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Alexander: TV providers make it tough to record onto DVDs

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • April 2, 2014 - 9:41 AM

Q: My VCR-DVD recorder now appears to be blocked by DirecTV from recording TV shows on a DVD disk. All channels display the message, “Copy Protected. Can Not Record.” Should I toss out my DVD recorder and get a DVR (digital video recorder)?

Bob Madaras, Edina

 

A: If you plan to continue using DirecTV, your DVD recorder won’t be good for much. While DirecTV isn’t the only TV provider to use copy protection, it appears to have done so more extensively than others.

This is how entertainment producers maintain control of their shows, and prevent viewers from making personal copies. Yes, recording TV shows for personal use is legal. But that doesn’t mean the show producers have to make it easy for you.

The copy protection does allow you to record temporary copies of TV shows to a DVR, which has a disk drive that can be erased. Some TV shows contain expiration dates that cause them to be automatically erased from the hard drive on those days.

Don’t bother trying to copy shows from your DVR to your DVD recorder. The copy protection software thwarts that, too.

 

Q: I’ve used Google Chrome as my browser for years. But a few of the businesses I deal with ask that I sign onto their sites using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, so I recently downloaded IE 11.0.4. Now, when Chrome starts up, I get four tabs (separate screens) automatically opening up. These are the same four tabs that I have previously closed on IE 11. Why is this happening? How can I make it stop?

Fred Raleigh, Paso Robles, Calif.

 

A: I think it happens because the Internet Explorer 11 and Chrome browsers have an odd symbiotic relationship.

The creators of Chrome realized that some Web pages still require using the Internet Explorer browser. So they gave Chrome a function called “IE Tab.” which causes Chrome to use Internet Explorer to open IE-specific Web pages inside the Chrome browser.

I think that may cause Chrome to reopen the tabs that you previously had open in Internet Explorer 11. While I doubt you can fix this problem, give this a try:

Click the three horizontal bars at the top right of Chrome, choose Settings and look at “On startup.” The choices are “Open the New Tab page” (your start page will be Google), “Continue where I left off” (your start page will be the page you most recently viewed) and “Open a specific page or set of pages” (opens one or more previously designated pages). If No. 3 is checked, choose the first or second settings.

 

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 ­Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and phone number.

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