Guide: Record to MPG & stream Live TV (AutoDVRConvert)

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Brocklander, January 7, 2006.

  1. Brocklander
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    Brocklander Retired Team Member

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    Two problems have plagued Media Portal users since the dawn of time; the inability to record to MPG instead of DVR-MS, and no way to stream live TV. While this is in no ways a perfect solution for all, it is a rather nifty work around.

    AutoDVRConvert lets you convert DVR-MS files to MPG. Quite plain, except for one feature - it can do it in real time. This means as soon as you begin recording a program in Media Portal, it is creating a MPG file at the same time, the same size, the same length.

    So that’s one plus, recording in real time to MPG.

    The second thing you can do with an MPG file created in real time is watch it with VLC while it is still being created. This means you can open that MPG file on another computer on the network and watch the file as it is being recorded, effectively a live TV stream.

    I’m sure you can pause and skip around the file, but I’ve only tried watching it to see that it works. This won’t work in programs like Windows Media Player, Quicktime or Real Player as they can’t open a file that is in use by another program. As I said, VLC works, and I’m sure you’d have some luck with other alternative players.


    1. Download AutoDVRConvert. You can extract this anywhere on your hard drive, I put mine in my Team Media Portal folder as it’s a good place to keep odds and ends close to hand.


    2. Open AutoDVRConvert and configure it. You can see my settings from the screenshot below.

    [​IMG]

    You can choose to delete the DVR-MS file once you’ve finished conversion. If a converted MPG file is deleted but not the original DVR-MS file, AutoDVRConvert will create another MPG copy.


    3. Choose a DVR-MS to MPG graph. Unfortunately neither of the included graphs worked for me, so I created my own with GraphRenderer. If you want you can use my graph, paste it in to a Notepad document and save it in the same directory as AutoDVRConvert.exe as an .xgr file (My MPG.xgr in my case). Select it from the drop down list, this only detects files in the same directory.

    Code (Text):
    1. <GRAPH version="1.0">
    2.     <FILTER ID="Cyberlink_Dump_Filter" clsid="{3E8868CB-5FE8-402C-AA90-CB1AC6AE3240}">
    3.         <PARAM name="src" value="D:\Recorded TV\Test.mpg"/>
    4.     </FILTER>
    5.     <FILTER ID="CyberLink_MPEG_Muxer" clsid="{BC650178-0DE4-47DF-AF50-BBD9C7AEF5A9}">
    6.     </FILTER>
    7.     <FILTER ID="DVR_Source_0" clsid="{C9F5FE02-F851-4EB5-99EE-AD602AF1E619}">
    8.     </FILTER>
    9.     <connect direct="yes" src="DVR_Source_0" srcpin="DVR Out - 1" dest="CyberLink_MPEG_Muxer" destpin="Audio In"/>
    10.     <connect direct="yes" src="DVR_Source_0" srcpin="DVR Out - 2" dest="CyberLink_MPEG_Muxer" destpin="Video In"/>
    11.     <connect direct="yes" src="CyberLink_MPEG_Muxer" srcpin="Output" dest="Cyberlink_Dump_Filter" destpin="Input"/>
    12. </GRAPH>
    I used the CyberLink MPEG Muxer and Cyberlink Dump Filter in my graph, both are likely already on your system - if not there are copies included in the downloaded AutoDVRConvert zip.

    4. Start the converter. It’ll now start humming through the DVR-MS files in the input directory and any programs recording, it really doesn’t take long to convert the files.


    Do more with your TVâ„¢
    Record to MPG & stream Live TV (AutoDVRConvert)
    Automated Ad Removal (DVRMS Toolbox)
    Automated compression after x days (Crunchie)
    Manually crop DVR-MS length and remove ads (DVR Edit)


     
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  3. Brocklander
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    Brocklander Retired Team Member

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    Thought I'd explain my setup, it's a little different.

    I like to keep the DVR-MS files around for a while to use in Media Portal’s Recorded TV, and also remove the ads over night. So my schedule (once I buy another hard drive) will look something like this…

    i. A program is recorded, AutoDVRConvert creates an MPG copy so the show can be watched live from any computer (we have 7 networked computers between 6 people in our flat).

    ii. Just after midnight DVRMS Toolbox runs, removing the ads from DVR-MS files in the recorded TV directory (see my guide).

    iii. Several hours after that, the following batch file deletes all files in the directory the MPG files created by AutoDVRConvert are stored in. AutoDVRConvert then recreates them from the latest DVR-MS files - this way any shows that have been deleted from within Media Portal are removed, and the new MPG files have their ads removed.

    Code (Text):
    1. del /q D:\Recorded TV\Stream\*.*
    iv. Another day or two after that (I have to find out how much drive space all this is going to use) Crunchie compresses then deletes any DVR-MS files older than several days (see my guide). The above mentioned batch file cleans out the MPG files and those with deleted DVR-MS files aren’t recreated.

    A little over the top, but I want to keep recorded programs in Media Portal’s Recorded TV database for viewing on the TV and full quality streamable files for a few days before compressing. We have 3 Macintosh computers that can’t view DVR-MS files, so the MPG versions are a necessity.
     
  4. jawbroken

    jawbroken Portal Pro

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    Any opinion on how well automatic commercial skipping works? I am especially worried about false positives stripping out part of a show I recorded, not so much about it leaving in commercials it should have cut.
     
  5. Brocklander
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    Brocklander Retired Team Member

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    As I mentioned in my guide here, it depends a lot on your signal. There's one channel it just won't detect any ads on, and occasionally it misses ad breaks on the others. Hopefully the reliability will go up with the better signal in my 'real' home (on holiday at the moment).

    One thing it certainly hasn't done is remove something that isn't ads! I believe it uses the channel logos that don't appear in ads to detect them.
     
  6. jawbroken

    jawbroken Portal Pro

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    I see. I really hate station watermarks, but if they are used for commercial skipping then there is at least something good about them.
     
  7. wishywashy

    wishywashy Portal Pro

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    Brocklander

    Thank you so much for your guides! I am now useing the DVRMS toolbox to remove commercials from my wife's soap operas and she absolutly loves it. Thank you again!
     
  8. Brocklander
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    Brocklander Retired Team Member

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    Glad it's working okay for you, I've spent the last few weeks trying all this stuff (and others I wasn't so happy with), and thought I might as well save some others the effort :D
     
  9. shanek

    shanek Portal Member

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    Stream Live Tv

    Doesnt media portal record all the time with the time shift feature on ? if so then where is that file as is would be good to be able to connect to a stream any time rather than only connecting to programs that are being recorded.


    Shane
     
  10. Paranoid Delusion
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    Show System Specs
    shanek

    It does, but if you swtch channels, the timestream buffer is deleted and a new one created, also the same if you close TV down.
    So example if your 20 minutes into watching a 1 hour show and you decide you want to record and save it. that will happen and you will get a file size of 9kb which links to the SBE file which will allow you to watch recorded TV.
    If you want to keep and lets say put on a DVD then use the convert function to save as a mpeg file and you will get the full size file.

    8)
     
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