Big WMC guide changes starting today - Page 30 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #871 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That tickled a memory from a few years ago: http://www.remotepotato.com/mediacenter.aspx. It should work regardless of your guide source.

Edit: Sorry; someone already posted that link. I just didn't read down far enough. It was a busy day on this thread today!

Anyway, on those subscription fees, I can go either way. I really don't have a problem with Schedules Direct. It's not free but it's very cheap, and you get a good-quality, 21-day guide; clearly an upgrade from WMC's free guide even if the latter hadn't gone down the tubes!

OTOH, I don't like the mandatory Plex and Emby subscriptions. It's not really the cost, either; it's just the principle of the thing. Basically, part of the subscription is for guide data, and part is for their software, which isn't free. You can buy it, by purchasing a "lifetime" subscription; or you can lease it, on a monthly or annual basis.

I don't have a problem with paying for software either; I just don't like the way everything is all jumbled together with these solutions. Why can't I pay a fair price for the software itself, then choose my guide source separately? Schedules Direct is limited to freeware like EPG123, but I should still be able to choose from: the short but free PSIP guide broadcast by every OTA station, a mediocre but cheap 2-week guide sourced from TiVo/Rovi, or go for the good-quality, 3-week guide sourced from Gracenote.
Sorry but these two statements completely contradict each other. On one hand you don't like the "principal" of a software company getting paid for their work but on the other hand you don't mind paying for software?

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post #872 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 09:33 AM
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And you can use Plex for free all you want, you just won't have access to things such as Sync, and you won't have access to "preview" items.
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post #873 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 09:35 AM
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I want to clarify our Hulu Subscription.. We get the commercial free for $12 a month. If you can tolerate commercials you can get it for $9 or $10 a month (I forget which).

I paid $8.46 for Hulu last month (with commercials).
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post #874 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 09:59 AM
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And you can use Plex for free all you want, you just won't have access to things such as Sync, and you won't have access to "preview" items.
I use Plex on my Shield and my unRAID server and never had to pay for it. I looked at the "advantages" that paying for a Plex Pass gives me and I saw no reason to purchase it. The free version does everything I need it to.
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post #875 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 10:01 AM
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I use Plex on my Shield and my unRAID server and never had to pay for it. I looked at the "advantages" that paying for a Plex Pass gives me and I saw no reason to purchase it. The free version does everything I need it to.
Exactly. The other poster's comment that the software isn't free is wrong. It can be and the free version works just fine for many, if not most, people.
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post #876 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 10:10 AM
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The "Free" versions of either Plex or Emby don't include DVR which is sorta the point in the whole discussion of changes in the WMC Guide. It is correct you don't have to pay for limited versions nonetheless.

I've paid for both, $10 for Emby Beta back when it wad the "new" MB3 and I've kicked in a few bucks along the way because I like what they do and want to support continued development. I also paid for PlexPass last month when they tossed a code for lifetime for $75 in my email last month. I'm happy with both for different reasons and glad to have paid for it. I also pay for SchedulesDirect and have donated to garyan2 a few times now because I want to support his efforts too.
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post #877 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 10:53 AM
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I look at it this way. If I can get a better TV experience by paying just a little extra then I'm OK with that. I've been a WMC convert for many years. When Ceton informed me of upcoming release of their InfiniTV4 and were accepting pre-orders I jumped on it literally within seconds after reading the email. I paid over $400 with shipping for a 1st generation cablecard tuner and it was one of the best purchases I ever made for my HTPC. I don't usually jump on new technology and tend to let it simmer for a while to get the bugs out and wait until the price drops. I never hesitated with the InfiniTV4. I have thoroughly enjoyed using WMC and find it to be a competent and reliable DVR app and the only way to record DRM content other than using a Tivo or my provider's DVR. You can get the same programs via streaming services, but I believe you usually have to pay extra to stream them.

