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A smidge perturbed at the TV networks…

What IS it with some of these networks? Well, I know what they’re trying to do, stop the piracy of their TV shows so they don’t lose syndication and/or DVD revenues later, I’m sure.

But we were trying to get caught up on some earlier programming that we recorded this week on the DVR (Castle, Justified, & Parenthood), and figured we’d go ahead and record tonight’s shows (Flash Forward and Supernatural) on the RAM disc on our other recorder, a VCR/DVD burner combo.

So set the RAM disc to record ABC on digital 11.1, hit record, nothing happened. Tried again. Nothing. Got right up to the unit, and hit the record button on the front of the machine. STILL nada. So switched the TV over to the recorder channel so I could see any onscreen messages, and hit it again. Onscreen message? “Cannot Record”. ABC is apparently playing their “anti-piracy” game again, when they somehow flag the signal that they send out that while it can be recorded once on a DVR, you can’t burn that resulting recording to DVD. Nor, apparently, can you record it to a RAM disc – which is what we use instead of the VHS tapes on the other recorder, since we get a much better picture with the digital channels vs the analog channels on VHS tape. We just record, delete, and reuse, just like a tape, only better quality. Unless the networks flag it, then the disc just will not record. >:( *grrr* So to get Flash Forward recorded, I had to switch over to analog channel 9 and record it that way. Not my first choice, but since analog ABC isn’t too bad to watch, I ran with it.

Would you believe I ran into the same thing with the CW at 9, when I tried to record Supernatural on digital 22.1? Ugh! So I switched over to analog channel 2, prepared to record from that channel instead, but the picture on analog CW has been just borked since the digital transition, awful reception. So rather than record it at that quality, we ditched Justified, which we were about 10 minutes into, and switched over to 22.1 on the DVR and watched Supernatural live (relatively speaking, the show was all about zombies and the not quite live tonight. LOL).

But that whole thing about the networks setting up signals to just plain NOT record like that really irks me. Usually it’s a non-issue, we record to DVR usually anyway which works fine, and just watch then delete the show. But to be forced to record and watch a show in crappy analog, when we’ve got equipment perfectly capable of recording it in digital (which looks even worse played back on our hd set), just because the network is afraid that we’ll put it on disc and sell it or something just bugs the hell out of me. And it’s not just ABC and the CW either, CBS does it too – the night the local CBS affiliate aired all of its Thursday and Friday night programming back to back in the wee hours of Saturday morning due to local basketball games they aired during prime time *ptthhtt*, every single one of those was set to “record once” as well. Worked on the DVR, but had I tried to record them to RAM disc, we would have lost the whole lot of them. And forget about duping any to DVD-R disc, not that I’d planned to anyway.

Grrr. Hate trying to second guess what the networks are going to do to make sure it’s something we’re able to record to the RAM disc. And if it IS something I’m thinking I’m going to want transfer over to DVD and hang onto, I’ll usually record it analog to backup VHS tape, JUST in case they switch that “no duping” flag onto their broadcast, I can at least burn it from VHS to DVD and save it that way. The picture isn’t as good, but it gets the job done.

Grumble. Stupid networks.

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A smidge perturbed at the TV networks…

by Karen Cusimano time to read: 3 min
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