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Author Topic: DVD copy-protection  (Read 901 times)
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scififry

Bending Unit
***
« on: 03-12-2011 05:38 »

So yesterday I got the Futurama season 2 DVD box (R2-PAL). smile
I wanted to enjoy it directly, turned on the TV, VCR, and DVD player, but HUH-what's that? wtf?
The picture was distorted and jumping up and down the screen. The first thought I had was `Shit my TV's lifetime is over' 'cause it's something like 20 years old, the second that the DVD is broken. So I changed the DVD and had the same problem again which I never had before. Tried a whole different DVD and it worked properly. Then tried again the Futurama DVD and set the TV's picture refresh rate to see if the DVD had a different one even if the package says PAL and my DVD player is set up to PAL, but I only got to see the blanking interval which contains at TV broadcastings (here in Germany) normally the teletext's data bits, at DVD operation normally nothing.
But the blanking inteval was full with distorted pixels!
Then I realized that the problem could be the VCR, which the DVD players' video signal goes through.
So I bridged the VCR with clamp cables and got a clear picture!

Just posting this because I was interested if someone has had this problem too.
futurefreak

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« Reply #1 on: 03-12-2011 06:37 »
« Last Edit on: 03-12-2011 06:40 »

It sounds like you did what you were supposed to (setting it up to play it) but what do I know. You are in Germany so your dvd player is R2 as well? Are the other DVDs that you tried playimg R2 or R1? The only thing I know is that the regions on the dvds have to match the player (R2 dvd on R2 player) but I'm guessing you already knew that. Sorry I can't be more helpful :/ I tried googling it but it gave me the answer I just told you.

Here is the google search result. Maybe it will make more sense to you than it does to me (I am in the US and fortunately never had problems).

http://www.google.com/m?q=dvd+R2+pal+wont+play&client=ms-opera-mini&channel=new
scififry

Bending Unit
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« Reply #2 on: 03-12-2011 06:53 »
« Last Edit on: 03-12-2011 07:09 »

Thanks for your help, Randi. I just posted this out of interest.
My DVD player is code-free (and it was even the cheapest), so i have no problems with playing the DVDs. It's just that these distorted pixels seem to be a copy protection against VCRs because it doesn't work if I put the video signal through my VCR but it plays clear and good if I connect the DVD player directly to the TV. Also recording on videotape doesn't work pretty well, the picture just gets even more distorted.
But the only solution seems to be connecting the DVD player directly to the TV, dammit!, mad
because I like to record from DVDs to VHS so I can change them with friends to make them addicted to Futurama too wink!

EDIT: I once read about an old copy-protection system for Betamax Video which works the same way.
futurefreak

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« Reply #3 on: 03-12-2011 09:28 »

Wouldn't that be something if they converted Futurama to Betamax, heh.

Ha at first I was confused why you would play the DVD through the VCR but then I saw the bit about recording it for friends. It sounds like it is a copy protection then, darnit! shifty

In Germany do you still get analog signals or is it all digital? I am curious as to how you record off the TV VHS unless you actually get satellite (?). I only get regular TV so I am unable to record using VHS because of the switch from analog to digital here in the states. Now I am a box of useless tapes that are brand new but need to be discarded mad
bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #4 on: 03-12-2011 22:46 »

Many VCRs used (or respect) a copy protection scheme called Macrovision.  That may be what is giving you the problem with playback of the DVD through the VCR.  There is a program called DVD Shrink which will remove Macrovision from a DVD as you rip the DVD.  You might be able to then play the Macrovision free file through the VCR.
scififry

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #5 on: 03-13-2011 00:39 »

Thanks for the advice, bankrupt. But unfortunately I can't use it because my PC has no burner built in, but also, I don't really need it, if they want Futurama, they should buy their own DVDs! wink

@Randi: Yes I still have analog signals, but even if I had to use a decoder for digital signals I could still record to VHS by connecting the decoders' a/v output to the VCRs' a/v input, so what prevents you from using your VCR? Or is it because you don't have an old TV anymore (no analog a/v signals because the
 digital decoder is built-in into the TV), or maybe because you have different a/v connector systems?