On several occasions in the past, Microsoft dropped the ball and almost had everyone run out of guide data. Anyone that uses WMC knows that Microsoft can pull the plug on providing guide data at any time. It says so in the agreement you click on when you set up WMC. At a later date Microsoft decided to switch their guide data provider from Tribune Media to Rovi, which has proven to be a less than satisfactory move for WMC users. This directly resulted in SiliconDust developing their own DVR app so we could get away from Microsoft and Rovi. Unfortunately, the SD DVR app has been plagued with broken promises and a horrible UI that is completely non-intuitive and has avoided the use of a grid-style program guide that everyone on the planet has become used to seeing on any TV device that provides such data. And guess what? If you want guide data when the app is officially released you will have to pay $25 a year for it, same as Schedules Direct.

Say what you want about WMC, but it just plain works. There's a lot of competition out their for your entertainment dollar. You have all kinds of streaming services, satellite providers, cable providers, internet programming, and so on. The term "cord cutting" has always been a bit of a misnomer unless all you want to do is watch OTA TV. The term just implies that you have dropped your cable provider as a source of TV programming and now use other sources for that media. Any other source of TV will require an internet connection so you're still attached to a provider with a cable so, in reality, you've never really cut the cord. You've just changed the way you use the one that's already coming into your house.
I was an early adopter as well, loved them. I have always liked WMC, at least for TV. I moved to the woods where cable as not available. But am reconsidering with a move coming. Even with DVR and commercial skipping streaming spoils me because I hate commercials.
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post #878 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 01:13 PM
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FWIW, other solutions also have free guide data, like Google "Live Channels" DVR for Android TV on Nvidia Shield and Channel Master Stream+ (OTA only). Many WMC users (including me) have migrated to those (I also have Tivo lifetime which is essentially free and also works with cable card).

But I agree that you could continue using WMC with free Microsoft provided data indefinitely if you can live with the occasional outages. If I still used WMC, I would switch to EPG123 in a heartbeat.

I do question why anybody with WMC or other cable card solution would still have any cable boxes at all.

And speaking of MagicJack, there are other cheap/free phone solutions with fax capability. I can fax with my Ooma service, and it costs about $4/month. Obi can also fax and uses a Google Voice number and is absolutely free.
The cable box was factored into the package,aka free box. I do pay for the cable card. So will the google live channels integrate into WMC?
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post #879 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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So will the google live channels integrate into WMC?
Not at all. Live Channels is an Android alternative to WMC. I can't think of a good reason to integrate a far inferior DVR from an entirely different platform (Live Channels) into WMC.

The idea is you retire your WMC box and replace it with a smaller, cheaper Android box. However, I wouldn't recommend anybody happy with their WMC system do that. The main benefit of Live Channels is it runs on cheap hardware and integrates nicely with other streaming sources and apps if you want one box that does it all. So I can run my OTA DVR (Live Channels), Netflix, Amazon and DirecTV NOW all on the same small, cheap box (Stream+). But the trade-off is that the DVR is very basic.
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post #880 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 03:05 PM
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The cable box was factored into the package,aka free box. I do pay for the cable card. So will the google live channels integrate into WMC?
Only a few choices. TiVo and WMC with a CableCARD tuner. Samsung did something a while back but I think it died. Hauppaugge has a two-tuner model similar to the Prime but WMC required for DRM content.

I'm moving away from WMC not because of WMC but rather because I'm tired of paying more for TV than I need to. As soon as I get OTA sorted, I'll be using it again but maybe not as much because the recording can be done from other apps as well and then viewed later anywhere there's decent internet. This is something that WMC cannot do. I'm still using my Echos though with it. I have a broken Ethernet cable in a wall jack I need to fix too as it has taken out all the upstairs bedrooms and those Echos do not like my AiMesh network bridge and will not stay connected. I may do a regular bridge though as that has always worked well with the echos. Just need the time!

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post #881 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 04:31 PM
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Only a few choices. TiVo and WMC with a CableCARD tuner. Samsung did something a while back but I think it died. Hauppaugge has a two-tuner model similar to the Prime but WMC required for DRM content.

