I bought a barely used Mitsubishi SVHS HS-MD3000 which is the white medical unit from Craig's List for $80. I got a several weeks ago but last night I finally got around to doing some VHS Hi-Fi tape transfers with it to AVI captures. The s-video output is not outputting any signs of Macrovision copy protection. I've not yet tried the composite (RCA) output yet because I really like the picture quality of the s-video out as is. I looked around the forums here and found nothing much about this unit. A few negative comments about how it might be this, and it might be that, most comments from folks who have never used this model.
But I did find this comment out there on the internet on the AVS forums. "Like the white industrial Pannys and JVCs, often available now for $100 to $400, that ALWAYS cleared copy protection. They had to, the whole point of these machines was to output true NTSC/PAL video that could be put through a switcher or genlocked system rack".
This unit has the picture enhancement style TBC, which I have not used because my tapes were very high quality and I wanted all the detail and sharpness including the grain - as a first-generation commercial tape has. I actually own a DataVideo TBC1000, but I took that out of the capture chain once I realized MV copy protection was being stripped out of the video by this Mitsu machine, my tapes were tracking perfectly in this deck, and I wanted a really clean crisp and sharp picture with nothing in between the output and capture.
I may have just gotten lucky with the four tapes I tried so far, but I don't think so. These were major studio-produced tapes from the very late 80s. I'll try some more tapes, some WB, or Columbia Pictures movie titles if I have any around and report back.
This deck is really smooth running and a nice sharp picture. Just like the classic Mitsus of the era in fact.
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Possible that those tapes are not MV protected - there should be an indication of the box.
Here in the UK that was often the case with MV being the exception rather than the rule.
And some capture devices do override it anyway.
In the US it's all majors, for the most part, some of the indies as well, and a very small portion of indie labels are w/o mv.
Ok. I have not owned many US VHS. One tape UK released has a Triangle with the letters 'CP' inside and macrovision written below.
On some of the big broadcast decks with TBC they let you set whether to blank some or all of the vertical blanking area, and unlike the consumer svhs decks they typically have full frame TBCs. This one seems to only have TBC on/off setting though.