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TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » June 8th, 2010, 2:02 pm

pvitari,

A HDD/DVD recorder is a stand-alone DVD recorder that also has an internal Hard Disc Drive, hence the term "HDD." A HDD/DVD recorder owner uses such a recorder much the same as they used to use a VCR or DVD recorder.

With a HDD/DVD recorder one sets up a scheduled timer recording and chooses whether to record directly to a DVD or the hard disc drive.

Most HDD/DVD users find it advantageous to record to the hard disc drive as that allows the recording to be edited of material that one does not want to preserve, say commercials. With TCM recordings one may want to edit out promos or other non-essential material before or after a movie. Some folks even edit out Robert Osborne's intros and outros and others do the same with Ben M's intros and outros--but that's just an example of the choices available to the user of a HDD/DVD recorder. (Those choices are not ususally available to those recording to DVD.) The editing process is easily accomplished within the HDD/DVD recorder--there is no computer needed. Editing is simple enough, even for a beginner. Since Magnavox and Philips Owner's Manuals leave out some important editing procedures, specifically front and end cut editing, I suggest reading Wajo's editing instructions (found in his sticky thread at the AVS Forum). Front and end cut editing sounds more complicated than it is--I had to have the instructions in front of me for my first editing session. After that it was natural. (Since I edit on Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders--with different remote control layout--I have to adjust where I hold my fingers and thumb for pressing the buttons--I prefer the Magnavox remote to the Philips remote.) With or without editing the hard disc drive recording(s) may be high-speed dubbed to DVD(s). Recent model Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders high-speed dub a full DVD in around fifteen minutes. After finalizing the DVD, a process that takes another three minutes or so, the DVD may be played in most any DVD player.

I use the term "TCM SD" to refer to the original Standard Definition version of TCM to distinguish it from the High Definition version of TCM, hence "TCM HD." With our Comcast service there are advantages and disadvantages to recording either version of TCM. From September 2005 to December 2009 I recorded the TCM SD feed (that Comcast maps to #501). Beginning in December 2009 I've most often recorded the TCM HD feed (that Comcast maps to #784). Is there a drawback with recording TCM HD? Yes, there is an active line of VBI data visible at the top of the image, a minor annoyance. For that reason I reverted to recording the TCM SD feed for a time but the Motorola DCX3200 HD converter box would then produce annoying pup-ups reminding me that I could also watch TCM in HD. In order to avoid those annoucements showing up in my in my recordings I soon reverted to recording TCM programming from the TCM HD feed.

Recent model VHS/DVD recorders of most brands are often problematic when used to transfer videotapes to DVD. Older Panasonic combo recorders had menu initiated dubbing/copying features allowing the user to customize a variety of settings. The 2005 DMR-ES30V and 2006 DMR-ES35V model combo recorders were the dubbing/copying workhorses I used to transfer around 5,200 titles to DVD over a ten month period in 2007. Those models' essential dubbing/copying features are no longer offered with the very problematic 2007 and newer EZ series combo recorders. If one must have a VHS/DVD recorder I would consider two models from Magnavox, the tunerless ZV427 or the tuner-equipped ZV457 before making the Panasonic EZ series combo recorder mistake. I own and occasionally use two earlier versions of the current Magnavox ZV457MG9. Those models are the ZV450MW8 (from 2007) and a ZV450MW8A (from 2008), both decent-enough "garden-variety" products. I've posted (as "DigaDo") various comparisons of these and other products at the AVS Forum.

A better method to transfer videotaped recording(s) to DVD is to connect a VCR to the input of a DVD recorder (that does not have a VHS mechanism) and record in real-time from that input to DVD as the videotape plays.

