Automatic Commercial Skip in Media Center!

Everyone should know about DVRMSToolbox
that lets you do just about anything with your Recorded TV files.  However, the more time that goes by the more
I see that people are not taking advantage of what DVRMSToolbox has to offer.  Today I wanted to give everyone a basic introduction
to one of the coolest features, automatic commercial skipping!

DVRMSToolbox can automatically process your recordings using
the Commercial Skin Add-in so that when you play them back (PC or Extender) you
don’t have to touch a single button to skip commercials.

Setup is very simple, download and install DVRMSToolbox
and ensure you check the option to Register the Commercial Skip Add-in as part
of the install.  Reboot after this, and
then make sure the
rest of your setup is correct
.  That’s

Start playing a Recorded TV program and Media Center will
give you a prompt about Commercial Skip. 
Say Yes to process it and before the first commercial (in most cases,
generally takes 5-8 minutes) the show will be entirely processed and skip over
the commercials without any fast forwarding. For newly recorded shows, FileWatcher runs in the background and automatically runs ComSkip on the files.  So the next day you go to watch them, the ComSkip scanning has already happened.

If you are in Vista, remember to read Mike’s
article on getting Commercial Skip working
Both are free, although donations for both are well worth it.  ComSkip Donations & DVRMSToolbox Donations.

And remember, DVRMSToolbox
does so much more!  Convert to WMV, Convert
to MPEG, Sync to PocketPC’s, etc.

So, have you tried out DVRMSToolbox and are you using
Commercial Skip?  If not, what exactly
are you waiting for?

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9 thoughts on “Automatic Commercial Skip in Media Center!

  1. Hi Chris, so this is something that sounds very cool. And I already manually skip over commericials anyway. But every time I do, there’s a wee voice at the back of my head telling me that it’s the commericials that subsidise my cable bill. By skipping them ( according to the wee voice) I’m effectively cheating the system.

    But then this other wee voice says that I hate being subjected to really bad commercials. The same wee voice also says that if everyone starts skipping commercials, then maybe it will force the networks and advertising companies to come up with a system that actually respects the viewer and gives them some kind of control over the advertising they watch – presumably coupled to how much it subsidises their cable bill.

    I suppose I was just wondering what your thoughts on this were. Do you – or anyone else reading for that matter – ever feel guilty skipping commercials? 🙂

  2. So, I’ve often thought about setting this up but never really gotten around to it. Reading this has me thinking about it again.

    Question: How reliable have you found this? Out of 100 commercial breaks (for example), roughly how many does it correctly identify beginning and end, and how often will it make a mistake (including missing the commercial)?

    I’m just curious, thanks.

  3. Commercial detection is handled by by ComSkip (free) or ShowAnalyzer ($10); both are very reliable OOTB, SA is faster and it supports “Live” detection (it can scan files as they are recorded) if commercials aren’t detected properly you can “tune” either one, ShowAnalyzer comes with a slick GUI tool that makes this process much easier.

    90% of the time commercial detection is perfect. I’ve only had to “tune” to deal with shows like soccer, where the commercial breaks are 15 min long.

  4. I’ve had a great experience with ComSkip. I wouldn’t forget about having a remote near-by, but with me ComSkip almost always hits ~2 seconds about the commercial break starts, some comes back to the show ~0.5 seconds before the show starts. It’s perfect, you might hear the start of the commercial, but then it picks right up at the show.

  5. I downloaded and installed DVRMSToolbox to convert record TV files into regular video files, but I found the application’s GUI very lacking. The interface was not intuitive and there were no help files, so I uninstalled it. I’ll wait until this or another program like it are more ready for prime time are more polished. As it is right now, it needs serious help from a graphic/UI designer.

  6. All you need to do in DVRMSToolbox is install it, reboot, and make sure ComSkip is the preferred analyzer. The rest of it happens within Media Center in a standard 10 foot UI prompt.

    If you need help, I’d be glad to help you get it going. 🙂

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