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Can't Record My 'on-demand' Programs

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by B1ackW01f, Jul 3, 2007.

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  1. B1ackW01f

    B1ackW01f Thread Starter

    Jun 24, 2007
    Hi guys,
    firstly appologies if i've not posted this in the right place.

    The problem I am having is this:

    I have Virgin Media for my cable television and if I record from any standard channel to my video everything works fine. However if I select one of my 'on-demand' programs then everything is fine until the second I press record on my video, at which point the picture goes all fuzzy, brightness fades up and down, and occasionally the picture roles (I guess you could say the same kind of effect you'd get if the channel wasn't tunned in properly or the tracking on the video was out). Both the viewing picture on the TV goes like this and it records like it.
    I contacted Virgin about it and have to say they weren't very helpful because their attitude was that 'their equipment' was working ok. They eventually expressed that it had something to do with the 'on-demand' programs being already recorded as they are broadcast and thus trying to record a recorded program causes this problem!
    I don't understand how my video recorder knows the differece between and 'ordinary' broadcast coming into it and an 'on-demand' one!
    Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.

    Many thanks,
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    I know that Comcast won't let their DVR record on-demand recordings, but it's not clear if that's your problem. What recording media are you using? What kind of video recorder are you using?
  3. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Dec 9, 2004
    I would guess copyright protection is causing the problem. When I was in college, our campus had a movie channel, and if you tried to record them using a VCR (no DVR's in those days), the playback would display what looked like tracking problems.

    I'm surprised your cable provider couldn't explain this. I would suggest calling back. Maybe you'll get someone more knowledgeable or even ask to talk to a supervisor for clarification.
  4. B1ackW01f

    B1ackW01f Thread Starter

    Jun 24, 2007
    Thanks for the replies Guys.

    I'm just using a standard VHS (6 Head - Nicam Stereo) Video Recorder. The way I have it set up is that the cable box is connected via scart directly to th 'in' scart of my video recorder and then out to the television and so whenever I want to watch cable I simply put my video recorder onto L2 (I have L1, L2 and L3 auxiliary channels) and from there I can both watch and record my cable channels, all channels as I say appart from ANY 'on-demand' ones (wether it's a movie or tv series/documentry).
    I suspected that it might be something to do with copyright but then I thought 'so whats the difference between it being 'on-demand' and when its broadcast on 'ordinary' tv (cable or terestrial)? What's different with the 'signal' coming into my video recorder that it can tell the difference?
    I only ask because I don't have that much time to watch tv and a couple of times now i've got stuck into a series being broadcast on on-demand only to find out I only have a couple of days left before they (Virgin Media in this case) are going to 'change' them. So it would have been great to have been able to record the last couple of episodes to be able to watch them the following week when I have time, if you follow.
    I will give them a callback DoubleHelix the next time I've got half an hour or more to sit on hold! lol :)

    Cheers again guys,
  5. ineedhelp890


    Jun 22, 2004
    I would definitely say that is copy protection you are experiencing. I'm not too sure how the technology works and how the VCR can distinguish it, but I have had similar problems in the past with copy protection being the culprit.
  6. class37s


    Aug 19, 2007

    I just registered in order to answer your problem. The reason you cant record virgin on demand content is because it is protected with Macrovision, which was also used to copy protect rental video cassettes and prevent you copying them to 2nd vcr.
    Macrovision was part of the design of vhs recorders and it has also been included in dvd recorders for the same reason.
    I have just signed up for said virgin tv service, and I can record their on demand content however. How? Buy a betamax vcr! Macrovision detection was not part of the betamax standard and as such you can copy any macrovision protected content (vhs tapes or on demand tv) to betamax and have perfect copies.
    It is also superior to vhs and believe me watching digital tv recorded on a good quality sony beta deck (sl-hf100 or sl-hf950) its not easy to tell it from dvd! Also as these two decks are hi fi stereo, your recordings are stereo, and much higher quality than vhs hi fi sound.
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