As any avid movie fan (read: DVD Collector) knows, the quality of the movies we buy on DVD is far more superior to just VHS. Often times there are special features, additional footage and even little games on our favorite DVD movies that we simply could never have hoped to enjoy on VHS tape. The only problem being of course is that DVD discs are simply not as damage proof as VHS movies were. All it takes is a little touch or a tiny scratch to make that $20.00 – $30.00 dollar DVD investment turn into nothing more than a coffee cup coaster.
Not to mention of you have kids that now know how to use the DVD player. They’ll be handling the DVD movies the same way they handle their toys, putting them down anywhere, touching the bottom of the disc with reckless abandon, and potentially scratching up your precious DVD movies beyond repair. And that’s where the word backup comes in. In order to protect your expensive movie collection from damage, dirt, dust, or dirty fingers, I would recommend to all DVD fans a simple solution. Backup your DVD Discs. By making a backup copy onto a VHS tape, your kids can still watch their favorite movies without you having to constantly replace them.
I myself love my DVD movies, and often purchase anywhere from 5-6 movies each and every month. And I swiftly make a backup copy of the most watched movies onto a blank VHS tape. Now, in a perfect world, this would take nothing more than connecting my VCR to my DVD player and simply recording the movie. There is however a problem. DVD movies contain something called Macrovision Protection. For those of you not clear on what this is, think of the green fading screen that you see if you’ve ever tried to backup your DVD to a VHS tape. While this green fading screen does not appear when you’re watching your DVD movie, it is always there. And for this reason, if you want to backup your DVD movies to a VHS tape to protect them, you’ll need what’s called a Macrovision Remover. The Macrovision remover is a little device that connects between your DVD player and your VHS machine. When connected, you will be able to bypass the Macrovision protection on the DVD disc, and easily record your DVD movie to a blank VHS tape.
Now, before we get into the lower quality of a VHS tape, it’s important to note that recording a DVD disc to a VHS tape will still provide you with a better quality viewing experience than buying that same movie on a VHS tape from the get go. More important than that though, you’ll be able to protect your DVD discs from getting damaged to the point that they simply will not even play in your DVD player. Great if you have kids or, you simply want to save that special collector’s edition of the latest movie and keep it in new condition.
Just what is Macrovision protection? Well, the Wikipedia has this to say about Macrovision: A VHS videotape or DVD (no laserdisc or video CD players implemented it) encoded with Macrovision will cause a VCR set to record it to fail (excluding very old models, modified VCRs, or those approved for “professional usage”). This is usually visible as a scrambled picture as if the tracking was incorrect, or the picture will fade between overly light and dark. A 6-head or 8-head VCR (most are 4-head) can minimize this fluctuation, so it is not as noticeable. A DVD recorder will simply display a message saying the source is copy-protected, and will pause the recording.
This is achieved through a signal implanted within the off screen range (vertical blanking interval) of the video signal—either physically recorded directly on the tape (as with VHS) or created on playback by a chip in the player (as with DVDs) or the digital cable/satellite box (as with all HDTV programs being down-converted to standard definition).
Now that you have a better understanding of what Macrovision is, I want to stress that it is both illegal and immoral for you to make a copy of your own DVD movie for the purpose of giving it to friends or family. After all, a lot of money, time and effort goes into making these great movies. Having said that, it is perfectly legal for you to make a backup copy of your OWN movie, so that you can protect your original DVD disc and keep it in perfect condition.
Far too often, we buy the newest movies and end up with a scratched or damaged disc. This is the only gripe I have with DVD movies. I felt the same way about Compact Discs when they first came out. I would strongly urge any movie fans or movie collectors to use the Macrovision Remover in order to save their DVD movies from damage. You can follow the links in my Bio for more information on the Macrovision Remover / DVD Decoder.