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July 1996, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Jul 1996 12:24:13 -0700
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In article <[log in to unmask]>, Richard C Cante
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Recently, I've been watching lots of New Yorker Films videotapes to prepare
>> for a course I'm teaching in the fall.  I've noticed that many, if not
>> most, of such tapes available at my local video store wear a label claiming
>> they've been copy protected with the "Macrovision process."
I've been wondering about this for a while.  I've asked a lot of people,
and no one really knows too much about it (but then again, I'm sure I'm
asking the wrong people).  As far as I can tell, general copyprotection
involves recording a very weak sync pulse in the video signal: strong
enough that if your VCR is connected to your television it won't be a
problem; but weak enough that if you put any kind of device between the
two (like another VCR), the signal becomes garbled.   This is relatively
easy to beat: just boost the gain of the video signal between the two
VCR's and you're okay.
The secret to the Macrovision process, I believe (but I could be totally
off base), is that they vary the signal strength throughout the tape. That
way, a simple "gain up" will work when the signal is weak, but when the
signal is strong the highlights get blown out, contrast increases, it
looks really bad.  In order to copy a tape then, you need something that
will both boost the video signal and stablize it.  Like a good Time-Base
I've also heard that not every tape that has the label is actually
protected.  Just a small percentage of them actually go through the
process.  Of course, this all rumor.
Anyone have any real info on this?
for beautiful human life
small movies
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