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VHS capture states this video is protected and unable to record
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ssewb [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Dec 29, 2019 04:35 Messages: 1 Offline
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I'm using a VCR to transfer home videos and getting an error stating the video is protected and unable to record/capture. These are home videos not commercial tapes. What gives? How can I get around this error? Thanks...
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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 6045 Offline
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Quote I'm using a VCR to transfer home videos and getting an error stating the video is protected and unable to record/capture. These are home videos not commercial tapes. What gives? How can I get around this error? Thanks...
This is an error caused by excessive video noise on the tapes, and maybe dirty heads. It's a false Macrovision signal.
Some capture dongles will not respect the Macrovision (false or not), and a guaranteed bypasss is an external time base corrector, unavailable now for under $600-1000, thank heavens I bought one for $400!
The VC-500 has been known to SOMETIMES ignore Macrovision, as sometimes does the crappy GREX stabilizer.
If you have a tape rewinder, try running the tapes through it to disperse any dirt/mold. Go both ways end to end a few times.
Maybe tape heads need cleaning, it's not as simple as q-tips! DO NOT USE COTTON SWABS! Google for instructions, try DFAQ.com.
Possibly using a Panasonic ES-10 or ES-15 DVD recorder as a pass-thru may clean the signal enough, you do not record with it, just use it as a pass-thru device, it will also act as a mild TBC. The ES-10 is more effective than the ES-15 but I use the 15 because it's noise suppression in the video result is less noticable.
Try a different VHS player.
Do your research at DFAQ.com and Videohelp.com. Those 2 sites are VHS-heavy, full of very smart people.
NOTE:
If you have a TON of tapes, you can certainly buy all the needed equipment, although expensive you can resell after you are done
and recoup much of your money. Two S-VHS players would be best to ensure tapes have the best chance to run smoothly.
My setup is Pro-sumer, JVC-S-7800U (with internal line TBC), and a Sharp S-VHS, along with the ES-15 recorder, VC-500 capture dongle, Datavideo TBC-1000 (frame TBC), and free VirtualDub software to capture lossless AVI for restoration. Total about $1,700. Welcome to the RABBIT HOLE.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at Dec 29. 2019 14:13

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garioch7
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Port Hood, Nova Scotia, Canada Joined: Feb 07, 2011 06:45 Messages: 851 Offline
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ssewb:

I am presuming that you are trying to use PD to capture your VHS video. I have never had any success with that approach. I purchased a software package with a converter "dongle" for under $100.00 and have converted hundreds of VHS tapes over the years without a hiccup, and some of them were pretty "noisy" tapes: very old. The quality has been quite acceptable. If you want the best quality, then follow Barry's advice.

The software and dongle capture the VHS as an .mpg file, and you can then import that captured .mpg file into PD and edit away.

Forum policy prohibits me from posting the name of the product, but if you want to know more, please send me a Private Message.

Have a great day and good luck.

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GN85 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Mar 28, 2020 17:45 Messages: 2 Offline
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I'm having the same problem. Has this issue been resolved without buying additional equipment? I bought the PD with the dongle just for converting tapes. It seems that false identification of protected tapes is something that could be fixed?
Thanks!
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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 6045 Offline
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Quote I'm having the same problem. Has this issue been resolved without buying additional equipment? I bought the PD with the dongle just for converting tapes. It seems that false identification of protected tapes is something that could be fixed?
Thanks!
Powerdirector can be very finicky, as can dongles. I suggest a VC-500 dongles, it often ignores dirty signals, or at least try a different software.
Download free Stoik and see if you can record anything with that.
Honestly, if you are going to do anything other than straight cuts, such as color correction, stabilize, ANYTHING, you would be better served capturing lossless AVI, and THEN using PD for edits fixes and delivery format.
Capturing in compressed, then fixing, and then compressing again, that's just wrong.
I personally use VirtualDub but that might be too steep a learning curve at the moment.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Mar 29. 2020 10:57

