I recently had the need to get copy for projects that were currently on the air. It took awhile, but I figured out a way to get footage from a website that is either using Flash movies or some other type of “embedded” file. First, you need to download RealPlayer Downloader and RealPlayer Converter. Open the Downloader after installation. Then, you need to search on Google for a link to your episode (or film) that does not have commercials embedded. So Hulu is out, as well as the network websites. YouTube works great, but I doubt you’ll find network shows on there that aren’t protected in some way. If you search long enough, you can find a website with an unprotected file. When you find the link, you’ll know because in the RealPlayer Downloader window, your video title will pop up, with the option to convert the file to something usable (NOTE: the whole video has to load first before you can convert it). That will automatically open RealPlayer Converter. The whole process can take a little while, especially if you’re downloading a whole episode. Once it’s downloaded to your computer, you can chop it up using your video software of choice.
In the end, you may not find the best quality file online, but it’s a great solution for getting your clips together NOW, instead of having to wait for the DVDs to become available.
Incidentally, there is software out there that claims to remove the “protection” from files that you’ve purchased (off of iTunes, for example), but it runs around $30. This method described here is FREE.