Zune Utility For The Window Media Center

If you have a TV Tuner card in your PC and use Windows Media Center for recording TV shows, you might take a look at a freeware product called ZuneTVWatcher. The description of this product is as follows:

ZuneTvWatcher is a program that will watch your Recorded Tv folder in Media Center for any changes. When a new show is recorded, ZuneTvWatcher will automatically convert your recorded TV show into a format that the Zune supports natively. In addition, when a TV show is deleted within Media Center, ZuneTvWatcher will also delete the converted WMV. When you combine this with Automatic Syncing of your Zune, either by full library sync or custom sync, everytime you sync your Zune, your recorded TV shows will be automatically synced, and your Recorded Tv shows on Media Center and your Zune will stay synced together.

I don’t have a TV Tuner card, so I can’t use this application as of yet, but it does sound like a very useful product. This developer also provides a meta data tag editor (very similar to dSharpie). Unfortunately, this application will only convert DVR-MS files (which are created by Windows Media Center), so you can’t use it for converting any other video formats.

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4 thoughts on “Zune Utility For The Window Media Center

  1. mike says:

    **UPDATE** : After doing a little more reading, this is only necessary if you have a Windows XP machine. If you run Windows Vista the OS supports this natively.

    ——–

    I am not sure why software other than the Zune software is necessary for this. I have a Vista Media Center machine with a tuner card and the Zune software recognizes the .dvr-ms format already as well as converts it to (Zune) .wmv. If you set up a folder sync relationship with your recorded TV folder you will have the same results.

  2. Chris says:

    Looks good. I use DVRMS Toolbox. It has a file watcher utility that you can use to automatically rip commercials and convert to wmv files using .prx profiles. So I’m just using your Zune profile to convert.

    Also, MCEbuddy is pretty good and is far more user friendly, but it uses mencoder, and the wmv files get converted twice. Its better if you want to convert to h.264 and watch on your tv.

  3. Adam says:

    Mike, I believe there are a couple benefits to a program like this, but correct me if there’s something I don’t understand. My comments pertain to my Zune 30 using Vista

    Benefits:
    1) dvr-ms requires trancoding at sync, whereas Zune TVWatcher converts to wmv “in the background” as soon as the program is done recording – very convenient and painless.

    2) keeping unconverted dvr-ms files in your collection uses a lot of HD space (probably 5-10X more space than a wmv in native Zune 30 bitrate and resolution).

  4. Adam says:

    I observed a few quirks with the wmv files created with ZuneTVWatcher.

    1) The aspect ratio is wrong when played in WMP, Zune Software, WMM, etc. I measure the aspect ratio to be somewhere around 1.15, when it should be 1.33 (4:3). The picture looks almost square. Files sync’d to the Zune device display correctly though.

    2) The video codec was WMV 8.

    3) The audio shows up as 127 kbps, when 128 kbps was selected in the settings

    I plan to email the creator regarding 1) and 2).

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