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  1. Hello. Is it any way to backup macrovision - protected VHS through Panasonic DMR-EH595 ?

    Can I unlock it through service mode, for example?

    Service manual probably here: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1377515/Panasonic-Dmr-Eh49eca.html#manual
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  2. Nope: nothing you can do. All DVD recorders had to comply with MV triggers due to Hollywood threatening to re-litigate the torturous Betamax case with Japan Inc. if they did not. There is no "undocumented" ignores MV feature in any of these machines, nor is there a service mode trick to disable MV detection.

    If you want to digitize MV protected tapes, you'll need either a breathtakingly expensive TBC like the DataVideo TBC-1000, or a cheaper kluge device like The Grex protection filter, connected between VCR and capture device (or dvd recorder). Both will make the picture worse to a certain extent, The Grex more than the DataVideo.

    Old MV-protected commercial tapes are about the most pointless possible videos to digitize today: its really best to avoid doing this unless you already just happen to have something like a TBC-1000 on hand. The asking prices for used DataVideos range from $600- $1200 (USD): for that money, you can buy an awful lot of used or even new $5 - $10 DVD or BluRay re-releases of old commercial VHS titles, at a quality level far beyond what you can get with DIY. The only good reason to mess with capturing an MV-protected VHS is if the tape was an exceedingly rare title that was never re-released in a remastered digital format (DVD, BluRay, streaming services).
    Last edited by orsetto; 23rd May 2021 at 16:03.
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  3. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    The DMR-EH595 won't let you record Macrovision protected tapes to it's HDD or a blank DVD, but it will still work as a passthrough. It's HDMI out has HDCP activated all the time so there is no difference playing a MV tape (and yes, there are no other ill effects from MV either; I myself have captured a MV tape that way just fine using a DMR-EH 575 via HDMI). It's analog outputs will have MV re-inserted however.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    If you want to digitize MV protected tapes, you'll need ... the DataVideo TBC-1000,
    Correct. A DataVideo/Cypress type frame TBC made for consumer sources, not using flawed chips ("black" era Cypress/AVT-8710). Not just any random "TBC", and not a line TBC as found in VCRs (not the same type of TBC).

    or a cheaper kluge device like The Grex protection filter,
    . Both will make the picture worse to a certain extent, The Grex more than the DataVideo.
    The Grex is a POS, and often looks just as bad as the raw MV signal. Worse yet, Grex actually adds errors to tape that have no MV (for those who want to use it as a "TBC replacement", it is not whatsoever). A common error is flashing between dark and light luma values, sometimes so quickly as to be a potential epileptic seizure trigger. Don't waste your money on this. It's just a modern version of Sima crap from the 90s/00s.

    Old MV-protected commercial tapes are about the most pointless possible videos to digitize today:
    Yes, if released on DVD, BD, streaming -- and not screwed with (quality, censoring, editing).
    No, if unreleased in any digital form.

    its really best to avoid doing this unless you already just happen to have something like a TBC-1000 on hand. The asking prices for used DataVideos range from $600- $1200 (USD):
    $600? No. That was new MSRP at EOL about a decade ago. Most are in the $1k+ range now.

    for that money, you can buy an awful lot of used or even new $5 - $10 DVD or BluRay re-releases of old commercial VHS titles, at a quality level far beyond what you can get with DIY.
    Sure, but only if the title is available. As a TV/toon collector, trust me, that's often wishful thinking. It does get better with time, sort of. If you miss the DVD/BD releasing window (few years), then it goes OOP, and the release can jump into 3-4 figure range ($$$-$$$$). Streaming is also fickle, and the title may disappear from the catalog, never to be seen anywhere again -- and that's why streaming sucks compared to physical media.
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  5. Could it be possible this way:
    VCR--->DVD Recorder --> Video grabber USB ----> Notebook/PC
    Or something like HDMI grabber to USB?

    (I can buy grabber for HDMI becouse it could be useful for other tasks)
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    No.
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    What is the end result format you want? If DVD then contrary to what other people have said here, I personally would just pick up a video filter. The Grex is the best one I've found over the years thats currently still available. Sure it's output isn't as good as it's input, but other than softening the picture a very little, it does a decent job. I also have many old Sima CT-2s and most lighten the picture way too much, although they don't soften it as much as a Grex. I do have one, and just one Sima that has a very good black level and it's the one I use all the time but as all the rest lighten the picture so I'd have to say it's the anatomy and I wouldn't bet on finding one like it. I have probably 4 or 5 that are varying degrees of too light.
    That said if your end result will be a PC file then as someone else mentioned, capturing the HDMI output of your DVDR hooked to the line outputs of your VCR might work, if you also had an older HDMI splitter that removed CP, not sure how common those are. Note if your DVDRs HDMIs output wasn't CP'd you could omit the HDMI splitter, I'm just not sure if the HDMI output would be CPd if it were just a VHS tape that lacked HDCP as tapes just have MV not HDCP.
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  8. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    As a TV/toon collector, trust me, that's often wishful thinking. It does get better with time, sort of. If you miss the DVD/BD releasing window (few years), then it goes OOP, and the release can jump into 3-4 figure range ($$$-$$$$). Streaming is also fickle, and the title may disappear from the catalog, never to be seen anywhere again -- and that's why streaming sucks compared to physical media.
    I also collect old TV series & specials & toons, so of course agree with this statement.

    However, we're at a point in the timeline of digitizing VHS where very few newbies asking these questions are such hard-core collectors. Usually a hard-core collector has known about MV issues and how to manage them for years: they may have other workflow and process queries but generally know all about how MV works well in advance of their transfer projects.

    Most new questions about digitizing MV tapes are coming from people with much more casual VHS collections of fairly common titles, in a quantity of 50 or less. Rather than deal with the vagaries of MV-infected capture (which is not particularly stellar, even with a TBC-1000), my default recommendation is to replace with commercial digital releases. Most older VHS titles are out there on clean used DVD at giveaway prices. Esp now that the mass market has moved to streaming: for all its flaws, its become the tail wagging the dog (if they can't stream it to a phone/tablet, it may as well not exist and they are not going to search it out on physical media that won't play on a phone/tablet anyway).

    Specialty, vintage and cult animation (and some vintage TV / films) is a whole separate ball of wax with a different type of following. Those enthusiasts will pay handsomely for physical releases, or prize the material enough to self-digitize. But relatively speaking, the number of butchered, censored, botched, or merely unavailable digital re-releases of mainstream old VHS titles (that would interest the average joe/jane with a dvd recorder enough to pay for a DataVideo TBC) is fairly small. Its a self-selecting demographic: you pretty much already know whether or not you're a fringe case with obsessive interests, and that it will require a heavy investment in specialty gear to capture those interests.
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