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There are some units that can do this, but if you are trying to copy commercially recorded VHS movies to DVD you will have issues. The VHS tapes have copy protection on them and all manufactured hardware to record these have been required by law to support the protection. Thus, you will get poor copy reproduction when copying. If they are home-movie style VHS tapes, no such issues exist. You can either get a unit that has both devices integrated and has copy capability, or you can you a VHS player and send the outputs to a DVD recorder.
You say "home made" - not sure what you mean by that.
If it was a copy of something that was originally retail, it's possible the Macrovision encoding copied over with it - in which case your DVD recorder is working as it's supposed to to prevent illegal copying of disks.
I'm a bit wary of getting into this in any depth, as it treads the lines of legality. If I found a way for you to bypass this copy protection, it would allow you to pirate movies freely. I'm not going to discuss my own feelings on that, but I will say that I'm not going to support such actions on a public forum.
That being said, if for some reason your totally legitimate home made tape managed to get something that's being interpreted as Macrovision coding on it, you may want to do a google search for digital video stabilizer. That will point you in the right direction.
You don't state the manufacturer or model number in your question, thus we cannot answer. I will say that many do, but there is a caveat. If the the VHS tape is a commercially made movie, chances are it has copy protection on it. Most machines will sense this copy protection and will refuse to copy the protected VHS tape to DVD. This was done to prevent piracy. Home recorded tapes and non-protected tapes will usually work ok. Do not confuse write protection with copy protection however. Write protection is merely the tab on the tape that prevents re-recording of the tape. Copy protection is recorded right onto the tape itself and is read by the machine during playback.
If the DVD drive is a recorder, yes. If it is a player only, no. If the tape is copy-protected, recording to a DVD recorder is not possible. Assuming the tapes are not copy-protected, and you are using a DVD recorder with the correct format DVDs (DVD-R for example), you shouldn't have any problems transferring old VHS tapes to DVD.
What are the tapes that you are trying to copy? are there genuine copies of films? YES THEY COULD BE COPY PROTECTED how they do that? simple they record the tape with the most minimum srength of signal, if you try to copy it you lose signal strength trough the copy process than the video looks a bit scrambled/discoloured and the sound is bad, if it's the case you could buy a video signal booster (if still available in stores) than you have to copy with a VCR that is separated from the DVD recorder so that you can install the booster from the output of the VCR to the input of the DVD recorder.
Is this a new problem or has it always been like this? The unit will throw that error message if there's a copy protection flag on the broadcast source.
To make matters worse, there are three flags a broadcaster can set. Copy Always, Copy Once, and Copy Never.
Copy Always and Copy Never are pretty self-explanatory but the Copy Once flag with this unit only works with certain media, namely DVD-RAM and DVD-RW in VR mode with CPRM (Content Protection for Recordable Media.
Copy Always flag should work with all media. I don't know of any easy way to figure out which broadcasts have which flag but try changing your media and recording mode first.
P.S. You may also want to reset to factory default settings by pressing FF and RW together on the player. Also make sure you're running the latest firmware.
The name of the GoVideo DVR4200 is a bit misleading. It is NOT a "DVR". It will only record DVD ->VCR and any "protected" DVD will not record. There are some hacks out there for this unit but be careful because some of them have been known to kill the DVD player.
The 4200 has been out for quite some time as I had bought one for a family member some years ago.