Can someone please help w/Auto commercial skipping in WMC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been trying to research this and I can't seem to find the information I need. There is TONs of information for stuff I don't want/need but I can't seem to find concise answers to my simple questions. I don't want to have to convert EVERYTHING I record on a file by file basis creating two copies and blah blah blah. I see a video on youtube that shows the ability to skip commercial segments on live TV as well as one where he's skipping on recorded programs. I think the program used is Comskip on these. So I downloaded the most recent zip for Comskip but when I unzip I see no install file to install it. Does this mean I have the use of this program wrong? I've seen posts about DVRMSToolbox & ShowAnalyzer and other software costing $20-$30 but I've heard Comskip is free so I'm confused. Do I need these other programs to make Comskip work? If not, how do I go about installing? What I want to do seems possible from the two videos I've found but the supporting information I've found is sparse at best.

Can someone please point me in the right direction? I don't want to invest time converting each file before I watch them and have to babysit such processes. I would like something I install on the primary PC so that when I watch shows that are either pre-recorded, currently recording or live and allow me to skip commercials entirely.

Thanks for the help!

Jer

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post #2 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 06:06 AM
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Comskip Manual

Found here

Comskip Support Forum from that same page.


From the looks of it, You only have one piece of the pie. Comskip alone will not do what you are looking for.

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post #3 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsican View Post

Comskip Manual

Found here

Comskip Support Forum from that same page.


From the looks of it, You only have one piece of the pie. Comskip alone will not do what you are looking for.

I found this stuff at one point and it still doesn't make sense to me. I start reading things and I guess my ADHD kicks in because it doesn't make sense to me. It seems like a lot of that is about converting files AFTER they've recorded and using GBPVR (I don't even know what this is but it refers to it regularly like I should) and some other steps I don't want to do.

I guess what I'm looking for here is an answer from someone who is familiar with this process to this question: Can I simply install some free software and have it auto-skip or single press of a button skip commercials on material that's either pre-recorded, currently recording or live? If so, what software(s) do I need and what are the steps to accomplishing this?

I've searched and read manuals and such and it's only confused me more. I need someone to explain it to me in simple English as it applies to me I guess.

Jer

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post #4 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 06:43 AM
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Check this thread

I started the above thread with the same idea. it seems that there is no real "simple" solution. It's something I've put on the back burner for now but is on my todo list.

I can FFWD for a couple of seconds while watching TV.

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post #5 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 06:52 AM
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not exactly what you're looking for, but a good related suggestion.

video redo does a very good job with commercial detecting for programs you want to permanently archive. it is also a great way to take store bought dvds and remux them into wtv files. that way you can have tv shows show up with the rest of your tv collection and can fast forward and rewind movies.


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post #6 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsican View Post

Check this thread

I started the above thread with the same idea. it seems that there is no real "simple" solution. It's something I've put on the back burner for now but is on my todo list.

I can FFWD for a couple of seconds while watching TV.

I can FFWD and RWND manually as I've been doing for years but I just installed a Homerun Prime and am using it and WMC as my whole-house HTPC/DVR for the first time and this was one of the features I was looking forward to when I stumbled across someone talking about Comskip and then a video on YouTube.

This guy is using it on live TV. Mind you it's SageTV but i think the theory is the same on WMC.

There is one other video I saw which I can't seem to find where a guy is demo'ing his WMC setup and Comskip is one of the parts he demonstrates which automatically skips through commercials when he presses the skip forward button once.

Another I saw (might even be one of the two previously mentioned as I had a real hard time finding videos & info on actual use) he pressed the 'play' button first to bring up the timeline and then he pressed skip so he could actually see the length of the bock being skipped. To me this is the most error proof since you can visually see the amount of time being skipped. In other words you can visually see the approximate length of time the software thinks is a commercial block and if it's huge (it should be pretty obvious) you can manually skip or something instead of skipping the entire block.

It just seems that some are mentioning it here and there as a good solution so it has to work with some mixture of software programs and settings. There's just SO many options and I'm not even sure which ones are necessary or not. That coupled with the fact that I'm a WMC n00b I don't want to start adding too many variables until I can test at length for stability.

