Saturday, August 11, 2012

HDTV Recording

Over the air HDTV broadcast is free and 1080p HD. Windows Media Center is still the most ideal way to watch and record HDTV shows with original quality and closed caption. WMC buffers about 30 minutes; so you can rewind while watching. However, when you press the recording button, this buffer is ignored, i.e., the past 5 minutes or so will not be included to the recording.

"Gosh, I should have pressed the record button sooner!"

Don't worry, it's not too late and you have not missed a thing yet.
  1. When you are watching TV and want to record, press the record button, anytime.
  2. Go to "C:\Users\Public\Recorded TV\TempRec\TempSBE", you'll see several "*.sbf" files. These are the buffers. Select them all and copy them to somewhere else (such as your desktop). Rename them to "*.dvr-ms".
  3. Play them in Windows Media Player to find the one that you are looking for, say, "{03CF0F78-41A2-4507-BC64-560F6D79C4D7}".
  4. Download the free "todvrms" tool and use "todvrmsgui.exe" to convert the dvr-ms to dvr-ms, say, "". 

The last step sounds stupid - convert a dvr-ms to dvr-ms? This is actually the key here: remember, the renamed sbf is not a true dvr-ms file! Now the "" is, although still some errors in it, that's why we need just one more step:

Open "Past5Minutes.drv-ms" in "VideoReDo TVSuite V4" and then click the "Save As..." button to re-mux the file. This is necessary to fix some stream errors and get closed caption recovered. In the mean time, you may cut off any unwanted segments.

Now, we have successfully recovered the video buffer into a perfect, normal dvr-ms file. This final file has only the part that we want and it is no different than normally recorded TV - original digital quality and HD resolution with built-in closed caption.

After the recording is finished, right click on the WTV file and convert it to DVR-MS. Then you can use VedioReDo to join it with the, and we finally have a full TV show saved on our computer. BTW, you can also use VedioReDo to get rid of commercials or any unwanted segments.

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