I'm moving away from WMC not because of WMC but rather because I'm tired of paying more for TV than I need to. As soon as I get OTA sorted, I'll be using it again but maybe not as much because the recording can be done from other apps as well and then viewed later anywhere there's decent internet. This is something that WMC cannot do. I'm still using my Echos though with it. I have a broken Ethernet cable in a wall jack I need to fix too as it has taken out all the upstairs bedrooms and those Echos do not like my AiMesh network bridge and will not stay connected. I may do a regular bridge though as that has always worked well with the echos. Just need the time!
WMC may not share the files well but the files should be playable elsewhere from OTA right? Mine were in the past.
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post #882 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 04:47 PM
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WMC may not share the files well but the files should be playable elsewhere from OTA right? Mine were in the past.
Using ServerWMC in Emby does it but it requires significant transcoding even if on a solid connection at the receiving end due to the wtv container not being supported. OTOH, both Plex and Emby record in ts container, which is much easier to process. Short answer is, "yes".

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post #883 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 05:22 PM
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Sorry but these two statements completely contradict each other. On one hand you don't like the "principal" of a software company getting paid for their work but on the other hand you don't mind paying for software?
Did you not bother to read past the semicolon, where I said "I just don't like the way everything is all jumbled together with these solutions," and then went on to explain that if I could pay for the software and guide separately I'd be OK with it?

No, apparently you did not. Instead you stopped reading and decided to attack a position I didn't take.
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post #884 of 944 Old 05-15-2018, 06:42 PM
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Did you not bother to read past the semicolon, where I said "I just don't like the way everything is all jumbled together with these solutions," and then went on to explain that if I could pay for the software and guide separately I'd be OK with it?

No, apparently you did not. Instead you stopped reading and decided to attack a position I didn't take.
Okay.. So you want to pay for a Holy Grail all in one. We've all been waiting for that for a very long time. Emby is pretty close actually but not quite..

As far as the guide goes, that free one on the airwaves doesn't go out far enough to schedule future recordings IMHO. With Emby, you actually have to pay for SchedulesDirect to get the guide. Plex, OTOH, seems to have the guide built in but I'm not sure where they're scraping it from. WMC has an included 14 day guide and it works most of the time for no additional cost but it isn't too very good at anything but TV these days. The data provided and presented by epg123 is actually better than even the native WMC guide was before the Rovi debacle and it is worth a couple of bucks a month in my opinion.

At any rate, sorry if I offended. I just saw what looked like a discrepancy but I guess on the whole it wasn't.

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post #885 of 944 Old 05-16-2018, 03:05 AM
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With Emby, you actually have to pay for SchedulesDirect to get the guide. Plex, OTOH, seems to have the guide built in but I'm not sure where they're scraping it from. WMC has an included 14 day guide and it works most of the time for no additional cost but it isn't too very good at anything but TV these days. The data provided and presented by epg123 is actually better than even the native WMC guide was before the Rovi debacle and it is worth a couple of bucks a month in my opinion.
Plex, HDHomeRun DVR and Schedules Direct use Gracenote guide data.
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post #886 of 944 Old 05-16-2018, 05:19 AM
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Plex, HDHomeRun DVR and Schedules Direct use Gracenote guide data.
So does Plex have some sort of lifetime subscription? Seems unsustainable to do it with Lifetime PlexPass..

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post #887 of 944 Old 05-16-2018, 06:12 AM
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So does Plex have some sort of lifetime subscription? Seems unsustainable to do it with Lifetime PlexPass..
I have no idea what kind of deal Plex has with Gracenote.


I bought a lifetime Plex Pass years before they had a DVR. I already had compatible Hauppauge and HDHomeRun tuners so when they added DVR to Plex I basically got it for free. Even at that price I don't use it because I hate the TV interface. It's too clunky.
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post #888 of 944 Old 05-16-2018, 07:14 AM
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I have no idea what kind of deal Plex has with Gracenote.


I bought a lifetime Plex Pass years before they had a DVR. I already had compatible Hauppauge and HDHomeRun tuners so when they added DVR to Plex I basically got it for free. Even at that price I don't use it because I hate the TV interface. It's too clunky.
I just started using it. I did not like the way the "guide" is presented at first but it's growing on me. I do like the Calendar and Agenda views for recording management though.

