So i found a way of disabling Macrovision on the cheap. I had a nightmare trying to archive some of my more rare VHS movies that are not on DVD yet because of Macrovision. A better solution is a good TBC or other devices that ignore Macrovision, but what if you wanted to do it on the cheap? I found some experimenting was in order long after I had finished copying my own the proper way
For the test, I played the tapes in my JVC HR-DVS1, and recorded them to a DVD recorder as I was not too interested in capturing this test lossless with virtualdub
, I only did that with family tapes.
I found a method that seems to work wonders, though some source quality is lost as it mandates you use composite.
It revolves around these cheap NTSC -> PAL converters that go both ways PAL -> NTSC.
Something like this (i used an identical unit): https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/30325998020...BoCdb8QAvD_BwE
I am in PAL land, and I just set it to PAL, and then it still had a PAL output even though I had a PAL input. It seems to do some kind of digitization then outputs a newly generated analog signal to the TV standard you select with the switch. You can do the same with NTSC.
But... in this process the new signal it outputs also outputs a fresh vertical blanking interval and thus in all MV tapes I tested, it worked. I wont upload video samples of copyrighted material but this can help you make a backup of your own if you have exhausted other options or are on a tight budget. And being cheap devices they seemed to miss out the need to detect Macrovision. I did uploaded three screenshots of playback, note this is not as good as processed virtualdub
capture as i did it directly on my DVD recorder in SP mode, but this was the kind of picture the 'cheap' converter would output, though maybe a raw file will have been easier to clean up, this has had no post processing as it was not lossless captured.
In no way a good idea to use it for serious work, but just another tool in the box and is probably the cheapest way I know of to remove Macrovision when making copies of your recordings you bought if you are on a budget. Maybe a better quality converter (though it isn't too bad and is more than enough if you want them to be more than watchable, and lossless capture and some post processing would be better than a DVD recorder)
You could probably do better doing this with virtualdub and some processing, avoiding the blocks on the DVD recorder, but this was just an experiment and it seems to have worked at the intended purpose, removing Macrovision.
I did however only use the Video socket on the converter, the audio cables I just fed directly from the VCR to the recorder, as opposed to passing them through the converter, seemed an unnecessary step for the audio. All worked well!