Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by cmashieldscapting, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Originally I tried posting this last night, but it didn't show up. It
    could be the machines conspiring against me again. If the first post
    does show up later, please ignore it and reply to this one.

    To recap the agony which has consumed my life for the last four months,
    using iMovie 3.0.3 in my Macintosh G4, with extreme effort I assembled
    some titles and outtakes for a movie otherwise to be entirely dubbed
    directly from my Sony 8mm camcorder to VHS tape. The reason being,
    such gallons of blood, toil, sweat, and tears were expended for the
    relatively short amount of footage edited in iMovie under NO CONDITION
    was I going to try to edit ANYTHING CLOSE to the entire four hours, at
    least not in iMovie 3.0.3. By the time I finished, I had run into so
    many bugs in iMovie 3.0.3 I resolved to buy the latest version of
    iMovie before I'm ready to edit anything again.

    The footage from my video camera was transferred to iMovie using a
    Canopus ADVC 110 converter, edited in iMovie, then burned to DVD using
    Toast 7 Titanium version 7.0.2 and a LaCie 16x4x16x DVD +-RW Double
    Layer FireWire burner.

    So far, so good, I had a DVD, but then I learned the player I had would
    play a DVD OR record a VHS tape but NOT BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!
    Refusing to be daunted, I used some jacks to connect the DVD player to
    a VCR and played the DVD while recording on the VCR. This worked fine
    for the opening and center titles since they were in black-and-white,
    but when I got to the color sequences, starting with the bows, the VCR
    would record them ONLY in black-and-white!

    So I returned the DVD player, which was quite new, and used the money
    to buy this thing--a Zenith VCR/DVD burner at Radio Shack--
    to solve my problem.

    It worked BEAUTIFULLY--or so it seemed. I finished recording the tape,
    in color, and my friend was able to run off any number of VHS tapes
    from it. Then he put my original VHS tapes into his Sony VCR/DVD
    RDR-VX 500 to make the DVDs. All worked well--UNTIL IT HIT THE BOWS,
    then the whole thing STOPPED DEAD! It said it was copyrighted material
    and could not be duplicated! This, from a homemade DVD I BURNED

    My friend is savvy enough (heck, even I am *that* savvy) to know once
    the VHS tape is copied that should take care of any of that-type stuff.
    So he put in one of the VHS copies he had made of the tape to try to
    continue the DVD burning process and it did THE SAME THING AT THE SAME

    What's more, if that DVD had been copyrighted, the Zenith should never
    have let me dub it to tape in the first place--it ought to know better!
    As soon as he called me with this news, I ran straight to the Zenith,
    put a blank VHS tape in, put a copy-protected DVD in, pressed
    "Dubbing," and sure enough, a message came right up, "Protected
    material is uncopyable" or the like.

    Still, I can't help but suspect the Zenith as having had a hand in the
    nefarious business, as everything (INCLUDING the titles taken off the
    SAME DVD by way of the VCR) acted FINE up until the part done on the
    Zenith! I also have to suspect Toast, the LaCie, or both may be
    involved, as I dubbed ALL the camcorder material on that second tape on
    the Zenith and it worked fine.


    So here we are: my friend can dub any number of VHS tapes, but, EVEN
    THE COPIES have this "whatever-it-is" bug that was put on at some point
    either in the DVD-making process or in the dubbing process on the
    Zenith though I don't see how. Meaning, presumably, at least if other
    peoples' equipment acts like my friend's, even years in the future when
    people try to transfer their VHS tapes to DVD THEY WILL STOP BURNING IN
    THE SAME PLACE! Right at the bows. And might or might not tape in the
    sequences after that, EXCEPT, OF COURSE, those I edited in iMovie, ON

    What's more, there are reasons we WANT DVD copies

    Before anyone asks why my friend doesn't burn his DVDs directly from
    mine, the reason the DVD copies my friend is making CAN'T be recorded
    directly from the DVD I made is because my DVD contained ONLY the
    material edited in iMovie. On the tape itself is well over an hour of
    material dubbed DIRECTLY from the camcorder to the VHS tape,
    interspersed with material from the DVD--I was switching back and forth
    between them and it took HOURS to do. To redo it I would basically
    have to redo the WHOLE TAPE from that point, or have nasty edit marks
    from hitting "Stop" before the parts I didn't replace, unless I tried
    to hit "Pause," if that would work.

