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Defeating Macrovision

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Hi guys,

Do you think a simple video capture card with A/V inputs could record output from a Playstation 2 so I can record it to CD? I'm not sure if the macrovision scrambling would be an issue to the card like it is with modern VCR's.
Anybody? I'm interested in having the gameplay of certain games recorded to hard drive so I can edit interesting game sequences. Macrovision is a scrambling technique added to the video signal of a Playstation2. It wreaks havoc with any VCR's automatic gain control unit so that you can't record DVD's to VHS. So I'm wondering if a video capture card in a PC would be able to keep up with the Macrovision scrambling, as it probably has a better gain control unit than a VCR -- or none at all. Older VCR's don't have a gain control unit, so you can record from a playstation with them, but I'd like to use my computer.
Shouldn't really be alking about this here, as it borders on warez talk. Although If you own the original game / dvd, I can't see the problem! :D

you've got 2 options.

1 is to get some software that disables the macovision (HMV did sell a version - cant remember what it's called though)

2 is to get the playstation chipped.

I know you've been waiting a long time for a reply, but hopefully this will help if you still haven't found a solution by searching the net.'s a little bit of an issue talking about this...but I absolutely have no need for getting around macrovision to copy dvd's, or do anything illegal. I just want to send my brother some recorded gameplay from some games. Ultimately I'd like to edit together some sequences from a game such as Vice City into a short action movie and send it to him on cd so he can watch it. It was easy to do on N64...just plug it into the VCR and record. I'm just interested in known video capture cards that don't get messed up with the macrovision.
I was under the impression that macrovision was actually in the data stream on the DVD/VHS medium itself and was not something that was added in the circuitry of the PS2. I have a PS2 and if I'm not mistaken I have the RCA's going to the VCR and then to my television and the games all work fine. Perhaps it is in a newer revision of the PS2, but I havn't had mine but for about 6 months so I doubt that is the case. Actually I'm sure of it now that I think about it, the RCA's on my TV require the remote to select them and I don't know where that remote is, so I'm forced to use the VCR. It may be the case that the VCR removes the macrovision until the record button is pressed though (or maybe all together.)

If I'm not allowed to say so, then some moderater please remove this part of my post. I believe that Wal-Mart and Radio Shack sell devices that scrub the macrovision signals but they are not marketed as scrubbers. They are RF Modulators and cost about $20. I own one, but have NOT confirmed that they remove macrovision signals.
Yup, Macrovision is in the data stream whether its DVD or Video tape......there are a few gadgets around for circumventing the protection....Are you interested in building a unit or want to buy?

Maplins do a video correction unit for around £30......

here's a link to a self build.......**broken link removed**

A quick search on the net will be forthcoming with more info
keyword: macrovision
Chippie said:
Yup, Macrovision is in the data stream whether its DVD or Video tape
Yes, macrovision is part of the video signal itself. It is actually an extra signal added to the gain frame or gain section I think. VCR's have a small part called an automatic gain control. It isn't designed to handle signals like macrovision, so when you hook up the video to a VCR the AGC goes crazy, bright, dark, bright, dark, or simply no picture at all.

I did buy one gadget from a company in the UK, it was only about $40 US. But it never worked. It was supposed to remove the macrovision signal so you could send the picture successfully to a VCR. I opened up the gadget to see one of the worst through-hole and surface-mount soldering jobs I've ever seen.

I do like the link to the gadget you can build yourself. I just may try that one, thanks.

I'm from Brazil, and here I got a Magazine called Elektor (, and this month (number 13), there was a publication about a Video Copy Processor, called VCP2002, that would do the filtering of the macrovision pulses and stuff, that would interfere with the video automatic regulator.
I think that it would work with the video card of your pc too, as long as it does with a normal video cassette recorder.
Unfortunatly I got no scanner right now, but you can try look for this article, if you dont find, I'll try to send it to you.

Why is this required?

Macrovision is a circuit within a DVD player that varies the size of the video synch pulses, this is what confuses a VCR's auto gain control (AGC) circuit - it thinks the whole video signal is varying and alters the gain to compensate, as stated by Brcktune.
A television doesn't have an AGC and so is not affected.

Macrovision can be enabled and disabled at will by the DVD authors, giving them the control over what you can and cannot copy.

So my question is this...
Why is the PS2 keeping macrovision enabled when you are playing a game? surely a videotape of your progress through a game isn't piracy?
Is this the case for all games or just a few ultra-stingy software houses?

And my thoughts are ...
If your A/V card has AGC it will suffer just the same as a VCR would. Is there a spec sheet for this A/V? does it mention AGC?

A circuit is available that strips the video synch pulses and rebuilds the video signal, this should remove macrovision...
PURELY for BACKUP purposes - not piracy :wink:
Maplin in the UK sell a kit (N17AA) for this - A Velleman 'video signal cleaner' kit.
disable macrovision

I am sure you can record your progress in a game. I know this is a stupid question but I haven't seen anywhere in your post where you said you tried to record your game and failed, have you tried to record your game?

I am sure you can do it since I have seen many screenshots of video games on gamer's sites, on a walkthrough of the game.
There appears to be a few misconceptions about MacroVision?.

For a start there are a number of different levels of MacroVision, the standard, most common one, is the one that upsets the automatic recording level in VCR's. It doesn't alter the video signal itself, but it adds a varying height pulse at black level - EXACTLY where a VHS video measures the signal level to set it's gain (the back porch if I remember correctly?). So as the pulse slowly changes size, the VCR alters the gain to follow, giving the effect of the contrast on the recording changing.

As VCR's feed the signal through the gain circuit all the time, even E-to-E (feeding the signal through your VCR) produces this effect on your TV.

As a matter of interest, some Betamax VCR's measure the signal at a different point, and these were popular for copying MacroVision protected tapes years ago.

As for DVD's, it ISN'T inserted in the datastream, as there's no video signal it can't possibly be! - however, it does have a flag in the datastream - it's this flag that tells the DVD player to add MacroVision to the video output. So DVD players have a MacroVision encoder inside them, and the flag switches it on - some DVD players have the option to disable MacroVision, but it's not very many! - and it's hard to find how to do it!.

A also agree with most others, I don't see that your PS2 would add MacroVision to a game you're playing - there's no point?.
I have a Radeon AllInWonder 9700 TV/video card and had trouble trying to make copies of a few VHS tapes that have no DVD release. I don't think it did this with an earlier revision of the capture software drivers, but now says "Copy Protected" when you try to record.

I have a couple of the Macrovision removers inline with the video signal. Strange but it didn't help!
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