I was really hoping some here would be able to say 'Yes, I do that and you just need this and this and then do this' but I can't seem to find that sort of solution. That's the purpose for creating this thread: First hand user accounts of what works and how to make it work. I don't want to read hours of manuals written by people who understand code better than English or explaining something to someone because it's more confusing than enlightening.

Jer

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post #7 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 08:04 AM
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I was able to follow winterescape's post without problems: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post19995843 Winterescape tuned the comskip.ini to work well with OTA programming, and it works for me about 95% of the time.

In Windows 7, Comskip does not allow processing of files until the show has finished recording as it needs to be converted to dvr-ms (unless you donate more than $10, you will get an early version).

I never saw the point in using automatic commercial skipping until I started using this setup.
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madtownUSA View Post

I was able to follow winterescape's post without problems: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post19995843 Winterescape tuned the comskip.ini to work well with OTA programming, and it works for me about 95% of the time.

In Windows 7, Comskip does not allow processing of files until the show has finished recording as it needs to be converted to dvr-ms (unless you donate more than $10, you will get an early version).

I never saw the point in using automatic commercial skipping until I started using this setup.

So with this setup you just need to wait until the program is completed, right? In other words, I don't have to manually convert anything or manage any additional files or folders, right? It all happens automatically behind the scenes? If so, and it automatically skips commercials on the files after conversion & there's an error which skips an entire segment does that mean you simply lost that or will it save either the original file or allow you to quickly and easily jump back during playback?

Jer

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post #9 of 21 Old 02-24-2012, 01:42 PM
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There are 2 caveats to using the solution I'm using:
1 - It's not free. I purchased Show Analyzer V1 (SAV1) which was like $20 or $30...well worth it. I also donated a few bucks to Andy VT for his amazing work on DTb.
2 - I believe you mentioned a HDHR Prime. If so, and you're using CableCARD, then no application is going to help you, if your provider flags broadcasts as anything other than Copy Freely. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

So, if you're using a provider like FIOS, who flags things as copy freely, then all you need to do is download SAV1 (http://www.dragonglobal.biz/download/). Install it. Download DVRMSToolbox (http://babgvant.com/files/folders/dv...ntry20437.aspx) and the DTb add-in for Media center (http://babgvant.com/files/folders/dv...ntry20021.aspx)

Install DTb, don't have it download and install SAV1, you've already installed it, and then install the DTb add-in, and you're set to go after a few minor tweaks.
Andy put together a decent install doc here:
http://babgvant.com/Wiki/view.aspx/DVRMSToolbox/Install
Some of it is obsolete, but most is still accurate. Additionally, this page will give you an idea about how to configure live detection..again, it's showing an older version of the DTb config setup, but it tells you which options to select:
http://babgvant.com/Wiki/view.aspx/D...cial_Detection

My recommendation would be the following:
1 - Backup your current setup with a full system image for when you mess things up and need to get back to a starting point. We ALL stumble when setting these things up for the first time.
2 - Install SAV1 (the trial)
3 - Install DTb (allow it to run the File Watcher (FW) as a service)
4 - Install the DTb Add-in.
5 - Configure as per the docs.
6 - Sit back and never have to touch a button to skip commercials!

My setup right now analyzes shows as they are being recorded. I give it about 20 minutes if I want to watch something that's being recorded, and then just hit play. Works like a champ!

Ray
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-27-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostlobster View Post

There are 2 caveats to using the solution I'm using:
1 - It's not free. I purchased Show Analyzer V1 (SAV1) which was like $20 or $30...well worth it. I also donated a few bucks to Andy VT for his amazing work on DTb.
2 - I believe you mentioned a HDHR Prime. If so, and you're using CableCARD, then no application is going to help you, if your provider flags broadcasts as anything other than Copy Freely. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

So, if you're using a provider like FIOS, who flags things as copy freely, then all you need to do is download SAV1 (http://www.dragonglobal.biz/download/). Install it. Download DVRMSToolbox (http://babgvant.com/files/folders/dv...ntry20437.aspx) and the DTb add-in for Media center (http://babgvant.com/files/folders/dv...ntry20021.aspx)

