How to Bypass Macrovision on Roku

by Jeff Grundy
Roku is a set-top box that allows you to watch streaming Internet content on your television.

Roku is a set-top box that allows you to watch streaming Internet content on your television.

Macrovision is copy-protection technology used to prevent unauthorized copying from VHS tapes, DVDs and other media. Macrovision has been a major weapon in the fight against media piracy ever since Orion Pictures used it to encode "The Cotton Club" in 1985. The Roku series of streaming devices do not actually encode video with Macrovision protection; however, some of the content streamed through a Roku does use the Macrovision copy-protection algorithm. To bypass Macrovision-encoded content streamed through a Roku so you can record it, you must use a video stabilizer device.

1

Connect an RJ-45 Ethernet cable to the Roku player and an empty network port on the router.

2

Connect the mini-plug of the Roku A/V cable set to the Roku player. Connect the yellow, white and red RCA connectors on the other end of the cable to the input jacks on the digital video stabilizer.

3

Connect an RCA A/V cable set to the output jacks on the digital video stabilizer. Connect the other end of the cable set to available "Audio In" and "Video In" jacks on the television.

4

Power on the television, and then use the remote control to select the input source connected to the digital video stabilizer and the Roku player. Connect the AC adapter to the Roku player and a wall socket. Wait a few seconds for the Roku to power on and display the "Roku – starting. Please Wait" message on the television screen.

5

Press "OK" on the Roku remote when the "Welcome to the Roku Player" message appears on the television screen.

6

Use the remote to select the "Wired – Use an Ethernet Cable" option, and then press "OK." Follow the prompts to connect the Roku to the router and to the Internet. Wait a few minutes for the Roku to download the latest software and install it automatically. After a few minutes, the Roku restarts automatically.

7

Follow the prompts to enter your time zone. Wait for the Roku to display a unique registration code for your player. Record the code, and then go to a computer connected to the Internet.

8

Open a new browser tab or window on the computer, and then go to the Roku registration website (link in Resources). Enter the unique registration code from the television, and then click "Submit." Follow the prompts to purchase a channel-lineup account and create a membership. After you pay for your membership, the Roku downloads lineups for channels selected for your account and refreshes the menu on the television automatically.

9

Connect a VCR or DVD recorder to the television if you have not already done so. Use the remote to select a channel to watch, and then record the programming as you normally would. Programming encoded with Macrovision and streamed through the Roku displays and records normally.

Tips

  • check Because VCRs are no longer a mainstream video component, your local electronics store may or may not stock video stabilizer devices. Nevertheless, many online retailers sell them for between $25 and $100, depending on the type and number of inputs you need (links in Resources).
  • check If you're handy with a soldering iron and comfortable assembling electronics components, you can assemble your own video stabilizer device. Plans for a simple digital video stabilizer are available at the AaronCake.net website (link in Resources).
  • check Newer Roku models support Wi-Fi connections as well as wired ones, so if you have a wireless router, you can connect the Roku without an Ethernet cable. To connect the Roku to a wireless network, enter the SSID and key for the router just as you would with a laptop or other Wi-Fi device.

Warning

  • close Copying Macrovision-protected media is illegal if you intend to distribute it to others. In most jurisdictions, you can create backup copies of protected media for personal use, but cannot sell or give it away to others. Never record copy-protected videos for commercial purposes or share them online.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images