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08-14-2020, 12:42 PM
justin81 justin81 is offline
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I'm transferring some tapes to digital for a friend. The tapes are of movies and TV shows he recorded off a premium cable channel (Cinemax) via a cable box back in the 90s. When watching the tapes, I've noticed an occasional "flash" in the picture that encompasses the entire screen. This flash lasts a second or less and occurs at random intervals maybe every 5 - 10 minutes. I was able to pause the VCR during the flash and what I'm seeing is the scrambled version of the signal.

Has anyone ever seen this before or know what causes it? I'm guessing it's something having to do with his cable box and the way the video was recorded back then. I see this on multiple VCRs and monitors, so I know it's not my equipment. Not to mention, the "flash" literally looks like analog cable scrambling that you would see if you tried to tune to a premium channel you didn't subscribe to.

It's just kinda weird. Any ideas?
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08-14-2020, 10:36 PM
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Sample image needed.
Sample clip preferred.

Probably some sort of anti-copy issue, either at the cable company/box, or at the recording end. If at cable side, typical terrible scrambling setup. If on his end, a bad hack-y method is often to blame (illegal cable descrambler, cheap non-TBC doodad, bad VCR).

It's been a while, but yes, stuff like this was common.

What TV shows? TV/toons collector here.

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