Automatically Convert WTV Files for Commercial Scanning

Andy VT's DVRMSToolbox While being able to skip commercials in your recorded TV shows is a big deal with home DVRs, when your Media Center does it for you automatically that’s huge. This is the kind of feature many previous users of Media Center have become accustomed to using DVRSMToolbox. Unfortunately, with the advent of Windows 7 Media Center there is a change in the format of recorded TV shows from DVRMS to WTV. This has caused a bit of trouble in getting DVRMSToolbox working again.

Luckily, with the latest version of DVRMSToolbox ( the Media Center Commercial Skipping Plug-in has been  updated to install and work on Windows 7. Now all we have to do is deal with that pesky new file format. The easiest way to do that is to just convert it back into a DVRMS format.

Download the Tools

To get started you will need a copy of DVRMSToolbox or greater installed from Andy VT’s blog. Then you will need to download the WTV to DVRMS profile from right here. Extract the .dpc file to the “Program Files\DVRSMToolbox\Profiles” directory (“Program Files (x86)” for x64 users).

Configure DVRMSToolbox and the Profile

Next open DVRMStoMPEGSettings from the start menu. In the DVRMSToolbox tab scroll down and select the “wtv to dvr-ms” listing and press “Edit Profile”. Find the line marked “Run C:\Program Files\DVRMSToolbox\Applications\todvrms.exe” and double-click to bring up the configure window. Double-click the “ProcessName” input box to bring up a file dialog to select your “todvrms.exe” file.

Setup the WTV to DVR-MS Profile

Now, open the FileWatcher tab in the main DVRMSToolbox windows. Make sure that all the directories you will be recording to are listed under the “Watched Directories” box. If not double-click to add them. Under the “Watched Ext” input box add “,.wtv”.

Configure DVRMSToolbox File Watcher

Depending on the power of your computer you may also want to increase the number of available workers to speed up processing of multiple shows at one time. Conversely, if you have a less powerful PC you may need to increase the “Wait Time” if you notice your DVR-MS files are being scanned for commercials before they are complete. Save your settings then open “ProcessingConditionEditor” from the start menu.

Once inside the ProcessingConditionEditor, press the “New Condition” button on the right. In the Description input give the rule a name such as “wtv to dvr-ms”. Then in the dropbox select the “wtv to dvrms” profile that we downloaded earlier. If you don’t see it listed double check that it’s in the ‘\DVRMSToolbox\profiles\” directory in your Program Files.

Add Condition to Processing Condition Editor

Now press the “Add” button on the right of this window. In the first dropbox select “FileExt”, in the second select “equals” then enter “.wtv” in the last box. Press OK then save this new entry. In the main windows select your new entry and press the “Raise Priority” button on the right until it’s at the top of the list.

Now once the show has finished recording (auto-detected when the file’s size has stopped increasing for 10 minutes) it will be converted to dvr-ms. It should then be picked up by DVRMSToolbox as usual and scanned for commercials. To adjust the time to wait after the recording has finished you can edit the profile from DVRMStoMPEGSettings. For more on commercial scanning be sure to check back to Hack7MC soon for another guide.

Now that you’ve got your commercial free content why not share it through-out your network with Sharing Recorded TV Between PCs!


Anonymous said...

Great post! Will try this out today. Unfortunately, when I try to play any internet video (via Internet TV Beta 1.1) within Windows 7 media Center, I get an error "Cannot Play Video. Windows cannot find the specified file...". Just wondering if you have any tips - maybe a codec problem??

MHealy said...

It does sound like a codec problem. I would start by uninstalling all the codecs you've currently got installed then installing either Shark007 or FFDShow codecs. See if a clean install of one of those clears up the problem.

I'll keep an eye out for anyone else who has had the problem and if/how they fixed it though.

Anonymous said...

in profiles there is no “Run C:\Program Files\DVRMSToolbox\Applications\todvrms.exe”

MHealy said...

If you select the "wtv to dvrms" and press the "Edit Profile" button you will get a window showing the profile details. Four or Five entries down you will find the correct line. The image above you can check the windows you should see during this process.

David said...

I tried this today and it worked unfortunately with no audio -This happened to me before when I tried todvrms on its own - I googled it before and its because dvbt in the UK has multiple audio streams and todvrms chooses the mono impaired vision stream which somehow ends up silent ! AndyVT was going to try and include an audio stream selector but I'm not sure if he's been successful
Any Ideas ?

MHealy said...

Recent versions of todvrms include the ability to convert all streams. I'm not sure whether this is recent or if it will be a solution but you can add it to the profile and check. In the steps above when setting the todvrms location add "-allstreams" to the ArgumentsContext box. That should set todvrms to copy all streams I believe.

I've never used this option however so I'm not sure to what extent it works.

David said...

Thanks I'll try that later btw love the website - great to have all the cool plugins and hacks in one place with easy stepwise instructions

If this doesn't work I could try upgrading from 7000 to 7048 and use the built in convertor but I am reluctant because got most things working ok and if it ain't broke ....

I don't particularly want to do another clean install so do you think an upgrade would affect any of the hacks, plugins, registry changes ,programs etc etc I have installed already ? Is 7048 worth the effort

MHealy said...

Doing an upgrade to build 7048 may break some registry tweaks and hacks. Any edits to the theme (ehres.dll) would almost surely need reinstalled. If dvr-ms conversion isn't a make or break feature for you 7048 probably doesn't have too much else to look forward to in the Media Center department.

Hoke Wilcox said...

MHealy 7048 is a new version of MCE, and is much more stable than 7000 (I don't know about the builds leading up to 7048) it is running much better without some of the old errors that plagued MCE in far!

MHealy said...

I found the opposite in my testing of build 7048. In my experience 7048 is much less stable than build 7000. I now have a copy of 7058 however and will be testing that as well.

David said...

Ok -allstreams did not work for me but did some more research and now use "-as #2" which selects the second audio stream which should be the stereo one and seems to be working so far

other problems on which I would welcome your comments :

Files getting deleted before they could be converted so have currently removed deletion of input file

Files not getting converted because
"The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process"

Commercials not being removed - What is the difference between Showanalyser and Comskip ?
Showanalyzer seems to be trial limited ?

Is 600 seconds the ideal time to wait ?
What is the ideal number of workers for a q6600 ?
Do shows being recorded at the same time on different channels affect it ?


MHealy said...

If you are getting shows that aren't being converted you will most likely need to increase the wait time in the "wtv to dvrms" profile as well as the FileWatcher tab.

The problem with DVRMSToolbox currently in Windows 7 is that the Commercial Skipping plugin doesn't work properly and files would need to be cut to remove commercials. Choosing one of the profiles that cuts dvr-ms files in the "Every File" section of the Process Conditions should do that for you.

I would probably use between 3 and 4 workers on a quad-core and all recordings should have unique names set by Media Center so there should be no problem there.

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