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Hi, I am using my vcr to watch dvd in an other room than my living room. At least I wanted to. I connected my dvd to my vcr, which can put video signals on my coax cable, which is allready in place because I watch normal tv, in that room too. Now there's a really nice thing called macrovision that spoils every thing.

What is Macrovision?

Macrovision is used to stop you connecting your DVD to your VCR and making copies of your DVD's. It is a form of copy protection that makes the picture go bright and dark, and also you may see some lines and distortion on the screen too. Macrovision is designed to make it hard to copy a DVD to either tape or PC using a video capture card.

How is Macrovision made? Many people believe that Macrovision is on the DVD - but it isn't. Macrovision is actually made by the video chip inside your DVD player. NOTE: even though it is possible to turn on Macrovision for all discs (like VCD for example) it never is. Only DVD's tell the video chip to use Macrovision and even more interesting not all DVD discs (like Adult movies, for example) turn on Macrovision, but most DVD's will.

Macrovision is basically done by injecting fake brightness information into video signal that VCR's do not understand. This signal makes the VCR try to correct the "problem" but it is too slow and therefore can not follow the rapid changes that Macrovision makes to the signal. 99% of televisions can cope with Macrovision but because of the way a VCR works it does not like Macrovision. Macrovision exploits this fact and that is why it causes so much problems with VCR's, not only when you try to record something but also when you are just using your VCR as an input for your DVD player. There are a small number of VCR's that can cope with Macrovision but as I said the number is very small and it is no guarantee that just because one type of VCR works that another by the same manufacturer will also work. The same is true for VCR's of the same make and model number.

Even though Macrovision is designed to stop people making illegal copies of DVD's it is also known to cause problems with video projectors and even some TV's. In these situations Macrovision is unfair.

However there are two ways around Macrovision. One way is to filter it out and the other is to switch it off altogether.

First I will discuss filtering it out. There are several devices you can buy that filter out Macrovision. They are usually called "Video Enhancers" and do a reasonable job. They hook up to the video signal in between the DVD player and the VCR. If you do a search for "Macrovision" or "Video Enhancer" with an internet search engine you will find several ready-made Macrovision removers and even some kit type projects that you can make. I personally don't like Macrovision removers because you are removing some video information which can degrade the quality of the signal. I am not saying that Macrovision removers are bad, but I can not see the point of removing something that should not be there in the first place. And that brings me to the next option:

Switching Macrovision off...... As said above the Macrovision signal is added AFTER the DVD has been read by the laser beam. In other words the Macrovision signal DOES NOT come off the DVD disc, it is generated inside your player. That means it can be switched off if you know how. In the AD-600A player this is possible by telling the video chip NOT to turn on the Macrovision signal. How? There are two options: Firstly access the Loophole Menu (if you player has one) and select "Disable Macrovision". If your player does not have a Loophole Menu then you will need to replace the firmware chip with a version that tells the video processor not to turn on Macrovision. Details of how to access the Loophole Menu or change your firmware chip are found elsewhere on this site.

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Dandy Teg 2004
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