Is there any way I can directly copy the video stream of a WTV/DVR-MS file while changing it into an MPEG format I can use in editors and whatnot?
They ARE MPEG videos, right?
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I know for certain that wtv/dvr-ms files contain MPEG-2 transport streams (plus some other things) when used to record ATSC/QAM channels. I'm not sure if analog cable is stored as a MPEG-2 program stream or a transport stream, since I'm only recording over-the-air broadcasts using Media Center.
I have used TSConverter to directly convert about 20 .wtv recordings from 480i ATSC channels to .mpg files. TSConverter always produces dozens of empty error message windows, but it successfully completes the conversion with most SD recordings. Cyberlink Power Producer also did a good job converting 480i .dvr-ms recordings to .mpg, but I did't like it for authoring, so I didn't continue with it. I tried VideoReDo and DVRMStoMPEGGUI as well, but found TSConverter produced better results for 480i recordings. Both VideoReDo and DVRMStoMPEGGUI often produced .mpg files with some bad frames even when the original recording played perfectly.
I tried TSConverter for a 1080i recording, but it could not successfully complete the conversion to .mpg. I used DVRMStoMPEGGUI from DVRMSToolbox next, and that worked fine, although recordings need to be converted from .wtv to dvr-ms first. I use windows 7's wtv to dvr-ms conversion utiltiy for that.
I haven't converted any 720p recordings yet.
Windows Live Movie Maker might be worthwhile for some people, although I haven't tried it. I downloaded the installer, but when I found it had installed a few extra things that I didn't want which were required to use WLMM, I decided to uninstall it.
I think there are some other payware solutions (Divx Author and ConvertXtoDVD come to mind) in addition to the ones I mentioned above, but I'm hoping the free programs will be enough for me. I'm not planning to save recordings very often.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th Jul 2010 at 13:23. Reason: grammar
So there's no simple way to just get rid of the WTV/DVR-MS container and leave the naked bitstream, or put it in an .avi file or something?
Most people find .mpg files are easier to work with than transport streams, but if you really want a transport stream, TSConverter can make those too. If you are not using Windows 7, the old pre-Windows 7 Windows Movie Maker might be another for you to try to convert dvr-ms files to something else.
MPEG-2 transport streams have a lot of overhead associated with them, especially those from over-the-air sources. Removing the overhead correctly and geting the everything sequenced in the right order to create a good .mpg apparently isn't as trivial as you'd think.
I should tell you that if DRM encryption has been applied to a .wtv or .dvr-ms recording, I know of nothing that can break it. The good news is the only time that DRM encryption is likely to be present is when a CableCARD tuner is used in conjuction with Vista's Media Center.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th Jul 2010 at 17:06.
I had figured that an .mpg file WAS the transport stream (in the same way that .dv is just raw DV video), am I mistaken?
.mpg files contain a program stream not a transport stream. Transport streams need to use a different file format as a container and have additional features that program streams don't have for error correction, and stream synchronization to allow for a certain amount of signal degradation during broadcast.