
    A legal device itself activates MacroVision by supporting it, so early models could have a "fault" by not doing so...
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  29. Originally Posted by guy24s View Post
    I am still baffled why my friend was able to copy the Buena Vista Home Video tape with the Dazzle unit if you claim there is no way that could bypass Macrovision. But then again it is a PAL tape and so is the Disney tape I want to convert, and it was mentioned that Macrovision protected PAL tapes sometimes copy in these devices while Macrovision protected NTSC tapes do not, if I understand correctly.
    Assuming your friend's report is accurate, the most likely explanation is either Disney simply neglected to protect that particular tape in the PAL version, so no problem, or his specific example of the Dazzle was able to pass video thru that specific protection version. So you may as well at least try it, since it might work for you too. As lingyi noted, Disney/Buena Vista was the worst offender in terms of continually changing exactly how their MV worked from release to release: usually it was made stronger, but sometimes they slipped up (esp with PAL) and it was weaker or not applied at all.

    Tho IMO, nothing was ever worse than what MCA/Universal applied to the original batches of the 1988 comedy "Midnight Run" - I still keep that around to torture test VCRs, TBCs and alleged filter boxes. The MV is so overwhelming the movie flashes during normal direct playback, and would punch thru nearly every available filter of the day (directly leading to the creation of pricey, firmware-updatable filter boxes that sold for $300 in 1989- there were as yet no "consumer" TBCs, only pro models selling for $4000).
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