Macrovision Killer/eliminator

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by stan snowball, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Hello everyone, and a happy new year.
    I bought a DVD recorder for Christmas a Philips 610 with the intention of
    putting all my home Videos onto DVD, for safer keeping. I had tried with a
    couple of capture cards in my PC over the years, but always ended up with
    files too big and not very good quality, so I abandoned that idea. Anyway
    back to the DVD recorder. My boy asked me about a week ago if he could watch
    Star Wars, which we have on VHS, so I thought to myself oooh, I might as
    well make a backup of it with the DVD recorder, while he is watching it,
    completely forgetting that there may be some copy protection on the video.
    The reason I tried to make the backup is, that we have lots of video films
    and cartoons that we have bought over the years, and one or two of them are
    starting to deteriorate. After three or four tries It then dawned on me that
    their must be some protection on the video because it wouldn't record it.
    After making some enquiries I discovered Macrovision was the culprit. After
    a bit more digging round I heard that there was such a thing as a
    macrovision killer/eliminator. I found several retailers on the internet but
    all except one were in the United States, and the one in the UK where I live
    claimed to have a set of scart leads that would do the job, but they just
    looked like any other set of scart leads to me, so I didn't bother. I then
    found a couple of circuit diagrams but they must be fairly old because one
    of the main components on each circuit is discontinued. Now several years
    ago I took up electronics as a hobby, I went to college and did quite well,
    buying my own oscilloscope, frequency counter, logic probe, etc. I then
    bought a PC and that was the end of my electronics hobby. I still have all
    my gear, and think I could build one if I can get hold of a good circuit
    diagram. I would appreciate any help from anyone.
    Thank you very much, Stan.
     
    stan snowball, Jan 8, 2005
    #1
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  2. stan snowball

    Mark Jones Guest

    Hello Stan. I know exactly where you are coming from. I sometimes
    shoot short videos and edit on the PC. Imagine my frustration when
    this can't be done because of MV. It's not even commercial footage!

    Perhaps this will help.
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=macrovision PIC 4066



    -- Another interesting aspect relating to fractals is astrology. Many
    people refuse to believe in it, maybe because they are devoutly
    religious or they feel it is nonsense. Well I've studied it, and more
    often then not, it seems astrology bears more than an ounce of truth.
    The very notion that the position of the planets in our solar system
    playing a role in our behavior sounds absurd, but it seems to work.
    Why would the position of the moon at the time of our birth have any
    influence upon what kind of person we become - unless the two were
    somehow related?
     
    Mark Jones, Jan 8, 2005
    #2
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  3. On Sat, 08 Jan 2005 17:21:35 GMT, "stan snowball" <> wrote:

    >Hello everyone, and a happy new year.
    >I bought a DVD recorder for Christmas a Philips 610 with the intention of
    >putting all my home Videos onto DVD, for safer keeping. I had tried with a
    >couple of capture cards in my PC over the years, but always ended up with
    >files too big and not very good quality, so I abandoned that idea. Anyway
    >back to the DVD recorder. My boy asked me about a week ago if he could watch
    >Star Wars, which we have on VHS, so I thought to myself oooh, I might as
    >well make a backup of it with the DVD recorder, while he is watching it,
    >completely forgetting that there may be some copy protection on the video.
    >The reason I tried to make the backup is, that we have lots of video films
    >and cartoons that we have bought over the years, and one or two of them are
    >starting to deteriorate. After three or four tries It then dawned on me that
    >their must be some protection on the video because it wouldn't record it.
    >After making some enquiries I discovered Macrovision was the culprit. After
    >a bit more digging round I heard that there was such a thing as a
    >macrovision killer/eliminator. I found several retailers on the internet but
    >all except one were in the United States, and the one in the UK where I live
    >claimed to have a set of scart leads that would do the job, but they just
    >looked like any other set of scart leads to me, so I didn't bother. I then
    >found a couple of circuit diagrams but they must be fairly old because one
    >of the main components on each circuit is discontinued. Now several years
    >ago I took up electronics as a hobby, I went to college and did quite well,
    >buying my own oscilloscope, frequency counter, logic probe, etc. I then
    >bought a PC and that was the end of my electronics hobby. I still have all
    >my gear, and think I could build one if I can get hold of a good circuit
    >diagram. I would appreciate any help from anyone.
    >Thank you very much, Stan.
    >