In Germany we (usually) use scaet or RCA, scaet is a 21-pin a/v connector for input and output in one.
The 2nd reason for playing through the VCR was also because my TV is old (as I mentioned 20 years)
and has only 2 RCA-connectors for a/v and I don't wanted always to change the plugs for either VCR or DVD, I can easily switch the VCR to its a/v channel for DVD.
bankrupt

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #6 on: 03-13-2011 14:59 »

scififry, your VCR troubles are a perfect example of why I dislike copy protection schemes so much.  The only thing the DVD "protection" protects is you from using your VCR as a pass-thru, a perfectly legal use!  They don't stop pirates, they only inconvenience people who actually pay for the product.

I have my own story of DVD copy-protection being a pain in the ass.  When Wall-E came out on DVD I bought a copy.  When I tried to play the DVD there was huge amounts of stutter and it was unwatchable.  I figured there was a defect in the DVD so I returned it to the store and got another.  The second DVD had the same problem as the first.  This made me do a little research online to find out what was up with this DVD.  It turns out, as extra "copy-protection", Disney scrambled the chapters on the DVD in a non-standard way.  New DVD players can reassemble the chapters on the fly no problem, but my 9 year old DVD player didn't have enough processing power to do it, hence the stuttering playback.  The DVD player was perfectly functional for other DVDs, but this one was rendered unplayable because of the silly attempt to protect the content that I guarantee was already available for torrent.  In the end I had to rip the DVD (violating the copy protection on the disk) in order to view it properly!  The worthless copy protection technology cost Disney a returned DVD and an aggravated, legitimate customer.
scififry

Bending Unit
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« Reply #7 on: 03-13-2011 17:59 »

I hate those copy-protection mechanisms too, but also region codes mad!!!
All these shit-technologies which make the use for the customer uncomfortable and the technology for coding and decoding even more complicated! And those unskipable legal-advice screens make me angry         too, and as great as Futurama is, the DVDs kind of suck because of the copy-protection and the legal-advice screens. I agree to your post to 100%.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #8 on: 03-14-2011 01:33 »

Region coding and copy protection irritate me because they cost thousands to develop, are easy to bypass (and therefore worthless), and the cost gets passed onto the consumer.

It's just not fair.

I also dislike the fact that TVs are yet to be fully integrated with computer systems... I hate changing disks. I want the entirity of a series on a USB drive that plugs into the top of the TV. Assuming a proprietary encoding format with 128-bit encryption, that might also be more effective at protecting companies from revenue losses due to piracy.
scififry

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #9 on: 03-14-2011 01:55 »

Yes exactly, you have to pay more and those systems are really easy to bypass if you know how to.
But I wouldn't need/want an entire series on an USB drive, even the fact it is possible already because most nowaday's DVD players have an USB socket built in. It's for me like this because an USB stick would get lost too fast 'cause it's so small...wink
And disk-changing doesn't annoy me, you have some time to refresh from watching on the TV all the time, or getting some new drinks, popcorn or something else.
futurefreak

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« Reply #10 on: 03-14-2011 09:13 »

Yeah I always found the DVD copy protection thing stupid. I BOUGHT the DVD, you don't have to worry about "protecting it" because it's already been paid for. How is me hypothetically making a copy of it for a friend to watch any different than me lending them the original to watch themselves? Either way the DVD will not be bought again, why don't we just make it illegal to share discs then roll eyes

This on top of, like you guys mentioned, just getting it online anyway instead of buying it in the first place. Why must those who actually paid for the damn thing be punished?

scififry: I think my dad did that, he worked with electronics stuff for his job so he knew what he was doing, but alas when I tried I just got static. teh Fail frown
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