Project: video converter

By | May 30, 2016

One of the problems with HTPC is that hard drives fill ups with recordings at much faster pace than we can watch it. Some shows can be deleted almost immediately. Other ones could be archived for later viewing. Unfortunately due to a file size of average recording, is not really practical to store entire season of some TV show in its original format.

The best approach is to remove commercials and convert them to h.264 using tools like Handbrake, VideoReDo or MCEBuddy.  That process is time consuming and it requires user interaction of setting up all available options and starting manually encoding process. Exception is MCEBuddy that does encoding automatically. However, from my personal experience I was not happy with final product.  It uses Handbrake as its encoding engine, but I was getting mixed results and selecting right encoding options is not straight forward.

There is another program called DVRMSToobox that can take care of removing commercial using Comskip or ShowAnalyzer. I believe it can also do some encoding. I used it in the past but at some point removing commercials is not that important anymore.  Skip button works pretty well. That feature is becoming less relevant. Most of the shows will be deleted anyway. If I have to remove commercial I do it manually using VideoReDo that way I have full control of parts that I want to delete.

So here comes converter that I was thinking of. These are the things that I want to achieve:

  • Create queue of items for conversion based on certain criteria
  • Select items based on a name
  • Exclude recordings for channels that are copy protected
  • Extract recordings metadata from WTV file and store it for later use
  • Encode files using HandbrakeCLI
  • Encode files using FFMPEG
  • Utilize existing handbrake and FFMPEG encoding profiles
  • Create custom encoding profiles
  • Apply different encoding profiles for different recordings based on user selection
  • Rename encoded files and create standard folder structures for movies and TV series
  • Create nfo metadata files for Kodi
  • Retrieve metadata from
  • Move files to a server
  • Rename recorded files without encoding
  • Create RSS feeds
  • This should be a console application that can be started in task manager
  • This could also be triggered as part of watch folder scenario.


FFMPEG is a command line program however Handbrake provides 2 different ways of interaction. CLI interface seems to be better suited for my needs and I was able to find more documentation on how to actually use it.

At this point I’m mostly concern on figuring out all the necessary pieces that would make my program work.  Basically I want to take a recorded file from point A to point B that means convert it first in the most predictable way.  I want to get results first.


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