Conversion issues (WtvWatcher or Lifextender?)

Nov 15, 2009 at 1:21 AM

Just posted this on 7MC Hacker, but I think this is a more appropriate place.


I downloaded this program and it automatically converted 18 wtv files to dvrms, pretty dark quickly. I then installed Lifextender, and couldn’t get it to remove commercials. With comskip, it would hang and with ShowAnalyzer, it would fail and blacklist every file. So I decided to try playing the dvrms files, and now they crash 7MC. I’m already on shaky grounds with my wife, since it’s been a pretty tough transition to ditch cable. Now I’ve ruined all of her Oprah, Dr. Phil, and The View recordings. I can hear her dialing the cable company already…

Is there any way to undo what this program has done? The files will still play in VLC, but the audio is out of sync (plus, my wife won’t like having to sit at a computer chair and watch them)

Nov 15, 2009 at 4:10 AM

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time of it. I think the first thing to do is take things one step at a time. I had to do the same thing at first.

Assuming that you're running on Windows 7 or Vista with TV Pack 2009, I'd say point WtvWatcher to a completely separate folder. Manually drag-n-drop one or two *copies* of your WTV files in that separate directory and wait for them to be converted to DVR-MS. After the conversion, confirm that they play properly on your computer as DVR-MS files.

If they do, we know it's not a problem with WtvWatcher (or more appropriately, Microsoft's 'wtvconverter.exe' does the job right). If they don't and you have problems playing them, let me know and we'll work on that.

The next step after that is to point Lifextender to that same separate directory and let it try to uncommercialize the 'test' DVR-MS files. Whatever that outcome is, post the details of what goes wrong (error messages, results, etc.) and we'll try to figure out what the real problem is.

Can you also post the specs of your Media Center (CPU, RAM, free disk space, and anything else you can think is useful)? Also, you should check your entire home setup against my suggestions over in the Documentation Section ( You may also want to read up on the Lifextender FAQs page on their website, if you haven't already. Oh, and what's your signal (cable, digital cable, satellite, HD)? It would help to know that too.


Nov 15, 2009 at 4:26 AM

Thanks for the fast response Paul. I'm working on getting MCEbuddy to convert all of the dvrms files to mpg's right now so my wife can still watch them with the xbox. I'll reinstall wtvwatcher tomorrow and try to duplicate the problem. Hopefully my title wasn't too misleading (I DID add the word "may" in there ;) ), I didn't want to jump to any conclusions, but I was kind of freaking out.


Thanks again,


Nov 15, 2009 at 4:59 AM

hmmm...while waiting for the videos to convert over, I thought I'd give the xbox a shot, thinking there's no way media center on an extender will play a file if the PC itself won't play it. I was wrong. The files are playing perfectly on the xbox 360.

Also, I tried resinstalling the shark codec pack on my PC, wondering if somehow this screwed up 7mc's ability to play dvrms files. I restarted the PC and I still get a "windows media center has stopped working" error message. (xbox still works).

I can't wait to get a new computer.

Dell Dimension 8400

P4 3GHz

nvidia 9400gt

4gb ddr ram

Win 7 32bit

1tb WD 7200rpm 32mb cache hdd (over 70% still free)

RCA flat antennae feeding an HDHomeRun tuner, networked to an AT&T DSL Modem/Router and finally into my machine.