Stan alone DVD fix?
February 14, 2006 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Can I fix my girlfriend's DVD player?

Rewired (correctly) my girlfriend's entertainment center. Daisy-chained the DVD through the VRC into the DSL box. Everything works, but the DVD goes from a regular picture to one that's compressed, with what seems like a two-lane blacktop (complete with white lines) on the bottom of the screen, then back to normal; goes back and forth. I didn't drop or bang it, although she may have. It's a cheapie Cyberhome. Is there a fix, or just get another player? Thanks
posted by JABof72 to Technology (7 answers total)
You mean VCR? I don't know where the DSL box comes in, but if you are trying to run the DVD to the VCR and have the VCR connected to the TV it won't work. Macrovision causes this so you can't record DVDs on VHS (why you would want to I don't know). Find a solution so that it goes directly to the TV or an A/V switch of some kind and not linked through the VCR.
posted by geoff. at 11:07 AM on February 14, 2006

Response by poster: The TV only has one "in" let which the cable (DSL) box is occupying. The box itself has one inlet, so I'm running the DVD to the VRC, VRC to that one inlet in the cable box.
posted by JABof72 at 11:16 AM on February 14, 2006

VCR? Yeah, that's Macrovision. It's allows entertainment companies to safely deliver home entertainment to you, their valued customer, without fear of being taken advantage of by evil intellectual property pirates! Arrrrrrr!

It sucks.

It's not the DVD player's fault: the "problem" is in the VCR. Do some Googling involving the term "macrovision", and you might be able to find a (grey-market, potentially illegal, and not endorsed by me in any way) fix.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:34 AM on February 14, 2006

Response by poster: Well it's a router of sorts. She has DSL, and it has a box that hooks up to the TV, taking the only existing coax plug. But thank you so much for the advice. Her daughter also has a Nintendo, and that still needs to be hooked up. I run my DVD at home as I described above and have had no problems. Different model though...Wasn't trying to copy anything, just thought it was the best way to get everything connected without having to buy another piece of equipment. Guess we'll be shopping for a switchbox. Thanks everyone!
posted by JABof72 at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2006

The switchbox is cheap, and you can get the Nintendo hooked up in the mix too. It's well worth it so you don't have to keep dragging cords out from behind the TV to play video games.
posted by blackkar at 12:18 PM on February 14, 2006

You could also buy a cheap home theater system that will have an A/V unit that acts as a switch. Good (enough) ones can be had for as little as $100 and the side benefit is you get better sound (including a subwoofer).
posted by mathowie at 2:20 PM on February 14, 2006

Do some Googling involving the term "macrovision", and you might be able to find a (grey-market, potentially illegal, and not endorsed by me in any way) fix.

I find 'macrovision hack firmware [DVD Manuf. Name] [Model number] ' works pretty well to (Theoretically) find a patch/hack. Usually, you just have to jump through some hoops, burn a CD, then start the DVD player in a particular way with that CD in the drive.

Bonus (theoretical) features on most hack firmware include the ability to skip the FBI message lockout, the ability to switch region designation (Nice if you watch foreign DVDs), and the ability to tape the movie with near-perfect clarity with your VCR, of course. has A partial database of region/macrovision hacks that might (theoretically) work.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:56 PM on February 15, 2006

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