Emby, OTOH, has a pretty decent grid style guide. I do like the fact that CommSkip is built-in to Plex. I've started scheduling recordings in Emby and just dropping the .ts files in my TV Series Library to be played back both Emby and Plex.

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post #889 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 06:15 AM
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I do like the fact that CommSkip is built-in to Plex.
That's another feature I'll never use. I do use Comskip but it's not accurate enough for me to let it make permanent cuts in my recordings. I manually run Comskip on the files I want to cut commercials out of and have it output a .VPrj VideoReDo project file. I can then review and correct the cuts as necessary before making permanent edits.




I'm still using EPG123 version 1.1.19 but I see 1.2.0 is out. Is there any compelling reason to update to the latest?
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post #890 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 07:18 AM
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That's another feature I'll never use. I do use Comskip but it's not accurate enough for me to let it make permanent cuts in my recordings. I manually run Comskip on the files I want to cut commercials out of and have it output a .VPrj VideoReDo project file. I can then review and correct the cuts as necessary before making permanent edits.

I'm still using EPG123 version 1.1.19 but I see 1.2.0 is out. Is there any compelling reason to update to the latest?
I wouldn't say there was a compelling reason to update it. Your best bet is to read the release notes for the versions you've missed and see if there are any new features you'd like. I was still at version 1.1.16 or 17 for quite a while and then I saw that it had been updated to something like 1.1.25. Turns out that there were some bugs in the interim version that I missed so I never had to deal with them.

I made the mistake of trying to do a completely fresh install from scratch instead of a normal update and it totally hosed things up. I finally got it worked out and now it's working fine. All you really have to do to update it is replace the older epg123.exe file with the newer one. I like to run it manually to make sure all of my lineups and settings haven't changed. Just make sure you've got it scheduled to run automatically each night at the time of your choosing and then just leave it alone.
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post #891 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 07:24 AM
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@Ken.F

I've been using CommSkip for just a very short time but haven't seen any errors. AFAIK, it reads the flags in the ts file for commercials and deletes them. I've seen commercials by the station for upcoming shows actually left in and haven't seen any chunks of shows missing but again it's been a short time of use.

I saw the update today for epg123 too. To me it looks to be driven for better efficiency? I'll be doing that later but right now I have other fires to extinguish..

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post #892 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 07:28 AM
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All you really have to do to update it is replace the older epg123.exe file with the newer one. I like to run it manually to make sure all of my lineups and settings haven't changed. Just make sure you've got it scheduled to run automatically each night at the time of your choosing and then just leave it alone.

Thanks, I didn't realize all you need to do is replace the .exe. Does that work for both client and the main program?



I do have it scheduled to run automatically so I rarely open the program. I happened to look at it today and noticed I was several releases behind. It would be nice if there was some kind of update notification.
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post #893 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 07:44 AM
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Thanks, I didn't realize all you need to do is replace the .exe. Does that work for both client and the main program?

I do have it scheduled to run automatically so I rarely open the program. I happened to look at it today and noticed I was several releases behind. It would be nice if there was some kind of update notification.
Yes, if the zip file for the latest version contains more than just the epg123.exe file then just copy them all over to the folder and overwrite the older files.

FYI - the newer versions of epg123 do tell you if there's a newer version available, but you have to run the program to see it. I didn't know version 1.20 was out until I saw your post. If you check the epg123 subforum over at the Green Button there will always be a thread announcing the latest version.


FWIW, I just posted a request at the epg123 forum in the version 1.20 announcement thread asking if garayan2 could add an option to be notified by email when new versions are released since many of us do not frequent TGB or run the program manually to see the notification.
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I've been using CommSkip for just a very short time but haven't seen any errors. AFAIK, it reads the flags in the ts file for commercials and deletes them. I've seen commercials by the station for upcoming shows actually left in and haven't seen any chunks of shows missing but again it's been a short time of use.

I saw the update today for epg123 too. To me it looks to be driven for better efficiency? I'll be doing that later but right now I have other fires to extinguish..

