14MC-TVConverterMC-TVConverter: An alternative to MCEBuddy?

I’ve been fol­low­ing the devel­op­ment of MCE­Buddy for a while now, as it was the only free way to transcode WTV files to a more com­pat­ible format.  It is still in Beta how­ever, and whilst it works it has 2 down­sides to my mind.  It transcodes the video which means an inev­it­able loss of qual­ity, and this also means it takes a long time to transcode each record­ing.  Around 4 hours for a 1Hr BBC HD record­ing on my Sem­pron LE-1100 serv­er.

Yes­ter­day I dis­covered anoth­er free tool for con­vert­ing WTV files, called MC-TVCon­vert­er.  I gave this a quick tri­al run with a 1:05hr epis­ode of Life recor­ded from BBC HD.  The file is 4.84Gig and con­tains H.264 and AC3 streams, and ideally I’d like a new file in ts, mkv or mp4 format which con­tains the same streams, unaltered.  My tri­al only took just under 5 minutes to crunch the file, and to be hon­est I wasn’t very optim­ist­ic that it had worked.  How­ever, the ts file gen­er­ated plays back per­fectly!  Unlike MCE­Buddy, MC-TVCon­vert­er has done exactly as I hoped — it simply remuxes the streams without any transcod­ing of the streams.  Res­ult!

MCE­Buddy does have some oth­er very use­ful fea­tures how­ever.  It has a folder mon­it­or­ing sys­tem which auto­mat­ic­ally detects recor­ded files, and it has sup­port for remov­al of advert breaks.  Can MC-TVCon­vert­er do the same?  Appar­ently so!  Both fea­tures seem to be present.  I will be test­ing both in the next few days and will update this art­icle accord­ingly.

Update 27-Feb-2012

As Hunny­Puppy points out in the com­ments below, MCE­Buddy 2 final is out and since 2.1.2 also does a quick remux without transcode, and has sev­er­al advant­ages

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14 Comments

gravatarGIUsarac

check the unpro­cessed pro­files of mce­buddy. It can avoid transcod­ing.

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gravatarHunnyPuppy

FYI incase you didn’t know, MCE­Buddy 2.3.15 now sup­ports hard­ware (quick­sync and open­cl) encod­ing. That’s a 10x increase in speed for me using the High Qual­ity pro­file.

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gravatarHunnyPuppy

Cool stuff — on yesterday’s update with 2.3.14 BETA now MCE­Buddy sup­port HD H264 remux­ing WITHOUT transcod­ing. D**n this thing is fast!

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gravatarvideojunkie

MCE­Buddy 2.3.12 rocks! 95+ new fea­tures includ­ing sup­port for TIVO! Gotto say I love this more each day

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gravatarHunnypuppy

So here is a FIRST, MCE­Buddy 2.3.9 can now SAVE the files back into WTV format after remov­ing the com­mer­cials

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gravatarhunnypuppy

Did you know you can ask MCE­Buddy to save the Metadata (either manu­ally right click on the file and click on Gen­er­ate XML) or select the option to cre­ate an XML file in the con­ver­sion set­tings page.

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gravatarJake

The thing that’s push­ing me away from MCE­Buddy is that when it transcodes or remuxes, it loses the show metadata. I have to try to fig­ure out what the file is from its name. Com­skip is a bit dif­fi­cult to get tuned so it doesn’t clip stuff you want to watch, but the metadata loss is the killer.

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gravatarJon Scaife

Agreed — its the most import­ant thing to fix in MCE­Buddy IMHO. You can get it to put lots of info into the file name though and then use anoth­er app to rename the file prop­erly. I use media cen­ter mas­ter which works pretty well.

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gravatarhunnypuppy

This just keeps get­ting bet­ter.

Now you can get eMail noti­fic­a­tions on con­ver­sions (fail­ure or suc­cess). with 2.1.8 you can extract closed cap­tions from record­ings as sub­titles and also sync them with the video auto­mat­ic­ally when remov­ing com­mer­cials.
You can also trim video’s now to remove those extra few minutes before and after the show.

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gravatarhunnypuppy

Check out 2.1.5 — it now has sup­port for select­ing the audio lan­guage in the video file — that’s a first for any com­mer­cial remover and video con­vert­er 🙂

I love the new fea­tures, volume adjust­ment, drag n drop files to con­vert — all in all I think MCE­Buddy is way just bet­ter than MCTV con­vert­er now.

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gravatarhunnypuppy

Bet­ter yet try 2.1.3

Much bet­ter per­form­ance and sta­bil­ity than 2.1.2 — optim­ized con­ver­sion engine, the hand­brake (M4V) pro­files are super fast now!

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gravatarhunnypuppy

Actu­ally MCE­Buddy start­ing Release 2.1.2 also sup­ports a simple remux without transcod­ing in a few minutes. The pro­file is called NoRe­code (it repack­ages the remuxed .TS into a .AVI file).
Also, the tools used by MCE­Buddy and MCTV con­vert­er are exactly the same (both use a tool called ReMux) except that MCE­Buddy has sup­port more file types (MKV) and fail­ure scen­ari­os. e.g., if ReMux fails to con­vert a file (it has lim­it­a­tions), MCE­Buddy has a fall­back mech­an­ism to Remux the file (albiet it takes longer) without transcod­ing it.
Couple of addi­tion­al fea­tues that MCE­Buddy has:
1. MCE­Buddy is bet­ter at hand­ling folder mon­it­or­ing (few­er issues with files which are cur­rently being recor­ded in the folder)
2. MCE­Buddy sup­ports mul­tiple sim­ul­tan­eous con­vre­sions
3. MCE­Buddy has sup­port for cre­at­ing folders and renam­ing the out­put file based on the series/movie data
4. MCE­Buddy has mul­ti­th­readed sup­por­ted for con­ver­sions start­ing 2.1.2 (about 20–30% faster vs older ver­sions)
5. MCE­Buddy has vari­ous fall­back mech­an­ism for hand­ling con­vre­sion fail­ures (you’ll be sur­prised how many videos have cor­rup­ted or non stand­ard formats)

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gravatarJon Scaife

Ahha, so I see. When I wrote this post tho, MCE­Buddy 2 was still in beta. Thanks for the inform­a­tion, I will be giv­ing it a try in the near future

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