copy protection

How can I record the videos on my DVR?

Episode 1235

Elliot from Boston, MA

Elliot wants to know how he can get his DVR programs. Is there a box for it? Scott says that Hollywood is against getting the digital bits off a DVR because of piracy concerns. So really, the best solution is to exploit the analog hole, if there's analog connections. But this means he may not be able to get the HD signal. It'll either disable the output or downgrade to SD. Scott says it's silly, people are not going to sell copies on a blanket in their front yard, they just want a backup copy of the videos they record. But that's the way it is now.

Why can't I install Adobe Premiere?

Episode 1230

David from Venice Beach, CA

David is trying to use Adobe Premiere and it stops working. Leo says that Dave bought a serial number, and if it doesn't have disks, it won't work. That's Adobe's copy protection. Leo recommends just using Adobe Creative Cloud instead. He can put it on two computers. If his friend sold him his copy, he needs to give him the disks to install it as well. He'll probably have to contact Adobe and transfer it as well.

Why can't I show stuff from my computer on my TV?

Episode 1230

Richard from Orange County, CA

Richard wants to play content on his TV from his computer. But all he can see on his TV is the wallpaper. The TV screen will go black if he tries to play a movie. Leo says that's likely HDCP copy protection. Everything in the chain has to be HDCP compliant including TV, Cable, and the computer. So there's probably something in his chain that isn't.

It could also be a display issue. Richard should go into his settings and make sure that Mirroring is enabled, and make sure his display isn't extended. If he still gets a black screen, then it's a copy protection issue.

How can I get video off my DirecTV DVR?

Composite cables

Episode 1212

Steven from Los Angeles, CA

Steven records Tennis matches on his DirecTV DVR and he would like to copy the video files off. Leo says that's called digital video extraction and television broadcasters are paranoid that people will pirate those recordings. But there is an exception called the analog hole. This is where Steven would put a recorder between the DVR and the TV itself. He can't do it via HDMI, though. That's still got HDCP copy protection. But the red/white/yellow composite or red/green/blue/white component connectors will allow him to do it. He may also need an analog to digital converter.

How can I record HDTV on my laptop?

ViewHD 2 Port 1x2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter for 1080P & 3D | VHD-1X2MN3D

Episode 1203

Brian from Irvine, CA

Brian wants to capture some of his cable TV signals in HD to his laptop. Leo says that High Definition content is copy protected via HDCP. He could do it via TIVO with a cable card and then use TIVO To Go. Or he can exploit the Analog hole. He can get a digitizing device that takes component or composite out and then use that to convert to bits and save it to his hard drive. The only issue is that he'll need FireWire to do it. USB 3 may do it, though. There could be a Thunderbolt video capture card and that would be a good idea.

How can I watch two different programs on my Roku via Slingbox?

Slingbox 500

Episode 1197

Doug from Diamond Bar, CA

Doug wants to know if he can use an HDMI splitter to divide his Slingbox with his Roku Box and control both. Leo says no because he won't be able to control them. Older Slingboxes have up to five HDMI ports in the back (the Slingbox 500 only has one), so if he has an older Slingbox, he could daisy chain them and control them. But Doug should remember that only one person can control it.

Why is Time Warner Cable suddenly using copy protection when I try to record?

Episode 1174

John from Biddeford, ME

John was a Time Warner Cable customer for nearly 15 years and he discovered that they were copy protecting everything that he was recording with his DVD recorder. Leo says that this is why Time Warner Cable and Comcast shouldn't be allowed to merge. Time Warner has a monopoly on TV in John's area, and an effective monopoly on the Internet.