    De-Macrovision cables are available from :
    www.sonel.com
    www.multi-region.co.uk
     
    Mike Harrison, Jan 8, 2005
    #3
  4. stan snowball

    Terry Given Guest

    stan snowball wrote:
    > Hello everyone, and a happy new year.
    > I bought a DVD recorder for Christmas a Philips 610 with the intention of
    > putting all my home Videos onto DVD, for safer keeping. I had tried with a
    > couple of capture cards in my PC over the years, but always ended up with
    > files too big and not very good quality, so I abandoned that idea. Anyway
    > back to the DVD recorder. My boy asked me about a week ago if he could watch
    > Star Wars, which we have on VHS, so I thought to myself oooh, I might as
    > well make a backup of it with the DVD recorder, while he is watching it,
    > completely forgetting that there may be some copy protection on the video.
    > The reason I tried to make the backup is, that we have lots of video films
    > and cartoons that we have bought over the years, and one or two of them are
    > starting to deteriorate. After three or four tries It then dawned on me that
    > their must be some protection on the video because it wouldn't record it.
    > After making some enquiries I discovered Macrovision was the culprit. After
    > a bit more digging round I heard that there was such a thing as a
    > macrovision killer/eliminator. I found several retailers on the internet but
    > all except one were in the United States, and the one in the UK where I live
    > claimed to have a set of scart leads that would do the job, but they just
    > looked like any other set of scart leads to me, so I didn't bother. I then
    > found a couple of circuit diagrams but they must be fairly old because one
    > of the main components on each circuit is discontinued. Now several years
    > ago I took up electronics as a hobby, I went to college and did quite well,
    > buying my own oscilloscope, frequency counter, logic probe, etc. I then
    > bought a PC and that was the end of my electronics hobby. I still have all
    > my gear, and think I could build one if I can get hold of a good circuit
    > diagram. I would appreciate any help from anyone.
    > Thank you very much, Stan.


    Hi Stan,

    Macrovision works (IIRC) by messing with the sync signal. It is
    therefore *HIGHLY LIKELY* that a successful MV killer *will* be a cable
    of some description, as it will have to modify the sync signal.

    Cheers
    Terry
     
    Terry Given, Jan 20, 2005
    #4
  5. stan snowball

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Here in the US, Macrovision Killers are usually advertised as 'video
    enhancers' with cute pictures on the advertisements showing the
    characteristic darkening/lightening of the image that is the result of
    Macrovision processing; this 'politically correct' approach seems to let
    them remain on the shelves when perhaps they otherwise wouldn't.

    They are pretty ubiquitous; I was in a CompUSA today and they had them.
    It's true that there's not a whole lot in the box -- usually a sync
    detector/separator IC and some logic for truly 'blanking' the blanking
    interval rather than allowing Macrovision to goof around with it, although I
    have seen some fancier ones (such as the one at CompUSA) that have, e.g.,
    PAL/NTSC selectability, S-Video connections, etc.

    I'm sure you can find some schematics of Macrovision killers on the 'net,
    but the boxes are usually <$30, so unless you're looking to learn some more
    about it, I'd just buy one and be happy.

    ---Joel Kolstad
     
    Joel Kolstad, Jan 20, 2005
    #5
  6. stan snowball

    Jim Thompson Guest

    On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 03:10:58 -0800, "Joel Kolstad"
    <> wrote:

    >Here in the US, Macrovision Killers are usually advertised as 'video
    >enhancers' with cute pictures on the advertisements showing the
    >characteristic darkening/lightening of the image that is the result of
    >Macrovision processing; this 'politically correct' approach seems to let
    >them remain on the shelves when perhaps they otherwise wouldn't.
    >
    >They are pretty ubiquitous; I was in a CompUSA today and they had them.
    >It's true that there's not a whole lot in the box -- usually a sync
    >detector/separator IC and some logic for truly 'blanking' the blanking
    >interval rather than allowing Macrovision to goof around with it, although I
    >have seen some fancier ones (such as the one at CompUSA) that have, e.g.,
    >PAL/NTSC selectability, S-Video connections, etc.
    >
    >I'm sure you can find some schematics of Macrovision killers on the 'net,
    >but the boxes are usually <$30, so unless you're looking to learn some more
    >about it, I'd just buy one and be happy.
    >
    >---Joel Kolstad
    >


    Throw a scope on the video output and you can observe what's in
    Macrovision... mostly just "whiter-than-white" bursts to confuse the
    AGC in the recorder. Sometimes there's also some extra sync around
    the vertical pulse. All really easy to fix once you think about it...
    think REPLACE ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
    --
    | James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
    | Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
    | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
    | Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
    | E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
    | http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

    I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
     
    Jim Thompson, Jan 20, 2005
    #6
  7. Hi,

    I think Macrovision managed to get a court ruling to prevent such devices
    being sold in Europe, as removing the copy protection infringed their
    Patents in some way. Such boxes 'Video Enhancers' were quite widely made -
    at work we bought one made by Hamma which has S-Video and Composite video
    in/out. Although they might not be easily obtainable new Ebay might be worth
    checking. There were plenty of magazine articles showing how to build one,
    usually involving a sync separator IC and some logic driving an analogue
    switch so that the appropriate parts of the video signal were set to black
    level. I did build one but seem to remember black level clamping wasn't all
    that good. I am surprised that a key component in the design you found is
    obsolete, there is probably a substitute out there, perhaps post the name of
    the chip you cannot get.

    The Macrovision signal on a DVD disc is actually generated in the DVD player
    rather than being recorded on the disc, a 'flag' on the disc tells the
    player to turn on the Macrovision encoding. Another approach might be to
    disable the Macrovision inside the DVD player, back in the days when DVD
    players needed some form of hardware change to make them play Region 1
    discs, the same modification would often disable the Macrovision allegedly
    to stop problems with projection TV's which didn't like the Macrovision
    signal. Nowadays in the UK Region modified DVD players are quite common but
    I suspect they just play all discs rather than have the macrovision
    disabled. Again Ebay might turn up an older DVD player with all the
    modifications already done.

    Philip

    "Jim Thompson" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 03:10:58 -0800, "Joel Kolstad"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>Here in the US, Macrovision Killers are usually advertised as 'video
    >>enhancers' with cute pictures on the advertisements showing the
    >>characteristic darkening/lightening of the image that is the result of
    >>Macrovision processing; this 'politically correct' approach seems to let
    >>them remain on the shelves when perhaps they otherwise wouldn't.
    >>
    >>They are pretty ubiquitous; I was in a CompUSA today and they had them.
    >>It's true that there's not a whole lot in the box -- usually a sync
    >>detector/separator IC and some logic for truly 'blanking' the blanking
    >>interval rather than allowing Macrovision to goof around with it, although
    >>I
    >>have seen some fancier ones (such as the one at CompUSA) that have, e.g.,
    >>PAL/NTSC selectability, S-Video connections, etc.
    >>
    >>I'm sure you can find some schematics of Macrovision killers on the 'net,
    >>but the boxes are usually <$30, so unless you're looking to learn some
    >>more
    >>about it, I'd just buy one and be happy.
    >>
    >>---Joel Kolstad
    >>

    >
    > Throw a scope on the video output and you can observe what's in
    > Macrovision... mostly just "whiter-than-white" bursts to confuse the
    > AGC in the recorder. Sometimes there's also some extra sync around
    > the vertical pulse. All really easy to fix once you think about it...
    > think REPLACE ;-)
    >
    > ...Jim Thompson
    > --
    > | James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
    > | Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
    > | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
    > | Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
    > | E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
    > | http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |
    >
    > I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.


    Hi,
     
    Electric dabbler, Jan 20, 2005
    #7
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