Install DTb, don't have it download and install SAV1, you've already installed it, and then install the DTb add-in, and you're set to go after a few minor tweaks.
Andy put together a decent install doc here:
http://babgvant.com/Wiki/view.aspx/DVRMSToolbox/Install
Some of it is obsolete, but most is still accurate. Additionally, this page will give you an idea about how to configure live detection..again, it's showing an older version of the DTb config setup, but it tells you which options to select:
http://babgvant.com/Wiki/view.aspx/D...cial_Detection

Thanks for the response and I think most of this kills the dream for me. We have Comcrap and they are notorious for improperly flagging programming. I also don't want to spend any money so I think for now I'll just stick with clicking the skip forward/backward buttons to omit commercials. I was hoping for a more automated way of doing things now that I'm using WMC but oh well. I'm really happy with the features we've gained making the swap from leasing Comcrap receivers to HDHR Primes on the network. Can't have it all I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostlobster View Post

My recommendation would be the following:
1 - Backup your current setup with a full system image for when you mess things up and need to get back to a starting point. We ALL stumble when setting these things up for the first time.
2 - Install SAV1 (the trial)
3 - Install DTb (allow it to run the File Watcher (FW) as a service)
4 - Install the DTb Add-in.
5 - Configure as per the docs.
6 - Sit back and never have to touch a button to skip commercials!

My setup right now analyzes shows as they are being recorded. I give it about 20 minutes if I want to watch something that's being recorded, and then just hit play. Works like a champ!

What would this accomplish if I installed all of this and set it up? I'm guessing it may be too much time to invest given the return on investment since we have Comcast.

Jer

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post #11 of 21 Old 02-27-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyhelling View Post


What would this accomplish if I installed all of this and set it up? I'm guessing it may be too much time to invest given the return on investment since we have Comcast.

Actually, it's not too much of a time investment just to see if it works. Backup your system as a "just in case" step and try it. If your recordings are flagged a Copy Freely, then you'll get the automatic commercial skipping you're looking for. Try it until the trial runs out on SAV1 to see if it works for you. If not, then just uninstall the apps and go back about your regular viewing. Really, it's not that big of a deal to install and try.

Ray
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post #12 of 21 Old 02-27-2012, 06:06 PM
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The SAV1 trial never expires. Just use it for free. It works ok but is not supported anymore.
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-27-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Babbitt 1080P View Post

The SAV1 trial never expires. Just use it for free. It works ok but is not supported anymore.

Wow, really? That should give you an idea as to how long I've had it in place! When I installed it, it was only a trial for 30 days.

Ray
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 10:56 AM
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All these piece meal solutions just don't work for me. I haven't gotten them to work reliably ever. I did have one program that worked 90% of the time. I gave the guy money after the trial ended, then the program stopped working and he stopped responding.

I'm willing to pay for a software package that will work and come all together in one file. HOw come no one does this? I'm not a programmer.. thats what i need others to do. smile.gif

just want something that works... like mediabrowser works...

JOhn
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-19-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI, I've given up on this idea entirely. I just cope with it or wait and download the entire season which never has commercials. I know this isn't a solution for some but since I'm the OP of this thread I felt the need to give a heads up that I'm abandoning the thread before I unsubscribe. Good luck to everyone and I hope you have better luck than I did.

Jer

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post #16 of 21 Old 11-20-2012, 07:14 AM
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I don't think you will find a one program solution, as there are two different tasks that need to be done. One is analyzing a recorded show and removing the commercials, while the other is playing back the commercial-stripped file. The above two-program method (ShowAnalyzer and DTBAddin) works very well for me and is really that simple to set up. I set it up once and now it is completely transparent. When I record a show within WMC, ShowAnalyzer starts analyzing it while it is recording and usually by the time the show is over, the commerical-free file has been created and is ready for viewing.

I did pay the $20 for ShowAnalyzer and sent $10 to the DTBAddin author. Well worth the money to have commercial-free recordings.
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post #17 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 09:44 PM
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I just set up my system like this a couple of days ago.

Basically, I installed DVRMSToolbox, then unzipped the donater version of Comskip into the applications folder to override the old versions of Comskip. I can't recall if DTBAddin was automatically installed, but if not, do that. There are only a handful of settings you need to change from the default settings.

The $ version of Comskip works directly on .wtv files, so conversion to DV-RMS isn't needed. This method does NOT work on copy-protected recordings, so I'm ok for now.