The best method to transfer videotaped recording(s) to DVD is to use a Magnavox HDD/DVD recorder. Connect a VCR to an input and transfer the videotpe recordings to the hard disc drive in real-time. Then edit/divide the recording(s), if desired, and then high-speed dub the recording(s) to DVD.
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

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pvitari
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby pvitari » June 9th, 2010, 8:33 am

Dear TalkieTime,

That's all way too complicated for me. Anything requiring a rewiring means a $150 visit from the home theater guy. ;) I'm even beginning to wonder if it IS the machine that's at fault. I really wish I could solve this problem of the wavy lines.

TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » June 9th, 2010, 2:35 pm

pvitari wrote:Dear TalkieTime,

That's all way too complicated for me. Anything requiring a rewiring means a $150 visit from the home theater guy. ;) I'm even beginning to wonder if it IS the machine that's at fault. I really wish I could solve this problem of the wavy lines.


I suggested the Magnavox 2160 ($159 at J&R World) as this recorder offers flexibility and reliability, is easy to connect and use, and has an outstanding, well-established peer-to-peer support community at the AVS Forum. The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is a must visit resource for anyone considering the purchase of a DVD recorder or HDD/DVD recorder. That first post is the Table of Contents that opens to a wealth of information concerning the Magnavox 2160:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthre ... st12244086
Last edited by TalkieTime on June 12th, 2010, 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

markfp
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby markfp » June 9th, 2010, 3:29 pm

No offense meant to anybody, but this thread has gotten way too technical and while some of us have the experience and know-how to understand "tech talk" I think we often forget that the majority of folks don't and only want to know where to put the disc and what button to push.

Just a thought, for people who may need assistance in setting up or replacing electronics, check with your friends or neighbors, most teenagers are far more technical savvy then we ever were and can get you up and running in no time. An offer of a few dollars to show your appreciation will be a lot less than a professional's service call.

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movieman1957
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby movieman1957 » September 2nd, 2010, 2:56 pm

I know this is going way back but I have an unusual situation with my two recorders. One is a Toshiba that I have hooked through an HD box though the recorder itself is not an HD machine. It will not record TCM (or some other channels though not all) on a standard digital signal. It will record on the TCM HD signal. It is an acceptable picture but not really one I might keep. Rewiring, since I have a TV, stereo, cable box and DVD/VHS recorder together, is probably too much trouble with the other machine working fine on a digital box.

And what is worse is that it hasn't always been that way. Oh well.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » September 3rd, 2010, 12:22 pm

movieman1957 wrote:I know this is going way back but I have an unusual situation with my two recorders. One is a Toshiba that I have hooked through an HD box though the recorder itself is not an HD machine. It will not record TCM (or some other channels though not all) on a standard digital signal. It will record on the TCM HD signal. It is an acceptable picture but not really one I might keep. Rewiring, since I have a TV, stereo, cable box and DVD/VHS recorder together, is probably too much trouble with the other machine working fine on a digital box.

And what is worse is that it hasn't always been that way. Oh well.


If one recorder is working fine recording TCM HD and the Toshiba recorder is not, there might be a connectivity problem with the Toshiba. Or, the correct Toshiba input is not being selected as the signal source for recording. You mentioned the other recorder but you didn’t specify what it is. If that other recorder is a DVR provided by a cable or satellite service it is integral to that service’s functionality. Third party recorders, like your Toshiba, require specific connectivity and recording procedures.

Depending upon the Toshiba model you have there are two or three connectivity methods:

1. Perhaps the most commonly used connectivity method has a composite cable set, yellow for video and white/red audio, connected between the cable converter box or satellite receiver yellow video and white/red audio outputs to the corresponding yellow video and white red audio inputs on the DVD recorder. Then a set of DVD recorder outputs are connected to a corresponding set of inputs on the TV. Then, use the TV remote to select the input where the DVD recorder is connected. Then, use the DVD recorder remote to select the input where the cable converter box or satellite receiver is connected. Be sure that the cable converter box or satellite recorder is set to the "channel" you wish to record. And be sure to record from the correct input.

