Poor picture quality in DVD going through VCR

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yogi, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Guys I bought a new DVD player for my main HT in the living room. I retired my old DVD (very reliable Panny A-120)player to my bedroom HT. Now my problem is that I have an old 21 inch TV with only one non-RCA coaxial input so the DVD signal has to go through my hi-fi VCR. Now in certain DVDs (Disney) I get a very poor picture quality that changes between very good to very poor quality once every 5 seconds or so. So the picture begins good and slowly deteriorates over a period of about 5 seconds wherein it becomes really dark and hard to see. It then gradually progresses to become good again. I never had this problem with my living room TV which was connected to the DVD via S-video cable. I am thinking its some sort of copyright protection that does that, which would be a bummer as I will not be able to watch movies with copyright protection on them. Does that mean I'll have to get a newer TV if I have to watch DVDs in the bedroom?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Yup it's the Macrovision.
    You can't run DVD through VCR...it must go straight to TV.
    Maybe you could use an RF converter?? Or of course a new TV would solve everything. [​IMG]
    Good luck
    Alfer
     
  3. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    Macrovision or copy protection -- yes.

    New TV -- one possibility

    Cheaper -- you can get a A-B switch from Radio Shack or elsewhere either manual or remote control able. Add: You still need the RF mod along with this unless the DVD is one of the few with a built in RF output. I think the switch would save you from having to switch out cables when changing sources.
     
  4. Rocky F

    Rocky F Second Unit

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    Yeah, I had the same problem with my very first DVD player, and the easiest is the rf modulator. In fact, I have one for the bedroom and guest room as well, since those only have cheap tv's with coax input.
     
  5. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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    Besides the solutions already mentioned there's one more option....a DVD/VCR combo will pass the audio and video signals (from either source) to the single coaxial input on your TV. This would eliminate the need for a modulator and an A/B switch.
    I've seen these combo units for as little as $150, probably less than you'd spend on a TV upgrade for the bedroom....of course, you'll then have to find another use for your old VCR & DVD player.
    On the flip side, if you decide to go for a new TV for the bedroom with enough inputs to accomodate your current VCR and DVD player, you'll then have an extra TV! [​IMG]
    Vin
     
  6. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Hint:
    One composite jack and one S-video jack and one video choice on the remote is generally enough for only one device other than what;s ion the antenna coax to be connected to the TV. In most cases it won't work with both jacks in use.
    When buying a new inexpensive TV for the bedroom it is a good idea to check the instruction manual, in the store, to see how many things can be connected up to it.
    Video hints:
    http://membes.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  7. TylerZ

    TylerZ Stunt Coordinator

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    The Mitsubishi VCR in our recroom set-up allows me to pass thru a DVD signal to the TV with no degredation. Someplace in the VCR menu there was a place to do this but without getting out the manual I can't remember what it was. I would suggest looking in your manual to see if you can do this too. After all, how mwny people actually look at a VCR manual anymore? But when stuff like this comes up it just may help. Good luck.
     
  8. Jim J

    Jim J Second Unit

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    I was able to run a panny rv32 thru a samsung vcr for my mother-in-law. i used Beauty and the beast to test it.
    I hope that was a good choice.
     
  9. Wyatt_Y

    Wyatt_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    There are combination A/B switches with R/F modulators also. Allows multiple composite inputs with an RF coaxial output (+ antenna pass through)...had to get one for my brother when I got him a DVD player for Christmas....

    Of course, by the time you spend $25-$40 on switch/RF converter...might make more sense in the long run to upgrade the TV...
     
  10. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    RF adapter recently went down in price this 4th quarter. I sell one for under $20 now and it is a very good unit. I'm not big on combo units. After years of working in retail, I'm all too familiar with the story of one part dying and the rest suffering.
    As far as Macrovision, it not only depends on the VCR, but on the disc. Most older VCR's, especially 4hd Hi Fi models, don't have this problem and display it fine (even though they may record it.) I have an RCA unit from 1996 that is still going strong. It was made by Panasonic back in the day and was of great quality. One day, for the hell of it, I taped A Bug's Life onto a tape and it played just fine. However, playing it back on my mother in law's new JVC from 2000 demonstrated the copy poretection, even though it wasn't native in the unit. Some DVD's don't have the signal and do just fine (Harry Potter being the most famous). I solved this by getting the Mother in law a DVD player and she then bought a new TV! The Consumer Electronics industry should have a freakin' alter to DVD somewhere that they all should be sacrificing to daily, as it is the only ship afloat (with HDTV and PVR's paddling behind. My .02 for the day [​IMG]
    Matt
     
  11. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    It is definitely macrovision. Disney is well known for it's wide use of macrovision. Don't want people renting those cartoons for the kids and copying it so they can watch it millions of times. The reason copy macrovision depends on the devices is because it exploits a "feature" of most vcrs called automatic gain correction (AGC). This "feature" looks at the incoming video signal to determine if there is a high bias or low bias and corrects it by lowering or raising the signal level. The minds that created macrovision realized that this can be used to provide copy protection for people trying to copy video tapes by using the undisplayed portion of the NTSC signal. So, by making this undisplayed area alternately extreamely bright or extremely dark, it would cause the overall image to dim or brighten every few seconds. There are a few boxes out there that will remove this form of macrovision but I have not tried them. Try out the modulator if all else fails. If your vcr allows you to turn off AGC, give that a try.

    Good luck.
     
  12. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    I believe some vcr's may pass the signal through without triggerign the macro vision if the vcr is in stant-by mode perhaps. I know on some vcr's there is a way to use it as passive passthrough circurity which dose not trip the macrovision. try tweaking the settings a little, try different modes.
     

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