    Someone on another forum asked what media I used to burn to. I didn't
    even THINK to blame the media. I just filled out support forms for
    every software program and piece of hardware I used, plus my friend's
    machine. The media I used was Fujifilm DVD-R 4.7 GB/Go 120 Min Disc
    for Data and Video, up to 8x write speed. I don't know what my speed
    was but I clicked "Best" before burning if that tells anything. I
    looked the media up, supposing if it was really awful maybe I could
    bring myself to remake the thing if I'm SURE the media is to blame and
    not some AWFUL hardware or software defect! Well, these people
    say the media is very good and has worked on all sorts of Sony
    products. Of course, my disk never had actual contact with the Sony,
    and no one mentions LaCie or Zenith products. I'd much rather it WAS
    the media--it's by far the most easily fixable of all items in the

    Now, of course I *could* just stick the VHS tape into the Zenith and
    dub a quickie DVD on the attached DVD burner, but it would of course
    copy the bug. The only other solution I have is for my friend to give
    me back the second tape, and me to run it back into iMovie starting at
    the problem part using the Canopus. This will mean purchasing the
    iMovie update right away, before I was planning to, as I REFUSE to use
    iMovie 3.0.3 EVER again. Now, since it's all edited already, this
    shouldn't mess up anything that's on the tape. My questions (which you
    knew I was getting to) are:


    2. If I run the material from the VHS tape back to iMovie using the
    Canopus, will the Canopus "unencode" the problem area sufficiently that
    I can run the sequence back out through the Canopus onto another VHS
    tape so my friend can copy the movie onto DVD from that tape?

    3. How can I find whatever the problem was in burning my DVD and fix
    it before I EVER burn another DVD? Was it in Toast, the LaCie burner,
    or some perversion specially wrought by the Zenith? Is there any
    possible way the problem could have been in iMovie 3.0.3 or did it
    happen after the footage left iMovie?

    Predictably, LaCie and Zenith both say it isn't them. LaCie also says
    the problem isn't in Toast. Guess they've never heard of such a

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 11, 2006
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  2. I emailed my friend asking him to Fast Forward ahead on the tape to one
    of the other five sections done from the DVD. If those WILL record on
    his Sony, then the problem was ONLY in the one section. In that case,
    the first thing I'd do is give him my original DVD and see if he can
    dub just that section directly from my DVD to his DVD. If not,
    recording the material to DVD on the Zenith is a good option because
    I'd start right before the bows, so if it had a problem, it would be
    apparent right away.

    Someone on the Toast forum says if it does become necessary to involve
    the Canopus, I can use the free program Vidi to import to Toast. THANK
    GOODNESS it is not necessary to go through iMovie again! I just
    plunked down a huge amount of cash for a car payment, then paid car
    insurance, life insurance, and still have taxes (which I refused to
    work on until this whole ordeal was over--had the papers in front of me
    when my friend called and rushed straight to the computer, so taxes are
    still hanging over my head--) I was NOT looking forward to plunking
    down for another computer program, in fact, after this I didn't want to
    think of it, for, oh, a couple months.

    Anyhow, one of these ought to work without going into a total panic.

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 11, 2006
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  3. My question is this. If you captured the material using the Canopus unit,
    why didn't you simply playback the edited version to a VCR in the first
    place? The ADVC units are bi-directional allowing input and output. Why do
    to all this bother with making a DVD, etc., etc., etc.???? Did you read the
    manual for the ADVC unit at all? It's all right there in black and white!!
    Larry Johnson, Apr 11, 2006
  4. cmashieldscapting

    Kill Bill Guest

    That's what I was thinking too.. Seams like a huge amount of dubbing,
    loosing the quality all along the way, just to achieve this.