2. A less commonly used connectivity method provides somewhat better picture quality recordings through use of a S-Video cable that has a round plug with several pins. With the S-Video cable one must also use the white/red audio cables connected between the cable converter box or satellite receiver S-Video and white/red audio outputs to the corresponding S-video and white red audio inputs on the DVD recorder. Then a set of DVD recorder outputs are connected to a corresponding set of inputs on the TV. Then, use the TV remote to select the input where the DVD recorder is connected. Then, use the DVD recorder remote to select the input where the cable converter box or satellite receiver is connected. Be sure that the cable converter box or satellite recorder is set to the "channel" you wish to record. And be sure to record from the correct input.

3. Some DVD recorders, those with internal tuners, have coaxial cable inputs and outputs usually labelled “antenna in” or “RF in” and “to TV” or “RF out.” When using a cable converter box or satellite receiver recent or current model DVD recorder coax cable RF connections are generally used only for very specific purposes. Many folks assume that DVD recorder coaxial cable connections function the same way as with VCRs of an earlier era. To use a song lyric to make a long story short, “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” (I could go on with a more involved technical description of modulated and unmodulated RF outputs but that would no longer address basic connectivity.)

Yes, these procedures are more complicated than using the equipment provided by the cable or satellite service but these procedures allow one to record TCM programming to DVDs, something that cable or satellite equipment does not provide.

When it comes to picture quality there are a variety of “recording modes” sometimes referred to as “recording speeds.” Most 2006 and newer Toshiba recorders are manufactured by Funai. Those Toshiba recorders have two “recording modes” that provide very good picture quality. HQ (one hour recording capacity per DVD) and SP (two hours recording capacity per DVD) provide the best picture quality. Picture quality is substantially reduced when using recording modes that provide four hours or more recording capacity per DVD. (It’s only the Panasonic recorders that maintain very good picture quality out to the four hour recording capacity per DVD. But Panasonic’s current EZ series recorders have other problems described in detail at the AVS Forum. Yes, I write from experience as I purchased six EZ series Panasonics, two of which 2007 EZ series models were junked last fall and only two of those six EZ series recorders remain in daily use. I much prefer the older ES series Panasonic DVD recorders, five of which 2005 and 2006 ES series models remain in daily use in our household.)
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

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movieman1957
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby movieman1957 » September 3rd, 2010, 2:21 pm

The other recorder is a Panasonic DVD/VHS recorder. That is a straight cable input. All the digital channels record fine. The Toshiba (I failed to mention earlier has an Upconvert feature.) I would have thought that all the digital channels would have not recorded.

I'll have to look and see if there is another connection that might work.

Thanks for your help.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » September 3rd, 2010, 4:46 pm

movieman1957 wrote:The other recorder is a Panasonic DVD/VHS recorder. That is a straight cable input. All the digital channels record fine. The Toshiba (I failed to mention earlier has an Upconvert feature.) I would have thought that all the digital channels would have not recorded.

I'll have to look and see if there is another connection that might work.

Thanks for your help.


Two of my Panasonic DVD recorders are connected to the same Comcast Motorola DCX3200 HD converter box. The DMR-ES25 uses the S-Video connection and the DMR-ES35V uses the yellow video connection. Since the Magnavox converter box has only a single white/red audio output I use "Y" adapters to split the white/red audio outputs to feed both Panasonic recorders.
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby Birdy » September 7th, 2010, 10:46 pm

TalkieTime,
I dropped my combo VCR/DVD player. (It did not record DVDs, but a lot of my VHS were recorded on it.) THe DVD player won't play, so I'm guessing it's a loss, but you're so smart I just thought I'd ask.
Birdy

TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » September 8th, 2010, 12:49 am

Birdy wrote:TalkieTime,
I dropped my combo VCR/DVD player. (It did not record DVDs, but a lot of my VHS were recorded on it.) THe DVD player won't play, so I'm guessing it's a loss, but you're so smart I just thought I'd ask.
Birdy


Birdy,

With a VCR/DVD combo the laser assembly is perhaps the most delicate part in the DVD Drive. Dropping the machine might have been the terminal event for the laser assembly. Dropping the machine might also result in VHS mechanism tape handling or other functional issues.

