Simplest way to export / archive WTV files?

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mismjy1

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Simplest way to export / archive WTV files?

#1

Post by mismjy1 » Fri May 13, 2016 3:58 pm

My setup is a Windows 8.1 machine with WMC + dvrmstoolbox & comskip for commercial skip (OTA only). I run this on a low end Intel NUC with SSD, with recorded TV stored on a 2GB iSCSI volume on my NAS via Gigabit Ethernet. This works fine, except the recorded TV is only accessible to the HTPC, since iSCSI logical drives can't be shared without risking corruption. I realize I could share them with extenders, but I'm not interested in that approach.

I'm looking for the best solution to convert and export selected WTV files (sans commercials of course) to a shared folder on the NAS, where they will be accessible to all devices on the network. I tried doing this using the dvrmstoolbox gui, but got very mixed results - long running, crashing with exceptions, audio out of sync, etc. Since it has to run on the HTPC, I want the process to be as simple and lightweight as possible.

Should I replace dvrmstoolbox with something like MCEbuddy? Dirmon2? Others? Or should I let dvrmstoolbox/compskip continue and run another utility alongside for export?

Thanks for any advice!

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Crash2009

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#2

Post by Crash2009 » Sun May 15, 2016 11:43 am

mismjy1 wrote:I run this on a low end Intel NUC with SSD, with recorded TV stored on a 2GB iSCSI volume on my NAS via Gigabit Ethernet. This works fine, except the recorded TV is only accessible to the HTPC, since iSCSI logical drives can't be shared without risking corruption.
No takers on this one, maybe it needs a little "bump".

I have a couple questions for you related to sharing RecordedTV with the rest of the network.

(1) Does WMC Record-To the NUC's SSD and then get moved... or ... is WMC configured to directly Record-To the iSCSI volume of the NAS?
http://WMC.wikia.com/wiki/Change_the_lo ... _TV_buffer
FYI...there is more than one way to skin a cat. Not mapping (within the OS) may bring different results.

(2) What happens when you share the WMC-Library, rather than the logical drive, with the rest of the network?
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/11214/ad ... ia-center/
if you use the "Let me manually add a shared folder" you can add a username and password if required by the NAS.
Last edited by Crash2009 on Sun May 15, 2016 12:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

3rob3

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#3

Post by 3rob3 » Sun May 15, 2016 12:05 pm

Your simplest option would be to remove iSCSI from the equation. Record locally on the NUC, process for commercial skip, then move it to a normal share on the NAS via script nightly. You can add watched recorded tv libraries in WMC, so just add the NAS share. I have done this in the past, with the only problem being losing thumbnails for the recorded tv files occasionally.

The more complicated (but better in my opinion) option would be to record locally then use MCEbuddy to strip commercials and rename in a Plex/Emby friendly format. Then move them to a TV library on your NAS (MCE buddy can do all of this). Use Emby server on the NAS, Emby classic on your WMC, and the Emby app on any of your mobile devices and you can literally watch anywhere (with superior metadata too).

edit: just realized what Crash was suggesting above, and that is indeed another great solution. Just share the iSCSI drive from the main NUC doing the recordings. I don't think corruption is an issue that way.

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#4

Post by mismjy1 » Sun May 15, 2016 2:13 pm

Thanks for the useful suggestions. In my case I am recording directly to the iSCSI volume, which seemed the simplest approach and works fine over gigabit Ethernet (though not reliably on anything slower). The other factor is that we watch then delete 80%-90% of the recordings on the HTPC without need for archive or sharing. Therefore the simplest method would seem to be sharing the iSCSI volume via the HTPC (which is a Celeron NUC and never sleeps), then picking out files from my desktop to convert and move when needed. This also means that the conversion will happen on my i7 desktop instead of the Celeron HTPC.

So the tool then would have the following requirements:
- Run on a Windows 10 desktop PC (without WMC)
- Access Recorded TV (and commercials files) through the Windows share
- Allow processing of individual files
- Convert the .WTV files (skipping commercials) into .MKV files
- Save to NAS

Is MCEbuddy the best way to do this?

Thanks.

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Crash2009

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#5

Post by Crash2009 » Sun May 15, 2016 3:19 pm

Why not...Install WMC V12 on the i7

http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thread ... ost1200602

Wouldn't that solve all issues. Nuc is much better as a player instead of a server.

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#6

Post by mismjy1 » Sun May 15, 2016 5:41 pm

I could, but my desktop is less efficient (usually turn off at night) and not as reliable as the NUC. I guess commercial skip could happen quicker, but I don't really notice the delay in practice. The NUC / NAS combo is incredibly stable and we rarely miss a recording. I also wouldn't want to always wait to watch a show on the NUC/big screen until the recording and commercial skip are finished (e.g. basketball playoffs). I don't think I'll mess with that until there is a good NAS-based solution (a la Silicon Dust) that makes all this moot.

In the meantime, I think I'll take your advice and share the iSCSI volume through the NUC, then convert / export .WTV files ad hoc on the i7 box. Just need to decide on the right tool for converting to .MKV's minus commercials. Is that MCEbuddy or something else?

Thanks.

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#7

Post by 3rob3 » Sun May 15, 2016 6:29 pm

MCEbudyy or dvrmstoolbox are the only options I'm aware of. MCEbuddy seems to be the most popular.

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#8

Post by mismjy1 » Sun May 15, 2016 6:31 pm

3rob3 wrote:MCEbudyy or dvrmstoolbox are the only options I'm aware of. MCEbuddy seems to be the most popular.
All right, I'll give MCEbuddy a try and report my results. Thanks!

