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Some converted recording getting timmed off?

Oct 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM

I have one series of recording that are getting the first 35-40 seconds trimmed off while other series are not doing this.  I did an exact comparison to make sure I was not imagining it and it sure is doing it with one series only.  What on earth might trigger that? I also compared the ending segment and it's an exact frame match so it only occurs at the beginning.

As a feature request it would be nice to have a "preview" means similar to Handbrake.  That could have indicated to me something was wrong vs. waiting nearly 2hrs for an HD conversion to complete to detect it...just a thought.

Another thing that might be nice to see is something that proofs your custom file naming for syntax.  I had a couple goofs and had to dissect it to find it but would have been nice to see a little "eg." below that showed you what your output file name result would be and maybe turned red when syntax error existed.

Oct 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Commercial detection is a VERY complex process, it depends upon contract ratio's, logo's, scene changes, subtitles etc. Check out this guide for more details on it works.


Then you'll see what is changing in that one series which is throwing comskip off and you could probably create a custom comskip.ini for that one series which works better.


I don't understand what you mean by preview, can you explain how you envision this in MCEBuddy?

The custom name syntax checking is a good idea, I'll see how to include it in my next release. Please create a feature request under Isssue so I don't miss it.

Oct 16, 2012 at 3:18 AM

you got that right about it being complex.  I discovered what I suspect is throwing it off.  I found another series where it happened so I studied the original.  At one point, before getting annoyed enough to research commercial removal,  I tried to tweak WMC7 so my recordings started real close to the shows start time.  I think the default is 5 minutes before and I ended up at a 1minute setting.  I was always having to FF that few minutes so this worked much better at the time.  So all these videos that started maybe dead on or less than a minute in had 0 advertisements in front of the shows start time.  I think this is causing issues because in the conversions that did not do this I think were my early ones with 5 minutes of junk before the show.  This gave comskip a good comparison of when the show best guess at what's happening.  I just went into WMC and went back to the default 5minutes early start time for tonight recordings to test tomorrow if this is it.  I did just find a conversion that just finished and it did trim the end of the show off.  I then reviewed the original guess what I found?  The original recording had cut short the end before the commercial so it did the trim thing again....this has got to be it.  Needs a good commercial set before and after or it cuts video.  Had one that trimmed exactly 38 seconds off the start.

Thanks for the link...reading it now to see if I find anything about before and after commercials needing to be present.

The preview option I speak of is in Handbrake and I've seen similar preview ability in DVDFab and a few others rippers/conversion apps I've used.  It would allow a quick conversion of say 5 seconds or more video, you specify start point and how much you want in the preview,  helps you to get a quick sample output without waiting for the entire file to convert.  I used this in Handbrake multiple times until I tweaked everything to my liking.  Handbrake even allowed you to set a chapter start point to do the small preview file.  This came in super handy when I had movies with subtitles that gave me fits trying to sort out which track....2012 was the worst movie I ever had to convert to mkv.  I got to know right where the subs were so set the chapter number and 1 minute ahead...real quick test like that.  I would have been there forever with no preview for all the issues I was resolving.  Would come in super handy in MCEBuddy.

Love the program btw.  Almost went another older method I read about using DVRMSToolbox and ShowAnalyzer.  After reading the whole procedure I said, "Got to be an easier way"...sure was.  Sent donation in support.

I'm using mkv's over mp4 because I need 6 channel audio in AC3.  Never could get aac working right and not sure I know enough about it but even when MCEBuddy was configured for multi channel I only get PCM stereo to play out of my Pioneer Elite AVR....Handbrake was also a problem with this container so switched to mkv/ac3 and all went away.  I gave up researching the aac problem and when it happened with MCEBuddy I recalled my dillema before and just switched over the mkv. MP4 does not support multi channel AC3 right?


Oct 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Doing Previews itself would be overly complex given the way MCEbuddy is designed to work, but here's a simple solution. Try setting the end trim to a high number. e.g. if your show is approximately 30 minutes, set the end trim to 25 minutes so you get 5 minutes of video.


regardin MP4 and AC3, I think it does work, you can change the profile to encode using AC3 (copy the ac3 settings from MKV to MP4), just that most folks use AAC with Itunes rather than AC3.

Also FFMPEG does NOT support multi channel AAC if I'm correct.

