Conversion Issues with Windows Media Encoder

videosFor the past few years I’ve been using DVRMSToolbox (Dtb) and its assortment of tools for converting DVR-MS files (recordings from my TV Tuner card) to WMV format for my Zune media player. I’ve set up a “profile” in Dtb to do the following:

  1. Use ShowAnalyzer to detect all commercial segments in the DVR-MS file
  2. Cut out all found commercials and create a new DVR-MS file
  3. Use the tool DVRMStoWMVHD to convert the commercial-free DVR-MS file to WMV format (using specs for my Zune)
  4. Migrate all the metadata (i.e., show title, description, etc)  from the original DVR-MS file to the generated WMV file
  5. Copy the WMV file to my Zune sync folder
  6. Delete all temporary files

It all seemed to work great, until a recent update to the DVRMStoWMVHD software caused the audio and video for the converted WMV file to gradually go out of sync. So by the end of a 45-minute show, the audio was about 6 seconds off from the video (really annoying to watch). So, I decided to use this modified profile for my video conversion:

  1. Use ShowAnalyzer to detect all commercial segments in the DVR-MS file
  2. Cut out all found commercials and create a new DVR-MS file
  3. Use the tool FFMPEG to convert the commercial-free DVR-MS file to MPEG format
  4. Use Windows Media Encoder 9 to convert the MPEG file  to WMV format (using specs for my Zune)
  5. Migrate all the metadata (i.e., show title, description, etc)  from the original DVR-MS file to the generated WMV file
  6. Copy the WMV file to my Zune sync folder
  7. Delete all temporary files

This method worked for me in the past, however, I noticed that on several recent recordings the converted WMV file did not contain all of the TV show material. Normally, a 1-hour TV show will reduce down to 42 minutes when the commercials are removed, but in this case I was getting 19 or 24 minute shows. What’s going on? After doing some investigating, I concluded that ShowAnalyzer was working properly, and the MPEG file created by FFMPEG was the expected 42 minutes in length. It turned out that Windows Media Encoder 9 (WME9) was the bad link in the chain, converting the 42 minute MPEG file down to just 24 minutes. Why… I’m not sure.

So, I’ve gone back to using method 1 along with an older version of DVRMStoWMVHD (1.0.1.0) which doesn’t have the audio/video sync issue.

Automation is great… when it works! 🙂

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Conversion Issues with Windows Media Encoder

  1. Robert Davis says:

    I still think Cucusoft conversion software is the best out there. I’ve never had any problems. I upgraded to their ultimate package & i can convert any video file or DVD to every major device thats made (Iphone’s, Apple TV, 6 diferent Zune formats, in all about 50 different formats). Plus you get ulimited upgrades for life. I offered to give you my first purchase that was only for the Zune but you said no. I gave it to my nephew who is over in Iraq & he loves it.

  2. zunetips says:

    Robert: From what I understand, Cucusoft is a software package which you need to run manually. Since I do all my conversions in an automated fashion, I stick with command-line interface applications (e.g., WME9, FFMPEG, etc.). Thus, applications like Cucusoft do not apply.

    Question: Will Cucusoft convert your videos to WMV9 format for the Zune 30/80? Or, do you convert to MP4 format?

  3. Robert Davis says:

    I can choose from 3 Zune TV sizes (480×368, 512×384 & 640×480), Zune MPEG-4 (mp4), Zune Media 7 (.wmv), Zune Media 8(.wmv) & Zune Media 9 (.wmv). I counted all of the formats & right now there are a total of 49 in the Ultimate package . They add new ones when they come out. I really think it’s worth the investment. The converter has a preview screen which is nice. About running automatic thats another thing, but there might be someway around it. Thats above my paygrade. I just think it simplifies the process but also gives you many audio & video options to choose from ( bitrate, framerate ect..). The lifetime upgrade is nice. I just upgrade to the newest one last week.

  4. zunetips says:

    The WMV9 format is what the Zune requires to avoid transcoding, so it seems that Cucusoft can create WMV files effectively. So, it may be a good choice for those who want to convert their videos manually.

  5. ca says:

    Please post the old version of DVRMSTOWMVHD!!!! I can’t find it anywhere.

  6. zunetips says:

    ca: I’m actually using the latest version of DVRMSTOWMVHD with no audio issues. Are you having out-of-sync problems with your video conversions? If so, did you check the forums on the DVRMStoolbox web site?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s