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Importing archived WMV videos into SageTV’s “My TV”

Posted by onlydarksets on January 12, 2009

I have a ton of archived TV shows recorded in Vista Media Center that I processed with DVRMSToolbox (i.e., removed commercials, converted to WMV, and copied over all of the metadata), but they didn’t fit in well in Sage’s “Videos” structure.  After converting a few shows using SageMC, I realized that you can have pretty much any video file type show up in “My TV”, so I spent some time figuring out how to migrate all of these shows using a VB script.

Turns out you can access most of Windows Media Player via WSH, so that made it pretty easy to grab all of the metadata once everything was loaded into WMP – you just have to know where to look.  The XML layout for the Sage Webserver is pretty well documented, although the source code to Andy’s excellent MigrateMCtoSage utility made it much easier to figure out the bare minimums.  The hardest part was actually finding the XML writer for WSH.

Note that this should also work for AVIs, which is the other main container format supported by WMP.  However, AVI tagging is pretty abysmal in WMP, mostly because it doesn’t write the tags back to the file.  I have found a couple of apps to do this, but nothing I would wholeheartedly recommend.

Backup you wiz.bin file before proceeding – you need to shut down the Sage service to do this properly.

  1. Download and unzip CreateVideoXML.vbs
    Optional: Open in a text editor and edit the output and temp files
  2. Import your videos into WMP and clean up the metadata
  3. Run CreateVideoXML.vbs
  4. Open Sage Webserver and import the resulting XML file (by default: C:\Playlist.xml)
    1. Check the Import TV files box
    2. Check the Overwrite Existing Show Information box
    3. Check the Overwrite Existing Sage TV File Information box
    4. Check the Use imported Airing data to determine startTime option (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT)
    5. Uncheck everything else

After import, your videos will show up under “My TV”.

2 Responses to “Importing archived WMV videos into SageTV’s “My TV””

  1. Brent said

    Nice writeup!

    I’ve never imported recordings into SageTV from VMC before, but I know about the importer you mentioned by Babgvant. How does his app compare to this one as far as how it works and what it does? Is it simply categorizing differently or something else?


  2. Thanks! The core difference is that Andy’s app supports DVR-MS files, whereas this method supports any format that you can import into Windows Media Player (which includes WMV, DVR-MS, and AVI).

    Another difference is where the heavy lifting is done. Andy’s app scans a directory for DVR-MS files, while this method is really just reading data from the Windows Media Player library.

    A third difference is that I do absolutely no error checking. I need to get that in there, but I haven’t had a chance yet.

    My motivation behind doing this is that SageMC does not properly display videos if the metadata title is the same. Plus, this lets me put all of the TV shows in a single, logical place.

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