A company that was founded in 1983 to develop and provide a means to protect digital material against illegal reproduction. The list of items that they claim to protect are movies, videos, music, various web publishing material including text, images, and flash productions, large enterprise software, and video games. The name Macrovision came from a copy protection device placed on devices early in the companies life. Most record labels, movie studios, and game publishers have at some point used a Macrovision protection method.
Pc Line of Products
Web Line of Products
- TryMedia (Although this will likely be sold to Thoma Bravo Company)
Disc Line of Products
- RipGuard Mod v2.4
- BD+ (Recently acquired from Cryptography Research Inc.)
- CDS300 (TotalPlay)
Macrovision came to be known for their use of screen-blanking protections commonly found on analog VHS tapes. This was done by introducing a series of signals in the area that is commonly called the overscan area of video lines. If a VCR is attached and is recording while this is active the VCR attempts to correct or restore the optimal strength of the signal essentially causing lags and spikes in the visibility of the image onscreen. It should be noted that this type of technology can and did restrict copying of perfectly legal video tapes that had been made by home video or other types such as promotional material. As such it became very easy for consumers to build and use small anti-macrovision devices that cost less than 10 dollars to make.
This interference with legitimate streams also led to the introduction of retail products that beat the macrovision protection but cost a little more than a roll-you-own device. However later when the digital millennium copyright act was passed it became illegal for devices to be able to do this to be sold to the public.