That being said, it doesn't work perfectly. Far from it. I think I waste more time going back to watch parts of the show it skips than if I had just used the 30-second skip on the remote. But I've only used it briefly. The real test will be on a show I'm recording now -- Iron Man 2 on FX. Those are notorious for frequent commercials.

The reason I'm in here now was to look for the idiotproof comskip.ini to see if I can improve performance.

Edit a few days later.... Wow. I was wrong. Comskip works much better than my initial experience. I've had a few days to watch a variety of shows, and it seems to be working very well.
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 10:20 PM
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I have a similar question.

I use MCEBuddy to convert my recorded wtv files to mkv. I was using comskip to remove the commercials completely from the final mkv file. I have 4 different comskip.ini's for different channels and I'd say it is +95% accurate. However, that less than 5% still gets to me. The newest version of MCEBuddy allows you to move the edl of xml file created by comskip during the conversion to destination folder. All my shows are saved as D:\TV Shows\Showname\Season #\showname - S##E## - episodename.mkv. I told MCEBuddy to scan for commercial but NOT remove them in the transcode. Now I also get an edl and xml file with the same exact name as the mkv in the same directory. I ran an episode in WMC and can see the result. As you can see from the attached image the commercial segments are shown in red in the progress bar, but hitting skip forward still only skips 30 seconds, and not the whole commercial break.



Do I have to install DTB Addin (and therefore DVRMSToolbox) to get WMC to skip the whole commercial break?

I have to return some video tapes....
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-21-2013, 04:29 AM
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I've been using ShowAnalyzer with the DVRMSToolBox and DTB Add-in for several years now and it works pretty well. It's not 100% effective, but it can be tweaked to get better performance from it on a channel-by-channel basis. I'm on FIOS so it works for all of my recordings except the premium channels. Lots of info on commercial skipping in WMC here:

http://www.hack7mc.com/category/commercial-skip
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-21-2013, 09:16 PM
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Thanks. I have the comskip.ini tuned and the output xml files in the same directory as the MKV video files. What I need is where the setting is in WMC that allows you to skip the whole red commercial segment vice the default 27 (or in my case 30 since I changed it in the registry) seconds. Is there a setting in WMC? Or do I have to install DTB Addin or DVRMSToolbox to get this functionality?

I have to return some video tapes....
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post #21 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

I just set up my system like this a couple of days ago.

Basically, I installed DVRMSToolbox, then unzipped the donater version of Comskip into the applications folder to override the old versions of Comskip. I can't recall if DTBAddin was automatically installed, but if not, do that. There are only a handful of settings you need to change from the default settings.

The $ version of Comskip works directly on .wtv files, so conversion to DV-RMS isn't needed. This method does NOT work on copy-protected recordings, so I'm ok for now.

That being said, it doesn't work perfectly. Far from it. I think I waste more time going back to watch parts of the show it skips than if I had just used the 30-second skip on the remote. But I've only used it briefly. The real test will be on a show I'm recording now -- Iron Man 2 on FX. Those are notorious for frequent commercials.

The reason I'm in here now was to look for the idiotproof comskip.ini to see if I can improve performance.

If you take the time to tune the comskip.ini file, it actually works pretty well. I did the same as you regarding setup, but I tweeked the INI file too. The networks do a lot of trickery to fool commercial skipping, but it works better than not using it at all. Occassionally, I will get commercials that are not skipped, but I rarely run into situations where it skips past content I want to see. Even then it isn't a big deal, because I just click the left arrow on the remote and it goes back to where the skip started. For maximum effect, you really need to setup separate INI files for each network, and use the DVRMS Toolbox's processing conditioner to specify which INI file to use for which network.

The most annoying part for me is with the file watcher. I can't seem to get it to find the files fast enough, and then I get the annoying message about there being no commercial file. Sometimes a show will be over, and the dvrmstoolbox file watcher still hasn't found the show even though I have it set to start analyzing immediately. I do have the donator version of comskip, so no issues there. I have also heard of people using the Showanalyzer file watcher with comskip, so I might try that.

Regarding the tweaked INI files, the biggest challenge there is understanding how to tweak it. The manual was not very clear to me, so I re-read that thing many times. Hopefully others have better luck understanding it than I did.
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