New VCR/DVD player combos are usually priced in the $50 to $70 range.

Used combo machines sometimes turn up at garage sales or Craig's List at around $20. Of course such machines might have had rough treatment and might be in no better condition than your combo. If you look at one of these machines be sure to ask for a demonstration with a DVD and a videotape. Don't take one of your videotapes to try out as the machine might gobble it up. Let the seller use their own videotape(s) to demonstrate the machine's functionality. The machine should have the correct, functional remote.

Many folks have given up recording to videotape, are scared off by the complexity of DVD recorders and opt instead to get simple to program DVRs provided by cable and satellite companies. Of course, DVRs don't record to DVDs. Whatever is recorded to the hard drive is retained only until the hard drive starts to fill up.

In the last year and a half I've seen a number of Funai-built or Panasonic VHS/DVD combo recorders show up on our metro area Craig's List. I've purchased a few of these. Two were Magnavox ZV450MW8 models, one like-new and the other with a few quirks but it works well enough, a somehat similar Sylvania ZV450SL8 and a little-used Panasonic DMR-EZ47 that had a VHS mechanism malfunction. I paid in the range of $25-$40 for each of these combo recorders. I had a Panasonic parts machine on hand so swapping in two VHS cradle mechanism parts returned the EZ47 to like-new functionality. The Sylvania ZV450 turned out to be a functional disaster for me. After explaining the Sylvania's faults, I gave it to a step-daughter. She used it to transfer her videotapes to DVD and after a year of occasional use she still seems pleased with the Sylvania--good for her.
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » September 24th, 2010, 2:04 pm

Earlier posts in this and other forums have bemoaned copy protection difficulties with some Toshiba DVD Recorders. I’ve now experienced this Toshiba DVD Recorder copy protection pain for myself.

This Toshiba D-R410 DVD Recorder of October 2008 manufacture is a Craig’s List purchase ($30) from a month ago. Since that time it has not been set up for regular use. Yesterday I set this D-R410 up (for the first time) for the specific purpose of playing a six minute long portion of a Panasonic-recorded DVD through the 410 model’s composite output to the front panel composite input of my Philips 3575 HDD/DVD Recorder in order to dub that recording to the 3575 model’s hard drive. That Philips hard drive recording was then found to have the “copy protected” icon—the first time I’ve ever seen that icon with any of my Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders.

Here is the background. Recently, TCM has been showing a six minute long “TCM Original Production” promo describing the 1999 restoration of Greed (1924). This promo is especially interesting in that Josef Von Stroheim, son of Greed Director Erich Von Stroheim, participates in the promo. In the run-up to TCM’s showing of the restored version of Greed I’ve twice recorded this promo, both times with Panasonic DVD Recorders. When TCM screened the 1999 restored version of Greed I recorded it to the hard drive of my Philips 3575 HDD/DVD Recorder. Greed and two short interstitials were recorded as a single title of 4:30 duration at the LP recording mode. My recording strategy took into account title dividing, including the two short interstitials as well as dividing Greed into two parts for the purpose of high-speed dubbing to two DVDs. I used the LP recording mode (that provides 3:20:00 programming content per DVD with Magnavox and Philips recorders) since I was unsure where the Greed title divide could be made in such a way as to preserve scene continuity. As it turned out I found the best title divide location occurred at 2:26:09. That left part two with a running time of 1:32:43. Since the TCM Greed screening lacked an intro, I determined to dub the six minute long Greed promo from a Panasonic-recorded disc to the 3575 model’s hard drive so the promo itself could be made to serve as the intro to part one.

It was at this point that the Toshiba D-R410 was set up. The promo was played from the Panasonic-recorded DVD by the 410 and recorded to the 3575 hard drive but the result was that the hard drive recording had the copy protected icon. Yes, I made an attempt to copy the promo to a blank DVD. That was not possible.

