Are DVRs allowed to skip commercials completely?

Method 1: The 30-second skip

If you have plenty of hard drive space, watch shows soon after you record them, and delete them promptly afterward, just click the 30-second fast-forward button in Plex’s viewing controls whenever ads begin. Jump too far ahead? Try the 10-second back button.

This takes a few clicks per commercial break, but it’s the fastest, easiest way to ignore ads.



How to cut out commercials in Avidemux

Step 1

Open Avidemux and drag your video file into its main window. Step 2

Step 2

For now, focus on the lower left corner. The playhead slider moves you forward and backward through the video. Besides that, you’ll need to concentrate on these four buttons in the controls below: The double backward and forward arrows skip from y

The double backward and forward arrows skip from your current spot on the playhead to the previous or next keyframe in the video. To understand why that matters, you’ll need to learn a little about video compression’s mathematical tricks.

Basically, a .ts file only saves certain frames from its original source, known as keyframes. Every frame of video between those keyframes just keeps track of the changes between the keyframe and the current frame, leaving the unchanged pixels in the image alone. That helps squeeze the original video down to a smaller size.

To edit and save a .ts file without having to redo all these calculations – which takes a good deal longer and might reduce video quality – you need to make all your edits on keyframes. Luckily, the black frames before and after every commercial break in a show usually, but not always, become keyframes, making it easy to snip out commercials without losing more than a few frames of actual show (at worst).

Step 3

To tell Avidemux where to begin and end your cuts, use the “A” and “B” buttons circled in the image above. Slide the playhead to the beginning of a commercial break. From there, click the double backward or forward arrows to find an appropriate keyframe, preferably one that’s entirely black. Then click the “A” button to mark the beginning of your selection: Slide the playhead forward until you find the end

Slide the playhead forward until you find the end of the commercial break. Use the double backward or forward arrows to find a good keyframe to cut on. Then click the “B” button to mark the end of the selection: Once you've got that commercial break marked, just

Once you’ve got that commercial break marked, just hit the Delete key, and it’ll vanish for good. Repeat this for every other commercial break in the file, until you’ve got an uninterrupted show.

Step 4

Time to save your work. Look for the settings on the left side of the Avidemux window. You’ll want them to look like this:


Leave “Lavcodec” alone, and make sure “Video Output” and “Audio Output” are set to “Copy.” If it isn’t already there, set “Output Format” to “Mpeg TS Muxer (ff)”. This ensures your resulting file won’t need to be reprocessed.

Step 5

To keep your video and audio from going out of synch, click the “Configure” button below “Output Format.” You’ll see this box appear: Make sure

Make sure “VBR muxing” is unchecked. Trying to save the video at a variable bit rate seems to cause the video/audio synch problems.

You can leave that “Mux rate” box alone, or tinker with it as you wish. (Avidemux will save your edited version as a copy, so you’ll still have the original video if you need a do-over.) The bigger the number, the higher the video quality, and the larger the file size. Depending on how your TV provider compresses video, the default 10 Mbps setting may be higher than the original broadcast was. In my tests, that setting produced a video file slightly larger than the unedited original, even after I’d snipped out the commercials.

Step 6

When you’re all set, click the delightfully antiquated Save icon in the upper left corner of the Avidemux window:

Re-saving your .ts file should only take a few sec

Re-saving your .ts file should only take a few seconds. Avidemux will automatically add “edit” to the end of the original file’s name, to avoid confusion. By default, it should save your file in the same folder as the original, but you can change that if you like. Just make sure you’re saving your video as a .ts file.

(Avidemux will also create a matching .idx file that records the edits you made to the original. Keep it if you want to revisit those edits without having to redo them.)

Step 7

You’ll now have a .ts file that looks and sounds like the original, with all its audio and subtitle tracks intact. You can keep it as is, or compress it further with Handbrake. (Check out this article on ripping Blu-rays for advice on how to get the best results from Handbrake.)

Step 3: Install SageTV Media Center

The SageTV Installation is very simple and straightforward. Simply click through the installation wizard, leaving all options set to default until the installation has completed.For more detailed installation instructions please see my website at

Whats with All the Commercials?

It turns out that running successful per-pay streaming services is challenging. According to the Wall Street Journal article from 2017, YouTube had to make certain compromises if they were to keep up with the competition.

At the time, it meant allowing networks to embed unskippable ads into recorded content. This is when the differences between recorded and on-demand videos started happening. As explained, you set a show to be recorded, but then it appears on-demand and you are forced to watch it on-demand with all the ads.

This happened because YouTube had unfavorable contracts with companies like 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Walt Disney Co., etc. However, things changed in late 2018 and YouTube forged new deals with major Hollywood players. You are now allowed to use the recorded version of the program and skip the ads even if the same program is available on-demand.

But then, not all channels fall under the new agreement. On the bright side, the majority does, and they include Turner-owned networks, Disney, some ESPN channels, FOX, the National Geographic channels, and more.

Step 6: Install ShowAnalyzer and DirMON

These 2 utilities will help you monitor your video directory for new TV recordings and automatically launch the ShowAnalyzer program to detect commercials in the newly added video mpg files.Both utilities are available from:Install both utilties and configure them as shown on my website: That’s it. Sit back and watch commercial FREE TV!


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