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Video Copy Protection and DVRs

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Do you have a DVR from your Cable or Satellite service and have noticed that you cannot copy some programs recorded on your DVR to a DVD recorder or VCR. If this has happened to you, there is nothing wrong with your DVR, DVD recorder, or VCR. The reason that you cannot make DVD or VHS copies of some programs that you have first recorded on your DVR is due to copy-protection. Programs and channels that are affected are mostly Pay services, such as premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...), and Pay-per-View channels and events.

The type of copy protection that is being used allows an initial recording (such as to a hard drive of a DVD recorder/Hard Drive combo, a Cable DVR, TIVO, or direct to DVD or VHS), but will not allow the initial recording to be copied again (such as making a copy from a DVD recorder hard drive or Cable DVR to DVD, or from DVD to DVD or DVD to VHS).

Unfortunately there is no way around this with consumer equipment. This would be the same no matter what brand or model of DVR, DVD recorder, or VCR you have. It is simply the luck of the draw as to which programs are copy-protected. You will see an increase of this practice, especially after the DTV Transition in 2009, as digital transmissions allow for copy-protection to be more easily implemented. For details on HBO's copy-protection scheme, check out their FAQs on Copy-protection.

Comments
May 1, 2008 at 12:22 am
(1) Didi says:

Thanks for solving a big mystery for me! I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t record.

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