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TV picture from DVD fades in and out??

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Jeff Wisnia, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Jeff Wisnia

    Jeff Wisnia Guest

    The TV in out teen agers's playroom has only an RF input and the kids
    have a commodity grade VCR and an entry level DVD hooked up to it.

    The RF output from the VCR feeds the input of the TV, and the DVD's
    video and audio outputs are connected to the corrosponding inputs on the

    All's well when playing video tapes on the VCR, but when playing a DVD
    the TV image "fades" or changes contrast slowly with a cycle time of
    about 20 seconds. Not badly enough to make you miss anything on the
    screen, but it's noticably annoying.

    I wrote it off as being some weird kind of incompatibility anomaly, and
    since I don't have to watch DVDs in that room I didn't bother trying to
    eliminate the problem.

    Yesterday I was at a friend's home who had a similar setup, but with
    different brands of equipment and his TV image faded in an out the same
    as ours when he tried to show me a scene on a DVD.

    That got me wondering if that fading effect is a "well known problem"
    and if it is, what's the easiest way to get things working "normally".

    Thanks guys,

    Jeffry Wisnia

    (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

    "Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented."
  2. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    That's from the Macrovision copy protection. You can get a little box
    that will remove it from the signal, or you can see if your DVD player
    is hackable to remove it. On my Apex it was a matter of getting into a
    hidden menu and turning the useless stuff off.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    : That's from the Macrovision copy protection. You can get a little box
    : that will remove it from the signal, or you can see if your DVD player
    : is hackable to remove it. On my Apex it was a matter of getting into a
    : hidden menu and turning the useless stuff off.

    Agreed. You need to do a google search for "image stabilizer" and put
    one of them in the video line between the DVD player and the VCR. is one such device.

  4. JR North

    JR North Guest

    For some reason, DVDs seem to like the VCR feeding into them, and the
    DVD into the TeeWee. Try swapping the feeds.
  5. Jeff Wisnia

    Jeff Wisnia Guest

    Thanks much! I hadn't thought of that. I dug out the little battery
    powered digital video stabilizer I bought about ten years ago to let me
    copy VCR tapes, put it in the video line between the DVD output and the
    VCR input and, "Bob's your uncle!" (Worked great.)


    Jeffry Wisnia

    (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

    "Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented."
  6. He can't, there's no RF out of a DVD player.



    ....RAM DISC is not an installation procedure
  7. Guest

    No wonder you had the problem. You cannot simply use a VCR as a
    modulator for a DVD player due to the macrovision.
  8. [This followup was posted to and a copy was sent
    to the cited author.]

    As others have mentioned, this is an artifact of the Macrovision copy
    protection. Not all VCR's will do this when in 'pass-thru' mode. My JVC
    will work fine, until you hit RECORD.

    There are some RF modulators out there that also have an A/B switch.
    You can feed the DVD through the modulator, with the VCR/antenna being
    switched. Alternately, just get a modulator and an RF switch. Both are
    real cheap. You just switch between the two inputs.
  9. Jim Nugent

    Jim Nugent Guest

    Thank you very much for this link. I have 2 small TV/VCR combos whose AV
    inputs go directly to the internal VCR which sends the signal to the TV via
    passthrough mode which apparently includes that pesky AGC circuitry that
    makes it vulnerable to Macrovision. No way around it (other than tearing
    apart a densely packed clump of electronics in the hope of locating the
    input to the TV circuitry with no schematic. :-(

    I am (was) totally unfamiliar with Macrovision video copy protection because
    I've never copied a commercial tape. I though this cyclical problem was some
    kind of "beat frequency" interaction between oscillators in the VCR and DVD
    player. The Radio Shack salesdroid was useless, claiming it had to do with
    overheating. Why can't they just learn the 3 words "I don't know." There's
    really no shame in admitting that.

    My DVD player is as cheap as they come (or came --- at the time --- $40) and
    most likely does not include firmware to disable Macrovision, even
    undocumented. Their (Cyberhome) knowledge base has an entry for this very
    problem, and sends you to the a Macrovision FAQ which essentially says,
    don't even try to defeat it, you scofflaw! All I want to do is watch DVDs,

    I ordered one of these boxes from ClearPix link above.

    BTW in my case the artifact was not too bad, and did not make a DVD
    unwatchable (remember, I'm not recording). When I saw the brightening and
    dimming, at first I thought it was random, and just meant the TV was getting
    a little senile. Then my son explain that this happen every time the DVD
    signal was sent through a VCR, internal or external. Aaaugh! Now it drives
    me crazy.

    I hope the stabilizer box works.
  10. Tell that to my kids...same stuff...better to make up a story than to
    tell the truth/do the research...before anyone jumps in that it was
    our far as I know, it wasn't. :-(

    The big problem is that it will persist as a
    trend...pattern...habit...IQ's of 140+ being wasted on
    cable/satellite/video's going to hit us hard in our later
    years, when the people who are looking after us are battling Zarod in
    the Delthorn Neverrealm, and we are losing our benefits.

    The good thing'll really hit them harder!


  11. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    You'd be surprised. The cheap ones very often can be easily hacked via the
    remote controls, though more commonly to make them multi region. It's the
    more expensive brand-name ones which have a habit of needing to be

  12. The cheaper they are, the more likely they are sold around
    the world in various versions, and the more likely that the
    firmware can be easily altered. This lets the seller put in
    fixes and modify the initial video branding/logos so they
    can be sold in different channels.

    It also lets others remove/change macrovision or region
    coding. The usual method is to put a binary image of new
    firmware on a CD. When that CD is put into the DVD player,
    the player recognizes the special filename as a new firmware
    image and loads the new image. There are websites that
    offer firmware images without region coding and macrovision
    disabled. They have full instructions/images for many

    I have a 1979 TV with RF only input that I've repaired so
    many times it's a friend. I needed to add a DVD player and
    I used the VCR as my RF modulator. All you need is the image
    for your machine and a CD burner. If you want to get fancy,
    these websites describe how to modify the logo that comes up
    to personalize your player.
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