    I might have to read this whole thing over a few times. To figure out
    how he made copyrighted DVDs from DVD-R's. It's NOT possible with
    consumer DVD burners, so one would assume that the DVD player he is
    using must be flagging (even though its not) everything as copyrighted
    material on playback.

    Kill Bill, Apr 11, 2006
  5. cmashieldscapting

    Alpha Guest

    No Bill. Some hardware inserts copy protection on everything so extra
    generations cannot be made.
    Alpha, Apr 11, 2006
  6. My question is this. If you captured the material using the Canopus unit,
    I have had problems with very old, snowy off-the-air VHS tapes
    showing up as copy-protected according to my Panasonic E85. Actually
    tapes that snowy aren't worth transferring to DVD, but my preferred
    method of transferring to DVD is to play the entire tape into the
    Panasonic, then slice up the recording into programs (which may
    have very noisy stuff in between them). This doesn't work if it
    thinks that any parts of the tape are copy-protected, and it seems
    that noise is sometimes mistaken for a copy-protect flag. It doesn't
    always stop in exactly the same place, either.

    It is possible, in principle, and possibly cheaper to design hardware
    that does not look at the incoming video material and always marks it
    copy-protected. If you know what hardware this is, avoid it like the
    plague. Professional equipment may have a switch where you can set the
    copy-protect status as desired for generating masters, but you probably
    can't afford this.

    Gordon L. Burditt
    Gordon Burditt, Apr 12, 2006
  7. Because with the Canopus I'd have to connect a VCR and then run the
    material out blind and not know what I got until I connect the VCR to a
    TV. Also, I was afraid with converting it to digital (on the Mac) and
    then back to analog (on a VCR) there'd be a generational loss. With a
    DVD I could make a Disk Image and see exactly what I was getting. It
    stayed digital and there was no loss.

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 12, 2006
  8. I might have to read this whole thing over a few times. To figure out
    LaCie swears neither their machine nor Toast flagged anything. Zenith
    said their machine is not made to do any such flagging. If true, my
    friend's machine, the Sony, would have to be doing it AFTER the fact.
    I still need to ask him whether it did this on all the other
    DVD-generated clips, or just in the one spot.

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 12, 2006
  9. Still waiting to learn my friend's results on dubbing the other
    DVD-originated material from VHS to DVD. He doesn't have the capacity
    to dub directly from DVD to DVD so that's not an option--I guess if I
    gave him a DVD he'd have to dub it to VHS before he could dub it to
    DVD. I'd be delighted to absolutely ascertain that the problem was
    caused by switching back and forth between the DVD and the camcorder
    and that it's not something with my DVD burner or the DVD authoring
    program causing EVERY DVD I make to have this issue! Because if I make
    my next movie entirely on DVD, (which I planned to) and he tries to dub
    it to VHS, (which he will) THEN WHAT???

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 12, 2006
  10. What hardware? Copy protection is done via the manufacturing process,
    and can't be done by the consumer.

    Richard Ragon, Apr 12, 2006
  11. "Copy protection" on digital media like DVD video discs
    consists of a single information bit stored in the header of
    the video file. The hardware is required to implement the
    Macrovsion (or whatever) signal distortion whenever it
    sees the copy-protect flag. This is enforced by denying
    the licence and "secret" codes to any hardware manufacturer
    who does not agree to thos scheme.

    Clearly at some level all these schemes rely on the good
    faith of somebody: the hardware manufacturers who have
    much to gain if they go along with the scheme, and much
    to loose if they don't. Of course, there are places on this
    planet where compliance with such schemes is not as
    fully subscribed as others.

    This thread has got somewhat far afield from the original
    question which seems to have demonstrated a "perfect
    storm" of bad decisions on how to achieve the OP's
    Richard Crowley, Apr 12, 2006
  12. You can always hook a TV to the VCR. You would not be converting anything,
    just do a simple playback of the finished program from the timeline of
    Larry Johnson, Apr 12, 2006
  13. Sounds like CGMS.

    Get one of these.

    They work.

    OK, more detail you want?