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#9

Post by adam1991 » Sun May 15, 2016 9:46 pm

3rob3 wrote:MCEbudyy or dvrmstoolbox are the only options I'm aware of. MCEbuddy seems to be the most popular.
OK, to clarify:

* something must monitor the directory for new files, to tell the commercial skip program to do its thing

* something must do the commercial skip analysis

* something must know, on demand, how to use that analysis

DTB can do the first and last of the above. It monitors Recorded TV, it tells the commercial skip thing when to go, and then--most importantly--it interacts with WMC by reading the results of the commercial skip analysis and controlling WMC to move from the beginning of the commercial block to the end of the commercial block, automatically and without user intervention.

As for what to use for commercial skip analysis, I've used ShowAnalyzer for years. It works fine. This was from before comskip; when comskip came around, I never bothered to make the switch.

DTB doesn't care what makes the commercial markers. It just needs to know where the commercial marker files are. DTB will happily pass the "hey, we have a new file to analyze" information to comskip and then use comskip's results during WMC playback.

I have MCEBuddy 1.x on my system. Its purpose was to convert recorded TV files, period, and move them to somewhere else if need be. The version I have doesn't recognize files dropped into a hot folder unless I stop and restart the watch service. Other than that, it does convert. Slowly to be sure, but it converts. I use it once in a blue moon whenever I want to ftp a show to someone.

MCEBuddy 1.x has a checkbox for "remove commercials". It, too, is supposed to use the commercial marker files created by ShowAnalyzer or comskip. (I never got 1.x to work for me.) MCEBuddy 1.x does not analyze the recording at all, or make any decisions about commercials.

It looks like MCEBuddy 2.x has improved on the entire experience. It still does the task above, but does it faster and better. Fine. But from what I can tell, just like v1.x, it does not do any commercial skip analysis on its own. While there is a checkbox for ad removal, you tell it to use comskip for the analysis. That is, it looks like MCEBuddy has added the "watch for new files" functionality of DTB.

Whether you use DTB or MCEBuddy to watch the directory, comskip still has to be installed and is still doing the analysis. MCEBuddy looks like it can use that analysis for its own purposes, nothing more.

If you do the traditional DTB install, it looks like you get the best of all worlds: comskip processing the recordings for commercial skip markers, MCEBuddy using those markers during its conversion process (as was supposed to happen in v1.x), AND DTB controlling WMC to actually skip the commercials as you watch .wtv files inside WMC.

If you plan never to watch the .wtv files, if instead you plan on watching only the results of MCEBuddy, I suppose you could do without DTB at this point given MCEBuddy 2.x's directory monitoring and comskip integration. My only complaint with this process is that commercial skip is not 100% reliable--but MCEBuddy treats it as such and actually does a destructive cut of what comskip thinks is commercial content. You could lose program content permanently this way.

Watching the .wtv files with DTB, though, is non-destructive. It gives you the option of turning off DTB's control of WMC for when the commercial content analysis is wrong, and you then watch the entire recorded show with commercials and manually skip back and forth with your remote as needed.

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#10

Post by mismjy1 » Fri May 20, 2016 4:47 pm

adam1991 wrote: I have MCEBuddy 1.x on my system. Its purpose was to convert recorded TV files, period, and move them to somewhere else if need be. The version I have doesn't recognize files dropped into a hot folder unless I stop and restart the watch service. Other than that, it does convert. Slowly to be sure, but it converts. I use it once in a blue moon whenever I want to ftp a show to someone.
You've described the problem I'm trying to solve for. The DVRMSToolbox / Comskip combo is working fine on my HTPC. The problem is that I occasionally want to convert a show for sharing or archiving. I tried the DVRMStoMGPEGGUI on the HTPC but it was unstable - sometimes crashing and sometimes producing an .MKV with the audio out of sync.

Now I downloaded MCEBuddy from CNET (version 2.3.13) and installed on my i7-920 desktop with 6GB (I know there's a version 2.4 out, but I don't want to pay for it unless I will use it.) I attempt to run against a local 13GB .WTV file using the "high quality .MKV" option with skip commercials using ComSkip. Running at high priority. The process has been running for hours and has my fan screaming - up to 95% CPU usage from HandBrakeCLI. It says its only 68% through on Pass 1. Is this normal?

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#11

Post by adam1991 » Fri May 20, 2016 6:26 pm

Well, my lowly i3 Clarkdale doesn't scream fans, but it does take awhile to convert shows.

I don't know how long--I always just let it go and come back to it later that day or the next day.

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#12

Post by Crash2009 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:22 am

Fans screaming likely means something is getting hot. Check your temps. Smell anything burning?

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#13

Post by mismjy1 » Mon May 30, 2016 4:35 pm

I was able to get a complete conversion using MCEBuddy 2.3.13. Took a few hours on my i7-920 for a 2.5 hour show using "high quality MKV" option. Curiously it doesn't seem to have done commercial skip in the file despite the option (Comskip) being checked. I'll try another show for comparison. Unclear to me how much effect the priority setting had - it ran hottest during pass 2 with 60% plus CPU usage at low priority.

Definitely have something going on with my PC (6 year old Dell 9000) as CPU temp spikes up to 80c+ under load. However if I open the side of the case, they drop down into the 60's. All stock, there's a grate in the side above the CPU fan, and I periodically blow out the inside with compressed air, so a bit surprising.

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#14

Post by Crash2009 » Mon May 30, 2016 9:33 pm

Google computer 80 c

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#15

Post by mismjy1 » Tue May 31, 2016 2:36 pm

Crash2009 wrote:Google computer 80 c
What is that supposed to tell me?

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#16

Post by Crash2009 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:21 pm

Repair your hardware so your software works properly. Only you can figure out the cause of the overheating. Could be as simple as new CPU paste or new CPU fan.

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