Alternative Processing in DVRMSToolbox

As you’ve probably read from my previous postings, I use the freeware utility called DVRMSToolbox (DTb) to automatically process the video recordings from my TV Tuner card to Zune format. Although DTb has a built-in action to convert the DVR-MS recording file to WMV format, it doesn’t have any provision for cropping out the top two lines of the video source (to remove the noise). In this posting, I talk about how I resolved that issue by doing the following in DTb:

  1. Cut out all commercials from the DVR-MS recording file.
  2. Convert edited DVR-MS file to MPEG2 format.
  3. Make an external call to Windows Media Encoder 9 to convert the MPEG2 file to WMV format and crop out the top two lines of the video source.

This has been working ok, but requires an intermediate conversion to MPEG2 format before converting to the final WMV format. Since the DVR-MS format is very close to MPEG2 format, the time for this conversion is minimal, however, I’ve noticed some pixelation in the resultant WMV file between the edited commercial breaks.

Recently, the maker of DTb added a new application called DVRMStoWMVHD which is suppose to convert a DVR-MS file to WMV format and has the ability to crop the video source. So, I decided to replace using WME9 and simplify the video processing procedure. Below is what I’m doing now:

  1. Cut out all commercials from the DVR-MS recording file.
  2. Convert edited DVR-MS file to WMV format (using DVRMStoWMVHD) with cropping parameters

Note, that DVRMStoWMVHD takes as input the same zune_profile.prx profile file that I use with WME9, so the final WMV file is essentially the same as what I was getting using my original method, but I’m able to simplify the process. Whether DVRMStoWMVHD is faster than WME9 or gives better results, I don’t know. So far, it seems to work ok and the WMV file that it generates looks good.

In case you’re curious, the parameters that I’m using in step 2 are the following:

dvrmstowmvhd -i “test.dvr-ms” -o “out.wmv” -p “C:\Dave’s Files\VideoTools\zune_profile.prx” -ch 2 -ct 2

I highly recommend you check out DVRMSToolbox if you have a TV Tuner card and want automate the conversion process of recordings to Zune format.

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