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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 6045 Offline
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When all is said and done, it's not Powerdirector's fault you are getting false MV signals, Cyberlink must adhere to certain parameters to sell their software, and this is not an uncommon problem for most any NLE, though I have never run into it wothout an actual protected tape.
Your best budget bet is...
A budget quality VCR , preferably S-VHS out, JVC, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sharp, a few Sony and Toshiba, not phoney-baloney quasi S-VHS(HQ). $100-200. A quality USB dongle, no EZcrap. $40-60. One model Panasonic DMR-ES10 or ES-15, the DVD portion does not have to work, the entire unit is for pass-thru to help straighten out the wobblies. You need the remote to shut off noise reduction. Don't pay more than $75 unless you must.
A different capture software. I suggest, again, Stoik or VirtualDub. Use a lossless codec, -update- such as Huffyuv, Lagareth, and MagicYuv, in a YUV color space. Capture 720x480, and edit easily in PD using your newly captured 1st-generation lossless file! $0.00, it's free.

So for about $200-300 you can have a half-decent setup and results that will DESTROY whatever you have now. Keep your current VCR for a backup, unless it's a GE, Sylvania, Goldstar, Funai, Go-Video, Symphonic, or other miserable piece of junk. Be very wary of what you buy, all this stuff is getting very old, capacitors are failing, plastic parts are breaking, belts are drying.

THAT is the VHS capture bible right there for Powerdirector editors.
or...
you can go semi-Pro like I did, 3 S-VHS VCRs, a TBC, an ES-15, 2 different dongles, and 2 screens. Around $2,000. I could use a proc-amp but if I plug in one more device the neighbors will have a brown-out.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at Apr 21. 2020 15:36

HP Envy Phoenix/4thGen i7-4770(4@3.4GHz~turbo>3.9)/Nvidia GTX 960(4GB)/16GB DDR3/7,200rpm/w10x64---
Canon Vixia HV30/HF-M40/HF-M41/HF-G20/Olympus E-PL5. Analog tape capture equipment.
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GN85 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Mar 28, 2020 17:45 Messages: 2 Offline
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Thanks for the detailed reply! I appreciate you taking the time to help. I've been able to capture AVIs of my tapes using a Toshiba VCR with Stoik and EZ Grabber. I also have a Panasonic 4-Head VCR which I'll try to see if it gets a better picture. I used the RCA output cables, so I'll try the S-Video next. Next will be using the editing software to organize everything for the kids to enjoy the home movies. It sounds like it would be better to give them a digital format versus recording to DVDs.
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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 6045 Offline
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Did you use a lossless compression codec?
After all that I never mentioned actual codecs!
Huffyuv, Lagareth, Magic. Also UTvideo but that is a little more advanced. Try to remain in YUV color space.
As for DVD, hmm, not many people want them anymore. I did a tape for a client who normally would get 2 DVDs, I gave them 5 just to move stock.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Apr 21. 2020 16:09

HP Envy Phoenix/4thGen i7-4770(4@3.4GHz~turbo>3.9)/Nvidia GTX 960(4GB)/16GB DDR3/7,200rpm/w10x64---
Canon Vixia HV30/HF-M40/HF-M41/HF-G20/Olympus E-PL5. Analog tape capture equipment.
https://www.facebook.com/B-Gill-Cyber-Studio-609762572849441
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JamesM210 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 26, 2019 16:01 Messages: 7 Offline
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Quote
Powerdirector can be very finicky, as can dongles. I suggest a VC-500 dongles, it often ignores dirty signals, or at least try a different software.
Download free Stoik and see if you can record anything with that.
Honestly, if you are going to do anything other than straight cuts, such as color correction, stabilize, ANYTHING, you would be better served capturing lossless AVI, and THEN using PD for edits fixes and delivery format.
Capturing in compressed, then fixing, and then compressing again, that's just wrong.
I personally use VirtualDub but that might be too steep a learning curve at the moment.



Recently purchased an Elgato Video Capture Device to record my old VHS videos and am just now seeing your comments on the subject.
I hope I don't run into this HDCP problem. My original thoughts were to bring them in as VOB's and convert them.
Years ago there was some old software that let you do a bascic copy to HDD and really that's all I'm seeking to do with this video capture card.
I picked up a 6 TB WD HDD for $128.00 and wanted to put them on there before they are totally useless from "exposure".
Now seeing you advice, I bet I'm going to need to at least find a way to clean the heads.
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