What did I do? I took that very same Panasonic-recorded DVD with the Greed promo and played it on a Sony DVP-NS57P DVD player where the composite output was connected to a Magnavox 2160A HDD/DVD Recorder. The Greed promo was dubbed to the 2160A hard drive where there was no copy protected icon found on that hard drive recording. Then I high-speed dubbed the Greed promo to a blank Taiyo Yuden DVD. Then I took that 2160A disc to the Philips 3575 where part one of Greed was then high-speed dubbed. Then I finalized that disc. Success!

Part two of Greed was high-speed dubbed to another DVD where it was paired with an earlier showing of the 1925 MGM Studio Tour. Erich Von Stroheim is seen in that 32:17 minute studio tour.
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

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pvitari
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby pvitari » September 25th, 2010, 12:15 pm

What did I do? I took that very same Panasonic-recorded DVD with the Greed promo and played it on a Sony DVP-NS57P DVD player where the composite output was connected to a Magnavox 2160A HDD/DVD Recorder. The Greed promo was dubbed to the 2160A hard drive where there was no copy protected icon found on that hard drive recording. Then I high-speed dubbed the Greed promo to a blank Taiyo Yuden DVD. Then I took that 2160A disc to the Philips 3575 where part one of Greed was then high-speed dubbed. Then I finalized that disc. Success!



OK, all that makes my head hurt. All that is way beyond whatever I would be able to do.

I still haven't bought a new DVD recorder though I really need to because a whole bunch of TCM films are clogging up my DVR. I'd really like to get one with a VCR port too but I don't know if that's possible anymore. But I need to make sure it doesn't have any anti-copying software.

TalkieTime
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby TalkieTime » September 25th, 2010, 1:48 pm

pvitari wrote:
What did I do? I took that very same Panasonic-recorded DVD with the Greed promo and played it on a Sony DVP-NS57P DVD player where the composite output was connected to a Magnavox 2160A HDD/DVD Recorder. The Greed promo was dubbed to the 2160A hard drive where there was no copy protected icon found on that hard drive recording. Then I high-speed dubbed the Greed promo to a blank Taiyo Yuden DVD. Then I took that 2160A disc to the Philips 3575 where part one of Greed was then high-speed dubbed. Then I finalized that disc. Success!



OK, all that makes my head hurt. All that is way beyond whatever I would be able to do.

I still haven't bought a new DVD recorder though I really need to because a whole bunch of TCM films are clogging up my DVR. I'd really like to get one with a VCR port too but I don't know if that's possible anymore. But I need to make sure it doesn't have any anti-copying software.


My lengthy description addresses some of the concerns of those interested in "workarounds" to the "copy protected" issue with some recorders. It comes down to the reality that some devices "flag" programming as "copy protected" in order to prevent copying to removable media (DVD) while other devices do not flag programming as "copy protected."

The concern you will have when considering the purchase of a HDD/DVD recorder or DVD recorder is this: Does your DVR "flag" it's output signal as "copy protected" so that a HDD/DVD recorder or DVD recorder might not be able to produce a DVD from a DVR output? I can not answer that question.

My post merely confirms what some other Toshiba (and Sony) owners have found.
"A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose's fragrance." --Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)

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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby Birdy » September 26th, 2010, 10:49 pm

Talkietime- thanks for the response. Terminal certainly sounds like the diagnosis I had guessed at. And given the price of machines, I will probably ask Santa for one for Christmas. (I have another one downstairs so am not completely without.) Isn't it sad that it's cheaper to throw something in the dump (okay, I'll drop it off on electronics recycling day) than to have it repaired. Can you believe people used to have toasters repaired? And fans?

I have a Panasonic DVD recorder and love it. B

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pvitari
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Re: TCM -- Anti-copying Code?

Postby pvitari » September 27th, 2010, 8:19 am

Well, I bought a Panasonic DVD/VHS combo recorder yesterday. The guy is coming on Saturday to hook it up. I sure hope it works the way I need it to.


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