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Common Tasks

DVRMSToolbox

What is DVRMSToolbox?

DVRMSToolbox (DTb) is a set of tools that help you manipulate DVR-MS files created by Windows Media Center Edition 2005 (with Rollup 2 installed) or by Windows Vista Editions that contain the Media Center software.  DTb consists of three main components: Profile Editor, FileWatcher, and the Commercial Skip Add-in.  The first two will work with any version of Windows (XP or Vista), while the Add-in works in the Media Center GUI and, obviously, requires Media Center.

Profiles

Profiles execute a series of Actions on a DVR-MS file, such as converting to MPEG, converting to WMV, or finding and cutting out commercials.  You can use the default Profiles, or create your own.  A Profile is executed by using the DTb GUI, the command-line, or by FileWatcher.

FileWatcher

FileWatchercreate it is an application that runs as either a Windows Service or background application.  It monitors a specified directory, and when a new DVR-MS file is created in that directory, FileWatcher executes a Profile on that file if the file meets user-specified criteria.  A set of criteria is called a Processing Condition, which can include the file name, show name, or any metadata.

Commercial Skip Add-in

The Commercial Skip Addin allows you to skip commercials while you are watching a recorded show through the Media Center GUI.  It can be configured to skip the commercials automatically or at the press of a button on the remote control.  If it's not working properly read this before posting.

Processing Conditions

Processing Conditions (PC) are meta tag criteria used to select a profile when running the application against a DVR-MS file. It is most useful to think about PC in the same way as a meta data based playlist.

How To

Most FAQ (other FAQs available)

Q. Is DVRMSToolbox free?
A. Yes.  It is free as in beer (binaries) and as in speech (reciprocal source License); source code and installable binaries can be downloaded from the "Downloads" section of this site.

Q. Commercials aren't being skipped while watching the show, what do I do to fix this?
A. Follow the steps outlined here.

Q.  I'm getting errors about CLSIDs - what does that mean?
A. DTb uses a number of Directshow filters to DVR-MS files to various formats.  In order for the filters to work properly, they must be registered with Windows.  The long string of characters is a GUID, which uniquely identifies the filters.  To resolve the issue, find the appropriate error message here.

Q. Does DTb work in Windows Vista?
A. Yes, DTb version 1.2.0.x works in Windows Vista.

Q. Does DTb work in Windows XP?
A. Everything but the Commercial Skip Addin, because it runs inside Media Center, will work on XP.

Q. How do I install DTb?
A. Start by downloading the version that is appropriate for your OS, then follow these instructions

Q. Why is DTb so hard to use?
A. It's easy to write an application that does one thing, and make it easy; DTB not only does many things, but enables you to control most aspects of how it works.  This flexibilty (and in some part my lack of desire) contribute to the complexity.  That said, I think the lack of good documentation is the biggest reason some find DTb difficult to use.  This site, and this FAQ, are an attempt to fix that.

Q. Is there a 10' interface?
A. No.  For much of what DTb does, a 2' interface makes more sense.  But now that WMC supports a rich UI hosting model in Vista I may make one for the GUI tool though. 

Q. Why are the namespaces prefixed by Durrant
A. This project was originally started by Charles Durrant, it was called GraphRender at the time.

Q. How do I get rid of the .txt files that are created in the output directory (The file begins with "FILE PROCESSING COMPLETE")?
A. Those files are created by Show Analyzer by default, follow these steps:

  1. Go to: Start > Dragon Global > Show Analyzer > Configure ShowAnalyzer
  2. Under settings, find where it says GB-PVR or SageTV
  3. Under that, there should be setting called "When to Create" change it to Never.

Q. Why does commercial analysis gets stuck at 99%-100% when using ShowAnalyzer?
A. SA does live detection of dvr-ms files, the amount of time it will wait for more data to be written is configurable in it's ini file(s), when the value of liveDelay = -1, it will wait forever.  Change the value to a value between 5 and 30.

Q. I cannot uninstall DTB, what do I do?
A. Perform a manual uninstallcreate it

Q. Does DTB work on Vista x64?
A. Everything should work if configured properly.  Sometimes one of the files required by the commercial skipping addin doesn't register properly.  A solution can be found here.

Q. What is Early Access
A. Answered here 

Q. What is proppage.dll, why is DTB telling me to register it?
A. Proppage.dll is a component necessary for published graphs to display in the ROT in Vista.  It is included in the Windows Platform SDK (free download), but can be found from many other sources.  When proppage.dll is registered (regsvr32 proppage.dll) it is possible to DTB to see playback graphs in Media Center; when it can do this more functionality is available.

@2008 andy vt
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