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

gravatar HunnyPuppy

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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gravatar HunnyPuppy

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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gravatar videojunkie

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

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gravatar Hunnypuppy

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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gravatar hunnypuppy

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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gravatar Jake

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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gravatar Jon 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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gravatar hunnypuppy

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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gravatar hunnypuppy

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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gravatar hunnypuppy

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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gravatar hunnypuppy

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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gravatar Jon 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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