DVRMSToolbox Users’ Guide
What DVRMSToolbox (DTb) Does
DTb is a tool that primarily does three things:
- Manipulate DVR-MS and MPEG2 video files (a/k/a DTb Profiles)
- Monitor a directory for new video files and automatically manipulate those files based on characteristics of the files (a/k/a DTb FileWatcher)
- Hook into Vista Media Center (VMC) and give you a mechanism for skipping over commercials while watching a show (a/k/a DTb Commercial Skip Add-in)
An example of #1 (Profiles):
- Take a DVR-MS file recorded by VMC as an input
- Launch ShowAnalyzer or Comskip to search for commercials
- Cut the commercials out of the file
- Convert the resulting, commercial-free file to WMV
- Write the metadata from the DVR-MS file to the WMV file
- Move the WMV file into your Zune video folder
An example of #2 (FileWatcher):
- Watch “C:\Recorded TV\” for new files to be created
- When a new file is created, examine its metadata to see if it was recorded on ABC and the title contains “Lost”
- If it does, manipulate the file (see the previous example, for Profiles)
An example of #3 (Commercial Skip Add-in)
- While you are watching a TV show in VMC, the Add-in will look to see if the show has been scanned for commercials
- If it has, pressing the right arrow on the remote will jump to the end of the next commercial span (you can also configure the Add-in to automatically skip over the commercial span)
How DTb Works
A Profile is a series of Actions that are performed on a Context in the order the Actions are listed. A Context simply tells the Action which file or set of files it should perform on. For example, one Context is InputFile, which, obviously, is the file you originally pass to the Profile. An example of an action is ConvertToWMV, which simpy converts a DVR-MS file to WMV format. A full listing of Actions and Contexts is located below.
A Profile can contain one or more Actions. For example, a Profile could scan the DVR-MS file for commercials, cut out the commercials, convert the show to a WMV file, and copy it to a PocketPC or Smartphone. Or, a Profile could simply convert the DVR-MS to MPEG-2 format.
You can manually execute a Profile against a single file in one of two ways:
- Command Line: DVRMStoMPEG.exe
- GUI: DVRMStoMPEGGUI.exe
You can also setup Processing Conditions, which execute a Profile against any file in a particular directory that meets those conditions.
Once you have a Profile that properly manipulates the file, you can setup DVRMSToolbox to perform that Profile on those files in a particular directory that match certain conditions. You can also automate the process to run in the background and constantly monitor the directory.
Another large topic is commercial skipping, which is supplied by one of the following third-party programs: