Targa DRH-5100x MacroVision Disabler
This firmware is for the Targa DRH-5100x DVD/HDD Recorder (as sold by Lidl in the UK) only.
Any attempt to use this firmware on any other device (including devices with similar internal hardware
such as the Liteon 5045) will either fail gracefully or completely knack-up your DVD recorder, turning it into an expensive oversized doorstop. You have been warned.
If you are looking for the standard, un-modified firmware then get it direct from Targa here.
Changes from the stock firmware:
- Optimisations to the video cutting system
- Removal of MacroVision Copy Protection detection
- Default region for DVD Videos changed to 1
What this means:
Optimisations to the video cutting system
The speed and accuracy of the ‘cut’ portion of the video editing system has been improved.
Removal of MacroVision Copy Protection detection
This is the biggest change from the stock firmware. By default, the Targa DRH-5100x is programmed to search for signals generated by MacroVision’s copy protection system and disallow recording and timeshifting when they are detected, instead displaying an error message. This firmware file has been modified to remove such artificial defects, allowing recording from any SCART source (so long as the signal is standard PAL-50, that is). By removing this restriction timeshifting of otherwise protected content (such as Sky Movies, which have a set start time that is often inconvenient to the consumer) is enabled. Recording of protected sources is also enabled, allowing easy transfer of out-of-print VHS tapes to DVD. For a more in-depth look at why such restrictions are bad, see DefectiveByDesign.org.
Default region for DVD Videos changed to 1
This is a by-product of the method used for editing the firmware file. Rest assured this does not mean that you will be unable to play your DVDs back once the firmware has been upgraded: simply use the region-free hack (detailed in the installation instructions) to set your preferred region. The default for the stock firmware is Region 2, although I would recommend setting it to Region 0 (which disables region checking).
Download the modified firmware by clicking here.
Burn the file to a blank CD-R as a ‘Data’ disc. If you do not have any CD burning software, either use the software built into Windows XP or download the freeware package CDBurnerXP Pro. By the end of this step you should have a CD with the file TGJTE021.DAC written to it. It might be worth labelling this disc so you can find it in the future, should you ever need to reinstall the firmware.
Place the CD in the DRH-5100x’s drive. A message should pop up asking if you want to update, with ‘Cancel’ being the default option. Choose ‘Update’ and wait. Two counters should increment on the LED display – A_UPD and D_UPD. These are the system and disc update details. Don’t worry if D_UPD pauses on 99% for a while.
Once updating is complete, remove the disc from the tray (which should have automatically ejected) and place the unit into standby by pressing the left-hand power button.
Cut the power to the unit by either flicking the rocker switch at the rear (below the power cable) to 0 or by turning the unit off at the mains. Wait for around ten seconds, then turn back on. Wait until the unit has returned to standby, and press the left-hand power button again to wait the unit up.
Press the ‘Setup’ button on the remote and re-scan your analogue channels (see your manual for how to do this). This seems to be the only information the unit loses during a firmware update.
Still on the ‘Setup’ menu, move the selection down to ‘Exit’ and (without pressing ‘Enter’) type the numbers 2, 9, 6, and 0 on the remote. This will enable a hidden screen where you can select your preferred DVD region. After updating, this will be set to 1. Enter the menu and choose either Region 2 (the default for Europe) or Region 0 (to play discs from any region). Press ‘Enter’ on the remote to confirm your choice, and press the ‘Setup’ button to exit the menu. Please note that this firmware still does not give you the option of outputting NTSC for Region 1 discs. I’m still working on that.
Congratulations! You now have a region-free, MacroVision-disabled Targa DRH-5100x. If you have a problem with any step along the way, feel free to e-mail me. If you don’t have access to a CD burner then ask me nicely and I’ll see about popping a copy of the upgrade disc in the post for you.