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post #1 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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My apologies if this is redundant. I searched for anything about this, and nothing newer than 2009 came up.

What type of solution do you use for commercial skipping?

From digging around, I found 3 tools that do it:

- DVRMS Toolbox
- MCE Buddy
- WTV Watcher w/ Life Extender

It appears that DVRMS Toolbox is the way to go, but honestly, I'm confused. The tool has a very complex setup, and I'm not sure what secondary tools are required. LifeHacker wrote a tutorial in March '10 (link). I was wondering if that's still the preferred method, or if something newer / easier has come along?

Thanks AVS. As always, your insight is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 12:49 PM
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I use DVRMSToolbox along with DTBAddin and Showanalyzer. In that Lifehacker article they touch on how to set it up. It seems a bit difficult but it isn't that bad at all. The nice part with that setup is it doesn't actually modify the file; so when commercial detection gets something wrong ( it will at times ) you can just rewind or fastforward.
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post #3 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Are you happy with that combo? Did you pay for show analyzer?

Also, how does watching the show work? when it comes to a commercial, it just skips ahead automatically? But if you FF/RW, it ignores the skip and goes into the commercials?

Lastly -- do you notice the background process to be at all resource heavy? How long does it take to convert the file and strip the commercials?
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post #4 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymania View Post

Thanks. Are you happy with that combo? Did you pay for show analyzer?

Also, how does watching the show work? when it comes to a commercial, it just skips ahead automatically? But if you FF/RW, it ignores the skip and goes into the commercials?

Lastly -- do you notice the background process to be at all resource heavy? How long does it take to convert the file and strip the commercials?

You can configure the DTBAddin to react to the commercial jumps anyway you want. I have mine setup to ask to process the show if it has not already been done ( this happens rarely ), I have it auto jump when it hits the commercial and if I am fastforwarding/rewinding and hit play in the middle of a commercial to jump to the end of it. Last I have two keys mapped to turn off and turn on commercial skip mostly for when I am watching a show and the commercial detection is messed up ( Law and Order tends to really play havoc with Showanalyzer).

Showanalyzer will peg your CPU when it is detecting commercials but is running at a low priority so it will scale back if the processor is in demand. I run this on a Sandy Bridge Core i3 and most 30 minute shows take about 7-9 minutes to process. This is average and can vary substantially, some hour shows will take an hour to process and some shows will take 3 minutes. Showanalyzer keeps hints from each show it processes so over time it will get faster with some shows.

The wife and I are totally happy with the setup so I did end up paying for Showanalyzer after the demo ended.
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post #5 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks a lot! This helps me a ton.
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post #6 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 01:45 PM
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I took a screenshot of Showanalyzer so you can see some of the shows it has detected commercials on for me. You can see some shows are quick and others are not. Please don't judge me based on the crappy television the wife and I record.
LL
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post #7 of 36 Old 10-06-2011, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskube84 View Post

I took a screenshot of Showanalyzer so you can see some of the shows it has detected commercials on for me. You can see some shows are quick and others are not. Please don't judge me based on the crappy television the wife and I record.

Is it really worth an hour of computer time to avoid having to hit a skip button a few times? I just skip forward in 30 second intervals when watching. If I go too far my back skip key is set for 10 seconds.
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post #8 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 12:28 AM
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I have read about this but I am not certain if it works with HD material. Has anyone tried it with HD material? Since its recorded in H.264 I wasn't sure whether it would work with this material.
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post #9 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 06:19 AM
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Skip forward and skip back, the Harmony next track and previous track, keys work fine with anything recorded by 7MC. I would not bother with comercial skipping software.
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post #10 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 06:56 AM
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Anyone that hasn't actually tried/used a good implementation of commercial detection shouldn't be too quick to dismiss it. I used to think it was too simple just to skip ahead a couple of 30 seconds increments too, then I set it up and (quickly) got used to having commercials automatically flagged. No comparison. I'll not go back to having to manually skip over commercials again unless I have no other options.

-Suntan
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post #11 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskube84 View Post

Please don't judge me based on the crappy television the wife and I record.

No offense, but I would stab a ball point pen through the artery in my neck if I had to sit and watch that lineup...

-Suntan
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post #12 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I agree with Suntan, in that the 30 sec skip is not the same. Plus, having come from a TiVo, the constant jumping because you went just a little too far or not quite enough past the commercial break is really annoying. TiVo has had a great system from day 1, where when you press play from FFing, it intelligently starts about 8 seconds before the last screen you saw, anticipating your reflexes aren't going to catch the exact moment.

MC you can try to do this by resuming normal speed by pressing the 8 sec back, but it just doesn't work the same.