    My best guess is that you made a tape from an unknown video source
    (unrecognized by the VHS recorder), and the recorder basically said
    "OK, I'll copy this for you. BUT...I'm not going to let you make
    copies of the copy." It sounds like the CGMS signal got added at that

    I don't know that has happened, but the failure you describe--where the
    recorder recognizes the material as copyrighted--sounds like it WON'T
    record, not like it CANT.

    So,now your tape says "Hey, man, don't copy me!". Your friends
    equipment that he uses to copy tapes is either old and made before CGMS
    was common or it's professional equimpent, and does what its owner
    tells it to do.

    The DVD burner you bought from Radio Shack, is fairly new. It
    recognizes CGMS (they all do, now, and have for some time), and
    therefore detects and respects the CGMS in the tape.

    Some good links:
    (look for CGMS in the FAQ)

    BTW, you're just going to love the new HDTV stuff.
    thrugoodmarshall, Apr 12, 2006
  14. cmashieldscapting

    Hebee Jeebes Guest

    Yes it can. Ulead's DVD Workshop can add the same copy protection to your
    DVDs as is used by Studio's. You have to pay some third party company for a
    license to do it, but it can be done.

    The chances are in order to keep from being chewed up and spit out by
    Hollywood the DVD recording makers added copy protection. My Panasonic discs
    can't be copied without using AnyDVD and CloneDVD (these are what I use to
    remove protection and copy and burn a disc. Other such programs will work as

    Hebee Jeebes, Apr 12, 2006
  15. When I hear back from my friend, we'll know if this applied to
    everything that came off the DVD, or only the one part. Both LaCie and
    Zenith claimed their hardware had no such "flagging"
    DVD-or-video-protection program. I was just trying to ascertain that
    no such thing could have made its way onto the DVD on purpose or even
    by accident. May still need to identify what happened to try to
    prevent its ever happening again--as I stated, my friend plans to dub
    mass VHSs off my DVDs.

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 12, 2006
  16. What I'll probably have to do on future projects is give my friend a
    VHS tape made by running all the material out of the computer through
    the Canopus--since I won't be going back to dubbing from the camcorder
    if the entire project has been all edited in the computer--and when
    it's being dubbed from DVDs it seems to be picking up something along
    the way telling my friend's equipment not to make more copies.

    cmashieldscapting, Apr 12, 2006
  17. cmashieldscapting

    FLY135 Guest

    Sounds like a simple case of cheap low end hardware erring on the side
    of copy protection. The circuitry that detects the copy protect signal
    is probably cheap and unreliable.
    FLY135, Apr 12, 2006
  18. cmashieldscapting

    Hebee Jeebes Guest

    It is not flagging. It is actual encryption, they wrap the whole video and
    audio in it. It is called CSS (not to be confused with web CSS). This is why
    you can't copy commercial discs without something like AnyDVD. If it was
    just a simple flag (which there is that indicates the disc is Copyrighted,
    but doesn't stop one from copying it with something like Nero) that won't
    stop you from copying it. CSS protection will and if you don't ask the tech
    monkeys the right questions you could easily assume that you meant the
    copyright flag which it might not use, but does use the CSS protection.

    Hebee Jeebes, Apr 13, 2006
  19. cmashieldscapting wrote ...
    Weighed against the operational and quality problems you have
    described, I would think this would be a very easy tradeoff decision
    to make. Your mileage obviously varies.
    Actually it is likely the opposite. Running back out through the ADVC
    unit takes the much-less-compressed DV and translates it directly
    into analog for recording on your VCR. Going through the DVD
    step further compresses (and then un-compresses) it to and from
    MPEG which is a significantly lower quality path (as you have
    demonstrated first-hand.)
    Richard Crowley, Apr 13, 2006
  20. cmashieldscapting wrote ...
    DVD video is good for nothing but end-user distribution.
    You have demonstrated why it is NOT suitable even for an
    intermediate step in production/editing/copying/distribution, etc.

    There are people who come through here regularly wishing they
    could make DVD video discs that could not be copied. Maybe
    you could offer your services to these people? :)
    Richard Crowley, Apr 13, 2006
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