Originally Posted by MicroJow
CapDVHS recorded the commercials and placed the file in the assigned folder with a .ts designation.
But when I try watching the video in Windows Media Player, it tells me the file is unsupported. When I try watching the video with DIVX Player, it tells me the file is unsupported. When I try to import the file into Adobe Premiere, it tells me the file is unsupported.
As TN0821 explained, .TS files are not natively supported by WinXP. So Windows Media Player is not going to even offer it to you for selection as "all media files".
Furthermore, even if you click "all files" and select it, the underlying data stream in a .TS file that got recorded by CapDVHS from the DVR is in MPEG-2 format. So you would then need the MPEG-2 codec installed on your system (perhaps from some other video-related product) in order for any player program (e.g. Windows Media Player) that utilizes Windows-installed codecs.
Again, MPEG-2 is not a codec that is built into WinXP by default, so no standard player program will be able play a .TS file... even if you try to force it to.
Easiest solution: download and install [free] VideoLAN from here
. It is able to both (a) accept .TS streams directly for playback, and (b) decode MPEG-2 data streams.
VideoLAN is a very highly respected and highly regarded almost universal media player program that can play just about anything, and is compatible with both WinXP and Win7, 32-bit and 64-bit.
VideoLAN will play your copy-freely .TS/MPEG-2 files on WinXP. It certainly plays mine.
Second point however, again made by TN0821 and again valid. If your cable company is delivering cable channel programs as "copy-once" then they are encrypted and cannot be played by anything other than your DVR. The .TS stream recorded by CapDVHS is worthless.
Only cable channel programs marked "copy-freely" can be recorded in a "usable" form into .TS files by CapDVHS. All local OTA network channels carried on your cable system are required by the FCC to be "copy-freely", so for sure these should be usable for offload from DVR to PC with CapDVHS. And, if you're lucky, other cable channels will also be "copy-freely" as well.
Unfortunately for me, here on TWC/LA EVERY CABLE CHANNEL IS MARKED "COPY-ONCE" (aside from the local OTA networks carried by the cable system). So recording anything to PC and having it be usable is impossible.
And finally, even if you do use VideoLAN to play .TS files directly, they're EXTREMELY LARGE raw format MPEG-2 streams. They're not really suitable for "end-use". They're identical to the data that got recorded onto the hard drive in the DVR and are meant to be played back by "commercial grade MPEG-2 decoder/players" such as you'd find in a DVR. They're very high original-quality bitrate and require very strong CPU's to play them back (decoding the high bitrate MPEG-2 compression used), not to mention requiring fairly high-end graphics card hardware and drivers as well if you're trying to play HD on your PC.
So if you want to really make use of these .TS files, you're first going to want to be able to EDIT them. For that there is no program better than the aforementioned VideoReDo TVSuite v4.0
which can also be used under Win7 to edit "copy-freely" TV programs recorded in WTV form by Windows Media Center. These WTV files are once again MPEG-2 internally, but unlike .TS files the WTV "wrapper" provides for extreme DRM (digital rights management) control by Win7.
But again, for "copy-freely" content these WTV files (with MPEG-2 content inside) can be read and played and edited perfectly and with no problem by VideoReDo TVSuite v4.0. So This [non-free] third party product is ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED FOR PURCHASE. Again, it is very highly regarded and respected.
Of course once you edit your .TS files (saving them into MPG wrapper probably, but still MPEG-2 data internally) you'll probably want to convert them to compressed AVI form for retention on your PC, if saving them for playback on your PC is your end goal. Now, depending on the compression parameters you select (which of course affect the video playback quality of the resulting AVI) you'll need something to do that.
My own recommendation is for a [free] product named VirtualDub
along with a few of its "plug-ins" to support (a) MPEG-2 source data stream, (b) smart de-interlace, which will de-interlace your 480i/1080i interlaced streams to progressive, (c) smart sharpen, which improves image quality from low-quality 480i recordings, and (d) resize, to do things like crop-out the "black side-bar wings" on a 4:3 program presented in 1080i, where the actual image you want in your AVI is just the "center-cut" 1440x1080 instead of the complete 1920x1080 with the unnecessary black bars on left and right.
If you use VirtualDub, you'll also need a high-quality compression codec installed, and my own choice is the xVid codec
, which produces terrific results even from HD MPEG-2 input. The installation of xVid also installs a XVIDVFW.DLL which enables xVid as a compression encoder within VirtualDub when you are setting things up to produce your AVI.
The VirtualDub step in your AVI production process is probably the most difficult (relatively speaking), only because there is a tremendous amount that this program can do for other purposes aside from this basic one I'm pointing you to... of creating an AVI (with xVid compression) from your raw .TS files that you edited first with VideoRedo to produce the MPG/MPEG-2 clips you then want to turn into compressed AVI clips for permanent saving.
Now, if your goal is not to produce AVI clips, but instead to produce say BluRay versions (in original untouched pristine MPEG-2 quality with no re-compression) then you still would use VideoReDo to do the editing into MPG/MPEG-2 clips. But then you might use a [free] BluRay authoring program like multiAVCHD
, which is an excellent product (from a "personal author" in Bulgaria, so it's not a big-deal commercial program). But it does produce wonderfully usable titled and menu'd home-produced BDMV output (in files, actually, that are then burned to BD discs by a [free] program such as IMGBURN
Anyway, this is just my every-so-often "unload" of advice for new CapDVHS/firewire users wanting to do the same things that I wanted to do, based on my own experience and discoveries.
Hope this is helpful.