Oct 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Ya know I never thought of messing with that end trim to make a little sample preview...good idea.
Regarding my ac3 vs. aac issue. Since this issue has come up once more on me I did some more investigation into it.  frankly while I have a pretty wild home system keeping up with every inch of technology I’m lacking in some things so bear with me.   Now as I understand it your receiver needs to support aac if your setup is bitstream/passthough?  My Pioneer Elite SC-35 does not support aac, while the last two years Pioneer has now added aac decoding into their units. So for my setup this decoding would have to be PCM, or decoded via codecs I do use but have the Shark package all configured for preference is to let my AVR handle the decoding.  So that’s why my preference is towards ac3...mkv’s plays so flawless for me I hate messing around with stuff dealing with computers because my luck something else gets  I was also told once before that the ISO spec does not support ac3 in .mp4?  That was one reason I chose .mkv.  Personally I would not mind a new Pioneer Elite SC-65....nice unit! Seems every piece of hardware has a one year life and it’s obsolete and replaced with a better one. Heck I bought a Samsung LED backlighting 61” 8000 series TV just shy of one year ago and the new models now have hand recognition’s nuts. Move your hand in the air and you control the Smart Hub because of the built in camera that watches your hand motion....ya ok lets drop another $3.5k. The other option is I could configure the Shark package to decode the audio portion from .mp4 files independently I believe...again my knowledge lacks and have to play again but my current methods avoids more time doing
I do have some bad news. After days of testing and experimentation the decoding time is just way to long for me. My last one was at 5.5hrs and my computer went to sleep and when I returned nothing was saved yet MCEBuddy was finished.  I gave up.  I thought perhaps I might just do what I did with my movie collection and shrink them all to .mkv’s and leave the commercials but then I thought, “Half the stuff we record we prob delete it a few months later”...who watches shows over again? Maybe some do but nobody in our family. So I decided to buy yet another 2TB WD Green drive and have it dedicated for recordings only. I have 6TB’s total now on my HTPC and next I’ll need a bigger case or a hidden file server.
I did try one test last night. I used Handbrake to shrink my 6GB HD recording down to 3GB. Then used MCEBuddy to remove the commercials....after 5hrs I had enough.
I had a late night chat with an online buddy of mine who removes commercials. He converts to mkv and then uses Roxio videowave to split the video and delete the commercial segments from the video. OMG.....he manually does each recording....all I had to say was “F”   I work 70+ hrs each week and that’s time I just do not have.
MCEBuddy is great but the encoding time I just can't do. It was not to bad on my SD material but once I messed with my HD recordings...yikes.
Sorry the long response...I’m a talker.
Oct 18, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Okay since you're really into this removing commercials from your existing MKV or MP4 recordings, here's something you can try.

There's a special encoder called copy (it is used on the TS profile). Essentially what it does is nothing, ie no recoding. So if you're starting from a MP4 and just want to remove commercials, create a new profile with teh encoder set to copy and see how it goes.

Never tried it, it may work for you.

At the end of the profile you can rename the extension back to mkv or mp4.

Oct 18, 2012 at 2:48 AM

I've only converted my movie library to mkv's.  All my recording are still the raw .wtv format.  I've only been experimenting so the originals are still preserved.

Well there I was giving up and before I even read your response I decided to try a different profile.  I did not realize the "mkv high quality" profile used mencoder instead of Handbrake.  I then spotted the "MP4 fast" profiles uses Handbrake, can ya tell I'm a handbrake fan?  Anyway I just finished a conversion using that profile and it sure was allot faster.

Now I've decided to dial in my own Handbrake saved profile into the MCEBuddy profile.  Figuring out the command line options is a bit tough going from a UI.  A few things I discovered while studying what parameters are already in there for Handbrake.  Did you know they removed "--denoise" as a default?  Not sure if one or two versions ago and they had a write up about it and suggested not using it anymore, it's off by default now.  Also I went through the same process with Handbrake when I first started and nearly gave up on it as well.  Then one day while playing with options I found the one causing me fits.  I had this nasty video stutter and would not happen on any pc in my home....just my HTPC....drove me nuts.  Finally I discovered the default "variable frame rate" option makes my HTPC stutter.  Found a write up on that to and that I was not the only one this happened to.  Needly to say my HTPC machine needs the --cfr option.  I then spot there's one parameter I can not find any documentation on from


What is this option?

I have a ways to go but do believe the results I want can be there, just time to setup then again so wasn't handbrake when I spent hours on that one.

Oct 18, 2012 at 2:52 AM

Actually here's the line from my Handbrakes "userpresets.xml".  I do not set these.  This is done at the UI and then once I save my custom settings this file is created.  It is the command line switches I'm looking to duplicate.

<Query> -f mkv --decomb -X 1920 --loose-anamorphic  --modulus 2 -e x264 -q 20 --cfr  -a 1 -E copy -B 0 -6 auto -R Auto -D 0 --gain=0 --audio-copy-mask none --audio-fallback ffac3 --subtitle scan --subtitle-forced=1 -x b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50:me=umh --verbose=1</Query>

Oct 18, 2012 at 3:46 AM

I did find this



Default: Not set

Disables CABAC <small>(Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coder)</small> stream compression and falls back to the less efficient CAVLC <small>(Context Adaptive Variable Length Coder)</small> system. Significantly reduces both the compression efficiency (10-20% typically) and the decoding requirements



So wouldn't "cabac=0" disable it?

In the most of the Apple presets it's disabled but they never say much of what it is and why it needs to be disabled for Apply hardware.  I'd suspect with mkv files played on a WMC7 HTPC the option can be removed with good results?

I've now gone from 5hrs+ per file down to 1hr 45min.  Still a bit more than a dvd movie only TS folder to mkv but we're talkin about those being 3gb and these HD .wtv files are 6gb so I think this is getting somewhere.  Handbrake is the way to go for me though.

Oct 18, 2012 at 8:08 PM
Edited Oct 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

First of all Ken, brilliant work. People don't realized the whole open source movement is all about folks like you researching and contributing. This is fabulous stuff.

Looking at your work prompted me to make a few changes to the profiles to improve the quality of the handbrake profiles which will comein 2.3.3 (decomb is very important)

One reason I can't take all your suggestion into the default settings is that MCEbuddy is tuned towards the bulk of the users who are non HD users from across the world. They have mixed content, OTA broadcasts etc. Do Denoise is important, so it decomb and so if VFR (for mixed content).


However not to trivialize your work, I would suggest you start a new thread on Handbrake profile and post your new working profile there with all the above comments as well. MANY users will appreciate it and it will not be lost in some thread (check this thread title, few folks will see it). I think your work can benefit many many folks here.