Avoiding commercials entirely is the ideal option. Especially if it requires just an hour or two of setup.
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post #13 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

No offense, but I would stab a ball point pen through the artery in my neck if I had to sit and watch that lineup...

-Suntan


Breaking bad and Workaholics were mixed in there. IMO, he gets a free pass.

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post #14 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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For anyone else interested in setting this up: I used Engadget's tutorial. Spot on - just make sure you download the updated versions for the applications.

http://hd.engadget.com/2009/10/22/ho...-media-center/
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post #15 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Is it really worth an hour of computer time to avoid having to hit a skip button a few times? I just skip forward in 30 second intervals when watching. If I go too far my back skip key is set for 10 seconds.

It runs in the background so you never notice it. I used to think the same way about commercial skip but once I tweaked it the way I wanted it, I could never go back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

No offense, but I would stab a ball point pen through the artery in my neck if I had to sit and watch that lineup...

-Suntan

O I don't blame you on a lot of it, most of the stuff is my wifes. I can't blame Extreme Couponing on her though, I don't why I enjoy watching crazy people buy 8000 boxes of mustard packets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymania View Post

Breaking bad and Workaholics were mixed in there. IMO, he gets a free pass.


Breaking Bad is the best show on television if you ask me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

I have read about this but I am not certain if it works with HD material. Has anyone tried it with HD material? Since its recorded in H.264 I wasn't sure whether it would work with this material.

It works fine on HD, that is all I record.
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post #16 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymania View Post

Breaking bad and Workaholics were mixed in there. IMO, he gets a free pass.


Nobody gets a free pass when they have a show called "extreme couponing" in their list. It just can't be allowed.

-Suntan
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post #17 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Nobody gets a free pass when they have a show called "extreme couponing" in their list. It just can't be allowed.

-Suntan

Agreed, Extreme Couponing just should not exist, but then again, neither should Jersey Shore

I guess I should add that I use DVRMStoolbox, showanalyzer, and DTBAddin and they work great, but only on non-copy protected shows.
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post #18 of 36 Old 10-07-2011, 02:39 PM
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I posted instructions on how to implement comskip with win7 in this thread...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post19995843
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post #19 of 36 Old 10-08-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterescape View Post

I posted instructions on how to implement comskip with win7 in this thread...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post19995843

I am currently testing using Comskip on my laptop and Show Analyzer on the htpc....to see how well both work. Currently SA after minimal setup works great with all the .wtv files I presented it with. With Comskip while it did show the copied files in the 'tvscanfolder' and deleted once done, testing the files in WMC it didn't skip the commercials as they still play.

Maybe I haven't done something right but I will try to keep working with it and see if I can figure it out.
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post #20 of 36 Old 10-08-2011, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post
I am currently testing using Comskip on my laptop and Show Analyzer on the htpc....to see how well both work. Currently SA after minimal setup works great with all the .wtv files I presented it with. With Comskip while it did show the copied files in the 'tvscanfolder' and deleted once done, testing the files in WMC it didn't skip the commercials as they still play.

Maybe I haven't done something right but I will try to keep working with it and see if I can figure it out.

Sounds like you are close and I will agree that comskip is currently more difficult to set up. Two things to check, are you generating output files and did you load the dtb add-in? The dvrmstoolbox and the comskip log file should help, check it and post it here if you want some help...

here is a good sample log from dvrmstoolbox

 

Saturday Night Live_WHECDT_2010_09_18_23_27_00.log.txt 3.208984375k . file
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post #21 of 36 Old 10-08-2011, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterescape View Post
Sounds like you are close and I will agree that comskip is currently more difficult to set up. Two things to check, are you generating output files and did you load the dtb add-in? The dvrmstoolbox and the comskip log file should help, check it and post it here if you want some help...

here is a good sample log from dvrmstoolbox
Here's an attached log....should be the correct one.

 

Hardcore Pawn_TRUTVHD_2011_09_20_20_59_00.txt 2.689453125k . file
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post #22 of 36 Old 10-08-2011, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

Here's an attached log....should be the correct one.

please check the version of comskip you are running (and or post the comskip log) should be version 80_042 please see this post...
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post21053353

the log you posted indicates the issue is in comskip not detecting any commercials
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post #23 of 36 Old 10-08-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterescape View Post

please check the version of comskip you are running (and or post the comskip log) should be version 80_042 please see this post...
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post21053353

the log you posted indicates the issue is in comskip not detecting any commercials


I do have the latest version of Comskip....but let me make sure.

EDIT: Looks like I got it working now. The Comskip log verifies the latest version running (80_042). I think where I possibly went wrong was that I did not copy and replace the files properly from the comskip 80_042 directory to the one in DVRMS Toolbox Application directory, so I recopied and replaced the files and replaced the comskip.ini too.