I might experiment with letting Plex cut commercials on some test recordings to see if it works any better somehow that way. I've been a Comskip donator for many years. It is very good, but in certain circumstances it can make a mess of things if you do permanent cuts without checking them first. TBS shows are especially troublesome. They like to overlap the ending of one show with the beginning of the next show in an upper/lower split-screen. That always seems to trip up Comskip. Some shows have a "previously on..." segment at the beginning and don't display the station bug in the corner of the screen until after that part. Comskip often flags those sections as commercials.
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post #895 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 07:53 AM
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Thanks, I didn't realize all you need to do is replace the .exe. Does that work for both client and the main program?



I do have it scheduled to run automatically so I rarely open the program. I happened to look at it today and noticed I was several releases behind. It would be nice if there was some kind of update notification.
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Yes, if the zip file for the latest version contains more than just the epg123.exe file then just copy them all over to the folder and overwrite the older files.

FYI - the newer versions of epg123 do tell you if there's a newer version available, but you have to run the program to see it. I didn't know version 1.20 was out until I saw your post. If you check the epg123 subforum over at the Green Button there will always be a thread announcing the latest version
If you go to Tasks ==> TV ==> Guide ==> Guide Info (or something close to this.. I'm not looking at it right now.) you will see the guide provider as epg123 with portions provided by Gracenote and Schedules Direct. In addition to that it will tell you the epg123 version number you are using and if an update is available. You never have to go check the website or TGB forums to know.
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post #896 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 07:55 AM
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BTW, @Ken.F where do you find the time to manually delete commercials?

I ditched Cable TV so TBS is not even in my realm now. I've decided to go to "alterante means" to get the shows we watch regularly if not available OTA.

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post #897 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 08:03 AM
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BTW, @Ken.F where do you find the time to manually delete commercials?

I ditched Cable TV so TBS is not even in my realm now. I've decided to go to "alterante means" to get the shows we watch regularly if not available OTA.

I have Comskip detect the commercials and output VideoReDo project files. I just open the projects in VRD and check the cuts before batch processing them. It's only takes a minute to do the start and end cuts if Comskip marked the rest of the commercial breaks right.
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post #898 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 08:07 AM
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If you go to Tasks ==> TV ==> Guide ==> Guide Info (or something close to this.. I'm not looking at it right now.) you will see the guide provider as epg123 with portions provided by Gracenote and Schedules Direct. In addition to that it will tell you the epg123 version number you are using and if an update is available. You never have to go check the website or TGB forums to know.
I always knew that you could check the version doing this, but I was unaware that it would inform you that a newer version is available. Good to know. I still like the idea of having an automatic notification via email instead of having to dig down through several layers of menus in WMC to check it. It's much easier to set up a bookmark in your web browser to the download page for epg123 so you can see the latest available version.

I'm still using ShowAnalyzerSuite for flagging commercials. It's not perfect, but it gets most of them. I find myself using the 30-second skip feature quite often. I have far too many shows recorded to deal with cutting commercials manually. I'd only do that if I want to archive shows, which I rarely do anymore simply because I barely have time to watch shows once, let alone multiple times. I delete my recordings immediately after I watch them to make room for future recordings. If I really want to archive shows I'll wait until they're released on Blu-Ray and get them in 1080p with HD audio.
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Last edited by captain_video; 05-22-2018 at 08:23 AM.
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post #899 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 09:46 AM
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I might experiment with letting Plex cut commercials on some test recordings to see if it works any better somehow that way.
I did a Plex DVR test recording of Judge Judy and the automatic commercial removing worked very well. It only left a few seconds worth of commercials in and one 15 second spot that immediately followed "Judge Judy brought to you by...". That one still had the channel logo in the corner of the screen so it got fooled.


I have an episode of Friends on TBS scheduled to record on both Plex and HDHomeRun DVR. I'll let Plex cut the commercials and compare it to the output of Comskip on the HDHR recording. If Plex is any better I'll have to track down the .ini file and see what kind of magic settings they put in it.
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post #900 of 944 Old 05-22-2018, 10:00 AM
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@Ken.F

What do you mean by "..track down the .ini file.." Is that where CommSkip resides?

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