I will throw some more files at it and see how well it does. If all goes well with Comskip then I will incorporate this into the new i5 HTPC build I will be doing next week. Since Comskip can do the same job that SA does and its free, sounds like a winner!
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post #24 of 36 Old 10-08-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

I do have the latest version of Comskip....but let me make sure.

EDIT: Looks like I got it working now. The Comskip log verifies the latest version running (80_042). I think where I possibly went wrong was that I did not copy and replace the files properly from the comskip 80_042 directory to the one in DVRMS Toolbox Application directory, so I recopied and replaced the files and replaced the comskip.ini too.

I will throw some more files at it and see how well it does. If all goes well with Comskip then I will incorporate this into the new i5 HTPC build I will be doing next week. Since Comskip can do the same job that SA does and its free, sounds like a winner!

Great! good luck and enjoy...
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post #25 of 36 Old 10-09-2011, 06:44 AM
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I decided to jump into the commercial skipping thing yesterday. I tried the guide winterescape posted and I tried the DVRMS Toolbox plus Showanalyzer (trial) version.

I liked how SA doesn't require .wtv file conversion, but I don't like the fact that the software seems abandoned and I'll have to pay for it.

What I really want to know how to do is install as much as I can on my server and maintain the RecordedTV on my HTPC's local HDD. I think I need DVRMS on my HTPC to allow for auto skipping, but can install SA on the server.

Not sure how to do that with the comskip method. The profile had stuff getting saved to the C:\ vscanfolder which would need to be relocated.

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post #26 of 36 Old 10-09-2011, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTechMan View Post

I am currently testing using Comskip on my laptop and Show Analyzer on the htpc....to see how well both work...

Now that you have them both working, what are your thoughts. i messed with commercial skipping a couple years ago, got it kinda working sometimes, then abandoned it. I LOVED it when it worked. "we'll be right back. And we're back" with no input from me is fantastic.

I wouldn't mind paying if the program was remarkably better, but I agree that it looks abandoned, so if there are issues??

Anyway, what do you prefer, and why?

thanks!

It's hard to keep up to date on this stuff!
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post #27 of 36 Old 10-09-2011, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinChase View Post

Now that you have them both working, what are your thoughts. i messed with commercial skipping a couple years ago, got it kinda working sometimes, then abandoned it. I LOVED it when it worked. "we'll be right back. And we're back" with no input from me is fantastic.

I wouldn't mind paying if the program was remarkably better, but I agree that it looks abandoned, so if there are issues??

Anyway, what do you prefer, and why?

thanks!

I'm still in the testing phases but so far, my vote is leading towards Comskip. I watched a Syfy movie on the htpc yesterday with SA, and while it did a decent job of skipping over all the commercials, it still landed to one commercial before the actual program resumed (which meant one press of the skip button). And that happened more than once throughout the show. I was thinking it had to do with the Syfy logo which was one of the items the program was detecting. Still a work in progress.

With Comskip, I watched a few programs on it and has skipped the commercials properly so far....it sure was fun watching 'Hardcore Pawn' watching the previous scene flow fluidly to the next. Very nice. Though Comskip took a bit more work to setup, so far it seems to be worth it, plus the fact that its free.

My conclusion? The jury is still out on the decision, but I am leaning my vote towards Comskip. I will continue my testing as I can throughout this week and then decide which I will go with. When it comes to price its not always about the cost...for me if it does the job its supposed to and does it reasonably well then that's the tool I will go with.
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post #28 of 36 Old 11-05-2011, 09:48 AM
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Has anyone yet tried the latest early release version of comskip with WTV support?

Just looking for some input on performance and any issues observed...
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post #29 of 36 Old 11-07-2011, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterescape View Post

I posted instructions on how to implement comskip with win7 in this thread...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post19995843

I used the instructions provided at the link above and everything is working . However the folder "c:\ vscanfolder" is needed but my C drive is a SSD and relative small and some very large recordings (above 12gb) are running into issues while copying original file and conversion before scanning can commence. Is there a way to relocate this to another disk/drive ?

Think the first page in the post answers this by asking to edit the profile file. I will give it a try and see if I go somewhere with my attempt.
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post #30 of 36 Old 11-07-2011, 08:21 PM
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Many if not most are more involved in this than I am, but I've been using MCEbuddy. Set it up once, and it has caught the majority of commercials. I hold onto the original recording so if I have to I can re-process a show (just edit one file to remove the already processed file and it'll do it again). The instructions for use were simple enough for someone like me to grasp.

Being it was freeware, that it runs with little to no intervention on my part, and that it has a high success rate... I just never bothered to go through other choices.

That being said, if someone here thinks their way is better, just describe the deltas over the previously mentioned program. If it's as easy to use, I'm willing to learn...
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